Thursday, August 8, 2013

Thursday's Parsha Tidbits - Parshas Shoftim

Although it is only the 8th of August, it is also the first Thursday Night of Elul and R' Frand has begun the new season of Parsha shiurim. The following is a brief summary of a thought said over by R' Frand on the parsha this evening. I have attempted to reproduce this vort to the best of my ability. Any perceived inconsistency is the result of my efforts to transcribe the shiur and should not be attributed to R' Frand.

The Torah in Devarim 17:14-20 discusses what will occur when the Jews reach the land of Israel and desire to have a king. The Torah mentions various rules that the king must abide by, inlcuding not having too many wives or horses and not to return the Jews to Egypt. 

In Devarim 17:18, the Torah states that it will be "k'shivto al kisei mamlachto" - when the king ascends the throne, he has the halacha to write his own sefer Torah which he must keep with him at all times.

R' Frand quoted a gemara which notes that there are two ways to say when a king ascends the throne - k'shivto and b'shivto. When discussing Ahasverus the Megilla states "k'shivto" whereas in Sefer Shoftim it says "b'shivto". The gemara explains that "k'shivto" is a temporary period, whereas "b'shivto" is permanence - along as there is an independent Jewish people in the land, there will be a kingship.

The question must be asked - why does the Torah use the term "k'shivto" in this week's parsha. R' Frand answered the question by citing to the Chidushei HaRim and the Techeles Mordechai who say a similar thought. They say that when a king first begins his reign it is new and fresh and he is energetic and full of ideas. But as time passes, he becomes jaded and is less enthusiastic.

The Torah's message is that the same way that a king begins his reign with energy and ideas, he should continue to do so throughout his time as ruler and should not become jaded.

R' Frand then said that this would be an excellent vort to say at a sheva brochos. A chassan is compared to a king. The same way that a couple begins their marriage with everything new and exciting, the brocha to them should be that it continues with the same enthusiasm and that the husband should continue to honor her throughout the marriage.

R' Frand quoted R' Pa'am who asked why we say v'airastich li l'olam? The concept of eirusin is the first and temporary stage of marriage. Why do we want to be bound in a temporary union? R' Pa'am answers that every day should feel like we are newly bound like this fresh stage of marriage.

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