Thursday, March 17, 2016

Thursday's Parsha Tidbits - Parshas Vayikra

The following is a brief summary of some of thoughts said over by R' Frand on the parsha this evening. I have attempted to reproduce these vorts 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.

R' Frand first cited to the Medrash Rabbah which mentions a Medrash which states that even though Moshe had ten names, Hashem said that He would only call him Moshe which is the name given to him by Basya.

The Ksav Sofer explains the Medrash by making reference to a Gemara in Nedarim which states that Hashem only lets his Shechina dwell on someone who is strong willed, intelligent and humble and all of these traits can be found in Moshe. 

The Ksav Sofer asks - even though the middah of humility is extremely important and can be derived from Moshe - why is there a requirement of being strong willed?

R' Frand answered that a person who is humble because they have nothing is not on the same level as one who has everything. A person who has a weak will and no ambition will not amass wealth, It would not be shocking that he is humble, because he has nothing to be haughty about. But a person who is smart and strong willed and is still humble, shows great character.

R' Frand quoted the Be'er Yosef who quoted a Gemara which asks - where is Sarah found in the Torah - Sarah is Yiskah. The Gemara gives two reason that she was called Yiskah - either that she was beautiful or that she was covered with Ruach HaKodesh. But the Be'er Yosef explains that it is really one answer - even though she was beautiful, Sarah was humble and therefore was blessed with Ruach HaKodesh.

R' Frand then tied the vort back into Moshe being called Moshe. When he was in Pharaoh's palace he could have been haughty as he was treated as the King's son. However even though he was Moshe (as named by Basya) he was still humble.

R' Frand also said a vort in the name of the Bnei Yissaschar on Parshas Zachor. He began the vort by citing the Bnei Yissaschar who explains that Amalek is MiDor Dor, quoting Shemos 17:16. 

He next cited to the Gemara in Chullin 139b which asks where is Haman found in the Torah - in Bereishis 3:12 wherein Hashem questions Adam - HaMin Haetz (letters Heh Mem Nun) - did you eat from this tree?

The Bnei Yissaschar asked - why does the Gemara need a source for Haman in the Torah - he's in the Megillah? Also, there is a closer approximation of Haman's name as the Jews ate HaMan - the Manna. 

To answer the question, R' Frand quoted the Daas Zekeinim M'Baalei Tosafos which cites a Medrash that Hashem told Adam that the day that he ate from the tree he would die. But when Adam did eat, Hashem said to him - I will not kill you and hang you on the tree today, I will save it for Haman/Amalek.

With this introduction, we can understand the Gemara. It is not asking where can Haman be found in the Torah? Instead it is asking - where do we know that the evil of Haman/Amalek can be found in all generations? The Gemara answers  that it all begins with eating from the tree - when Adam disregarded Hashem's directives - and this continues to each generation which disregards Hashem.

R' Frand notes that the curse given to Adam in Bereishis 3:18 is that Kotz V'Dardar - thorns and thistles will grow. What is the difference between a Daled and a Resh - the Kotz at the end of the letter. The Torah later goes out of its way to underscore that there is a difference between the two letters when it comes to Hashem as the Daled in the word Echad in the Shema is oversized as is the Resh in the word Acher in KiSissa (Shemos 34:15).

Adam did not see the difference between the two and followed the Acher instead of the Echad. This sin follows man from generation to generation (MiDor Dor) in the form of the Yetzer Hara/Amalek. This is the battle which the Jews must have for their survival.

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