Thursday, September 15, 2016

Thursday's Parsha Tidbits - Parshas Ki Tseitzei

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.

The parsha begins with the laws of the Eishes Yifas Toar who is captured in battle. R'  Frand noted that besides the obvious question as to why there is even a need for the rule, it is puzzling how the soldier would have a desire, based on the connection between this week and last week's parsha.

In Parshas Shoftim, the Torah lists in Devarim 20:3-9, the men who are exempt from battle. When the Torah lists those who are faint hearted, the Gemara explains that this makes reference to those who are afraid because they have sinned. As a result of these exemptions, the only ones going out to battle are the tzaddikim who have not sinned. So if this is the type of solider who is in battle, why was there a need for this law?

R' Frand answered by quoting R' Ya'akov Galinski (sp?) who explains that people have a misconception that tzaddikim don't do battle with (and occasionally fall before)their yetzer hara.  A tzaddik will have issues resisting his yetzer hara, however he works at trying to overcome it by setting up gedarim - fences- which prevent him from being in a situation where he might fail. 

R' Frand gave an example of a person who is trying to lose or maintain their weight. If they are invited to a wedding and know that there will be all sorts of tempting foods, the smart move would be to eat a full healthy meal before going to the wedding, so that the person will not feel hungry and desire to partake in the shmorg. 

The problem is that the fences are only effective when a tzaddik is in an environment over which he has control. However, when the tzaddik goes out to battle, he is thrown into an environment of chaos where there are no fences to keep him in line. It is in such an environment that he may encounter an Eishis Yifas Toar and it is is for that reason that the law exists.

R' Frand also spoke about the concept of returning lost objects and made reference to the pasuk in Devarim 22:2 that if the owner of the lost object is not nearby, there is an obligation to bring the object in using the word "V'asafto". R' Frand quoted the Ba'al HaTurim who notes that the word V'asafto appears only twice in the Tanach - here and Melachim II 5:6, in discussing the gathering in of someone with Tzara'as.

R' Frand quoted the sefer Merapeh L'Nefesh which explains that the law of Hashavas Aveidah is not only about objects, but is equally applicable to people. If you see someone who appears to be lost in the wrong path, there is an obligation to help him right himself and return to the derech. 

R Frand quoted the Ohr HaChaim HaKadosh who explains that the use of the word Shor in Devarim 22:1 is allegorical and really refers to a person who is like an animal. You should return him to Achicha - bring him back to Hashem's ways. When the Torah states later in Devarim 22:2  that the lost item is "Lo KaRov" it is a reference to the end of days when many Jews may be off the derech. At this point one must gather the object "El Toch Beisecha" - bring him into the Beis Medrash so that he can learn.

The Merapeh L'Nefesh states the same concept by Tzara'as. A person gets Tzara'as because he is Tzar Ayin - he has a very narrow view on things and people and he does not see the whole picture. It is incumbent on us to gather him and show him the wonders of Torah life.

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