Thursday, September 1, 2016

Thursday's Parsha Tidbits - Parshas Re'eh

Since there are no Rabbi Frand shiurim during the summer, I have been substituting a vort from other Rabbanim each week, rather than leaving the blog without a vort for shabbos. This week, I am attempting to repeat a vort heard from R' Eli Mansour as recorded on Same rules as usual apply - I have attempted to reproduce the 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 the maggid shiur.

R' Mansour noted that in the beginning of the parsha the Torah recites that there will be brachos and klallos depending on the Jews' actions. However the language of the pesukim are not parallel. In Devarim 11:27 the Torah states "Es HaBeracha Asher Tishm'u" - the beracha, that you shall listen... In the following pasuk the Torah states "V'HaKillalah Im Lo Tishm'u" - and the curse, if you do not listen... Clearly, the pesukim are not parallel, but the question is why?

R' Mansour answered by quoting the Rambam in Hilchos Teshuva wherein he asks - how is it that there can be reward promised (quoting all the berachos in last week's parsha - Devarim 7:13-16) if there is a general principle of S'char Mitzva B'Hai Alma Lecka - the reward for the mitzva is not in this world?

The Ramban answered that the reward for mitzvos is in the next world - for the simple reason that there is nothing in this world that is equal to the world. R' Mansour explained the concept by quoting a story from the Chafetz Chaim. He was approached by a man who was living in a community that was suffering from famine. The man said to the Chafetz Chaim and said to him - I want to cash in the reward for my putting on tefillin if this will break the fast. The Chafetz Chaim said to him - this wont work. The man then said, OK I will cash in two days of tefillin. The Chafetz Chaim said to him - you dont understand. He gave a parable of a kid who walked into a candy store and wanted to buy two pieces of penny candy with a $100 bill. The owner of the candy store would not make change because its not worth the effort. The nimshal is that Hashem would look at this and say - the reward for your tefillin is so much greater than breaking the fast.

The Ramban explained that there is a reward for mitzvos, but it is solely the amelioration of problems which prevent a person from doing mitzvos. In a time of stress it is difficult for a person to open a sefer and learn or concentrate on his davening. Thus the reward for mitzva is a mitzva - the opportunity to do a mitzva. He will have the ability to observe the mitzvos and prepare for shabbos and yom tov without concerns or job related distraction.

Thus the reward for the mitzva and the punishment is now. The beracha in this world is that you will have the ability to do the mitzvos - today. But if a person is not interested in keeping the mitzvos - the punishment will also be in the next world. But there will also be a curse that he will be deprived of the ability to do mitzvos.

R' Mansour quoted the Chassam Sofer that a person who therefore gets the reward here will have reward in the next world without a dimunition in his reward, because all he is getting is the opportunity to do other mitzvos. However, the curse will be if you don't do mitzvos - there will be a curse in this world, but the silver lining is that it will take away from punishment in the next world.

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