Thursday, March 16, 2017

Thursday's Parsha Tidbits - Parshas Ki Sissa

The following is a brief summary of some of the 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.

In Shemos 32:17-18 there is an interesting conversation between Moshe and Yehoshua in connection with the voices of the Jews. In Shemos 32:17, Yehoshua tells Moshe "the sound of battle is in the camp." In response, Moshe tells Yehoshua in Shemos 32:18, that it is a "sound of distress."

R' Frand quoted the Yerushalmi which recounts that Moshe's response to Yehoshua was a rebuke. Moshe said to Yehoshua - you are going to be the next leader of the Jewish people, don't you know the difference between the sounds from the Jews? 

R' Frand analogized this to a mother who hears her baby crying and knows whether the sound is a cry because of pain, hunger, diaper or other problem. This is what Moshe was telling Yehoshua that he needed to be tuned into.

R' Frand next quoted R' Schwalb who writes that Yehoshua thought that he heard a drunken crying from the Jewish people which he interpreted as the beginning of a rebellion against Moshe and Hashem. Moshe responded to Yehoshua - yes they are drunk, but it is because they are in pain and are drinking to take the edge off of their concerns and troubles. They think that I (Moshe) have died and that they will be without a leader in the desert. So they drink to avoid thinking about how they may be lost.

R' Frand closed the vort by observing that this is the role of a psychologist or psychiatrist. They may hear or observe the same things as other people, but they are able to recognize it for what it is and they can discern the source of the problem.

R' Frand also said a second vort on the breaking of the luchos. R' Frand asked the famous question - since Hashem had already told Moshe in Shemos 32:7-8 that  the Jews had created the Egel, then why did Moshe bring the luchos down before breaking them? He could have left them up on Har Sinai or in the alternative, he could have broken them when he was up on the mountain, once Hashem told him about the Jews' actions!

R' Frand quoted the Ramban on Parshas Eikev, who explains that Moshe destroyed the luchos because he came down and saw the Jews' dancing in front of the Egel. This was too much for Moshe as the Jews had not only sinned, they were rejoicing in their sin.

R' Frand also quoted the Seforno who said that Moshe broke the luchos specifically because (as stated in Shemos 32:19), Moshe saw the Egel and the dancing before it.

R' Frand also quoted the Mishna Berurah (I did not catch the cite) who writes that the Arizal had a simcha in his doing mitzvos and that this simcha is what allowed him to reach that high of a spiritual level. 

R' Frand tied that into the acts of the Jews ---before they danced, the Jews had sinned but could do teshuva for their acts, even though this was avodah zarah. But once Moshe saw that they were dancing and rejoicing, he had no choice but to break the luchos, as they were no longer capable of doing teshuva.

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