Thursday, August 10, 2017

Thursday's Parsha Tidbits - Parshas Eikev

Since there are no Rabbi Frand shiurim on the Parsha until Elul, I would like to substitute 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.

The Parsha contains a pasuk which states - "lest you eat and be satiated and then build nice homes and live there." (Devarim 8:12). The Torah uses the term homes in plural form and says that they will be nice. The pasuk also states that the person will also have a lot of livestock and gold and silver. This is the epitome of success. However the Torah also warns about the possibility that the person will become conceited and say in his heart - I did this based on my strength and ability which brought me to this level of success.

R' Mansour noted that the Torah is not saying that a person should not work. Instead, the Torah is warning about thinking that the success can be attributed to his own actions without the assistance of Hashem.

The Targum explains on the pasuk that Hashem gives you the ability to be successful (Devarim 8:18) that Hashem gives the person the idea which is used to be successful. R' Dessler explains that the thought is like a light bulb, but it only lights because it is connected to the power source -Hashem. After all, why did this person have the idea and not someone else? Because Hashem wanted him to go forward with this plan.

R' Mansour also quoted the Meshech Chachmah who links this concept to Birkas Hamazon - the grace after meals. It is usually thought that the benching is said because a person should thank Hashem after having the food. However, the Meshech Chachmah writes that a person benches because after he eats he may feel satiated and high on himself. The next thought would be, I am feeling great and I alone am responsible for this. Thus the pasuk "lest you eat and be satiated" which is linked to the pasuk about benching - "v'achalta, v'savata u'beirachta" - you should eat and be satiated and then immediately - bench.

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