Thursday, September 7, 2017

Thursday's Parsha Tidbits - Parshas Ki Savo

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 began the vort by quoting some of the pesukim in the Tochacha where the Torah states in Devarim 28:45 that the curses will come because you failed to observe the mitzvos and commandments that Hashem commanded you. The following pasuk then states that "they" will be a sign and a wonder on you and your offspring forever.

R' Frand quoted the Maharil Diskin who stated that if the second pasuk was taken literally, it would be the worst of the curses. All of the horrible events such as the Inquisition, the Pogroms and the Holocaust had an end to the curses. But this seems open ended.

R' Frand explained that the Mahril Diskin reads these two pesukim differently. The first part of the pasuk says that they will come on a person until he is destroyed and that it comes because you did not keep the mitzvos in a way that it had an impact on your children. The impact will be for generations because you did not do mitzvos in a way that your children will want to do them too.

The Tolner Rebbi links these pesukim to the following pasuk (28:47) as one long pasuk. The first pasuk states that these will come upon you because you did not observe the mitzvos and commandments, the second pasuk explains that it will stay as a sign and a wonder forever, but the third pasuk explains that this results from a failure to serve Hashem with happiness. If a person shows their children that the mitzvos are meaningful to us, it will inspire them. But if the mitzvos are by rote and the holidays are just great meals, the curses will come, because your children will c'vs reject the mitzvos and not follow through with them.

R' Frand then linked the thought to the pasuk in the end of the parsha (Devarim 29:3) wherein Moshe tells the Jews that Hashem has not given them the heart to know, the eyes to see or the ears to hear "until this day." R' Frand explained that Moshe was telling the Jews, "now, I see that you get it."

How did Moshe see that they got it? Rashi explains that this day Moshe wrote a sefer Torah and gave it to the sons of Levi. All the Jews then came to Moshe and said to him ---we also accepted the Torah at Sinai, so why do they get the sefer Torah and tomorrow they will say to us that it was given to them and not us! Upon hearing this, Moshe was happy ---because the Jews were complaining that they wanted the Torah.

R' Frand quoted R' Olshan who cited R' Wachtfogel who explained that the use of the word tomorrow ("machar") was a code word, much like the word "machar" used in the description of the sons statement at the seder ("mah ha'avodah hazos lachem) --its referring to the kids. The tribes were not specifically upset that the sefer Torah was given to the tribe of Levi, they were upset about machar -- tomorrow the tribe of Levi will say, we got something to give over to their children and we don't have anything to give over to our children. We need something to give to them and to have a continuity to religion.

When Moshe heard them complaining that they had nothing to give to their kids, then he knew that today, the Jews were an understanding nation.

R' Olshan also tied it to the gemara in Nedarim which discusses Yirmiyahu's statement about why the churban came---because the Jews abandoned the Torah. The gemara explains that this was because the Jews did not make a beracha before learning Torah. The Mefaresh on that gemara explains that the Jews were learning Torah and said the beracha, but did not say the part of the beracha which says that the Torah should be passed to "tzetza'inu."

This was the curse, that these came upon you because you did not inspire your children to want to continue to do the mitzvos.

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