Thursday, February 1, 2018

Thursday's Parsha Tidbits - Parshas Yisro

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.

In the beginning of the parsha, the Torah discusses the reunion of Moshe and Yisro, before reaching the point in the story where Yisro counsels Moshe as to using a system of appellate courts. Although the parsha begins at the start of Perek 18, the discussion of the judging starts at 18:13 when Yisro observed Moshe judging from morning until night. Later still at 18:21-23, Yisro tells Moshe that if would do this and Hashem would command it, then Moshe and the Jews will arrive at peace.

The gemara teaches that one of the reasons that Yisro had the name Yisro is because he caused the addition of another parsha in the Torah -- the system of appellate courts as laid out commencing at 18:21.

R' Frand quoted R' Menachem Zemba (sp?) who spoke at the Third K'Nessiah in pre-WWII Europe and asked why the gemara states that the additional perek began with 18:21-23. He answered that anyone can ask questions or criticize, such as when Yisro says "Lo Tov" at 18:17. However, if a person wants to make a difference, he can offer a solution to the problem. Since Yisro's actual solution began at 18:21, this is why the "new parsha" begins there.

R' Frand also said a vort related to the differing cantellation notes which apply when a person reads the Torah and when learns the Torah privately. When the Aseres HaDibros are being lained, the Ta'am Elyon is used, in which the dibros are broken up by concepts. When they are privately learned they are broken up by pasuk, often within a dibra.

R' Frand noted that there is another difference in that Lo Tirzach has a Kamatz when read as Elyon and a Patach when read privately. But why should the vowel change?

R' Frand answered by quoting the Gra who cited a gemara in Avodah Zarah 19b that interpreted a pasuk in Mishlei which states "for many victims has she felled" which the gemara teaches as referring to a talmid who is giving psak, but had not reached the level of study to do so. The pasuk ends, "and mighty are all that she has slain" which refers to a student who is ready to give psak, but withholds it.

The Gra tied these two students to the patach and kamatz in Lo Tirzach. Sometimes there is a student who should keep his mouth closed, but instead he opens it and is a victim who is felled for being a patach. And there are others who should open their mouths, but keep them closed -kamatz and this is problematic as well.

If you have seen this post being carried on another site, please feel free to click to find other articles on the kosherbeers blogsite. Hey its free and you can push my counter numbers up!


Jessel said...

Waiting to hear your summary of Rav Frand

Neil T said...

Had computer issues last night, but iyh will try to post before shabbos.