Join our weekly Peninim on the Torah list!

Category

Back to Home -> 5778 ->


ויקרא משה ליהושע ויאמר אליו... חזק ואמץ כי אתה תבוא את העם הזה אל הארץ

Moshe called to Yehoshua, and he said to him… Be strong and of good courage, for you will come with this people into the Land. (31:7)

Moshe Rabbeinu said to Yehoshua (Rashi), “Make sure that the elders of the generation are with you; act according to their opinions and advice. For you will come with (tavo), the people when they come into Eretz Yisrael.” Moshe’s idea of leadership (as implied by the word tavo) is one of consensus, in which everybody is on the same page. Such a leader must successfully navigate the various opinions of the people and establish a workable situation in which his authority is accepted. Hashem seems to have different plans for Yehoshua’s leadership, when He says (Ibid 23), “Be strong and…

Continue Reading

בבא כל ישראל לראות את פני ד'... תקרא את התורה הזאת... הקהל את העם... למען ישמעו ולמען ילמדו ויראו את ד'

When all Yisrael comes to appear before Hashem… you shall read this Torah… gather together all the people… so that they will hear and so that they will learn, and they shall fear Hashem. (31:11,12)

Since the purpose of the gathering of all of the Jews is for the reading of the Torah, the pasuk should have first stated Hakhel es ha’am, “Gather together all the people,” and then, Tikra es ha”torah ha’zos, “You shall read this Torah.” Reading the Torah is the purpose of Hakhel; therefore, Hakhel should precede the “reading” of the Torah. The Gerrer Rebbe, zl, the Imrei Emes, explains that the (mere) gathering of all Jews b’achdus, in unity, is – in and of itself – Torah. Therefore (now that we have a unified gathering and having achieved the essence of…

Continue Reading

ויאמר ד' אל משה הנך שכב עם אבותיך וקם העם הזה וזנה אחרי אלהי נכר הארץ

And Hashem then said to Moshe, “You are now going to lie with your fathers, but this people will arise and stray after the gods of the nations of the land.” (31:16)

Horav Shlomo Lorincz, zl, was the Agudath Israel representative to the Knesset. He was one of those unique individuals who had the merit to spend seventy years b’michitzasam, in the shadow of the gedolei Yisrael, Torah giants, primarily of Eretz Yisrael. As such, he was afforded the unparalleled opportunity not only to bask in their greatness, but also to learn from them and impart their lessons to others. He relates the following profound observation from the Brisker Rav, zl, which he sees as a living will, a mandate to every public activist, as well as to every Jew. Rav Lorincz…

Continue Reading

ועתה כתבו לכם את השירה הזאת

So now, write this song for yourselves. (31:19)

Simply, this “song” is a reference to Shiras Ha’azinu, which foreshadows Klal Yisrael’s future. Chazal, however, interpret this “song” as applying to the entire Torah, thereby redefining Torah from a book of law, ethics and way of life, to the song of the Jewish people. Horav Yosef Kahaneman, zl, the Ponevezer Rav, explains that the Torah should be the Jew’s song of life that reaches into his innermost emotions and accompanies him throughout his life’s journey. Torah celebrates with him during his moments of joy and mourns with him as he traverses periods of pain and travail. It is his…

Continue Reading

וילך משה ויהושע ויתיצבו באהל מועד

Moshe and Yehoshua went and stood at the Ohel Moed. (31:14)

Chazal teach that Moshe Rabbeinu asked Hashem to transfer the reins of leadership to Yehoshua, his worthy disciple. Rather than insist that Yehoshua come to Moshe’s tent to study and hear the word of G-d, Moshe went to Yehoshua. Their roles were now reversed, as the student became the leader, and the Rebbe took the place of his student. The Pillar of Cloud descended over Yehoshua, separating him from Moshe. When the Cloud ascended, Moshe asked Yehoshua, “What did the Word (Hashem’s communication) say to you?” Yehoshua responded, “When Hashem appeared to you, did I know what you were told?”…

Continue Reading

ועתה כתבו לכם את השירה הזאת

So now, write this song for yourselves. (31:19)

Chazal derive from the above pasuk that each Jew is commanded to write a Sefer Torah – or, at least, participate in the writing of a communal Sefer Torah. As this is the last of the 613 mitzvos, we glean from here that the entire Torah must be recorded for the purpose of knowing and understanding its mitzvos. Without learning, there can be no knowledge; and, without knowledge, there can be no observance; and, without personal observance, we have nothing to transmit to the next generation. Why is the mitzvah to write a Sefer Torah enjoined to the individual as…

Continue Reading

כי לא תשכח מפי זרעו

For it will not be forgotten from the mouth of its children. (31:21)

What is the secret of our continued survival? It is not as if we have acted perfectly as children of Hashem. Yet, we continue to survive, to endure the vicissitudes of life, until that day when we have completed our mission. Regardless how distant we have allowed ourselves to move away, how far we have fallen, how low we have sunken as a result of our collective sins, we still have one redeeming value, one merit, one blessing that accompanies us through the abyss of darkness that resonates through our life: the Torah. As soon as we return to the…

Continue Reading

ויקרא משה ליהושע ויאמר אליו לעיני כל ישראל חזק ואמץ כי אתה תבוא את העם הזה אל הארץ

Moshe summoned Yehoshua and said to him before the eyes of all Yisrael, “Be strong and courageous, for you shall come with this People to the Land.” (31:7)

Moshe Rabbeinu summoned Yehoshua in front of all Klal Yisrael in order to build Yehoshua’s esteem. Let everyone see and note that Yehoshua has been designated as Moshe Rabbeinu’s heir and successor. Moshe was the quintessential leader, but taking the people into Eretz Yisrael was not an option that was available to him. Yaan lo he’emantem Bee l’hakdisheini; “Because you did not believe in Me, to sanctify Me” (Bamidbar 20:12): Certainly, Moshe believed in Hashem, but, as the Kli Yakar explains, shelo geramtem l’haamin li, “Because you did not cause others to believe in Me.” Moshe should have realized (explains…

Continue Reading

ועזבני והפר את בריתי אשר כרתי אתו

And it will forsake Me and annul My covenant that I have sealed with it (31:16).

From their nascency as the “spiritual” heirs to the European and Russian Haskalah, Enlightenment movement, the secular Zionists who undermined the Orthodox Yishuv haYashan, Old Yishuv (settlement in Yerushalayim), continue to lay the blame for every one of our People’s troubles at the doorstep of the Orthodox, Torah-observant Jew. Founded upon misguided principles, and nurtured in hypocrisy and avarice, this movement is Jewish only in name. Insidiously, it has attempted to subvert every achievement of the Orthodox – accomplishments that were gained with blood, sweat and tears. They too sacrificed, but for personal ideals, not Torah values. Nonetheless, the blame…

Continue Reading

וילך משה ... ויאמר אליהם בן מאה ועשרים שנה אנכי היום

Moshe went… He said to them, “I am a hundred and twenty years old today.” (31,1)

Parashas Vayeilech invariably falls before Yom Kippur.  The parsha begins with Moshe Rabbeinu reflecting on his life, in preparation for taking leave of his nation.  This perspective gives each and every one of us something to think about.  Even the quintessential leader of the Jewish People prepared to meet his Maker.  The confluence of the Parsha and the time of year gives us food for thought.  I recently came across a lecture from Horav Yoshiahu Yosef Pinto, Shlita, which adds compelling insight and even trepidation to the thoughts ruminating through our minds at this time of year. Moshe prayed fervently…

Continue Reading

Subscribe To Our Newsletter

Join our weekly Peninim on the Torah list!

You have Successfully Subscribed!