The Jewish Eye
Chasam Sofer - Punishing The Reward, The Kindness of Hashem
The Rishonim explain that Hashem does not take your mitzvos away when you do aveiros. Instead you end with both instead of none. He punishes you for the aveira and rewards you for the mitzva. Nevertheless says the Chasam Sofer he does it with kindness. How so? First he gives you your reward for the mitzva and them he takes away the reward causing you the great pain you deserve with the loss of your reward. This way you got both reward and punishment, but still end up in the place you were beforehand.
For example Hashem brought us to Eretz Yisroel and built us a Bais HaMikdash in order, says the Chasam Sofer, to punish us for the aveira of the Meraglim by destroying the Bais HaMikdash and expelling us from the land. We were then no worse off than we were beforehand.
The pasuk says "Re'eh Anochi Nosen Lifneichem HaYom Bracha U'Klala"; Behold I place before your both bracha and the punishment together in order that the punishment should not set you back further. This is the kindness of Hashem.
Vilna Gaon - Meat For Dinner?
A contract was signed between the lender and the borrower that stipulated the borrower would repay the debt "Ki Yarchiv Hashem Es Gevulo"; when Hashem broadens his boundaries, an expression of attaining wealth from the pasuk in Parshas Re'eh (12:20). The borrower's fortune did take a turn for the better but he refused to pay and the Dayanim had trouble determining what the criteria of "broadened boundaries" were.
The Gr"a was consulted and he said the words following "Ki Yarchiv" in the pasuk say "V'Achalta Basar" and you will eat meat. The Gemara in Chulin (84a) says that if you have 1 manah should eat vegetables for his meal, 10 manah he should eat fish, 50 manah he should eat meat. Therefore concluded the Gra if he has 50 manah he can eat meat and his boundaries are broad enough to pay back his loan as agreed.
You Can Change The World!
"Re'eh Ani Nosain Lifnaychem Hayom Beracha Uklala" "See, I present before you today a blessing and a curse" The Meforshim ask, why does the pasuk start off in the singular (Re'eh) and then change to the plural (Lifnaychem)?
The Gemorah in Kiddushin says, on should always view himself as one who has 50% Mitzvos and 50% Avayros. He also should view the whole world as having 50% Mitzvos and 50% Avayros. This way, when he does 1 Mitzvah, he will tilt his scale to the side of merit and also tilt the scale of the whole world to merit. This is what the pasuk is teaching us. "Re'eh " - singular, you the individual have the power to have an effect on the whole world ("Lifnaychem" - plural) whether it will be "Beracha Uklala" - a blessing or a curse. Don't think this is just 1 single Mitzvah that you are being MeKayem.... It might change the whole world!
Want To Be Rich? Put Your Dot In the Right Place!
Aser Tiaser Es Kol Tivuas Zarecha HaYotze HaSade Shana Shana". The Torah commands us to take Ma'aser, to take tithes (tenths) on all the produce of your fields. The Talmud interprets the word ‘Tiaser', (you shall tithe) to mean ‘Teasher', which translates; to become wealthy. According to this interpretation, the Torah promises material reward for those who give Tzedaka. ‘Aser Bishvil ShetisAsher', meaning that if one gives ten percent of his money to Tzedaka, indeed he will become rich. One might think that he is depleting his assets by giving Tzedaka. The Torah is saying to the contrary. One receives much more than he gives.
There is a Midrash Pliah (a wondrous Midrash), on this pasuk. "Aser TiAser" - "Aser Bishvil ShtisAsher" - where do we know this from, asks the Midrash? From the pasuk in Parshas Lech Lecha - where Avraham and Lot departed from each other. Avraham said "Im Hasmol ViAyminah, Vi'im Hayomin ViAsmieelah"- "If you (Lot) go to the left, then I will go to the right. If you go right, I will go left". What's the connection between the pasuk by Avraham and Lot with "Aser TiAser" - "Aser Bishvil ShtisAsher"?
The difference between a "Sin" and a "Shin" is dependent on where the dot is placed. If it's on the right, then it's a "Shin". If it's placed on the left, then it's a "Sin". The Medrash is saying - where do you know that if one gives ten percent of his money to charity, he will become rich - we see this from the pasuk, "Im Hasmol ViAyminah, Vi'im Hayomin ViAsmieelah"- "Im Hasmol" - if you place the dot on the left (Sin) in the word Aser, then it reads "Aleph -Sin - Raysh" - which means "tithe". If you will give Ma'aser, then "ViAyminah" - I (Hashem) will place the dot on the right (Shin) and the word will read Osher (Aleph -Shin- Raysh") and you will become wealthy. But, "Vi'im Hayomin" - you place the dot on the right side (Shin) - which spells "Osher" - you want to remain wealthy and keep all your money, without giving Maaser, then "ViAsmieelah" - I will place it on the left (Sin) - and the word will spell "Eser" - 1/10. You will be left with 1/10 of all your assets.
Rav Yehonoson Eibushitz - How To Eat With a Smile
When we eat our Maaser Sheni in Yerushalayim the pasuk (12:18) says, you should eat with your son and daughter, slave and maidservant, and the Levi. Then the pasuk continues "Vsamachata Lifnei Hashem Elokecha Bchol Mishlach Yadecha"; and you will be happy before Hashem with everything you have.
Rav Yehonoson Eibushitz says that in life we can either look up at the people that have more than us and feel bad that we are worse off or we can look at the people who have not attained our level of comfort and feel fortunate for what we have. The pasuk tells us look at all the poor people of society, the children, the slaves, and people living of Kollel salaries. If you do that then you will realize how good you have it and you will "eat" your lot happily in front of Hashem.
Rabbi Akiva Eiger Unmasks The Mystery Women
"Ki Yakum BiKirbicha Navi"; When there will be among you a False Navi who will tell you to worship Avodah Zara...This False Navi shall be put to death" The Baal Haturim states on the words," BiKirbicha" - It is the same Gematria as "Zeh HaIshah" - "This is referring to the woman". What's the pshat in this puzzling Baal Haturim?
Rabbi Akiva Eiger explains, in the time of the Baal Haturim there were many missionaries who were trying to convince the Jews that Christianity was the correct religion. They even went as far as bringing proofs from the Torah. To refute this, the Baal Haturim said, the words "BiKirbicha Navi" has the same Gematria as "Zeh HaIshah UBnah" - in the parsha of Navi Sheker (A False Navi) it alludes to "The woman and her son" - referring to Yoshkeh and his mother. The censors got a hold of this Baal Haturim and took out the word "UBnah" and that's why it only said, "Zeh HaIshah". Later this whole Baal Haturim was removed and can only be found in old manuscripts.
Rav Hutner - We Lose More Than Our Parents
"ViLo Sasimu Karcha Bain Aynaychem LaMais"; "Do not make a bald spot on your head over the death of a person." The mourning period for one who lost one of his parents is 1 year as opposed to the mourning period for one who lost a child, which is only 30 days. Rav Hutner asks, shouldn't it be just the opposite? The death of one's parents, in his lifetime, is a natural occurrence, and should therefore have a shorter mourning period. As opposed to the death of one's child rachama litzlan, which is not as natural of an occurrence, should have a longer mourning period?
Rav Hutner answers, when one's parents die, we are not only mourning the loss of a parent but also the disconnection from that generation. We are now 1 more generation further removed from Har Sinai. We mourn the loss of the parent and the Torah. That's why the mourning period is for 1 complete year.
The Pittsburgher Rebbe - The Big Day!
Hashem showers us with special gifts on special days. While every day it is possible for us to grow in all aspects of our life, on certain days there are golden opportunities to take great leaps. Pesach we can free ourselves from the Yetzer Harah. Shavuos if done properly it can give us a "Gishmack" for learning that can last the entire year and help us take our learning to the next level. On Tisha B'Av we can develop a sensitivity to the Golus Hashechina. Rosh Hashana we can accept "Ol Malchus Shamayim" and "Yirah Shamayim". On Succos we ignite our happiness in performing mitzvos. Chanukah we can learn to see the light in the darkness. Purim we learn to serve Hashem even when all hope is lost. Every Shabbos we can become close to Hashem, more so than any other Yom Tov.
These gifts come only if we spend the day properly. If we don't, not only won't we grow but we will end up worse off in these areas than when we started. The Pittsburgher Rebbe Shlita says this can be seen from the Pasuk "Re'eh Anochi Noisein Lifneichem Hayom"; I will give you "the" day. This refers to Shabbos and Yom Tov, the special days we can grow. But remember it is a "Bracha U'Klala" a blessing for those who take advantage and a curse for those who don't.
Haftorah Re'eh: Bnei Yisroel Finally Comes Home... But The House Is In Shambles
The Malbim explains that after Hashem, with great joy and fanfare, brings Bnei Yisroel back from the Golus they come home to find Yerushalayim in ruins. Yerushalayim is the "Aniah So'ara Lo Nuchama"; the stormy pauper who has not been consoled. Hashem promises that Yerushalayim will be built with many precious stones which represent the
stones of the various shevatim and what they contribute to Klal Yisroel. The Nofach of Yehuda that symbolizes the return of the Kingdom. The Sapir of Yesachar who contributes Torah. The sun that shines and brings material blessing from Yosef. The Even Ekdach which represents Levi and the Avodah.
The problem with building Yerushalayim after everyone returns is the political and religious arguments that will slow down or even destroy the building process. This could lead to another split among the Jews similar to the split between Yehuda and Yosef like in the times of the first Bais HaMikdash. Here again Hashem promises that all sides will be of the same mindset and unity will reign. "Vchol Banayich Limudei Hashem"; all your children will know the real desire of Hashem. "V'Rav Shalom Banayich"; and peace will reign among your children. Furthermore Hashem promises that he will protect us from all outside threats as well.
Haftorah Re'eh: Here We Go Again
Rav Yehonoson Eibushitz explains the reason why the gemara says that even when Hashem will redeem the Bnei Yisroel we will still not be consoled. "Aniah So'ara Lo Nuchama"; the stormy pauper who has not been consoled. Our entire history has been a long roller coaster ride. We get close to Hashem who lifts us up in marvelous fashion. Then we revert back to our sinful ways and suffer horrific punishment. So when the geula will come we will greet it with fear and hesitation, wondering how long it will be until we slip back into our old painful pattern.
This time will be different promises Hashem through Yeshaya HaNavi. This time Hashem will help us build a society where the true fundamental of the Torah will reign supreme and achdus will bind all of Klal Yisroel together. The teachers of Torah will be Shevet Yehuda whose golden characteristic of modesty will appeal to all and make them eager to listen to their Torah. "Hinei Marbe Bapootz Avanaich"; your teacher will be Yehuda whose stone is the Nofach. "Vi'saditich BaSapirim"; the wisdom of Torah will lie with Shevet Yisachar who possess the true Chochmas HaTorah. A perfect society the way Hashem intended it to be.
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