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Vortlach for Parshas Haazinu

‍‍ד׳ תשרי תשע״א - Saturday, September 11th, 2010

יערף כמטר לקחי

ר' שמחה בונם מפשיסכה notes that תורה is compared to the rain; just like there is no visible effect from the rain when it falls, but only afterwards when plants sprout and begin to grow, so too the effects from learning תורה are often not immediately visible, but only appear after some time.

שיחת לו לא בניו מומם דור עקש ופתלתל

The שאר בת רבים notes that there are many people who are personally observant, and are comfortable with this. Nevertheless, they want their children to follow in the path of תורה and עבודת ה.

However, this is quite hypocritical. For their Father in Heaven asks them to follow the proper path, and yet they rebel. Despite this, they expect their children to listen to them!

In truth, the only thing that will happen is that their children, just like they themselves, will not be religious, but will expect their children to become religious.

וישמן ישרון ויבעט

The חידושי הרי"ם notes that the word used here is ישרון, which is generally associated with a higher spiritual level than just ישראל. Nevertheless, in the presence of גאווה, they are at risk as well.

Vortlach for Parshas Nitzavim / Vayelech

‍‍כ״ו אלול תש״ע - Saturday, September 4th, 2010

הנסתרות לה' אלקינו והנגלות לנו ולבנינו עד עולם לעשות את כל דברי התורה הזאת

The כתב סופר sees these two categories as referring to the two possible times for משיח to come. The hidden one is the fixed date, which is unknown. The revealed one is the date if and when בני ישראל will be חוזר בתשובה, as the פסוק says, "היום אם בקולי תשמעו." While the first is independent of our actions, the second is only if we are follow "את כל דברי התורה הזאת"

את החיים ואת הטוב את המות ואת הרע

The משך חכמה points out that in פרשת ראה, it just said ברכה וקללה, but never mentioned .חיים ומות He explains that this is because earlier, the oppurtunity for תשובה had not yet been presented. If a person fails to repent for an עבירה, this worse than the original עבירה (cf שערי תשובה). As such, the עבירה itself is the קללה and the lack of תשובה is the מוות.

ובחרת בחיים למען תחיה

The בכורי אביב explains the repetition as a reminder that the goal is not merely to enjoy a long life, but a meaningful one.

ויקרא משה ליהושע ויאמר אליו לעיני כל ישראל חזק ואמץ

The משך חכמה writes that the words לעיני כל ישראל are connected, via the טעמי המקרא, to חזק ואמץ. Up until this point, יהושע's role had been that of משה's servant, and he was most known for his humility in front of his teacher. As the new מנהיג, he would need to, publicly, be strong and certain, in order to be able to effectively lead כלל ישראל.

Vortlach for Parshas Ki Savo

‍‍י״ט אלול תש״ע - Saturday, August 28th, 2010

I've decided to start writing down some interesting comments that I've seen on the the פרשה. I don't know if this will continue or not; we'll see...
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