Vol 21.19 - Mishpatim 3 Spanish French Audio Video
1. On the verse (near the end of our Parsha) (Ex. 24:4):
"And Moshe wrote all the words of the L-rd”
Rashi notes the words, “And Moshe wrote” and writes:
“And Moshe wrote: (the text) from “Bereshit (In the beginning -Gen 1:1), until Matan Torah (the giving of the Torah). He (also) wrote the commandments that they were commanded in Marah”.
As has been explained many times, Rashi in his commentary on Torah explains the simple understanding of the verse.
Therefore, one must understand:
What is the necessity according to the simple meaning of the verse, to explain that Moshe wrote all the aspects “from Bereshit until Matan Torah”?
(Even though most of them are written in the style of a story and not in the style of “the words of the L-rd”) as well as the “the commandments that they were commanded in Marah”. Why did he not just write a part of them all, or other “words of the L-rd”, and so forth?
Moreover, in the verse here it states “And Moshe wrote all the words of the L-rd”. The same expression that is stated in a previous verse (Ex. 24:3):
“So Moshe came and told the people all the words of the L-rd"
There Rashi explains, “all the words of the L-rd”:
“all the words of the L-rd: The commandments of separation (of the men from the women) and setting boundaries“.
What then is the reason to change the explanation of “And Moshe wrote all the words of the L-rd” in this verse from the explanation in the previous verse?
Even if one were to learn that since the Mitzvot of separation and setting boundaries was a solitary aspect (as a preparation to Matan Torah) it therefore is not logical that the verse “And Moshe wrote” refers (only) on this. For Moshe’s writing depicts an aspect that relates to subsequent events, or more than this – an establishment for generations (לדורות קביעות).
Nevertheless, one could say (learn) that “And Moshe wrote” includes, together with the Mitzvot of separation and setting boundaries, even the all the Sayings that came as a preface to Matan Torah, yet are also related to later times.
(As (R’ Bachya learns that “And Moshe wrote all the words of the L-rd” means) the stipulations of “And now if you listen diligently to My voice, and preserve My covenant etc.”)
2. The puzzlement in this is even greater:
We find a similarity to Rashi’s explanation in the Mechilta. However, Rashi deviates from the Mechilta, in a manner that Rashi’s explanation is not like his (כמאן דלא)!
The Mechilta cites three views:
Rashi, however, combines the first two views together.
Even if Rashi learns the Pshat in the Mechilta. Namely, that Rebbe does not negate the first view, but rather that he comes to add to it. In other word, that in conjunction to “from the beginning of Bereshit until here” there is included in the writing the “Mitzvot that were commanded to Adam HaRishon etc.”, Nevertheless, one cannot say that that this is the source of Rashi’s comment. For Rebbe not only counts the Mitzvot that were commanded in Marah (as Rashi states) but also all the remaining Mitzvot (even those which Rashi does not cite).
In addition to this:
It is, in general, difficult to say that Rashi’s explanation here is taken from (or based upon) the Mechilta.
For the Mechilta does not explain the verse “And Moshe wrote”, but rather the verse “And he took the Book of the Covenant and read it within the hearing of the people”.
There the Mechilta states “However, we have not heard from where (what point) he read it within the hearing of the people“. This means that in the Mechilta it does not speak regarding the writing (which Moshe wrote in the sefer) but rather regarding that which Moshe read (from that very sefer) “in the hearing of the people”. Therefore, there is no proof on the verse “And Moshe wrote”. It could be that in the writing, Moshe included more than what he read. (And like the precise wording of the Mechilta: “we have not heard from where (in the sefer) he read from”).
In any manner, it is not understood:
From where does Rashi get, according to the simple meaning of the verse that the verse “And Moshe wrote” was from “Bereshit until Matan Torah . . the commandments that they were commanded in Marah”?
3. Later, in the verse:
“And he took the Book of the Covenant and read it within the hearing of the people"
Rashi explains the words “the Book of the Covenant” and writes:
“the Book of the Covenant: from ‘Bereshit’ until Matan Torah, and the Mitzvot that they were commanded in Marah”.
The reason that Rashi must comment here, on “Book of the Covenant”, at all, is understood. For beforehand, it does not mention, that what Moshe wrote, was the ‘Book of the Covenant’. Therefore, Rashi explains that they are the same.
One must however understand:
Why must Rashi repeat here all the details (which he already stated in the comment of the verse “And Moshe wrote”) “from Bereshit until Matan Torah and the Mitzvot that they were commanded in Marah”?
He only had to say that this is the very book that Moshe wrote. Similar to the words of Rashbam here who writes, “Book of the Covenant – (this refers to) that which is written of above in the verse “And Moshe wrote” etc.”
Seemingly, one could say that Rashi must delineate this is detail, because the verse just states plainly “And he took the Book of the Covenant and read it within the hearing of the people”. However, it does not state what and how much Moshe read before them (and in the words of the aforementioned Mechilta: “we have not heard from where he read from”).
Therefore, Rashi informs us that what he read was from “from Bereshit until Matan Torah and the Mitzvot that they were commanded in Marah” – the entire Book of the Covenant.
However, one cannot learn so.
For according to this, Rashi should have noted the words “and read it within the hearing of the people” and on that comment: (that “read it” means) from “from Bereshit etc.” However, Rashi just notes the words, “Book of the Covenant”. Moreover, he does not even add the word “vGomer” (וגו׳״ /etc.) (to allude to the continuation of the verse). From this it is understood that he just comes to explain (not that “he read” means, but) which sefer the verse is referring to with the words “Book of the Covenant”.
Therefore, the question returns: Why does Rashi repeat his comment – and in detail?
4. One can understand this by prefacing another precise expression in Rashi, in the previous (aforementioned) comment: “And Moshe wrote - from Bereshit until Matan Torah and he wrote the Mitzvot that they were commanded in Marah”.
For seemingly the word, “and he wrote” is superfluous.
“And Moshe wrote”.
Accordingly, it would have been sufficient just to state the word “and” (ו׳ החיבור). In other words to state: “from (Bereshit until Matan Torah) AND the Mitzvot that they were commanded in Marah” and we would have understood ourselves, that all this is included in the “And He wrote”?
The explanation of this is:
Regarding the entire Parsha (of “And to Moshe He said, ‘Come up to the L-rd etc.’”) there is a debate among the commentators of the Torah – regarding when this Parsha was stated and when all these events, of which the Parsha speaks, took place.
Rashi learns that:
“This section was said before the Ten Commandments (were given) . On the fourth of Sivan, “Come up” was said to him (Moshe)”.
This means that even the event of “And Moshe wrote” was on the fourth day. Whereas other things such as “And he built an altar etc.” occurred on the fifth of Sivan.
However, according to Ramban and others, all this occurred after the Ten Commandments - after Matan Torah.
Regarding this debate in the time that the Parsha was stated, there comes out a difference in the explanation of the verse “So Moshe came and told the people all the words of the L-rd and all the ordinances”:
According to Rashi, “all the words of the L-rd” means, as aforementioned, the “Mitzvot of separation and setting boundaries” and “all the ordinances” means the “the seven commandments that the Noachides were commanded (to observe), in addition to the Sabbath, honoring one’s father and mother, the Red Heifer, and laws of jurisprudence, which were given to them in Marah”.
However, according to Ramban and others the words (“all the words of the L-rd”) means that which G-d said after Matan Torah – “you have seen that from Heaven etc.“ and (with “all the ordinances” -) the entire Parsha of Mishpatim until the section, “And to Moshe He said” etc.
This very difference between the two views also brings out a difference in the subject of the “Covenant/Brit”:
The aspect of a Covenant is to strengthen the connection and attachment between those who are partners in the pact. In this case – the Yidden with the Torah (for through the Torah, that G-d gave, they are also connected with G-d).
According to this, it is understood that according to Rashi, who maintains that the Covenant occurred before Matan Torah, that the Covenant is, on and through, the aspects that G-d gave to the Yidden before Matan Torah. Especially those which can most strengthen the (bond) Covenant. Namely like “He declared the power of His works to His people” – from Bereshit until “This month shall be”. In addition, this Covenant was a preparation and preface to Matan Torah (the Ten Commandments etc.).
However, according to the view of Ramban and others – the Covenant was mainly connected with the Sayings and Commandments (דברות וציוויים) which G-d said after Matan Torah.
According to this, it is understood that when the verse states, “And Moshe” – the writing of the “Book of the Covenant”,
(The sefer which is connected with the Covenant, as it states further on in the Parsha) –
it means, according to Rashi, that he wrote “all the words of the L-rd”, which were already spoken until when he spoke to the Yidden. In other words, “from Bereshit until Matan Torah” and the “the commandments that they were commanded in Marah”.
This writing was not (just) because of the subsequent reading of it “within the hearing of the people”. Rather this itself was (also) a part of the Covenant. By Moshe’s writing it down, it brought an additional strength. Namely, that it caused the Yidden to be more obligated and connected (מחייב און פארבונדן) in this.
5. According to this, one could say that the reason that Rashi divides (צעטיילט) (with “and he wrote”) the two aspects:
is because they are two forms of writing:
(For what difference and why should he deviate, as is somewhat apparent from Rashi’s wording itself: “from Bereshit until Matan Torah”).
Therefore, this is in the scope of the writing of the “Parshiot of the Torah”.
Similarly, this is the difference whether “And Moshe wrote” was before Matan Torah or (like the views that it was) after Matan Torah:
Before Matan Torah, there were two aspects: The Parshiot of Torah and the Mitzvot that were commanded at Marah.
Therefore even in “And Moshe wrote” there were two types of writing, as aforementioned:
After Matan Torah, However, there is no reason to differentiate. Rather “he wrote” all of it in the same manner – even the Mitzvot (laws/ משפטים) were written by Moshe as Parshiot of Torah (which contain the Mitzvot).
6. With this, the reason is understood, why Rashi, when coming to the verse “And he took the Book of the Covenant”, must clarify and explain what the “Book of the Covenant” is:
Since we previously learned that Moshe wrote two separate aspects, in two difference types (גדרי) of writing – and here it states “Book of the Covenant” in the singular – Rashi must therefore explain that the Book of the Covenant is comprised of the same two different aspects:
With this, it also conveys that the Covenant with the Yidden was on two aspects:
According to this, it fits nicely, why after Moshe Rabbeinu read the Book of the Covenant “within the hearing of the people”, that the Yidden said, “All that the L-rd spoke we will do and we will hear":
This was the preparation and preface to Torah study and the fulfillment of Mitzvot that Yidden accepted upon themselves from now and in the future. Through this double acceptance and in a manner of “Covenant”, they became fitting to receive the Torah.
7. From the wondrous aspects in this Rashi:
In the Talmud there is a debate between R’ Yochanan and Reish Lakish whether Torah was:
(Meaning that when a Parsha was said to Moshe, he would write it down. And at the end of forty years, when all the Parshiot were completed, he bound them together with thread made from sinews and sewed them. – Rashi).
(Meaning that the Torah was not written down until the end of forty years, after all the Parshiot were said, and those that were said in the first and second year were committed to memory until they were written – Rashi).
Tosafot comments on the one who maintains that the Torah was “given as a complete book” and questions:
“This is questionable. For it states: ‘And he took the Book of the Covenant and read it within the hearing of the people’ and Rashi explains in his commentary on Torah that it was “from Bereshit until here””.
”It may be explained that ‘given as a complete book’ does not mean to say that it was not written until the end (of the forty years). Rather that it was written in order (שעל הסדר נכתבה). For there are Parshiot that were first said, before those that were written down before them. Yet they (the Parshiot that were said to them now) were not written down until the one which was written before it, was told to him. He then wrote it after it.”
The Maharal explains that Rashi, in our Parsha, does not contradict the one who maintains that the Torah was “given as a complete book”
(Even according to Rashi’s commentary on the Talmud, namely that this means that “it was not written until the end of forty years”).
For this was the “necessary for (or integral to) the Mitzvah” (צורך מצוה). Therefore, this giving of Torah, is just considered (for the purpose of) forming a pact”.
According to the aforementioned, it fits nicely.
For although the writing “from Bereshit until Matan Torah” was in the manner of (the style of) writing of the Parshiot of Torah, Nevertheless, this was still not in the realm of (the actual) (writing) of the Parshiot of Torah. Rather it is a part of the “Book of the Covenant” which also contained “the Mitzvot that they were commanded in Marah”. In addition, their writing was completely different from the writing of the Parshiot of Torah. Moreover, both categories of writing together comprised one “Book of the Covenant”.
One could say that the reason that Tosafot questions Rashi’s explanation, is because according to Tosafot’s view:
Since the Parshiot that Moshe wrote from Bereshit until Matan Torah were not different (in their form and language) from the Parshiot that were written after this, in the Torah. Therefore, even though Moshe also combined in it, the Mitzvot that were commanded in Marah (which were not written like the Parshiot of Torah),
Nevertheless, this did not nullify or detract from that which the Parshiot from Bereshit until Matan Torah, were an aspect of the writing of the Parshiot of Torah.
(According to this it fits why Tosafot cites from Rashi’s wording “from Bereshit until here” and does not cite the conclusion of Rashi’s words “the Mitzvot that they were commanded in Marah”. For the writing of the “the Mitzvot that they were commanded in Marah” have no relation to the debate in Tosafot. The question just concerns “the writing from Bereshit until Matan Torah” which is a scope of the writing of the Parshiot of Torah).
However, the view of Rashi is that since both aspects of the writing were one Book of the Covenant – then even the Parshiot from Bereshit until Matan Torah were not an aspect of writing Parshiot of Torah, but rather – an aspect of the “Book of the Covenant”.
8. From the homiletic style of Torah in Rashi's commentary (Yayina shel Torah) one could say:
Even though the entire aspect of a Covenant is the connection and attachment between those who form the pact. Namely in this case – the connection and attachment between G-d and the Yidden. Nevertheless, here there is a difference in the essence of the Covenant, namely whether the Covenant was formed before Matan Torah, or after Matan Torah:
Until Matan Torah, there was the decree that the upper worlds (Elyonim) not descend to the lower worlds (Tachtonim) (עליונים לא ירדו לתחתונים); and conversely that the lower worlds (Tachtonim) not ascend to the upper worlds (Elyonim) (תחתונים לא יעלו לעליונים). Therefore, it comes out that the Covenant that was before Matan Torah, was just (נאך אלץ) connected with the person (Gavra) and not with the object (Cheftza). Moreover, Torah and Mitzvot (before Matan Torah) indeed accomplished an elevation (עלי׳) and attachment with G-d. However, this was in a manner of ‘before Matan Torah’ – not leaving the realm of the created being (the lower /תחתון).
Whereas, according to the opinions that the Covenant was after Matan Torah, after:
It is also understood that this unity with Torah, and in a manner of a Covenant effected the epitome and completeness of the elevation in the level of completely leaving the realm of a created being.
However, there is a quality here in the view (Rashi’s opinion) that that the Covenant was before Matan Torah.
For since even then (before Matan Torah) they were “tied, wrapped and caught” (קשורים ענובים תפוסים) with the level of the Torah as it came down to created beings (before Matan Torah). As well as with the level of G-dliness that was drawn down through it. It is understood that after such a preparation, the refinement and elevation of the people at Matan Torah was much more complete. Therefore, they were, in accordance with their level, fitting to receive the Torah which is higher than the realm of created beings.
Whereas according to the views that the Covenant was after Matan Torah, then at the time of Matan Torah, the Torah was completely higher than their level and aspects. Therefore, the giving of the Torah was mainly due to the Supernal.
9. According to this, one can explain the aforementioned difference (Par. 5) namely that
From the scope and nature of the created beings, there is discerned a difference between Torah and Mitzvot. Therefore, even in the acceptance of the Yidden the “we will do” is separate from the “we will hear”.
However, from G-d’s perspective there is no difference. Just as G-d is the Absolute Unity (אחדות הפשוטה), this is also manifested in Torah as it is on High. Everything is one aspect of Torah
MSichas Shabbat Parshat Mishpatim 5742
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