Vol 14.14 - Tavo 2 Spanish French Audio Video
|Hebrew Text: Chumash|
(5734) Rashi (End of Parsha, Deut 29:3): "Yet…the Lord did not give you a heart to know".
1. At the conclusion of the Sidra, it states:
“And Moshe called all of Israel and said to them, ‘You have seen . .the great miracles . .Yet, the L-rd has not given you a heart to know, eyes to see and ears to hear, until this day.”
Rashi cites the words,
“Yet. .the L-rd did not give you a heart to know”
“To recognize the kind acts of the Holy One, Blessed is He, and (therefore) to cleave to Him”.
One must understand:
2. Afterward Rashi cites the words,
“Until this day”,
“I heard that on the very day that Moshe gave the Torah scroll to the sons of Levi- as the verse says in Parshat Vayelech (Deut. 31:9), “And he gave it to the kohanim, the sons of Levi”. All Israel came before Moshe and said to him: “Moshe, our Teacher! We also stood at Sinai and accepted the Torah, and it was (also) given to us! Why, then, are you giving the members of your tribe control over it, so that some day in the future they may claim, 'It was not given to you-it was given only to us!’” Moshe rejoiced over this matter and it was on account of this, that he said to them, “This day, you have become a people (to the L-rd your G-d)” (Deut. 27:9). (This meant:) “It is today that I understand that you cleave to the Omnipresent and desire Him.”
One must understand:
The expression “until this day” is found many times in the Torah:
In all of these expressions, the meaning of “until/ad” (עד) means “until now, including now” (״עד״ ועד בכלל), meaning that it also includes “this day”.
Yet here Rashi writes,
“It is today that I understand that you cleave to the Omnipresent and desire Him.”
meaning that it is just “today” that Moshe understood, (not the previous days, which means that “today” was not inclusive of the previous days (״עד״ ולא עד בכלל)).
Specifically since Rashi prefaces and emphasizes that this explanation is (solely) “I heard”. This means that he did not find this in the homilies of the Sages but rather that he heard so (from his teachers etc.).
One must also understand many of the precise wordings in Rashi:
“We also stood at Sinai and accepted the Torah, and it was given to us!”,
seemingly it should have stated the opposite: in the beginning “it was given to us!” and then “We also accepted the Torah”?
“Why, then, are you giving the members of your tribe control over it”
implies that the Torah is related to all Bnei Yisroel but that the sons of Levi (have an advantage) and control over it.
Yet according to the continuation that they were concerned, “Some day in the future they may claim, 'It was not given to you’”. It would have been better if it stated the opposite, “Why are you giving it to the people of your tribe”? Especially since Rashi explains that the cause of the concern is because Moshe gave the Sefer Torah to the tribe of Levi.
(and from this it is a proof that) “it was not given to you”. Yet in Rashi, the order is reversed.
3. After this, in the continuation of the Parsha, it states,
“I led you through the desert for forty years (during which time) your garments did not wear out from upon you . . You neither ate bread . .And then you arrived at this place. And Sichon.. came out towards us in battle, and we smote them”.
Rashi cites the words,
“And then you arrived at this place”
“Now you see yourselves in greatness and in prominence; Do not rebel against the Omnipresent nor let your hearts become haughty; rather, ‘Observe the words of this covenant’”
One must understand:
(for through the miracles – “they believed in G-d”, and so forth)
that the verse should come to describe them in such a condition that they need to be exhorted, “”?
4. Afterward Rashi continues and explains that:
“Another explanation of “Yet. . the L-rd did not give you a heart to know”: No one can fathom neither the depths of his teacher’s mind nor the wisdom of his studies before forty years. Hence, the Omnipresent was not strict (הקפיד) with you until this day; but from now on, He will be strict with you; and therefore: “Observe the words of this covenant etc.”
In our case,
(in the explanation of “Yet. .the L-rd did not give you a heart to know”)
what is the difficulty in each of the two explanations, and how is the first explanation closer to the simple meaning of the verse than the second?
Yet in the second explanation, Rashi adds the words, v’Gomer/Etc.”. what is the reason for the difference?
5. The explanation of all this is:
The purpose of the intent of the words of this Parsha come and are explained in its conclusion,
“And you shall observe the words of this covenant and fulfill them, in order that you will succeed in all that you do”
In other words, they are words of rebuke and admonition (דברי תוכחה ואזהרה) in order to strengthen Bnei Yisroel in the observance of Torah and Mitzvot.
Since we find, previously, in the Torah, that Moshe Rabbeinu rebuked them many times – yet, with all this, here it prefaces
“And Moshe called all of Israel and said to them”,
and begins with what occurred even while they were in Egypt etc. – one must therefore say that this rebuke contains a great innovation (חידוש גדול) that the previous rebukes do not possess.
This is the foundation of Rashi‘s explanation in this Parsha:
Rashi cites the words,
“Yet. .the L-rd did not give you (a heart to know)”
Seemingly, this is entirely not understood according to the simple meaning of the verse:
How is it possible that Bnei Yisroel did not have “a heart to know” G-d’s miracles. It expressly states in Scripture that Bnei Yisroel were thankful for the miracles that were performed for them, by stating that they believed in G-d and by singing praise etc.? So much so, that those men of Bnei Yisroel, who were not able to offer the Pesach offering – as a remembrance of the exodus from Egypt – claimed, “Why should we be excluded etc.”
Therefore, Rashi explains,
“To recognize the kindnesses of the Holy One, Blessed is He”,
to emphasize that the reason that
“Yet. .the L-rd did not give you . . to know” –
is not related to what it stated previously (“the great miracles etc.”).
Rather it refers to what is written later on,
“I led you through the desert for forty years . . your garments did not wear out from upon you . . You neither ate bread”.
These are G-d’s kindnesses (even though they were also miracles)
The explanation of this is:
A miracle is an occurrence that goes out of the confines of nature. It is above nature and norm. However, when a specific miraculous conduct lasts for a lengthy time, and a person becomes accustomed to it, he des not feel that this is a miraculous aspect, but that it is normal. This is similar to the dictum that “habit will become nature” (הרגל נעשה טבע).
The same is in our case. Since they endured for “forty years”– that which everyone experienced and felt was (just) that these are “kindnesses of the Holy One, Blessed is He”.
Rashi also adds,
“and to cleave to Him”.
With this, he explains the innovation of this rebuke. The recognition of the kindnesses of the Holy One, Blessed is He must specifically lead to “cleaving to Him”
If these are G-d’s kindnesses (in the plural) (which are very great) – this effects a an extremely great drawing near – that of cleaving/Devekut (דביקות).
Therefore, since “Yet. .the L-rd did not give you a heart to know” – to recognize the kindnesses of the Holy One, Blessed is He, and consequently, there is also lacking the “cleaving to Him”, therefore, they needed to be exhorted
“Observe the words of this covenant”.
6. However, before this, where it states,
“Yet. .the L-rd did not give etc.”,
the intent is,
“To recognize the kind acts of the Holy One, Blessed is He, (and through this) to cleave to Him”
It then becomes impossible to explain that “until this day” means including now (עד ועד בכלל).
(For even, at “this day”, they did not recognize etc. and they did not cleave etc.).
For it expressly states, before this, that
“But you who cleave to the L-rd, your G-d- all of you are alive today”.
Even though one could say, albeit with difficulty, that the wording in this verse is “who cleave” (הדבקים) plainly. Nevertheless this comes in continuation to what is close to it (the preceding verse), as is proven from the wording “But you” (ואתם), (with a preceding “Vav/But”
In other words, the preceding verse states, “Your eyes have seen what the L-rd did to every man who went after Baal Peor etc.”
But you (אתם) are the opposite of this (and from one extreme to the other):
Yet it is still not included in this, the observance of Mitzvot etc.
Above this is the level of “to cleave to Him”, as it states, “cleave to the disciples and the sages, and I will credit you as if you had cleaved to Him etc.”
This is another level in cleaving to Him that Rashi states here. For this comes through the recognition of the great kindnesses (similar to the aspect of Bikkurim which displays that the person is not unthankful (כפוי טובה).
So much so, that it comes to the level of, “and cleave to Him” (ובו תדבקון) (in Parshat Re’eh 13:5). Which comes after the (beginning of the verse) “After the L-rd, your G-d, are you to go . . keep His commandments, heed His voice, serve Him,”
Therefore, Rashi explains that the intent of the verse is:
On the contrary, on “this day” they began to recognize G-d’s kindnesses. However, before this, one could ask:
What innovation did Moshe see on “this day” that he did not see before this?
Therefore, Rashi explains,
“I heard that on the very day etc.”
The explanation of this (and accordingly even the aforementioned precise words in par. 2, will be understood) is:
The reason that the Torah was given to the sons of Levi, and not to all Yisroel, can be understood simply:
The sons of Levi were separated from all Yisroel to serve G-d, they were told that they would not have a portion and inheritance in the Land, and they were the legion of the King (G-d) etc. Therefore, they are the legion to protect the observance of G-d’s Torah. This is why they are the ones who teach Bnei Yisroel Torah etc.
It is expressly stated in the verses that Rashi cites here, that the Sefer Torah was given to the Levites, “the bearers of the Ark of G-d’s covenant”.
The claim is just that, “Why, then, are you giving the members of your tribe control over it etc.”
It is indeed true that the sons of Levi are those who teach Torah to Bnei Yisroel. Moreover, in this they “rule over” (שולטים) Bnei Yisroel. However, “Why are you giving the members of your tribe control over it” – over the Torah?
The difference and concern in this, that “some day in the future they may claim, ‘It was not given to you’ etc.”
After we enter the Land and begin apportioning the “portion and inheritance”, and afterward working the land etc. At that time, the sons of Levi may say to us, “It was not given to you”
Even though you have a relation to Torah and are obligated in Torah and Mitzvot, nevertheless, it was not given to you. (Therefore, you do not control it – and since we control it, this is proof that) it was given to us.
The answer to this claim is “We also stood at Sinai” – beginning from Rosh Chodesh Sivan – and
(Afterward in stating, "All that the L-rd has spoken, we will do” which came as a response to “And now, if you will now accept it upon yourselves” etc.)
we received the Torah, and afterward ‘it was given to us”
When Moshe heard these words,
“Moshe rejoiced . . he said to them, ‘It is today that I understand that you cleave to the Omnipresent and desire Him’”
Not only were Yisroel thanking G-d for His miracles etc., as aforementioned. But they recognized G-d’s kindnesses and therefore “cleaved and desired the Omnipresent”.
7. In continuation to this Rashi cites the words,
“And then you arrived at this place”
“Now you see yourselves etc.”
The explanation of this is:
Seemingly the words “And then you arrived at this place”, are superfluous. For if the intent of the verse is to continue in telling G-d’s miracles – the victory of the war of Sichon and Og that is immediately stated here, why must there be the preface “And then you arrived at this place”?
From this Rashi proves that the intent of the verse is
(Not the continuation of the telling of the miracles, but rather)
the beginning of a new aspect – the explanation of why Moshe needed to exhort Bnei Yisroel, now, that they should cleave to G-d:
Until now, Bnei Yisroel were dependent upon G-d’s kindnesses, each and every day
(As we know, that there remained nothing of the Manna for the next day).
There is not (so much) a place to rebel against G-d etc.
However, when “you arrived at this place”, the end and conclusion to the time of their stay in the desert and their entering the inhabited Land. Where then, there is no need for the manna etc. –
“Now you see yourselves in greatness and in prominence”.
Therefore, there is a concern that in the course of time, where G-d’s kindnesses are not visible and Bnei Yisroel must occupy themselves with the aspects of their livelihood according to nature, as it states, “And you will gather in your grain, your wine, and your oil”, then “you will rebel against the Omnipresent and become haughty”, as is explained in the previous verse,
“And your pride increases, and you forget the L-rd, your G-d. . And you think, ‘My strength and the power of my hand have acquired this wealth for me’”
(Rashi precisely states “greatness and prominence” to magnify the concern of haughtiness (ירום לבבכם)
This is the reason for the double expression, “greatness and prominence”.
It is not just that they see themselves as great
(For then is it possible that when they come to the inhabited land, among the nations, their greatness will be diminished, for “you are the least of all the peoples”).
However, they also possessed “honor”, from the surrounding nations).
Therefore, when they arrived “at this place”, and began their conduct according to nature, there is a need to specifically exhort them “Observe the words of this covenant”.
8. However, it is difficult:
After they “arrived at this place”, it immediately states, “Sichon came out etc.”
The story of the war of Sichon and Og – the telling of the miracle (and also the kindness) that occurred to Bnei Yisroel, and in conjunction to the miracles and kindnesses that were recounted before this.
Therefore, how is it fitting to pause before this telling with the statement “And then you arrived at this place”, which comes to emphasize the conclusion of the previous period and the beginning of their coming to the inhabited land and conduct according to nature?
The explanation of this is:
According to this explanation, the intent here in the telling of the war of Sichon and Og is not to emphasize the miracle of the matter. Rather, it is the opposite - something that Yisroel are able to see, themselves in greatness and prominence – the conquest of the land of Sichon and Og who were (like the continuation of the verse) “as an inheritance to the Reubenites etc.”
Accordingly the difference in the telling of this war, in our Parsha, in contrast to the telling of the war itself, previously, in Parshat Devarim (and similarly in Nach (the hagiography), is understood:
to stress that the victory was from G-d.
Whereas here, the verse states, “And we smote them and we took their land etc.”, without mentioning that this was from G-d.
As aforementioned, here, the intent of the verse is to emphasize the possibility that Bnei Yisroel should see themselves in greatness and prominence – as it states, "My strength and the power of my hand” – “we smote him etc.”.
9. However, it is still difficult:
If the intent of the verse is to show the change in their status when they came to the place of inhabitance and the beginning of conduct according to nature,
(so much so, that there is concern that they would rebel against G-d etc.) –
how does it mention the story of the war of Sichon and Og, that was a revealed miracle. As is expressly explained previously in Scripture (and Rashi) at the end of Parshat Chukat?
It should have just said “And then you arrived at this place” (a place of inhabitance), and therefore there is a need to exhort them “Observe etc.”?
Therefore, - specifically after we learn the explanation of, “And then you arrived etc.”, the previous explanation of, “Yet. .the L-rd did not give you a heart to know” becomes difficult.
Therefore, one must say:
“Another explanation of “Yet… the L-rd did not give you a heart to know”: No one can fathom . . before forty years. Hence, the Omnipresent was not strict with you until this day; but from now on, He will be strict with you; and therefore: “Observe the words of this covenant etc.”
According to this, we are relieved of all the questions in the first explanation:
10. According to this, the reason that Rashi adds in this explanation, “v’Gomer/Etc.”, which is not so in the first explanation, is understood:
The first explanation, was Moshe’s exhorting, in order to negate the possibility that they would revel against G-d etc. For this purpose, the details of the verse, “Observe”, is not (so) important. Rather the general point that “Observe the words of this covenant” – the opposite of rebelling against G-d etc.
However, regarding the second explanation, Moshe’s exhorting comes because from now on they fathomed the depths of their teacher’s mind and the wisdom of his studies. Therefore now He will be strict and therefore “Observe . . this . . etc.”
(“and fulfill them” – since they know their teacher’s mind – they will succeed in all that they do – for they know the wisdom of his studies.)
However, according to the second explanation the words “And then you arrived at this place” are difficult, because:
Therefore, Rashi cites this explanation just as a “second explanation”. However, the first explanation is paramount and closer to the simple meaning of the verse.
11. From the homiletic style of Torah in Rashi's commentary (“Yayina shel Torah”):
The first comment, explains the necessity to “recognize G-d’s kindnesses”, as aforementioned. Even in the miracles that they have already become accustomed to, and are natural to them. Specifically through this recognition does one come to cleave to the Holy One, Blessed is He. According to this, Rashi’s precise wording, “the kindnesses of the Holy One, Blessed is He” (and not the (kindnesses) of “G-d/Havaye”, that is stated in the verse) is understood:
G-d’s name “Havaye” depicts His G-dliness that is above nature, as it states that G-d, “Haya—He was, Hoveh— He is, Yihyeh—He will be” as One (הי׳ הוה, ויהי׳ כאחד)
Whereas, “the Holy One blessed be he” (Hakadosh Baruch Hu) means,
These are the kindnesses and miracles of G-d, as they are drawn down into the conduct and nature of the world.
Similarly, in the conclusion of Moshe’s speech after this, he writes,
“I understand that you desire and cleave to the Omnipresent” (במקום)
Bnei Yisroel had a recognition of His G-dliness, even as it is drawn down into the “place” of the world - into the conduct of nature, and He influences them that they should “desire and cleave to the Omnipresent”.
However, as long as Yisroel were in the desert, there was not so much a place for the test and lacking of the recognition of G-d’s kindnesses.
However, when they entered the land – the inhabited land, and the Manna ceased etc. and they began the conquest of the Land and their occupation with the aspects of the world, in general, according to the ways of nature. It is possible that they could rebel against G-d etc.
Therefore, Moshe exhorted them “Observe the words of this covenant”
Despite the concealment and hiddenness of the conduct of nature etc., one must keep the covenant. This is the Avodah of Kaballat Ol, which is above reason and intellect. For through this, one nullifies the hiddenness of nature.
Nevertheless, it is difficult:
Since the world was created in a manner that there is hiddenness and concealment of nature against the revelation of G-dliness, how can a person overcome this?
Therefore, Rashi continues in his second comment,
“No one can fathom neither the depths of his teacher’s mind . . but from now on etc.”
At the end of forty years, before they entered the land, Bnei Yisroel were imbued (נתוסף)
(According to the nature of the creation of the world and man, and the applying of the heart)
that they would be able to fathom the depths of his teacher’s mind etc..
Through this, they also received an additional power in their Avodah, “a heart to know etc.” that through this they “will “you will succeed (תשכילו) in all that you do”. The depths of understanding of G-dliness,
(Moreover, since it says “all” – perhaps one could say that they will succeed until they are able to understand even the details of the Mitzvot)
so much so, that they will realize that, “all your deeds are for the sake of Heaven”.
This is the connection between the two explanations in Rashi:
The ability to break the hiddenness and concealment until one recognizes G-d’s kindnesses, even in the conduct of nature, is through the addition of Light – knowledge and wisdom etc. - that is imbued within Yisroel at the end of the forty years where they were able to fathom “the depths of understanding etc. and the wisdom of his studies”.
On the other hand:
In order that there be proper understanding, there must be the prefacing of Kaballat Ol (which is emphasized in the first comment), as it states,
“Observe the words of this covenant”
For even in a condition where one must negate that “they not rebel against G-d etc.”, nevertheless, due to Kaballat Ol – one observes the words of the covenant.
12. there is another aspect in “Yayina shel Torah”:
“No one can fathom the depths of his (teacher’s) mind nor the wisdom of his studies” (חכמת משנתו).
“The depths of his (teacher’s) mind nor his understanding” (תבונתו)
One must understand the reason for the change. Also, the allusion in the verse of all these details?
The explanation of this is:
“A heart to know, eyes to see and ears to hear.”
refer to the three intellects, Chochmah, Bina, and Da’at (חכמה בינה ודעת)
Corresponding to this Rashi writes (in his commentary on Torah):
“The depths of his teacher’s mind nor the wisdom of his studies” (סוף דעתו וחכמת משנתו)
Rashi precisely writes, “The end/סוף of his teacher’s mind” (referring to culmination)
The purpose of this understanding is like the conclusion of the verse,
“And you shall observe . . and fulfill them . . you will succeed in all that you do”
In other words, it should lead to deed ('עשי)
This is what is referred to by the expression,
“The end/סוף of his teacher’s mind”,
understanding until one comes to the “end” and conclusion of the Halacha that comes into practice (מסקנת הלכה הבאה לידי מעשה).
However, in Rashi’s commentary on the Talmud, he just writes “his understanding” (תבונתו)
(and not the wisdom of his studies)
For in the Talmud, the verse is explained as also applying to Moshe Rabbeinu. That even he did not “fathom his Teacher’s mind before forty years.” (לא קאים אדעתי׳ דרבי׳ עד מ׳ שנה)
It is not possible to say that until then, Moshe was not given wisdom. For the level of Moshe Rabbeinu is the Sefirah of Chochmah.
Therefore Rashi just writes,
“The depths of his (teacher’s) mind nor his understanding” (סוף דעתו ותבונתו),
Bina and Da’at.
mSichas Shabbat Parshat Tavo 5725, 5727
|Date Modified:||Date Reviewed:|