Vol 19.02 - Devarim 2          Spanish French Audio  Video


Hebrew Text:

Page9   Page10   Page11   Page12   Page13   Page14  

Talmud- Megillah


(5737) Moshe said Mishneh Torah "by himself" (Tal. Megillah 31b)

This Parsha begins: "These are the words that Moshe spoke to the entire Jewish people". Unlike the first four Books of the Chumash (which are "Hashem's word"), Chazal explain that Moshe recited Devarim "on his own initiative".

What does this mean? Moshe's words were clearly "inspired by the Holy Spirit" (as the Zohar notes, "the Divine Presence spoke from Moshe's mouth").

However, it is also clear that this Book includes Moshe's own thinking process.

Chassidic thought describes two ways in which a "go-between" functions: (1) derech ma'avir - he acts merely as a funnel (i.e., he doesn't change or modify the influence he receives); thus, the message remains transcendent; or (2) derech hislabshus - he puts the concept in his own words, allowing it to be grasped by the recipients. Moshe acted as a derech ma'avir during the first four Books, and a derech hislabshus during the Book of Devarim. What purpose is served by the latter? Doesn't enclothing the Torah in human intellect only lower its spiritual content? G-d's intent in giving the Torah was that it permeate mortal thought and elevate man's understanding. Were there only the first four Books, it would have been impossible for our powers of understanding to unite completely with the Torah. Moshe recited Devarim as the Jews were preparing to enter Israel, where they would have to live within natural order, working the land and eating the fruits of their labor (as opposed to relying on Hashem's miracles) To make this transition possible, they required an approach to Torah that would relate to man as he functions in his worldly environment. It is through this goal -- the fusion of the word of G-d with mortal wisdom - that we will merit the coming of the Messianic Age.



 1. In the verse: "It came to pass in the fortieth year etc that Moses spoke to the children of Israel etc, there are two explanations from two different commentators (of pshat) - as to the nature of the speech to the Yiden:

1.      Rashi cites ( from the Sifri) that they were words of rebuke ( "for he rebuked them only a short while before his death"
2.      Sforno states that he reviewed the entire Torah until this point, in general"

The two explanations are not contradictory because both are contained in Devarim - words of rebuke and a review of "the entire Torah", which is emphasized by the name Mishneh Torah (the repetition of Torah).
The difference between the two commentaries is what is emphasized more, or even more so, what is more important
We must however understand:
Since the speech of Moshe encompasses the entire book of Devarim, one must say that, each of the two subjects
1) Rebuke and
2) Mishneh Torah (repetition) 

are inclusive of each other or they have a common topic.
2. The Talmud states that the difference between the first four books and the book of Devarim is that the four books are from the "Mouth of G-d (mipi haGevurah) and Mishneh Torah was said by Moshe of his own accord"
The meaning of "of his own accord" is not that "Mishneh Torah" was said, G-d forbid, by Moshe's own volition - his own speech. But rather as Rashi explains in another place: "Moshe did not teach them Mishneh Torah on his own. Rather it is as if he received it and reviewed and told them, and all that is written in the second tablets were written in the tablets and was heard at Sinai". And as Tosfot states: that “Moshe said them on his own” means that he said them with "Divine Inspiration"
It is not understood:
Since Mishneh Torah was also not Moshe’s own words, but rather said with "Divine Inspiration" - "the Shechina spoke through his throat" [Which, therefore, is why he could say "And I will give the rains etc.", since this is because "He spoke the Spirit of G-d". Why, therefore,  is this called "of his own accord"?
The same question also concerns that which the Talmud states that: Even according to those who do not expound on generally related verses (Semuchim), they do expound so in Mishneh Torah - And the Ra’aven (R’ Eliezer ben Nathan of Mainz – an early Tosafist) explains: " And the reason is because the entire Torah was said by G-d and there is no chronological order in Torah. However when Moshe organized Mishneh Torah, section after section, he only organized them for exposition (Derash) -
However, this is also not understood:
Since Mishneh Torah was said by Moshe with "Divine Inspiration" - Why is the organization of Devarim dependent upon Moshe, in contrast to the first four books (Which were also given to the Yiden by Moshe Rabbeinu)?
3. The Explanation in this is:
Chazal state that the Torah preceded the world by two thousand years. "Preceded" does not (only) mean in time, but (primarily) in quality and importance. Torah, by itself, is completely higher than the world. Therefore, in order for Torah to come down (and be understood) into this world, there must be an intermediary, which has both aspects (one who is higher than the world and (also) is in the world), and therefore able to connect them (The Torah with the world)
The intermediary between Torah and the world is Moshe Rabbeinu - who has both extremes. He possessed the epitome of Bittul, non-entity - "and we are nothing" - a self-abnegation (Bittul) which is higher than the world. Yet, on the other side, he was the completeness of existence (Shleimot HaMetziot), the way existence manifests itself in the world. [[That is why he was also a "tall person" (Baal Komah) - "ten cubits" which is much taller than the average person's height which is three cubits]-
And therefore he was able to connect Torah, which is higher than the world with the world.
4. There are two ways that an effluence (hashpa'ah) travels through an intermediary.
1) Through "traversing" ("ma'aver) - The effluence does not unite with the intermediary by "embedding" itself in the intermediary. Therefore the intermediary does not effect any change in the effluence. The innovation of the intermediary is only in that he transports the effluence, as it is, from a higher to a lower level.
2) Through "embedding" - The effluence embeds and unites with the intermediary, which in turn, effects a change in the effluence. It becomes, relative and similar to the intermediary - and through this, the recipients can accept the effluence also with their own intellectual faculties.
And this is the difference between the first four books and Mishneh Torah.
In the first four books, Moshe was an intermediary in a manner of "traversing" (or as Rashi terms it: "he became an emissary (shliach)" - and the words of Torah were not grasped by his intellect in a manner of enclothement. Rather, they remained on the level of "from G-d's (mouth)";
Regarding Mishneh Torah, however, although it was said with "Divine Inspiration", nevertheless the "word of G-d" was embedded and grasped i the intellect of Moshe in a manner of enclothment - and therefore it was termed "of his own accord"
And this is also the explanation why according to those whose opinion that "we do not expound on generally related verses (Semuchim)" that we do expound so in Mishneh Torah
Since the first four books were not enclothed in the Moshe’s intellect, even though their order is the epitome of precision - it is, nevertheless, a "higher" order. Their related verses (Semuchim) are not in accord with man's intellect. Therefore: "we do not expound on generally related verses (Semuchim)"
However in Mishneh Torah, where the Word of G-d was enclothed in the intellect of Moshe, the order of the topics and words are also organized according to the intellect of Moshe (and humans) and consequently - are expounded ("Darish Semuchim")
5. We must however understand:
Why did G-d make it this way, that Mishneh Torah was enclothed in the intellect of Moshe , so much so that it is termed "of his own accord"? It seemingly is just an aspect of lowering.
The explanation is:
When an effluence is not enclothed within an intermediary, it remains higher than the intellect of the recipients. Because for them, it is, in essence, not in their boundary, and the intermediary does not affect it. And the aspect of the effluence that the recipients "take" is whatever was "united" with their intellect. It is not in the same league as the effluence itself
 Therefore, if Torah would have come down just in the manner of traversing through Moshe, then, Yiden with their individual intellectual faculties, would not have been able to understand the essence of Torah and "grasp" the "Word of G-d" which is higher than intellect. Their intellect would however have comprehended a glimmer etc. of the "Word of G-d"
And this is the innovation of Mishneh Torah, that through Moshe's "repeating to them the entire Torah" the way it was enclothed in his intellect ("of his own accord") – it enabled that when a Yid learns Torah , in whatever situation he is in [ even when he is not pure R"L) he "takes" the Torah and is united with the "G-d's fiery words" the actual "Word of G-d"
And since the "repeating to them" was in relation the "the entire Torah" - it becomes so also when learning the (other) four books
For Moshe is the intermediary who connects "all" Yiden with G-d [ [even those who are in a low state - as is known form the aspect of "From where will I obtain meat" (meaning) that Moshe could not lower himself ( to deal) with the effluence of meat (of desire). Until G-d told him " "'Gather to Me seventy men of the elders of Israel etc. And I will take of the spirit which is upon you etc." Thus even this effluence had to be through the (taking of the spirit of) Moshe , since "all" effluences to Yiden specifically come through Moshe.
And therefore, through the Torah enclothing itself in the “intermediary" of Moshe Rabbeinu, in all of his "ten cubits", even into the lowest cubit - this effects that the Torah reaches to all Yiden even to the simplest of them
6. However, how can the two extremes co-exist?
- That Torah is enclothed in human intellect so much that it is called by his name and it can forgo its honor which is from Torah due to it, at the time that it is the "Word of G-d" -
This is because Mishneh Torah is taken from G-d's essence which is higher than division. Even the most sublime illuminations (orot) and revelations (giluim) are nevertheless in the realm of divisibility. And therefore, either they are revealed with their entire strength ( if they do not come into enclothment) or affected by change and lowering ( if they are enclothed in created beings)
Only, from G-d, who is completely beyond the boundary of division and change, can both extremes coexist. The effluence comes down and is enclothed in the created being, so much so, that once says on this (phenomenon): "From his own accord" - the comprehension of of a created being, at the very time that it is, in its essence, the "Word of G-d"
And this is the difference between the first four books and Mishneh Torah:
The first four books are "from the mouth of G-d". Moreover, as Ramban writes, they are written like: "a third person narrative" and told (as "And G-d spoke to Moshe” etc.) - Chassidus teaches that this is Atzmut HaMaatzil (the Essence of emanation) which is higher than (the name) of G-d (Havaya). Therefore it has the power to unite "Havaya" with “Moshe”
Nevertheless, from this itself that He is called "the third person narrative" ( who unites the two - "Havaya" with "Moshe") shows that there is possible, as it were, division
However, Mishneh Torah is from G-d's essence (Atzmuto) which is even higher than the "the third person narrative". Therefore there can and are here both extremes - "From his own accord" (from Moshe) and together at the same time - "the word of G-d"
7. This aspect (discussed above) of Mishneh Torah is found in the service of Man – in the Avodah of Teshuvah.
The motions of Teshuvah originate from the Baal Teshuvah himself.  For,  since he was removed (“torn”) from G-d, R”L, before the sin – it follows that his awakening of Teshuvah was not due to a revelation of Light from Above (for which he is not a receptacle) but rather from his own accord.
 However, there is a maxim that every awakening comes about through a power from Above. The aspect in this is, that the power to do Teshuvah comes from the Hiddenmost Essence of G-d (“Helem HaAtzmi d’Ein Sof”) which is drawn down in a hidden manner in order that themotion of Teshuvah is (as if) it comes from the Baal Teshuvah of his own accord [[similar to what was discussed in the aspect of “from his own mouth” of Mishneh Torah.
 And this is the connection between the two explanations concerning the nature of the book of Devarim -
1) Words of rebuke
2) A review ("He repeated to them the entire Torah")
The purpose of "Words of rebuke" is the aspect of Teshuvah. And the Avodah of Teshuvah has the same aspect and essential quality that is in Mishneh Torah, as above.
8. It is understood , that just as there was a necessity for the quality of Mishneh Torah as a preparation for the first assemblage of Yiden in Eretz Yisroel, the same is now, when we are making a the preparation to enter Eretz Yisroel through Moshiach Tzidkeinu -
And this is the revelation of Torat HaChassidut, and specifically Torat Chassidut Chabad, which has the same concept, as above, that is in Mishneh Torah.
Torat Chassidut Chabad clarifies aspects of G-dliness in a way that enables a person's intellect (Chabad) to understand, so much so, that it becomes "a wonderful union etc. complete oneness and unity, from every side and angle"
And yet conversely, it does not, through this, become changed G-d forbid.  It remains G-dliness.
And the power in this is because Torat HaChassidut is the revelation of the level of "Yechidah" of Torah (as previously discussed at length), the highest innermost part of Torah (Etzem pnimiyut HaTorah). And therefore it is not changed even when it is enclothed in human intellect
And this is also the connection between Torat HaChassidut and "spreading your wellsprings of Chassidus outward (Yafutzu Mayonosechoh Chutzah)" - that the "wellspring" (Torah) itself must descend into the "outward" (world).
For specifically with the power of the "wellspring" itself, can one accomplish in the "outward” (whose nature has no connection to the "wellspring")

Therefore, this is the preparation for Moshiach (Ka'asi Mar - the coming of the master). Because then will be revealed the: "veyeda kol pa'ul ki ata pealto" ("And every creation will know that You are its Maker") - that also the "outward" of the "outward" (Chutzah Sheb'Chutzah) - the "creation" itself [[the way it is in outwardness (Chitziniyut)], where one does not see its connection with the Creator (Koach HaPoel) – is united with G-d, since "You" - G-d (Atzmuto) - make it.

m'Sichas Shabbat Parshat Vaeira 5726



 Date Delivered:   Reviewer:       
Date Modified:    Date Reviewed: