Vol 19.14 - Eikev 4 Spanish French Audio Video
|Hebrew Text: Chumash|
(5747) Rashi (Deut 11:14) "I will give the rain of your land" (and the differences to Rashi Bechukotai 26:4)
1. On the verse (Deut. 11:14):
“I will give the rain of your land at its time, the early rain and the latter rain, and you will gather in your grain, your wine, and your oil"
Rashi states on the words “I will give the rain of your land”:
“You have done what is incumbent upon you; so too I will do what is incumbent upon Me. (Sifrei)”
It is not understood:
What is the difficultly in the simple meaning (Pshat) that is answered by the explanation “You have done etc.”, specifically since Rashi, seemingly, with this explanation does not add anything new to the exact/einfachen translation of the verse.
The Ro’m (R’ Eliyahu Mizrachi, a major commentary on Rashi) answers that Rashi is stating this to explain (the reason for) the many particulars of the blessing of “I will give the rain of your land” that are enumerated in the Parsha – such as “the early rain and the latter rain, and you will gather in your grain, etc. And I will give grass etc. and you will eat and be sated”
(Not like in Parshat Bechukotai “where it just states: “I will give your rains in their time”).
Rashi therefore answers that the reason for this is that “You have done what is incumbent upon you”. This means doing everything that you must do. Therefore “so too I will do what is incumbent upon Me” – “until there will not remain any good that I have not done for you”.
It is, however, difficult to learn so in Rashi‘s commentary – because:
1. Rashi cites the words: “I will give the rain of your land at its time” (and does not even add “etcetera/vGomer”). This means that the necessity for his explanation is from those very words. Yet according to the explanation of the R’om the necessity is only from the following words (in the verse).
Furthermore the words in Parshat Bechukotai are similar to those of our Parsha.
2. According to Rashi‘s commentary the blessings in in Parshat Bechukotai are greater than in our Parsha. As Rashi explains there: “Tree of the field: These are non-fruit bearing trees, (but) they will in the Future produce fruit.” This means that the blessing is in a manner of above nature, which is a completely higher form of blessing than from our Parsha.
2. When comparing the continuation of the two verses, one sees many differences in Rashi:
· Here Rashi cites the words: “at its time” and explains: “At night, so it will not disturb you. Another explanation of ‘at its time’ is: On “leilei Shabbatot” (Shabbat (Friday) nights), when everyone is at home”.
· Yet in Parshat Bechukotai “where it states: “in their time” (“I will give the rains in their time”), Rashi explains: “at a time when people do not usually go out, for example, on Leilei Shabbat”.
One must understand:
1. Why does Rashi suffice to explain in Parshat Bechukotai: “for example, on Leilei Shabbat”, yet in our Parsha, states (instead of the explanation of “Leilei Shabbat” a different explanation?
2. Moreover, the explanation “Leilei Shabbat” here is stated as a secondary explanation. This means not the primary explanation in the Pshat of the verse. The primary and main explanation is that “at its time” means just “at nights” – which is the opposite of Parshat Bechukotai where the explanation of in their time” is only - “on Leilei Shabbat”.
3. In Parshat Bechukotai, Rashi previously states the reason - “at a time when people do not usually go out” and afterwards the example of the time: “for example, on Leilei Shabbat”. Yet in our Parsha Rashi states it in the opposite order. First he states (the time) “On Leilei Shabbat” and afterwards the (the reason) “when everyone is at home”.
4. In Parshat Bechukotai, Rashi states it in the negative - “(at a time when people) do not usually go out”. Yet here (in our Parsha) Rashi states it in the positive – “when everyone is at home”.
5. In Parshat Bechukotai, Rashi states: “people/bnei adam”. Yet here Rashi states: “everyone/shehaKol”.
6. Before Rashi states the secondary explanation: “on Leilei Shabbat”, he again cites from the verse the word “at its time/b’ito” (“Another explanation of ‘at its time’ is: On Leilei Shabbat”).
3. The explanation in all of this is:
The main point of difference between the blessing in Parshat Bechukotai and in our Parsha is:
· There it states: “I will give your rains/Gishmeichem in their time” – the rains of the Yidden.
· Whereas here it states: “I will give the rain of your land/artzechem” – the rain of your land.
In other words,
· in Parshat Bechukotai the Yidden are being blessed with rain.
· Whereas here, the land is being blessed (and only afterwards – comes the blessing to the owners of the land – Yidden).
This is also the reason for the difference in the types of blessing in Parshat Bechukotai (which are above nature) and in our Parsha (where they are according to nature):
· In Parshat Bechukotai, since the blessing is to Yidden, it is not bound by the confines of nature. One is blessed according to his need, even if it does not “conform” to the ways of nature.
· Whereas in our Parsha, where the blessing is on the land, it therefore is in accordance with the land, whose aspect is nature. This is similar to (the verse):” So long as the earth/aretz exists, seed-time etc. will never be suspended." But it is not in a manner which is above nature.
4. Concerning the reason for the difference between the blessings in Parshat Bechukotai and in our Parsha - Rashi states in his explanation on the words “I will give the rain of your land” –
“You have done what is incumbent upon you; so too I will do what is incumbent upon Me”
The reason that here, the blessing is connected to the land (and its aspect – nature) is because here Yidden just did what is “incumbent upon them” – that which was placed upon them namely that which they are obligated to do, but not more than this. Therefore “So too I (G-d) - will do (measure for measure) only “what is incumbent upon Me”. Certainly, it is a blessing, but it is manifested only in the confines of nature, not more than that.
However, in Parshat Bechukotai, the blessings were stated as reward for the Yidden following in a manner of “If you follow My statutes etc.” which means as Rashi explains: “laboring in Torah” more than the Mitzvah of Talmud Torah requies. Therefore also G-d’s blessing is (not just “what is incumbent upon Me”, but) above nature.
5. One could seemingly ask:
(In Parshat Tavo) on the verse: “View, from Your sacred residence” Rashi states:
“We have fulfilled what You decreed for us - now You fulfill what is incumbent upon You to do as You said, "If you follow My decrees, etc., I shall give your rain at the proper time”.
This means that (the blessing) “I shall give your rain at the proper time” – (which is) above nature – is the reward for “fulfilling what You decreed for us” (which is seemingly the same thing as “You have done what is incumbent upon you” which Rashi states here in Parshat Eikev)?
Rashi therefore averts this in the commentary itself through the change/addition in his wording:
He does not state:
· “We have fulfilled what is incumbent upon us“(like he states here in Parshat Eikev).
But rather he states:
· “We have fulfilled what You decreed for us”.
This means that the reward is not for fulfilling the Mitzvot - “We have fulfilled” – in the way one fulfills Mitzvot in the category of laws and testimonies (Mishpatim v’Aidus) which the human intellect can comprehend and agree with. But rather on fulfilling them in way one fulfills the statutes/Chukim and decrees/gezeirot which one fulfills through nullifying/mevatel one’s own intellect – as Rashi states (that we fulfill them only) because: “I have decreed it, and you are not permitted to question it”.
And since the fulfillment of the Mitzvot is through the powers/kochot which are higher than man’s intellect (and nature), therefore the reward for the Mitzvot is also in a manner of: “I shall give your rain (Your’s, as you carry it out) at the proper time” – a blessing which is above nature, as aforementioned.
6. This aforementioned general difference between Parshat Bechukotai and our Parsha is also the reason for the difference in translation of the word “at the proper time/b’Ito” (“b’Itam”) in the two places.
In Parshat Bechukotai , where the blessing for rain is (mainly) to the Yidden (“your rain”), the rains come according to the desire of the Yidden – and the best time for rain, for a Jew, is when he does not go (at all) in the street. Therefore Rashi explains “at the proper time/b’Itam” –at a time when people do not usually go out, for example, on Leilei Shabbat”. To be sufficient to require such a short period of rain (only on “Leilei Shabbat”.) is above the confines of nature.
However, in our Parsha where the blessing for rain is (mainly) to the land (“your land/artzechem”), according to the confines of land (nature), as aforementioned, the “at the proper time/b’Ito” (where the time of rain) also according to the natural manner - is simply “at nights”, during many nights of the week – not just “Leilei Shabbat” which would be sufficient in miraculous manner.
7. The aforementioned difference is also connected with the translation of the word (“the rain of your land) at its time/b’Ito” and (“your rain) “at the proper time/b’Itam”, which means that the time that is set aside and locked in (oisshlishlech) for rain – is the time when only the rain itself “falls/geit” and not something else.
In this there can be two ways:
1. Where the blessing for rain is to the Yidden, then the “proper time/b’Itam” for rain is dependent upon Yidden, as a whole, in all their aspects. When is the “proper time/b’Itam” for rain? This is only outside “at a time when people do not usually go out (in general), for example, on Shabbat Eve”.
(and therefore Rashi does not say (beforehand): “Leilei Shabbat” (and afterward) “at a time when people do not usually go out” (like he says in Parshat Eikev) – because the translation of “proper time/b’Itam” is “at a time when people do not usually go out”. Therefore that is the “proper time/b’Itam” for rain. And only afterwards, Rashi gives an example for that time – “for example, on Shabbat Eve”).
What is the manifestation of the blessing for “your land” when the rain falls “at nights”? Rashi therefore states that in reality it is not a blessing for the land, but rather it is “so it will not disturb you”. It is good for the Yidden that work in the fields
(Which is when there is daylight, during the day – as it states: “And Jacob came from the field in the evening”)
that they do not have the trouble of working in the rain.
8. Rashi, however, cannot be satisfied with this explanation of “at nights” – because:
1. Why does the verse state: “at proper time/ b’Ito” yet it means “at nights”. The verse could have clearly stated “at nights/baLeilot” (which is not more than one word, just like b’Ito)?
2. The word b’Ito is not straightforward, since the import of the word “b’Ito” means the rain’s fixed appointed time, in general – not just regarding the (working of the) land. Especially since the blessing of “b’Ito” is not for the good of the land, but rather for the ( relief from the troubles of the ) Yidden, as aforementioned –
Therefore Rashi brings a secondary explanation: “Another explanation of ‘at its time’ is: On Leilei Shabbat, when everyone is in their homes”. And Rashi repeats the word “at its time/b’Ito” in his explanation – because the advantage of the secondary explanation over the first explanation exists in the import of the word “at its time/b’Ito”, as aforementioned.
Notwithstanding this, the explanation “at nights” (simply) is the first and primary explanation since this fits with the general aspect of the topic, as aforementioned.
9. According to the aforementioned explanation of the difference between Parshat Bechukotai and our Parsha - it comes out that there is an additional difference:
There (in Parshat Bechukotai) the blessings were stated as reward that comes to those that are “laboring in Torah”, a specific category of Yidden. However in our Parsha, where is speaks of the reward that comes from “You have done what is incumbent upon you” (fulfilling Torah and Mitzvot, in general) – it includes all Yidden.
Accordingly, one can explain the difference of wording in Rashi’s commentary:
· Here Rashi states: “when everyone is at home” – all Yidden.
· Yet in Parshat Bechukotai Rashi states: “at a time when people do not usually go out etc.” and he does not say “all” since there it is not speaking of those that are “laboring in Torah”
· Here Rashi states: “when (everyone) is at home” – (in the positive and) not in the negative: “when people do not usually go”). For one cannot say on all Yidden that they do not go out on Leilei Shabbat – people go out to Daven/pray and to visit etc. – it is only when one is “found” (the majority of the time” in their homes.
· Yet in Parshat Bechukotai where it speaks only of those that are “laboring in Torah”, it is understood that (even) when it is a time of “you shall do no work (Shabbat etc.)” they perform their tasks/inyanim (namely) “laboring in Torah”- Therefore on Leilei Shabbat, (not only are they “found in their homes”, but also) they do not usually go out.
(Therefore Rashi does not explain here (as he does in Parshat Bechukotai) the word “at its time/b’Ito” - “when everyone is at home for example, on Leilei Shabbat”. For just being “found in their homes is not the proper time, “b’Ito”, for rain since ultimately one does go out in the street, it is not the proper time, “b’Ito”, for rain.
Which is not the case in Parshat Bechukotai where it speaks of those that are “laboring in Torah”, where they “do not usually go out etc.”)
10. The lesson from this in Avodat HaShem is:
Here we see the greatness of laboring and struggling specifically in Torah and Mitzvot. It is not sufficient to just learn Torah and fulfill Mitzvot, but it must entail laboring and struggling – more than the measure and boundary of one’s nature, even from the nature of the G-dly soul (Nefesh HaElokit).
A Jew could however, claim:
He does not see any necessity in specifically such an Avodah. He is already in a “stature/Tziur” of holiness, he learns Torah and fulfills all the Mitzvot – what is the necessity to break the nature (routine) of his G-dly soul?
The answer to this is:
There must be (the level): “We have fulfilled what You decreed”. G-d decreed that a Jew should change his nature, and specifically through this (the Avodah of “with all your might”). One “fulfills the desire of G-d” (Osin retzono shel Makom).
If (the Avodah of) “with all your might” is lacking, not only can one not be sure of the Avodah, and one must have the safeguard of “Beware, lest your heart be deceived etc.” - but even more:
Avodah without changing one’s nature is called “not serving” (lo Avdo), not fulfilling the desire of G-d” (Ein Yisroel osin retzono shel Makom).
And through the Avodah in a manner of: “with all your might”, one draws down the Supernal effluence also in measure and boundary (medidah vHagbala), so much so that it is a manner stated in Parshat Tavo: “View, from Your sacred residence etc.” – that even something that in all the verses are the opposite of blessing, become transformed into a “(language of) blessing”.
M’Sichas Shabbat Parshat Eikev and Shabbat Parshat Re’eh 5734
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