Vol 22.15 - Kedoshim 2 Spanish French Audio Video
1. After the Torah speaks of the law of Orlah and Kerem Revai (the fourth-year produce of a vineyard), it states in the Torah:
“And in the fifth year, you may eat its fruit; (do this, in order) to increase its produce for you. I am the L-rd, your G-d.”
Rashi states the heading “To increase its produce for you” and states:
“This commandment which you will observe, will be “(in order) to increase its produce for you,” because as its reward, I will bless for you the fruits of (your) plantings”
In simplicity, one learns that Rashi is coming to forewarn that the words, “To increase its produce for you” are not a continuation (“connected”) to “And in the fifth year, you may eat its fruit”.
For how is it applicable to say the because of “you may eat its fruit”, that there will be the reward of “To increase its produce for you”?!
However, this is connected to the previous verses where it speaks concerning the observance of the Mitzvah, as it states, “This commandment which you will observe, will be in order to increase etc.”
However, Rashi’s elaborate wording is not understood:
Seemingly, Rashi should have concisely stated (similar to the Ibn Ezra) that, “To increase its produce for you” is “connected to a holy a praise to the L-rd” (and so forth).
Or (like it states in Rashbam) “To increase its produce for you – (you will merit this) if you do as I command”.
Even if we would translate (albeit with great difficulty) that Rashi wants to also make clear that the explanation of,
“To increase its produce for you”
is that it means,
“as its reward, I will bless for you the fruits of (your) plantings”,
Rashi could have stated concisely: “To increase its produce for you – in reward for this Mitzvah, I bless you with the fruits of the plantings”?
What is the reason for Rashi’s elaboration and repetition:
“This commandment which you will observe, will be “(in order) to increase its produce for you” and afterward “because as its reward, I will bless for you the fruits of (your) plantings”?
2. There are also many other precise wordings in Rashi. Some of them are:
(For without the emphasis, “this”) we would have known that it speaks of ‘this’ Mitzvah (which the verse speaks of)?
Even if Rashi must forewarn that the translation of, “produce” (תבואתו) here, is (not the produce of the field, but) the plantings of the vineyard (נטיעות הכרם)
(Like the beginning of the asp: “you plant any food tree”),
Rashi should have said (concisely) “I bless for you the fruit” (or the plantings).
Why is there the repetition “fruits of (your) plantings”?
3. Rashi further comments:
“R’ Akiva used to say, “The Torah stated this to counter man’s evil inclination: so that a person should not say, “For four years I suffer with this tree for nothing!“ Scripture therefore says here,” (in order) to increase its produce for you."
Why does Rashi cite this statement from R’ Akiva?
The commentators learn, that with this, Rashi is answering why the reward is stated after, “And in the fifth year, you may eat etc.” and not beforehand by the keeping of the Mitzvah
(for which there comes the reward).
Therefore, Rashi cites the statement of R’ Akiva, that the reward comes because, “For four years I suffered with it for nothing!” Namely, that the person withholds from eating the fruit until the fifth year. (As the Maskil L’Dovid explains) “In other words, what you may eat of it solely in the fifth year and not . . will be for an increase”.
However, this explanation is not straightforward:
For the reason that the reward for the Mitzvah is not stated beforehand is, at the very onset, not a question in the simple understanding of the verse:
In general, in a place where Torah mentions the reward for the Mitzvah, it states it at the conclusion of the subject.
Similarly, in our case:
First, the Torah concludes all the details of the Mitzvah (how a person must conduct himself with his fruits) – “for three years. . you shall not eat it . . And in the fourth year, all its fruit shall be holy, a praise to the L-rd”
(And specifically after this)
“And in the fifth year (one may) eat its fruit”.
And only after this is the reward for the Mitzvah told (that G-d will therefore, give) “To increase its produce for you”.
One must also have a reasoning why Rashi brings this aspect in conjunction with the author’s name of the statement (“R’ Akiva). For (as has been mentioned many times) Rashi does this only in a place where this adds to the understood of the explanation).
In this itself, Rashi emphasizes, “R’ Akiva said”. Namely that R’ Akiva used to always say this statement. How does this emphasis add to the understanding of the matter?
4. In the statement itself that Rashi cites from R’ Akiva – it is not understood:
There are many Mitzvot, in which the Torah informs us of the reward for the Mitzvah. Yet Rashi does not explain that the reason that the Torah promises the reward for the Mitzvah is “to counter the evil inclination”
(In other words, that without this reward, the Yetzer Hara would not allow him to fulfill this Mitzvah).
Where is the necessity, that specifically this reward is
(Different than the other rewards for a Mitzvah, and is)
said “to counter the evil inclination”?
(and not because the person deserves the reward since he “needlessly suffered for four years”?)
One can well and good understand Rashi’s explanation
on the verse regarding the section that speaks of the “Yefat Toar” (a beautiful non-Jewish woman captured in battle), “You may take her as your wife”
“The Torah speaks only to counter the evil inclination”
For as Rashi explains there,
“If the Holy One, blessed is He, would not permit her, he would live with her illicitly”
This means that, in essence, it should have been a prohibited thing. However, G-d permitted it.
Therefore, this is an aspect which proves, from its topic, that this was said only, “to counter the evil inclination”
However, in general, the aspect of reward for a Mitzvah, is expressly found in Torah by many Mitzvot. (as aforementioned) and this is a foundation regarding Mitzvot (that G-d gives reward for the Mitzvot).
Therefore, why is this reward distinguished
(for the Mitzvah of Orlah and Kerem Revai)
that specifically this was said “to counter the evil inclination”?
5. Further on, Rashi comments on the words:
“I am the L-rd”
“Who promises regarding this and Who is faithful to keep My promise”.
It is not understood:
The normal wording of Rashi, in this situation is (concisely) “faithful to pay reward”.
Why does Rashi elaborate by stating,
“Who promises regarding this and Who is faithful to keep My promise”?
Not only is it elaborate wording, but it is also a change:
Rashi does not state, “Faithful to pay reward” but rather, “faithful to keep My promise”.
Moreover, Rashi also changes
(even from his previous wording in our topic. “because as its reward, I will bless etc.” )
and states an aspect of promise, “faithful . . to keep My promise”.
6. One could say that the explanation of this is:
The question in the verse that Rashi is coming to answer with his comment is
(Not related to the place of the words “To increase its produce for you” – as aforementioned (Par. 3), that in the simple meaning of the verse, this is, from the very onset, not a question at all, but)
in the explanation of the words (פירוש התיבות):
If Torah would plainly just mean to tell us the reward of the Mitzvah, it should have stated (similar to the other places, “in order to increase its produce for you” ( הוסיף לכם תבואתולמען) or “I will increase its produce”, and so forth.
The wording: “To increase its produce for you” (הוסיףל) with the letter “Lamed” at the beginning) shows that this is the intent and purpose (מכוון און תכלית) of the Mitzvah –
“For three years. . you shall not eat it . . And in the fourth year, all its fruit shall be holy etc.” (in order)
is (in order) “To increase its produce for you”
This is similar to,
“Remember the Shabbos day to sanctify it”,
which the word “to sanctify it” (לקדשו) is (not a reward, but rather) the purpose and objective (מטרה און תכלית) of the “remember” (זכור).
Therefore, Rashi proves that the Pshat (plain meaning) of the verse is:
“This commandment which you will observe, will be “(in order) to increase its produce for you”
Even though, in general, one must fulfill a Mitzvah because G-d commanded so. However, regarding this Mitzvah, the Torah says that its performance is (may be) at the very onset with the intent to “To increase its produce for you”
That is why Rashi elaborates in his wording:
The words, “To increase its produce for you” are not an announcement (אנזאג) on the reward for the Mitzvah. Rather the Torah speaks here (mainly) regarding the person’s intent. That he fulfills the Mitzvah in order to “To increase its produce for you”. Therefore, it comes out that in Rashi’s comment two aspects are brought out:
7. Accordingly, there arises a question:
If “To increase its produce for you” would have referred to the announcement on the reward for the Mitzvah, there would have been no question why the words are stated at the end of the aspect (as aforementioned).
However, according to Rashi’s explanation, that this refers (mainly) to the person’s intent at the time of the observance (keeping) of the Mitzvah. It should have been stated in conjunction to the words that speak regarding reward for the Mitzvah (“you shall not eat it”) – (with this intent) to increase its produce for you)?
Rashi forewarns this, with that which he changes from the words of the verse
“The plantings of the vineyard” (נטיעות הכרם)
By placing the words “To increase its produce for you”, after “And in the fifth year etc.”, Scripture wants to point out regarding the manner of the blessing:
The meaning (Pshat) of “To increase its produce for you”, is not just that G-d will give an additional blessing in the fruition and growth (צמיחה און וואוקס) of the fruit. Rather, that even after the “plantings of the vineyard”, of the fifth year, have grown (being ready to “eat its fruit”), in this itself, will rest G-d’s blessing, in a manner of addition and plenty (הוספה וריבוי), as it states, “I will bless for you the fruits of (your) plantings”
(This is similar to what Rashi states in Parshat Behar: “there will be blessing even within your stomach”).
8. However, it remains not understood:
How is this Mitzvah different from all the other Mitzvot in that specifically in it:
Therefore, Rashi brings the statement of R’ Akiva:
“The Torah stated this to counter man’s evil inclination so that a person should not say etc.”:
Since it is difficult to fulfill this Mitzvah, since a person can claim, “For four years I suffered with this for nothing”, it was “permitted” (מתיר) (“to counter man’s evil inclination”) to have in mind the reward for the Mitzvah at the time of its observance.
And in order to “satisfy” (באפרידיקן) the Yetzer Hara, G-d promised a reward that is not usual.
According to this, it is plainly understood why Rashi continues afterward:
“I am the L-rd: I am the L-rd Who promises regarding this and Who is faithful to keep My promise.”
Here, the exhortation (זירוז) “to promise reward”, like by the other Mitzvot, is not sufficient. For it speaks here regarding a Mitzvah which the person observes, from the very onset, for the sake of reward. Without this, the Yetzer Hara would accomplish (אויסגעפירט) in not allowing the fulfillment of this Mitzvah.
Therefore, here, the explanation of the words:
“I am the L-rd - Who promises regarding this and Who is faithful to keep My promise”,
knowing that this is G-d ‘s promise and that He is “faithful to keep My promise” – this is sufficient that even the Yetzer Hara must consent to the manner of the performance of the Mitzvah.
9. For an exceptional student (תלמיד ממולח), there can arise a question:
How can it be, that regarding this Mitzvah, there is so much difference than regarding all the other Mitzvot?
Namely, to permit its fulfillment for the sake of reward, and in this, even promising a reward that is not natural and usual, at all?
Moreover, this is all for someone who is in such a lowly condition (שפל המצב) that the only way to influence him is to forewarn that it is “to counter the Yetzer Hara”?
To answer this, Rashi cites the statement of R’ Akiva who states:
“Love your fellow as yourself . . (this) is a great basic principle of the Torah.”
Moreover, R’ Akiva was the one who, “always sought merit for Yisroel” (הי׳ רגיל לזכות את ישראל)
For, according to R’ Akiva’s view, finding a merit for every Yid and trying to help him (פרואוון אים העלפן) etc., is “a great basic principle of the Torah”.
Therefore, it is understood why Torah occupies itself with each Yid and forewarns even one who must rely on “The Torah stated this to counter the Yetzer Hara”.
Therefore, Rashi precisely notes,
“Rabbi Akiva used to say” (‘הי)
meaning that he would constantly restate this.
For this shows that in the forewarning of,
“The Torah stated this to counter the Yetzer Hara”
that he would “express” (ארויסגעזאגט) a thing which is uniquely connected with the essence and virtue of R’ Akiva. Therefore, R’ Akiva repeated the great benefit of this:
For the first forty years of his life, R’ Akiva did not learn any Torah. Only when he was told of the reward that he would receive if he would indeed learn Torah, did he go to study.
It therefore comes out that R’ Akiva’s situation was slightly similar to the condition of, “For four years I suffered with it for nothing”:
His going to learn Torah was associated with “throwing away” (אוועקווארפן) the first forty years of his life.
By going to learn Torah, he emphasized that the previous years were “suffered for nothing” (they were wasted years (אומזיסטע יארן)).
And - he went to learn Torah for the sake of reward. Nevertheless, he succeeded in Torah study, with an enormous success and excellence so much so that, “all of these are in accordance with the opinion of Rabbi Akiva” (כולהו אליבא דר' עקיבא).
Therefore, “Rabbi Akiva used to say, ‘The Torah stated etc.”, for a semblance of this situation pertained to him.
Through the promise of reward, he began to learn Torah, and at the very end – his level attained the level of the virtue of, “R’ Akiva”.
10. However, it is still not completely straightforward (in the Pnimiyut of the matter):
At the very end, the application of “The Torah stated this to counter the Yetzer Hara” is just for a minority of Yidden, who are at a very low condition.
Therefore, why is this Mitzvah,
which is established in such a manner for all Yidden,
in a manner which emphasizes, “The Torah stated this to counter the Yetzer Hara”?
The explanation of this is:
The inner explanation of “The Torah stated this to counter the Yetzer Hara” is that this Mitzvah‘s aspect, is that Torah wants to transform (איבערמאכן) the Yetzer Hara.
(Similar to “Love (G-d) with all your heart” . . with both inclinations” (The Yetzer Tov and the Yetzer Hara)).
Namely, that the Yetzer Hara, of its own accord, should fulfill a Mitzvah. Therefore, the reward of the Mitzvah is “To increase its produce for you”. For specifically through the refinement (and transforming) (בירור (ואתהפכא) ) of the Yetzer Hara and the Animalistic Soul (נפש הבהמית), is there the true “increase” in holiness.
This is like the well-known explanation of the verse,
“But an abundant harvest comes through the strength of the ox” (-תְּבוּאוֹת, בְּכֹחַ שׁוֹרוְרָב),
“abundant harvest” (meaning the increase and great loftiness of holiness)
comes specifically, “through the strength of the ox”, through refining the Animalistic Soul (נפש הבהמית).
Among the reasons for this is that this Avodah is connected with pain (צער):
The Avodah of the Neshama (soul) of its own accord is through “pleasure” (עונג). However, the Avodah of refining the Animalistic Soul requires exertion (יגיעה) to break the concealment and hiddenness of the Animalistic Soul, through subduing/Iskafia.
Therefore, there must first be the pain of four years in which the Animalistic Soul does not have any benefit from the produce.
Through subduing/Iskafia, will come overturning/Ishapcha. So much so, that it will be “To increase its produce for you” – “an abundant harvest through the strength of the ox”.
MSichas Shabbat Parshat Acharei-Kedoshim 5728,
Shabbat Parshat Kedoshim 5736
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