Vol 34.03 - Devarim 3 Spanish French Audio Video
|Hebrew Text: Chumash|
(5749 Volume 34, XXXIV, Pg. 17)
1. Regarding the words of rebuke (in our Parsha) for the Sin of the Spies, Moshe Rabbeinu said to Bnei Yisroel,
(After telling us that they did not want to go up to Eretz Yisroel, as it states, “and you rebelled against the commandment of the L-rd etc.”)
“You murmured in your tents and said, '"Because the L-rd hates us, He took us out of the land of Egypt, to deliver us into the hand of the Amorites to exterminate us."
(After explaining the words, “You murmured: (וַתֵּרָגְנוּ). This is an expression denoting Lashon Hara - slander. It is similar to (Prov. 18:8) “The words of a נִרְגָּן” - a person who slanders”)
cites the words, “Because the L-rd hates us” and states:
“Really, however, He loves you, but you hate Him. A common parable says: What is in your own heart about your friend, (you imagine) is in his heart about you”.
בשנאת ה' אתנו: והוא היה אוהב אתכם, אבל אתם שונאים אותו. משל הדיוט אומר, מה דבלבך על רחמך מה דבלביה עלך
The commentators of Rashi explain that his intent is to explain why Yisroel thought that G-d hates them (at the very time that “He loves you”)
He, therefore, explains that this is because they hate Him (as it states, “you hate Him”. Therefore, they thought that G-d also hates them, for this is the nature of things, as Rashi continues, “A common parable says: What is in your own heart about your friend, you imagine is in his heart about you”.
In other words, the feeling that you have in your heart for your friend, (you believe) is the same feeling that your friend has for you. This is the import of the parable, namely that Bnei Yisroel “Hate Him”. Therefore, they imagined that “Because the L-rd hates us, He took us out of the land of Egypt etc.”
Seemingly, this explanation requires extreme examination:
What is the reason for question why Yisroel thought that G-d hates them? Scripture explicitly states, in the words of Bnei Yisroel themselves, the reason why they thought that G-d hates them. Namely, because “(the L-rd hates us), He took us out . . to deliver us into the hand of the Amorites to exterminate us.”
(And this concern, came in their minds, as a result of the slander of the spies, as they said, “Our brothers have melted our hearts discouraged us saying, "A people greater and taller . . we have even seen the sons of Anakim there.””
Therefore, what place is there, to search for a reason for this thought?
(Some explain that “it is problematic (to Rashi) why the verse writes, that Moshe Rabbeinu would rebuke Yisroel for what they did, Whereas, their saying that G-d hates them does not carry guilt for them, since this arose in their minds, and there is no place for rebuke. Therefore he answers that Moshe Rabbeinu’s rebuke of Yisroel was .. because they hate G-d (and as a continuation, Rashi explains, “but you hate Him. A common parable says etc.”
However, even this explanation seemingly requires examination. For, on the contrary, logic dictates that there is room to rebuke Yisroel for this thought of theirs, that G-d took them out of Egypt because He hates them, G-d forbid. For just as they were deserving of rebuke for their lack of faith in G-d’s ability to bring them to the land of Canaan,
(and we do not say on this, “this arose in their heart, and there is no room for rebuke).
this is more severe. For their stating, "Because the L-rd hates us, He took us out etc.” was in addition to their general lack of faith in G-d’s ability. Therefore, this greatly magnifies their sin and they are deserving of special rebuke for this statement).
2. One can also examine Rashi’s precise wording:
The commentators explain that this parable is just in the character of people. However, G-d’s character is not so. For although they hate Him, He loves you.
(One could say that with this, the precise words “A common parable” (משל הדיוט) are understood. For this parable does not apply to G-d, and it is not true, except with regard to the character (and nature) of people (Therefore, Yisroel stating that “the L-rd hates us” is just their imagination)
However, Rashi’s comment is still somewhat problematic:
For in the end, the intent of the parable, with regard to our case, is just to give reason to Yisroel‘s statement, “Because the L-rd hates us”, and not to describe the words as they are. If so, Rashi should have emphasized that this is only according to their imagination (like “you say”, and so forth) and not to generalize (לסתום) in a manner that implies that this is true.
3. In the comment after this, Rashi cites,
“Because the L-rd hates us, He took us out of the land of Egypt”
“His taking us out was due to hatred. This may be compared to a mortal king who had two sons and two fields, one well irrigated, the other dependent upon rain only. To the son he loved, he gave the well irrigated field, and to the one he hated, he gave the one dependent upon rain only. The land of Egypt is a well irrigated country, for the Nile rises and irrigates it, while the land of Canaan is dependent upon rain only. He took us out of (the irrigated) Egypt to give us the arid land of Canaan”.
בשנאת ה' אתנו הוציאנו מארץ מצרים: הוצאתו לשנאה היתה. משל למלך בשר ודם, שהיו לו שני בנים ויש לו שתי שדות אחת של שקיא ואחת של בעל, למי שהוא אוהב נותן של שקיא, ולמי שהוא שונא נותן לו של בעל. ארץ מצרים של שקיא היא, שנילוס עולה ומשקה אותה, וארץ כנען של בעל, והוציאנו ממצרים לתת לנו את ארץ כנען
The Rom (R’ Eliyahu Mizrachi) asks:
“This is perplexing. Why does Rashi explain this verse as referring to a dry and a watered field? If it is to demonstrate that G-d took the Jewish People out of Egypt because He hated them, a greater hatred would have been if He took them out to lead them into the hand of the Amorites to destroy them”. He leaves the matter unresolved.
Many commentators answer that Rashi’s precise wording is from the words, “(He took us out of the) land of Egypt”, for what is this telling us? It should have stated, “Because He hates us He took us out to give us into the hand of the Amorites” (or even without the words, “He took us out”) –
“Therefore, certainly there were two complaints, and the word “because He hates us” applies to both:
However, seemingly this answer is not sufficient. For we find a similar expression many times, such as:
However, the reason for this emphasis is understood simply:
The difference in this complaint of Bnei Yisroel here is that they wanted to return to Egypt. For there (according to their thoughts), the condition was better.
(Similar to what was said in Parshat Behaalotecha “We remember the fish which we ate in Egypt freely”)
The same is in our case regarding the Spies. They claimed (as is explained in Parshat Shlach), “is it not better for us to return to Egypt"? "Let us appoint a head and we will return to Egypt."
Therefore they complained "Because the L-rd hates us, He took us out of the land of Egypt (where it would have been better for us there), to deliver us into the hand of the Amorites etc."
One must even understand the essence of Rashi‘s words:
Why did Rashi not suffice with what he writes at the conclusion of his words (“His taking us out was due to hatred. The land of Egypt is a well irrigated land, while the land of Canaan is dependent upon rain only. He took us out of Egypt to give us the land of Canaan”)?
It is possible that their intent was just to repeat their old claim, “We remember the fish which we ate in Egypt freely” (and as Rashi explains “Free of Mitzvot”). This is not like Eretz Yisroel where their consumption of the produce of the land is dependent on the fulfilment of Torah and Mitzvot, as is explained in the verse, “If you follow My statutes . . The earth shall give forth its produce etc.”?
4. One could say that the explanation of all this is:
The seminal point of Rashi’s two comments is in the beginning of the verse: “You murmured in your tents”.
This implies that it not speaking of the open complaint in the camp, but rather to the private “murmurings” in the tents of Yisroel, between themselves.
According to this, it is understood why Rashi needs to explain on “You murmured (in your tents)” – “This is an expression denoting Lashon Hara - slander. It is similar to a person who slanders”. For seemingly it is not understood:
Previously on the verse, “How can I bear . . your strife all by myself? “, Rashi explains, “This teaches that they were murmuring (רוגנים)”. Therefore, Rashi maintains that the word “murmuring” does not need explanation. if so, why does Rashi explain here, the word “murmuring”?
However, here, Rashi’s intent is to note, that “murmuring/רוגנים” is not just an aspect of general strife, but rather, mainly strife that is associated with speech - Lashon Hara, as it states “a person who slanders”. This is why it states, “You murmured in your tents”. In other words, they did not openly strive but rather they spoke Lashon Hara and they slandered among themselves, secretly, while they were in their tents.
This is puzzling:
It expressly states, previously in Parshat Shlach that the dispute was in a manner of public strife and complaint, as it states:
“They railed against Moshe and Aharon- all of Bnei Yisroel--- and the entire congregation said to them: "Would we had died . . Why does G-d bring us into this land . . Moshe and Aharon fell . . before the entire gathering of the congregation of Bnei Yisroel.”
Therefore, why does the verse here state, “You murmured in your tents?
Therefore, one must say that, in our Parsha, Scripture adds another type of complaint of Bnei Yisroel (which was contained, just “to their tents”).
One could say that, based on this foundation, Rashi explanation (in the second comment, “Because the L-rd hates us“) that with the statement, “Because the L-rd hates us, He took us out of the land of Egypt,” Bnei Yisroel intent was to an additional complaint, namely that “His taking us out was due to hatred”
(And not like the plain meaning of the verse that the entire section of “He took us out . . to deliver us into the hand of the Amorites etc.” was one complaint)
For the claim, “to deliver us into the hand of the Amorites to exterminate us” was said by Bnei Yisroel openly (as it states in Parsha Shlach). Therefore, one must say that, “Because the L-rd hates us etc.” is another complaint that was in a manner “murmuring”. Namely, that Yisroel complained in their tents that the “His taking us out was due to hatred” (as will be explained in Par. 6).
5. However, the reasoning is still lacking:
In what way was the essence of this complaint of Bnei Yisroel different, because of which, the complaint was just in their tents and not in an open manner?
Therefore, to answer this, Rashi elaborates (in his second comment, “Because the L-rd hates us“) that the reason that caused this complaint to be in a quiet manner, in their tents, was because the foundation of this complaint was rooted in the beginning of their words, “Because the L-rd hates us” –
In other words, since, it is visible and known that this claim is not true at all, “For He loves you”. Therefore, they were not able to openly claim this, but rather they murmured this to one another in their tents, in a manner of “Lashon Hara”, and slander.
According to this one can also explanation the continuation of Rashi,
“But you hate Him. A common parable says: What is in your own heart about your friend, (you imagine) is in his heart about you.”
This aspect comes in continuation to the general rebuke of Moshe for their conduct in a manner of “You murmured in your tents”. In other words, their slander which depicts the opposite of the truth etc.
(Which is why they secreted their words in their tents).
In other words, in addition to that which their entire claim, “Because the L-rd hates us” is the opposite of the truth that “He loves you”. Additionally, they also complained that G-d hates them (meaning, in other words) even when they love Him,
(For if they would admit that they hate Him – there is no room for the complaints that it is “Because the L-rd hates us etc.”)
at the very time that the situation was exactly the opposite, that “He loves you” even though “you hate Him”!
This is also Rashi’s intent in the “common parable” – “What is in your own heart about your friend, (you imagine) is in his heart about you”. The intent is to the plain meaning of the parable, namely that the grievance that you have in your heart on “your friend” (that he hates you even though you love Him) is the very grievance that “the other has is in his heart about you” (that you hate him even though he loves you).
6. With this, one can also understand Rashi’s words in the following comment,
“Because the L-rd hates us, He took us out of the land of Egypt: His taking us out was due to hatred”.
If Scripture’s intent is just regarding the “hatred” that led G-d to bring Bnei Yisroel to the land of Canaan “to deliver us into the hand of the Amorites to exterminate us” - it is not understood.
Why did they hide this complaint in a manner of “You murmured in your tents”? According to their opinion, namely that it is impossible to conquer the inhabitants of the land,
(Since they are “a great nation and more powerful than we etc.”) –
there is room to claim that their entering into the land
(Which would be tantamount to delivering them “into the hand of the Amorites to exterminate us”)
is indicative of the hatred, G-d forbid?
This is why Rashi explains, that the main claim of “because the L-rd hates us”,
because of which there was slander in a manner of “You murmured in your tents”,
was that “His taking us out was due to hatred”.
In other words (accordingly, as Rashi continues) it is because the land of Egypt is “irrigated land” and the land of Canaan is “land that depends on rain”. “And G-d took us out of Egypt (the “irrigated land” land) to give us the land of Canaan (the “land that depends on rain”).
This slander certainly does not have a foundation. For even Bnei Yisroel knew that the truth is the actual opposite of their claim. For this itself, namely, that G-d took them from an “irrigated land” and brought them to a “land that depends on rain”, is, on the contrary, because of His great love, may He be blessed, for Bnei Yisroel. This is clearly stated in the verse,
“For the land where you are arriving to inherit is not like the land of Egypt . . where you planted your seed and watered it on foot . . Rather, the land where you are crossing to inherit is a land of mountains . . by the rain of the skies will you drink water.”
And as Rashi explains there:
“And watered it on foot: In the land of Egypt, you had to bring water from the Nile on foot in order to irrigate it; you had to lose sleep, to toil. The lowlands were irrigable, but not the highlands, and you had to bring the water up from the low areas to the high ones. But with this, "by the rain of the skies you will drink water." You can sleep in your bed while the Holy One, may He be blessed, irrigates lowland and highland, open and enclosed areas alike”
This was already known to Bnei Yisroel, as Rashi explains there,
“This assurance was made to the Israelites when they departed from Egypt, when they said, 'Perhaps we shall never come to a land as good and as beautiful as this.' “.
Therefore, we find that this entire claim was in the realm of “Lashon Hara”, and slander. For they just felt the quality that “the Nile rises and irrigates it”, whereas with regard to the land of Canaan it is “an arid land” that is dependent on rain (and when rain does not fall, it does not produce fruit).
This is just a baseless claim (עלילת שוא). For they hid, in their claim, that even when the Nile rises and irrigates, still “you had to lose sleep, to toil”.
On the other hand, they made themselves as if they were oblivious to this with regarding to the land of Canaan, namely that if they would just “follow My statutes and keep My Mitzvot etc.” that Yisroel was promised that “I will give the rains in their season” in a manner that “You can sleep in your bed while the Holy One, may He be blessed, irrigates etc.”
7. However, Rashi is not able to suffice with this, for it still is not understood:
How is it possible to say that, “His taking us out was due to hatred“, namely in order to take Bnei Yisroel from an “irrigated land” and give them a “land that depends on rain”. Certainly if G-d hated Yisroel, G-d forbid, why did He take them from Egypt in order to give them their own land, at all?
Therefore, Rashi cites the parable, “This may be compared to a mortal king who had two sons and two fields etc.” For since, it is speaking of the sons of the king. Therefore, he has to give of his fields to both of them, . However, to the hated son, he gave the poor land -“land that depends on rain”. This is also in the lesson of the parable, namely that even at the time of this complaint, Bnei Yisroel knew that because of G-d’s promise to the Patriarchs, they are the sons of the Omnipresent. However, His conduct with Yisroel is like the conduct of the king with his son, “whom he hates”.
In other words, the two complaints in the verse (according to Rashi) are two categories in the sin:
8. Parshat Devarim is always read on the Shabbat that is before Tisha B’Av. Moreover, there is a special connection between the section of the Spies to Tisha B’Av, for the crying of Bnei Yisroel was “on that night” – on the night of Tisha B’Av.
In this itself, there is a unique connection between this complaint, “Because the L-rd hates us” to Tisha B’Av. For according to what is cited in Sefarim, namely that,
“The generation of the desert who said ‘Because the L-rd hates us etc.’ caused Tisha B’Av, as it states,”O how has the city that was once so populous remained lonely!” is the acronym of animosity (איכה ישבה בדד העיר ר"ת איבה).
The Tzemach Tzedek explains that this,
“Also alludes that due to in the baseless hatred that existed in the Second Temple that the Beit HaMikdash was destroyed etc. And through ‘Loving you fellow as yourself’ (ואהבת לרעך כמוך), it causes, accordingly Above, that the souls of Yisroel are called brothers and friends to the Omnipresent (שנשמות ישראל נק' אחים ורעים למקום). And that through this, “all their wrongdoings are covered with love” (in other words, G-d’s love for Yisroel).
From the homiletic style of Torah in Rashi's commentary (“Yayina shel Torah”), accordingly, one could say:
With Rashi’s comment on “Because the L-rd hates us” – “Really, however, He loves you,” Rashi comes to encourage Yisroel, and to reveal that, from the very onset, Yisroel was given the power to rectify this “hate”. For even in this condition of the Three weeks -“Bein HaMetzarim” (בין המצרים) which comes due to a lacking in Avodat Yisroel. So much so that the natural love of Yisroel to their Father in Heaven is hidden. And more than that, that they do not feel G-d’s kindnesses (‘חסדי ה), to such an extent that they compare light to darkness etc. – even in this condition, Rashi testifies that “He loves you”. That there is no weakening at all (כלל וכלל), G-d forbid, in G-d’s love for Bnei Yisroel.
Moreover, it is not just a hidden and concealed love (for then there is no place to rebuke Yisroel for not feeling this love) but it is a revealed love.
And like “As in water, face answers to face, so is the heart of a man to a man”.
(Which refers to Supernal man as well as Earthly man) (אדם העליון ואדם התחתון) –
this love of G-d for Bnei Yisroel awakens in them a revealed love for G-d, and immediately Yisroel does Teshuvah “and they are immediately redeemed” (ותומ"י ישראל עושין תשובה ומיד הן נגאלין), with the true and complete Geulah, speedily in our days, mamosh.
MSichas Shabbat Parshat Devarim 5734
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