Vol 34.11 - Re'eh 2 Spanish French Audio Video
|Hebrew Text: Chumash|
1. On the verse: “Rather, you must surely open your hand (pesoach tiftach) to him” Rashi explains:
“You shall open” –“Even many times” and afterwards on the verse: “You shall surely give him” he explains: “Even a hundred times”
In the Sifri on these verses it states “a hundred times” on both of them and states:
“And how do we know that if you opened your hand once that you must open it even a hundred times? Because it states: you must surely open your hand (pesoach tiftach – a double expression of giving) . . And how do we know that if you gave him once, you give him even one hundred times? Because it states: “You shall surely give him (nason tetain – a double expression of giving)”
In simplicity, one could say that the reason of Rashi, who explains the simple meaning of the verse, is that –
· The first verse teaches us that (one should give) “many times”
· And the second verse “Nason tetain/You shall surely give” – comes to add “even one hundred times”
But one must examine this theory:
· For according to the simple understanding of the first verse: (“pesoach tiftach/surely open your hand” ) it speaks (mainly) concerning the obligation to give Tzedaka,
· and the second verse “Nason tetain/You shall surely give” refers (mainly) to the Mitzvah of Gemilut Chassadim (the Performance of Loving-Kindness), For this verse comes subsequent to the verse:
“Beware, lest there be in your heart an unfaithful thought, saying, "The seventh year, the year of release (Shmittah) has approached, and you will begrudge your needy brother and not give him etc”.
For regarding the year of Shmittah, the concern is regarding Gemilut Chassadim, as it states before this:
“And this is the statement of Shemitah: suspend every creditor's hand from his loan (to his neighbor); he will not claim it from his neighbor etc.” And accordingly it continues: ““You shall surely give him even many (a hundred) times” also regarding Gemilut Chassadim.
Similarly we find this in the commentators who write, that in the exegesis (drashot) of the Sifri:
“One (verse) refers to giving according to the law of Tzedaka and one to lending to one in need. And the implication (ka mashma lan) is that even one who loans to his friend during his time of need is considered (as if he gave) Tzedaka, even though he will later collect it from him”
[There is another version (girsa) on the Sifri:
“And how do we know that if you opened your hand once that you will eventually open it many times? Because it states: you must surely open your hand.” And on the verse: “You shall surely give him” (it states): “I only know that we give him once. From whence do we know you must give him even one hundred times? Because it states: “You shall surely give him”.
In other words, the verse: “pesoach tiftach/surely open your hand” is not a command but a promise and blessing that: “if you opened your hand once that you will eventually open it many times”
Even though it is simple that this is not the simple understanding of the verse.
And from the wording of Rashi where he writes “Even many times” and “Even one hundred times” it is understood that he is explaining that both verses are a command, like the simple understanding of the verse]
2. There is a place to say that, according to the difference between the theme of the verses:
· That in the verse “pesoach tiftach/surely open your hand”, it states: “sufficient for his needs, which he is lacking.” Therefore, even though: “you are not commanded to make him wealthy”, nevertheless you must give him whatever: “he is lacking” (as Rashi states) : “Even a horse to ride on and a servant to run before him”. In this we are obligated: “Even many times”
· Whereas in the verse “Nason tetain/You shall surely give”, it concerns just the giving alone – and in this the obligation is “Even one hundred times”
And one could add a reason to this law:
Since the verse “pesoach tiftach/surely open your hand” speaks of excessive giving, in order to complete all that the poor person requires, we do not command him to do so “one hundred times”. For the Torah speaks according to the majority (Torah al haRov tedaber) and the verse concerns itself with the present. Therefore this giving is not “one hundred times” but rather “even many times”.
For one should not say that since he already gave to the poor person that which he lacks, he has fulfilled his obligation.
However on the verse “Nason tetain/You shall surely give”, where it does not emphasize: “sufficient for his needs, which he is lacking”, Rashi explains “even many times”. For with general giving, i.e. a small donation, it is applicable that (one give) even “even one hundred times”.
But it still requires explanation:
For in the end, since the obligation of giving Tzedaka to a poor person is (as the first verse states: “sufficient for his needs, which he is lacking.”, it is understand that even the verse “Nason tetain/You shall surely give” (in the subsequent verse) includes the obligation to give to the Tzedaka, that is referred to in the previous verse, namely, in a manner of: ‘sufficient for his needs, which he is lacking.”
3. It therefore appears, simply, that one could explain this by prefacing the precise wording of Rashi:
· In the first verse, Rashi lists as the heading of his commentary, just the words: ”You shall surely give”
· However, in the second verse he lists the heading of his commentary “Nason tetain/You shall surely give to him “
One could say the explanation is:
1. In the verse preceding (both) the verses (ibid 7) it states:
“If there will be among you a needy person etc. you shall not harden your heart, and you shall not close your hand from your needy brother”.
2. It then proceeds to state (verse 8): “pesoach tiftach/surely open your hand” etc.“
3. And the verse “Nason tetain/You shall surely give” (verse 10) comes (as aforementioned) in succession to the concern that since: “The seventh year, the year of release has approached, "and you will begrudge your needy brother and not give him etc.” (verse 9)
From this it is understood that:
The verse “pesoach tiftach/surely open your hand” (which comes after the adjuring of hardening the heart and closing the hand) deals with opening the heart and hand of the donor. Whereas, the verse “Nason tetain/You shall surely give” speaks (mainly) of the giving to the poor person and the borrower.
Therefore, specifically in the verse “Nason tetain/You shall surely give”, Rashi also cites, from the verse, the word: “to him”,
but he does not do so in the verse “pesoach tiftach/surely open your hand” , to teach us that, here, the main emphasis is on the action with the “him” – the recipient of the Tzedaka.
[And accordingly, it is understand simply, why in the second verse (10), Rashi cites the word: “to him” - [meaning] between him and you i.e., privately, and not in the verse (8) “pesoach tiftach/surely open your hand”
(Even though, in the first verse, the words: “to him” are not necessary since it could have stated: “ Rather, you shall open your hand and you shall lend him sufficient for his needs, which he is lacking) –
because, the main emphasis on the giving to the recipient is only in the second verse, and therefore he cites the word: “to him” - meaning “between him and you” which is the manner in which one must actually give “to him”
However, in the verse (8) “pesoach tiftach/surely open your hand” , where the main (aspect) is (not the giving of the donor to the recipient, but rather) opening the heart and hand of the donor, one need not cite the precise words “to him” in conjunction to the manner of giving.
(and perhaps one could say that that the words “to him” here, means “on his behalf”, that he opens his heart for the sake of the poor person)]
According to this one could add that the reason that Rashi writes on the verse “Nason tetain/You shall surely give”: “even one hundred times” and on the verse “pesoach tiftach/surely open your hand” writes: “even many times” is because:
On the verse “pesoach tiftach/surely open your hand”, where the main emphasis of the command is not the amount (quantity) of the donation to the recipient, but rather the opening the heart and hand of the donor or, in other words, the quality of the giving, from the donor’s perspective, it is not applicable to say even “even one hundred times”. For this is fitting only when it is speaking of the giving to the recipient. For then, the verse stresses that this deed must be done even “even one hundred times”.
But it is not relevant, so much, when t is speaking of the theme of opening the heart and hand of the donor. For the implication there is: “even many times”.
For even though it states: “pesoach tiftach/surely open your hand”, regarding the command to give Tzedaka, it is not sufficient that it should be one time only, the first time one gives Tzedaka. Rather, one must endeavor to perform every deed of Tzedaka with the manner of: “pesoach tiftach/surely open your hand”, the opposite of hardening the heart and closing the hand.
4. One could add according to Halacha:
One should examine:
· Does the act of giving Tzedaka with a willing heart and pleasant countenance constitute a part of the actual Mitzvah of Tzedaka? However, if one does anything less, even though he fulfills the Mitzvah, it is just a part of fulfilling the Mitzvah?
· Or is the main Mitzvah of Tzedaka the donation, and a pleasant countenance is an additional “quality” to the donation?
Rambam in the laws of Matanot Aniyiim (Gifts to the poor,7:1) writes:
“It is a positive commandment to give charity to the poor among the Jewish people, according to what is appropriate for the poor person if this is within the financial capacity of the donor etc.”
He then continues to explain the particular laws of giving Tzedaka and supporting poor persons and the manner of doing so.
And after many chapters he elaborates in the explanation of the greatness of giving Tzedaka that:
· “it is an identifying mark for a righteous person, a descendant of Abraham, our patriarch”, and
· That “a person will never become impoverished from giving charity” and
· That “he should give him with a pleasant countenance and with happiness, commiserating with him about his troubles.”
He then lists eight levels in charity. And in these very levels, the last two (the lowest levels), he writes:
· “A lower level than this is giving him less than what is appropriate, but with a pleasant countenance.”
· “A lower level than that is giving him with sadness”
He thus clearly writes that even this (“giving him with sadness”) is (a fulfillment of the) Mitzvah of Tzedaka.
Since Rambam splits (the main laws and the eight levels) into two chapters ( and separated by many other chapters)
For in the first chapter, where he explains the main aspect of the positive mitzvah, he does not mention levels in the manner of giving, but writes them in a separate chapter – This shows that, according to the opinion of Rambam, the “positive mitzvah” is the giving of Tzedaka to the poor person according to what is appropriate for the poor person. Namely the deed of actual of giving according to the needs of the poor person is the entire realm of the Mitzvah.
And the manner of giving and giving with a pleasant countenance are (additional) qualities of the Mitzvah of Tzedaka. Therefore, even when one gives with sadness (it is explained in Rambam that) he has kept the Mitzvah of Tzedaka.
However, according to the aforementioned (distinction) in Rashi, in the difference between “pesoach tiftach/surely open your hand” and “Nason tetain/You shall surely give”, that:
· The verse “pesoach tiftach/surely open your hand” comes in continuation to the command of Tzedaka – “you shall not harden your heart, and you shall not close your hand etc.”
(as Rashi explains: “Some people suffer whether they should give or not give . . Some people stretch out their hand (to give), but then close it etc.”)
For the giving must be in a manner of “pesoach tiftach/surely open your hand”, willingly and with the heart’s desire, with a pleasant countenance.
· And the verse “Nason tetain/You shall surely give” comes to adjure and to negate: “and you will begrudge (your needy brother) etc. and not give him (v. 9)” which is the act of actual giving.
Therefore, we see, that the beginning and start of the command of the Mitzvah of Tzedaka , “pesoach tiftach/surely open your hand” is (not just on the actual giving but also) the (attitude) of giving with a willing heart.
Therefore Rashi says: “even many times”. For even the giving of Tzedaka in this manner must be “even many times” – for this is the essential Mitzvah of Tzedaka.
But afterwards he adds, that even a person who lacks a willing heart, so much so, that it possible that he has a premise not to give (“and you will begrudge your needy brother and not give him”), nevertheless, the Torah commands: “Nason tetain/You shall surely give”, that there should not (at least) lack the actual giving.
According to this, it is understood that which the verse continues and adds:
“You shall surely give him, and your heart shall not be grieved when you give to him for because of this thing the Lord, your God, will bless you in all your work and in all your endeavors etc. (v.10)” –
For it is speaking about a type of donor of Tzedaka who lacks so much heart’s desire that he needs to be promised: “for because of this thing etc.”, that he will gain and receive reward for this.
5. According to the above, one could explain the allusion (remez) in the homiletic style of Torah (yayina shel Torah) in this commentary of Rashi:
The difference between what he writes on the verse “pesoach tiftach/surely open your hand” – even “even many times” and what he writes on the verse “Nason tetain/You shall surely give” – even “even one hundred times”.
In preface (one must understand) the inner explanation of Rashi’s comment: “Some people suffer whether they should give or not”. For seemingly, it should have said: Some people suffer when they give”, or something similar.
One could say that the intent of Rashi here is to hint that it is speaking about an extremely high category of giving Tzedaka, one that comes from the epitome of free-choice (bechira Chofshis).
And this is (why Rashi writes): “Some people suffer whether they should give or not”. For the person is in a state of pain and confliction between the two souls, Yezer Tov and the Yetzer HaRa (good and bad inclinations).
The Yezer Tov wants to give Tzedaka and the Yetzer HaRa does not want to give.
And the person chooses to give Tzedaka in a manner of “pesoach tiftach/surely open your hand” , the opening of all the powers of his soul, even until the root of his soul which is: a “real portion of G-dliness from Above” (Chelek Elokah me'mal mamosh”), from which stems the true power of choice of a Jew as (it states):"Behold, the man has become like one of us (to know what is good and what is evil). Therefore, no one can prevent him, just as G-d whom no one can prevent.
That which we learn from “pesoach tiftach/surely open your hand” and “Nason tetain/You shall surely give” – that it is “even one hundred times” is explained in Rambam and cited by the commentators here that it is because the verse is written in a “source” language form (“makor” or in English an “intensifying infinitive absolute”, e.g. hasheiv tashivam, shalach teshalach):
Editor’s Note: One of the most common Hebrew forms is the intensifying infinitive absolute. An infinitive is the unconjugated or uninflected form of a verb. In English the preposition to usually precedes the infinitive, as in to read or to write. The infinitive in Hebrew takes two different forms, the construct and the absolute. But we are concerned only with the absolute form here. One of its most common purposes is to intensify the cognate finite verb in the same sentence. In other words, a Hebrew sentence might have the same verb twice in a row, once in the infinitive absolute form, and again in a conjugated or inflected form. The result is an expression that, if translated literally into English, might look like to think he thought, or to speak he spoke. The purpose is to intensify the main verb.
(Or in our case:) “Psoach” and “Nason”.
A “source” form can imply few or many. Therefore one is obligated, since the phrase in the verse is a “source” form etc., even a thousand times. For the “aspect” of a source form – is that it can include an infinite number (note: the form implies that it could be done infinitely). Therefore it states “even one hundred times” for it is the style of the Talmud that when it wants to say an endless amount, to say a “even one hundred times”.
And it is explained elsewhere the reason for this in Pnimiyut.
For deed (Asiyah), itself, is with measurement and limitation. And even when the deed comes from the powers of one’s soul, intellect and character, which gives vitality to the deed, nevertheless it is still limited because even one’s intellect and character are limited.
However, when the deed comes from the will of the soul, and how much more so, when it comes from the essence of the soul, which has no limitation – this effects even the power of deed, that it be without limitation.
And this is the reason that the command is in a “source” language form (“makor”) which indicates that it could be even “even one hundred times”.
For a general command is connected with man’s power of deed (for the command is on his fulfilling it (asiyaso).
However, when the command comes in the “source” language form (“makor”), it indicates that the deed comes from the “source” (“makor”), namely, from the will of his soul which is the source of all powers. Therefore it is “even one hundred times”. For when it is through the essence of the soul, all limitations are nullified.
Yet even though, in general, “even one hundred times” depicts the lack of limitation, nevertheless, from this itself, that we use the (exact) limited term: “even one hundred times”, depicts that there is some limitation.
[As is explained in Likkutei Torah, that the number “one hundred (me’ah) depicts the completeness of hishtalshelut (the order of creation). For hishtalshelut is generally divided into the number ten – the Ten Sefirot, the ten powers of the soul etc. And their completeness,
when each one of them is incorporated by ten (note: ie. When each attribute has the completion of all ten sub-attributes – see sefirat HaOmer etc.) –
is the number one hundred.
As the Maharsha in his Chiddushei Aggados comments on the saying of the sages:
“One who repeated his chapter a hundred times is not to be compared with him who repeated it a hundred and one times”
“The number one hundred reaches to the (three parts of the soul:) Nefesh, Ruach and Neshama which correspond to single (digits) , tens and hundreds etc., but one who learns one time more than this is a “portion of G-d from Above (Chelek Elokah mima’al)”]
However, the phrase “even many times”, which does not specify an exact number, can include either few or many, and can imply any number. For this alludes to the lack of limitation, above Histalshelut.
And this is (one of the) differences in Rashi ‘s commentary on “pesoach tiftach/surely open your hand” - “even many times” to his commentary on “Nason tetain/You shall surely give” – “even one hundred times”
Even “Nason tetain/You shall surely give” is stated in the “makor” form.
For a Jew’s fulfillment of a Mitzvah, whatever the situation – is, according to the well-known ruling of Rambam - a “makor”/source – his true and innermost will. For “he wants to perform all the Mitzvot and eschew all the transgressions”
[And especially the act of Tzedaka since:
”We are obligated to be careful with regard to the Mitzvah of charity to a greater extent than all other positive commandments, because charity is an identifying mark for a righteous person, a descendant of Abraham, our patriarch etc. And the throne of Israel will not be established, nor will the true faith stand except through charity, as it states: "You shall be established through righteousness."]
But since this does not cone to reside in the powers of his soul to action, for outwardly and visibly, it is possible for him to be in a state where: “you will begrudge your needy brother etc.” And it is necessary to tell him that it is for his own good: “because of this thing the L-rd, your God, will bless you etc.” as aforementioned -therefore the hint and the deed that comes from the “source” is even “even one hundred times” which is a specific and limited number.
However when one chooses to give Tzedaka from the source of his soul, and this illuminates him visibly - “pesoach tiftach/surely open your hand” with all the powers of his soul, even until the power of his deed – this is alluded to with the phrase: “even many times” in a positive manner – without any limitation whatsoever.
And through the fulfillment of the Mitzvah of Tzedaka, and specifically during the month of Elul, where we increase in Tzedaka, as it brought in the acronym (Roshei Teivot) of Ellul:
“Ish l’rei’eihu u’matanot laEvyonum” (one to another, and gifts to the poor).
And the permutation of the name of G-d which illuminates the month of Elul which comes from the Sofei Teivos (end of word acronym):
“u- tzedaka tihyeh lanu ki" (nishmor la’asos es kol ha-mitzvah hazos - And it will be tzedaka for us if we are careful to perform this entire commandment. Deut 6:25) -
each one of us will merit to be inscribed and sealed in the book of the completely righteous (tzaddikim gemurim), even until the complete and true redemption.
For Yisroel is not redeemed except through Tzedaka as it states: "Tzion Bemishpat Tipadeh veShaveha beTzedaka" ("Zion shall be redeemed through justice and her penitent through righteousness." – speedily mamosh
M’Sichas Shabbat Parshat Re’eh 5743
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