Vaeira 5782

Rabbi Reisman – Parshas Va’eira 5782

1 – Topic – A Technical Difficulty

As we prepare for Shabbos Parshas Va’eira in preparation for the upcoming month of Shvat where we are Mekadeish the Chodesh this week as we head through the middle of the winter, heading  B’ezras Hashem to a more open and beautiful world.  

Let me begin with one of my favorite Kashas that I do not think that I have mentioned here in the past. That is that Rashi here in 6:26 tells us very famously that the Posuk says (הוּא אַהֲרֹן, וּמֹשֶׁה) and in 6:27 it says (הוּא מֹשֶׁה, וְאַהֲרֹן). One time Aharon first and Moshe second and one time Moshe first and Aharon second, (לומר לך ששקולין כאחד). To teach us they are equal. Now what does it mean that Moshe and Aharon are equal? I think we spoke about that in a previous year. But the point here is something else. That when it says two things one after the other, one time in one order and one time in a different order, it is telling you that really (שקולין כאחד).

There is a second place we find this by the Bnos Tzelafchad, we find the daughters of Tzelafchad mentioned in different orders and again Rashi tells us in Bamidbar 28:1 (מגיד שכולן שקולות זו כזו, לפיכך שנה את סדרן). So it seems like a rule in the Torah when you have a pair of things that are equal and you can’t say them both simultaneously you are going to end up saying one first the other second, you might think the first is more Chashuv then the second, therefore, the Torah changes the order.

I have a Kasha, it says in Shemos 20:11 (כַּבֵּד אֶת-אָבִיךָ, וְאֶת-אִמֶּךָ) father first mother second. It says in Vayikra 19:3 (אִישׁ אִמּוֹ וְאָבִיו תִּירָאוּ), mother first father second. I would say there is another example and father and mother are equal. Yet Rashi in Parshas Kedoshim says that they are not equal. Rashi Darshuns it. Why are we Darshuning it? Why are we asking in one place it says mother first father second and the other place father first and mother second. What kind of Kasha? It should say because they are equal?

You are going to tell me that the Halacha is if your father tells you to bring him a drink and your mother tells you to bring her a drink that the father goes first? That is not because the father is more Chashuv than the mother, this is because the mother also has a Chiyuv to take care of the household needs of the father. If let’s say the parents are divorced then they are equal. So why not Darshun the two Pesukim there this way? Tzorech Iyun Gadol!

Similarly, the Gemara in Chagigah 12 says on Beraishis 1:1 (בְּרֵאשִׁית, בָּרָא אֱלֹקִים, אֵת הַשָּׁמַיִם, וְאֵת הָאָרֶץ) where Shamayim is first and Eretz is second and it says in Beraishis 2:4 (בְּיוֹם, עֲשׂוֹת יְרוָר אֱלֹקִים--אֶרֶץ וְשָׁמָיִם) where Eretz is first and Shamayim is second. The Gemara Darshuns. Why are you Darshuning? It is telling you that they are both equal Chashivus. They are both equal and that is why one is first one time and the other one is first the other time. Tzorech Iyun Gadol.

When does the Torah do it one way and when does the Torah do it the other way? It really needs some sort of a Hesber. I told you four places, 1) our Parsha, 2) Bnos Tzelafchad, 3) (כַּבֵּד אֶת-אָבִיךָ, וְאֶת-אִמֶּךָ) and 4) Shamayim and Eretz.  

There is a Gemara in Berachos in the 6th Perek. I remember being in Rav Elyashiv’s Shiur for this Gemara. I used to go to Rav Elyashiv’s Shabbos afternoon Shiur two or three Shabbasos a year when I was in Eretz Yisrael. In every Masechta I learned about one Daf by Rav Elyashiv. He used to finish about an Amud a week, so about a Blatt in each Masechta. The Daf that I was by Rav Elyashiv in Maseches Berachos was in the 6th Perek.

The Gemara there on Daf Mem Aleph famously Darshuns that the Posuk says that there are seven fruits with which Eretz Yisrael is praised. Devarim 8:8 (אֶרֶץ חִטָּה וּשְׂעֹרָה, וְגֶפֶן וּתְאֵנָה וְרִמּוֹן; אֶרֶץ-זֵית שֶׁמֶן, וּדְבָשׁ). It mentions the seven fruits. It says that the fruits are in the order of Kadimah. What is the order of the Beracha you make if you have these fruits in front of you. It is in the order of the Posuk. How so? It says the word Eretz twice. Eretz and then 5 fruits and then Eretz and then 2 fruits.

So what is the order? The Gemara says that it goes by the order of what is close to Eretz. So (אֶרֶץ חִטָּה) that is first, (אֶרֶץ-זֵית שֶׁמֶן) is second. Third is (אֶרֶץ חִטָּה וּשְׂעֹרָה). Fourth is (אֶרֶץ-זֵית שֶׁמֶן, וּדְבָשׁ). Therefore, Temarim are 4th. In other words, the order goes Chitah, Zayis, Se’ora, Temarim, Gefen, T’aina and Rimon. It doesn’t go in the order of the Posuk, it goes how close it is to the word Eretz.

The question I believe was so why does the Torah do it in such a strange way. If the order is whatever it is just say Eretz once and then Chitah, Zayis, Se’ora, Temarim, Gefen, T’aina and Rimon. Say it once, why do you have to do (אֶרֶץ חִטָּה וּשְׂעֹרָה, וְגֶפֶן וּתְאֵנָה וְרִמּוֹן), (אֶרֶץ-זֵית שֶׁמֶן, וּדְבָשׁ). It says Eretz twice and we go according to what is closest to Eretz. Why not just say all seven in order?

Enfert the Pnei Yehoshua or maybe it was Rav Elyahiv’s own Teretz if it would say one time Eretz and then all seven I would assume that they are all equal. You can’t them all in one shot so if they were all said after the one time saying Eretz then they are all the same. So it says Eretz twice to tell you to Darshun based on what is closest to Eretz.

What? If it said Eretz and seven in a row I would say they are all equal? I thought that I only say they are equal when I have contradictions? This is so confusing. I don’t know if anybody will find an answer but you will probably find more cases in the Torah but I mentioned five.  

2 – Topic – A Mussar Gadol for these days

Today the Levi’s Aliyah as can be found in 6:8 (וְנָתַתִּי אֹתָהּ לָכֶם מוֹרָשָׁה) I will give Eretz Yisrael to you as (מוֹרָשָׁה). Something that is an inheritance. It doesn’t say Yerusha. The Gemara in Bava Basra Daf Kuf Yud Zayin Amud Aleph Darshuns from here that Eretz Yisrael is given to you to be Morish, to be passed on to the next generation because those who left Mitzrayim never inherited it. They didn’t go into Eretz Yisrael as they died in the Midbar. They passed it on to others. What do you mean that they passed it on to others, if they never got it then they never passed it on.

The Gemara says no. (מתים יורשין חיין). The way Yerushas Eretz Yisrael worked is those who entered Eretz Yisrael each was designated a Cheilek and that portion went back up to the Yotzei Mitzrayim and then the Yotzei Mitzrayim inherited back down. That is Rav Yonason’s Shittah. Another Man D’omar says Eretz Yisrael is divided among the Yotzei Mitzrayim. Even though they were not alive, they got it in order to pass it on. We learn from this Posuk and it is one of the two sources in the Gemara (וְנָתַתִּי אֹתָהּ לָכֶם מוֹרָשָׁה) (on 117b), you who leave Egypt will never own it. But you will own it to pass it on to your children.

It needs an explanation why such a sort of idea of Yerusha, of something where what kind of Yorshim are there? There are no Yorshim so why are you calling it Yerusha? The whole thing needs an explanation.

I want to share with you a Ketzos Hachoshen. The Ketzos in Siman 252 brings a Rashba a very basic difference between giving something away through Yerusha and giving it through a gift. Sometimes a person gives a gift when he dies or a minute before he dies something should be a gift, a Mat’nas Shechiv Mai’ra, he declares a gift and it should go to a person. There is a very big difference. Yerusha goes seamlessly, it is automatic. Whatever it is is owned one second by the father and the next second by the one who inherits. A Matana is Achar Misah. A Matana is something that has to happen, it does happen after Misah, but it happens afterwards. Now you will tell me what is the difference?

I will give you an example. The Gemara in Bava Basra 49a says if I own something I have to do a Kinyan to give it away. If I own something and say (דין ודברים אין לי) I don’t want to have any connection to it. I still own it without a Kinyan.

Let’s say I don’t own something and you want to give it to me as a gift. I say (דין ודברים אין לי) Bazeh, I want to have no connection to this. If you give it to me as a gift it does not become mine. I can refuse it. What I already owned I can’t refuse it and I continue to own it, and what you give me as a gift I could refuse.

What about a Yerusha? The Rashbam says there and brings from a Gemara elsewhere, that by Yerusha you can’t refuse it. If you say (דין ודברים אין לי על שדה זו). I want to have no Shaichus to the field. Then somebody dies and leaves it to you as a Yerusha, it is yours anyway. Inheritance is something which is automatic. It is inherently connected to you, has a Shaychus to you directly. It doesn’t have to become yours. You are in line to have it to have it right now. It automatically becomes something that is yours. So that it is sort of inherent in the person. There is a continuity from the Morish to the Yorish. There is a single ownership. There is an ownership of father to son, to son, to son. It is one big ownership and that is not something that is separately given. That is why the Torah says as is found in Devarim 33:4 (תּוֹרָה צִוָּה-לָנוּ, מֹשֶׁה: מוֹרָשָׁה, קְהִלַּת יַעֲקֹב). Torah is Morasha. It is given as a Yerusha. Why do you need a Yerusha if every Jew has his connection to Torah, he doesn’t have to inherit it from his father. No! You do have an inherent connection to Torah, but that connection is father to son, to son, to son 100 generations from Sinai, it is all one big ownership, one continuous ownership, continuity. By definition, Torah is something which is a continuity from parent to child.    

The Chiddush here is that Eretz Yisrael is the same. Torah we understand is one long Hemshech, Eretz Yisrael too is Morasha. Eretz Yisrael is one long connection. Something we need to get straight about Eretz Yisrael. That it is not a place where Jews goes, it is not a place where Jews live, it is the place of Klal Yisrael. It is the place where Klal Yisrael is rooted.

Beraishis 12:1 (לֶךְ-לְךָ מֵאַרְצְךָ). Hashem told Avraham Avinu (וְאֶעֶשְׂךָ, לְגוֹי גָּדוֹל). Go to Eretz Yisrael and I will make you a big nation. Zagt Rashi, only in Eretz Yisrael. Jews thrive in Eretz Yisrael.

So that is the message (וְנָתַתִּי אֹתָהּ לָכֶם מוֹרָשָׁה). I am giving it to you Yotzei Mitzrayim, you will never own it. But, it is one Hemshech, it is one continuity. It is your land from child, to child, to child. One long stretched out ownership of Morasha. That is the idea of it being a Morasha, that is the whole idea of this manner in which Eretz Yisrael was Nischalka to the Shevatim, back up to the Yotzei Mitzrayim. Through the Yotzei Mitzrayim back down to all of the generations. It had to be one straight, if you get Eretz Yisrael now it is one Hemshech. It is not you, it is the Hemschech to your grandparents, to whoever originally went to Eretz Yisrael. Klal Yisrael is one big Hemshech with Torah, Eretz Yisrael, Kiyum Hamitzvos, all one.

And so, one technical difficulty and one Mussar Gadol for these days. We should be Zoche to be able to be in Eretz Yisrael if not because Moshiach came at least we should be there now to be Mushpa’im to Chap a’ Rein, to absorb the Kedusha of Eretz Yisrael and may we all be Zoche to be there B’karov Mamush. A Gutten Shabbos to one and all!