Torah Teaser – Parshat NITZAVIM Questions & Answers – September 11 2115-5775

Thrown Far, But Held With A Long Rope The pasuk says (Devarim 29:27), “Hashem will remove them from their land with great anger.” Then the pasuk says, “VaYashlicheim El Eretz Acheres; Hashem will throw them (exile them) to a different land.” The letter “Lamed” in the word “VaYashlicheim” has an unusually long neck. Why? The MiShulchan Gavo’a brings an answer in the name of the Ridvaz. The Tur (CM 261) paskens that if someone throws his wallet into Reshus HaRabim, the public domain, it becomes Hefker and anyone can claim it since the orginal owner forfeited ownership. However, if there is a string attached to the object, then no matter how far it is thrown, it is still in the possession of the owner. When the pasuk says that Hashem will throw us to another land, it seems that we become Hefker for the other nations to do with us whatever they want, since Hashem forfeited ownership of us. However, that is not the case as the pasuk (Ha’azinu 32:9) says, “Yaakov Chevel Nachalaso.” Chevel literally means rope, meaning that we are always attached to Hashem with a rope, even if we are cast away in His anger. “This,” says the Ridvaz, “is the symbolism of the long Lamed. Although Hashem will throw us into public domain, he is still retaining possession of us by holding onto our rope. This rope is the long neck of the Lamed.”
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No More Passing The Buck! “Ki Es Asher Yeshno Po… V’Eis Asher Einenu Po” (Nitzavim 29:14). Hashem enters a covenant with all those that are presently here and even those who are not. Rashi says this means future generations. The Maharal Tzintz says that this is a Remez to the gemara in Sanhedrin (91a). After a person dies, Hashem calls his body to din for all its aveiros. The body says, “what do you want from me, from the moment the neshama left me I’ve been lying here powerless. Obviously the aveiros were the neshama’s fault.” The neshama is them called and it says, “it must be the body’s fault because ever since the neshama was released it has been flying around harmlessly like a bird.” So then Hashem takes the neshama puts it back into the body and makes them stand trial together. Now there is no excuses. The Torah tells us that Hashem has not only entered a covenant with the body who is standing here today, but also with the neshama which you cannot see standing here today. They will both be thrown together and there won’t be any excuses.

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Life Is Not That Bad After all the Klalos in Parshas Ki Savo, Moshe Rabbeinu calls together Bnei Yisroel and starts telling them about Paroh and Mitzrayim and all the great miracles that took place in the Midbar. Why? The Netziv answers that after hearing all the Klalos the Bnei Yisroel were skeptical about their chances for survival. Moshe therefore shows them that after they left Mitzrayim they were supposed to go straight to Eretz Yisroel, yet their aveiros caused them to receive a 40 year wandering sentence before being admitted to Eretz Yisroel. Nevertheless not only did they survive they flourished.
Had they gone straight to Eretz Yisroel in the first place they would not have gotten the land of Sichon and Og. Even their existence during this long punishment was quite pleasant. Hashem brought them food in miraculous fashion. Hashem clothed them through miracles, yet in a more discreet way.
Moshe reminds us that Hashem has many ways to care for us in Galus and at the end we will benefit from the experience. This encouragement climaxes with “Atem Nitzavim Lifnei Hashem Elokeichem”; despite the years of galus and distance from Hashem still admits us into His presence. Baruch Hashem with all the hardships from the entire year we stand on the doorstep of Rosh Hashana and thank Hashem that with His kindness and miracles, big and small we have made it through another year; still standing!

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