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Wednesday, 22 Elul 5774 / September 17, 2014
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Chumash with Rashi

Chumash with Rashi

Parshat Nitzavim-Vayelech, 4th Portion (Deuteronomy 30:15-31:6)

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Chapter 30

15. Behold, I have set before you today life and good, and death and evil,   טו. רְאֵה נָתַתִּי לְפָנֶיךָ הַיּוֹם אֶת הַחַיִּים וְאֶת הַטּוֹב וְאֶת הַמָּוֶת וְאֶת הָרָע:
life and good: Each one [life or death,] is dependent upon the other: If you do good, you will be granted life, while if you do evil, you will receive death. The verse now proceeds to explain how this is so [as follows]:   את החיים ואת הטוב: זה תלוי בזה אם תעשה טוב הרי לך חיים, ואם תעשה רע הרי לך המות. והכתוב מפרש והולך היאך:
16. inasmuch as I command you this day to love the Lord, your God, to walk in His ways, and to observe His commandments, His statutes, and His ordinances, so that you will live and increase, and the Lord, your God, will bless you in the land to which you are coming to take possession of it.   טז. אֲשֶׁר אָנֹכִי מְצַוְּךָ הַיּוֹם לְאַהֲבָה אֶת יְהֹוָה אֱלֹהֶיךָ לָלֶכֶת בִּדְרָכָיו וְלִשְׁמֹר מִצְו‍ֹתָיו וְחֻקֹּתָיו וּמִשְׁפָּטָיו וְחָיִיתָ וְרָבִיתָ וּבֵרַכְךָ יְהֹוָה אֱלֹהֶיךָ בָּאָרֶץ אֲשֶׁר אַתָּה בָא שָׁמָּה לְרִשְׁתָּהּ:
Inasmuch as I am commanding you this day to love [the Lord your God]: This is “good” [referred to in the verse 15]; and upon this, is dependent:   אשר אנכי מצוך היום לאהבה: הרי הטוב, ובו תלוי:
so that you will live and increase: This is “life” [referred to in the verse 15. After this, the verse continues]:   וחיית ורבית: הרי החיים:
17. But if your heart deviates and you do not listen, and you will be drawn astray, and you will prostrate yourself to other deities and serve them,   יז. וְאִם יִפְנֶה לְבָבְךָ וְלֹא תִשְׁמָע וְנִדַּחְתָּ וְהִשְׁתַּחֲוִיתָ לֵאלֹהִים אֲחֵרִים וַעֲבַדְתָּם:
But if your heart deviates: This is “evil” [referred to in verse 15. The verse continues]:   ואם יפנה לבבך: הרי הרע:
18. I declare to you this day, that you will surely perish, and that you will not live long days on the land, to which you are crossing the Jordan, to come and take possession thereof.   יח. הִגַּדְתִּי לָכֶם הַיּוֹם כִּי אָבֹד תֹּאבֵדוּן לֹא תַאֲרִיכֻן יָמִים עַל הָאֲדָמָה אֲשֶׁר אַתָּה עֹבֵר אֶת הַיַּרְדֵּן לָבוֹא שָׁמָּה לְרִשְׁתָּהּ:
that you will perish: This is “death” [referred to in verse 15].   כי אבד תאבדון: הרי המות:
19. This day, I call upon the heaven and the earth as witnesses [that I have warned] you: I have set before you life and death, the blessing and the curse. You shall choose life, so that you and your offspring will live;   יט. הַעִדֹתִי בָכֶם הַיּוֹם אֶת הַשָּׁמַיִם וְאֶת הָאָרֶץ הַחַיִּים וְהַמָּוֶת נָתַתִּי לְפָנֶיךָ הַבְּרָכָה וְהַקְּלָלָה וּבָחַרְתָּ בַּחַיִּים לְמַעַן תִּחְיֶה אַתָּה וְזַרְעֶךָ:
This day, I call upon the heaven and the earth as witnesses: For the heaven and earth exist for ever, and when the evil befalls you, they will be witnesses that I had warned you regarding all of this. Another explanation of “I call upon the heaven and the earth as witnesses, etc.” : The Holy One, Blessed is He, said to Israel, “Look at the heavens which I created to serve you. Have they ever changed their ways? Has the sphere of the sun ever failed to rise from the east to illuminate the entire world, as it is stated, ‘The sun rises, and the sun sets’ (Ecc. 1:5)? Look at the earth which I created to serve you. Has it ever changed its ways? Have you ever sown [in] it that it did not grow? Or have you ever sown wheat and it yielded barley? Now, they [heaven and earth] were created with neither reward nor loss in mind-for if they are meritorious [by fulfilling their purpose for which I created them], they nevertheless do not receive reward [for this]; and if they sin, they are not punished. And yet [even with this lack of incentive], they have never changed their ways! So you, who will receive reward if you are meritorious and who will be punished if you sin-how much more so [should you fulfill My will]!”- [Sifrei 32:1]   העדתי בכם היום את השמים ואת הארץ: שהם קיימים לעולם וכאשר תקרה אתכם הרעה יהיו עדים שאני התרתי בכם בכל זאת. דבר אחר העידתי בכם היום את השמים וגו' אמר להם הקב"ה לישראל, הסתכלו בשמים שבראתי לשמש אתכם, שמא שנו את מדתם שמא לא עלה גלגל חמה מן המזרח והאיר לכל העולם, כענין שנאמר (קהלת א, ה) וזרח השמש ובא השמש, הסתכלו בארץ שבראתי לשמש אתכם, שמא שנתה מדתה, שמא זרעתם אותה ולא צמחה, או שמא זרעתם חטים והעלתה שעורים, ומה אלו שנעשו לא לשכר ולא להפסד אם זוכין אין מקבלין שכר ואם חוטאין אין מקבלין פורענות, לא שנו את מדתם, אתם שאם זכיתם תקבלו שכר ואם חטאתם תקבלו פורענות על אחת כמה וכמה:
you shall choose life: [God says: “Even though you have free choice, nevertheless,] I instruct you to choose the portion of life.” It is like a man who says to his son, “Choose for yourself a fine portion of my estate,” and then directs him to the best portion, saying to him, “This [is the portion which] you should choose for yourself!” And regarding this, the verse says,“The Lord is my allotted portion and my cup; You guide my destiny” (Ps. 16:5). [The last clause, אַתָּה תּוֹמִי‏ךְ גּוֹרָלִי, literally means “You laid upon my lot.” That is to say:] “You laid my hand upon the good lot, saying, ‘Take this for yourself!’”   ובחרת בחיים: אני מורה לכם שתבחרו בחלק החיים, כאדם האומר לחבירו בחר לך חלק יפה בנחלתי ומעמידו על חלק היפה ואומר לו את זה ברור לך, ועל זה נאמר (תהלים טז, ה) ה' מנת חלקי וכוסי אתה תומיך גורלי, הנחת ידי על גורל הטוב לומר את זה קח לך:
20. To love the Lord your God, to listen to His voice, and to cleave to Him. For that is your life and the length of your days, to dwell on the land which the Lord swore to your forefathers to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob to give to them.   כ. לְאַהֲבָה אֶת יְהֹוָה אֱלֹהֶיךָ לִשְׁמֹעַ בְּקֹלוֹ וּלְדָבְקָה בוֹ כִּי הוּא חַיֶּיךָ וְאֹרֶךְ יָמֶיךָ לָשֶׁבֶת עַל הָאֲדָמָה אֲשֶׁר נִשְׁבַּע יְהֹוָה לַאֲבֹתֶיךָ לְאַבְרָהָם לְיִצְחָק וּלְיַעֲקֹב לָתֵת לָהֶם:

Chapter 31

1. And Moses went, and he spoke the following words to all Israel.   א. וַיֵּלֶךְ משֶׁה וַיְדַבֵּר אֶת הַדְּבָרִים הָאֵלֶּה אֶל כָּל יִשְׂרָאֵל:
2. He said to them, "Today I am one hundred and twenty years old. I can no longer go or come, and the Lord said to me, "You shall not cross this Jordan."   ב. וַיֹּאמֶר אֲלֵהֶם בֶּן מֵאָה וְעֶשְׂרִים שָׁנָה אָנֹכִי הַיּוֹם לֹא אוּכַל עוֹד לָצֵאת וְלָבוֹא וַיהֹוָה אָמַר אֵלַי לֹא תַעֲבֹר אֶת הַיַּרְדֵּן הַזֶּה:
Moses went…I can no longer go or come: One might think [this means] that Moses’ strength had ebbed [and that is why he could no longer go or come]. Scripture [however] states [regarding Moses], “His eye had not dimmed, nor had he lost his [natural] moisture” (Deut. 34:7) [which teaches us that his powers were intact even on the day of his passing]. So what then is [the meaning of] “I can no longer”? [Here it means:] “I am not permitted,” because authority was taken from him and granted to Joshua.   וילך משה וגו', לא אוכל עוד לצאת ולבא: יכול שתשש כחו, תלמוד לומר (דברים לד, ז) לא כהתה עינו ולא נס לחה. אלא מהו לא אוכל, איני רשאי שנטלה ממני הרשות ונתנה ליהושע:
and the Lord said to me: This is the meaning of “I can no longer go or come,” because “the Lord said to me….”   וה' אמר אלי: זהו פירוש לא אוכל עוד לצאת ולבא, לפי שה' אמר אלי:
Today I am [one-hundred and twenty years old]: [That is to say,] today [is the exact day that] my days and my years have become complete; on this very day [the seventh of Adar] I was born, and on this day I will die. — [Sotah 13b] Another interpretation of “[I can no longer] go or come” is: [I can no longer figuratively go and come, i.e., I can no longer negotiate] in matters of Torah. This teaches us that the channels of transmission and the well-springs of wisdom were closed up from him [i.e., from Moses on that day]. — [Sotah 13b] [That is the order of the early editions and should be preserved. Rashi means that according to the first interpretation, that God did not permit him to go and come before the people, we do not explain the beginning of the verse to mean that Moses’ days were completed, but that God had taken away the authority from Moses. According to the Talmud, which states that Moses’ days were completed, we explain that he could not go and come in matters of Torah, and according to that interpretation, we do not explain that “the Lord said to me” as the meaning for “I can no longer go or come,” but another reason for Moses’ inability to cross the Jordan.]   אנכי היום: היום מלאו ימי ושנותי, ביום זה נולדתי וביום זה אמות. דבר אחר, לצאת ולבא בדברי תורה, מלמד שנסתמו ממנו מסורות ומעינות החכמה:
3. The Lord, your God He will cross before you; He will destroy these nations from before you so that you will possess them. Joshua he will cross before you, as the Lord has spoken.   ג. יְהֹוָה אֱלֹהֶיךָ הוּא | עֹבֵר לְפָנֶיךָ הוּא יַשְׁמִיד אֶת הַגּוֹיִם הָאֵלֶּה מִלְּפָנֶיךָ וִירִשְׁתָּם יְהוֹשֻׁעַ הוּא עֹבֵר לְפָנֶיךָ כַּאֲשֶׁר דִּבֶּר יְהֹוָה:
4. And the Lord will do to them, as He did to the Amorite kings, Sihon and Og, and to their land, [all of] which He destroyed.   ד. וְעָשָׂה יְהֹוָה לָהֶם כַּאֲשֶׁר עָשָׂה לְסִיחוֹן וּלְעוֹג מַלְכֵי הָאֱמֹרִי וּלְאַרְצָם אֲשֶׁר הִשְׁמִיד אֹתָם:
5. And [when] the Lord delivers them before you, you shall do to them according to all the commandment that I have commanded you.   ה. וּנְתָנָם יְהֹוָה לִפְנֵיכֶם וַעֲשִׂיתֶם לָהֶם כְּכָל הַמִּצְוָה אֲשֶׁר צִוִּיתִי אֶתְכֶם:
6. Be strong and courageous! Neither fear, nor be dismayed of them, for the Lord, your God He is the One Who goes with you. He will neither fail you, nor forsake you."   ו. חִזְקוּ וְאִמְצוּ אַל תִּירְאוּ וְאַל תַּעַרְצוּ מִפְּנֵיהֶם כִּי | יְהֹוָה אֱלֹהֶיךָ הוּא הַהֹלֵךְ עִמָּךְ לֹא יַרְפְּךָ וְלֹא יַעַזְבֶךָּ:
He will neither fail you: Heb. לֹא יַרְפְּךָ. [The word יַרְפְּךָ stems from the root רפה, meaning“weak.” Thus, the expression here means:] God will not give you [cause for] weakness [resulting] from your being forsaken by Him.   לא ירפך: לא יתן לך רפיון להיות נעזב ממנו:
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