Once the Jewish people was established as a nation in its land they had three commandments to fulfill: to appoint a king, to eliminate the memory of Amalek, and to build the Beit Hamikdash (Sanhedrin 20b; Rambam, Melachim 1:1).

In this week’s parshah there is a discussion of some of the laws that apply to a king. The Torah states “Vehayah cheshivto al kisei mamlachto vekatav lo et mishneih haTorah hazot” — “It shall be that when he sits on the throne of his kingdom, he shall write for himself two copies of the Torah” (17:18).

In reality, every Jew is commanded to write a Sefer Torah. It is the 613th mitzvah of the Torah. Nevertheless, the king must have two Sifrei Torah — one that he places with his treasure and one that accompanies him wherever he goes. Even if he inherited Torah scrolls from his father, he must nevertheless write a new one for himself (see Rambam, Melachim 3:1).

We have a rule that Chatan domeh lemelech” — “A Chatan is compared to a king.” Based on this there are certain similarities regarding the halachot that apply to a king and to a Chatan. He must not go alone in the street, and he must wear his glorious clothing during the seven days of his rejoicing. It is also customary to praise him (see Pirkei D’Rebbe Eliezer, 16).

Though there is no law that a Chatan must write a special Sefer Torah; nevertheless, since the actual law applies to a king and the Chatan is “compared” to king, he can indeed derive some important lessons from this halachah.

The Torah gives the following reason for writing this special Torah: “It shall be with him, and he shall read from it all the days of his life, so that he will learn to fear Hashem his G‑d.”

Every Chatan as a king must remember that it is his goal and obligation, together with his queen, the Kallah, to build a home in Israel. It is important that at all times, and for all situations, the Torah must be his blueprint.

Moreover, even if he inherited a Sefer Torah from his father, it is not sufficient. He cannot suffice with heirlooms when it comes to Torah and Yiddishkeit. Growing up in a home directed by Torah teaching is not enough. A person must have his own Sefer Torah — his own knowledge and study of Torah — and apply it to his home, life and personal development.

If he conducts himself this way, he can be assured that the kingdom that he and his queen have set out to build will be blessed with longevity, success, and nachas.

The Torah’s words regarding the king are also significant. The words preceding the requirement to write a special Torah are “Vehayah cheshivto al kisei mamlachto” — “It will be when he sits on the throne of his kingdom.” Grammatically, instead of“cheshivto” which literally means “as he is sitting down,” i.e., initial ascension, it would have been more correct to say “beshivto” — “when he is sitting”? Also, the word “vehayah” — “it shall be” — seems superfluous?

The Ketav Sofer explains it as follows: A newly appointed king makes resolutions to conduct himself morally during his reign. Moreover, according to the Talmud Yerushalmi (Bikkurim 3:3), when a person ascends to leadership, all his sins are forgiven and he begins with a clean slate. (Incidentally, the same also applies to a Chatan — ibid.) Unfortunately, as time goes by, people tend to forget their resolutions, and the king, who is only human, also tarnishes his clean slate.

The word “vehayah” denotes simchah — joy and happiness (Vayikra Rabbah 11:7). The pasuk therefore states: “Vehayah” — “It shall be a cause of happiness and joy if — ‘cheshivto al kisei mamlachto’ — throughout all the years of his reign he will remain as virtuous as he was on the day he ascended to sit on the throne.”

The same can also be said regarding a Chatan and Kallah. On the wedding day, while occupied with noble thoughts, they make lofty resolutions as to their future life.

Unfortunately, as time goes on, many a Chatan-Kallah forget or forsake their wedding day resolutions and little by little they become acclimated and adopt the values of the society they live in. They deviate from the beautiful aspirations which they drew up for their lives, their home, and their future offspring.

Thus, the Torah says to the king and queen — you my dear Chatan and Kallah — “vehayah” — “It will be a reason for happiness and joy for yourselves, and to your parents, your family, your relatives and K’lal Yisrael, if throughout all the years of your marriage you will be as virtuous and resolute for Torah and mitzvot as you were ‘cheshivto’ — on the day when you [and her] ascended to sit on the throne as Chatan and Kallah. You must always strive to fulfill your resolutions on the most glorious day of your life — the day of the Chuppah.” In appreciation, Hashem will bless your kingdom with longevity and much hatzlachah materially and spiritually.

"כי יקח איש אשה חדשה...לא יחבל רחים ורכב כי נפש הוא חבל"
“When a man marries a new wife...One shall not take an upper or lower millstone as a pledge, for he would be taking a life as a pledge.” (24:5-6)

QUESTION: What is the connection between marriage and collateral for loans?

ANSWER: The constant barrage of advertisement encouraging people to “buy now and pay later” has encouraged people to live beyond their means. Unfortunately, such a lifestyle often brings destruction to a marriage or a family.

When arranging a wedding, people often go overboard and borrow in order to be able to copy the affluent, who can afford extravagant events. For many years after the wedding they struggle to pay the debts incurred, and work overtime at the expense of davening with a minyan or studying Torah.

The Torah intentionally places these two issues together to teach us that a man who marries (and the parents) should be careful not to run into debt, for in reality nefesh hu choveil — he is risking his life and well-being, physically and spiritually.

(פניני תורה)