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Parshas Ki Savo 5774
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September 12, 2014
Volume 10 Issue 40
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Dvar Torah


 Make the Effort  

By Rabbi Yosef Prupas


             And Moshe summoned all of Israel and told them, "You have seen everything Hashem did before your eyes in the land of Egypt...those great signs and wonders...But Hashem did not give you a heart to know, or an eye to hear, until today..."


            The commentaries explain that these words were said on the day of Moshe's death. The Meshech Chochma explains that Moshe was making two points, one, that he was not immortal, and two, that The Jewish People had not yet achieved the predestined goals Hashem assigned to them. The first point was needed because many were not yet convinced that Moshe was not a demi-god with super natural powers. With Moshe's death it would become clear that he was not.


         The second point was that Moshe wanted to ready the Jewish People for a drastic change that was about to come. It would be a catalyst for their growth in the service of Hashem. No longer would Manna fall from heaven, nor would the Clouds of Glory surround them with their protective and cleansing abilities. All this would come to an end with the passing of the torch of leadership to Yehoshua. They would now face a life of reality and true free choice. Moshe now tried to prepare them for a world where they could truly work on themselves and attain the goals destined for them by Hashem in this world.


           The Meshech Chochma quotes the Medrash which tells us that Moshe then understood what Hashem was alluding to when He responded to Moshe's request to enter the Holy Land. Hashem said, "I wanted to destroy The Jewish People on account of the sin with the golden calf, and you asked "Selach Na", please forgive. I then nullified My Will for yours. Now, once again, you want for Me to do the same. You cannot have both, either you receive forgiveness for The Jewish People and you can't enter the land, or you can go over but nobody comes with you."


The Meshech Chochma explains that Hashem knew that The Jewish People would face two formidable adversaries among the Canaanite nations, the giants and Amalek. Even though they would ultimately miraculously vanquish them, the initial effort had to come on their own. Moshe prepared them for the giants by killing the giant, Og. This showed The Jewish People that the giants were not indestructible and with the help of Hashem they could be conquered.


               Amalek was a different story. The Medrash tells us that The Jewish People was attacked by Amalek the first time they complained. The verse tells us, "Let the Kufuy Tov, those who don't give recognition for the good done for them (Amalek) exact punishment from those who as well don't give recognition for the good for them (The Jewish People)." The only one who could override this equation would be a descendant of Yosef, who was the opposite of a Kufuy Tov, for Yosef had repaid the bad done to him by his brothers with good. It would be in his merit that The Jewish People would be able to overcome Amalek. Moshe was not a descendant of Yosef, but Yehoshua was. Hashem knew and Moshe now understood that if he, Moshe, were to lead them against Amalek, The Jewish People would be very nervous. This would affect the trust in Hashem they needed to kick start their battle with Amalek. This was what Hashem was trying to convey to Moshe.


          The Meshech Chochma points out that it is not only in physical battle that a sincere initial attempt can bring salvation, but even with our battle with the Yetzer Harah and the process of repentance. One can be overwhelmed by the magnitude of his sins in the days preceding Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur and the need to repent. But we learn from the above not to give up hope, even for sins against our fellow Jew which Yom Kippur does not absolve.  If one makes an initial sincere effort, Hashem will put it into our friend's mind to forgive us! May we succeed with our effort to repent and may this lead us to enter Eretz Yisroel with all of The Jewish People speedily in our day.



Dvar Halacha
Halachos of Appeasing Another Jew part 1  


By Rabbi Yochanan Eskenazi



With the approaching Yomim Noraim thoughts of doing a proper teshuva (repentance) is at the front of many people's minds.  Many times we sin and regret our choices, we truly want to do teshuva, but are not aware of how to properly accomplish this.


Teshuva is a mitzvas asei m'doraisa (Biblical commandment). The Torah [Bamidbar 5:7] says, "V'hisvadu es chatasom asher asu" (and they shall confess their sin which they committed).  Just as with other mitzvos, the only way to properly keep it is to know the halachos of the mitzvah [e.g. it is impossible to properly keep the mitzvah of Shabbos without the knowledge of Hilchos Shabbos (See Introduction to Mishneh Berurah vol. 3)], the same is true regarding the mitzvah of teshuva.


The Rambam [Hilchos Teshuva 2:7] writes that even though there is a mitzvah to do teshuva each day of the year, on Yom Kippur one is required to do teshuva.  Therefore, if one did not do teshuva on Yom Kippur, he has violated this mitzvas asei (see also Sefer Hachinuch 364).


The Mishnah [Yoma 85b] teaches that Yom Kippur atones for sins between man and Hashem, however not sins against one's fellow man.  Therefore, one who wronged someone is obligated to appease him (Shulchan Aruch 606:1).


It is important to note, that if someone wronged another person, in addition to violating a mitzvah of bein adam l'chaveiro (interpersonal relationships), one has also violated a mitzvas bein adam l'makom (between man and G-d).  Therefore, even if one appeased the other person, one is still obligated to repent on the bein adam l'makom aspect of the aveira (Rambam Hilchos Teshuva 1:1, Shaarei Teshuva 1:45 & Shulchan Aruch 606:2).


One is only obligated to appease his fellow man if one caused damage to him (Sefer Chafetz Chaim Lashon Hara 4:12 quoting Shaarei Teshuva 207).  For instance, if one said something insulting about another person, however, it was not in front of him [and therefore he was not insulted], nor did it lead to any damage, etc. he need not ask forgiveness.  

If one did cause harm to someone, even if that person did not know about it, one is obligated to ask for forgiveness (Sefer Chafetz Chaim 4:12).  Therefore, if someone spoke rechilus (literally means bearing tales from one to another) about someone, if he sees the listener believes him, one is required to ask forgiveness from who he spoke about, because this most probably resulted in some form of damage etc. (Sefer Chafetz Chaim 2:4: BM"C 4).


If one wronged a katan (minor) the custom is to ask forgiveness.  Additionally, when the katan reaches adulthood (13 year old boy or 12 year old girl), one is obligated to ask him again, since a minor's forgiveness, is not a halachically binding (Koveitz Halachos [Piskei Harav Shmuel Kamenetsky, shlit"a] 25:17).




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