Parshas Devorim: It Does Matter

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rav-shmuel-brazil-1By Rav Shmuel Brazil
This Shabbos is the Shabbos before Tisha B’av. We always read the parsha of Devarim which commences with the rebuke and admonishment that Moshe Rebbeinu delivered to his flock before his demise. It coincides with Tisha B’av which the churban itself is rebuke to Klall Yisrael for their wayward behavior then and now. For our Chazal say that every generation that does now see the Bais Hamikdash rebuilt in their days it is tantamount as if it was destroyed in their days. It is for this reason that during the reading of the parsha we borrow the tune of Aicha and put it to the words of one of the pessukim איכה אשא לבדי טרחכם ומשאכם ורבכם . Moshe Rabbeinu laments with the expression איכה the exact first word of Megillas Aicha How can I alone carry your contentiousness your burdens and your quarrels. It is quite obvious why the heralding of Tisha B’av via the melancholy niggun of Megiallas Aicha was displayed on this passuk because they both share the word of aicha. However the Chamudai Zvi suggests even a deeper reason why this particular passuk was chosen.

There are various gemarrahs that express the reasons why the churban of the two batai mikdashim took place. The more famous gemarrah is the one that deals with the second Bais hamikdash being destroyed because of sinas chinam. In reference to the first Bais Hamikdash’s destruction, our Chazal cite two other reasons that brought upon us the calamity. One being, that they disgraced talmidei chachmim, secondly that they did not go beyond the din. The Chamudei Tzvi exlains that all of the above three reasons are hinted in the three words of our passuk טרחכם משאכם ורבכם.

Rashi explains טרחכם that during a court case when one of the litigants realized that he was losing his case he would say I have more witnesses to bring, more evidence to bring, more judges to add. It was obvious from such unbending conduct that the losing litigant does not follow the rule of going לפנים משורת הדין.

Rashi on the wordמשאכם explains, that they would constantly criticize and disgrace Moshe Rabbeinu. If he would come early they would claim he has shalom bayis problems and wants to leave his house. If he would come tarried they would claim it is due because he is constantly contriving all sorts of evil advise towards us. This symbolizes the cause of the churban of degrading talmidei chachamim especially in this case where Moshe was the gadol hador.

Rashi on the word רבכם explains that they were always arguing which symbolizes the reason of the third Bais Hamikdash’s destruction.

With this understanding we can better fathom why it is more befitting for this passuk to be chanted with the Aicah niggun. For not only does it share the first word of Megialls Aicha but it also contains the three reasons why the lamentations of Megillas Aicha evolved in the first place.

If we step back to the beginning of chumash we will discover that the first galus of history came about for the same three reasons. Adam and Chava were chased out of Gan Eden which was essentially the first exile because they ate from the Eitz Hadaas. Our Chazal tell us that Adam even though he was prohibited only to eat from the fruit of this tree, as a precaution he added on the prohibition of even touching it. Yet when he related to Chava the prohibition of touching the tree, he failed to specify that is was only a precautionary measure and not an outright prohibition [Rashi 3,3]. The Nachash realizing that this might just be his only place of entry to persuade Chava to transgress Hashem’s command, shoved her against the tree [Rashi 3,4]. The logical conclusion that followed was that just like one did not die by touching the tree so too one would not die by eating from its most delicious and luring fruit. After what just transpired, Chava immediately began to illegitimate the validity of Adam’s status as talmid chacham and rebbi. She concluded that not only did my Rebbi fabricate Hashem’s words of prohibiting me from eating the fruit of the Aitz Hadaas, everything that my Rebbi told me is probably also his own fabrication [Avos Dereb Nasson perek 1]. Subsequent her eating of the fruit she gave some to Adam. Our Chazal interpret her motivation behind the action as follows that if for any non seeable reason she might die for transgressing Hashem’s words, she still did not want Adam to remarry another woman [Rashi 3,6]..

If we examine this parsha of the chait of Eitz Hadaas carefully, we will discover that within it lies the three parallel causes of the churban Baish Hamikdash enumerated by Moshe Rabbeinu to Klall Yisrael. If Chava possessed the mind set and middah of לפנים משורת הדין then she should have at least suspected that Adam might too have instituted the prohibition of touching the tree and fruit as only a precautionary measure. Since this possibility did not even enter her thought process, it was a proof that she herself was not holding by such a concept. Secondly, by degrading and disgracing the legitimacy of her rebbi the gadol hador, she opened herself to the worst possible scenarios of transgressing Hashem’s commandments. Finally, the mere thought of her death and the remarriage of Adam would serve as sufficient cause for her to murder her mate is a horrific act of sinas chinam personified.

Now we have found a clear connection between the טרחיכם משאכם וריבכם of Moshe Rabbeinu’s admonishment for the Yidden causing their own galus and the galus of Adam Harishon from Gan Eden. With this understanding we can now go forward to understand another fascinating idea. In the second parsah of Shema, the Torah relates that the first sign of an impending galus for the Jewish nation is the holding back of rain ועצר את השמים ולא יהיה מטר. Why is the state of drought the unwanted harbinger of the destruction of a Bais Hamikdash?

The answer is as follows. There are two levels of rain, one spiritual and one physical. The word for rain in lashon hakodesh is גשם and מטר. The physical rain enables matter to grow and to be מגשם to materialize physical existences and bring potentials into actualizations. It is far from a coincidence that the word matter or for that fact meter originate from the word מטר. When a Yid fulfills the will of Hashem by recognizing the “reign” of Hashem’s kingdom in the universe which in turn aids him to pull the “reins” on his yetzer harah, he causes the spiritual rain and shefah to come down from shamayim that nourishes and sustains the world. The word מטר is gematria 249, one more number over רמח which corresponds to the 248 mitzvos and limbs of man. By man making his body a dwelling place a mishkan for the shechina, he thereby allows the heavenly מטר to descend into this world. The Bais Hamikdash was called הלבנון יער a forest, for the golden trees on the walls of nkckc the Mikdash bore golden fruits from which the kohanim would support themselves [Yuma 39b]. Spiritual rain has a supernatural power. By bringing down the spiritual rain, this then allows the physical rain to descend causing matter to grow and to flourish. If the spiritual rain is withheld then we will not be able to access the physical rain The first symptom of an oncoming destruction of the Bais Hamikdash is the withholding of the physical rain which discloses that the inner mishkan within the Yid is crumbling.

Above we spoke about the three reasons which cause galus and a churban

The spiritual rain is brought down by giving kavod to talmidai chachamim and not by belittling or disgracing them. It is brought about by going לפנים משורת הדין and by not being petty and always standing on ceremonies. The spiritual rain descends when there is אהבת חנם instead of שנאת חנם . If we fill the מטר with the behavior of טרחכם משאכם וריבכם then we are heading for big trouble which starts with an exhibition of no מטר..
Bais Hamikdash. These three reasons are also hinted in the word מטר as follows מ=משאכם ט=טרחכם ר=ריבכם .

The abuse of the internet in my opinion fosters the upholding of spiritual rain that nourishes the building of the Bais Hamikash. I am not even going that way of the internet and the very serious dangers involved. I am referring to very subtle and almost undetectable restrainer of spiritual rain. I am referring specifically to the heimish sites where we receive the news tid bits of the Jewish and non Jewish world. It is not so much the news that is my problem but rather the comments on these stories and on supposedly mailbag letters with the hot and controversial topics that are unfortunately a sad portrayal of the achdus of Klall Yisrael. The animosity and vicious condemnation that is written from one insulting commentator in response to another or to the article itself, are many times mamesh blasphemous and a tremendous shame to our people. When the issues involve our gedolim or charedim in Eretz Yisrael which seems to be the hot commentary topic presently, it is pashut sickening to see the negative and derogatory self righteous comments voiced about them and other commentators.

Get it straight. These web sites are a business and they are here to make money from you. The more the Roman arena of gladiatorial commentators become bloodier and juicer, the more people “hit” the site and consequently the richer these sites become. These sites can become as wealthy as they want but not at the expense of Hashem and Klal Yisrael. Your two cents of damaging sinas chinam is read by thousands of Yidden instantly and remember once posted you cannot retrieve your comments. Your distorted opinions of gedolim or defending them are available instantly throughout the globe together with your immature condescending name callings and epitaphs of your fellow brethren. Who says the goyim don’t hit these same sights and read your reactive emotional comments allowing for an instant chillul Hashem maybe even to millions. In this comment arena we have all three reasons why the מטר is not descending while on the other hand, the reign of terror, anti Semitism, and the rain of nuclear power’s threat to us as a nation is increasing from day to day. If you don’t have anything intelligent or constructive to say then don’t hang out your personal animosity agenda of dirty laundry towards another Yid, nor be the representative of Klall Yisrael. Believe me when I say that there is more to gain by refraining writing one’s poisonous negative comments in a public forum than you are going to accomplish by correcting wrong and distorted hashkafos of another frum Yid by posting them.

Refer back to what we wrote on parshas Pinchus and make sure of the fact beyond any doubt that you are not the kanahee individual who walks around holding that spear in one hand while turning to your commentary site with the other.

. . מהרסיך ומחריביך ממך יצאו [Yeshaya 49,17]

Yeshaya Hanavi calls Klall Yisrael בנים משחיתים. The word משחית is the acronym of מבזים תלמידי חכמים שנאת חנם.

Just in closing let us look for a quick moment at the creation of man and find the inferences of what we have learned in reference to the batei mikdashim. The passuk says [Berasihsis 2’5] וכל שיח השדה טרם יהיה בארץ וכל עשב השדה טרם יצמח. All the trees of the field were not yet on the earth and all the herb of the field had not yet sprouted. However it could be read like this: The Bais Hamikdash is called siach hasadeh. Sadeh refers to the Bais Hamikdash as Chazal point out in the machlokes of Kayin and Hevel ויהי ביותם בשדה that they were arguing on whose property would the Bais Hamikdash which is called sadeh would be built. The Bais Hamikdash is called siach which refers to speech for the MIkdash is called bais tefillah. – Tal – piyos. Because of טרם ‘ which symbolizes the three reasons that say “not yet” it is not time for the siach hasedeh to be present on earth.. If we will correct the three reasons of טרם ,then we have the havtacha that the third Bais Hamikdash יהיה בארץ will appear on earth. And all the grass of the Bais Hamikdash which refers to the kavod of the Mikdash [see Chullin 60 ישמח ה’ במעשיו – ישמח אותיות משיח [ will only be present when we fix up the טרם and change it into מטר . For then it will be יצמח grow and flourish and we will bathe in the rays of the holy Shechina as Klall Yisrael who is one..

Have a meaningful Tisha B’av and may we be zoche to bring down the rain of kedusha and the reign of Hashem Yisbarach throughout the world ונשגב ה’ לבדו ביום ההואGut Shabbos.

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