This D’var Torah should be a Zechus L’Ilui Nishmas my sister, Kayla Rus Bas Bunim Tuvia A”H, my maternal grandfather Dovid Tzvi Ben Yosef Yochanan A”H, my maternal grandfather Dovid Tzvi Ben Yosef Yochanan A”H, my paternal grandfather Moshe Ben Yosef A”H, my paternal grandmother Channah Freidel Bas Avraham A”H, my uncle Reuven Nachum Ben Moshe & my great aunt Rivkah Sorah Bas Zev Yehuda HaKohein,
It should also be in Zechus L’Refuah Shileimah for:
-My father Bunim Tuvia Ben Channa Freidel
-My grandmother Shulamis Bas Etta
-MY BROTHER: MENACHEM MENDEL SHLOMO BEN CHAYA ROCHEL
-HaRav Shlomo Ben Shayna Zelda
-Mordechai Shlomo Ben Sarah Tili
-Noam Shmuel Ben Simcha
_R’ Simcha Yitzchak Ben Mirela Liyatka
-Chaya Rochel Ettel Bas Shulamis
-And all of the Cholei Yisrael, especially those suffering from COVID-19 and the Meiron tragedy.
-It should also be a Z’chus for an Aliyah of the holy Neshamos of HaRav HaGa’on V’Sar HaTorah Shmaryahu Yosef Chaim Ben HaRav Yaakov Yisrael Kanievsky A”H, Dovid Avraham Ben Chiya Kehas—R’ Dovid Winiarz ZT”L, Miriam Liba Bas Aharon—Rebbetzin Weiss A”H, as well as the Neshamos of those whose lives were taken by terrorists (Hashem Yikom Damam), COVID-19, and the Meiron tragedy.
-It should also be a Z’chus for success for Tzaha”l as well as the rest of Am Yisrael, in Eretz Yisrael and in the Galus.
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Parsha Paradise/פרשה פרדס – Re’eih: Why Does Evil Even Exist? 🙌🏻 vs. 😡
Blessing or curse. Which do you prefer? Does one even have to ask? If it’s so obvious, why do both choices exist? Why would Hashem avail us to the curse option? Why do curses exist? Why does evil even exist? Might there actually be a ‘good’ reason for ‘evil’?
Why is Moshe even discussing blessing and curse now? Chizkuni explains that Moshe Rabbeinu is now transitioning from preaching Yiras Hashem (awe of Hashem) to Shmiras Mitzvos (observance). Until now, Moshe had been talking Hashkafah and mindset. Here, he reaches the Tachlis of that Hashkafah. What do we do with Yiras Shamayim? What will happen if we adhere to it? What about, if Chas V’Shalom, we ignore it. Brachah or Klalah?
Ba’al HaTurim presents several Remazim which drive home the cause and effect relationship of Torah observance versus Torah neglect. The first is in the words “את הברכה,” literally the blessing. Explains Ba’al HaTurim, “Es,” from Aleph to Tav. More specifically, from the blessings beginning with the Aleph of “אם בחקותי” to the Tav at the end of the word “קוממיות.”
Whereas, for the curse, “ובקללה,” begins with a Vav and ends with a Heih. Explains Ba’al HaTurim, from Vav to Heih; the curses which begin with a Vav, “ואם לא תשמעו” and end with a Heih, “ואין קונה.”
Furthermore, Ba’al HaTurim explains that the final letters of each word in the phrase, “את הברכה אשר תשמעו” spell “תורה.” If you listen to the Torah, the result is Brachah.
We can appreciate that Brachah exists for doing good, but why must Klalah exist?
Devarim Rabbah [4:1] explains that the purpose of the Brachos and Klalos is not for our detriment, but to reveal to us that we have a choice. Bur, why avail us to make bad choices?
Ramchal explains [Derech Hashem 1:2:1-2] that the purpose of this world is to achieve and enjoy the ultimate good. But, by definition, ultimate good has to have an opposite. Moreover, by definition, the ultimate good cannot be a freebie or handout. It must be earned. There has to be choice. We learn about that choice from our verses.
Bonus/Extra reading for Sod:
Kedushas Levi: Today, “Asher” vs. “Im”
או יש לומר, שהמפרשים דקדקו על הלשון אשר תשמעו, שהיה לו לומר אם תשמעון, כמו גבי אם לא תשמעון. ונראה דידוע דברי חכמינו ז”ל (קידושין לט:) דשכר מצוה בהאי עלמא ליכא, אבל יש שכר אחד שאדם מקבל אף בזה העולם והוא דשכר מצוה מצוה (אבות ד, ב) רוצה לומר דשכר של מצוה הוא המצוה גופא שעשה דאין צריך יותר שכר, רק זה גופא שזוכה לעשות מצוה ועשה תענוג להבורא אין לך שכר יותר מזה. וזה שאמר הפסוק ראה אנכי נותן לפניכם היום ברכה, רוצה לומר אפילו בעודכם חיים כשתעשו מצות הבורא תקבלו ברכה בזה העולם. ומפרש מהו הברכה וזהו שאמר הפסוק את הברכה אשר תשמעון, זה גופא מה שאתם תשמעון לי ותעשו מצותי זה גופא יהיה הברכה, כי אין תענוג גדול יותר מזה כנ”ל שכר מצוה מצוה, מה שאין כן גבי קללה חס ושלום דוקא אם לא תשמעון, הוצרך לכתוב אם:
(TRANSLATION PROVIDED BY SEFARIA)
Alternatively, we should focus on the words: אשר תשמעו in the next verse. This formulation is unusual, as the Torah normally writes: אם תשמעון, “if you will hearken,” and not אשר תשמעו.Many of you, my readers, are familiar with a statement in the Talmud Kidushin 39 according to which no reward for observing Torah commandments may be expected in this life. There is, however, one kind of “reward” that man receives already during his life on earth, i.e. שכר מצוה מצוה, “having performed the commandment results in the satisfaction gained from the knowledge that one has been able to perform the commandment in question.” (Avot 4,2). What greater “reward” can there be than the knowledge that one has provided the Creator with pleasure by one’s deed? It is this that Moses tells the people here, “see that I have provided you with a blessing (reward) already this day, i.e. in this life.” All you have to do to qualify for this blessing is to serve Him. When becoming more precise about what must be done to qualify for this “reward,” the Torah (Moses speaking) continues with אשר תשמעו, “that you hearken to G’d’s instructions.” In other words, the very act of “hearkening” qualifies you for the blessing that Moses speaks of, a blessing that is available in their daily lives on earth. Comparison with the קללה, curse, of which Moses speaks which will be the people’s fate if they fail to hearken to G’d’s voice by departing from the proper path (verse 28), will show us that the word: היום, “this day,” while alive on earth, is significantly missing. Moreover, the very idea that the people might depart from the proper path is mentioned only as a possibility, i.e. אם לא תשמעו, not as certainty, i.e. אשר.
We should all be Zocheh to choose and act upon Brachah, receive Brachah, and be blessed with the ultimate Brachah of Geulah in the times of Moshiach, Bimheirah BiYomeinu! Have a wonderful Shabbos and Rosh Chodesh Elul!
-Yehoshua Shmuel Eisenberg