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PARSHA ON PARADE IS DEDICATED TO THE MEMORY
OF MY DEAR FATHER AND REBBI:
HARAV HAGAON RAV YESHAYA SHIMANOWITZ Z'TZL ,
ROSH YESHIVA
IN
YESHIVAS RABAINU YAAKOV YOSEF
(RABBI JACOB JOSEPH YESHIVA - RJJ)
IN NYC FOR OVER 23 YEARS.
NIFTAR ON 20 ADAR 5758 - MARCH 18, 1998.
MAY HE BE A MAYLITZ YOSHER FOR ALL OF KLAL YISROEL.

AND

MY DEAR MOTHER
REBITZEN BRACHA ETEL SHIMANOWITZ A'H
WHO DEVOTED HER ENTIRE LIFE TO MY FATHER AND HIS TORAH,
NIFTERA ON 21 TEVET 5770 - WED EVE. JANUARY 6, 2010.
MAY SHE BE A MAYLITZA YOSHER FOR ALL OF KLAL YISROEL


Menachim Z. Shimanowitz

You too can dedicate a Parsha or any other section of Torah Tots in honor or in memory of someone close to you.
For further info, click here.

PARSHA
FACTS

NUMBER OF MITZVOT: 2
0 MITZVOT ASEH (POSITIVE COMMANDMENT)
2 MITZVOT LO TAASEH (NEGATIVE COMMANDMENT - PROHIBITION)

NUMBER OF PESUKIM (SENTENCES): 105

NUMBER OF WORDS: 1548

NUMBER OF LETTERS: 5972

HAFTORA: (Additional portion, from Prophets, which is read after the Parsha)
Yeshayahu / Isaiah 1:1 - 27 (to the special melody of Eichah)

This Shabbat before תשעה באב Tisha B'Av - the Ninth of Av, (Tuesday, Aug. 1), is called שבת חזון, Shabbat Chazon - the 'Shabbat of Vision,' because of the Haftora which is read from the first chapter of the Book of Yeshayahu / Isaiah, which begins "Chazon Yeshayahu - (the vision of Yeshayahu...)". In it, he prophesies about the destruction of Yerushalayim and the Beit Hamikdash.

The three Haftorot of the three weeks preceding the Ninth of Av, are called the — שלש דפורענותא - the "Three (Haftorot) of Punishment."

MONDAY AUG. 7, IS TU B'AV, READ ALL ABOUT IT HERE

This week we study Chapter 3 of Pirkei Avot - "Ethics of the Fathers"


פרשת דברים
THE
PARSHA
In our last episode we completed Sefer (Book of) Bamidbar. The Bnei Yisroel have now taken possession of land east of the Jordan River, following an incredible battle in which Bnei Yisroel wiped out the nation of Midyan.

The nation should be overjoyed with the spoils of war but there is a heavy condition to deal with: Hashem has announced that Moshe will die after the battle with Midyan. Now that the war is over, the mission is winding down and Moshe must make every moment count.


A
FIVE
WEEK
SPEECH

As our Parsha opens, it is the first day of Shevat, 2488 - thirty six days before Hashem will take Moshe's soul. Hashem commands Moshe to gather the Bnei Yisroel and review all the Mitzvot that they had received over the years. There are also lots of Mitzvot that have not yet been taught to Bnei Yisroel. Moshe knows the speech has to be a real winner. He's got to make this one stick, otherwise they'll take the Mitzvot too lightly. If Bnei Yisroel does not take what he says seriously, then forty years of Mitzvot and miracles are as good as forgotten.

So Moshe begins a speech (in seventy languages), lasting FIVE WEEKS, which is the entire Book of Devarim, in front of all 600,000 Bnei Yisroel. Sefer Devarim, the fifth Book of the Torah, is therefore called Mishneh Torah, (restatement of the Torah) for it reviews and explains many of the Mitzvot stated before (as well as adding many more).

Moshe's tale begins at the foot of Har (Mt.) Sinai. It is here, in the plains of Moav, that Hashem has instructed the Bnei Yisroel in the ways of His commandments. From the splitting of the sea to the Mann that falls each morning, this trek to Canaan has been filled with miracles.

But do the Bnei Yisroel appreciate these wonders? Nooo... They've complained about a lack of meat (even though there's plenty of cattle!) and bread. They've worshipped the idol Peor in Shittim, they've panicked at the edge of the Yam Suf, listened to the lashon hora of the spies, and complained that they're tired of eating Mann. Then there's the Korach rebellion and the biggie - the Eigel Hazahav (golden calf).

Moshe goes on to remind Bnei Yisroel that this stubborn nation has turned a simple eleven day journey (which miraculously only took three days!) into a forty year journey.


WE'LL BE BACK
WITH
MORE REBUKE
AFTER
THIS
BLESSING BREAK

At this point Moshe takes a rebuking break.

For forty years our hero couldn't get a word in edgewise without those rebels mocking him. Now the entire nation listens silently as Moshe lays it on thick! Hashem interrupts Moshe and tells him to throw in a Bracha (blessing).

"May Hashem multiply you thousands of times more, and bless you as He promised your forefathers."


HERE
COMES
THE
JUDGE

If there's one thing Moshe usually gets - it's NO RESPECT. Here's a perfect example:

Moshe is exhausted, being the only judge for 3 million people. So he places an ad in the "Klal Yisroel Weekly" for judges to make his job a little easier (only tzadikim need apply!)

What should be the reaction of Bnei Yisroel? "Oh please, Moshe, you got the commandments straight from Hashem... you the man!"

But nooo!

Instead the Jews reply, "No problem, give us the judges. You go on vacation!"


RULES
TO
JUDGE
BY

Speaking of judges, here are some rules for judges to live by:

  1. A judge will probably hear the same kind of case many times in his career. The first couple of times he's bound to review the Halacha (law). But after the third or fourth time, the judge may assume he knows the law cold. This is a mistake! A judge must review the Halacha before passing judgment in each and every case.
  2. Let's say two cases come up at the same time. One involves ten dollars and the other involves a million dollars. Don't think the million dollar case comes first. The buck stops here when it comes to favoritism of cases.
  3. Don't let Handsome Hank or Mugzy the Mask sway you with that one-of-a-kind look. Everybody's equally guilty when they walk in and tzadikim when they walk out.
  4. If a rich fellow and a poor fellow come before the court, don't think it's a good opportunity to play Robin Hood. Stealing from the rich to give to the poor is a no-no. Favoring the rich man is also forbidden.
  5. Don't let threats sway your judgment. Neither house burning, car bombing, nor calls in the middle of the night shall stop a judge from fairly judging!
  6. No translators allowed in the courtroom! A judge has to know many languages to be able to follow this rule, because it's just the judge and the witness and nobody in between.
  7. If the case involves money, three judges hear the case together. If it's a matter of life and death it takes 23 judges to make a case.
  8. When a case of life and death comes up, the sentence is never announced in one day. It must wait for the following day.

I SPY LOSHON HORA

Moshe turns his Mussar to the mission of the spies.

Two years after receiving the Torah the nation is ready to enter Eretz Yisroel. Everything is on schedule. But on the edge of the Jordan, the Jews panic! they don't want to cross and conquer. They want to spy out the land.

Sounds like a great idea: check out the weak points, bring back some samples...So Moshe chooses one tzadik from each Shevet (tribe) to spy out the land of Canaan. But the moment they enter the land they also panic out. "Can we beat these giants? Can we count on Hashem or are we dead ducks?" So they bend the truth and tell the Jews what they want to hear: "Danger! danger! warning! warning!" Only two out of twelve spies manage not to get caught up in the mayhem: Yehoshua and Kalev.

While the others offer lashon hora, these two stay point positive.The Bnei Yisroel are taken by the stories of giants and disease. They develop a complex and decide that Hashem hates them, even after Hashem provided so many miracles and made the Mann appear each morning! The lashon Hora is riding high and spreading. Hashem's patience is also spreading thin! Hashem decrees that the men of this generation will die in the desert! Only Yehoshua and Kalev will see their inheritance personally.

For forty years the Bnei Yisroel will wander through the desert until the entire generation has died out. Even Moshe is not allowed to enter Eretz Yisroel. When Yehoshua gives out the shares of land, Kalev will receive the fields around Chevron.


READY TO RUMBLE

There are those, however, that don't want to skip a generation. They want to do Teshuva by fighting the Canaanim now. They climb up the mountains on the border of Eretz Yisroel ready to fight.

There's no going back on Hashem's decree. Hashem tells Moshe to warn them not to go to war. But they don't listen - and they get clobbered by the Amorites and saved only by a miracle of Hashem!


THREE NON-STOP NATIONS

The Torah talks about seven nations of Canaan that the Jews must fight in the conquest of Canaan. Now the Torah mentions three nations that Bnei Yisroel is forbidden to conquer until Moshiach's time: The first nation is Edom. The Edomites are the descendants of Esav, - Yaakov's brother. The land of Seir is rewarded to Esav, until Moshiach comes, for the honor he gave to his father, Yitzchok. Hashem commands the nation not to attack nor to provoke them. If the Jews need food or water they should pay for it.

The second nation is Moav. They are descended from Lot, - Avrohom's nephew. Hashem knows that Ruth, the great-great grandmother of King David will be born a Moabite and convert. Since the Moabite nation is responsible for Bilam and the daughters of Moav entering the Jewish camp, the Jews could, however, take spoils of war from them.

Amon is the third nation. Amon is also descended from Lot. Hashem forsees that another convert, Na'amah, will descend from this nation. Na'amah becomes a wife to King Solomon. Their son, Rechavam, becomes a king of Israel.


UNSEATING
SICHON

On the east side of the Jordan River there are five nations: Edom (Seir), Moav, Amon, Emor and Bashan. The first three are off limits. But Emor and Bashan are free for the taking.

The first nation to go down is Emor. Their King, Sichon, is a giant. First he hides his armies in the mountains for an all-out ambush. But Hashem ambushes the Emorites and crushes the soldiers between the mountains. This is a kindness the Bnei Yisroel don't even know about.

Moshe sends messengers to Emor to request peaceful passage through their land. They also want to purchase food from them. Sichon responds with a military march on the camp of Israel. Bnei Yisroel goes to war and as this war goes into the night, Hashem makes the sun stand still so that Bnei Yisroel can complete the job. Of course, with Hashem's help, Bnei Yisroel conquers all of Emor, killing everyone.


OG'S
OUTTA
HERE!

The giant, Og, is Sichon's half brother. He's also the king of Bashan, an Emorite kingdom. Bnei Yisroel conquers forty cities of Bashan, killing everyone. The Jewish soldiers come back to camp with plenty of booty.

Moshe himself kills the giant Og.

Now Bnei Yisroel possesses a huge area of land. The tribes of Reuven, Gad and half of Menashe are given this land as their inheritance. They are allowed to build homes and stables, but this is on the condition that the men help in the mission to conquer Canaan.


A
FINAL
WORD TO
YEHOSHUA

Moshe reminds Yehoshua, the next leader of Bnei Yisroel, that just as Hashem destroyed Sichon and Og so easily, He will destroy the seven nations of Canaan.
It's "deja vu" all over again as Moshe reminisces about the Aseret Hadibrot (Ten Commandments) in the next exciting episode of:
Parsha on Parade

Midrash Maven
See the Midrash Maven on Devarim


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