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Parashat Eikev – Completion

29 August 2016 Parasha


פרשת עקב

Completion

כָּל־הַמִּצְוָ֗ה אֲשֶׁ֨ר אָֽנֹכִ֧י מְצַוְּךָ֛ הַיּ֖וֹם תִּשְׁמְר֣וּן לַֽעֲשׂ֑וֹת לְמַ֨עַן תִּֽחְי֜וּן וּרְבִיתֶ֗ם וּבָאתֶם֙ וִֽירִשְׁתֶּ֣ם אֶת־הָאָ֔רֶץ אֲשֶׁר־נִשְׁבַּ֥ע יְהֹוָ֖ה לַֽאֲבֹֽתֵיכֶֽם All the mitzvah that I am commanding you today you should guard to do in order so that you live and multiply and you came and inherited the land that Hashem swore to your fathers

Rashi quotes a Midrash on this pasuk. The Midrash tells us that if you started a mitzvah, you should finish it, since it's only called in the name of the one who finishes it. It says “the bones of Yosef that Bnei Yisrael brought up from Mitzrayim they buried in Shechem.” However, Moshe himself dealt with bringing them [the bones] up! Since he wasn't able to complete it and Klal Yisrael finished it, it's called on their name.

If we think about this Rashi (Midrash), we might have the following question. Moshe Rabbeinu toiled hard in this mivtzah. He went to find the bones while everyone else was collecting money. Then, for 40 years, he carried it with him throughout all the travelings. Yet since Klal Yisrael finished it, it's called on their name. Why is it that the finishing is called in the name of the person completing it and not the one who put in all the work?

Perhaps the answer is as follows. As far as reward is concerned, Moshe definitely would receive the main reward for all his effort. However, it's still considered to be Klal Yisrael's mitzvah since they were the ones that actually did it. Doing the mitzvah is in itself an accomplishment and in a certain sense is the main thing despite it being easy. It is for this reason that it is called in Klal Yisrael's name.

In our daily lives, there are times when we start something, put in effort, and just stop. “I mostly helped them but...” “what really counts is the effort, right?” However, if we were to realize that the effort is not the only part but rather also the accomplished result, we would be more careful to follow through with what we start [On a deeper note, Moshe tried his hardest yet wasn't able to finish the mitzvah since it became his time to pass away (and still it's considered to be Klal Yisrael's mitzvah). This concept holds true all the more so when we are negligent and don't finish what we started] . May Hashem help us to complete every mitzvah we start.

Tidbits

Why did the Torah write “if you listen to my laws (mishpatim)?” It should have wrote chukim (statues); since a person doesn't understand chukim, his reward should be greater! The difference between a chok and a mishpat is that by a mishpat it's easy to do since it is understood. However it's difficult to do for the sake of heaven. Chukim on the other hand are the opposite. This is why the Torah writes mishpatim – keep my laws for the right intent. - Shoel Umeshiv

A person should think and realize that from the fact that Hashem afflicts him, it is a proof that he his beloved son. The nature of a person is to afflict only his son, and he is strict if he sees him do evil. When he sees his friend's child did wrong, he doesn't feel the need to rebuke him. This is why Hashem is strict on Klal Yisrael. - Ohr Hachaim

All the (7) fruits of Eretz Yisrael are written out explicitly, except for olives which are written “olive oil.” The reason is because the olive causes a person to forget his learning and only the oil returns the learning (memory) which is the praise of the fruit. - Maharsha

One of the reasons for washing Netilat Yadayim in the morning is because the impurity rests on person when he sleeps and leaves him when he awakens. However, it still stays in the hands. Why does it stay specifically in the hands? Since a person makes the mistake of saying, “the strength and power of my hands made me this wealthy.” A person associates his success to his hands. There is no greater impurity. - Melitz Yosher

A student once asked the Imrei Emet how a person reaches and merits having fear of heaven. He answered that Chazal tell us that a person should make 100 berachot each day. If a person is careful to do so with (proper) intent it will fill a person with fear of heaven. - Likutei Yehuda

Conceptual Textable Dvar Torah

Whoever is careful with birkat hamazon, his livelihood will be found for him with honor his entire life. Chinuch. Shabbat Shalom!

Story

Reb Chaim Tzvi lived through the Holocaust. When the war was over, he returned home and saw that everything was destroyed. He cried bitterly and prayed to Hashem to help him to find the sifrei Torah of the place. Suddenly, a dog started barking. It was the family dog. The dog started running and tried to get Reb Chaim Tzvi to follow him. The dog led him into a forest and when they reached a certain spot, he started to dig. They dug over 6 feet and suddenly they hit something metallic. It was the sifrei Torah! However, the dog didn't stop there, and kept on digging. They then came upon his fathers personal fortune (his father was a wealthy man). After this incident, the dog refused to eat for a week until he died. The sifrei Torah are now located in a shul in Rechovot.

By Aharon Lazari


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