Torah.org Home Subscribe Services Support Us
 
Print Version

Email this article to a friend

Parshas Devarim

Moshe admonishes Klal Yisroel regarding the troubles and burdens and quarrels they caused and states that he could not bear them alone. (1:12) Rashi (this past week, on 29 Tammuz, we celebrated Rashi's 901st yahrtzeit) explains, based on the Sifri, that in this case the burdens - masa'achem - refers to Apikorsim (heretics) who would derisively discuss Moshe's comings and goings from his house. If he left home early they would say Moshe is having family problems; if he left home late they would say that Moshe is plotting against them.

The questions are obvious: (i) In what way is this derisive behavior heretical? (ii) How does the word masa'achem/burdens come to mean or at least hint to this kind of behavior?

The Meforshei Rashi address these questions. (i) the Gemoro says that one who belittles a Torah scholar is an Apikorus (Sanhedrin 99b). (ii) Masa'achem cannot be taken literally (burdens) because the pasuk here has already discussed torchachem/troubles, so 'burdens' would not be adding much. The word masa'achem is to be understood instead as masa'achem/your words, based on the use of 'masa' in a pasuk in Mishlei (30:1). So the sense of the pasuk's use of masa'achem is "Your belittling words against a great man were heretical."

I was not able to find an answer for what would logically follow as question (iii): What is the hint in the word masa'achem or elsewhere in the pasuk which indicates that the derisive speech behavior took this particular form of commenting on Moshe's comings and goings?

[Interestingly, the word Apikorus derives from one or more of these three sources. (i) The ancient Greek philosopher Epicurus, who ideas would qualify as, well, Apikorsus; (ii) from the Aramaic word hefker, meaning abandoned; an Apikorus has abandoned the essence of his religion; and (iii) from a combination of the Aramaic words afik (gone out) and rasen (horse's halter); an Apikorus is like a horse which has wiggled out of its halter and is aimless.]


Gal Einai, Copyright 2006 by Gedalia Litke and Torah.org


 






ARTICLES ON KI SEITZEI AND ELUL / ROSH HASHANAH:

View Complete List

Parashat Haazinu
Shlomo Katz - 5764

The War of Self Control
Rabbi Yisroel Ciner - 5758

Nerve Centre of the Year
Rabbi Eliyahu Hoffmann - 5763

ArtScroll

Self Cancellation
Rabbi Pinchas Winston - 5763

Diminishing Returns
Rabbi Mordechai Kamenetzky - 5756

Unusual Spelling
Rabbi Yissocher Frand - 5762

Frumster - Orthodox Jewish Dating

Trust and Position
Rabbi Aron Tendler - 5765

The Sound of True Devotion
Rabbi Yehudah Prero - 5763

The Mystical Tug of the Shofar
Rabbi Naftali Reich - 5766

> Circumstantial Repentance
Rabbi Yehudah Prero - 5763

Encouraging News Before Rosh Hashana
Rabbi Yissocher Frand - 5757

Divine Handouts
Rabbi Aron Tendler - 5759

Looking for a Chavrusah?

Dead Man Falling
Rabbi Mordechai Kamenetzky - 5759

That Ancient Memory
Rabbi Label Lam - 5771

Possessions Belong to People
Rabbi Dovid Green - 5757

To Be Respected
Rabbi Label Lam - 5769



Project Genesis

Torah.org Home


Torah Portion

Jewish Law

Ethics

Texts

Learn the Basics

Seasons

Features

TORAHAUDIO

Ask The Rabbi

Knowledge Base




Help

About Us

Contact Us



Free Book on Geulah!




Torah.org Home
Torah.org HomeCapalon.com Copyright Information