Sunday, September 7, 2008

Parshas Shoftim - "A License To Carry"

QUICKIE/Funfact: Why is the mitzvah of appointing judges and community leaders juxtaposed to the mitzvah of not planting an asheira next to the mizbeach. Rav Meir Shapiro (creator of the Daf Yomi movement) answers that just like the inside of the mizbeach is made out of dirt and the outside is made of copper, our judges should also be humble and wise yet stern and competent on the outside ready for judgement.

"V'Haisa Imo V'Kara Bo"
"It Shall be with him and he shall read it"

When discussing the mitzvos that surround the institution of the Kingship and the King himself the Torah says that the King must have two sifrei Torah. One to carry on himself at all times and one that should be kept in his royal archives. At second glance however one realizes something very interesting with the introductory words of this Pasuk, "V'Haisa Imo V'kara Bo". The work V'Haisa has a feminine connotation while the words V'Kara Bo are male. Why is this so?

The Daas Zikainim answers that the King would carry with him a single sefer Torah which in actuality only had in it the Aseres Hadibros. The entire Aseres Hadibros are composed of 613 letters which is the equivalent of all of the mitzvos in the Torah. Therefore it is called a Sefer Torah even though it is really only "one" Parsha. A single parsha is a feminine word much like the Eretz Yisrael is also nikaiva (feminine). Therefore the beginning of the pasuk is feminine because it is talking about the Torah that the King had on him at all times (10 commandments) while the second half of the pasuk is talking about the Kings (male) responsibility to read the second Torah which he keeps in his royal archives.


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