This Parsha sheet was written as a z’chus for the three murdered Yeshiva students: Gilad Michael ben Ophir, Yaacov Naftali ben Avraham, and Eyal ben Uriel, HY”D. This Sidrah has 35 sections (Parshios). To subscribe send an email with the word “subscribe” and your zipcode in the subject line to Sponsorship opportunities are available as well.

1. The laws of Nedarim — vows. Moshe taught these halachos to the heads of the tribes: Nedarim must be kept. A father can undo a vow that day for a daughter age 11-12 and a half. A husband can also annul a wife’s vow. A person should not make his words profane by not keeping his vows.

Why was it just to the heads of the tribes? The Ramban explains that it teaches us that judgment must be used when teaching certain things to others because they might take things lightly, if they are taught that vows can be undone. We see from this Ramban how very important it is to plan out how we present and teach lessons to others.

2. Attacking the Midyanim — Hashem told Moshe to take revenge on the Midyanim, and then after he would die. One thousand men from each tribe volunteered for a surprise attack. They succeeded and also killed Midyan’s five kings and Bilaam. Moshe, meeting them outside the camp, was angry with them for allowing those who caused Klal Yisroel to sin to remain alive. Anyone who became impure had to remain outside the camp for 7 days and be purified on the third and seventh day.

The Midrash explains that Moshe knew that he would die immediately after the battle with Midyan, yet battled without delay. Yehoshua, on the other hand, when given the same instructions – stretched out the battles. His rationale was that Klal Yisroel needed his presence in order for them to remain on a lofty level. He was punished. Rav Henoch Leibowitz zt”l, pointed out that when following Mitzvos, it is important not to make our own rationales. We have to look at it as if we are foot soldiers, and not generals — creating our own strategies. This directive even outweighs Yehoshua’s correct rationale.

3. Purifying Items and People — Elazar HaKohain told the soldiers: Any metal that was used over fire must be koshered with fire. Then it must be purified with water. Any vessel that was not used over fire must be brought through water. The soldiers and garments must also be purified.

This section was said by Elazar. Why? The Gemorah (Psachim 66b) points out that Moshe’s anger caused him to forget the halachos of purifying items, which had to be said by Elazar. Rav Chaim Shmulevitz points out that anger, no matter how justified, …read more

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