Ki Teitzei: War – What is it good for? ~ Tzvi Abrahams

Parshas כִּי תֵצֵא

War
— What Is It Good For?

לֶחֶם:
bread

מִלְחָמָה: war

כִּי תֵצֵא לַמִּלְחָמָה
עַל אֹיְבֶיךָ וּנְתָנוֹ ה’ אֱ-לֹהֶיךָ בְּיָדֶךָ וְשָׁבִיתָ שִׁבְיוֹ
And
it will be when you go to the war upon your enemies and Hashem will give him
into your hand and you will seize his
captive.[1]

The commentaries explain that the specific “war” that
the verse is referring to in the phrase כִּי תֵצֵא לַמִּלְחָמָה is with our good old friend and enemy, the
yetzer hara.

After spending forty years in the midbar under
the wings of the Shechinah, the children of Israel were on the verge of leaving
the safe confines of their nest to venture out into the world. Their mission:
to go to war, a holy war, to conquer the land and divest the land of its
immoral inhabitants.

מִלְחֶמֶת
הַתּוֹרָה/The War of the Torah

Besides the physical war of conquering the land, there
was also an underlying spiritual war that was waging within every Jew. The Bnei
Yisrael were, so to speak, leaving the safe confines of Hashem’s beis midrash
and would now have to do battle with their yetzer hara. After many years
of growing up, after many years of school, cheder, and yeshivah,
there comes a time in everyone’s life where one has to face the real challenges
of life and earning a living.

In the pasuk referring to the manna, it says:
וַיֹּאמֶר ה’ אֶל מֹשֶׁה הִנְנִי
מַמְטִיר לָכֶם לֶחֶם מִן הַשָּׁמָיִם וְיָצָא הָעָם וְלָקְטוּ דְּבַר יוֹם
בְּיוֹמוֹ לְמַעַן אֲנַסֶּנּוּ הֲיֵלֵךְ בְּתוֹרָתִי אִם לֹא
And
Hashem said to Moshe, “Behold, I am raining down on you bread from Heaven, and
the people will go out and collect it each and every day, in order that I will
test them if they will go in my Torah or not.”[2]

The test was whether they were going to take more then
they needed and whether they were going to collect it on Shabbos. The more
manna that we cause to rain down on our lives, the more gashmi/physical
we become.

The test of the manna was not only in the desert, but
a test for all time. How much time are we going to invest in pursuing a
livelihood, and how much time are we going to invest in learning the Torah? The
battle for the Torah is a war between worlds, a fight between the alluring
pleasures of this world as opposed to the unknown pleasures of the next world.

So what is the connection
between לֶחֶם/bread and מִלְחָמָה/war?

The obvious connection is that a lack of bread is one
of the main reasons for going to war. In the Gemara, the wise men of Israel
came to King David and informed him that there was not enough food to feed all
the people of Israel. King David instructed them to go and seek council from
the general Achitofel, the Sanhedrin, and the Urim v’Tumim for approval
in going to war.[3]

Bread is first mentioned in the Torah in connection to
Adam’s punishment: אֲרוּרָה הָאֲדָמָה
בַּעֲבוּרֶךָ בְּעִצָּבוֹן תֹּאכֲלֶנָּה כֹּל יְמֵי חַיֶּיךָ/Cursed
is the earth because of you, with suffering you will eat all the days of your
life… בְּזֵעַת אַפֶּיךָ תֹּאכַל לֶחֶם
עַד שׁוּבְךָ אֶל הָאֲדָמָה /with the sweat of your brow you will eat
bread until your return to the earth.[4]
Now man has to eat bread through the sweat of his brow.

Beforehand, Adam did not have to worry about his food;
he could eat from any fruit of the garden. Now, though, he has to plow, sow,
harvest, winnow, sift, and bake in order to eat bread. Beforehand, everything
was handed to him on a plate. Now he has to toil for a living in order to eat.

Accursed is he, because now he is distracted from his ikkar/main
purpose in life, i.e., to serve Hashem and be involved in learning His Torah
through which he attaches himself to his Creator. Instead, he must now involve
himself in the much more mundane things of this world, where being involved in gashmiyus
naturally weakens his connection to the ruchniyus/spiritual.

Bread is the outcome of toiling the earth for a living
— bread to eat in order to survive. So too, all forms of making a living are in
order to make money to buy food so that we can eat. In England, bread is also
slang for money — “got any dough?”

 (There is an
opinion that the Tree of Knowledge was a wheat tree and that Adam ate bread.[5]
Bread literally grew on trees!)

In Devarim, the Torah says regarding the manna
that not on bread alone will man live;[6]
however, the mishnah in Pirkei Avos seems to suggest that the way of the
Torah is to eat only bread and survive[7]
— seemingly contradictory statements. In truth, the pasuk is coming to
teach us that Hashem is the one who sustains us, not the bread.

לֶחֶם is also referred to as a man’s wife, as in
the case of Potiphar’s wife.[8]

לֶחֶם satisfies more than any food. So too
relations with one’s wife is more satisfying than any promiscuous relationship.
זְנוּת/promiscuity does not leave one satisfied;
on the contrary, it always leaves one searching for more. Therefore, a man who
does not have bread, i.e., who does not have a wife, is never truly satisfied.[9]

מַיִם גְּנוּבִים
יִמְתָּקוּ וְלֶחֶם סְתָרִים יִנְעָם/Stolen waters taste sweet and bread that
is hidden is pleasant.[10]
This means that the yetzer hara only runs after what is forbidden to a
person.

It is only the yetzer hara that desires זְנוּת/promiscuity, because it is an empty thing.
The yetzer hara does not want to be satisfied, because if it were to be
satisfied, it would be out of a job. Its job is to keep man busy chasing empty
things, leaving him still hungry for more, as it says in the Talmud that if one
has one hundred, he then wants two hundred, and when he has two hundred, he
then wants four hundred.

All this hunger and chasing after empty things is to
distract man from his ikkar/primary avodah of serving Hashem and
connecting with ruchniyus. This can only be achieved by someone who is
truly satisfied with his lot. Only when one is unshackled from the chains of
sweating for a living is one free to do his הִשְׁתַּדְלוּת/hishtadlus
and devote his primary time to be involved in connecting to Hashem.

Above, we brought a mashal/parable for the yetzer
hara
: Hashem has a beautiful princess whom He sends out of the palace in
order to tempt man. The princess does not want to overcome man; her purpose is
only to give man the opportunity to be victorious by not being swayed by her
allure. If you were to pass a beautiful woman in the street wearing a red dress
and you were truly aware of her stately role as Hashem’s princess, would you
take a second look? Know that it’s all a test. The director has just placed her
in the movie for our benefit.

As the days of Elul start to roll by, we approach the
Big Day when our test results will be examined. In these very days of shofar
blasts, we prepare ourselves by saying Tehillim 27,לְדָוִד ה’ אוֹרִי/Hashem is my light, in which we say: אִם תָּקוּם עָלַי מִלְחָמָה בְּזֹאת אֲנִי
בוֹטֵחַ/if there will come upon me a war, in this I do trust…אַחַת שָׁאַלְתִּי מֵאֵת ה’ אוֹתָהּ
אֲבַקֵּשׁ שִׁבְתִּי בְּבֵית ה’ כָּל יְמֵי חַיַּי לַחֲזוֹת בְּנֹעַם ה’
וּלְבַקֵּר בְּהֵיכָלוֹ/One thing
I will ask from Hashem, I will request to sit in the house of Hashem all the
days of my life, to see the pleasantness of Hashem and to go to His sanctuary.

So what is the connection to “war — what is it good
for?”

The war is with the yetzer hara. He is our
enemy, Hashem’s princess dressed up as our enemy, which we have to go out to
war against. The lashon מִלְחָמָה
means מִי לֶחֶם/from bread. The war is because of לֶחֶם/lechem; לֶחֶם
in not desiring another man’s wife, לֶחֶם
in not running after money, לֶחֶם in not devoting all
of our time sweating in order to make a living when our real תַּכְלִית/purpose is to be satisfied with our lot
and connect to Hashem.

This is the war. What is it good for? Absolutely
everything!


[1]
Ibid., 21:10.

[2]
Shemos 16:4.

[3]
Brachos 3b.

[4]
Bereishis 3:17, 19.

[5]
Brachos 40a.

[6]
Devarim 8:3.

[7]
Avos 6:4.

[8]
Bereishis 39:6.

[9]
See Kli Yakar to Bereishis ibid.

[10]
Mishlei 9:17.




Ki Seitzei: A Variety of Enemies ~ Rabbi Reuven Chaim Klein

The Torah mentions a special prayer which Moshe would say when the Ark of the Covenant would begin to travel (we say this prayer when taking a Torah Scroll out of its holy ark). He would say, “Arise G-d, and let Your enemies (oyvecha) be scattered, and Your enemies (sonecha) shall flee from before You” (Num. 10:35). In this passage the Torah uses two different words to mean enemy: oyev and soneh. As we know, the Hebrew language is intrinsically holy, and each word carries its own nuanced explanation. No two words can mean the exact same thing. What, then, is the difference between these two words which both seem to mean “enemy”?

The word oyev denotes an enemy who actively tries to harm his victim — or at least contemplates doing so. The Malbim explains that even if the oyev does not attempt to actively damage the victim of his hatred, he will not withhold his joy if such misfortune would befall him, because he has already at least actively imagined causing such harm to the object of his enmity.

The word soneh, on the other hand, is derived from the root sinah, which means “hatred”. Instead of “enemy”, a more accurate translation of soneh can be “a hater”. His hatred remains internal, and is not outwardly expressed. This word appears in another context: “Do not hate (soneh) your brother in your heart” (Lev. 19:17). Even sheer hatred of a fellow Jew is forbidden, whether or not that static hatred turns kinetic. The hater’s attitude cannot be discerned by what he does, rather by what he does not do. Accordingly, when the Mishna (Sanhedrin 3:5) rules that a “hater” is disqualified from giving testimony about someone whom he hates, it defines a “hater” as someone who has not spoken to his friend out of spite for three days. His hatred is manifested outwards by his lack of action, not by a proactive negative deed. Thus, the soneh is an enemy whose hatred remains in the realm of the theoretical, while an oyev is an enemy who tries to act upon his hatred.

The Vilna Gaon offers a slightly different approach. He explains that an oyev is an enemy who wishes to hurt his victim’s physical existence (e.g., to physically damage his body or cause him to lose his money), while a soneh is one who wishes to hurt his victim’s spiritual existence (e.g., he wishes to cause his victim to stray from the path of G-d). While it might seem counterintuitive, the Vilna Gaon teaches that the soneh is a more dangerous enemy than an oyev because he poses a risk to one’s spiritual well-being.

There is a third word for enemy: tzar. The commentators explain that while an oyev is an enemy who tries to harm his victim, he still attempts to hide his hatred beneath a façade of empathy. So, the oyev, like the soneh, is not an overt enemy, but a clandestine enemy. Conversely, the tzar hates his victim with such great passion that he overtly tries to harm him, and is even willing to sacrifice his own reputation or exhaust his own resources in doing so. For example, Haman, the infamous villain of the book of Esther, is described as a tzorer of the Jews (Est. 9:10).

Malbim explains that the oyev of G-d is one who actively denies His existence and opposes His G-dliness. A soneh of G-d, it would seem, does so only in heart, but not in practice. Thus, in his special prayer at the time that the Ark would travel, Moshe would pray that G-d vanquish both types of His enemies, and allow His glory to continue spreading unimpeded.




Ki Seitzei: Get Connected ~ Yehoshua Steinberg

[This week’s parasha prohibits the taking of a widow’s clothing as security]: Deut. 24:17 —ולא תחבל, “don’t take a widow’s clothing as collateral.” Onkelus: ולא תסב משכונא כסות ארמלא.
[The Holy Language has a number of words related to debts, loans and sureties: 1. חבל, collateral (as in the opening verse above); 2. ערבון, security deposit; 3. לוה/מלוה/הלואה, borrower/lender/loan; 4. משכון (an Aramaic word), collateral; 5. עבט, surety. All these words depict the strong bond between borrower/debtor/deposit and lender/owner, to ensure that the debt be repaid and the collateral returned to its true owner, as will be explained.
1. [Collateral, called חבל (found only in verb form in Scripture), expresses the bond between the object and its owner. As Rabbi S. R. Hirsch (Exodus 22:25) explains]: “אִם חָבֹל תַּחְבֹּל שַׂלְמַת רֵעֶךָ עַד בֹּא הַשֶּׁמֶשׁ תְּשִׁיבֶנּוּ לו, If you take away your fellow man’s clothing for security, return it to him before sunset. The verse calls collateral, חבל, deriving from the same root as the word for rope; the connection bewteen these two meanings requiring explanation. Perhaps the collateral is so called because it remains ‘bound’ to the lender, the borrower enjoined from selling it, thereby causing a loss for the lender.”
2. [The word ערבון (an expression of ערבוב, mixture/interconnection [see below, paragraph #4]), a security deposit, expresses the connection between the creditor/owed and debtor/ower]: Genesis 38:17 — וַיֹּאמֶר אָנֹכִי אֲשַׁלַּח גְּדִי עִזִּים מִן הַצֹּאן וַתֹּאמֶר אִם תִּתֵּן עֵרָבוֹן עַד שָׁלְחֶךָ, He said, “I will send you a goat from the flock.” She answered, “Only if you will give me security until you send it.”
3. [A loan is called a הלואה]: Exodus 22:24 — אִם כֶּסֶף תַּלְוֶה אֶת עַמִּי, when you lend money to My nation. [The לוה, borrower, is bound to the מלוה, lender. As Rabbi S. R. Hirsch (Genesis 29:34) defines the name Levi]: “ ילוה אישי אלי, My husband will join me. Indeed, the words לוה, loan, and הלוה, to lend, express the strong connection between these two people, when each one sees himself as a borrower and indebted to the other person.” [King Solomon, the wisest of all men, compares the relationship of the borrower and lender to a slave and his master]: Proverbs 22:7 — וְעֶבֶד לֹוֶה לְאִישׁ מַלְוֶה, The borrower is a slave to the man who lent him.
4. [משכון, Aramaic for collateral, comes from the word שכן, neighbor, because the lender and the borrower are connected, as though they were neighbors]: Yerios Shlomo (1:109b) – The collateral is calledמשכון because it dwells, שוכן, in the lender’s home. This is also the reason the collateral is called ערבון, because of עירוב הרשויות, the mixing of domains. Because it is interconnected with the lender’s domain… The Talmud (Bava Metzia 68a) states: What is משכנתא? Because שכוּנה גביה, dwells in (the lender’s) domain… Rashi: “There is no closer neighbor than that.”
5. [עבוט, collateral]: Deut. 15:6 —והַעֲבַטְתָּ גּוֹיִם רַבִּים וְאַתָּה לֹא תַעֲבֹט, you will lend to many nations, and never borrow. Rabbi S. R. Hirsch: עבט is similar to עבת, [a thick rope]. The association is similar to חבל, rope, and לחבול, collateral [mentioned above].

[We may suggest that the word חוב, debt, is also also associated with the concept of the bond between the borrower and lender. The author of Targumna writes that in the Talmud, the wordחובין refers to the small round loops weavers attached to the sides of a garment, לחיבור, to connect, and to stretch the cloth, while combing it]: Bava Kama 109b – ולא יטיל בו יותר משלשה חובין, Don’t put in more than three חובין , strings. Rashi: “It is the way of weavers to connect by needle [and thread] loops made from material along the length of the cloth, to use for stretching the cloth when combing it.” [Similarly, we find the verb קשר, knot, translated as חביב. For example]: I Samuel 18:1 — וְנֶפֶשׁ יְהוֹנָתָן נִקְשְׁרָה בְּנֶפֶשׁ דָּוִד , Jonathan’s soul was bound with David’s soul. Targum Yonatan — וְנַפְשָׁא דִיהוֹנָתָן אִתְחַבִּיבַת בְּנַפְשָׁא דְדָוִד.

[The author of Avnei Shayish further suggests that other words containing the two-letter string ‘חב’ are all associated with the concept of חיבור, connection]:
Avnei Shayish (entry ‘חב’ [paraphrased]): ‘חוב’, ‘חבה’, ‘חבב’, ‘חבל’, ‘חבק’, ‘חבר’, ‘חבש’, ‘חבת’, ‘חבץ’

1. Chov חוב, debt: — “ וְאִישׁ לֹא יוֹנֶה חֲבֹלָתוֹ חוֹב יָשִׁיב, He doesn’t afflict any man; and he returns the collateral of a debt (Ezekiel 18:7). This is the first source.” [As explained, the חוב, debt, connects the lender to the borrower . However, according to Maharal and Yerios Shlomo, חוב is associated with חביון וסתר, concealment, because the money is concealed from its true owner, until פרעון, it is paid back. The reason the repayment is called פרעון, deriving from פרע meaning uncovering, revealing, is because upon repayment, the true owner is revealed. We therefore have two possible associations for the word חוב. Either it is related to the concept of connection, חיבור, because the debt connects the borrower to the lender to return the debt, or חוב is from the word חביון, concealment/hiddenness. Because the money that was lent, is for the meanwhile concealed from the original owner’s possession].
2. Chabah חבה, hidden: [Both roots חבא and חבה mean hidden/closed, as in]: 1) Genesis 3:8 — וַיִּתְחַבֵּא הָאָדָם וְאִשְׁתּוֹ, Adam and his wife hid. 2) Genesis 3:8 — לָמָּה נַחְבֵּאתָ לִבְרֹחַ, Why did you hide to escape? 3) I Kings 22:25 — חֶדֶר בְּחֶדֶר לְהֵחָבֵה, a room within a room to hide. 4) Isaiah 26:20 — חֲבִי כִמְעַט רֶגַע, Hide for a short moment. 5) Jeremiah 49:10 — וְנֶחְבָּה לֹא יוּכָל, He is unable to hide. 5) Job 31:33 — לִטְמוֹן בְּחֻבִּי עֲוֹנִי, to conceal my sins.
[We find the words סתר/סגר, concealed/closed are also used for צרירה/קשירה, binding/tying. For example]: (1) Hosea 13:12 — צָרוּר עֲוֹן אֶפְרָיִם צְפוּנָה חַטָּאתוֹ, Ephraim’s sins are bound; his inquities are concealed; Metz. Tzion — צרור is tied, as in צרור כספו, a bundle of money (Genesis 42).צפונה means hidden, as in יצפון לצדיק (Proverbs 13). (2) Job 14:17 — חָתֻם בִּצְרוֹר פִּשעי, My sins are sealed in a knot; Metz. Tzion — חתום means סגירה, closed off. בצרור, in a knot. As in צרור כספו (Genesis 42). (3) Isaiah 8:16 — צוֹר תְּעוּדָה חֲתוֹם תּוֹרָה בְּלִמֻּדָי, Tie My caution; seal it on My students; Metzud. Tzion — צור is to tie, as in מי צרר מים בשמלה (Isaiah 29). [When one desires to conceal an object or a concept, he will tie it up well. This is also the translation of חבא, to conceal and to tie].
3. Chibevחבב [implies the connection of love]: Deuteronomy 33:3 — אַף חֹבֵב עַמִּים, You also loved the nations. [Some explain that חובב has a dual interpretation: love and also obligation, because when people feel obligated to one another, that’s true love]: Mei HaShiloach (Year 5620) Genesis 33:3 — חובב is חיבה, love, and also חוב, obligation. Like a father who forces his son to learn Torah. In the son’s eyes, חוב הוא לו, it’s a disadvantage [something he’d just as soon forego]. Rabbi S. R. Hirsch Genesis 33:3 — חבב is present tense of חוב… חובב is the result. An obligation, that leads to keeping the Torah. [Ramban tranlstates חבב as להחביא, to conceal]: Ramban Genesis 33:3 — “It seems to me that חובב comes from the verse, לִטְמוֹן בְּחֻבִּי עֲוֹנִי, to conceal my sins (Job 31:33). And as in: חֶדֶר בְּחֶדֶר לְהֵחָבֵא, a room within a room to hide (I Chron. 18:24). וְשָׁם חֶבְיוֹן עֻזֹּה, and there is His concealed strength (Habakkuk 3:4). Thus, the verse is saying, “With Your hand, you conceal…” The entire nation is holy, and Hashem hides them with His hand. This is similar to, ואשים דברי בפיך ובצל ידי כסיתיך, I put My words in your mouth and by the shadow of My hand I cover you (Isaiah 51:16). Similarly: סִתְרִי וּמָגִנִּי אָתָּה, You are my protection and my shield (Psalms 119:114). Likewise we find: וְיִתְיָעֲצוּ עַל צְפוּנֶיךָ, they took counsel against those whom You conceal (ibid 83:4). This alludes to, אֲשֶׁר עַיִן בְּעַיִן נִרְאָה אַתָּה ה’ וַעֲנָנְךָ עֹמֵד עֲלֵהֶם, Eye to eye it was seen that You are Hashem, and Your cloud stands over them (Num. 14:14). And in the Shirah (the song of parashas Ha’azinu) we find: יְסֹבְבֶנְהוּ יְבוֹנְנֵהוּ יִצְּרֶנְהוּ כְּאִישׁוֹן עֵינוֹ, He surrounded them and made them wise. He protected them like the pupil of his eye (Deut. 32:10). [All of these commentaries ofחיבה seem to be associated with קשירה, to tie, because when a person loves an object or someone, he wishes to cover and protect it from all harm].
4. Chevel חבל: A חבל, rope, is used for tying a knot, to tie and to hide. Also, חבל in reference to collateral, אִם חָבֹל תַּחְבֹּל (Exodus 22:25) expresses connection [as we explained above] .
5. Chabak חבק, hug: עֵת לַחֲבוֹק, a time to hug (Ecclesiastes 3:5). וּתְחַבֵּק חֵק נָכְרִיָּה, hugged a gentile bosom (Proverbs 5:20). מְעַט חִבֻּק יָדַיִם לִשְׁכָּב, some wrapping the hands around for sleeping (ibid 6:10). All of these express connection .
6. Chaver חבר: [Expresses connecting and/or gathering. This includes the verse]: חַבּוּרָה תַּחַת חַבּוּרָה, a wound for a wound (Exodus 21:25). This refers to the pooling of blood in one place [due to the wound].
7. Chavash חבש: [Bandaging. As in]: וְלַנִּשְׁבֶּרֶת לֹא חֲבַשְׁתֶּם, you didn’t bandage the broken (Ezkekiel 34:4). בְּיוֹם חֲבֹשׁ ה’ אֶת שֶׁבֶר עַמּוֹ, the day Hashem will bandage the injured of His nation (Isaiah 30:26). [חבש also has a extended usage, referring to a ruler who has the ability to incarcerate]: לֹא אֶהְיֶה חֹבֵשׁ, I cannot be the ruler (Isaiah 3:7). הַאַף שׂוֹנֵא מִשְׁפָּט יַחֲבוֹשׁ, Is the enemy of justice ruling? (Job 34:17). And in Talmud: אין חבוש מתיר עצמו מבית האסורים, the imprisoned can’t free himself from jail (Brachos 5b). [The word חבש has similar, related usages, such as in סיבוב, עיטוף, כירוך, surrounding/wrapping]: Genesis 22:3 — ויַּחֲבֹשׁ אֶת חֲמֹרוֹ, he saddled his donkey. [חבש is also associated with קיבוץ, gathering]: Genesis 41:34 — וְיַפְקֵד פְּקִדִים עַל הָאָרֶץ וְחִמֵּשׁ אֶת אֶרֶץ מִצְרַיִם, appoint officials over the land and gather [the produce] of the Egypt. Rashi: וחמש – Onkelus renders it ויזרזון, similar to וחמושים (Exodus 13:18). Sifsei Chachamim — “gathering is זירוז.” [Another translation of חבש is חגורה, belt]: Genesis 3:7 — וַיַּעֲשׂוּ לָהֶם חֲגֹרֹת, they made belts for themselves. Onkelus — ועבדו להון זרזין.
8. Chavatz חבץ: [This word refers to the gathering, congealing, and the consolidation, of several ingredients or materials. This is what occurs in cheesemaking]: Shabbos 95a — והמחבץ… חייב חטאת. Rashi — המחבץ, to put milk in the קיבה, cow’s stomach. I think that מחבץ is when one takes a rubber utensil, and places the coagulated cheese inside. The extra מי חלב, whey, will drip off. [Rashi’s two explanations are essentially two stages in cheese making. According to both interpreations, the concept of חיבוץ is to take the unfinished milky product, place it into a container of some sort, until consolidates and solidifies. Similarly, Rashi (Brachos 36b) describes a food called חביץ, which is also formed by adding liquids such as oil and honey. However, the process is the opposite of cheese making; because milk coagulates by filtering out the מי חלב, the whey, and theחביץ is solidified through the addition of liquids. If the explanation of מחבץ is to put milk into the קיבה, the cow’s stomach (as per Rashi’s first explanation) this also amalgamates the milk through the acids contained therein].
9. Chavat חבת: The מחבת was a frying pan used in the Beis HaMikdash. It consolidated the flour by frying it in oil, and was used for חביתים, the meal-offering. Thus, there is a similarity between the חביתין, meal offering, which was solidified by adding oil, to the food called חביץ, mentioned above, which was kneaded with oil and honey. The difference lies in the fact that while the former is fried in oil, the oil being external to the mixture, the latter is formed by kneading the oil directly into the mixture.
10. [I propose adding to this list a few more words, such as]: חבצלת, rose: – Song of Songs 2:1 — אֲנִי חֲבַצֶּלֶת הַשָּׁרוֹן שׁוֹשַׁנַּת הָעֲמָקִים, I am the rose of Sharon, the rose from the valley. [חבצלת, rose, comes from the two words חביון, hidden, and צל, shade, because its petals cover and hide each other. (See above חבה)]: Midrash Shir HaShirim Rabba 2:3: כל זמן שהיא קטנה הוא קורא אותה חבצלת, הגדילה קורא אותה שושנה… ולמה נקראת חבצלת, שחבויה בצלה, when it is small, it is called חבצלת and when it gets older, it is called שושנה, rose… Why is it called חבצלת? Because שחבויה בצלה, it hides in its shadow. – It hides in its own shadow, because there are many petals, which shadow [overlap], one another.
11. Rachav רחב: Genesis 26:22 — וַיִּקְרָא שְׁמָהּ רְחֹבוֹת וַיֹּאמֶר כִּי עַתָּה הִרְחִיב ה’ לָנוּ וּפָרִינוּ בָאָרֶץ , He called it Rechovos, saying, ‘now Hashem has given us ample space and we will be fruitful in the Land. [הרחבה is ample space, a property added onto the primary property. Thus, it is associated with חיבורים, connections. We can add that רחב in a different order, spells חבר, connections, because when two lots are connected, the result is one large lot. This is alluded by Shlah Hakadosh in tractate Yoma]: Shlah Hakadosh (Yoma – Perek Derech Chaim Tochachas Mussar [57]): קנה לך חבר… ‘חבר’ אותו אליך, ‘רחב’ דבורך עמו, לדבר תמיד, Acquire a friend for yourself …. Connect (חבר) him to yourself and expand (רחב) your conversations with him.
12. Tachav תחב — [תחיבה— the Mishnah uses this word to express forcefully connecting something to another object or to tightly insert something in between two objects . For example]: Ohalos 3:4 – הָיוּ תְחוּבִים בִּידֵי אָדָם, טָהוֹר, שֶׁאֵין חִבּוּרֵי אָדָם חִבּוּר, “if [the flesh of a corpse] was forcefully inserted [onto a bone] by a human being, it is tahor, pure.” Bartenura explains, “The flesh wasn’t bonded naturally; a person stuck it on, like someone who is תוחב, impales, meat onto a skewer.”
13. Sachav סחב: [סחיבה in the Scriptures is similar to גרירה, to drag . Both סחיבה and גרירה can be to drag an object towards a given point, or to further the object from somewhere. (This is unlike the related word, סחף, which always means distancing, flowing away). But In Jeremiah, we find the rooyסחב used as a noun]: Jeremiah 11:12 — שִׂים נָא בְּלוֹאֵי הַסְּחָבוֹת, Place the rags that are in the chest … Targum Yonatan: שוי כען בלאי טפסן. We find a similar Aramaic word (טופסא) in the Zohar Chadash (Song 8b-9a), there used to describe Esau’s clothes (used by Jacob to acquire the blessings – Gen. 27:27). The commentator Nitutzei Zohar defines the word there as meaning stolen –Esau actually stole Jacob’s clothing, not the other way! The allusion may be that the root טפס is related to the Rabbinic word תפס , grabbing and acquiring. The סחבות in Jeremiah were not necessarily stolen, but being worn-out garments they may have been “second-hand”. The common denominator is the removal of an object from one place to another, in this case one “ownership” to another, adding it to the new owner’s property and expanding his total possessions .
14. Chavat חבט: [חבט is to beat an olive tree with a stick, as in our parasha]: Deut. 24:20 — כִּי תַחְבֹּט זֵיתְךָ, when you beat your olive trees. [Rashi in the book of Isaiah —in contrast to Targum Yonatan— emphasizes thatחיבוט means to gather in the produce that was beaten]: Isaiah 27:12 — יַחְבֹּט ה’ מִשִּׁבֹּלֶת הַנָּהָר עַד נַחַל מִצְרָיִם וְאַתֶּם תְּלֻקְּטוּ לְאַחַד אֶחָד בְּנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל, Hashem will beat from the strong river until the Egyptian Nile, and you will be gathered, one by one, O children of Israel. Targum Yonatan — יִתְרְמוּן קְטִילִין you will be killed. Rashi: “Targum Yonatan renders חביט, death, and I say that the two words חיבוט ולקיטה, beating and gathering, go together, as when one beats the olive tree and then gathers the olives… so will the Holy One gather you…”
[Yonatan’s explanation, beating, resembles the way חיבוט is used throughout the Talmud. For example]: Bava Kama 50b —בור שחייבה עליו תורה —להבלו ולא לחבטו ., one is only obligated to pay for the damages that accrued when something fell into his pit and was hurt by the bad air; he doesn’t have to pay for the damages that happened from the thud (when he hit the floor) . [In other places Rashi himself translates חיבוט to mean hitting]: II Samuel 17:17, Rashi: בעין רוגל — כובסי בגדי צמר שחובטין אותם שם שבועטים אותם ברגל, People who wash wool clothing beat it there and they stomp [on] it with their feet. Hosea 6:9, Rashi: כשחובטו במקלות, when they beat it with sticks. [If so, why does Rashi disagree with Targum Yonatan here (Isaiah 27:12)? Let’s examine the matter a little more closely: “and I say that the two words חיבוט ולקיטה, beating and gathering, go together , as when one beats the olive tree and then gathers the olives,” in other words, “יחבוט ה'” is connected to “ואתם תלוקטו” later in the verse. Now, all commentators agree that “ואתם תלוקטו” refers to the ingathering of the exiles of Israel. But Yonatan appears to connect the beginning words “יחבוט ה'” to the previous verses which enumerate the punishments which will be visited upon the enemies of Israel . Rashi on the other hand connects it to the לקיטה, gathering, mentioned later, a consolation strengthened in the following verse which heralds the ultimate redemption]: Isaiah 27:13 – וְהָיָה בַּיּוֹם הַהוּא יִתָּקַע בְּשׁוֹפָר גָּדוֹל וּבָאוּ הָאֹבְדִים בְּאֶרֶץ אַשּׁוּר וְהַנִּדָּחִים בְּאֶרֶץ מִצְרָיִם וְהִשְׁתַּחֲווּ לַה’ בְּהַר הַקֹּדֶשׁ בִּירוּשָׁלִָם, and it will be on that day, a large shofar will blow, and those lost in the land of Assyiria and dispersed in Egypt will come and bow down before G-d in the holy mountain in Jerusalem. [Rashi therefore understood that יחבט ה’, Hashem will smite, is certainly also leading up to the redemption. As it states in Midrash]: Eichah Rabba 1:57 — בדבר שחטאו ישראל בו לקו ובו מתנחמים , In the matter that the Jewish nation sinned, with it they are smitten and with it they are consoled. [They were punished with חביטה, being beaten, because the exile was a punishment for not keeping the agricultural laws of Shmittah, the Sabbatical year (see Rashi Leviticus 26:35). Instead of letting the land rest, they hit the produce, and harvested, on the Sabbatical year. Therefore, they were punished in a similar manner, but this will also be the first step towards their redemption].
[We conclude with a prayer: May the Merciful One fulfill the prophecy of Isaiah the Prophet, blow the great shofar, and gather His beloved nation. May we then נתחבא, be concealed and protected under the shadow of His wings, speedily in our days, amen].