Friday, July 9, 2010

Let's Strengthen Ourselves in Torah and Mitzvot!

From Moroccan Daily Halakha:

Perashat Matot
e"H Ribi Kfir Dadon s"t
Translated by : Zachary Lubat s"t

Strengthening our Torah Study

In this week's perasha, we read about the request of the tribes of Gad and Reuben, both of whom had large flocks, to inherit land on the other side of the Yarden River (before the Nation crossed the Yarden into the Land of Israel). Moshé Rabenu a"h asks them if it seems right that some of the tribes could settle land peacefully, while the others have to go to war and conquer the Land of Israel. Moshé Rabenu a"h also mentions the sin of the spies of convincing the Nation not to enter the Land, and the result of that sin. He warned these tribes that they might be causing the Nation to want to inherit land outside the Land of Israel by settling this land on the other side of the Yarden River. These tribes answer Moshé Rabenu a"h that they would go to war with the Nation until all of the Land is conquered and divided; they would build houses for their families and continue on with the Nation in its journey.

The main reason Moshé Rabenu a"h was concerned about this situation was because it could have had a weakening effect on the rest of the Nation. When the rest of the Nation saw what was going on, they would likely think that the reason these tribes are settling here and not crossing into the Land of Israel is out of fear. Perhaps the nations in Israel are very strong and their cities well fortified, and this is why these tribes did not want to cross. This has a similar situation as the sin of the spies. However, when the tribes satisfied this concern by saying they would fight with the rest of the Nation the whole way through, Moshé Rabenu a"h agreed and warned them that if they did not keep to this promise, Bamidbar 32:23 "behold, you have sinned against the LORD; and know your sin which will find you." If one looks, he will see that the tribe of Menashé did not request any inheritance across the Yarden at all, so one has to wonder why Moshé Rabenu a"h places them there with Gad and Reuben. The Nesiv writes that Moshé Rabenu a"h saw that in this area the power of Torah would be weaker, so he tried to plant among them Torah giants.

Due to weakness in the study of Torah and the fulfillment of Misvot, the Bet haMiqdash was destroyed, as it says in Yirmeyahu 9:11 "Why is the land perished and laid waste like a wilderness, so that none passeth through?" And the LORD said: Because they have forsaken My law which I set before them, and have not hearkened to My voice, neither walked therein.

It is our holy obligation to strengthen ourselves in the study of Torah and the fulfillment of Misvot. This is especially important in the days of summer and vacation, to be very careful to pray in a minyan, setting time aside for the study of Torah, modesty, and so on. May it be His will that in the merit of the study of Torah and fulfillment of Misvot, we will see the building of the Bet haMiqdash and HaShem's return to Sion in His mercy!

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