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Thursday, May 14

The Weekly Shtikle - Behar/Bechukosai

This past Tuesday was the yahrtzeit of my great aunt, Lady Amélie Jakobovits, a"h. The shtikle is dedicated le'iluy nishmasah, Mayla bas Eliyahu.
Today, the 25th of Iyar, is the yahrtzeit of my mother, a"h. The shtikle is dedicated le'iluy nishmasah, Tzirel Nechamah bas Tovia Yehudah.

For the benefit of readers in Eretz Yisroel, I will focus on Bechukosai:

In the beginning of this week's parsha we are told of the blessings that will be bestowed upon us if we follow the mitzvos. We are told (26:8) that five of us will chase away 100 and 100 will chase a myriad (10,000). Rashi comments on the obvious discrepancy in the proportions. If five will chase 100, then 100 should only be able to chase 2,000. Rather, the merit a small group of individuals who follow the Torah is incomparable to that of a large group that follow the Torah. It seems the idea being conveyed is that a greater deliverance is given to a larger group of worthy men. 

For a long while I have had difficulty reconciling this with a certain passage in Navi. In Shmuel I perek 14, Yonasan decides to attack the Pelishtim with his nosei keilim, his armourman. He says to him (pasuk 6) "Ulay ya'ase HaShem lanu, ki ein laShem ma'tzor lehoshia berav o bim'at," Yonasan assures him that if HaShem is to bring about a victory it matters not whether it be done by many or few. Does this not directly contradict the above? Maybe only a large group of B'nei Yisrael would have the combined merit to defeat the Pelishtim.

The only approach I could think of is that perhaps the pesukim in our parsha are dealing with a scenario where victory is inevitable. It has already been determined that we will overcome our enemies. The difference between many and few is only the speed at which we achieve that victory. However, the overall end result, whether or not we ultimately triumph over our adversaries, is not affected by quantity - only quality.

Have a good Shabbos.

Eliezer Bulka

Shtikle Blog Weekly Roundup:
Dikdukian: Life as we Know It 
Dikdukian: Hearing Los
Dikdukian: Even Lo-er
Dikdukian: Qualification of the AHOY rule
Al Pi Cheshbon: An Ironic Observation

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