The Weekly Shtikle Blog

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Friday, September 1

The Weekly Shtikle - Ki Seitzei

The Weekly Shtikle is dedicated le'iluy nishmas my dear Zadie and Bubbie, HaRav Chaim Yaakov ben Yitzchak and Yehudis bas Reuven Pinchas.
    A sefer was recently released by the name of "Olelos Ephraim." It is a collection of insights on the parsha and other areas of Torah from HaRav Ephraim Eisenberg, zt"l after whom my son is named. This is the installment for this week's parsha:
    The Torah teaches (24:5) that a newlywed shall not go out for army service in anyway. Rather, the pasuk says "naki yihyeh leveso," he shall be freefor his home for one year.  The word naki literally means clean. Ba'al HaTurim on this pasuk comments that the use of the term naki is hinting to that which we learn in the Yerushalmi (Bikurim 3:3) that when a man gets married, he is forgive for all of his sins.
    What is the meaning of this, asks R' Ephraim? Why would marriage automatically grant one forgiveness for his sins. Surely marriage isn't some sort of "get out of jail free" card.
    The Midrash (Vayikra Rabba 29:4) comments on the pasuk in Tehillim (81:4) "Tik'u bachodesh shofar," in this month your deeds and ways will be renewed through the blowing of the shofar. (The word chodesh for month literally means renewal.) The message behind this midrash is that a new start is an essential component of the teshuvah that is the central theme of Rosh HaShanah and the days that follow. It would not have sufficed to give us a day of judgement and period of repentance in the middle of the year. Sometimes, inertia can be a significant obstacle to teshuvah. It's simply too hard to change because that's the way you've always been. The new year gives us a chance to feel as though we are starting completely fresh with a clean slate. The new start is thus part and parcel of the teshuvah itself. (See also for an application of this concept to Rosh Chodesh as well.)
    When a couple gets married, they are essentially starting a brand new life together as husband and wife. It's more than a Rosh HaShanah, it's a complete rebirth of sorts. With this new life, all the sins of their previous life are forgiven.
    See for a discussion on the possibility that one should have in mind to be yotzei the mitzvah of Zachor with this week's reading.
Have a good Shabbos.


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