The Weekly Shtikle Blog

An online forum for sharing thoughts and ideas relating to the Parshas HaShavua

View Profile

Friday, September 21

The Weekly Shtikle - Vayeilech

As the Torah wraps up the last of the 613 mitzvos, we are taught of the mitzvah of hakheil, which was performed on the Sukkos following a Shemitah year. One of the unique qualities of this mitzvah is that it contains a Biblical requirement of child involvement on the part of the parents. Whereas any mitzvah contains within it an assumed requirement of chinuch, education of children, here it is clearly spelled out. We are commanded (31:12) to gather around to hear the various readings from Sefer Devarim "so that we will hear and so that we will learn and will fear HaShem our God and will observe to do all the words of the Torah." In the very next pasuk, the purpose of the children's attendance is discussed. It is so that "those who don't know will listen and will learn to fear HaShem your God..."

Meshech Chachmah points out that there is a phrase missing from the description of the children's purpose. The words "veshamru la'asos" seems to be relevant only to the adults. He explains that this phrase refers to the performance of active commandments, mitzvos aseih. Children under the age of Bar Mitzvah are not commanded in specific mitzvos aseih. There is only a general requirement of chinuch, to educate the children in the mitzvos so that when they do become of age, they know how to perform them properly. Prohibitive commandments, mitzvos lo sa'aseih, however, do specifically involve children. The gemara (Yevamos 114) teaches us that Beis Din is required to separate a child from eating neveilah, meat that comes from an animal that was not properly slaughtered. Therefore, part of the children's purpose is "velamdu leyir'ah," a phrase associated with mitzvos lo sa'aseih because this aspect of mitzvah observance is directly relevant to them. The reference to mitzvos aseih, however, is omitted because it is not immediately applicable.

Have a good Shabbos and a Gemar Chasimah Tovah. Or is it a Gemar Chasimah Tov? See Dikdukian.

Eliezer Bulka

Shtikle Blog Weekly Roundup:
Weekly Shtikle: Skipping around the Haftarah
Dikdukian: Don't you Worry
Dikdukian: A Happy Ending

Please visit the new portal for all Shtikle-related sites,
The Weekly Shtikle and related content are now featured onĀ


Post a Comment

<< Home