October 24, 2017 ~ Shabbat LEKH LEKHA. Maqam SABA.

Shabbat Debarim

Quarrels

איכה אשא לבדי טרחכם ומשאכם וריבכם - In one of his final speeches, when describing the difficulties of governing the people alone, Moses uses the symbolic word of despair, "Ekha," or alas (איכה). More specifically, in Deuteronomy 1:12, he uses this word to describe normal nuisances of everyday life; "problems, burdens, and disputes" (טרחכם ומשאכם וריבכם). The reason Moses was not hesitant to use such a strong word ("Ekha") is because he knew that even small arguments and "bickering" (ריב) among people often has the potential to escalate into larger fights if not taken care of early on. This comes to teach us that in order for us to prevent the large calamities of "Ekha" (i.e. destruction of our nation) and to be deserving of the blessing mentioned in the previous verse (יסף עליכם ככם אלף פעמים), it is incumbent upon us to be proactive in preventing problems by avoiding unnecessary friction with others. Beth Torah Bulletin, July 29, 2017.


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