July 23, 2019 ~ Shabbat PINEHAS. Maqam SABA.

Shabbat Debarim - שבת דברים


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.


הבו לכם אנשים חכמים ונבנים וידעים - To deal with all the “troubles, burdens, and quarrels” facing the nation, Moses, in Deuteronomy 1:13, seeks help from men who are wise (חכמים), understanding (נבנים), and experienced (ידעים) to act as their judges and advise them with their problems. Locating people with such rare qualities is not easy, but this idea was overwhelmingly supported by the nation (1:14). Just as the entire nation faces hardships, we, as individuals, are constantly faced with various pressures and problems in this world. Following the example of appointing judges, one must never be hesitant to seek the advice and council of those around us who have more wisdom (חכמה), understanding (בינה), or knowledge (דעת). It is for similar reasons that when Jews recite the daily “Amida” prayer, they ask God for these same traits in order to be granted the wisdom, understanding, and knowledge (חכמה בינה ודעת) to help find solutions to life's problems. Beth Torah Bulletin, July 21, 2018.