Torah.org Home Subscribe Services Support Us
 
Print Version

Email this article to a friend

Parshas Devarim

Moshe admonishes Klal Yisroel regarding the troubles and burdens and quarrels they caused and states that he could not bear them alone. (1:12) Rashi (this past week, on 29 Tammuz, we celebrated Rashi's 901st yahrtzeit) explains, based on the Sifri, that in this case the burdens - masa'achem - refers to Apikorsim (heretics) who would derisively discuss Moshe's comings and goings from his house. If he left home early they would say Moshe is having family problems; if he left home late they would say that Moshe is plotting against them.

The questions are obvious: (i) In what way is this derisive behavior heretical? (ii) How does the word masa'achem/burdens come to mean or at least hint to this kind of behavior?

The Meforshei Rashi address these questions. (i) the Gemoro says that one who belittles a Torah scholar is an Apikorus (Sanhedrin 99b). (ii) Masa'achem cannot be taken literally (burdens) because the pasuk here has already discussed torchachem/troubles, so 'burdens' would not be adding much. The word masa'achem is to be understood instead as masa'achem/your words, based on the use of 'masa' in a pasuk in Mishlei (30:1). So the sense of the pasuk's use of masa'achem is "Your belittling words against a great man were heretical."

I was not able to find an answer for what would logically follow as question (iii): What is the hint in the word masa'achem or elsewhere in the pasuk which indicates that the derisive speech behavior took this particular form of commenting on Moshe's comings and goings?

[Interestingly, the word Apikorus derives from one or more of these three sources. (i) The ancient Greek philosopher Epicurus, who ideas would qualify as, well, Apikorsus; (ii) from the Aramaic word hefker, meaning abandoned; an Apikorus has abandoned the essence of his religion; and (iii) from a combination of the Aramaic words afik (gone out) and rasen (horse's halter); an Apikorus is like a horse which has wiggled out of its halter and is aimless.]


Gal Einai, Copyright © 2006 by Gedalia Litke and Torah.org


 
Sell Chometz Online







ARTICLES ON KEDOSHIM AND THE OMER:

View Complete List

A Sacred Appointment
Rabbi Label Lam - 5764

“Letter to my Son Akiva”
Jon Erlbaum - 5773

Do it Because I am Holy
Rabbi Dovid Green - 5758

Frumster - Orthodox Jewish Dating

Reacting to Tragedy
Rabbi Berel Wein - 5773

For I am Holy
Rabbi Eliyahu Hoffmann - 5759

The Counting of the Omer
Rabbi Yehudah Prero - 5755

> Cloaked in Dignity
Rabbi Aron Tendler - 5761

Orlah - No Shortcuts?
Rabbi Eliyahu Hoffmann - 5765

Everybody's a Dreamer – Everybody's a Star
Jon Erlbaum - 0

ArtScroll

Encouraging His Children to Climb
Rabbi Label Lam - 5772

Don't Take it to Heart
Rabbi Eliyahu Hoffmann - 5760

Stamped a Sinner
Rabbi Yaakov Menken - 5757

Looking for a Chavrusah?

The Heart of the Matter
Rabbi Pinchas Winston - 5765

In Pursuit Of Holiness
Rabbi Pinchas Winston - 5761

Sefiras HaOmer and Rabbi Akiva
Rabbi Yehudah Prero - 5766

From the Profanity of Profanities
Rabbi Label Lam - 5767



Project Genesis

Torah.org Home


Torah Portion

Jewish Law

Ethics

Texts

Learn the Basics

Seasons

Features

TORAHAUDIO

Ask The Rabbi

Knowledge Base




Help

About Us

Contact Us



Free Book on Geulah!




Torah.org Home
Torah.org HomeCapalon.com Copyright Information