1. The Poskim speak of Parshas Vo'eschanan being read the Shabbos
immediately following Tisha b'Av. This is an unusual construct, as
normally we speak of a particular Parsha being read in advance of a
particular moed (Jewish Holiday). Instead of saying that Vo'eschanan is to
follow, why not say that we read Dvorim right before Tisha b'Av - it would
make sense especially since the Chayt Hameraglim (Sin of the Spies), a
theme of Parshas Dvorim, occurred on Tisha b'Av.
Rav Soloveitchik ZT'L explains: It is true that a theme of Parshas Dvorim
is the Chayt Hameraglim; but a theme of Vo'eschanan (occurring in the
section of Ki Solid Bonim which we also read on Tisha b'Av morning) is
that Klal Yisroel can and will do Teshuva (Repentance). 4:30. Taking a cue
from the fact that we read the Torah portion of Vo'eschanan/Teshuva on
Tisha b'Av itself (rather than reading Dvorim/Meraglim), the Poskim wish
to reference the positive outcome to emerge from the destruction and to
emphasize the opportunities available in the wake of destruction; they
therefore express themselves in terms of Vo'eschanan/teshuva, rather than
2. Also in the Ki Solid Bonim section of Parshas Vo'eschanan (4:23-24),
Moshe speaks of the uniqueness of Klal Yisroel's having been privileged to
hear HaShem's voice at Har Sinai. In this context Moshe says rhetorically
that Klal Yisroel could question whether such an event (a nation hearing
HaShem's voice and surviving the experience) ever occurred in history.
Moshe says we could inquire "from the day when HaShem created 'man' on the
earth and from one end of the heavens to the other". Rashi explains that
in a simple sense this means we could ask any person who ever lived and
we'd understand how unique our Har Sinai experience was.
Rashi continues with a deeper explanation; the 'man' of the pasuk refers
to 'Man/Adam', the original man, and the pasuk is teaching that Adam's
stature or height reached from 'one end of the heavens to the other'. The
obvious question on the deeper explanation is why is this a good place to
teach us a lesson about Adam's stature; doesn’t this belong in Parshas
Breishis? The Maskil L'Dovid addresses this question: Moshe is telling
Klal Yisroel that they could even ask Adam HaRishon, the Man of incredible
stature, and he would confirm that Klal Yisroel's experience of hearing
HaShem's voice at Har Sinai eclipsed what even he, Adam, ever experienced.
Teaching the lesson of Adam's stature here enhances the point being made
to Klal Yisroel about their uniqueness and responsibilities.
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