hebrew
1)

What are the implications of the word "Eikev Tishme'un"?

1.

Rashi: It implies 'the small Mitzvos' 1 that people tend to trample with their heels.

2.

Ramban #1 and Seforno: It means simply 'because 2 you will listen'. 3

3.

Ramban #2: It implies that the reward will come in the end'. 4

4.

Ramban (citing Targum Onkelos and Targum Yonasan): It means 'in exchange'


1

Ramban (commenting on the fact that the Torah mentions specifically "Mishpatim" - Refer to 7:12:2:1): Such as monetary laws (which people tend not to take seriously).

2

Ramban: As in Bereishis, 26:5.

3

Seforno: 'If you will keep the Mitzvos out of love - not in order to receive reward, then Hashem will keep the Bris and the Chesed'.

4

Ramban: When you will ultimately listen to Hashem and keep the Mishpatim - as in Tehilim, 19:12 - since the Torah tends to refer to the beginning or the leader as 'Rosh' - like we find in Tehilim, 119:160 and in Bamidbar, 25:4, and the end, 'Eikev', just as the head and the heel of a person are the beginning and the end of his body. See also Ba'al ha'Turim.

5

Ramban: As in Yeshayah, 40:4 (See Ramban) and in Hoshe'a, 6:5. See Ramban, DH 'v'Onkelos' and DH 'v'Chein al Da'ati.

2)

Why does the Torah mention specifically the Mishpatim?

1.

Ramban #1 and Seforno: Because it is through the Mishpatim (dispensing justice) that the Torah (the land 1 - Seforno) will be established. 2 2: Ramban #2: The Torah sees fit to warn specifically about Mishpatim (dispensing justice), because people are reluctant to carry out the death-sentence, either because they are filled with compassion on a man who has been sentenced to death 3 by stoning or burning, or because they are afraid of his powerful and influential relatives avenging his death. 4


1

See Pasuk 13 and Mishlei, 29:4. Seforno - though it is only in conjunction with learning the Torah she'Ba'al-Peh ("u'Shemartem ... ") that this is achieved.

2

Ramban: As the Torah indicates in Shemos 21:21.

3

Ramban: The Torah forbids this (19:13). Compassion on the part of the judges negates the entire system of justice (Ramban, Pasuk 15). (The Torah itself has compassion, and has many laws to avert execution. Compassion more than the Torah mandates is forbidden and destructive.

3)

What are the connotations of "v'Shamar Hashem ... "?

1.

Rashi (in Yeshayah, 26:2): It means that 'Hashem will wait [to fulfill] what He swore to the Avos. 1


1

Rashbam: He waits for a proper generation. If you do not guard the Mitzvos, He will not guard (fulfill the Bris) for you, rather, for another generation.

4)

What are the connotations of the 'Vav' in "Veshamar"?

1.

Rashi: It switches the verb to future tense. (It does not mean 'and'.)

5)

Which covenant is the Pasuk referring to?

1.

Seforno: It is referring to the covenant that Hashem entered into with Avraham 1 to be for him and his descendants a G-d - directly without a medium. 2


2

Seforno: Denoting eternity, as the Pasuk states in Koheles, 3:14.

6)

Why does it say "v'Shamar

1.

Hadar Zekenim (10), Da'as Zekenim (10): Hashem will fulfill His promise to the Avos within 1,000 generations (refer to 7:9:1:2). Do not say that also your reward will be delayed. V'Shamar

7)

Rashi writes that "Ekev" refers to small Mitzvos. Why does the Torah stipulate specifically about them?

1.

Da'as Zekenim: David said "Lamah Ira bi'Ymei Ra Avon Akavai Yesubeni" (Tehilim 49:6). I am not worried about big Mitzvos, only about small ones

8)

Rashi writes that people tend to trample small Mitzvos with their heels. Do people really do so?!

1.

Da'as Zekenim #1: Shilu'ach ha'Kan does not apply to a prepared (owned) nest, When one goes away, he tramples the nest with his heels. 1

2.

Da'as Zekenim #2: Tzitzis often drag on the floor. It says about one who does so "v'Teiteisiha b'Matatei ha'Shemad" (Yeshayah 14:23)! Rather, he must cast them on the shoulder, or take them in his hand.


1

I.e. since it is not his, he is not concerned and tramples on it. (PF)

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