Friday, November 16, 2018

Dvar Torah & Podcast for Parshas Vayeitzei


       Parshas Vayeitzei is an eventful story of how Yaakov met and married his wives, had eleven of his sons, and feuded with Lavan. All of these stories play big parts in the beginning foundations of the Jewish People. And sandwiching these events are the stories of how Yaakov left and returned to Eretz Yisrael.
       The first story is well-known; Yaakov falls asleep one night and dreams of a ladder to the heavens with angels going up and down. Hashem appears and promises him that he will be protected throughout his journey. This took place right before Yaakov left Eretz Yisrael and Chazal explain that the angels on the ladder represented the Eretz Yisrael guard leaving him and the Chutz La’aretz angels taking over.
       At the end of the parsha, a similar story occurs. Yaakov is heading towards the border of Eretz Yisrael when he is confronted by a group of visitors we have seen before. “וְיַֽעֲקֹ֖ב הָלַ֣ךְ לְדַרְכּ֑וֹ וַיִּפְגְּעוּ־ב֖וֹ מַלְאֲכֵ֥י אֱלֹקים“And Yaakov went on his way, and angels of God met him” (Bereishis 32:2). Rashi explains that the reverse is now happening; as Yaakov crosses back into Eretz Yisrael, the angels who came with him to Lavan’s house now left and the Eretz Yisrael angels returned.
       The Ramban takes issue with this explanation. At this point, Yaakov is not even close to crossing into Eretz Yisrael! We see in next week’s parsha, that Yaakov crosses the Yabok River (See 32:23), found to the southwest of Eretz Yisrael. Furthermore, when Yaakov reaches the city of Shechem (See 33:18), the Torah indicates that this was the first place in Eretz Yisrael that Yaakov reached upon entering. If this is true, how could the Eretz Yisrael angels have met him and taken over so early?
       The Ramban instead takes a different approach. This meeting with the angels was not the changing of the guard that we see earlier. This meeting was in preparation for Yaakov’s imminent showdown with Esav. As Yaakov left Lavan’s house and headed back home, he knew he would eventually have to confront Esav. Now with a large family and immense wealth, he made an even larger target. These angels came to let him know that even with the army Esav had gathered, Yaakov still outnumbered them. With the heavenly entourage alongside him, and a guarantee of safety from Hashem, Yaakov had nothing to fear.
Shabbat Shalom!


Click here for last year's Dvar Torah for Parshas Vayeitzei

Click here to listen this this week's Podcast (Also available on Apple Podcasts)

For any questions, comments, or to subscribe to our email list, please email is at AIMeMtorah@gmail.com.

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AIMeM

Friday, November 9, 2018

Dvar Torah & Podcast for Parshas Toldos


       Parshas Toldos is filled with the stories that begin the historical rivalry between Yaakov and Esav. Beginning with the famous story of how Yaakov bought the firstborn from Esav, and ending with Yitzchak intending to bless Esav with certain special blessings, until Rivka and Yaakov joined forces to swoop in and allow Yaakov to receive them instead. Exactly how Yaakov was allowed to receive them this way, why Yitzchak wanted Esav to receive the brachos in the first place, and if Yaakov could buy the firstborn at all are all good questions that we have discussed in previous years. This year, however, I’d like to focus on a pasuk later on in the parsha.

       When Esav realizes he has lost the brachos to Yaakov, he is furious. He didn’t dare do anything while his father was living, but he immediately began making plans to take revenge on Yaakov at the earliest opportunity. Rivka sensed this and convinced Yitzchak to send Yaakov away to her brother Lavan’s house. As Yitzchak sent Yaakov away, Lavan is given a full introduction in the pasuk; “אֲחִ֣י רִבְקָ֔ה אֵ֥ם יַֽעֲקֹ֖ב וְעֵשָֽׂו“The brother of Rivka the mother of Yaakov and Esav” (Bereishis 28:8). The reason for the Torah having to tell us the relationship between Rivka and her sons, an extremely obvious connection, is of much debate among the commentaries. It’s a question we have discussed before, and this year, I’d like to focus on a new answer.

       Rabbi Yaakov Kaminetzky goes back several pesukim to when Yitzchak is giving Yaakov some final blessings before he leaves his house. “וְאֵל שַׁדַּי יְבָרֵךְ אֹתְךָ וְיַפְרְךָ וְיַרְבֶּךָ וְהָיִיתָ לִקְהַל עַמִּים וְיִתֶּן לְךָ אֶת בִּרְכַּת אַבְרָהָם לְךָ וּלְזַרְעֲךָ אִתָּךְ לְרִשְׁתְּךָ אֶת אֶרֶץ מְגֻרֶיךָ“And may the Almighty God bless you and make you fruitful and multiply you, and you shall become an assembly of peoples. And may He give you the blessing of Avraham, to you and to your seed with you, that you may inherit the land of your sojournings…” (ibid: 3-4). In pesukim 1-2, Yitzchak warned Yaakov to only marry a woman from Lavan’s house, a woman who, as we learn in pesukim 3-4, would be worthy of receiving the brachos of Hashem to Avraham, to father the nation of Yisrael.

       When Yaakov bought the firstborn rights from Esav, this was reason in part why he was able to take the brachos from Esav later on. Explains Reb Yaakov, the Torah in pesukim 3-4 is giving us one final proof that Yaakov deserved those blessings as the rightful firstborn and heir to Avraham. How do we see this? From the connecting letter “vav” at the beginning of pasuk 4. In pesukim 1-2, Yitzchak warns Yaakov to only marry a worthy woman. He then continues in pasuk 3 that if Yaakov does so, Hashem will bless him as a great nation. But we don’t know necessarily that this is the blessing of Avraham. By including a ‘vav’ at the beginning of pasuk 4, which discusses the blessing of Avraham, we see that this blessing is also dependent on him marrying a worthy woman.

       The Torah shows us that not only did Yitzchak approve of Yaakov getting his special brachos over Esav (See 27:33 for more), he also affirmed Yaakov’s purchase of the firstborn rights from Esav, thereby giving him the brachah of Avraham as well. Therefore, he had to warn Yaakov to only marry someone appropriate for this mission. And finally, this brings us back to our original question. The Torah specifically tells us Rivka was the mother of Yaakov and Esav, not to remind us of their relationship, but just to put them in the proper order! Yaakov first and then Esav; the real firstborn, our forefather, in his rightful position.

Shabbat Shalom!

Click here to listen this this week's Podcast (Also available on Apple Podcasts)

For any questions, comments, or to subscribe to our email list, please email is at AIMeMtorah@gmail.com.

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AIMeM



Friday, November 2, 2018

No Dvar Torah this Week

Sorry, due to circumstances not under our control, there is no new Dvar Torah this week. Please click here for last year's Dvar Torah and Podcast for Parshas Chayei Sarah. We will return, b'ezrat Hashem, next week with a brand new Dvar Torah.

Shabbat Shalom!

For any questions, comments, or to subscribe to our email list, please email is at AIMeMtorah@gmail.com.

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AIMeM

Friday, October 26, 2018

Dvar Torah & Podcast for Parshas Vayeira


       Avraham Avinu remains a shining example to us of righteous character and action. Among his many excellent traits found in the Torah, the one he is most famous for is chessed, acts of kindness, specifically in the form of inviting guests to his house. Interestingly enough, there is only one instance where the Torah gives an actual example of this, in this week’s parsha. When the angels come to Avraham’s house, the level of care Avraham and his family provide for his guests is fabulous.
       Immediately after this story, we are given a sharp contrast, when we are confronted with the city of Sodom. The laws of Sodom prohibited acts of giving of any kind. While there were many other types of wickedness that contributed to their culture, the laws against kindness were the foundation and became the basis for the entire city being destroyed; which we learn about immediately after the angels leave Avraham’s house. While the juxtaposition of these two stories can be explained in a simple manner, a little exploration reveals an amazing idea.
       As the angels head towards destroying the city, Hashem feels obligated to share the news of Sodom with Avraham. “וַֽיהֹוָ֖ה אָמָ֑ר הַֽמֲכַסֶּ֤ה אֲנִי֙ מֵֽאַבְרָהָ֔ם אֲשֶׁ֖ר אֲנִ֥י עֹשֶֽׂה“And Hashem said, ‘Shall I conceal from Avraham what I do” (Bereishis 18:17). He then explains that the actions of Sodom have reached the point where destruction is warranted. Avraham takes this as an opportunity to speak up and make sure that all alternatives have been considered before the city and all its people perish. He asks if there are fifty, forty-five, all the way down to ten righteous people in the city; he demands justice and begs for mercy if there are at least some righteous people who could provide merit for the city, and possibly return them to the side of good. After being assured that these considerations had been taken, Avraham leaves Hashem confident that both of them had done their best.
       Rabbi Yaakov Kaminetzky points out the significance of Avraham’s protest for Sodom is the reason for the juxtaposition of these stories. Every person has something which is more important to them than to the average person. The personal association with this idea gives you a stronger than typical connection with it, to the point that if you see someone not adhering to this concept, it offends you. It’s no different when it comes to mitzvos. If there is a particular mitzvah which you feel especially connected to, seeing that mitzvah ignored can burn you up inside. Even though the actions of a rasha can offend any God-fearing Jew, this specific action will bother you even more.
       With this point, we gain a better appreciation for the actions of Avraham. His entire life’s work was chessed, doing anything he could for every random person he happened to meet. A few miles away was the city of Sodom, a community dedicated to the exact opposite values; doing their best to eradicate kindness from within, going so far as to brutally punish those who defied this decree. And when Hashem comes to him and tells him the city is to be destroyed, his first reaction is to try and save them! While a normal person would be happy to see such evil eradicated, all the more so when that evil goes against the most important thing in the world to him, Avraham rises above and pleads for justice and mercy.
       This is just another example of the greatness of our forefather, Avraham. His tendency towards kindness was so strong that he was willing to go all out to save the very people who would ignore and denigrate his principles. As we journey through Sefer Bereishis and learn about our ancestors, this story gives us another bit of inspiration to attempt to emulate them.

Shabbat Shalom!


Click here for last year's Dvar Torah for Parshas Vayeira

Click here to listen this this week's Podcast (Also available on Apple Podcasts)



For any questions, comments, or to subscribe to our email list, please email is at AIMeMtorah@gmail.com.

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AIMeM

Friday, October 19, 2018

Dvar Torah & Podcast for Parshas Lech Lecha


 Parshas Lech Lecha begins planting the seed of the Jewish People with the introduction of Avraham Avinu. Avram, as he was originally known, was famously commanded by Hashem to leave his homeland and his family and travel to a far-off land, where Hashem would make him into a great nation. Many commentaries explain that this was the first test of Avraham’s faith in Hashem that showed he was worthy of being the father of the chosen nation.
       It is this pasuk, the first in the parsha, that I would like to focus on. The pasuk says, “וַיֹּ֤אמֶר יְהֹוָה֙ אֶל־אַבְרָ֔ם לֶךְ־לְךָ֛ מֵֽאַרְצְךָ֥ וּמִמּֽוֹלַדְתְּךָ֖ וּמִבֵּ֣ית אָבִ֑יךָ אֶל־הָאָ֖רֶץ אֲשֶׁ֥ר אַרְאֶֽךָּ“Hashem said to Avram, ‘Go for yourself from your land, from your birthplace, and from your father’s house to the land that I will show you” (Bereishis 12:1). The commentaries discuss why Hashem tells Avram to leave three different places, his land, his birthplace, and his father’s house. It’s important to first understand the explanation of these three places, and the differences between them.
       I understand these three places as follows: “Your land”, this is the place that you know. You know the streets and the shops, you know the culture and customs. It’s a place you have called home. “Your birthplace”, is the place which knows you. Your parents, grandparents, extended family are all known in this town. You may have lived there for a short or long time, but if you return and mention your name, it’s recognizable; not necessarily because of you personally, but because of your family. “Your father’s house” is the most obvious; it’s where you have familial support. In this case, it doesn’t matter if you know the place or if the place knows you; even without either of those, you know you can survive there because you have family who will support you. With this, we can understand what Hashem was asking Avram to do. He was asking him to leave a place of familiarity, of sentimentality, of support, and venture out on his own.
       But there’s one thing strange with request. At the end of the previous parsha, the Torah tells us that Avram’s father, Terach, took his entire family out of the town of Ur Kasdim to Charan. This week’s parsha tells us that Avram left Charan to go to Eretz Yisrael. Charan may have been Avram’s land and the home of his family, but it most certainly wasn’t his birthplace! The Torah even tells us this specifically (See 11:28). So when Hashem asks Avram to leave his birthplace, it has already been done; what is He asking for?
       With an examination of the next pesukim, another question arises. The only reason the Torah tells us the age of any individual is for historical context. For example, if we know this person was born in year ‘x’ and was this old when he died, then we can figure out how long the Jewish People spent in Mitzrayim; or something similar to that. However, in our parsha the pasuk writes, “וְאַבְרָ֗ם בֶּן־חָמֵ֤שׁ שָׁנִים֙ וְשִׁבְעִ֣ים שָׁנָ֔ה בְּצֵאת֖וֹ מֵֽחָרָֽן“…Avram was seventy-five years old when he left Charan” (Bereishis 12:4). There doesn’t seem to be any significant reason why we need to know Avram’s age at this point. Furthermore, why would it matter his age specifically when he left Charan?
       I would like to begin answering these questions by examining the end of last week’s parsha. Parshas Noach ends similarly to Parshas Bereishis, with a listing of the genealogy from Noach until Avram. But when we arrive at Avram’s father, Terach, the Torah tells us a whole long story about him. First, he has Avram at the age of seventy. Then, his son, Haran dies. The his other two sons get married, then Terach uproots his entire family to head towards Eretz Yisrael only to stop in Charan for some unknown reason. Finally, the parsha ends with his death in Charan at the age of 205. Why the need for this whole story? To tell us that Avram got to Charan from Ur Kasdim? The Torah can figure out another way of telling us that.
       Furthermore, Rashi there brings a confusing Chazal. If you calculate the age difference between Terach and Avram, when Terach died, Avram was 145; which means that Terach was still alive when Avram left him to go to Eretz Yisrael. So why does the Torah say that Terach died before Avram left? They answer that in order to protect Avram from people saying he didn’t honor his father for the last 60 years of his life, the Torah kills him off before Avram leaves.
       This Chazal is confusing for two reasons. First, the Torah has been following a similar pattern since Adam’s death. It lists the birth of the next generation, the length of the person’s life, and then their death. It completely ignores the historical order of events and focuses only on the chronological history. Why should it be any different here by Terach? Secondly, if the Torah wanted to hide the fact that Terach was still alive when Avram left, it didn’t do such a good job! Just four pesukim later, it tells us that Avram was 75 when he left Charan; simple math tells us that Terach was still alive at the time!
       I’d like to propose an explanation which answers all of our questions. The command from Hashem to Avram to leave his hometown did not occur chronologically at the beginning of this week’s parsha, but rather, at the end of Parshas Noach. That’s why Hashem tells Avram to leave his hometown, because at the time, he was still in his hometown! But when Avram went to tell his father he was leaving, Terach actually agreed to go with him! What prompted this move on Terach’s part? Perhaps this is the reason why the Torah goes into his seemingly unimportant life story.
       There is a famous midrash that might explain why Terach left Ur Kasdim. Avram had challenged the authority of the evil King Nimrod by teaching monotheism. Nimrod threw him into a furnace only to see Avram escape unscathed. At this point, Hashem had seen that Avram had the potential to become the father of the Jewish People, and decided to get the ball rolling on that process by commanding Avram to head out and find his destiny.
       Perhaps seeing Avram miraculously survive convinced Terach of the truth of Hashem, and when Avram told him Hashem had commanded him to head to Eretz Yisrael, not only did Terach agree to go, he led the way (See 11:31)! This whole set of pesukim is written only as a credit to Terach; he accepted the word of Hashem and was actually heading towards Eretz Yisrael to fulfill that command! Along the way, for whatever reason, Terach stopped in Charan and settled there. (As the pasuk says, “וַיָּבֹ֥אוּ עַד־חָרָ֖ן וַיֵּ֥שְׁבוּ שָֽׁם“they arrived at Charan and they settled there” [ibid].)
       At a certain point, even though he didn’t want to leave his father, Avram had to continue on to fulfill the will of Hashem. So at the age of 75, he left Charan to continue to Eretz Yisrael, taking his wife and nephew, but leaving his father. This is why the Torah mentions Avram’s age, because this is a significant moment, it’s when he actually left to fulfill the word of Hashem. And that’s why his age is specific to his leaving Charan. Until this point, Avram hadn’t fulfilled the requirement to leave his father’s house; now he finally was.
       It can also explain what Chazal mean that the Torah ‘hid’ Terach’s real death date from us. They were concerned that people would think Avram didn’t honor his father; nothing could be further from the truth! Avram honored his father a tremendous amount! He allowed him to take center stage on a journey that was supposed to be Avram’s show of faith in Hashem (The pasuk says, “וַיִּקַּ֨ח תֶּ֜רַח אֶת־אַבְרָ֣ם בְּנ֗וֹ“And Terach took his son Avram…” [ibid]. This wasn’t Avram’s journey, Terach took him along!) He stayed with him in Charan even though he was supposed to be continuing on to Eretz Yisrael. He went beyond his scope of responsibility. So while the fact that Avram left during Terach’s lifetime isn’t exactly hidden by the Torah, the fact that it’s not written explicitly is important to note. The respect of Avram towards his father must be preserved.

Shabbat Shalom!


Click here to listen this this week's Podcast (Also available on Apple Podcasts)



For any questions, comments, or to subscribe to our email list, please email is at AIMeMtorah@gmail.com.

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AIMeM

Friday, October 12, 2018

No New Dvar Torah this Week

Due to technical difficulties, there is no new Dvar Torah this week. Please click here to enjoy last year's Dvar Torah & Podcast for Parshas Noach. We will return, b'ezrat Hashem, next week, with a brand new Dvar Torah.

For any questions, comments, or to subscribe to our email list, please email is at AIMeMtorah@gmail.com.

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AIMeM

Thursday, September 20, 2018

No New Dvar Torah this Week

Due to the short week following Yom Kippur, there is no new Dvar Torah this week for Parshas Haazinu. Please click here to enjoy a previous year's Dvar Torah on this week's parsha. We will return, B'ezrat Hashem, next week with a new Dvar Torah.

Shabbat Shalom!

For any questions, comments, or to subscribe to our email list, please email is at AIMeMtorah@gmail.com.

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Don't forget to check out hashkafahandbook.com to learn about my book,Reality Check. And Like it on Facebook.

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AIMeM

Friday, September 14, 2018

Dvar Torah & Podcast for Parshas Vayeilech


       Parshas Vayeilech contains the last few moments of Moshe’s time as the leader of Bnei Yisrael. While he still has to give last words of guidance and bless to the nation, this week’s parsha is where we begin to see his authority removed. But this did not stop him one bit, as the parsha begins, “וַיֵּ֖לֶךְ משֶׁ֑ה“And Moshe went” (Devarim 31:1). Where did he go? He went to accomplish, he went to teach and guide, he went to help his people as much as he could.
       The end of the parsha contains a pasuk that, while famous, is perhaps overlooked in its true significance. It illustrates that even when he was no longer the complete leader of Bnei Yisrael, Moshe was still an important figure; this includes nowadays as well. “וַיְהִ֣י | כְּכַלּ֣וֹת משֶׁ֗ה לִכְתֹּ֛ב אֶת־דִּבְרֵ֥י הַתּוֹרָֽה־הַזֹּ֖את עַל־סֵ֑פֶר עַ֖ד תֻּמָּֽם“And it was, when Moshe finished writing the words of this Torah in a scroll, until their very completion.” (ibid: 24). The pesukim following this one write that Moshe told the Leviim to take the completed Torah scroll and place it by the Aron, to remain there eternally as a testimony to its truth.
       Interestingly, if you look earlier in the parsha, in Pasuk 9, there’s a similar idea taking place. “וַיִּכְתֹּ֣ב משֶׁה֘ אֶת־הַתּוֹרָ֣ה הַזֹּאת֒ וַיִּתְּנָ֗הּ אֶל־הַכֹּֽהֲנִים֙ בְּנֵ֣י לֵוִ֔י“Then Moshe wrote this Torah, and gave it to the Kohanim, the sons of Levi.” What is the difference between this earlier Torah that was given to the Kohanim and the Torah in Pasuk 24? The Ramban points out a distinction in the pesukim that shows the major difference between them. Pasuk 24 ends with the phrase “עַ֖ד תֻּמָּֽם”, “until their completion”; pasuk 9 makes no mention of any completion. The Ramban explains the significance behind this difference. The mitzvos had been (almost) entirely given over by pasuk 9, therefore, Moshe wrote over a copy of the Torah to be used, probably as a master teaching guide. However, he didn’t tell the Kohanim to place it anywhere specific, like he did with the Torah from pasuk 24, since it was not intended to be a testimony. Why not? Because it wasn’t finished yet.
       There was still another section of the Torah that had to be written. “וַיִּכְתֹּ֥ב משֶׁ֛ה אֶת־הַשִּׁירָ֥ה הַזֹּ֖את בַּיּ֣וֹם הַה֑וּא“And Moshe wrote this song on that day” (ibid: 22). These last few parshiyos make up this song, and even though they may not contain mitzvos (actually, pasuk 19 in Parshas Vayeilech is considered the final mitzvah in the Torah, the commandment to write a Sefer Torah), they are still part of the Torah. Pasuk 24 is Moshe writing a fully completed Sefer Torah. At this point, the Torah portion of the Written Torah was closed, sealed, nothing more could be added to it. Finally, it was ready to be used as testimony; hence, it was deposited by the Aron.
       While it’s cool to see exactly when the Torah became the Torah, there is another point to be made here concerning Moshe Rabbeinu. Moshe is the greatest leader in our history. After leading the Bnei Yisrael for all those years, this parsha shows us he was still committed to bringing out the best in every person, even after he was no longer the official leader. Perhaps that is why his title historically is not as our leader, but our rebbi; our master, teacher, and guide. One of the final acts Moshe did in his lifetime was putting the final stamp on the written Torah. A book written entirely under the auspices of Hashem Himself, something which can never be edited, changed, or discarded. The most important historical, law, and spiritual document we have today. Finished and sealed with the approval of Hashem, by Moshe Rabbeinu.

Shabbat Shalom!


Click here for a previous year's Dvar Torah for Parshas Vayeilech

Click here to listen this this week's Podcast (Also available on Apple Podcasts)


For any questions, comments, or to subscribe to our email list, please email is at AIMeMtorah@gmail.com.

Please Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter: @aimemtorah

Don't forget to check out hashkafahandbook.com to learn about my book,Reality Check. And Like it on Facebook.

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AIMeM

Friday, September 7, 2018

Dvar Torah & Podcast for Parshas Nitzavim


       Midrash can be one of the most enjoyable ways to study the parsha. Its combination of stories, parables and Jewish wisdom are easily given over and understood by people of all ages. The difficulty of learning Midrash is understanding where it comes from. While our knowledge of the information contained in Midrash is ultimately the result of it being passed down through the generations, the stories don’t appear in the text; the lessons seem unconnected to the verses from which they are deduced.  How are Chazal able to deconstruct pesukim in order to know all of this information?
       There is an example in this week’s parsha which helps explain how the meforshim work, how different commentaries read the pesukim in order to arrive at their explanations. The pasuk says, “וְלֹא אִתְּכֶם לְבַדְּכֶם אָנֹכִי כֹּרֵת אֶת הַבְּרִית הַזֹּאת וְאֶת הָאָלָה הַזֹּאת. כִּי אֶת אֲשֶׁר יֶשְׁנוֹ פֹּה עִמָּנוּ עֹמֵד הַיּוֹם לִפְנֵי יְהוָה אֱלֹהֵינוּ וְאֵת אֲשֶׁר אֵינֶנּוּ פֹּה עִמָּנוּ הַיּוֹם“Not only with you am I making this covenant and this oath, but with those standing here with us today before Hashem, our God, and also with those who are not here with us, this day.” (Devarim 29:13-14). The pasuk seems to indicate that this oath Hashem made with Bnei Yisrael was not just placed on the ones alive at that time, but even those who had not yet been born! Millennia of Jews were subject to a deal they had no part in. Many commentaries question how this was even possible!
       The Midrash offers an answer; Hashem brought the souls of every Jew, including those who had never been born, to be present at this oath. While this would certainly solve the issue, how do we see this in the pesukim? The first half of pasuk 14, when describing those present, says, “with those standing here with us”. The second half, describing those who aren’t present, writes, “also with those who are not here with us”. How come the second half doesn’t describe the people as “not standing”, the opposite of the first half? The Kli Yakar explains that this is the point in the pasuk from which the Midrash learns out the well-known tradition of all Jews being eternally beholden to the covenant with Hashem. The people being referred to in the second half of the pasuk are not standing because they cannot stand. They don’t have a physical form at this point in time; they are unborn and still in their spiritual form known as a soul.
       There are other words in the pasuk and subsequent pesukim that solidify this point even further, but the point has already been made. Midrashim don’t come out of nowhere; they have a solid tradition of being passed down through the generations, the same way all of world history has been passed down. The only difference is we also have proofs to each story and piece of wisdom, buried in the words of the Torah. The ultimate book of wisdom containing the secrets of the universe has our tradition just waiting for us to uncover its mysteries.
Shabbat Shalom!  


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