Pearls of Rashi – Shabbos Chol Hamoed II

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With the portion of V’zos Haberochoh, we conclude the reading of the Chumash[1]. It is the portion which we would have read this coming Shabbos. However, because we are currently celebrating the festival of Sukkos, this Torah reading is pushed off until the end of the holiday. Nevertheless, the daily portion of Chumash which we study is from V’zos Haberochoh. This being the case, it seems appropriate to discuss a Rashi from this Parshah. This Torah Portion contains the famous verse which expresses the connection between Jews and Torah[2]; “the Torah which Moshe commanded us is an inheritance of the congregation of Yaakov (the Jewish Nation).”

Rashi cites the word “Torah,” and explains as follows. The Torah “that Moshe commanded us is an inheritance of the congregation of Yaakov, we have taken hold of it, and we will not forsake it!”

We need to understand why Rashi uses the phrase “we have taken hold of it.”  It would seem that “we have followed it,” or “we have learned it” would be more fitting.

Furthermore, why does Rashi need to specify that we have taken hold of the Torah which we received as an inheritance? What difference does it make how we received it?

The root of the Hebrew word which Rashi uses for “taking hold of,” is “Achuzah – אחוזה.” It can be translated as grasping, taking hold of. However, it can also be translated as an inheritance. The Torah uses the word “Sedai Achuzah – שדה אחוזה,” to mean an inherited field.  Hashem commanded us to divide the land of Israel among all of the tribes. The portion of each tribe was further divided among each individual family. Every Jew has a portion of the Holy Land. One can never really sell real estate in Israel; it is an inheritance that never completely leaves one’s possession. In case one did sell land, it returns to him in the Jubilee, the 50th year. It is always connected to the one who originally inherited it.

The same is true of the Torah. It is our eternal property; despite the fact that we may temporarily be found among the nations of the world. Come what may, Torah is always the “inheritance of the congregation of Yaakov.”

May we all have a good, sweet year both in spiritual and physical matters. We should rejoice with the Torah, our personal, constant possession. Likewise, the Torah shall rejoice with us. May we merit the ultimate blessing of Moshiach Now!

Rabbi Shmuel Mendelsohn

Adapted from Likkutei Sichos Volume 29, Beginning with Page 229

Mr. Sholom Moshe Hacohen
ben Reb Shlomo Meir Hacohen ע”ה Cohen
Passed away Shabbos Parshas Beshalach, 13 Shevat, 5779
May His Soul be bound in the Eternal Bond of Life
* * *
לעילוי נשמת
ר’ שלום משה הכהן בן ר’ שלמה מאיר הכהן ע”ה כהן
נפטר ש”ק פ’ בשלח, י”ג שבט, ה’תשע”ט
ת. נ. צ. ב. ה.
יו”ל ע”י בתו וחתנו שיחיו
הרה”ת ר’ שמואל ורבקה שי’ מענדלסאהן

[1]. Please note, that immediately after concluding the Torah, we begin reading it again. The Torah is our life, and we never complete it.

[2]. Our Parshah, Devorim 33, 4.

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