Pearls of Rashi: Parshas Devorim II

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At the beginning of this week’s Torah portion, Devorim, we find that[1] “On that side of the Yardein (Jordan River), in the land of Moav, Moshe began explaining this Torah, saying.” Just what did Moshe explain? Rashi cites the words “explaining this Torah” and tells us the following. “He explained it to them in seventy languages.”

We need to understand why there was a need for this. All of the Jews spoke Hebrew! Furthermore, they were on their way to conquer Israel, remaining its sole inhabitants. What purpose would be served by translating the Torah? Additionally, we can understand that every moment of Moshe Rabbeinu’s time was precious. Why was he specifically chosen to render the Torah into all languages?

Until the building of the Tower of Bovel (Babel), everyone spoke Hebrew[2]. It is the Holy Tongue with which Hashem created the world. The sin of the generation that built the tower changed that. It brought division into the world. As the Torah says, “… one will not understand the language of his fellow.” As a result of their rebellion against the Almighty, they brought division into the world. This is the exact opposite of the unity which goes together with holiness. There is one indivisible G-d. The Jews are the one nation, meaning the nation of unity. They draw Hashem down into the earth, meaning into all earthly matters, through the one Torah.

This is the true meaning of Moshe translating the Torah into 70 languages. He drew down the unity of the “Holy Tongue,” Hebrew, into all spoken languages. He infused the unity of the one G-d into the world through the one true Torah.

That also explains why the translation of the Torah had to be explicitly done by Moshe Rabbeinu. Only the highest source can draw down Torah to the lowest level.

The same applies to the Moshe of each generation, meaning the leader of each generation. Only he can infuse holiness into this physical world. Therefore, each of us must connect ourselves to our Moshe. Then we will be able to fulfill our mission of transforming this low world into a dwelling place for Hashem above.

I wish one and all a good Shabbos! May we merit the time of the complete and true redemption now!

Rabbi Shmuel Mendelsohn

Adapted from Likkutei Sichos Volume 3, Pages 862-863


DEDICATED IN HONOR OF THE LUBAVITCHER REBBE

IN LOVING MEMORY OF
DR. MINDEL RIVKA (MURIEL) BAS REB MENACHEM MENDEL SHLOMO ע”ה STITT
PASSED AWAY ON SHABBAT PARSHAS LECH LECHA, 10 MAR-CHESHVAN, 5782
MAY HER SOUL BE BOUND IN THE ETERNAL BOND OF LIFE

IN HONOR OF
The Soldiers of Tzivos Hashem Chaim and Aiden Oded שיחיו Morris
DEDICATED BY THEIR PARENTS
Rabbi & Mrs. Menachem M. and Chaya Mushka שיחיו Morris


[1]. Our Parshah, Devorim 1:5.

[2]. Talmud Yerushalmi Megillah, Chapter 1, Section 9. This is also brought in Rashi’s commentary to Parshas Noach, Bereishis 11:1.

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