Thursday, September 03, 2020

recognizing chasdei Hashem

 After recounting the miracles that Bnei Yisrael witnessed in Mitzrayim and then in the midbar, the parsha tells us (29:3) that Moshe said to Bnei Yisrael that Hashem did not give them a  לֵב֙ לָדַ֔עַת וְעֵינַ֥יִם לִרְא֖וֹת וְאׇזְנַ֣יִם לִשְׁמֹ֑עַ until that day.  They did not have the capacity to take it all in an appreciate it earlier.

Rashi comments: לב לדעת – להכיר את חסדי הקב״ה ולדבק בו.

A "lev ladaas" means being able to recognize the chasdei Hashem and respond with dveikus.

But what exactly happened on "that day" that shows that Bnei Yisrael finally reached that level?  Rashi writes:

עד היום הזה – שמעתיא שאותו היום שנתן משה ספר התורה לבני לוי, כמו שכתוב: ויתנה אל הכהנים בני לוי (דברים ל״א:ט׳), באו כל ישראל לפני משה, אמרו לו: משה רבנו, אף אנו עמדנו בסיני וניתנה לנו, מה אתה משליט את בני שבטך עליה, ויאמרו לנו מחר: לא לכם ניתנה. ושמח משה בדבר, ועל זאת אמר להם: היום הזה נהייתב לעם וגו׳ (דברים כ״ז:ט׳) – היום הזה הבנתי בכם שאתם דביקים וחפיצים במקום.

Moshe gave a Torah to sheivet Levi, and the rest of Bnei Yisrael came to him and protested that it was not fair -- they too wanted to receive Torah from Moshe.  Sheiveit Levi does not get a monoploy.

What does demanding Torah have to do with recognizing the chasdei Hashem in all the miracles he performed?  The seifa seems to have nothing to do with the reisha?

The pasuk, I think, is teaching us (see Meshech Chochma) what true recognition and appreciation is.  The "l'davek bo" at the end of Rashi is not an additional detail of what "lev ladaas" means, but rather is a tnai in "l'hakir."  If you truly recognize chasdei Hashem, then that recognition translates into a desire for dveikus and more closeness.  If it doesn't, then it means you don't really get it.  If your wife/mother/whoever prepares dinner for you and you leave over half the meal on your plate, no matter how much you say you appreciated the cooking, no one will believe you.  When you ask for seconds, that shows that you recognize that this is a good meal.   

If the second half of the pasuk is a continuation of the first, then we also see that "l'davek bo" is davka through learning Torah.   


  1. "l'davek bo" is davka through learning Torah.
    you litvak you

  2. "a desire for dveikus"

    (but can one cling to a consuming fire? rather he should cling to the chachamim the Levi'im, clinging more through service than through study*...)

    when Moshe praised the 40-year garments at 29:4, hundreds of talmidim advanced, offering to tailor clothes for the Levites in eretz Yisrael 'at the first sign** of wear'. when Moshe noted the desert shoes like new, hundreds more advanced to make future Levitical sandals, (or to cobble their footwear 'at the least hole or tear').

    when Moshe told over the lack of bread, at 29:5, hundreds of talmidim advanced, ready to bake for the Levites in the land 'at the first mention of hunger (or the stomach's first growl'***). and when Moshe spoke of the long, teetotaling trek, hundreds more advanced as butlers 'in case, tomorrow, our master the Levite summons'...

    * Rabbi Yochanan in the name of Rabbi Shimon bar Yochai

    ** with eyes that see

    *** with ears that hear