Parshas Behar 5774

(based on Zera Shimshon Parshas Behar pg. 74 paragraph “U’bederach zeh)

And Hashem spoke to Moshe on Har Sinai saying. Speak to Bnei Yisroel and say to them when you (plural) come to the land that I give to you (pl.) you should rest the land a Sabbath to Hashem. Six years plant your (sing.) fields, and six years prune your (sing.) vineyards, and gather (sing.) your grains. (Vayikra 25/1-3)

Zera Shimshon asks why did the Torah change from the plural, “when you (plural) come to the land that I give to you (pl.)” to the singular “plant your (sing.) fields … prune your (sing.) vineyards, and gather (sing.) your grains..

He answers that in the second paragraph of Kriyas Shema we find the same type of structure; a paragraph begins in the plural and then switches to the singular.

“And it will be, if you (pl.) diligently obey My commandments which I command you (pl.) today, to love the L-rd your (pl.) G-d and to serve Him with all your (pl.) heart and with all your (pl.) soul. I will give rain for your (pl.) land at the proper time..and you (sing.) will gather your (sing.) grain, your (sing.) wine and your (sing.) oil. And I will give grass in your (sing.) fields for your (sing.) cattle, and you (sing.) will eat and be satiated.

Here also the paragraph begins in the plural and changes to singular.

Concerning Kriyas Shema the Rif (a commentary on Ain Yaakov. Not to be confused with Rebbi Yitzchak Alfasi) explains that Hashem judges the world according to the majority. When the majority act according to Hashem’s will, then Hashem sends beracha to the world. When the majority don’t act properly….

Even though that in general the whole world is judged according to the majority and the individuals who don’t act properly also benefit (since they are part of the WHOLE world and the majority of the WHOLE world were good) they don’t receive equal beracho as the majority. After all THEY didn’t conduct themselves as they should have.

According to this, the Rif explains the change from plural to singular in Kriyas Shema.

The parsha speaks of a time when the majority carry out Hashem’s will properly. When that is the case, Hashem sends rain in its time etc. for eveyone (and therefore it is written in the plural.) The majority won’t have to work the land but rather the nations of the world will work for them.

However, the individuals who don’t fully carry out Hashem’s will, even though that they also benefit from good rains, they will have to plant and gather the crops for themselves. It is to this minority that the Torah is referring when it writes you shall gather… in singular.

In the same way, concludes Zera Shimshon, we can explain our Parsha. When the majority of Clal Yisroel fulfill Hashem’s will, then Hashem will shower down so much beracha that Clall Yisroel will not need to plant, prune, and gather their fruits. All this will happen automatically through Hashem’s beracho.

The beginning of the posuk is referring to a time when the majority fulfill Hashem’s will and is also referring to that majority. Therefore it is written in the plural.

However, only for the majority that fulfill Hashem’s will are entitled to this tremendous beracho. The minority, even though that they also benefit from this beracha, it is not to the same degree as the majority. Their land will also be prosperous but they will have to plant, prune and gather their grains by themselves to enjoy the beracho! Therefore the Torah refers to planting, pruning, and gathering in the singular!

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This d’var Torah is dedicated to Beracha Bas Menucha Shaina. In the merit of  the  learning Zera Shimshon’s divrai Torah, Hashem should answer her prayers and she should quickly find her proper match along with all the other members of Clal Yisroel who are also looking for their zivug hagun