Shoftim (5764)

Drash Cards for Shoftim (5764)

 By Marc Mangel

  • Today I want to focus on Ch 18, v 13 (read), using the Drashot of Rav Yosef Chaim Sommerfeld (Rav of the Old Yishuv of Jerusalem in the early 1900s)
  • You shall be innocent with HaShem your God.
  • Everyone else interprets it as: You shall be whole-hearted
  • First not that the singular is used – this applies to every one of us
  • In his dictionary (ca 1903) Jastro interpret it to mean without blemish, pure, or upright
  • Rashi says: Trust in God, do not delve into the future, accept whatever comes to you with whole-hearedness
  • Nehama says: the opposite of ‘whole-hearted’ is disharmony between and inner and outer person
  • Bachya in Duties of the Heart (c 1000) says “It is well known that a man whose conduct is contradictory, his words being at variance with his deeds, is not to be trust. People do not believe in his sincerity. If we are similarly insincere in our dealings with God, the intention of our hearts being contradicted by our words, and our inner conscience by our outward actions, our service to God cannot be perfect, since he does not accept insincere service”
  • This is not just theoretical. Zelig Pleskin who workds at the Aish HaTorah Counseling Center says “Learn how to distinguish between trust in God and lack of taking responsibility”
  • Moshe Feinstein uses the example of Tay Sachs testing. One could say “No —- testing, since very few infants are born with the disease and I shall trust in God”. That is totally bogus.   Pleskin again “Having trust in the Almighty will give a person peace of mind and serenity. But one should never use a claim of trust in the Almighty to condone laziness or rash behavior. There is a thin line between the virtue of bitochon and the fault of carelessness and lack of taking responsibility”