Vortlach for Parshas Ki Savo

I’ve decided to start writing down some interesting comments that I’ve seen on the the פרשה. I don’t know if this will continue or not; we’ll see…

×›”ו:ד’ — ולקח הכהן הטנא מידך:

The רמב”ם rules that although there is no specific amount specified for ביכורים, our ×—×–”ל established the amount as 1/60th (cf. ירושלמי ביכורים פ”×’).

The עליות עליהו suggests that perhaps this is hinted to by the תורה itself. The משנה in ‘כלים ×™”ב:×’ defines a טנא as containing 1/2 of a סאה. The גמרא in כתובות קי”א gives the amount of produce produced by a single tree during a time of ברכה as the amount that can be carried by two donkeys, each of which can carry 15 סאה.

Since the מצוה of ביכורים applies even for a single tree, it turns out that amount that will be brought is 1/2:30 or 1/60 of the yield.

×›”×–:×›”ו — אשר לא יקים את דברי התורה הזאת לעשות אותם:

The כתב סופר understands this פסוק as being a warning against trying to tamper with the מצוות, even if one’s intention is לשם שמים. Cursed is anyone who does not (attempt to) fulfill all of these מצוות, even if his intention is to try and save part of the תורה (i.e. לעשות אותם). [TBD: how does this fit in with עת לעשות].

He also applies this פסוק to anyone who would try to replace the physical קיום המצוות with attempts to delve into the deeper spiritual meaning and neglect the physical actions.

×›”×—:×’’ — ברוך אתה בעיר:

ר’ חיים סופר, writing in דברי שערי חיים, writes that some people, while privately pious, are afraid to be seen doing מצוות in public, lest they be ridiculed for being backwards. To combat this danger, the פסוק gives its blessing to those who are fulfill the מצוות in public as well (בעיר).

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