Rabbi Krakowski: Simchas Torah 5772


   “And this is the Brocho that Moshe Rabeinu gave Bnei-Yisroel before he died”.  When we then read the text that follows, we realize that there may be a problem with that opening statement of Vezos Habrocho.  It is not one Brocho (Blessing) that Moshe Rabeinu gives, but rather a separate Brocho to each Shevet. How can the Torah introduce this series of Brochos as being one(see Kli-Yakar)?

There is another problem: why does the Torah feel it necessary to give an introduction to Moshe Rabeinu’s Brocho at all? Wouldn’t it have sufficed for the Torah to have just relayed what the Brocho was?

The last Mishna in Shas ends by telling us that Hashem could not find a receptacle for Brocho to give to Klal Yisroel other than Shalom – Peace – as it is stated in the Passuk:   ה’ עוז… ה’ יברך את עמו בשלום  (“Hashem will give strength to His Nation; Hashem will bless His Nation with peace”). The Mishna is a bit difficult to understand. The Mishna tells us that Shalom is a Kli – receptacle for Brocho, and the passuk the Mishna quotes says that Hashem blesses us with Shalom – is Shalom a Kli for Brocho, or is it a Brocho?

Money is something that has a value only because it is spent. If one keeps all of one’s money locked up and doesn’t use it he may be technically rich but will live impoverished. Money can therefore be a blessing only if it isn’t kept locked up but is used to buy the needed things to live comfortably. This characteristic of money isn’t reserved strictly for money but can be applied to all good things. Anything good that is kept only in its potential state doesn’t yield any benefit. If we keep talents and strengths locked up they are wasted. If, on the other hand, we take advantage of them and use them, they are likely to become completely used up, spent.  While in the latter case we would derive some minimal benefit, we would still end up without a substantial gain.

Perhaps what the Mishna cited above is telling us is as follows: Hashem wants to bestow on Klal-Yisroel Brochos, but does not want these to be used up; Hashem wants them to be everlasting. At the same time Hashem doesn’t want the Brochos to be kept locked up and not actualized. It is to this seeming paradox, the Mishna tells us, that Hashem could not find a Kli – something that would at one and the same time prevent the Brocho from becoming used up while also not keeping the Brochos locked up. The Mishna tells us that Shalom is the only vehicle able to accomplish this.

Moshe Rabeinu gives each Shevet a Brocho. These Brochos are meant to enhance the tafkid (purpose, or mission) of each and every Shevet. The Brochos are supposed to aid the Shevatim in fulfilling their roles as part of Klal-Yisroel. As such these Brachos are essentially helping Klal-Yisroel achieve peace and harmony. Moshe Rabeinu indeed gave a series of individual Brochos, but all these Brochos together amounted to the ultimate Brocho of peace and unity.

As we join and dance together with the Sifrei Torah around the Bima may we achieve true peace and harmony in our communities thus allowing us to maximize all other Brochos. May we be Zoche to the Eternal Peace and Brocho.

Rabbi Y. Dov Krakowski