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VeZos HaBerachah

The Chassidic Dimension - Volume 5
Interpretations of the Weekly Torah Readings and the Festivals.
Based on the Talks of The Lubavitcher Rebbe,
Rabbi Menachem M. Schneerson.


Compiled by Rabbi Sholom B. Wineberg, Edited by Sichos In English

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  Masei (Bein HaMetzarim)Vaes'chanan  


Commenting on the statement of the Gemara[567] that Moshe transmitted the Book of Devarim "on his own," Tosafos[568] notes that it was imparted with Ruach HaKodesh ("Divine Inspiration").

There are many degrees of Ruach HaKodesh. With regard to Moshe the Torah testifies,[569] "No prophet has ever arisen in Israel as Moshe." We thus understand that the Ruach HaKodesh of Moshe was of the loftiest possible degree.

Moreover, the Book of Devarim is part of the Written Torah. Surely then, Moshe's communicating the Book of Devarim "on his own" can in no way imply that it was not given by G-d, heaven forfend.

Especially so, as the Rambam rules[570] that if one says of even one word of the Torah that Moshe said it on his own and it was not transmitted by G-d, he is deemed a heretic. How much more so is it impossible for an entire book of the Written Torah to be imparted by Moshe "on his own" and not communicated to him by G-d.

We must perforce say that "on his own" means that Moshe imparted the Book of Devarim with Ruach HaKodesh, i.e., as G-dliness vested itself within Moshe and became united with him. This is in keeping with the saying of our Sages, "The Divine Presence spoke via the throat of Moshe."[571] Moshe was therefore able to say[572] "I shall provide rain," for in actuality it was G-d speaking through the medium of Moshe.

The only difference between the Book of Devarim and the first four books of the Torah is in the manner in which they were revealed by Moshe to us:

The first four books, although they too were communicated to us by Moshe, were transmitted by him merely as G-d's emissary. The Book of Devarim, however, was communicated to us by Moshe in a manner as if he were saying it "on his own" and not merely as an emissary. That is to say, regarding Devarim the Divine Presence vested itself in Moshe's intellect and united with him, with the Divine Presence speaking through the medium of Moshe.

The same holds true for all Torah novella revealed to us through the Tannaim and Amoraim, the authors of the Mishnah and Gemara, as well as all the Chidushei Torah of true Talmidei Chachamim in subsequent generations -- all was already given by G-d to Moshe on Sinai,[573] and they are verily the word of G-d.[574] Merely, that these words of G-d have been garbed in the vestments of their comprehension -- the vestiture within each individual in accordance with his particular spiritual level.

It is thus understood that just as in the Book of Devarim there are not only to be found new matters, but also many amplifications and clarifications of matters discussed in the earlier four books -- things which would not be known without Devarim, so too regarding the novel Torah interpretations and enactments of all subsequent generations:

If one does not observe the enactments of the "Moshe's" of subsequent generations,[575] then he not only lacks the present enactments, etc., which are verily the words of G-d, he also lacks in his performance of all that was commanded until then, as he denies the sanctity of the words of all the "Moshe's" throughout the generations.

We must, however, understand why the Book of Devarim differs from the first four books of the Torah in that Moshe specifically communicated Devarim "on his own"?

Devarim was related to the generation that entered Eretz Yisrael,[576] at which time the Jewish people began their service of a nation in a "settled land." It then became necessary for them to lower themselves into the realm of physical affairs in order to refine and elevate the physical to holiness.

As a result of this descent into the physical, the Jewish people could not receive the divine light and manifestation of Torah in the same manner as in the desert when they were wholly removed from the physical;[577] the revelation of G-dliness in Devarim had to pass through a connecting and intermediary medium, a memutzeh ha'mechaber.

So, too, from generation to generation: The lower the spiritual quality of the generation, the greater the vestiture of G-d's words; in order for the divine illumination to penetrate a lower spiritual generation, it needs to be garbed in ever more concealing garments.

However, this only applies to the garments in which Torah is garbed. With regard to the essence of Torah itself, there is no difference: all parts of Torah, from the first four books of the Torah up until the Chidushei Torah of an Acharon (who is widely accepted among the Jewish people)[578] are verily G-d's words, "all emanating from the same Divine Shepherd."[579]

Based on Likkutei Sichos, Vol. IV, pp. 1087-1089.



  1. (Back to text) Megillah 31b. See also Likkutei Torah, Shir HaShirim, p. 20c.

  2. (Back to text) Ibid.

  3. (Back to text) Devarim 34:10.

  4. (Back to text) Rambam, Hilchos Teshuvah 3:8.

  5. (Back to text) See Zohar, Vol. III, p. 232a; Shemos Rabbah 3:15.

  6. (Back to text) Devarim 11:14. See also Likkutei Torah, Bechukosai, p. 50a.

  7. (Back to text) See Megillah 19b; Yerushalmi, Pe'ah 2:4; Shemos Rabbah beginning of ch. 47, et al.

  8. (Back to text) See Kesef Mishnah, Rambam, ibid.

  9. (Back to text) Tikunei Zohar, Tikkun 69 (p. 114a). See also Bereishis Rabbah, 56:7.

  10. (Back to text) See Tanya, conclusion of ch. 25.

  11. (Back to text) See Likkutei Sichos, Vol. II, p. 329.

  12. (Back to text) See Hilchos Talmud Torah of the Alter Rebbe, beginning of ch. 2.

  13. (Back to text) See Likkutei Torah, Bamidbar, p. 15c, and sources cited there.

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