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"For Instruction shall come forth from Zion, The word of the L-rd from Jerusalem." -- Isaiah 2:3


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DEUTERONOMY — 7:12 kindness

We must bestow kindness. The Talmud (Yevomos 79a) states that there are three attributes by which the Jewish people are distinguished: they are merciful, they have a sense of shame, and they bestow kindness. The Talmud (Yerushalmi Kidushin 1:1) states that the attribute of bestowing kindness is derived from this verse. This statement appears quite difficult. The versus states that G-d will bestow kindness, but where do we see that the Jewish people bestow kindness? Rabbi Boruch Epstein explained thus: G-d deals with a person as that person deals with others (Sotah 9b). Therefore, if the Torah states that G-d will bestow kindness upon the Jewish people, it is implied that they themselves bestow kindness upon others. (Torah Temimah, this verse).

DEUTERONOMY — 7:15 ill

It was taught: Rebbi says: "And the L-rd shall remove from you every ill" -- this is "burning" [i.e., high fever]. R. Eliezer b. Yaakov says This is ambition-- in consistency with his view, viz. (28:48): "And He shall put a yoke of iron upon your neck" -- this is ambition. R. Avon says: This is the evil inclination, whose beginning is sweet, and whose end is bitter [("ill,") "choli," being similar to "chali," ("sweet")] (Yerushalmi Shabbath 14:3)

DEUTERONOMY — 7:15 ward off

This splendid Messianic age can occur, though, only if the impediments to its realization are first removed. Thus many biblical and rabbinic visions of the end time include a war against the forces of evil. (See, for example, Isaiah 2:1-4, 11:1-12, and Micah 4:1-6.) Similarly, significant strides in improving the communal level of health can happen only if sources of pollution are removed or at least ameliorated and if common social practice like smoking and driving while drunk are curtailed. Eliminating obstacles to help must accompany the positive steps we take to ensure it.

DEUTERONOMY — 7:26 abomination

Our Rabbis taught (Sotah 4b): "Everyone who is haughty of spirit is as one who serves idols, as it is written in one place (Mishlei 16:5): 'The abomination of Hashem are all who are proud of heart,' and in another [this verse]:' And do not bring an abomination into your house.'" There are others who say: "it is as if he has relations with all those were forbidden to him, as it is written (Vayikra 18:27): 'For all of these abominations they did." And there are others who say: "It is as if he erected a provisional altar (bamah)." They say further (Sotah 5a): "All who are haughty of spirit in the end are diminished, as it is written (Iyov 24:24): 'They are exalted a little.'" And he deserves to be uprooted as an asherah [a tree devoted to idol worship], as it is written in one place (Yeshayahu 10:33): "And the haughty of stature shall be uprooted," and in another (Devarim 7:5): "And their asheros shall you uproot." And his dust will not awaken [for the Resurrection]. And the Shechinah wails over him.

DEUTERONOMY — 8:5 chastises

One is required to contemplate and realize that the tribulation that has befallen him and the suffering that has beset him are not commensurate to the gravity of his transgression in the amount of his sins. Rather, Hashem chastises him in the manner of a father his son, out of His compassion for him [Vayera 19:16], as the pasuk says [this verse], "You shall realize in your heart that just as a man chastises his son, so Hashem, you G-d, chastises you." Our Sages, z"l, commented on this (Yalkut Shemos 303): "Your heart realizes [from] the actions you have committed and the chastisement I have a brought upon you, that I have not chastised you commensurate to your deeds. The pesukim further say (Iyov 11:6), "Know, that G-d exacts from you [less] than your transgressions [deserve]"; and (Ezra 9:13), "For you, our G-d, withheld [Your punishment] to less than our transgressions [deserve]."

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