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Parashas Devarim- The actions that led to the destruction of the beis hamikdash

Parashas Devarim

The actions that led to the destruction of the beis hamikdash

The Mussar Of Moshe,Churban HaBayis EILU DEVARIM ASHER DIBER MOSHE EL KAL B’NEI yisrael. this parshah has strong mussar from Moshe to klal Yisrael. The mussar was not only for that dor, but was bringing out the essence of many problems of future generations.

Moshe was predicting that these aveiros are not just in the dor hamidbar, but they will eventually bring about the churban habayis. Moshe says eichah esa levadi. Ashkenazim read these words in the tune of Megillas Eichah. Yeshaya and Yirmiyahu also used the word eichah, lamenting a different stage of klal Yisrael’s history.

Moshe saw klal Yisrael b’sifarto – at their best. Yeshayahu saw klal Yisrael when they were starting to deteriorate. Yirmiyahu saw klal Yisrael at its lowest point – and all of them used this word eichah.

R’ Yisrael Salanter explains that Chazal are telling us that whichever problems brought about the churban are already in this passuk, and Moshe foresaw this. What did Moshe detect in klal Yisrael that made him understand this?

Hilchos aveilus are here to remind us that we have still not rectified the aveiros of the past, and our misdeeds today are perpetuating the galus and causing the tzaros we experience today.

Torchachem, masachem verivchem – these are the root of the problems, which began in the midbar and eventually led to the churban.

Rashi explains torchachem means dishonest practices, which people backed up and covered over with witnesses. People did not face up to the truth.

The Beis Halevi points out that people are quite happy to accept a psak with regards to kashrus that causes them significant financial loss – but when it comes to a monetary argument between 2 people, the loser finds it much harder to accept.

Masachem – they would criticise and undermine Moshe Rabbeinu. Rashi calls this apikorsus. Every big aveirah is rooted in a lack of derech eretz. A breakdown in kavod hatorah and kavod habriyos can lead to apikorsus. That lack of kavod habriyos in turn leads to verivchem – fighting amongst people.

The Lesson From The Meraglim LATER ON, MOSHE GIVES MUSSAR TO KLAL YISRAEL for the meraglim. ‘Vatikrevun alai kulchem’. Rashi says vatikrevun means b’irbuvya – amidst a great tumult, in contrast with matan Torah, which was done in an orderly fashion. Why is this relevant to the aveirah?

The Alter of Kelm says that the worst aveiros can be done when a person is in a state of irbuvya, when a person’s mind is in turmoil. Therefore, Moshe felt it was important to emphasize this – because it was irbuvya that caused chet hameraglim, a lack of da’as.

R’ Itzele of Volozhin takes it from a different angle. Klal Yisrael could have refused to accept blame for chet hameraglim because after all, it was the meraglim themselves who spoke badly about Eretz Yisrael. The kitrug on klal Yisrael is that they asked to send meraglim in a state of turmoil, and they should not have proceeded with this in that state of irbuvya. It started on the wrong foot, with a lack of derech eretz, with younger people pushing in front of their elders to petition Moshe on this.

R’ Yaakov Kamenetzky has a different answer. Irbuvya doesn’t mean they were disoriented. Irbuvya was a sign of panic, which showed a lack of emunah. A decision based on a lack of emunah will not amount to any good.

The Alter of Slabodka gives a different pshat – the lack of derech eretz itself was the cause of the chet hameraglim. The Alter himself was very makpid on derech eretz and kavod habriyos. Before one of his shmuessen, one bachur pushed another in his eagerness to get closer to hear the shmuess. The Alter stood up, announced that there would be no shmuess, and left.

The Gemara in Shabbos says one of the reasons for the churban is the equating of ketanim and gedolim. One of the problems with the merglim was that they lacked humility. The beginnings of that lack of hachna’ah is when ketanim start pushing the zekeinim.

The Klei Yakar points out that when Rashi explains irbuvya, Rashi contrasts it with matan Torah, when the order of ketanim and zekeinim were correct. By matan Torah, they had derech eretz and by the meraglim, they were pushing amidst great tumult – which showed that the meraglim was more important to them than matan Torah.

Lack Of Derech Eretz Causes Destruction The Gemara says one of the reasons for the churban was shelo barchu baTorah techilah. Klal Yisrael were learning and they were doing all the right things. But they lacked kavod HaTorah and that led to shelo barchu baTorah techilah. When it came to bein adam lachaveiro, don’t learn that they were actively mistreating each other and they treated each other very civilly – but deep down, they did not respect their fellow man and they lacked kavod habriyos, which led to these big aveiros.

In the haftorah that we read on Tisha B’av morning, we read pessukim that tell us that people spoke very politely to each other – but deep down, there was a lack of trust and respect between people. Once they lacked kavod habriyos, they no longer had kavod HaTorah. Pushing aside the elders leads to chet hameraglim – trying to push aside Hashem. During these times, we have to work on derech eretz, the lack of which led to the churban and the galus we are in today.

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