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PERASHA MATOT-MASSEI

07/29/2022 12:56:56 PM

Jul29

And Moshe spoke to the heads of tribes of the Children of Israel… This is the word that G-d has commanded." (30, 2)

Keep your promise

Our Parsha begins with the mitzvah of vows, as it says, And Moshe spoke to the heads of tribes of the Children of Israel… This is the word that G-d has commanded. If a man vows a vow unto G-d or swears… to bind a fetter to his will he many not make his word void, he must do according to all that proceeds out of his mouth." In other words, the holy Torah warns that a person who vows or swears to do something shall not have his words go in vain like profane words that have no importance; whatever has come out of his mouth he should quickly do.

From the fact that the Torah calls this mitzvah "This is the word" we see that the topic of vows and their upholding is exceedingly important, higher than other mitzvahs. Therefore, if a vow is not upheld, it harms a very high place in Heaven. Consequently, almost everyone, even those who are distant from Torah and mitzvahs, are very afraid of transgressing on a vow or oath, because their holy souls feel the great damage that can be done and they are afraid of it.

When a person vows to do something and is delayed from fulfilling his vow, a harmful element is created in Heaven that brings prosecution against him constantly and causes him great harm in all areas of his life. Even if this person has many merits and learns much Torah, etc., these are not enough to protect him from the great prosecution that rests upon him for his delay in upholding his vow.

The greatest proof is from our great forefather, who was perfect in his character traits, Yakov Avinu. When he ran away from his brother Eisav, on the way he vowed to G-d and said " If G-d will be with me and Keep me on this path… and will Give me bread to eat and clothes to wear, and I return … to my father's house, then G-d shall Be G-d unto me, and this stone which I have set … shall become a house of G-d and everything that You will Give me I shall repeatedly tithe unto You."

However, even after G-d gave him great wealth, as it says, "And the man spread out exceedingly and had… flocks and maidservants and menservants and camels and donkeys", Yakov Avinu forget to fulfill his vow and to tithe a tenth of his great wealth to G-d and therefore difficult troubles came upon him one after the other, as it says in the Medrash.

First G-d brought upon him his brother Eisav with four hundred men in order to kill him and in order to save his life Yakov had to give Eisav that great gift "two hundred she-goats and twenty he-goats…." and thereby Yakov was struck in his money for delaying his vow.

After he didn't feel anything, G-d brought upon him that same angel, the angel of Eisav, who fought with him the entire night until in the end he hurt Yakov's leg and made him limp- and thereby Yakov was also struck in his body.

When he still didn't feel it, G-d brought upon him the troubles with his daughter Dina who was taken by Shchem the son of Chamor who tormented her and thereby Ykov was also struck through his children.

And when after all this Yakov still didn't feel anything, G-d struck him with someone's life and his wife Rachel died in childbirth.

Then G-d say, "Until when will this righteous man be struck and not feel for which sin he has been punished? I will tell him, as it says, "And G-d say to Yakov Arise, go up to Beth-el and rest there and make there an altar…." G-d said to him, "These troubles only came unto you because you delayed your vow. If you want no more troubles to come, arise and go to Beth-el and make there an altar in the same place where you had vowed."

We see that even the great merits of Yakov Avinu and his great holiness did not help him when he delayed fulfilling his vow and he was caused great suffering because of it until G-d enlightened him to quickly fulfill his vow.

For as long as a person delays paying up his vow his merits and debts in Heaven are mixed up and his account is reviewed and the angels bring up his debits and remind about his sins.

Therefore our forefathers were always very cautious with vows and if they vowed charity to a synagogue when they were given an aliya to the Torah on Shabbat and holidays, etc. they quickly paid up their vow immediately after Shabbat ended and did not delay, even until Sunday, because of their great fear of delaying the payment of a vow.

From this every person should learn that if he vows to give charity to Torah scholars, etc., he should not rest idly until he has paid for his vow. Because sometimes during a time of grace a person's heart is filled with purity and he vows to give charity generously but then when he gets home his Evil Inclination gets a hold of him and incites him to go back on his vow so as not to lose his money. Concerning this a person must be careful and try to give as quickly as possible.

SHABBAT SHALOM!!

Fri, February 23 2024 14 Adar I 5784