Matot 2021 Rabbi Moshe Goodman, Kollel Ohr Shlomo, Hebron                                                           בס"ד

לשכנו תדרשו
Discover the Holy Presence in Our Holy Land

To the leaders of the Tribes

This parsha begins with an address to the righteous leaders of the people about the laws of vows and how they pertain to the relationship between father and daughter and between husband and wife. We see from this address that it is the responsibility of the spiritual leaders of the people to bring peace between opposites, i.e masculine, and feminine. The address here is to the heads of the tribes “roshei hamatot.” Literally, “matot” – tribes, can also mean staffs. The staff has a form similar to the letter vav, which is the “connecting letter” in the Hebrew alphabet. Here again we see the dominance of uniting and bringing peace and harminy in the very name of the tribes mentioned in the address in this parsha.
Not only is peace needed between people but even within one person there are masculine and feminine forces that need to be harmonized. This matter can be found in the annulment of vows [‘hatarat nedarim’]. The feminine force within a person brings a person to find a personal structure which may variate from the constant and regular way of the collective. This search for personal structure brings one to make a vow. However, the masculine force is constant, non-variating, which brings a person to abstain from making a vow, which changes one’s status from that of the collective whole. Therefore, we can can understand why, when annulling a vow one must first find a reason that one mis-looked at the time of the vow which brings him to his/her state, i.e his/her ‘constant masculine’ state, before ‘the change’, i.e the ‘feminine’ vow. Then, one must go to three men representing the ‘masculine constant collective’, to annul this vow. Similarly, in the dissolvement of vows [‘hafarat nedarim’] by a father or husband, it is specifically the man in this relationship that is given the right to dissolve the vow of a woman.
The importance of the leaders of the People in this section of our parsha shows that the spiritual leaders of the People have both the responsibility and the Divine guidance to bring peace between opposites both within a person and in interpersonal relationships. Indeed, our Sages teach that ‘Torah scholars bring peace to the world.’ Also Hebron, our People’s common roots brings peace unto our people. Indeed, also the Zohar teaches: ‘Hebron refers to Torah, for one who occupies himself with Torah is called a haber – Torah scholar.’

Real Miracles: From the Six Day War

Moving towards the road my force came first, there were no clear commands. The battalion was in disarray. We tried to locate the enemy positions, while capturing the positions on the road was very difficult. We left behind Zhalamim men who clung to the ground following the shelling; the men trembled as they clung to the ground as if pinned to them with a hammer that did not add any security. We felt a little more comfortable in the tanks, but their condition is hard to describe. We were very crowded. The force’s deputy commander arrived, and no place was found for him to deploy. Some of the force took up positions beside us, while the force’s deputy commander, who saw no room to stop, continued to move forward. Since I saw that the place was difficult, I ordered to move after me on the road, without any order from the battalion commander or any other factor. I called my lieutenant and it turned out that he had already moved a lot forward. One of the terrible things, which seemed like an eternity in hell, was that the enemy’s compound that needed to be passed seemed endless. Later I tried to recreate the same battle for myself, and only God has solutions for how we got out of there without getting hurt.
Source: “Al Hamishmar” 29 Elul 5767. From the orchard to the tanks / Yaakov Daria

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