Thursday, August 07, 2014

Fwd: The Tefillin Line of Attack


From: Daily Lightpoints <peninim@likras.org>
Date: Wed, Aug 6, 2014 at 5:04 AM
Subject: The Tefillin Line of Attack
To: "faigerayzel@gmail.com" <faigerayzel@gmail.com>


 

Parshas Va'eschanan
Wednesday, August 6
10 Ov, 5774
ב"ה
וּקְשַׁרְתָּם לְאוֹת עַל יָדֶךָ וְהָיוּ לְטֹטָפֹת בֵּין עֵינֶיךָ (דברים ו, ח)
And you shall bind them for a sign upon your hand, and they shall be for a reminder between your eyes. (Devarim 6:8)

The Tefillin Line of Attack

The commandment of Tefilin appears twice in Shemos (13:9 & 16) - immediately upon the exodus from Egypt, and twice in Devarim (here and 11:18) - as Bnei Yisrael prepared to enter the Land of Israel forty years later. In Shemos, the Tefilin of the arm and the head are stated as one unified act: the head and arm Tefilin together "shall be to you as a sign upon your hand and as a remembrance between your eyes". In Devarim, on the other hand, the head and arm Tefilin each have a distinct command: "you shall bind them... and they shall be..."

The Talmud (Berachos 6a) declares, "It is written: 'And all the peoples of the earth will see that the name of G-d is called upon you, and they will fear you (Devarim 28:10),' and it has been taught: R. Eliezer the Great says: This refers to the Tefilin of the head". The role of the arm Tefilin, in this regard, is only to facilitate the head Tefilin; only after the arm Tefilin are wrapped, may the head Tefilin be donned. Their effect  is one: to frighten away our enemies, such that they don't even wage any battle against us. Therefore, both Tefilin are stated as one command in Shemos, when the conquest of the Land of Israel was still intended to be led by Moshe – with no battle at all. As Bnei Yisrael sang then, "All the inhabitants of Canaan melted. May dread and fright fall upon them; with the arm of Your greatness may they become as still as a stone… (Shemos 15:15-16)."

We are told though of another effect of Tefilin which is similar, but not quite the same.  "By fulfilling the mitzvah to wear the Tefilin on the arm and on the head, those going to war will see the fulfillment of Moshe's  blessing (to the warriors of Gad, Devarim 33:20) "may he tear off the arm of his prey and its head in one blow (Rabbeinu Asher, Laws of Tefilin 15)." If the enemies have not been scared off and they wage a battle against you, their fighters will be utterly devastated by the Jewish armies. We see in this instance, however, that once it's come down to war, the arm and the head Tefilin must each contribute their unique blow. Therefore, in Devarim, when Moshe knew that the conquest of the Land would be through natural means of warfare led by Yehoshua, the blows to be delivered through the merit of the Tefilin were stated separately: "you shall bind them as a sign upon your arm, and they shall be for a reminder between your eyes."

—Likutei Sichos vol. 9, pp. 55-56
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