Luchos Shniyos

This week we read the Shirah of Haazinu. Rashi along with others learn that the obligation in the Pasuk ועתה כתבו לכם את השירה הזאת is referring to Shiras Haazinu. But the Gemara in Sanhedrin 21b learns from that Pasuk the obligation of כתיבה ספר תורה which would seem to mean that השירה הזאת in the Pasuk is referring to כל התורה כולה. The Rambam manages to explain both that really the Shirah in the Pasuk refers to Haazinu, it’s just that one can’t write פרשיות פרשיות and therefore one is required to write the whole Torah so ממילא we see that there is a Mitzvah to write the whole Torah. Therefore, either way, we see that השירה הזאת is referring to the Shirah of Haazinu.

The Gemara in Rosh Hashanah 31a goes through the various Shiros sung in the Beis Hamikdash when the Tamid Shel Shachar was brought during the week. However, on Shabbos, besides for the Shira that was said by the Tamid Shel Shachar, an additional Shira was sung when the Musafim were brought. The Gemara says on Shabbos, they would say the Shiras Haazinu broken up into seven weeks, each week one portion was said and it was broken up according to הזי"ו ל"ך. The Gemara adds the way it was broken up here, so too that’s how it was read in the Beis Haknesses. The Gemara concludes that at Minchah on Shabbos, they would also read the Az Yashir and Az Yashir of the Be’er. What was the significance of these Shiros that they were sung on Shabbos?

The Maharsha writes all these Shiros mentioned above are found in the Torah and they were chosen to be said on Shabbos because they are a higher level of Kedusha as opposed to the Shiros during the week are from Dovid and have less Kedusha and are therefore said during the week. He concludes that the Siman for the breakup of Psukim read in Shiras Haazinu is הזי"ו ל"ך because the Shir of Shabbos has זיו-splendor, because it was said through Moshe שקרן עור פניו and the Targum writes זיו.

We say in davening ישמח משה במתנת חלקו וכו' כליל תפארת בראשו נתת וכו' וכתוב בהם שמירת שבת וכן כתוב בתורתך. Why does it says בראשו, in his head, כליל-crown should go on his head? The כל בו says that this כליל תפארת בראשו is referring to the קירון עור פני משה and therefore that radiance that Moshe was zocheh to is considered emanating from within, hence בראשו.
But why is it that we are referring to שמירת שבת and not זכירת שבת? It would seem that it is referring to the Luchos Shniyos which had the Aseres Hadibros of Parshas Vaeschanan (according to some Rishonim) which has Shmiras Shabbos as opposed to Zchiras Shabbos in the Luchos Rishonos. So why here are we referring to the Luchos Shniyos?

We could suggest that based on the Gemara in Shabbos 88a that when Klal Yisrael said נעשה ונשמע, they received crown but when they sinned with the golden calf, they lost them. The Gemara continues and says that Moshe Rabbeinu was zocheh to get all those crowns as it says ומשה יקח את האהל. Rashi explains this is referring to the קירון עור פניו. Based on כל בו mentioned above, it can be understood why we are mentioning Shmiras Shabbos, referencing the Luchos Shniyos because the קירון עור פני משה came in the process of receiving the Luchos Shniyos, as explained as follows.

By the sin of the golden calf, the Pasuk says ובמה יודע אפוא כי מצאתי חן בעיניך אני ועמך וכו' ונפלינו אני ועמך (כי תשא לג,טז). The Ibn Ezra on the Pasuk later on ויאמר הנה אנכי כרת ברית וכו' אעשה נפלאות אשר לא נבראו בכל הארץ וכו' (שם לד,י) writes these נפלאות are referring to the קרינות פניו and it was an answer to Moshe when he asked ובמה יודע וכו' ונפלינו אני, that he would be separated being that he would have this קירון עור. So we see from here that the קירון עור came to Moshe in the process of receiving the Luchos Shniyos. Therefore, its understood according to the כל בו that כליל תפארת בראשו is referring to the קירון עור פני משה, that we are mentioning Shmiras Shabbos which was written in the Luchos Shniyos because it was through the receiving of the Luchos Shniyos that Moshe was zocheh to the קיורן עור פניו.

The Gemara in Sanhedrin 31a says שלחו ליה למר עוקבא לדזיו ליה כבר בתיה שלם. מר עוקבא was being described as someone who had this זיו like the son of בתיה. On this, Rashi says the following:

כמשה שהוא בן בתיה, למי שמקרין עור פניו כמשה רבינו שגידלתו בתיה בת פרעה, לשון אחר: כבר ביתיה כמשה, שהוא בן בית, דכתיב (במדבר יב) בכל ביתי נאמן הוא, לדזיו ליה - על שם שהיה חכם, וכתיב (קהלת ח) חכמת אדם תאיר פניו, ומצאתי בספר הגדה שהיה מר עוקבא בעל תשובה, שנתן עיניו באשה אחת והעלה לבו טינא ונפל בחולי, ואשת איש היתה, לימים נצרכה ללות ממנו ומתוך דוחקה נתרצית לו, וכבש יצרו ופטרה לשלום ונתרפא, וכשהיה יוצא לשוק היה נר דולק בראשו מן השמים וכו' ע"ש.

So מר עוקבא had this experience where he overcame his Yetzer and was בעל תשובה and when he went out to the שוק, he had a lit candle over his head. He is compared to בר בתיה, Moshe, because Moshe grew up in the house of Pharaoh and was in essence a self-made Jew, like a Baal Tshuva as well and therefore he was zocheh to have this קירון עור פניו.

This is why the קירון עור פניו comes in the context of the Luchos Shniyos which are the Luchos of Teshuva being that they were received after Klal Yisrael did Teshuva and were סולח for the חטא העגל.

The medrash asks from where did Moshe get the קרני הוד and it says when Moshe wrote the Torah, נשתייר בקולמוס קימעא והעבירו על ראשו ומשם נעשה לו קרני ההוד. The Beis HaLevi in Drush 18 explains that by the Luchos Shniyos, the תורה שבעל פה was less בעל פה because it wasn’t written on the Luchos Shniyos and therefore it was נשתייר בקולמוס. We see that the דיו נשתייר בקולמוס was the source of the קירון עור פני משה, meaning that since the Luchos Shniyos was a concealed Torah, a lot was left for our own effort to uncover the full meaning of תורה שבכתב. That enables us to have a much deeper connection with Torah, as the מהבי"ט writes in the Hakdama to his Sefer קרית ספר on the Rambam that the parchment of תושבע"פ is the body of the ת"ח. We see that the קירון עור which comes from the דיו נשתייר בקולמוס is the self-effort. Just like the Tzadik doesn’t have to exert himself as much as the Baal Teshuva does in order to bring himself to where he brings himself. The effort of the Baal Teshuva is similar to that of the Luchos Shniyos which is all connected to Teshuva.

The Mishna in the end of Taanis says as follows:

אמר רבן שמעון בן גמליאל: לא היו ימים טובים לישראל כחמשה עשר באב וכיום הכפורים וכו' וכן הוא אומר צאינה וראינה בנות ציון במלך שלמה בעטרה שעטרה לו אמו ביום חתנתו וביום שמחת לבו, ביום חתנתו - זה מתן תורה, וביום שמחת לבו - זה בנין בית המקדש, שיבנה במהרה בימינו.

On זה מתן תורה, Rashi writes because on Yom Kippur we received the Luchos Shniyos. The question if however the day is referred to יום שמחה, why is it that we have the חמשה עינויים, on the contrary we should have בשר ויין because אין שמחה אלא בבשר ויין. Also, on Shavuos, everyone agrees that you need לכם because יום שנתנה בו תורה לישראל and yet on Yom Kippur which is also the day we received the Torah, there is no לכם?

Furthermore, the amount one is not allowed to eat on Yom Kippur is the amount that is מיתבא דעתיה. But it would seem that the Torah can only be accepted when a person has יישוב הדעת as it says by אתה הראת לדעת. Also תושבע"פ which was came about with the Luchos Shniyos for sure requires יתובי דעתא as the Gemara in Bava Kama says לצפרא אמר ליה וכו' והא דלא אמרי לך באורתא דלא אכלי בישרא דתורא, and Tosfos writes that he was fasting and fasting prevents יתובי דעתא which prevents clarity in תושבע"פ. All this being the case, how could it be that on Yom Kippur which is the day we got the Luchos Shniyos which are the foundation of תושבע"פ, that we prevent ourselves from יישוב הדעת?

The root of the sin of the golden calf was that the Jews couldn’t bear to be in a situation of לא ידענו, they couldn’t live with uncertainty. Therefore they made the golden calf which was שקר but it was at least meant not living with uncertainty. It is the human condition to find it difficult to live with uncertainty to the point where people would rather choose שקר rather than live with uncertainty. This was really the חטא of אדם הראשון, the first sin in the history of mankind that Adam wanted to be יודע דעת אלוקים which was clarity. He didn’t want to live with uncertainty. But by Matan Torah, when the Jews said נעשה ונשמע they accepted the Torah with uncertainty and therefore פסקה זוהמתן. Meaning that they got rid of the defilement that came into the world by חטא of אדם הראשון because we were willing to accept the Torah with an uncertainty. This is also why when they made the עגל, which was because they couldn’t live with uncertainty and not knowing as it says כי זה משה האיש אשר העלנו מארץ מצרים לא ידענו מה היה לו, the defilement returned, as it says in the Zohar.

The tikun for this is through the Luchos Shniyos. Originally, the Torah was given asאתה הראת לדעת and the Luchos Rishonos were all encompassing with complete clarity (See the Beis Halevi Drush 18). However, after the חטא העגל, the tikun needed to be to be able to live with uncertainty. Therefore, going forward, the Torah needed to be given in a way of תעלומות חכמה, and therefore only the תושב"כ was written on the Luchos Shniyos and the תושבע"פ was left out giving people the opportunity to live with that uncertainty and clarity and only revealing it with toiling. The Luchos Shniyos brought about the concept of תושבע"פ which was a tikun for the inability to live with לא ידענו.

The Gemara in Arachin 8b says צדקתך כהררי אל אלו נגעי אדם משפטיך תהום רבה אלו נגעי בתים. Rashi explains that the reason why נגעי אדם are צדק, like a חסד, is because in one week the person knows whether he is טהור or ודאי חלוט. תוספות there explains that נגעי בתים can take up to three weeks until a person knows. We see that even though the certainty by נגעי אדם is that he might for sure be טמא, it is still viewed as a חסד to know for sure as opposed to by נגעי בתים where one is still unsure after week one and might not know until after three weeks. Human nature is that we prefer certainty over uncertainty regardless of if it is good or bad, and therefore the challenge is to be able to contain, embrace, and work with uncertainty.

According to all this, we can understand why Yom Kippur, the day we received the Luchos Shniyos which intentionally lacked תושבע"פ which teaches us the tikun for the חטא העגל is a day where we specifically don’t want יתוביה דעתיה. Because תושבע"פ is all about uncertainty, because maybe it’s like this or may like that, or maybe it’s neither. But we are able to learn it and embrace the uncertainty which is a tikun for the לא ידענו.

Elevation Through Man

In the Haftorah, the Pasuk says ישבו ישבי בצלו יחיו דגן ויפרחו כגפן זכרו כיין לבנון. The Baal Teshuva is being compared to גפן and דגן. The Bnei Yisaschar explains because grapes and grain are two things that when processed by man, there Brachah changes and is elevated, because it takes something fromשמים and becomes greater through man. The same is with a Baal Teshuva that through man, he becomes elevated.


In the Haftorah, the Pasuk says כי ישרים דרכי ה' וצדיקים ילכו בם ופשעים יכשלו בם. Some want to explain this Pasuk that the ופשעים are יכשלו בם because they don’t go in the ways of the Torah. But that isn’t the implication of the Pasuk because it says יכשלו בם.

The Rambam in הלכות דעות writes that the דרכי ה' is the דרך הממוצע, avoiding any extremes. However, a person who has gone to an extreme, in order to get back to the middle must go to the other extreme. So ופשעים יכשלו בם because they really need to go to the other extreme in order to end up in the middle but they aren’t. That’s why for פושעים, the דרכי ה' which is the דרך הממוצע is יכשלו בם because they shouldn’t be there rather they should be at an extreme in order to eventually get back to the middle.

שונה בלא זמרא

The Aruch HaShulchan in his Hakdama to Choshen Mishpat writes the following:

וכל מחלוקת התנאים והאמוראים והגאונים והפוסקים באמת למבין דבר לאשרו דברי אלקים חיים המה ולכולם יש פנים בהלכה ואדרבא זאת היא תפארת תורתינו הקדושה והטהורה וכל התורה כולה נקראת שירה ותפארת השיר היא כשהקולות משונים זה מזה וזהו עיקר הנעימות ומי שמשוטט בים התמלוד יראה נעימות משונות בכל הקולות המשונות זה מזה.

The Rav said the following from his father. The Gemara in Megilah 32a says as follows:

אמר רבי יוחנן: כל הקורא בלא נעימה ושונה בלא זמרה - עליו הכתוב אומר וגם אני נתתי להם חקים לא טובים וגו'

This means that if a person learns without a sing song tune, he’s חייב מיתה because it says לא יחיו. The Gemara then asks מתקיף לה אביי: משום דלא ידע לבסומי קלא משפטים לא יחיו בהם קרית ביה? To which the Gemara then concludes אלא כדרב משרשיא, דאמר: שני תלמידי חכמים היושבים בעיר אחת ואין נוחין זה את זה בהלכה - עליהם הכתוב אומר וגם אני נתתי להם חקים לא טובים ומשפטים לא יחיו בהם. But how does this fit into the previous מימרא because it would seem that we are saying Pshat in the previous מימרא of כל השונה בלא זמרא?

The idea is because כל השונה בלא זמרא, he doesn’t understand that learning is really a song. If he would understand that learning is a song, then he would understand that everyone is playing a different note that makes up the symphony and therefore שני תלמידי חכמים היושבים בעיר אחת ואין נוחין זה את זה בהלכה - עליהם הכתוב אומר וגם אני נתתי להם חקים לא טובים ומשפטים לא יחיו בהם because he doesn’t understand this because really it’s this way and that way and together we make up the symphony. Therefore, this that the Gemara says its referring to two תלמידי חכמים היושבים בעיר אחת, is really an explanation to the מימרא of כל השונה בלא זמרא that when a person learns, he needs to learn in a singing way, meaning with an understanding that Torah is a Shira and each person adds his tune to the niggun.

This connects to the beginning that all of Torah is referred to a Shira in the Pasuk ועתה כתבו לכם because that’s the commandment to write a Sefer Torah.