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  • Rav Moshe Weiss

Nahar U"Pashtei Parshas Naso 5781


The Kol Yachol

Parshas Nasso details the terrible punishment that befalls the guilty Sotah when she partakes of the cursed waters. The Torah states unequivocally, and the cursed waters will enter her and her intestines will swell and her thigh shall fall. The verse tells us exactly what is to take place - a most gruesome and horrible death. Yet, there are those who cast doubt on the Torah’s meaning here. They maintain that the Torah is only writing such a graphic consequence in order to serve as a warning to all those who may stray down the path of a Sotah. They claim that such a thing never occurred, and have the audacity to claim that in fact it will never come to be. Now, besides for the utter ridiculousness of positing that the Torah would create such an easily discoverable lie, there is a much deeper issue with this school of thought. Why can these people not take the Torah’s words at face value? What is stopping them from interpreting the verses according to their literal meaning? The answer, when we think about it, is harrowing indeed. The reason that these people reject the literal meaning of the verse out of hand is because it is not scientifically possible to explain how someone can be killed in this most gruesome fashion by ingesting water, and then only if she was guilty of sin. The chemical properties of water do not allow for such a test to be accurate or to result in the death of the woman, thus making it impossible, in the view of these people, to be true. This attitude is not a conscious one, but rather lays deep beneath the surface; in a way that those very people who suggest alternative meanings to the verses do not even realize that they are actually ascribing weakness to Hashem. For by refusing to interpret Hashem’s words according to their plainest meaning because their observations deem it not to be possible, they are really expressing a belief that Hashem’s abilities are somehow limited to their own understanding. This poisonous mindset spills over to all areas of life. People from this school of thought are commonly placing limits on Hashem’s sovereignty and power because they have trained themselves to think a certain way and are blinded by imaginary truths! No! The Sotah can be killed by water! Do you know why? Because that is what Hashem decreed! Hashem has no limits; nothing can stand in the way of His will. He specifically ordained this death for the Sotah, and Hereford that is the fate she suffers - whether or not it is scientifically understandable. This is a lesson we must learn as we read the passage of the Sotah. One must never place limits on Hashem’s abilities. When we find ourselves in need of something, may it be an “impossible” refuah, or perhaps an “impossible” sum of money, we must never entertain the thought that our needs are beyond Hashem. Never should a person let thoughts of natural occurrences or probabilities affect his requests of his Creator. For not only is this a lack of Emunah, but Hashem will many times allow the aid he provides to be limited by our understanding of Him. Hashem wants us to believe in His complete and total sovereignty over the world and its happenings, and to beg Him for Mercy as the Kol Yachol! Never should we think that a situation cannot be resolved, even if the probability seems stacked against us! Hashem is in charge of everything, always, and can instantly decree an outcome in our favor. A Gut Shabbos! A Project of the YSI Alumni Association Written by R’ Moshe Weiss

Nahar U_Pashtei Naso 5781
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