Necessity of the Whole by Nachi Friedman


 Upon entering Eretz Yisrael, the Jews assembled on Har Gerizim and Har Eval to swear fidelity to the TorahThe Pasuk states (27:26), “Arur Asher Lo Yakum Et Divrei HaTorah Hazot Laasot Otam,” “Cursed is the one who will not uphold the words of this Torah to perform them.”  Many ask what this Pasuk means.  Can the Torah actually say that regardless of how great one is, even if he is the greatest Talmid Chacham, the punishment for one little sin is a curse?  If this is the case, is there anyone is the world who is not cursed?  If at one time in someone’s life, he slipped and the Yeitzer Hara overtook him, it would seem inevitable for him to be cursed!

 The Rambam explains that this Pasuk is not talking about someone who sinned out of weakness, as a Chacham might, but is rather talking about someone who claims that some Mitzvot are not relevant to him at all.  For example, the Pasuk is not talking about someone who lights a fire on Shabbat, but rather someone who believes that the Torah is not addressing him when it says, “Lo Teva’aru Aish BeChol Moshevoteichem BeYom HaShabbat.”

 Rabbeinu Yonah explains that the Torah is talking about someone when he is careless in doing a sin and does not feel any regret.  However, if once in a while, someone does a sin, but afterwards he repents and feels embarrassed, he is not cursed, because the Pasuk is not referring to such sins.

 The Ketav Sofer explains that the Pasuk talks about a different case entirely.  It refers to someone who claims that he is only taking upon himself a few Mitzvot because it is too difficult for him to keep all of the Mitzvot.  This argument, however, is misleading.  In order to understand this, Rabbi Moshe Leiber tells over an analogy.  The Torah is compared to a highly sophisticated computer.  If one removes any part from the computer, the whole machine will not work, because the circuitry of the computer works as a whole.  With a single missing piece, the computer cannot function.  So too, a Jew needs to practice all of the Torah’s Mitzvot.  The removal of a single Mitzvah will affect the entire person as a whole, and will cause one’s entire body to be negatively affected.  In this sense, one who does so will truly find himself cursed.


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