Thursday, August 8, 2019

Words from the Heart

"These are the words that Moshe spoke to all Israel" [Devarim1:1]

Rabbi David Hanania Pinto offers the following explanation:

The word 'אלה' (these are), has the same numerical value (adding one for the actual word) as 'הלב' (the heart). This implies that Moshe Rabbeinu a"h guided the Bnei Yisrael in the way of Torah and mitzot and led them with words of rebuke and mussar, yet all his words flowed from a warm and loving heart. He behaved like a merciful father who guides his only son with great love. Chazal tell us that "Words that flow from the heart enter the heart". Since this was his approach, the Bnei Yisrael listened to his words and took them to heart.

The Gaon Rabbi Yechezkel Sarna zt"l told one of the distinguished melamdim of Bnei Brak: "One who sincerely loves his students, is promised that they will achieve the ultimate success." For words that flow from a pure and loving heart will eventually enter the heart.


Moses began reciting the book of Deuteronomy on the first day of the month of Shvat and according to tradition he died on the seventh of Adar. Therefore, he transmitted the entire book to the children of Israel in just thirty seven days. 

Alluding to the fact that these words come straight from Moses’ heart, the numerical value of the Hebrew phrase “the heart” (halev) is thirty-seven. 

 As Rabbi Yitzchak Ginsburgh has noted, permuting the letters of “halev” may produce the following idiom: “hevel halev lahav,” which means “the vapor of the heart is enflamed.” When the heart is enflamed and inspired, the “vapor” or energy it produces fulfill the dictum that “words that emanate from the heart – enter the heart.” We are taught that the Torah was given in fire, as Mount Sinai was on fire “until the heart of heaven” [Devarim 4:11]. 

[Ohr Chadash]

So too, when we speak words of Torah they should reflect this level of passionate intensity, which in turn enters the hearts of those listening and awakens their souls.

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