Thursday, March 5, 2009

166 - Tetzveh (Zachor)

"And you shall not keep in your house two measures - one big and one small. You should have a complete and just weight, a complete and just measure, so that you merit longevity on the land that Hashem has given to you. For it is an abomination to Hashem your G-d all who do this - all who act corruptly. Remember what Amalek did to you on the way when you left Egypt ..." (Devarim 25, 14-17).

Rashi explains the juxtaposition of the commandment to have honest measures with the commandment to remember our encounter with Amalek. "If you are dishonest with your weights and measures - fear an attack from your enemy, for it is written, 'Deceitful weights are an abomination to Hashem. . .The wicked one comes [and attacks, thereby] bringing [you] embarrassment'" (Mishlei 11, 1-2).

Rav Wolbe (Alei Shur vol. II pg. 463) quotes Rabbeinu Yonah who uncovers the deeper meaning behind this Pasuk in Mishlei. After all, what did Shlomo HaMelech add to the Torah's exhortation not to conduct business with faulty weights? Rabbeinu Yonah writes that the pasuk in Mishlei is informing us that even if one does not actually use faulty weights in his business dealings, the very existence of dishonest measures in one's house is an abomination to Hashem. The Gr"a adds, even if one weighs the merchandise with a faulty measure and then deducts the difference, he has not acted in accordance with Hashem's will, for "Hashem desires [specifically] a complete weight" (ibid).

Using deceitful weights causes one to distance himself from Hashem. Hence, such an object, even if it remains untouched, has no place in a person's house because the mere fact that one owns an item of deceit is an abomination in the eyes of Hashem. Particularly in our society where there are many abominations that abound, even if one were to bring them into his home without using them, it would still constitute a violation of this principle.

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