Friday, August 30, 2019


The Zera Shimshon, Rav Shimshon Chaim ben Rav Nachmon Michoel Nachmani, was born in 5467 (1706/1707) into an illustrious family with great Rabbinical lineage. He studied the revealed and concealed parts of the Torah by the Torah greats of his day.
He served as Rav of Modena, Pisa, Sayna and Reggio, Italy, and was recognized as a holy and pious individual, as well as a tremendous Torah scholar in all areas of Torah. He passed away on the 6th of Elul 5539 (1779).

His Seforim were named, Toldos Shimshon (The ‘Offspring’ of Shimshon) on Pirkei Avos and Zera Shimshon (The ‘Seed’ of Shimshon) on the Parshi’os of the Torah. 

In his introduction, he explains that since his only son had died during his lifetime, he wrote his Seforim to perpetuate his own memory after his passing.

The following is his passionate request to learn his works.
“I implore of you with ten terms of supplication to choose from my Chiddushim (novella) the piece that finds favor in your eyes, for your learning will sooth my soul etc...
“This righteousness will stand by you forever – to ‘eat’ in this world, and be satiated in the next. In this merit, Hashem will repay you with children, health and sustenance.
“...and now my brothers and friends etc. do a true kindness, and with your eyes you will see children and grandchildren surrounding your table, houses filled with all that is good, wealth and honor will not cease from your children...”

Zera Shimshon - Re'eh
איש כמתנת ידו כברכת ה' וגו' אשר נתן לך )טז' יז')

Everyone according to what he can give, according the blessing that Hashem etc. gives you (16:17)

The Zera Shimshon asks - why does the passuk repeat itself, saying that a person should give according to what he can afford and then reiterating, according the blessing that Hashem gave him, as well?

 Why, at the beginning of the passuk is the commandment stated in a general way (according to what 'he' can give) and at the end of the passuk the commandment is more direct, speaking to 'you' (according the blessing that Hashem etc. gives 'you')?

The Zera Shimshon explains that the passuk is speaking to two different classes of people. 

The first group is the people who were only given by Hashem enough money to make it through life. 

The second group are those that were given wealth, possessions and honor, way beyond what they need to make it through life.

Being that Hashem obligated himself to give people enough to live, as the passuk says (Tehillim 136:25, 145:16), "who gives bread to all flesh", the people who barley make it, are not considered so indebted to Hashem. The other group though, are considered 'borrowers' and they are deeply indebted to Hashem for all the extra he has given them.

The first part of the passuk is directed at the first group of people and it refers to them by the title"ISH"
This title we find used when referring to someone that is an aristocrat (see Rus 1:3). 

Although this group of people are poor, the Torah refers to them by this title since they are not indebted as their wealthy counterparts. They therefore are likened to aristocrats, not indebted. 

Nevertheless, the Torah only asks of them to give - according to what they can give, since they aren't men of means.

The second part of the passuk - according the blessing that Hashem etc. gives you, is addressing the second group of people. These people are indeed recipients of the blessing of Hashem and are greatly indebted to Him.

With this, the Zera Shimshon explains the difference in terminology between the two groups, with second group being spoken to in a more direct manner ('you'). 

When a person borrows from someone, the lender makes sure to write down the name of the borrower and recognizes him by name. This is why the second group is addressed in a direct manner, 'you', since this group is written in the Heavenly ledger as borrowers and their names are recognized as those that are indebted. They therefore, are expected to give according to how much they have been lent by Hashem.

signup and dedication


הקב"ה is the boss said...

There are many good seforim, peirushim, derashos...

"with your eyes you will see children and grandchildren surrounding your table, houses filled with all that is good, wealth and honor will not cease from your children"

Only הקב"ה can promise/fulfill such a thing.

The mechaber of זרע שמשון himself wasn't zoche to that seemingly, as you wrote "his only son had died during his lifetime". So he can he guarantee it for others???? מהיכא תיתי?

Hashem runs the world!!!!

? said...

If a Satmar tells you it is a big segulah to learn the seforim of the Satmar Rebbe, will you start publishing pieces of them here?

Tom Dick & Harry said...

@ הקב"ה is the boss
Do you really think that the author of Zera Shimshon was unaware of who is boss, and that you know it more than he? Do you not believe that words of Chaza"l צדיק גוזר והקב"ה מקיים? Do you think you know things better than the tzaddikim of previous generations? Do you think you really know the way Hashem runs his world well enough to make judgments and critiques? A little bit of humility would serve you well.

@ ?
If he believes that The Satmar Rebbee was a tzaddik worthy and capable of making such a promise , then he would. And if he doesn't, then he wouldn't. Is that simple enough?

כו"ח למען האמת ולכבוד התורה said...

Tom, Dick, Harry: "Do you not believe that words of Chaza"l צדיק גוזר והקב"ה מקיים? "

צדיק גוזר והקב"ה מקיים is not a blank check.

There is a video with R. Aharon Leib Shteinman z"l from a few years ago with SBS in which he asked R. Steinman to bless someone who would give money to his מוסד, in a certain type of way, citing that same expression, צדיק גוזר והקב"ה מקיים, but Rav Steinman refused saying that that was not how it worked, that it was not such a simple manner.

Additionally it could be that in this case a tzadik only gave a blessing, which is not the same as being gozeir.

יש מקום לחלק בין גזירה לברכה