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A little correction of big significance

דבר תורה לפרשת שופטים תשפג

* Translation by Yehoshua Siskin

Erez Tamir, a bus driver in northern Israel, sent me one of the most cogent corrections that I have received to date:

"Shalom to you, Sivan,

I am here to register a complaint regarding a sentence you wrote last Friday, as follows: 'In this week's Torah portion, dozens of mitzvot given to the children of Israel are listed.'

'Dozens of mitzvot' is an expression that grates on me. What is the first thing you would say if you found a sack of diamonds? Would you say, 'I found dozens of diamonds' and be content? Really? After all, these are diamonds! You would immediately count them with great enthusiasm and proclaim, 'I found 12 diamonds, or I found 61 diamonds,' since diamonds are counted with precision.

Would it occur to anyone to merely say 'I earned a lot of money this month' or 'My neighbor has lots of kids'? Please relate to mitzvot with the same exactitude you would employ when relating to money, to diamonds, or to children.

And so, in last week's Torah portion of Re'eh, you should have noted that there were 55 mitzvot and in this week's Torah portion of Shoftim, there are 41 mitzvot.

Chizki Ve'imtzi. 'Be strong and courageous' and persevere."


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