The taste of Shabbat – Devarim 5778
Rav Mordechai Elon
Our parsha begins with rebukes, for example:
אֵיכָָ֥ה אֶשָָּׂ֖א לְבַ דִּ֑י טָרְחֲכֶָ֥ם וּמַַֽשַַֽאֲכֶָּׂ֖ם וְ רַֽיבְכֶַֽם.
How can I bear unaided the trouble of you, and the burden, and the bickering!
Moshe reminds us of the sin of the spies, the appointment of judges and more. Before all of this he gives us an amazing bracha
ה' אֱלֹהֵֵ֣י אֲבַֽוֹתֵכֶֶ֗ם יֹסֵֵ֧ף עֲלֵיכֶֶ֛ם כָכֶָּׂ֖ם אֵֶ֣לֶף פְעָ מִּ֑ים וַֽיבָרֵֵ֣ךְ אֶתְכֶֶ֔ם כַַֽאֲשֶָּׂ֖ר דבֶָ֥ר לָכֶַֽם.
May the Lord, the God of your fathers, increase your numbers like you a thousand fold, and bless you as He promised you.
The placing and the content of this bracha are an important lesson for the introduction to the book of Devarim, and the parsha we read always in the week before Tisha BeAv, the day we all pray will become not of mourning but of happiness.
The first lesson is before rebuking someone we should bless him. Let's look at the wording, why "as you" )ככם( . Why not just "May the Lord, the God of your fathers, increase your numbers a thousand fold"
Moshe is describing the lowest ebbs of our history, the golden calf, the spies, peor, but still he blesses us "
as/like you". This is an important lesson. In Shir Hashirim we read כֻּלָָּ֤ךְ יָפָה֙ רַעְיָ תי וּמָּׂ֖וּם אֵָ֥ין בַָֽךְ.
Every part of you is fair, my darling, There is no blemish in you
This is a difficult wording – who after saying "you are beautiful" would say "you have no blemishes"? it ruins the compliment.
Rav Kook explains that a person is only willing to accept criticism, if he knows that the critic thinks "Every part of you is fair", that he loves the whole, and as such wants to tell you about the particular blemish out of love. That the rebuke comes out of true love of the other.