Dvar Torah Parshat Evek 2008 5768 דבר תורה פרשת עקב

Moshe continues his talk to the people in the Wilderness before they enter into the Promised Land. He tells them that Hashem asks them only to follow His Mitzvot and to adhere to His teachings. Then he adds a phrase that seems superfluous. In describing Hashem he says to them: ASHER LO YISA PANIM VELO YIKACH SHOCHAD, “…He does not show favor and does not accept a bribe.” (Deut. 10,17)

What exactly are we being told? Is there any kind of bribe that we can offer to Hakadosh Baruch Hu? What exactly can we be suspected of offering from man to Hashem that would have any meaning?

The Sifre deals with this matter and explains it as follows: “The merits a person earns are never exchanged for transgressions and transgressions are never exchanged for merits.” (Sifre Deut. 33;6)

Someone who has many Mitzvot and he transgresses and performs an Avera, he might think that his Mitzvot will compensate for his Avera. What Moshe is saying is that Hashem cannot be bribed with the Mitzvot to overlook the Avera. He will be awarded for the Mitzvot but will also be punished for the Avera. A wrong can never be corrected with a right.

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