Shazak insight #1
What Part of LO Don’t You Understand?
Remember back in Parshas Yisro? At Matan Torah, the giving of the Torah, one of the miracles was that Bnei Yisrael saw the words of the Aseres HaDibros.
Why did HaShem make this miracle? Why was hearing not enough?
Here is a very interesting answer:
Ever heard of “homophones?” No they are not headphones. They are two words that sound the same but have completely different meanings. “Hear” and “hair,” “due” and “do,” “two” and “too” etc. In Hebrew, the words לו (to him) and לא (not) are pronounced exactly the same, – they both sound like the English word “low.” It’s only when the words are written that you can see that one is spelled with a Vav, and the other with an Aleph.
So if the people would only hear the Aseres HaDibros, they may misunderstand commands such as Lo Sirtzach and Lo Signov (“do not murder” and “do not steal”) to mean “to him, murder,” and “to him, steal.” Oy Vey!
To make sure that no one makes such a mistake, HaShem showed the people the words as well, making it very clear that he meant LO with an Aleph!
Now you know why (according to the Shazak version) Yehoshua and Kaleiv had to spell it out – “The answer is Lamed Aleph, which spells LO – NO! Count us out!”