YEHUDAH'S SANCTIFICATION OF HASH-M'S NAME
Question: How did Yehudah sanctify Hash-m's name in public?
Answer (Beraisa - R. Meir): When Yisrael stood at the Red Sea, the Shevatim were contesting which will enter first.
Shevet Binyamin entered first. "There, Binyamin, the youngest, Rodem (rules over them)" we read this Red Yam (descended into the sea). "The officers of Yehudah were stoning them."
Therefore, Binyamin merited to host the Divine Presence (the most Kodesh part of the Beis ha'Mikdash) - "between his (Binyamin's) shoulders He will dwell."
R. Yehudah: No. Rather, each tribe refused to be the first to enter. Nachshon ben Aminadav jumped into the sea first - "they surrounded me with the denial of Efrayim, and the deception of Beis Yisrael, and still, Yehudah descended (into the sea) with (faith in) Hash-m"
"Save me Hash-m, for the waters have come to (my neck, just before) mortality. I sank in mud in which one cannot stand... Do not let the depth swallow me." Moshe was praying at length.
Hash-m: My dear ones are drowning in the sea, and you pray to Me at length?!
Moshe: What can I do?
Hash-m: Tell Bnei Yisrael to go (in the sea); take your staff and stretch your hand...
Because (Nachshon of) Yehudah entered first, Yehudah merited to rule over Yisrael - "Yehudah sanctified Hash-m, and were rulers over Yisrael." This was because "the sea saw (Nachshon enter) and fled."
WHERE DID THE LEVIYIM STAND?
(Beraisa - R. Eliezer ben Yakov) Question: You cannot say that the Leviyim stayed below, for the Torah says that they will be on the Har (Gerizim). You cannot say that they ascended, for in Sefer Yehoshua, it says that they stayed below!
Answer #1 (R. Eliezer ben Yakov): The elder Kohanim and Leviyim stayed below; the rest ascended.
Answer #2 (R. Yoshiyah): All fitting to serve (carry the Aron) stayed below. The rest ascended.
Answer #3 (Rebbi): These (the Shevatim commanded to be Al Har Gerizim) and these (those commanded to be Al Har Eival) remained below. They faced Har Gerizim for the Berachos, and faced Har Eival for the curses.
Question: It says that they will be Al (on) the mountain!
Answer: 'Al' can mean near.
(Beraisa - Rebbi): "You will put Al the set of breads pure frankincense", i.e. near it.
Suggestion: Perhaps it really means on!
Rejection: It says "it (the curtain in front of the Aron) will shelter Al the Aron" - this shows that Al can mean 'near'.
(Beraisa): They faced Har Gerizim for the Berachos...
HOW MANY COVENANTS WERE MADE?
(Beraisa): Every Berachah was said in general (it was included in "blessed is he who will fulfill this Torah" and in particular (e.g. "blessed is he who will not make an image...") Each curse was said in general ("cursed is he who will not fulfill this Torah") and in particular (e.g. cursed is he who will make an image...") Each of these (four, i.e. general and particular Berachah, and general and particular curse) was said regarding those who will (or will not) learn, teach, guard and fulfill.
In all, each Mitzvah has eight aspects (four to learn, and four to teach) and eight (four to guard, and four to fulfill), making 16 in all. The same applied to Har Sinai and Arvos Mo'av - "these are the words of the covenant"; "you will guard this covenant."
In total, there were 48 covenants on each Mitzvah.
R. Shimon excludes covenants on Har Gerizim and Har Eival, but includes in place of them those (when Hash-m taught Moshe) in the Ohel Mo'ed (Mishkan).
The first Tana and R. Shimon argue like R. Akiva and R. Yishmael:
(Beraisa - R. Yishmael): The basics of the Mitzvos were given on Har Sinai. The details were given in the Ohel Mo'ed.
R. Akiva says, the basics and the details were given on Har Sinai and repeated in the Ohel Mo'ed. (This is like R. Shimon, who counts Har Sinai and Ohel Mo'ed separately. The first Tana does not count Ohel Mo'ed, for it merely completed what was taught on Sinai.)
(Beraisa): Every Mitzvah in the Torah had 48 covenants on it.
R. Shimon bar Yehudah citing R. Shimon says, every Mitzvah had 48 covenants, each of which had 603,550 covenants on it.
Rebbi says, according to R. Shimon bar Yehudah, every Mitzvah had 48 covenants, each of which had 603,550 covenants on it; for each Yisrael, 603,550.
Question: How does Rebbi disagree with the Tana before him?
Answer: Rebbi holds that each Yisrael is responsible for each Yisrael's responsibility for each Yisrael (to keep the Mitzvos). The previous Tana holds that each Yisrael is responsible only for each Yisrael (to keep the Mitzvos).
THE BLESSINGS AND CURSES
(R. Yehudah ben Nachmani): All the curses refer to adultery.
Support: "Cursed is the man who will make a graven or molten image (for idolatry)" - the punishment for idolatry is much greater than a mere curse!
Rather, we must say that the verse discusses an adulterer who fathered a Mamzer, and the Mamzer served idolatry. The parents are cursed for having caused this.
(Beraisa) Question: What do we learn from "You will give the Berachah on Har Gerizim, and the curse..."?
Suggestion: It teaches that the Berachah will be on Har Gerizim, and the curse on Har Eival.
Rejection: That is already explicit in the Torah!
Answer #1: Rather, it teaches that the Berachah precedes the curse.
Suggestion: Perhaps all the Berachos precede the curses!
Rejection: "(You will give) the Berachah (singular)... curse (singular)..." - one Berachah precedes a curse, but all the Berachos do not precede the curses.
Answer #2: The verse also equates the Berachos to the curses;
The Leviyim say the curses in a loud voice, in Hebrew, in general and in particular, and all the people answer Amen. All of these apply also to the Berachos.