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Shabbat Parashat Vayechi 5780

Parashat Hashavua: Service in the Israeli Army and Lineage part II

Harav Yosef Carmel

We saw last week that there were several prominent soldiers in David’s armies with names that imply that they were not Jewish. We began discussing whether this could be the case.

The gemara in Kiddushin (76a-b) already raises the issue. The mishna discusses those whose role in society is confirmation that they must be Jewish (in such cases it is easier to vet their offspring for marriage with “kosher” Jews). One opinion says that one who was a member of David’s army was to be presumed to be a kosher Jew. Rashi explains that when they would be conscripted for a month at a time, their names and family names would be written, and they would be careful about their lineage.

The gemara cites a pasuk (Divrei Hayamim I, 7:40) as corroboration: “All of these were Sons of Asher, the heads of the houses of the fathers, chosen, brave soldiers, the heads of the leaders, and they had confirmed status for the army for battle …” The gemara also explains why their lineage would be checked – “so that their merit and the merit of their fathers would assist them.” Then the gemara asks from David’s soldiers who do not appear to be Jewish. “Presumably Tzelek the Amoni was from Amon? No, he was Jewish and he just came from the region of Amon. There was Uriya the Chitite? No, he came from the region of Chet but was a full Jew.” The gemara has more trouble with Itai the Gitite because a different gemara (found also in Avoda Zara 44a) says that they used him to nullify the avoda zara status of the crown of one of the kings. The halacha is that such a process can be done only by a non-Jew – see some of the halachic principles on the matter in Shulchan Aruch, Yoreh Deah 146:1.

Indeed, the conclusion of the gemara is that there were some people in David’s forces who were of non-Jewish origin and who had not converted, despite their involvement in the Jewish kingdom. The Tashbetz (Shut III, 96), asked whether Uriya was Jewish or not, references the gemara as to the status of Uriya and Tzelek, and concludes that it is not altogether clear. Next week, we will look for a conclusion to these questions.

In the meantime, we want to give our encouragement to the soldiers of the IDF, who are on guard in our Land, wherever they may be. We also pray for the speedy recovery of those who have been injured.
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Dedication

We daven for a complete and speedy refuah for:

 

Nir Rephael ben Rachel Bracha
Refael Yitchak ben Chana

Netanel Ilan ben Sheina Tzipora

Netanel ben Sarah Zehava

Meira bat Esther

Yair Menachem ben Yehudit Chana

Rivka Reena bat Gruna Natna

Lillian bat Fortune

Yafa bat Rachel Yente

Eliezer Yosef ben Chana Liba

Ro'i Moshe Elchanan ben Gina Devra

Esther Michal bat Gitel

Yehudit Sarah bat Rachel

 

Together with all cholei Yisrael

 

Hemdat Yamim is dedicated

to the memory of:

those who fell in wars

for our homeland

 

Eretz Hemdah's beloved friends

and Members of

Eretz Hemdah's Amutah

 

Rav Shlomo Merzel z”l
Iyar 10 5771    

 

Rav Reuven Aberman z"l

Tishrei 9   5776

 

Mr. Shmuel Shemesh  z"l
Sivan 17 5774

 

R' Eliyahu Carmel z"l

Rav Carmel's father

Iyar 8   5776

 

Mrs. Sara Wengrowsky

bat R’ Moshe Zev a”h.

Tamuz 10      5774

 

Rav Asher Wasserteil z"l

Kislev 9  5769

 

RMeir ben

Yechezkel Shraga Brachfeld z"l

 

RYaakov ben Abraham & Aisha

and

Chana bat Yaish & Simcha

Sebbag, z"l

 

Rav Yisrael Rozen z"l
Cheshvan 13 5778

 

Rav Benzion Grossman z"l
Tamuz 23 5777

 

Rav Moshe Zvi (Milton)

Polin z"l

Tamuz 19   5778

 

R' Abraham Klein z"l

Iyar 18 5779

 

Mrs. Shirley Rothner,

Sara Rivka bat Yaakov Tzvi HaCohen z”l

Tevet 15 5768

 

Hemdat Yamim
is endowed by Les & Ethel Sutker
of Chicago, Illinois
in loving memory of
Max and Mary Sutker
and
Louis and Lillian Klein, z”l

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