Shabbat Parashat Bereishit 5773
Bereishit | 27 Tishrei 5773 | 10/13/2012
All year we progressed through the Torah from Bereishit, the story of creation after the tohu (primordial void), to “… before the eyes of all of Israel” (Devarim 34:12). Now we make our way backward, from the highest revelations of Hashem’s words, to the first light to break forth over the void.
When one’s tax return shows that the taxpayer deserves a refund, the Israeli government gives the refund with interest, according to the time that has passed. Is receiving such an interest payment a violation of ribbit (usury)?
The Rabbis taught [in a baraita]: One who enters a bathhouse says as follows: “May it be your will, Hashem, our G-d, to save me from this and similar things, and no destructive thing should occur to me, and if something destructive or related to sin does occur, let my death be atonement for all of my sins.” Abayei [from the later period of Amoraim] said: A person should not speak in such a way, for one should not open his mouth to the Satan, as Reish Lakish said in the name of Rabbi Yossi: One should never open up his mouth to the Satan. Rav Yosef said: What pasuk supports this idea? It is written: “We were almost like S’dom; we were similar to Amora” (Yeshaya 1:9). What does the navi respond: “Listen to the word of Hashem, oh officers of S’dom” (ibid. 10).
The plaintiff (=pl) worked successfully for an Israeli hi-tech company (=IHTC). The owners of ITHC (=def), along with pl, started a similar company in America (=SCA), managed by pl, which did not work out well, for reasons that are disputed. Def told pl to return to Israel, replaced him with a different manager, and offered $68,000 to buy pl out. The parties argued about whether pl must commit to not compete with IHTC, and therefore the agreement was not carried out. Pl demands that the deal be carried through, as he already agreed to not compete. Def claim that the agreement never reached a stage of finalization and that they were not aware of the bad state of SCA until they assumed control of it. As a result, they also countersue for $68,000 for the irresponsible way pl ran the company.
This edition of
is endowed by
Les & Ethel Sutker
Louis and Lillian Klein, z”l
A weekly divrei Torah leaflet: A Glimpse at the Parasha, Ask the Rabbi, From the writings of Harav Avraham Yitzchak Hakohen Kook, zt”l, Pninat Mishpat (Jewish Monetary Law).