Shabbat Parashat Vayeitzei 5773
Vayeitzei | 10 Kislev 5773 | 11/24/2012
During the ‘peace treaty’ that Yaakov entered with Lavan, Lavan inserted a strange condition that obligated Yaakov not to “torment my daughters or take another wife in addition to my daughters” (Bereishit 31:50). While we can understand his wanting those results, why would he suspect that Yaakov would not be a good husband? Yaakov had worked so hard and with such integrity to gain Lavan’s permission to marry them! He had just made sure to receive their permission to return to the Land of his Fathers – despite an explicit divine decree to do so. Even if one will claim that Lavan was concerned with the plight of Leah, who after all, Yaakov had not planned to marry, it does not explain why he spoke in the plural about his daughters. Leah and Rachel both described the feelings that it was their father who had mistreated them, taking advantage of Yaakov’s eagerness to marry them and withholding the wages that he/they had earned. So who is the one who should be concerned about whom? It is true that the gemara (Yoma 77a) and several Rishonim understood Lavan’s concern as sincere, but after asking forgiveness of their opinions, we would like to suggest another scenario.
It is the practice in some shuls to give a self-addressed envelope to one who gets an aliya to mail his pledge after Shabbat. Is the envelope muktzeh?
[According to one opinion, the pasuk, “You created me, back and front” (Tehillim 139:5) refers to the creation of man as a two-sided creature (Adam and Chava).] According to the other opinion, what does this pasuk refer to? Man was created at the end of creation, and he is in the fore in regard to puranut (tragedy). I understand that he is at the end of creation, as he was created only close to Shabbat, but what does it mean that he is in the fore in regard to puranut? If it is in regard to the puranut of the snake, doesn’t the baraita say: “Regarding greatness, we begin with the great, and regarding problems, we begin with the small”? … Rather it refers to the puranut of the flood, where the Torah describes the people being destroyed before the animals (Bereishit 7:23).
The question of what disqualifies a judge is intrinsically related to the question of what is required of a judge and is expected of the process of adjudication. It is also related to the matter of how not only to judge righteously but present the system of judgment before the broad public.
This edition of
Yechezkel Shraga Brachfeld
is endowed by
Les & Ethel Sutker
Louis and Lillian Klein, z”l
in memory of
bat Yaakov Tzvi
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).