Shabbat Parashat Vayigash 5773
Vayigash | 9 Tevet 5773 | 12/22/2012
The lot of Israel was unique from the time of its inception, and this finds poignant expression in the life of our forefather, Yaakov/Yisrael. Already as the leader of a family, which was a nation in formation, Yaakov had to forsake his dream of living in tranquility and go to exile, as a model and harbinger for the future nation that would bear his name. Hashem told Yaakov not to fear going down to Egypt (Bereishit 46:3), which is a sure sign, say Chazal (Bereishit Rabba 76:1), that prior to that he did fear. What was the reason for Yaakov’s fear? We understand his fear when encountering Eisav and his band of 400 men (Bereishit 32:8). However, here Yaakov was preparing for an encounter with a new leader and host nation, not as a potential victim but as a celebrity. He was protected by his all-powerful son, the viceroy of Egypt. That certainly seems an improvement over his position in the famine-struck Land of Canaan. Paroh himself sent a greeting to Yaakov and sent presents and promises that there was no need to bring provisions because Egypt awaited him with the desire to provide him with anything he wanted (ibid. 46: 18-20). It is easier to understand the emotional mixed feelings about leaving the land of his forefathers with an element of sadness, but why was there fear?
Last Shabbat I wore a suit that I had not worn in a while. On Shabbat morning I happened to check an inside pocket and found a $20 bill inside. Upon making that discovery, what should I have done?
Rabbi Yossi Haglili said: Tzaddikim (righteous people) are judged by their yetzer hatov (good inclination), as the pasuk says: “My heart is like a corpse within me” (Tehillim 109:22). Reshaim (evil people) are judged by their yetzer hara (evil inclination), as the pasuk says: “The word of sin to the rasha is in the midst of my heart” (Tehillim 36:2). Average people are judged by both inclinations, as the pasuk says: “As He will stand to the right of the destitute person to save him from those who judge his soul” (Tehillim 109:31).
The defendants (=def) asked the plaintiff (=pl) to provide an estimate for installing window bars, screens, and other related metal work. Pl spent several hours discussing details of the job with def, gave an estimate of approximately 21,000 shekels, and gave various ideas for improving the job. After reaching a basic agreement on the scope of the work, def gave pl a check for 10,000 shekels, pl commenced work on the window frames but was requested not to deposit the check until the next day. The next day, def called pl with the request to cancel the order of the bars but to keep the order of screens. Pl agreed to do just the screen work, but for a higher price than its part in the original deal, claiming that there had been a discount based on the scope of the original order. Def was unwilling to accept that offer. Pl is demanding 2,100 shekels for breach of contract and for the hours of advice. Def claims that they found out that pl’s price was significantly higher than standard, so they are allowed to back out of their order, and they are countersuing for 1500 shekels for the waste of their time.
This edition of
Yechezkel Shraga Brachfeld
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).