Shabbat Parashat Shelach 5773
Shelach | 23 Sivan 5773 | 6/1/2013
This week’s haftara tells of the sending of spies to the city of Yericho. We will try to understand why this city was chosen as the first to be conquered by Bnei Yisrael as they crossed the Jordan and entered the Land. There are other questions that beg to be asked. Why did the spies find themselves specifically at the house of Rachav, the zona? Why did the city, after its conquest, become forbidden to be rebuilt? The first question can be dealt with on a straightforward level. Yericho was situated close to the crossing region of the Jordan, and in that way stood as a gateway to the Land as a whole. Midrash Tanchuma (B’haalotcha 18) indeed calls it the lock of the Land, and explains the reasoning that “if Yericho is conquered, the Land is conquered.” Yet, the other questions remain unanswered.
Does the bracha acharona of Al Ha’eitz include other fruits eaten (not from the seven species)? Is it preferable to recite the beracha acharona of Al Hamichya / Al Ha’eitz before Borei Nefashot?
What does a good guest say? “See how much the host toiled for me. See how much wine, how much meat, and how many cakes he brought me. All that he toiled was only because of me.” In contrast, a bad guest says: “What toil did the host do for me? What wine, meat and cakes did he bring? All that he toiled was only for his wife and children.” What is said about a good guest? “Remember to extol His actions, of which man sings” (Iyov 36:24). What is said about a bad guest? “People will fear Him and He will not see all the wise of heart” (ibid. 37:24). [Both p’sukim refer to Hashem, but the gemara uses the p’sukim in a different light, as if they are speaking about the good host and bad host, respectively.]
One of the aspirations that stood behind the foundation of the network of Eretz Hemdah batei din and continues in its operations is the formation of clear halachic principles upon which the various beit din panels of the network operate. The first step towards realization of this goal is the writing of clear rulings with a detailed presentation of the reasoning of the ruling on halachic and practical grounds. Additionally, Eretz Hemdah is a partner, along with the Mishp’tei Eretz Institute, in the annual symposium of batei din in conjunction with the symposium of the Halichot Olam Institute. At these events, an annual topic is discussed after the presentation of a position paper. In summary of the consensus of the discussion, guidelines are composed on the topic of the symposium. These guidelines are then approved by important dayanim and poskim, led by Harav Yaakov Ariel (Head of the Court in Ramat Gan), Harav Dov Lior, and the heads of the various panels of the Eretz Hemdah beit din network.
Rabanit Itah bat Chana
amongst the sick
of Klal Yisrael
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).