Shabbat Parashat Vayigash| 5766
Vayigash | | 01/01/2005
The Torah relates that as Yaakov and family approached Egypt, he “sent Yehuda before him to Yosef to prepare before him in Goshen” (Bereishit 46: 28). What was the point of Yehuda’s arrival before his brothers, and why was he specifically chosen for the task?
Case: A husband and wife were living separately for a long time. The wife sued him in regional court for support. The husband said he wanted a divorce, as there was no hope of living harmoniously as husband and wife, but the wife refused to accept a get, preferring that they continue living separately without divorce. The two agreed that the case be heard by a single dayan, instead of the normal three. Beit din decided that the wife should accept the get and in the meantime does not receive support. The wife appealed to the High Court, saying that she gave jurisdiction to the court of one only in regard to the monetary matters, not in regard to the requirement of a get, which is a matter of what is permitted and forbidden.
Another distinction, which we should introduce, is that of omer mutar, one who believes that the forbidden action that he performs is actually permitted. In such a case, Rava (Makkot 7b, accepted by Rambam, Rotzeiach 5:4) says that, while it is not considered like one who sins b’meizid (intentional transgression), it is karov l’meizid (close to intentional). Certainly, the Netivot agrees that in such a case, even if the transgression is rabbinic, it is considered an act of transgression that requires atonement. For this reason, the Nachalat Tzvi [cited last week] said that a bystander is required to prevent the transgression if he can.
Question: My digital camera enables me to make a picture that puts A's head on B's body. I did that at a family wedding with permission from all of the subjects of the "split" pictures to share with family members in an electronic wedding album. Included was a picture of a 23 year-old male’s head on his 17 year-old sister’s body. Their father (a relative) has suggested that under Jewish law it is improper to include these photos. He says that the sacredness of the human body is a basic value in Judaism, based on the Genesis 1 comment that G-d created humans in His image, and that deliberately distorting the body in such a manner deviates from that value. 1) Is he really right? 2) Does his opinion matter, considering that the pictures are mine, and they were taken with consent?
This edition of
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).