Shabbat Parashat Vaetchanan| 5766
Vaetchanan | | 1/1/2005
In some of the Torah’s most moving passages, our parasha describes the connection between Hashem and His nation. It mentions that when we cling to Hashem, we are successful and that we are a great nation because He is close to us whenever we call out to Him (Devarim 4: 4,7). By clinging to the study and observance of His statutes and judgments (chukim u’mishpatim) we become a great nation (ibid.:8).
Over the last weeks, we have discussed the source of the authority of dayanim who are not semuchim (those with full ordination, who no longer exist). We saw the need for and the workings of shlichutayhu ka’avidinan (=shl-ka), meaning that we do the agency of semuchim. However, even with this concept, not all cases can be adjudicated by non-semuchim, as we will now discuss.
The traditional period of national mourning has passed, and we have reached two markers of happier times, Tu B’Av and Shabbat Nachamu. Yet it is hard to greet these happy days, as we are in the midst of years, not just weeks, of mourning. The Jewish community [of Palestine] has lost lives, and the Jews of the Diaspora are shaking in pain. But let us focus on two of the reasons given for the significance of Tu B’Av, highlighting very different times and circumstances (see Ta’anit 26b, 31a).
Question: This true story involves four people, whom I will refer to by number. 1 stole similar computers from 3 and 4. 2 is a go-between who offers to sell a computer for 1 to 3 for 1,500 shekels. 3 apparently thinks he is paying to get his old computer back, but it’s really 4’s computer. 4 finds out and demands of 3 to return his computer, but 3 says he will give it back only if 4 pays him the 1,500 shekel he paid for it. If 3 will not go to a rabbinical court, can 4 go to the police?
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).