Shabbat Parashat Vayechi| 5766
Vayechi | | 1/1/2005
This week’s haftara is connected to the parasha in that they each contain final instructions of a venerable leader to his son(s). David instructed his successor, Shlomo, in no uncertain terms, to see to it that Shimi ben Geira be executed. A little background is needed to understand who Shimi was, why David wanted his death, and how Shlomo accomplished the task.
Case: The plaintiff (= pl) lent money to his nephew (=bor), using the defendant (=def) as the vehicle to transfer the funds. Bor and def are partners in an incorporated business, and pl claims that the money was invested in that business. Def says that the money was for bor’s personal use. There are no receipts or evidence of what the money was used for. Bor is unwilling to pay pl or come to beit din, and pl demands that def take responsibility for the loan, especially since def gave pl a $90,000 check to cover the payment of the loan should bor notpay. Def says that that check was just as a reminder that there is a loan that needs to be paid, but he did not intend to become obligated to pay himself. Note: Def did not have sufficient funds in the account the check was drawn on to pay the debt.
It is true that when one commits an aveira without knowledge or fault, he is not considered to be sinning personally. However, one is still expected to inform him because, normally, doing so is a favor for him, as we will explain. The gemara (Kiddushin 39b) says: “One who sits and does not commit an aveira receives reward as if he did a mitzva.” The gemara explains that this is when the opportunity to sin came his way, and he avoided it. Although one who sins as an oness is not considered to have sinned, he is also not considered to have avoided sin.
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).