Shabbat Parashat Vayishlach| 5766
Vayishlach | | 01/01/2005
Yaakov amassed great wealth before leaving Lavan to return home, due to hard work, honesty, and Divine assistance. The Torah lists his “portfolio” as “a lot of flock, maid-servants and male servants, camels, and donkeys” (Bereishit 30:43). Even the numbers of animals he gave as presents to his brother, Eisav, show the extent of his wealth. The list includes she-goats and he-goats, ewes and rams, nursing camels and their colts, cows and bulls, she-donkeys and he-donkeys (ibid. 32:13-16). However, when Yaakov listed his property to the messengers he sent to Eisav (see ibid. 32:5-6) he omitted camels. How can we explain this omission?
Case: A woman (=A) demanded that a man (=B) marry her legally, after they had an unauthorized (she was under-age) private, wedding ceremony, and she was pregnant with his child. Beit din told them to undergo the legal process, including the check that they are single. The couple did not return until some time later when A demanded a get.Whenit turned outthat B had died, A demanded that she and her daughter be recognized as B’s widow and child, respectively. This was done after witnesses to the (illegal but valid, post facto) wedding testified. Another woman (=C) subsequently came to beit din with proof that she was B’s legal wife from before A’s “marriage” to B until his death. C wants the determination of A’s status to be revisited, as it was done without her involvement.
The line that separates between the realm of belief and that of intellect is also the line that separates the opinions of the classical Jewish thinkers into two camps. Does human intellect have a place in questions of the origin and purpose of the world? The “intellectual camp,” whose lead proponents are R. Sa’adia Gaon, Rabbeinu Bachyei, and the Rambam answer, “yes.”
This edition of
Hemdat Yamim is dedicated to the memory of
R’ Meir ben Yechezkel Shraga Brachfeld o.b.m.
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).