Shabbat Parashat Va'eira| 5765
Va'eira | | 1/2/2004
Even before Hashem sends Moshe to Paroh, He says, “I will harden Paroh’s heart, and I will increase My signs and My wonders in the Land of Egypt (Shemot 7:3).” After the first sign (Aharon’s staff turning into a snake), the Torah says “and Paroh’s heart was hardened, and he did not listen to them, just as Hashem spoke” (ibid 7:13). The Midrash (Rabba, Shemot 5:6) points out that by the first five makot (plagues) the Torah writes “and Paroh’s heart was hardened” whereas by the last five, the Torah writes, “and Hashem hardened Paroh’s heart.”
Case: Reuven, an agent to sell Shimon’s apartment, showed the apartment to Levi, but Yehuda ended up buying it. Yet Reuven claims that Yehuda found out about the apartment from Levi, and, thus, Reuven claims that he caused the sale and deserves brokerage payment?
Demands of self-motivation can be made of the younger generation as well as the older. “Not with you alone …” (Devarim 29:13). [This is a reference to the idea that the covenant Hashem made with Bnei Yisrael was made even with future generations.] Through the Torah, the boundaries of time disappear. When we open a sefer and delve into study, we do not feel that the discussions are from ancient times. Rather, they happen now, as we cause the Talmudic sages to speak and teach us in the present. It is this secret of the eternity of Israel that erases distinctions between the past and the present.
Question: On a day that we read from two sifrei Torah, the chazzan took the second sefer as the first. The gabbai discovered this only when the Torah was opened up on the bima. Should we have rolled the Torah to the right place for the first reading (it was a significant distance in the sefer) or have covered up the sefer and replaced it with the correct sefer for the first reading?
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).