Shabbat Parashat Ki Tetzei| 5765
Ki Teitzei | | 1/2/2004
In our parasha the Torah commands: “Fathers shall not be killed because of sons and sons shall not be killed because of fathers; a man shall be killed for his sin” (Devarim 24:16). At first glance, this commandment seems superfluous. Would one think that a father or a son be punished for the actions of his son or father, respectively? Also, aren’t the specifics clear from the concept that all should be punished for their own sins only?
Case: A yavam (brother of one who died, leaving behind a widow and no children) does not want to perform chalitza, whichisneeded to enablethe yevama (widow) to remarry, until he has the opportunity to search for property his brother may have had in a manner that the yavam would inherit it. The yevama is willing to sign an arbitration agreement with guarantees to adjudicate any future monetary issues but wants the chalitza taken care of promptly so that she can be free to marry should the opportunity present itself.
The gemara initially bases R. Yehuda’s opinions on the pasuk inYirmiya (27:22): “They shall be brought to Bavel, and they will be there under the day I redeem them.” Yet the gemara seems to conclude that his source was the oath administered to Bnei Yisrael that they would not go up to Eretz Yisrael by force. There is a practical difference between the two sources. The pasuk in Yirmiya refers only to aliya from Bavel, whereas the oath applies to forceful immigration from anywhere.
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).