Shabbat Parashat Chayei Sarah | 5765
Chayei Sarah | | 02/01/2004
Toward the end of the parasha, we find Avraham’s influence broadening as he implements his status as “the father of many nations” (Bereishit 17: 4-5). This is accomplished by marrying Ketura, who gave birth to six children, who were the fathers of nations (ibid. 25: 1-4). On the other hand, Avraham ensured that the blessing of “to your offspring I will give this land” (ibid. 15:18) would be fulfilled only with his offspring from Sarah.
We tend to think of the readiness of the finder of a lost object (aveida) to hand it over to the person who comes to claim it as an act of generosity. However, this “generosity” can, at times, be a sign of shirking responsibility. As mentioned before, one who retrieves an aveida becomes responsible to look after it. Not only does that mean that he ensure that it doesn’t get lost or broken, but also that it is not returned to the wrong person.
The Shulchan Aruch (Even Haezer 2:7) says that a person should not marry a woman from a family of lepers or other serious disease in a case where the disease has occurred three times in her family, which creates a chazaka. The Rif (on Yevamot 64b) explains that after two occurrences, it is permitted to marry into the family because we assume that “two times is just by chance.” At first glance, then, there is no problem in our case.
Question: Shimon lent Levi $100, and then Levi worked for Shimon and deserved $100 for his work. If Shimon disputes the fee for his work, can Levi claim that the two financial obligations offset each other, and he is exempt from paying the loan, or must Levi pay back the loan and then make efforts to receive payment for the work?
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).