Shabbat Parashat Tetzaveh| 5765
Tetzaveh | | 1/2/2004
This year we, at Eretz Hemdah, have begun our third cycle of studying the 4th section of Shulchan Aruch, Choshen Mishpat (civil law). The term comes from our parasha, as the choshen mishpat was one of the Kohen Gadol’s (High Priest) articles of clothing. The Torah describes this “breastplate of judgment” as “ma’aseh chosheiv” (a woven garment) and stresses three times that Aharon wore it over his heart (see Shemot 28: 15-30).
Case: A couple continued living together immediately after divorce as if nothing had changed, to the extent that acquaintances were not aware that they were divorced. After a few months, the husband died. The wife requests to have her status, as listed in her identity papers, changed from divorced to widowed. She demonstrated that in this case there are no legal ramifications of this change and that she is interested in the change for emotional reasons alone.
The Yerushalmi (Orlah 1:3) states: “There is a sign: he who eats from that of his friend is embarrassed to look at him.” This sign is actually taken from the nature of the world of plants and has applications in regard of the laws of orlah. But it is also a human, psychological truth, which can help explain to us the mystery of the hatred of Jews that fell to the world at Sinai.
Question: Last Purim, we read the Megilla in someone’s house and split it up among readers (=bk). The last bk came quite late, after we had already started. The question arose whether, assuming that bk did not fulfill his mitzva with part of the Megilla (he read it again at home later), he was able to be motzi us (enable us to fulfill our mitzva).
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).