Shabbat Parashat Pekudei| 5764
Pekudei | | 08/01/2003
Parashat Vayakhel reports, detail by detail, how the workers of the “mishkan project” followed the precise instructions for its construction. Yet the Torah does not use the words, “as Hashem commanded Moshe.” In Pekudei, describing the making of the kohanim’s garments, the Torah mentions in section after section those very words. Why is there a difference?
The institution of sh’vuot (oaths) is a major one in halachic literature, but in modern practice, it is rarely implemented. There is a practice to avoid administrating sh’vuot at almost all cost. Rather, we replace the sh’vua with payment of a certain percentage of the money being argued about. However, the topic is still central to Choshen Mishpat, and we should discuss it.
The idea that the appropriateness of giving up one life to save the masses depends on the practical ramifications of the decision explains a couple of difficult gemarot. The Rambam and others forbid one to give up his life for kiddush Hashem when he is not required to do so. On the other hand, the gemara (Bava Batra 10b) is strong in its praise of the martyrs of Lod, who falsely “admitted” committing a murder in order to save an entire Jewish community from death for that crime.
This edition of Hemdat Yamim is
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).