Shabbat Parashat Shemini| 5764
Shemini | | 1/8/2003
We are right in between Purim and Pesach, our two holidays with a significant element of wine drinking. Are the effects of drinking wine positive or negative? Is there any other way to bring a spirit of happiness so quickly? Let us examine just one aspect of this complex issue. In the aftermath of the death of Nadav and Avihu, Hashem instructs Aharon to refrain from drinking wine before entering the mishkan to perform service (Vayikra 10:9).
One of the sh’vuot from the Torah is the sh’vua of a shomer (watchman), who claims that that which happened to the object was something for which he is not responsible. Sh’vuat hashomrim contains three elements (Bava Metzia 6a): 1. That the object is no longer in the possession of the shomer but was lost, stolen or destroyed in a manner that makes him exempt. 2. That the watchman was not negligent in a manner which caused the object’s disappearance or its demise. 3. That the watchman did not misappropriate the object during the period of watching (shlichut yad).
The common denominator between the Rambam and Ramchal is that they see the world as centered around people of exceptionally high spiritual achievement. The rest of the world is their staff, so to speak. If one uses the body metaphorically to describe society, the elevated people are like the head, with the relationship between the different parts of humanity following suit. The main importance is in regard to the head. The proper functioning of the rest of the body enables the head to act in the special manner it designs.
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).