Shabbat Parashat Mishaptim | 5768
| 26 Shvat 5768 | 2/2/2008
This week’s parasha regulates the practice of slavery, an institution that existed in the ancient world, including in parts of Jewish society. If a master hits his slave so that he loses a tooth or an eye, the slave goes free (Shemot 21: 26-27). This sanction against an owner is extended further, as our Rabbis taught. Not only does the slave go free for those two body parts but actually for the loss of any of 24 limbs (Rashi, based on Kiddushin 24-25).
Please give me Talmudic and halachic sources on autopsy along with your opinion.
The gemara (Sanhedrin 46b) was unsure if we should follow one’s instructions not to bury him after his death. The Rambam (Avel 12:1) rules not to listen because of the mitzva of “you shall certainly bury him.” Therefore, one’s agreement to “donate his body to science” in a manner that he will never be buried is invalid unless there was a need of pikuach nefesh (to save a life), a topic we will not discuss in this treatment. We just note that it is rare for there to be a real need to use the body for pikuach nefesh on an ongoing manner that precludes eventual burial.
The defendant (=def) rented an apartment to the plaintiff (=pl). The contract stated that the rental is not governed by the Law to Protect the Tenant. Yet, the contract includes a clause that gives pl “the option” to extend the rental, “each time for a year,” in which case, def would be allowed to raise the rent by no more than 10%. After a year, pl wanted to continue the rental but def wanted to make that conditional on a 35% increase in the rent due to high inflation, seemingly in contradiction to the clause mentioned above. Def says that he did not understand the clause, which, taken literally, would allow pl to rent indefinitely.
This edition of Hemdat Yamim is dedicated in loving memory of
R ' Meir ben Yechezkel Shraga Brachfeld
Hemdat Yamim is endowed by Les & Ethel Sutker of
Max and Mary Sutker
and Louis and Lillian Klein, z”l.
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).