Shabbat Parashat Ki Tisa | 5768
Ki Tisa | 17Adar I 5768 | 2/23/2008
The pasuk that opens the section of our parasha that deals with the Jewish holidays reads as follows: “Six days you shall work and on the seventh day you shall cease; in the plow and the harvest you shall cease” (Shemot 34:21). Generations of rabbis have disputed the meaning of the second half of the pasuk. Rabbi Akiva said that stress of the agricultural tasks identifies the subject matter as the Shemitta year, teaching us that one should start and finish the year’s observances before and after the year, respectively. R. Yishmael understands that like the beginning of the pasuk, the end is also talking about the day of Shabbat, teaching us that one type of harvesting, the cutting of the grain for the korban ha’omer on the 16th of Nissan, is permitted even when it falls on Shabbat.
I once learned that when a minyan starts with ten men and one or two leave, the minyan can continue normally. Is this so?
The gemara (Chulin 11b) cites no Torah source to prohibit nivul hamet, yet it clearly understood that it is a Torah law. The gemara wants to provide a Torah source for the idea that we follow the majority from the fact that beit din executes a murderer even though the victim might have been a tereifa (one with a mortal wound). It suggests that they actually might have had to check the deceased to preclude this possibility but rejects this because of the problem of nivul hamet. Since the discussion relates to Torah-level law, nivul hamet must be a Torah problem. On the other hand, the gemara also provides cases where the problem can be overcome. One is to investigate the body to possibly save the murderer from execution. Rashi says that this is based on the instruction of “the
The defendant (=def) hired the plaintiff (=pl) and two friends to paint a home he wanted to rent out. Def promised to pay pl 25 shekels an hour and his friends 20. After a few days, pl quit because he found another job, prompting def to hire a different painter for 30 shekels an hour. The delay in finishing the work prevented def from renting out the home when he wanted, resulting in a loss of one month’s rent. Pl says that he would not have taken the job had he known the home was for rent; he demands full pay for the time he worked.
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).