Shabbat Parashat Behaalotcha| 5767
Beha'alotcha | | 1/1/2006
Our parasha contains two episodes that teach much about the personal life and leadership of Moshe Rabbeinu. The first deals with the imbuing of Moshe’s spiritual power and prophecy to 70 elders. The second deals with Aharon and Miriam’s criticism of Moshe in regard to his relationship with his wife, Tzippora. In both cases, Moshe’s personality emerges in its glorious heights, especially in the area of humility.
Case: A bride was told by a gemach (free loan association) that they would lend her a wedding dress. In order to facilitate the matter, the bride arranged a “document of assurance” and prepared a check to leave for the possibility that the dress would get damaged. A week before the wedding, the gemach informed her, without giving an explanation, that they would not lend her the dress. The bride is now demanding compensation for the costs of arranging the document and the check. [Editor’s note – One would imagine that the bride made the claim out of “righteous indignation” over the perceived affront, not to compensate for a significant loss. From a halachic basis, the motivation behind a given claim does not normally impact on the willingness of beit din to hear the case or on its outcome.]
The gemara (Gittin 47b) brings a machloket between R. Yochanan and Reish Lakish whether one who buys land only in regard to eating its fruits (kinyan peirot)recites the declaration upon bringing bikurim (R. Yochanan) or not (Reish Lakish). R. Yochanan reasons that kinyan peirot is equivalent to kinyan haguf (full ownership) and, therefore, one can recite, “the fruit of the land that You gave me.” Reish Lakish posits that kinyan peirot is not equivalent to kinyan haguf.
Question: I had an Israeli supermarket send me a delivery. After they left, I realized that they gave me two cases of expensive beer I had not bought. I have asked them several times to pick them up, but they haven’t yet. The cases are in the way and two bottles have been broken. When I last nudged them, the woman said that it hard for them to arrange, and if I don’t want to bring them back, I should keep them. As it is hard to shlep the cases by bus (with children), what should I do? I wouldn’t mind drinking the beer, but their value to me is far less than their price.
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).