Shabbat Parashat Vayeitzei | 5769
Vayeitzei | 9 Kislev 5769 | 12/6/2008
Our parasha ends on a peaceful note. Yaakov and Lavan reconciled after Lavan’s anger over Yaakov’s fleeing his home and the taking of his terafim was assuaged. They seem to be in full agreement as they make monuments to commemorate their agreement to never quarrel again. However, careful reading of the Torah’s account reveals a lot of give and take… with Yaakov succeeding in obtaining more take than give.
Reuven hired Shimon to move household items. The large quantity of items required, in addition to the moving truck, a trailer-car pulled along. The packers improperly put more and heavier things in the trailer than in the truck, apparently beyond its legal weight. This could have caused the tires to blow out or increase the likelihood of an accident, which could have caused minimal damage to the load, considering the trailer’s contents, which were mainly not breakable. During the moving, a fire broke out in the trailer, which destroyed almost all of its contents within minutes despite diligent effort to put out the fire and save items. Neither side was able to provide a logical explanation of how the fire started. Part of the question was whether Shimon’s negligence (p’shiya) in regard to one element of his work obligates him to pay for the eventual damage.
Gemara: Rabbi Chelbo said in the name of Rav Huna: one should always be careful about the prayer of Mincha, as Eliyahu was answered only at the time of the prayer of Mincha, as the pasuk says: “And it was at the time of the afternoon offering that Eliyahu approached and said, ‘answer me, Hashem, answer me.’” Rabbi Yochanan says: even at the prayer of Arvit (Ma’ariv), as the pasuk says: “May my prayer be accepted like incense before You, the gift of my hand as the offering of the evening.” Rav Nachman bar Yitzchak says: even at the prayer of Shacharit, as the pasuk says: “Hashem, hear my voice in the morning.”
The mishna (Bava Metzia 44a) says that although paying money for an object does not effectuate a kinyan, there is still some obligation to abide by the sales agreement. This is in the form of a semi-curse known as a Mi Shepara. Besides a moral obligation that Mi Shepara engenders, there are also legal ramifications. The Shulchan Aruch (Choshen Mishpat 198:15) says that until the one who backs out accepts the Mi Shepara, the sale is still intact and so if the money given is lost, it is the responsibility of the seller to reimburse for it.
This edition of Hemdat Yamim is dedicated to the memory of
As well as
R ' Meir ben Yechezkel Shraga Brachfeld
Hemdat Yamim is endowed by Les & Ethel Sutker of
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).