Shabbat Parashat Ki Tetzei| 5767
Ki Teitzei | | 1/1/2006
An important exegetical thesis, which we have employed in the past, emanated from the “beit midrash” of the Gra. That is, that linguistic changes in parallel sections of the Torah may hint at spiritual changes in the people involved. In this regard, it is important to note major road marks in the status of mankind and the Jewish people throughout history. Mankind was in an ideal state before Adam’s sin, which caused its spiritual level to plummet.
Case: The plaintiff and defendant were partners in a kosher butcher store. At some point, they decided to dissolve their partnership, and the plaintiff bought out the defendant’s part. In that context, they drew up an agreement stating: “The side that left the partnership will be forbidden to open a butcher store in close proximity to the existing one.” Soon thereafter, the defendant’s son opened such a store nearby. He was funded by the defendant, who also worked in the store. Furthermore, the new store lowered prices significantly, which took away from the old store’s clientele. Eventually, the plaintiff sold his store to someone else. The plaintiff claims that their contract was breached and that the defendant should pay damages resulting from the opening of the new store. The defendant says that it was his son, not he, who opened the new store.
“For the lips of the kohen will preserve da’at (understanding) and Torah shall you seek from his mouth” (Malachi 2:7). Da’at is related to the ability to make distinctions (Yerushalmi, Berachot 5:2). That means that one can discern the internal points that distinguish between things that look the same. “See, I am placing before you today a blessing and a curse” (Devarim 11:26). The midrash (Devarim Rabba 4) says:
This edition of Hemdat Yamim is dedicated to the memory of
R' Meir ben Yechezkel Shraga Brachfeld o.b.m.
Hemdat Yamim is also dedicated by Les & Ethel Sutker of Chicago, Illinois
in loving memory of
Max and Mary Sutker
and Louis and Lillian Klein, z"l.
May their memory be a blessing!
This edition of Hemdat Yamim is also
dedicated to the memory of
Yitzchak Eliezer ben Avraham Mordechai Jacobson
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).