Shabbat Parashat Shemot| 5767
Shemot | | 01/01/2006
Moshe’s “career” as Bnei Yisrael’s leader began when Hashem instructed him at the burning bush to go to Egypt to tell Paroh to set them free. This episode is introduced with the simple description of Moshe as a shepherd leading his flock in the desert (Shemot 3:1). However, Chazal saw this role as the precursor to his leadership role. The analogy between leading a flock of sheep and leading a flock of humans is well-known.
Case: A couple is getting divorced after more than a year of marriage. The marriage was not consummated, according to the husband, because of the wife’s fears; according to the wife, it is because the husband is impotent. The husband presented a medical report denying that claim. The two dispute ownership of an apartment, registered in Tabu (the Land Registry) in the name of both. The wife says that her father paid the whole price and since the marriage was not viable, her side should receive the apartment in full. The husband claims that he contributed a significant minority of the funds. The lower court ruled that there is doubt whether gifts bought to be used by both spouses return to the side that gave them, and the husband who has partial control over the apartment maintains his partial control out of doubt. Furthermore, since we do not know whose explanation of the marriage’s dissolution is correct, the wife cannot extract his share of the apartment from him.
The Ramban (Assin 5) writes: “We were commanded that when we lay siege on a city to leave one direction open so that if they want to flee, they can do so … From this we learn to act with compassion even toward our enemies at the time of war. It also has an advantage that it allows an opening to flee as opposed to strengthening [their efforts] against us …” The Rambam (Melachim 6:7) agrees with the Ramban; the latter simply thought that the Rambam should have included this mitzva in thecount of 613 mitzvot.
This edition of Hemdat Yamim is dedicated to
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).