Shabbat Parashat Lech Lecha | 5770
Lech Lecha | 13 Cheshvan 5770 | 10/31/2009
This week's parasha starts with Hashem speaking with Avra(ha)m and telling him to leave his home and move … somewhere. There is no introduction as to why Hashem was telling him to do this or speaking to him at all. Our introduction to Avraham at the end of last week's parasha tells only of his family relationships, not anything he did that would warrant the prominent role in world history he was slated for. In general, not more than a sliver of the greatness of the forefathers can be seen through the narrative, but there are some basic features that explain their roles.
I want to put cold but cooked soup on a hot plate right before Shabbat. I have heard that putting things up at that time is particularly stringent. Considering that it is forbidden to reheat cooked liquids on Shabbat, is it also forbidden right before Shabbat?
The following was a favorite statement of Rava: “The purpose of chochma (wisdom) is teshuva (repentance) and good deeds." Thus, one should not learn seriously and then "kick" (rebel against or disrespect) his father, his mother, his teacher, or someone greater than him in wisdom or years. This is supported by the pasuk, “The beginning of wisdom is fear of G-d, it is good insight for all who do them; his praise will stand forever” (Tehillim 111:10). It does not say, “for those who study” but “for those who do.” This is referring to those who act lishma (for the correct reasons) and not for those who act not lishma. All those who do act not lishma would have been better off not being created.
Our mentor, Harav Shaul Yisraeli deals with the topic of electing public officials in an article that is published in his hallmark sefer¸ Amud Hay'mini. He struggles with the following ruling of the Rambam (Melachim 1:3): "A king is initially appointed only based on the decision of the Rabbinical Court of 71 and based on a prophet, like Yehoshua, who was appointed by Moshe and his court, and like Shaul and David, who were appointed by Shmuel of Ramah and his court."
There are situations in which the defendant is not able to respond to the claims of the plaintiff. One of the more common cases is where a person dies, and someone sues his heirs claiming that the person who died owed him money, and he wants to collect the debt from the inheritance. If the person was still alive, it is possible that he would have denied the claims of the plaintiff, but the heirs have no knowledge of the matter and cannot defend themselves. The Gemara states that, in such a case, the Beit Din claims for the heirs what the deceased could have claimed if he was alive.
This edition of Hemdat Yamim is dedicated to the memory of
ben Yehudah Mayer
a lover of the Jewish Nation Torah and Land
R' Meir ben Yechezkel Shraga Brachfeld
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).