Shabbat Parashat Ki Tisa | 5770
Ki Tisa | 20 Adar 5770 | 3/6/2010
One of the results of the sin of the Golden Calf was hester panim (the hiding of Hashem’s “face”). While Moshe begged that Hashem’s face go along with the nation, Hashem said that His face cannot be seen (see Shemot 33: 15, 20, 23). A parallel idea of a hidden face, this time, a human one, is found in the parasha regarding Moshe’s wearing of a cover on his face when dealing with the people, a cover he removed only when interacting with Hashem (ibid. 34: 30-35).
I found an apparently suitable cello to buy and received permission from the seller to take it “on approval” (trial period during which one can return it without explanation). During this time, one of the strings broke while I was tuning the cello. When I returned the instrument to her, having decided not to buy it, she demanded payment for the broken string, and I paid. What does halacha say? Am I a “sho’el” (borrower)? (I used it only for testing and not after I made the decision to return it.) Would breaking the string obligate me to pay, as it seems to be meita machamat melacha [see below]?
Rabbi Abba was avoiding Rav Yehuda, as the former wanted to move to Eretz Yisrael, whereas Rav Yehuda posited that whoever makes aliya from Bavel violates the positive commandment of: “They will be brought to Bavel, and there they will remain until I will recall them, says Hashem” (Yirmiya 27:22).
The mishna (Bechorot 49a) says that the testimony of one who takes money in order to testify is invalid. This is because it is forbidden to take money for a mitzva, including the mitzva to testify. The Rabbis penalized the one who paid to have the witness testify on his behalf. However, the testimony can become valid if the witness returns the money (Shulchan Aruch, Choshen Mishpat 34:18).
This week in the Daf Hayomi, the Gemara deals with a number of halachot pertaining to a king. One of these halachot is the prohibition for a king to marry too many wives. Throughout history, for political reasons, it was necessary for a king to marry more than one wife. Nevertheless, the Torah prohibited a king from marrying an excessive number of wives. The Gemara deals with the issue of exactly how many wives he is permitted to have.
This week’s Hemdat Yamim is dedicated in loving memory of
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).