Shabbat Parashat Vayigash| 5771
Vayigash | 4 Tevet 5771 | 12/11/2010
The Jewish Nation has been traversing a special road on the journey of history, one which began with its patriarchs. Yaakov, as the head of a small nation-in-the-making of 70 people, already finds himself going into exile, an event, like others, that would stand as a prototype and a guide for similar future occurrences to the nation.
As a kohen raised in chutz la’aretz, where nesi’at kapayim (duchenen =nk) was a big event and levi’im were eager to wash kohanim’s hands, I have been surprised that usually I have to wash my own hands in Israel. Should I say something to the levi’im?
There was a story involving R. Chanina ben Dosa, who went to learn Torah by R. Yochanan ben Zakai. R. Yochanan ben Zakai’s son became sick. [R. Yochanan] said to him: “Chanina, my son, ask for mercy on his behalf, so that he should live.” [Rabbi Chanina] put his head between his legs and prayed, and he lived. R. Yochanan ben Zakai said: “Had [I] placed my head between my legs all day, [I] would not have been heeded.” His wife asked: “Is Chanina greater than you?” He said to her: “No, but he is like a servant before the king, and I am like an officer before the king.”
A woman (=pl) was widowed from her husband of a second marriage (for both), who also left a daughter and a son (=def). The deceased left a will written in the form of “from today and taking effect after death” in which he bequeathed his home in which the couple lived to his children but said that they should give his widow 10,000 liras if they ask her to leave. Afterward, he transferred ownership in the Tabu to the children. Pl wants to stay in the home, as is the standard arrangement the Rabbis prescribed. She is not demanding payment of her ketuba or other support, as she earns money. Def want to pay the ketuba after which, they claim, according to Ashkenazi minhag, they can remove her from the home without paying for another one.
R' Meir ben
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).