Shabbat Parashat Yitro 5772
Yitro | 18 Shvat 5772 | 2/11/2012
Our parasha takes us to the apex of Sefer Shemot, the book of liberation, as Bnei Yisrael approached Mt. Sinai. After all, Moshe had been told that the sign for the delivery from Egypt was, “When you take the nation out of Egypt, they will serve Hashem on this mountain” (Shemot 3:12). The experiences at Sinai also helped clarify why there was a need for an enslavement that had been foretold centuries earlier to Avraham. Everything that happens to Bnei Yisrael is unique and wondrous. It was born as a nation in a special way, specifically in a foreign land under a period of tremendous subjugation, unlike most peoples who become nations while sitting in their own land. They received the Torah, the blueprint for their national life, in a manner that makes them special among the nations of the world. Hashem loves all of mankind, but Bnei Yisrael was to have a special role (see Seforno, Shemot 19:5). This occurred in the wilderness, of all places, in the midst of a nomadic existence. They were, at the time, disconnected from a normal existence, eating bread from the sky and water miraculously extracted from a stone. They knew nothing of the land they were to enter and where they would live their national life, and did not know how their agricultural lifestyle, which the Torah would regulate, would be run. Were they sure they would be able to observe Shabbat or Shemitta and survive? Sold lands would be returned to their original owners, and debts would be cancelled. Is it possible to accept all these laws without a trace of skepticism?
I live in Israel and trade on the NY Stock Exchange. One type of trade is a limit trade order. One sets a target price for a stock. When it reaches the target price, the trade (buy or sell) takes place. May I place such an order on Friday, as most of the market day in NY is during Shabbat in Israel?
[One of the sights upon which one makes the beracha for miracles is] the rock on which Moshe sat [raising his hands, as Yehoshua fought the Amalekis], as the pasuk says: “And Moshe’s arms were heavy, so they took a stone and put it under him, and he sat upon it, and Aharon and Chur supported his arms” (Shemot 17:12).
The defendant (=def) worked for a business that marketed and distributed clothing. She approached a printing company (=pl) to design and print 5,000 advertisements. The clothes company closed abruptly and the owner disappeared, and it is not likely that he will pay off his commitments. Pl is suing def personally for the work it performed at her request. Pl claims that def introduced herself as the owner of the company. Def says that she said from the outset that she was a worker. A worker at pl said that def did not state explicitly her position but gave the impression that she ran the business. [This time we focus on the obligation, if def said neither that she would pay personally nor that someone else would do so.]
This edition of
is endowed by
Les & Ethel Sutker
Louis and Lillian Klein, z”l
This edition of
Rabbi Shlomo Merzel o.b.m,
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).