Shabbat Parashat Vayeshev| 5766
Vayeishev | | 1/1/2005
Our parasha tells of another close call as to which twin would emerge as the firstborn (recall Yaakov and Eisav) and, again, the one with the active hand, was second. In the case of Tamar and Yehuda’s twins, Zerach (whose name means, to shine) stuck out his hand and was marked as the firstborn, but Peretz (meaning, to break through) preempted him. Agadat Bereishit (64) says that this occurred in deference to Mashiach, who comes from the line of Peretz.
Case: The Kollel of Rumania requested of beit din to merge with it the separately run Kollel of Bucharest, along with the property and funds it possessed. The claim was that since Bucharest is the capital of Rumania and there are close social ties between the people of the various regions, there is no need for separate funds. Also, the Kollel of Bucharest had for all intents and purposes (at that time) ceased supporting its poor families, who then would turn to the Kollel of Rumania for help.
Around this question of the proper attitude toward philosophical investigation of basic theological questions there was a serious quarrel among sectors in the Jewish world at the time that the Rambam’s Moreh Nevuchim came out, and echoes have reached our times. Some of the leaders of the Chassidic movement have spoken out fiercely on the matter. So said, for example, R. Nachman of Breslav: “After all the philosophical knowledge [even of one who has truthfully attained it] one must throw out all of the philosophy and serve Hashem with pure, unquestioned belief, with absolute simplicity and without any external wisdoms.”
Question: I went to a private beach with friends during off-season, and the proprietor told us that the area was for men only. We paid 70 shekelsfor the whole day. After two hours of swimming, a group of women arrived. We left the water and went to find out what was happening. The proprietor denied having said it was a separate beach (I know he was lying). Instead of apologizing, he angrily returned our money in full, which we had not demanded, and told us to leave. Do I have to find a way to return part of the money, corresponding to the amount of time we enjoyed ourselves?
This edition 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).