Shabbat Parashat Massei| 5766
Masei | | 01/01/2005
The unintentional murderer is different from and similar to other unintentional sinners of serious crimes. Other offenders bring a sacrifice. The unintentional murderer, in effect, sacrifices his freedom to obtain atonement for his mistake. The murderer stays in an ir miklat (city of refuge) until the death of the Kohen Gadol (High Priest). A few interesting explanations are given for the Kohen Gadol’s placein this context.
We are switching our focus from specific procedures of batei din (and our beit din, in particular) to a deeper look at the underpinnings of a contemporary beit din’s ability to serve as such. We will develop the concept of shlichutayhu ka’avdinan (we do their agency), as found in a couple of places in the Talmud. The mishna (Sanhedrin 2a) states that cases of hodaot and halvaot (roughly, monetary matters that stem from agreements) are judged by three dayanim who are not semuchim (fully ordained).
How much earth becomes forbidden in benefit when the deceased is buried nearby? For example, what is the halacha if earth is added under a grave that is too low to easily inter the body? It appears that only the three tefachim (app. nine inches) closest to the body is forbidden, with the indication being as follows. The Tur (YD 363) rules that if one wishes to bury someone under an existing grave, he must leave six tefachim between graves, so that three can be the boundary of one and likewise for the other.
This edition of Hemdat Yamim is dedicated in honor of
the Bar Mitzva ofDanel Jaffeby Rabbi & Mrs. George Finkelstein
Hemdat Yamim is dedicated in memory ofR’ Meir ben Yechezkel Shraga Brachfeld o.b.m. Hemdat Yamim is also dedicated by Les & Ethel Sutker of Chicago, Illinois in loving memory of Max and Mary Sutker and Louis and Lillian Klein,z”l.
May their memory be a blessing!
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).