Shabbat Parashat Vayeira | 5764
Vayeira | | 1/2/2004
The words “Lech lecha” usually conjure up thoughts of the beginningof last week’s parasha, when Hashem commanded Avram to leave his homeland in search of the Promised Land. Indeed the phrase appears only twice in all of Tanach. The second time is in the introduction to the last major portion of our parasha. There, Hashem commands Avraham (his name being changed already) to go to do Akeidat Yitzchak (Binding of Isaac) on a certain mountain in the Land of Moriah.
We have seen that the main factor determining whether one has to return an object or not is the question if the original owner’s ownership fell off prior to the object being found. This distinction seems to be more of a technical, legalistic nature than a moral one. After all, if one can return the object, what difference does it make if the original owner gave up hope or not? In general, it is not our place to express an opinion whether we think that a given halacha conforms with our conception of morality or not. However, in this area, it appears that Chazal did.
Not only was Eiver Hayarden originally incorporated into Eretz Yisrael, but even in the time of the second Beit Hamikdash, its status was comparable to that of the rest of Eretz Yisrael. We find (Arachin 32a) that there were cities in Eiver Hayarden which were arei choma (special, walled cities). There are several special halachot that apply to these cities, and certainly only cities inside Eretz Yisrael are candidates for such a status.
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).