Shabbat Parashat Nitzavim| 5765
Nitzavim | | 02/01/2004
The Torahinforms us that the goal of dedicating oneself to a Torah lifestyle is “not in the heaven, that one would say: ‘who will go up to the heaven and take it for us that we should hear it and follow it?’ nor is it on the other side of the sea … for it is very close to you …” (Devarim 30: 11-14). We will concentrate on different meanings and insights of the phrase, “it is not in the heaven (lo vashamayim hee).”
Case: A son and daughter agreed on an arbitrated settlement to divide the inheritance left by their mother (approximately evenly). Subsequently, someone brought forward a will giving the daughter most of the mother’s jewelry in addition to half of most of the property.
In addition to stating that it is forbidden to move from Bavel to Eretz Yisrael, R. Yehuda also quoted his teacher, Shmuel, as saying: “Just as it is forbidden to leave Eretz Yisrael for Bavel so too is it forbidden to leave Bavel for other lands” (Ketubot 111a). The gemara does not explain the rationale and/or source for the prohibition. The Rambam (Melachim 5:12) rules as follows:
Question: A hospitalized patient who does not get visitors has repeatedly asked me to visit him. The hospital is so far away that travel costs are about $100 a visit. Can I use my ma’aser money (10% of one’s earnings, customarily set aside for charitable causes) to defray the costs?
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).