Shabbat Parashat Tetzaveh| 5763
Tetzaveh | | 1/13/2002
the story of Amalek, which we read this week, we find the phrase “Asher Korcha Bderech"- who chanced upon you on the way” (Devarim 25:18). Chazal understood that the word korcha hints at the two-pronged strategy of Amalek: to cool off Bnei Yisrael (kar) and to portray events as chance (mikreh). When Hashem took Bnei Yisrael out of Egypt with miracles, nations were full of awe and fear (Shemot 15:14). These fears were “cooled off” by Amalek, who also raised questions about whether the miracles Bnei Yisrael experienced could have been chance.
The most contentious, invalidating factor for witnesses is p'sul machmat aveirah (invalidation based on sin). One who sins for monetary profit, whether in mitzvot between man and man or between man and G-d is certainly pasul (Sanhedrin 27a, based on Shemot 23:1). Abayei and Rava disagree whether one whose sins are rooted in theological shortcomings is invalid.
Bnei Yisrael accepted the Torah twice. The first time, at Har Sinai, it was accompanied by Divine sounds and sights. It was preceded by the miracles of the Exodus, including the splitting of the sea, and by the daily miracles of the desert. Despite all this, Chazal (Shabbat 88a) tell us, Bnei Yisrael accepted the Torah only through coercion.
This edition of Hemdat Yamim is
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).