Shabbat Parashat Bereishit | 5769
Bereishit | 26 Tishri 5769 | 10/25/2008
The first creation that our parasha mentions is light. Many sources point out that since the sun and stars were not created until later, this must be a different type of light, a very special one that we do not have access to any more in this world. Sefer Habahir (attributed to the tanna, R. Nechunia ben Hakaneh) claims that this very special spiritual light was hidden in the Torah Sheb’al Peh (the Oral Law). Indeed a famous pasuk (Mishlei 6:23) and many statements of Chazal equate or compare light with Torah.
After washing one’s hands for netillat yadayim (=ny) before eating bread, is it permitted to dry one’s hands with an electric (blow) hand dryer instead of a towel?
While I expanded on the ideas of Chazal in my commentary, I did not take them too far from their simple meaning, especially in regard to things that touch upon the foundations of Torah and ethics. This is because the right result will emerge only when we have the open (expanded) and closed (literal) elements of a statement complement each other.
One of the litigants, who lives in Beit Shemesh, wants a matter adjudicated at the Eidah Chareidis of Jerusalem’s court. The other litigant wants to adjudicate in the Rabbanut Regional Court of Jerusalem (Beit Shemesh is within the Rabbanut’s Jerusalem region). It is hard to tell from the initial presentation of the sides who is considered the plaintiff and who is considered the defendant.
Hemdat Yamim of this week
R ' Meir ben Yechezkel Shraga Brachfel
Hemdat Yamim is endowed by Les & Ethel Sutker of
and Louis and Lillian Klein, z”l.
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).