Shabbat Parashat Shemot| 5766
Shemot | | 1/1/2005
In another publication, we proved at length that Hashem’s command to Moshe to take Bnei Yisrael out of Egypt took place at two distinct times and under different circumstances. According to the rule that the Torah does not limit itself to a chronological order, we showed that Hashem’s words to Moshe, recorded in Shemot 6, actually predated the more famous interaction that is found in Shemot 3, at the burning bush.
Case: A charitable institution (=ci)encouraged people to donate money to be used to build apartments. An agreement stipulated that the donors could live in the apartment (or rent it out) and designate a family member to live there for five years after their death. A woman did so and later married; ci allowed the husband to be considered a donor. The two designated his son as the recipient of the five-year right. The woman died, and her husband remarried before dying. The son asked ci to let the widow stay in the apartment, which she did for 20 years. She then died, as did the son. The son’s inheritors want to exercise his right of five years, claiming that the widow’s stay was her own right to stay in her husband’s home. Otherwise, ci would not have allowed her to stay for 20 years.
Although the whole Torah is one unit and we do not accept a candidate for conversion who accepts the whole Torah except one matter, we can still identify pillars of Judaism. There are three positive foundations which are the roots from which grow and branch out many sub-values. These three are: the mitzva of sanctifying Hashem’s Name; personal sanctity; and the sanctity of human life. Corresponding to these positive values are three cardinal, negative commandments: idol worship; adultery and incest; and murder.
Question: In the shul where I am gabbai, there are a few parts of chazarat hashatz (= chaz hash;repetition of Shmoneh Esrei)where we sing along with the chazzan, sometimes a few words and occasionally an entire section. A member of the community complained that it prevents him from hearing the chazzan, as he should. Should I step in?
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).