Shabbat Parashat Beshalach 5774
Beshalach | 10 Shevat 5774 | 1/11/2014
After the Splitting of the Sea, the Torah summarizes: “Israel saw the great hand that Hashem did to Egypt, and the nation believed in Hashem and in Moshe, His servant” (Shemot 14:31). This belief in Moshe was further bolstered at Sinai, where the pasuk says: “I am coming to you in the thickness of the cloud, so that the nation will hear when I speak to you, and they will believe in you as well” (Shemot 19:9). Chazal, commentators, and Jewish philosophers throughout history tried to explain what the element of belief in Moshe was, and how it developed as a result of these events.
I was raised a secular Jew. One branch of my family is Charedi, and I enjoy spending time and learning with them. I do my best to observe mitzvoth when I am with them, but at home I act the way my family does. One of my cousins voiced a concern that if I continue studying, I will lose my “protected” status as tinok shenishba and become a “rasha.” Another cousin said that studying Talmud cannot make you a rasha. I am not sure that the answer to the question will affect my behavior, but it means a lot to people I care about, and so I would appreciate your insight.
Torah scholars (talmidei chachamim) make a lot of (marbim) peace in the world, as the pasuk says: “And all your sons (banayich) are learned in Hashem, and a lot of peace to your sons” (Yeshaya 54:13). Do not read it as “banayich” but as “bonayich” (your builders, i.e., talmidei chachamim). “Much peace will be for those who love Your Torah, and there will be no obstacle for them” (Tehillim 119:165). “There shall be peace in your congregation of people, tranquility in your palace. On behalf of my brothers and friends, I will speak of you peace. On behalf of the house of our Lord, I will request of you goodness” (Tehillim 122:7-9). “Hashem shall give power to His nation; Hashem will bless His nation with peace (ibid. 29:11).
First, realize that if the owner is working for the borrower (or any other type of watchman), it does not make a difference if the work involves the owner’s object. The gemara (Bava Metzia 97a) says that certain workmen for the people of the city, including the barber and the bloodletter (doctor is approximately the modern equivalent) are considered working for the people of the city in general. The gemara also tells about the debate between Rava and his students. The latter claimed that regarding these halachot, Rava would be considered working for them. Rava responded that it was the students who were working for him, since he could choose the curriculum. The gemara concludes that generally Rava was right, but at certain times of the year, when the subject matter had to relate to the issues of the time of the year, Rava was considered their worker, and if they lost his object, they would be exempt.
amongst the sick
of Klal Yisrael
Rabanit Itah bat Chana
Mr. Eliyahu ben Sara Zelda Carmel
This edition of
Yechezkel Shraga Brachfeld
is endowed by
Les & Ethel Sutker
Louis and Lillian Klein, z”l
to the memory of
Reuben M. Rudman
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).