Shabbat Parashat Vayeira | 5768
Vayeira | 15 Cheshvan 5768 | 12/7/2007
By focusing on the story of the forefathers, the Torah also teaches the outline of what to expect in later periods of Jewish history. This idea, which we call ma’ase avot siman labanim (the actions of the fathers are a sign for the children), is the lynchpin of our study of Sefer Bereishit, as spelled out in the midrash (Bereishit Rabba 40).
Case: A man wrote the following in a will: “After my death, I command that, from my property, the following shall be given: … 300 liras shall go to my bride, Ms. X” (the plaintiff). After other similar instructions, the man signed his name under the declaration, “Signed with full cognizance.
The lower court obligated a man to support his wife despite his claim that he had no money to pay for that purpose. The husband was in the army and had no ability to work beyond that. The lower court had instructed Bituach Leumi (the Israeli parallel to Social Security) to pay her a living allowance, which would accrue as a debt to the husband. His claim was that under such circumstances, a husband should not be obligated to support his wife.
Eretz Hemdah’s beit din, Mishpat V’Halacha B’Yisrael, held a din Torah on the matter discussed below. After deliberation, the panel decided that justice and peace would be best served if the sides would agree to a compromise, which they did to the satisfaction of all. The litigants requested us to render a “what would have been” ruling for their intellectual curiosity. We have decided that, instead of writing a detailed, formal p’sak of three dayanim, we would outline one dayan’s opinion on the matter in our Ask the Rabbi format, which we will now share with the the public as well).
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).