Shabbat Parashat Devarim| 5765
Devarim | | 1/2/2004
One of the barbs that anti-Semites use against Jews is that we are so preoccupied with wealth that many of us have names that contain the words “gold” and “silver.” We ourselves sometimes make comments about the destructive qualities of wealth, often the wealth that someone else has and we wouldn’t mind having in his place.
Case: A couple was married in Yemen and moved to Israel. The husband decided to take a second wife. The first wife, who opposed the second marriage, now demands divorce because she has been disgusted by his behavior and because he does not have enough money to support two wives and six children (5+1). The husband says that he can be a good husband to both and points out that in their country of origin, bigamy is acceptable.
It seems that the Ramban does mean that the mitzva of kibush applies fully in all generations, including at times of exile. However, we need to re-interpret what the Ramban means by kibush. It is not limited to conquest by battle or even political dominion over an area in a manner that precludes the authority of others over the Land. Rather, kibush includes controlling a place in regard to the ability to settle it, regardless of dominion. Precedent for this meaning exists in Chazal.
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).