Shabbat Parashat Yitro| 5764
Yitro | | 1/8/2003
In the dramatic description of the historic events at Mt. Sinai, lies hidden away in the very last pasuk of this week’s Reading (Shemot 20:23) a rather banal and seemingly irrelevant commandment. It teaches that when Israel builds a sanctuary and its furnishings, there is to be an altar for sacrifice. The commandment specifies that the altar may not be ascended by stairs, but by a ramp.
We have seen that even though we are concerned with the damage that one neighbor causes to another, we need to counterbalance the negative consequences of being overly restrictive on the “damagers” lifestyle. This concept of balancing helps explain other, related halachot. Within the discussion of damages among neighbors, the gemara (BavaBatra 21b) brings up the issue of opening a business, which is in competition to an existing one.
Let us deal with the status of the family of the deceased regarding permission or opposition to the organ transplants from his body. We have sources that demonstrate that a person’s family is harmed by the embarrassment and disgrace of their relative (e.g.- Bava Kama 86b, in regard to someone who was disgraced while sleeping and died; ibid. 93a; Sanhedrin 75a).
This edition of Hemdat Yamim is
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).