Shabbat Parashat Vayechi| 5763
Vayechi | | 1/13/2002
Chazal (Bereishit Rabba 99:9), indeed Tanach itself, tell us that Yissachar was the tribe which specialized in Torah study. What metaphor does Ya’akov use to symbolize his task in life? “Yissachar is a strong-boned donkey… He saw rest (menucha) that it was good and the land that it was pleasant, yet he bent his shoulder to bear [the load], and he became an indentured laborer” (Bereishit 49:14-15).
As we have seen in past weeks, the normal and preferred manner to substantiate the claim that a missing man has died includes some type of eyewitness account. However, in some cases, this type of account is unavailable, yet a combination of circumstances makes the case for an assumption of death very strong.
The gemara (Sanhedrin 36a) states as follows: “How do we know [that in capital trials, we start judicial deliberation from the junior jurists]? The Torah says ‘Lo ta’aneh al riv (read, rav)’ (do not respond to the great one).” Rashi explains: “‘riv’ is written without the letter ‘yud’ to imply that one should not argue on the most revered member of beit din (muflah shel beit din).
Question: I am very confused about a certain attitude among Orthodox people. Many people place a lot of importance on how long you wait between eating milk and meat. However, let us look at the source of waiting between milk and meat. It is just a rabbinic geder (fence) not to eat them together (when cooked separately) and a further geder not to eat them in the same meal. As a result, people in different cultures who had a meat meal would end up waiting the amount of time until the next meal to eat milk. The whole six hour/three hour thing doesn’t seem to be so important, yet people make you feel so guilty if you take on a more lenient custom.