Shabbat Parashat Vaetchanan 5771
Vaetchanan | 13 Av 5771 | 13/08/2011
Our parasha contains central themes that are thrust together in a curious manner. “Do not add on to that which I am commanding you and do not detract from it … Your eyes have seen that which Hashem has done with Ba’al Peor, for all who followed Ba’al Peor, Hashem has destroyed from before you. You are those who have clung to Hashem, your G-d, you are all alive today” (Devarim 4:2-4). The contrast is too great between Ba’al Peor, one of the lowliest forms of idol worship, in which one defecates on the idol, and those who cling to Hashem. Would we have thought that we could compare the two? Is something as subtle as not adding on or subtracting from the Torah comparable or even contrastable with Ba’al Peor? It is also hard to understand how Bilam, who, when all is said and done, was a prophet, could suggest to interest Bnei Yisrael with such a lowly type of idolatry?
For medical reasons, I must eat early in the morning. Is it better to eat before going to daven in shul or to daven at home, eat, and go to shul to answer Kedusha, etc.?
Rabbi Yehoshua ben Levi said: One should always come early to shul in order to merit being among the first ten, for even if a hundred come after him, he receives reward corresponding to all of them.
An elementary school (=pl) and a pre-school (=def) shared a building under the municipality’s control for many years, rent free. Three years ago, the municipality started charging rent, but has made the demands specifically of pl, who uses the majority of the building. Pl asked the municipality to charge them only for the section they use, but they refuse. Pl asked def to share in the rent corresponding to their usage of the building. Def said that the municipality would not charge them because pre-schools are their responsibility to provide for the public, but the municipality says that they do not accept this regarding def, which is not a public school. In the meantime, the municipality sent pl a warning that if they do not pay in full, the building will be vacated of all of its present inhabitants. Pl paid in full and now wants def to reimburse them. In the background there is also a related historical debate. Pl said that the whole building was given to them, just that they accepted the municipality’s request that def utilize part of it. Def said that they had use of their part of the building before pl received theirs.
This edition of
is endowed by
Les & Ethel Sutker
Louis and Lillian Klein, z”l
of this week
is dedicated in memory of
Yitzchak Eizik ben
Yehuda Leib Usdan a"h,
whose Yahrtzeit is the 29th of Av
is dedicated to the memory of
Rabbi Shlomo Merzel o.b.m,
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).