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Shabbat Parashat Noach 5773
Noach | 4 Cheshvan 5773 | 20/10/2012
Parashat Hashavua: A Thirst for Special WaterWater (mayim) plays a very special place, both in last week’s description of the creation and in this week’s account of the flood, which wiped out most of mankind. Besides its historical importance, water is a basic condition for the existence of life as we know it. In another vein, water is the means for people’s purification. Chazal view water as representative of Torah, as they interpret the pasuk from our haftara, “Oh, all thirsty go to water” (Yeshaya 5:1), as referring to Torah (Bava Kama 82a). The first pasuk of the Torah also alludes in a subtle manner to water. “In the beginning, Hashem created the shamayim (heavens) and the earth.” Chazal pick up on the similarity between shamayim and mayim and say: “What does shamayim mean? Sham mayim (water is there)” (Chagiga 12a). Thus the first object in the Torah hints at the importance of water.
Ask the Rabbi: A Remote Chance of Returning a Lost ObjectAt the Siyum Hashas at MetLife Stadium, I saw an umbrella on the floor (field seats) near seats whose occupants had left a while before. Before leaving, I asked people in the vicinity and no one knew whose it was, so I took it. Later on I noticed a first name (a woman’s name, in a men’s section) on it, but I have failed to figure out how to identify its owner. What should I do now?
Ein Ayah: The Fear of OverheatingWhen one leaves [a bathhouse without getting hurt], what does he say? “I thank You for saving me from the fire.”
P'ninat Mishpat: A Flawed Rental ApartmentThe plaintiffs (=pl) rented out an apartment, beneath theirs, to the defendants (=def) for six months. They left the apartment and canceled the checks for the final three months before the end of the contract. Pl wants def to pay for that time, as they must respect the contractual obligations. Def complained that while when they rented the apartment the weather was such that there were no problems, during the winter, when they needed to use heaters, the electricity often blew for insufficient wattage. The house was also not reasonably insulated and as a result of the two situations, the family suffered tremendously. After initially ignoring complaints, pl finally called an electrician, who informed def that their usage of electricity would have to be limited. Once when pl went away for Shabbat and guests used it, def’s electricity blew and was out for all of Shabbat even though def claims to have followed the limitations. The two sides agreed to summon the aforementioned electrician for testimony and that each would fully accept his word (like two valid witnesses).
This edition of
is endowed by
Les & Ethel Sutker
Louis and Lillian Klein, z”l
This edition of Hemdat Yamim
to the memory of
ben Yehudah Mayer,
a lover of the
Torah and Land.
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).