Shabat Parashat Devarim| 5766
Devarim | | 01/01/2005
The matter of the settling of half of the Tribe of Menashe on the east bank of the Jordan is one of the Torah’s great riddles. The general idea is mentioned a few times, but its background is not clearly explained. Only the Tribes of Reuven and Gad are reported to have requested a portion of land in that region. They were initially met with Moshe’s sharply negative reaction, calling them “a culture of sinful people.”
Last week we saw the sugya in Gittin, dealing with the concept of shlichutayhu ka’avidinan (=shl-ka). This means that we do the agency of semuchim (=sem),those with full ordination, who no longer exist. We saw that it is needed in all monetary matters when beit din imposes its authority on the parties. Ostensibly, the idea of shl-ka is that when the non-sem judge, it as if the sem are judging. We will now investigate whether that concept is Torah law or a rabbinic institution. At first glance, shl-ka works like any other shelichut (agency), which is a Torah concept that one’s agent is like himself. However, this is a difficult contention for a few reasons. Firstly, the Torah set the level of expertise needed to judge, and halachic devices cannot transfer expertise.
Studying a Cadaver- The Chatam Sofer (YD 336) says that studying a cadaver to gain medical knowledge is a form of receiving benefit from the dead and is permitted only to save a life. This is even without the problems of defiling the dead in cases of dissections. The Chazon Ish (208:7) questions this presumption in regard to seeing alone, which is also not something that one pays for, and therefore, there is no palpable benefit.
This edition of
Hemdat Yamim is dedicated to the memory of
R’ Meir ben Yechezkel Shraga Brachfeld o.b.m.
Hemdat Yamim is also dedicated by Les & Ethel Sutker of Chicago, Illinois
in loving memory of Max and Mary Sutker and Louis and Lillian Klein,z”l.
May their memory be a blessing!
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).