Shabbat Parashat Vaetchanan| 5765
Vaetchanan | | 02/01/2004
In the Ten Commandments, as they appear in our parasha, the commandment to keep Shabbat is expressed as follows: “Guard (Shamor)the day of Shabbat to sanctify it as Hashem, your G-d, commanded you” (Devarim 5:12). Continuing through the p’sukim, we find the reason, “you shall remember that you were slaves in Egypt and Hashem …took you out … therefore he commanded you to make the day of Shabbat” (ibid.:15). In contrast, the first set of the Ten Commandments uses the command, “Remember (Zachor)” and, for the mitzva’srationale, says that it is to commemorate the six days of creation, followed by the seventh day of rest (Shemot 20: 8-12).
Case: A man bought a sefer Torah in order to give it to a beit knesset to which hisbrother belonged. At the time, it was the only sefer. At some later point, the congregation received another sefer, and the brother also moved out of the area. The donor now wants to take the sefer Torah and present it to his brother’s new community. The beit knesset provided witnesses that the donor gave it as a present. Only one said that the donor stated explicitly that he was giving it on a permanent basis, but all agree that he did not stipulate that it was for a limited time.
MegEs brings the following proof that the mitzva to live in Eretz Yisrael does not apply during exile. The gemara (Ketubot 110b) brings Rav Yehuda’s ruling, based on a pasuk in Yirmiya, that it is forbidden to leave Bavel to move to Eretz Yisrael. If there were a mitzva in R. Yehuda’s time to live in Eretz Yisrael, asks MegEs, how could a prophet uproot the Torah law?
This edition of
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).