Shabbat Parashat Tazria| 5764
Tazria | | 08/01/2003
In the beginning of our parasha, the Torah repeats the commandment of brit milah (Vayikra 12:2-3). The importance of the mitzva of milah finds expression within halacha but also within Jewish society, historically. The gemara (Shabbat 132a) learns that the milah must be done on the eighth day even if it falls on Shabbat, one of only a handful of situations where one can push aside the laws of Shabbat. Milah is one of only two mitzvot, where failure to perform the mitzva is punishable by karet.
During the days that have passed and those which will follow, many of our readers will be taking care of mechirat (sale of) chametz. We would like to take the opportunity to review some of the many Choshen Mishpat (laws of commerce) elements of the topic. 1) Agency, not sale- The rabbi is appointed as an agent by the homeowner; he does not buy the chametz. Were the rabbi to suffice by buying the chametz, even if he desired to do so, the sale would only apply to the chametz which was already in the homeowner’s possession at that time.
The Beit Yosef (Orach Chayim 430) asks why only the Shabbat before Pesach is called “Shabbat Hagadol.” After all, the miracle that Bnei Yisrael prepared the Pascal sacrifice without reprisals from the Egyptians applied to all the days from the 10th of Nisan until Pesach. It appears that it is not the revealed part of a miracle that is its essence, but specifically its hidden part. It was not that one famous Shabbat which was the critical factor in the redemption, but all of the Shabbatot during the enslavement in Egypt which were so critical. Shabbat, in general, gave Yisrael the greatness to enable the redemption to take place.
Question: We have a minyan for Mincha at work. Although there is a set time for the minyan, most of the members come from different buildings and tend to come later, so as not to wait until the minyan forms. As a consequence, the actual formation time of the minyan becomes delayed unpredictably. One solution that has been raised is to establish a solid deadline of, say, 5 minutes after the nominal minyan gathering time, after which the minyan would be abandoned for that day. That would pressure people to make it on time. Is it halachically permissible to set such a deadline, or is it required to wait until it's clearly hopeless?
This edition of Hemdat Yamim is
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).