Shabbat Parashat Ki Tisa| 5764
Ki Tisa | | 08/01/2003
We know that the punishmentfor the chet haegel (the Golden Calf) has been a part of Jewish tragedy throughout the generations (see Shemot 32:33-34 and Yalkut Shimoni, Ki Tisa 393). But in the short term after the sin, it had a broader affect than many know. There is a famous machloket among rishonim if the commandment to construct the mishkan (tabernacle) preceded the chet haegel or followed it and was actually necessary because of the sin.
Reuven has a window in his wall, and his neighbor, Shimon, wants to build a wall opposite the window in a way that minimizes Reuven’s air and light. Shimon must distance the wall 4 amot (approximately 6 feet) from Reuven’s window (Shulchan Aruch, Choshen Mishpat 154:21). The commentaries explain that this not a case where the “damager” must distance his damage, because Shimon is not damaging but is simply building on his property.
The mishna in Terumot (7:12) writes: “If idol worshippers say to a group of women: ‘Hand over one of you so that we will defile her, or else we will defile all of you,’ it is better that all be defiled, and they should not give over one soul from Israel.” What is the basis of the prohibition to hand over someone if the same outcome is expected for her whether she is given or taken?
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).