Shabbat Parashat Shemot| 5764
Shemot | | 08/01/2003
One of the accounts where we see Moshe Rabbeinu’s fine personal qualities shine through is when he saved the daughters of Yitro from the shepherds and gave their flock to drink. Moshe’s reward came promptly. “Vayoel Moshe to live with the man, and he gave his daughter, Tzipora, to Moshe” (Shemot 2:21). Moshe who was pursued for decades (see Ramban, Shemot 2:23), did not hesitate to take on the masses and, in return, received warm hospitality in a strange land.
When one thinks about the laws of damages, he usually thinks about payment for clear-cut damages that were either done by accident or by an act of wickedness or vengeance. However, the question often arises when a good man wants to do something which is ostensibly innocuous and unrelated to his friend, yet his friend tries to prevent the action with the claim that he will be damaged by it. Welcome to the world of hilchot shecheinim (the laws of neighbors) and harchakat n’zikin (distancing damages).
It is proper to donate replaceable parts of the body (blood, bone marrow, etc.) only in a case that the foreseeable danger from the action is distant. This is under the area of 50% and, in all likelihood, within the limits of danger that people accept upon themselves in order to earn their livelihood. We find a similar idea in Rav Kook’s, “Mishpat Kohen” (143), in regard to Chazal’s teaching on the pasuk “do not fear a man.” Chazal explain that a judge should not fear even when there is danger.
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).