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Shabbat Parashat Vayechi | 5769
Vayechi | 14Tevet 5769 | 10/01/2009
Once a King, Always a King?Our haftara ends (Melachim I, 2:11) with a summary of David’s kingship. He was king for 40 years: 7 in Chevron and 33 in Yerushalayim. However, parallel p’sukim in Shmuel II (5: 4-5) say that he was king for 7 years and 6 months in Chevron and 33 in Yerushalayim; thus, there is a discrepancy over 6 months. Chazal were quite disturbed by the 6 months’ “disappearance,” and we find several attempts at explaining it.
Giving Second Aliya to One With Doubtful Levi StatusWe have at our minyan a 27 year-old Russian immigrant (=Reuven) who has become religious. He has been assuming that he is a levi, as his late father, a non-observant Jew, once claimed in passing. However, Reuven’s only known living relative, an uncle, is confident that he/they are not leviim. His father’s grave also makes no mention of his being a levi. Reuven and I (the gabbai) would like to know whether he should continue getting aliyot as a levi.
Quarreling With Evil People, Completing the Whole and the IndividualRabbi Yochanan said in the name of Rabbi Shimon bar Yochai: “It is permitted to quarrel with evil people in this world, as the pasuk says: ‘Those who leave Torah will praise an evil person, and those who keep Torah will quarrel with them’ (Mishlei 28:4).”
A Deal Arranged Through a MiddlemanThe plaintiff (=pl) had special benefits with a cellular phone company, enabling him to buy phones at 900 shekel a phone, or for free with the commitment to use their plan for 36 months. Pl did not need the phones but bought four phones on behalf of the defendant (=def). Def was present when pl signed the purchase papers with the company, taking the option of 36 months of use. Def stopped using the phones after three months and returned them to pl after an additional five months. As a result, pl has to pay the phone company for the phones. Two months later, pl worked out a payment plan with the company, which included charges for calls already made, the price of the phones, and interest for late payment, which came out to a total of 6,500 shekels. The company did not provide a detailed explanation of how they arrived at that sum. Pl demands that def pay the entire sum. Def is willing to pay 2,000 shekels for phone calls he made but not for the other expenses because he was unaware that his lack of use would cause those charges
This edition of Hemdat Yamim is dedicated to the memory of Shirley, Sara Rivka bat Yaakov Tzvi HaCohen z”L
R ' Meir ben Yechezkel Shraga Brachfeld
Hemdat Yamim is endowed by
and Louis and Lillian Klein, z”l.
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).