Shabbat Parashat Devarim| 5767
Devarim | | 01/01/2006
In this week’s haftara, Yeshayahu makes two comparisons between Bnei Yisrael and the infamous cities of Sodom and Amora. From the number of times in Tanach Sodom was mentioned as a prototype (more than a dozen) we can see that it sent a powerful message to the people. We should note that Sodom was a prototype in two different, yet related matters. One is as the most sinful of all cities. The other is as a city that was totally destroyed by a miraculous event.
Case: The plaintiff (=pl)rented an apartment from the defendant (=def)and sublet it to a nursery class. A severe plumbing problem in the building caused a hole in the ceiling, prompting authorities to condemn the apartment until the problem was fixed. The nursery, which paid a year’s rent in advance, demanded a refund from pl for the time the apartment was condemned. Consequently, pl is unwilling to pay def for that time and demands compensation for his loss of rent revenue. Def points out that the rental contract exempts him from fixing problems in the apartment.
According to the world view of Judaism, Divine Providence covers all of man’s activities. It is all the more clear that the history of the Jewish People is not subject to the random selection of chance. When Israel has success on the battlefield, we are not supposed to suffice with seeking the closest contributing factor, e.g., the relative strengths of the armies who are pitted against each other in battle. Rather, we are to investigate the reason behind the reason, in other words, the spiritual standing of the Nation of Israel. The same is true when there is a failure.
Hemdat Yamim is also dedicated by Les & Ethel Sutker of Chicago, Illinois in loving memory of
Max and Mary Sutker
and Louis and Lillian Klein, z"l.
May their memory be a blessing!
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).