by Zvi Akiva Fleisher
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SEDRAH SELECTIONS PARSHAS KI SEITZEI 5770 BS"D
Ch. 22, v. 8: "Ki sivneh bayis chodosh v'ossiso maakoh l'ga'gecho v'lo sosim domim b'veisecho ki yipol hanofeil mimenu" - When you will build a new house and you shall make a parapet for your roof and you shall not place blood in your house for the faller might fall from it - The numerical value of "bayis" is 412. If it is lacking the safeguard retaining wall on its roof it is minus "maakoh ga'gecho," whose numerical value is 241. When we reduce 241 from 412 we are left with 171, the numerical value of "hanofeil." (Ben Ish Chai)
Ch. 22, v. 10: "Lo sacharosh b'shor uvachamor yachdov" - You shall not plow with an ox and a donkey together - The Holy Admor of Satmar contacting an exceedingly studious and diligent Torah scholar and advising him that a certain wrongdoing was taking place in his vicinity, and that he reprimanded the scholar for not taking action on his own volition. The scholar responded that he was so totally immersed in his studies that he knew nothing about what was taking place around him. The Holy Rebbe said that this explanation was akin to the incident related by Rabbi Mordechai ben Hillel in his second set of comments on the gemara Eiruvin. He relates that the Rashbam never looked around himself, always keeping his eyes focused on the ground. He once had to travel somewhere and was about to board a coach that had a horse and a mule pulling it. Rabbeinu Tam, who lived somewhere else happened to be there at that moment (Mordechai calls this a miracle) and reprimanded the Rashbam, saying, "Al ti'h'yeh tzadik harbeh" (Koheles). Lift your eyes and see that a horse and mule are connected to this coach and Tosefta Kilayim chapter #4 prohibits this combination." The Rashbam was saved from inadvertently riding on this coach.
The Holy Admor concluded by saying that although it is very commendable to be greatly immersed in Torah study, nevertheless, one must be aware of his immediate surroundings. (Olomos Shechorvu)
Ch. 25, v. 3: "Arbo'im ya'kenu" - Forty shall he lash him - The mishnoh Makos 22 cites a disagreement between Rabbi Yehudoh and the Chachomim as to whether 39 or 40 lashes are administered. In which circumstances would both of them agree to the number of lashes to be administered? This question was raised to the Chidushei hoRim when he was but a young child and he immediately responded that if we have a person who transgressed 39 sins that deserve lashing and then in the position of court lasher also administered a 40th lash to someone who was judged to be lashed, the number of lashes for this person would be equal. According to the opinion that there are 39 lashes, he would receive 40 times 39 lashes, as he also transgressed "lo yosif" of our verse. According to the opinion that there are 40 lashes per transgression he would receive 39 times 40 lashes, as by administering 40 lashes to a sinner is not administering an additional lash.
Ch. 25, v. 3: "Arbo'im ya'kenu" - Forty shall he lash him - The mishnoh Makos 22b says that 1/3rd of the lashes are administered on his front (chest) and 2/3rds on his back. This is most appropriate. Had he kept in mind the dictate of Pirkei Ovos that a person should keep in mind three matters and he would not fall into the clutches of sin, from where he came, where he is going, and in front of whom he is going to give a reckoning of his actions, one matter that he is in front of, that has already happened, and two matters that he is behind, that have not yet happened, he would not have sinned in the first place. (Beis Aharon Rabbi S.Z. Horowitz)
Ch. 25, v. 3: "Arbo'im ya'kenu lo yosif" - Forty shall he lash him he shall not add - Take note of the most refined manner in which the Holy Torah addresses us when telling us that it is prohibited to hit our fellow man. Rather than just stating this as a freestanding prohibition, which would indicate that a person would of his own free will strike another, the Holy Torah places this prohibition in the situation where a court appointee has to administer corporal punishment. It is only when he is doing a mitzvoh by hitting his fellow man, and he might add an additional strike, a sort of self-judged "hidur mitzvoh," that the Holy Torah places this prohibition. (MVRHRHG"R Yaakov Kamenecki ztvllh"h)
Ch. 25, v. 3: "V'nikleh ochicho l'ei'necho" - And your brother shall be denigrated in front of your eyes - The gemara Makos 23 says that once he has received the lashes he again has the status of "ochicho." The Chid"o in Nachal K'dumim writes that this is alluded to in the word "l'ochicho," whose numerical value is 39. Once the sinner has received 39 lashes he has been expiated.
Ch. 25, v. 5: "Y'vomoh yovo o'lehoh ulkochoh lo l'ishoh" - The widowed sister-in-law he shall come upon her and he shall take her for a wife - The gemara Yerushalmi Y'vomos 4:12 relates that there were thirteen brother among whom twelve died childless. The twelve widows came to Rabbi Yehudoh Hanossi and asked him to persuade the surviving brother to do "yibum," take them all in marriage. When he discussed this matter with the surviving brother he got the expected response, that he was exceedingly reluctant to do so because he had no visible means to support so many women and the expected family growth. When this was reported back to the widows they agreed among themselves to each take on the responsibility in a rotor manner to bring in full family support for one month a year. He did not accept this offer because seven times in nine years there would be an additional month without injcome. Rabbi Yehudoh Hanossi said that he would personally take responsible for the extra month and the twelve "yibum" marriages took place. Rabbi Yehudoh Hanossi blessed each and every family unit with blessings for a fruitful family.
The third year after the "marriages" was a leap year, containing thirteen months. These twelve women came to Rabbi Yehudoh Hannosi's home with their thirty-six children in tow, each having given birth to three children in the interim. The women left their children in the courtyard in front of the home and told Rabbi Yehudoh Hanossi that there was a "community of young children" who were there to ask for his welfare. He looked through the window of his home, saw them, and asked what they would like. They responded that they came to request that he honour his commitment to support the family for the extra month, which he did very happily. The story in the gemara ends here.
The sefer "Yichusei haTano'im v'Amoro'im" was authored by Rabbeinu Yehudoh b"r Klonimus. In it he writes that Bar Kapara was an exceedingly wise person, as related in the gemara Brochos 62b. He goes on to write that Agodoh relates that he married twelve women whom he agreed to marry because they agreed to support him out of their great appreciation for his vast wisdom. This Agodoh is nowhere to be found. Rabbi Reuvein Margolios in his sefer Ol'los #5 writes that he believes that this refers to the story related earlier from the gemara Yerushalmi Y'vomos. There are indications that this is quite plausible because it is known that Bar Kapara visited Rabbi Yehudoh Hanossi, and also that he would likely be reluctant to do "yibum" even without the financial burden of a dozen wives, as per his opinion cited in the gemara Y'vomos 109, that he prefers "chalitzoh" over "yibum."
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