CHAMISHOH MI YODEI'A - FIVE QUESTIONS ON THE WEEKLY SEDRAH - PARSHIOS B'HAR-B'CHUKOSAI 5772 - BS"D
1) Ch. 25, v. 9,10: "B'yom hakippurim, V'shavtem ish el achuzoso v'ish el mishpachto toshuvu" - What conection is there between Yom Kippur and the emancipation of slaves?
2) Ch. 25, v. 36: "Al tikach mei'ito neshech v'sarbis" - The Targum Yerushalmi at the beginning of parshas B'shalach (we do not have this in our text) says that when the prophet Yechezkel resurrected the dry bones in the valley of Dora, there was one person who was not resurrected because he lent money and collected interest on it. Why was he punished to not be resurrected? The people Yechezkel resurrected were of the tribe of Efrayim, who left Egypt 30 years earlier than the exodus. If so, they were not bnei Yisroel, as they were killed by the Plishtim before the bnei Yisroel received the Torah. A non-Jew is not prohibited from collecting interest.
3) Ch. 25, v. 37: "Es kas'p'cho lo SI'TEIN lo b'neshech" - Shouldn't the verse say "lo SALVEH lo b'neshech" since a loan is taking place rather than a cash grant?
4) Ch. 26, v. 4: "V'nosati gishmeichem b'itom" - The M.R. 35:8 derives from "V'nosati" that Hashem personally will cause it to rain and will not send rain through an intermediary. The M.R. (gemara Taanis 23a) goes on to say that we derive from the word "b'itom" that the rain will fall at a convenient time, on the night of Shabbos. How are these two thoughts connected?
5) Ch. 26, v. 42: "V'zocharti brisi Yaakov" - And I will remember My covenant with Yaakov - This verse, one of comfort, seems totally out of place in the middle of this lengthy admonishment.
Yom Kippur is a most appropriate day for a slave to be emancipated. Just as sin enslaves a person and when Yom Kippur comes and atonement is effected, the person is released from the sin's ensnarement and enters into the custody of Hashem, so too in the physical realm, a slave is released on the day of Yom Kippur. (Mahara"l of Prague in N'siv Ha'teshuvoh chapter #2)
Tosfos on the gemara B.M. 70b-71a d.h. "tashich" cites this Targum Yerushalmi asks this question. Tosfos answers that this was not a punishment for lending with interest, as they were not prohibited to do so. We are dealing with the supernatural resurrection of the dead. To deserve "tchias ha'meisim" one must behave beyond the basic halacha. All those who were resurrected never lent with interest, behaving in the manner of our Patriarchs by keeping the laws of the Torah even before it was given. They therefore merited to be resurrected, but this one person was lacking this merit.
The Oznayim laTorah answers that the Torah is giving a warning to those who are so eager to make easy money by lending with the expectation of receiving interest payments. It is logical to lend to one who seems to have visible means to repay the loan. An eager loan shark might overlook this in his eagerness to collect interest and lend his money to someone who might very well not be able to repay. The Torah warns, "Don't GIVE AWAY your money for interest."
Rabbi Yonoson Eibeschitz in Divrei Y'honoson answers with the words of the Breishis M.R. 11:5. Tornosrufus asked Rabbi Akiva, "If your G-d guards Shabbos, how does He allow it to rain?" This question is based on the concept that rain coming from the heavens to earth is akin to transporting something from one domain to another. Rabbi Akiva answered, "If two people share one domain and only one places an "eruvei chatzeiros" it does not permit carrying from one domain to the other. But if only one person occupies the domain then it is permitted to carry in it, as there is no movement from domain to domain, since it all belongs to one person. Likewise, Hashem owns all spheres and domains. He is therefore permitted to send rain from the heavens to earth.
We now understand the connection of the concepts mentioned in our medrash. If an angel were to cause it to rain, then he would be restricted from doing so on Shabbos, as he would be transporting rain from one domain to another. However, since Hashem, and only Hashem brings rain, then it may sent even on Shabbos, because all the areas through which the rain travels are to be considered one domain for Hashem.
It is not a consolation. Quite to the contrary, it is a strong indictment. If one is the son of an evil person and likewise behaves improperly, there is a somewhat mollifying claim, that he did not have a good role model from whom to learn. Our verse says that Hashem will also remember that we are descendants of the holy Patriarchs, Yaakov, Yitzchok, and Avrohom, and nevertheless behaved improperly. This is quite an indictment. (Shalo"h Hakodosh)
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