Chamishoh Mi Yo'dei'a

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by Zvi Akiva Fleisher

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CHAMISHOH MI YODEI'A - FIVE QUESTIONS ON THE WEEKLY SEDRAH - PARSHAS VA'YISHLACH 5771 - BS"D

1) Ch. 32, v. 4: "Va'yishlach Yaakov malochim l'fonov" - And Yaakov sent angels ahead of him - Rashi (M.R. 75:4) says that "malochim" does not mean messengers, but rather literally angels. Why did Yaakov make use of celestial creatures rather than send flesh and blood human beings?

2) Ch. 32, v. 19: "L'av'd'cho l'Yaakov minchoh hee shluchoh ladoni l'Eisov" - To your servant TO Yaakov it is a present to my master to Eisov - Shouldn't the verse have said "mei'av'd'cho miYaakov"?

3) Ch. 32, v. 30: "Lomoh zeh tishal lishmi" - Why is this that you ask for my name - Rashi says that angels' names change according to their particular mission. Nevertheless, why was the angel reluctant to reveal his name?

4) Ch. 32, v. 33: "Al kein lo yochlu vnei Yisroel es gid hanosheh" - Therefore the children of Yisroel do not eat the sciatic nerve - The gid hanosheh of which creature/s is prohibited?

5) Ch. 34, v. 27: "Va'yovozu ho'ir" - And they plundered the city - The males were killed and the city was plundered. Why wasn't the ruling of "kom leimore bidraboh mi'nei" applied?

ANSWERS:

#1

Ch. 32, v. 4: "Va'yishlach Yaakov malochim l'fonov" - And Yaakov sent angels ahead of him - Rashi (M.R. 75:4) says that "malochim" does not mean messengers, but rather literally angels. Why did Yaakov make use of celestial creatures rather than send flesh and blood human beings? M.R. 82:2 says that the likeness of Yaakov is engraved upon the royal celestial throne of Hashem. When the bnei Yisroel are fulfilling Hashem's will the image is bright and when they do not it is dull. Yaakov knew that he was about to encounter Eisov and was quite worried about the outcome. He knew that it depended upon merits. If his likeness above was sparkling it was a sure sign that he is meritorious and has nothing to worry about. Eisov can do him no harm. To find out if it was so he had no choice but to send angels to the heavens. This is the meaning of "Va'yishlach Yaakov malochim l'FONOV." He sent angels to the heavens to find out the status of his heavenly FACE. (Rabbi Yisroel Abuchatzira Baba Sali in Mo'ore Yisroel)

#2

The gemara Kidushin 7b says that although marrying a woman requires that the man give the woman an object of some worth to enact "kidushin," if the woman gives an item to a very highly esteemed person and he accepts it, even though she is giving and not he, it is considered as if he gave her an object of worth. This is because a very highly esteemed person does not accept gifts from just anyone. By accepting her gift he has shown that he likewise respects her. This gives the woman much pleasure, and this pleasure that he gives her is considered as if she received from him an actual item of worth.

This was Yaakov's intention. He told his messengers that when they give Eisov the presents they should say that by Eisov's accepting the gifts it is in the eyes of Yaakov as if he RECEIVED a present, "L'av'd'cho l'Yaakov minchoh hee." (Apirion)

#3

Angels are very reluctant to disclose their names because a person would readily attribute a miracle to the angel When one cannot say that this or that specific angel has wrought a miracle it will more readily be attributed to the angel's Dispatcher, Hashem. (Mosaf Rashi)

#4

Targum Yonoson ben Uziel says that this applies to both domesticated animals and animals in the wild, "b'heimos" and "chayos." Rambam in hilchos maacholos asuros chapter 8 writes that if a bird has a hip joint built like that of an animal, its "gid hanosheh" is also prohibited, but no lashes are administered to the one who transgresses.

#5

Ch. 34, v. 27: "Va'yovozu ho'ir" - And they plundered the city - The Ohr Hachaim Hakodosh says that even though the inhabitants were judged to be killed, they were also plundered, because the ruling of "kom lei bidrabo mi'nei," when through one act someone incurs two or more punishments we only administer the more/most severe one, does not apply to bnei Noach. This seems to be a disagreement between Rashi and Tosfos on the gemara Eiruvin 62a.

On a simple level it would seem that our scenario has nothing to do with "kom lei bidrabo mi'nei" because there was no court ruling. Shimon and Levi took the law into their own hands. It could well be that their attack, justified as explained by the Rambam and others, had the status of war, where we do not say that if someone was killed his possessions should not be taken.

Alternatively, this ruling did not take affect before the Torah was given.


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See also Sedrah Selections, Oroh V'Simchoh - Meshech Chochmoh on the Weekly Parsha and Chasidic Insights


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