Oroh V'Simchoh

Meshech Chochmoh
on the Weekly Parsha

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by Zvi Akiva Fleisher

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OROH V'SIMCHOH - MESHECH CHOCHMOH ON PARSHAS MISHPOTIM BS"D

Ch. 21, v. 4: "Im adonov yi'tein LO ishoh" Marrying a woman accomplishes two main things. That the man has a wife with whom to have physical relations, thus saving him from sinning, and that he has the opportunity of doing the mitzvoh of propagating the world, "pru urvu." However, in this circumstance, where the master gives him a maidservant as his wife, he only has the first benefit, as stressed by the word LO in our verse, only to him, so that he does not sin. But the mitzvoh of "pru urvu," an act for Hashem, is not accomplished, as the verse continues, "v'yoldoh lo vonim o vonose ho'ishoh vilo'dehoh t'h'yeh ladonehoh," the offspring are not his, but rather, the possessions of his master. (MESHECH CHOCHMOH)

Ch. 22, v. 8: "Al SALMOH" - The MESHECH CHOCHMOH differentiates between two words, "simloh" and "salmoh," both meaning a garment. He says that "simloh" is used to indicate a garment of quality, while "salmoh" is used to indicate an inferior garment. In Rus 3:3 we learn from the words, "v'samt SIMLOsayich," that one should wear special clothing for Shabbos and Yom Tov. Similarly, when the bnei Yisroel took garments from the Egyptians, they took top quality garments only, as it says (12:35) "u'SMOLOS." Rashi points out that the order of the items listed, vessels of silver, of gold, and garments, ascends in order of importance.

However, in our verse where a person is required to swear that he had not been negligent in the loss of items given to him for safekeeping, an oath is required even for a missing garment of little value.

I found a medrash which says that the word "salmoh" is used for a garment that has a design on it, similar to the word "tzelem," a form. Phonetically "tzelem" and "salmoh" are similar.

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