“The Best of Parashat HaShavuah” Articles taken from list subscriptions on the internet, edited, reformatted and printed for members of Kibbutz Sde Eliyahu




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ASK THE RABBI

by Rav Daniel Mann

Question: I (an Ashkenazi) accidentally cooked meat in the pan I use for pareve eggs. Can I still use the pan for pareve eggs I plan to eat at a milchig meal?

Answer: A fleishig pot has kosher meat taste in it, but there is a danger that it could become not kosher if that taste combines with milk taste. However, this cannot happen once the taste is sufficiently weakened. In one such case, known as nat bar nat, hot pareve food that was placed in a milchig or fleishig utensil does not become forbidden when mixed with the opposite type of food (Chulin 111b, Shulchan Aruch, Yoreh Deah 95:2). However, the Rama (ad loc.) says that if the food was cooked or roasted in a milchig or fleishig pot that had been used for its type within 24 hours, it may not be mixed with the other type of food. On the other hand, the Rama does not treat the otherwise pareve food totally as milchig or fleishig, as he permits putting this food into a utensil of the other type. Your eggs are such a pareve/fleishig food known as chezkat besari, and you want to know if an Ashkenazi can eat them at a milchig meal. We will also see if other precautions need to be taken.

Let us peruse the laws dealing with separation between milk and meat. The gemara (Chulin 104b-105a) talks about waiting between eating meat and subsequently eating cheese but says that no time is required after cheese before meat. It does, though, say that one should either check or wash his hands, and clean his mouth before eating meat. The Shulchan Aruch (YD 89:3) rules that the above requirements are true only regarding actual meat and milk/cheese, but between two pareve foods, one cooked together with meat and one with milk, he does not need to wait or wash. In practice, the minhag is to wait even after otherwise pareve food that was cooked together with fleishig food in a manner that it tastes fleishig.

In any case, the Rama (YD 89:3) states unequivocally that if one ate pareve food cooked in a fleishig pot, he can eat even cheese right afterward. This makes a lot of sense, as we saw that, the Shulchan Aruch’s opinion is that one could even mix this basically pareve food directly into milk. In fact, to give this statement more of a chiddush, some say that it is talking about a case where there was a little actual meat gravy in the pot (Shach 89:19) or when the food that was cooked in the pot is sharp, in which case the leniency of nat bar nat does not usually apply (R. Akiva Eiger, ad loc.). Certainly, in the case of normal pareve food in a clean fleishig pot, one does not have to wait afterward.

What about washing and rinsing, which are more widely required than waiting (e.g., after eating dairy)? While one could contemplate stringency, the Eliya Rabba (OC 173:4) says that one does not have to take any of those steps, and this approach is accepted by the Kaf Hachayim (YD 89:61) and contemporary poskim (see Halachos of Kashrus, p. 204). The Badei Hashulchan (Biurim to 89:3) suggests that when the pareve food is sharp or when one actually sees or feels residue on his hands or mouth, he should wash and rinse. However, he did not substantiate his claim with sources, and as the logic can go either way, we will not introduce further stringency than appears explicitly in the poskim. Thus, after eating any pareve food cooked in a fleishig pot, no washing is needed. They just cannot be eaten together.

What constitutes eating together? Two things are apparently included. First, the foods cannot be discernibly mixed before entering the mouth. Therefore, the same plate or flatware should be used only if they appear clean. The second thing is that if one has not finished chewing a bite of these eggs, he should not yet, for example, drink milk. There is more room for leniency when the pot went 24 hours since being used for fleishig (based on Rama, YD 95:3), but we are not allowed to use utensils having in mind to rely on that leniency (Chochmat Adam 48:2). Therefore, it is proper to kasher the pan (with hagala or libun kal¬ – details are beyond our present scope) if you plan to regularly use this pan at milk meals.

EIN AYAH

Under What Circumstances Can One Bless?

(based on Berachot 7:28)

Gemara: King Yannai and his wife were sitting and eating bread together. Since he had killed out the Rabbis, he didn’t have anyone to recite Birkat Hamazon for him. Yannai asked his wife: “Who will provide us a man who can make the beracha for us?” She said to him: “Swear to me that if I bring you a man, you will not torment him.” He swore, and she brought Shimon ben Shetach, her brother. The king placed him in between the king and the queen and said to Shimon: “Do you see how much honor I am giving you?” Simon answered: “It is not you who is giving me honor but the Torah, as the pasuk (Mishlei 4:7) says: ‘Caress it, and it will elevate you; it will bring you honor when you embrace it.’” Yannai said [to the queen: “You see that [the Rabbis] do not accept authority.” They presented Shimon ben Shetach with a cup of wine over which to recite Birkat Hamazon. He said: “What am I supposed to say in the beracha: ‘Blessed is He from whom Yannai and his friends ate’?” He drank that cup of wine and then they brought out another cup upon which to recite [Birkat Hamazon].

Ein Ayah: [From the previous piece – Yannai thought that he could get away with killing out the Rabbis, because in his eyes it was enough that he had a desire to serve Hashem, and he did not think that the details as to how this was supposed to be performed made much difference.]

The lack of knowledge about how to be exact in keeping the Torah and mitzvot comes from a lack of understanding of the importance of Torah within life. The masses can mistakenly think that the foundation of life is eating, drinking, and enjoyment. They may realize that there is a need for an element of service of Hashem, but they may not realize that it is necessary to figure out the details with which this is to be done. With that mindset, one is likely not to value and honor the Torah.

The truth is that only with Torah will we find true life, and the Torah should be connected to all elements of life. After all, the laws of the perfect Torah are laws of living, which “a person will do and live through them” (Vayikra 18:5). Therefore, there is no limit to the honor that the Torah deserves, because all the honor of true life stems from it.

Yannai thought that service of Hashem is just one necessary, but isolated, element of life. Based on this appraisal, he did not believe that it compared to the honor due to the kingdom, which encompasses all the needs of the nation. Shimon ben Shetach came to correct him, informing him that the Torah is the foundation of life. He also sent him the message that the Torah is not to be separated from life to the extent that the one who leads Birkat Hamazon should make a blessing to Hashem who gave food to Yannai and his friends as opposed to the one making the blessing. That would imply that the one who is doing the service of Hashem is disjoint from the life (in this case, eating) that the Torah actually should be connected to. Yannai also mistakenly thought that Shimon should be grateful to him for allowing him to incorporate his dispensable service of Hashem within the royal meal. Shimon ben Shetach told him that the honor comes from the Torah, which elevates the person who is involved in it, as it places all elements of life into their proper order, which then brings real honor to a person. Therefore, Torah should not be separate but intertwined with the ways of life. That is why Shimon ben Shetach was careful to drink first, thereby showing the necessity of connecting the Torah to life and elevating life before making the blessing.

PINAT MISHPAT

Paying a Ketuba Before Divorce

(condensed from Shurat Hadin, vol. VIII, pp. 354-359)

Case: A husband (=def) left his wife (=pl) and is living with another woman. He wants to give pl a get but she refuses it (which Rabbeinu Gershom enables her to do) and wants him to return. Since def has abandoned her, pl wants to receive her ketuba, claiming that abandonment is equivalent to divorce.

Ruling: Rabbi Akiva Eiger (Even Haezer 93) cites Mahari Halevi (16) as saying that if a man constantly quarrels with his wife and plans to leave her, relatives can take the ketuba from him. The Mahari Halevi refers to a case where he was using up the resources of the ketuba and planning to leave in order to force his wife to accept a get. Although the rule is that a ketuba is not meant for use during the husband’s (and the marriage’s) lifetime, this is like a case of one who owes money whose payment date has not come. Still we say that property can be seized if it is seen that he is being wasteful and property is not expected to exist at the time of payment. The Mahari’s continues that because the husband is acting in a manner that shows that he is planning on divorce, it is considered as if the time for the payment of the ketuba has come.

One can add to the Mahari’s ruling that the idea of having an unpaid ketuba is that the husband should not find it easy to divorce her, but in this case, it is already clear that he plans to divorce her. On the other hand, the Taz (EH 93:1) raises the distinction between this case and that of the wasteful debtor, in that there the money is definitely due, whereas here, the time to pay the ketuba might never come.

The Ein Yitzchak (I, 78) deliberates as to what extent the obligation of a ketuba is from the time of marriage and to what extent it is only from divorce. He decides that it is from marriage, and therefore as soon as the husband does something that will force divorce, she is already entitled to her ketuba. While he is unclear if the obligation should apply to all elements of the ketuba or just the dowry, the Mahari Halevi says that it applies to all. (Although there are times that a woman does not receive a ketuba when she refuses to receive a get, that does not apply in this case- see Shut Maharik 107).

The matter is even clearer since def is now living with another woman, which for all intents and purposes precludes him from living with pl. Even in the rare case where we allow a man to take a second wife, we require him to first give over her ketuba. This is because the woman was originally supposed to hold the ketuba, just that this was stopped because it could encourage the husband to divorce her. However, in this case, that concern does not apply. The Igrot Moshe (EH I, 137, in a related but different context), while not agreeing that intending to divorce is enough to activate a ketuba, does say that it can be made immediately payable if that can prod him to act in the halachically mandated manner. Here, if an obligation to pay the ketuba can stop him from living in a forbidden manner with another woman when he is still married and bound to his wife, this is reason to do so.

HhHhHhHhHhHhHhHhHhHhH

12 – RAV KOOK

Rav Kook on the Net: RavKook.n3.net

Uprooting Idolatry in the Land of Israel

As a condition for inheriting the land of Israel, the Torah commands that all forms of idolatry must be destroyed.

"Do away with all the places where the nations whom you are driving out worship their gods... You must tear down their altars, break up their sacred pillars, burn their Asherah trees, and chop down the statues of their gods. You will obliterate their names from that place." (Deut. 12:2-3)

The Torah stresses that this obligation to destroy idolatrous artifacts is primarily in the land of Israel. As the Sages commented,

"'You will obliterate their names from that place' - in the land of Israel you are commanded to pursue idolatry [until it is totally eradicated], but not outside the land." (Sifri; see Maimonides, Laws of Idolatry 7:2)

Idolatry is clearly the antithesis of Judaism's monotheistic message. The imperative to fight idolatry should not be limited to a particular location. So why does the Torah connect the eradication of idolatry to the land of Israel?

Conflicting Worldviews

The conflict between monotheism and idolatry is a clash between two fundamentally different outlooks. Idolatry sees the world as divided and fragmented, a place where competing forces clash and struggle. In this bleak worldview, the material outweighs the spiritual, and life is reduced to the pursuit of physical wants.

Monotheism, on the other hand, teaches that the world has an underlying unity. As our sense of universal harmony and wholeness deepens, our longings for the spiritual grow stronger. Refined aspirations take on greater significance; the world advances and gains enlightenment.

The Land of Israel and Monotheism

The Sages wrote that "The very air of the land of Israel bestows wisdom" (Baba Batra 158b). Eretz Yisrael is bound to the spiritual life of Israel, the Torah; and the essence of the Torah's wisdom is the inner truth of a united reality. The special atmosphere of the land of Israel helps us sense the world's unified foundation. For this reason, absolute obliteration of idolatry is especially pertinent to the land of Israel.

Outside the land of Israel, the harmonious vision of a unified world cannot be fully revealed. A fragmented worldview, emphasizing division and isolation, reigns overwhelmingly. All aspects of life are pervaded by a grim sense of existential estrangement. Any attempt to recognize the hidden unity of the world is hindered by the 'impurity of the lands of the nations.' The lands outside of Israel are permeated with the stench of idolatry. The Sages wrote that "Jews who live outside the Land are idol-worshippers in purity" (Avodah Zarah 8a) - i.e., they are unintentionally influenced by the milieu of foreign lands.

This distinction is also manifest in the difference between the Torah of Eretz Yisrael and the Torah of exile. The Torah outside the Land excels in detailed arguments and the subtle dialectics of pilpul. This reflects the general sense of divisiveness felt there (see Sanhedrin 24a). The Torah of the land of Israel, on the other hand, is influenced by a lofty wisdom which connects the details to their governing moral principles. "There is no Torah like the Torah of the land of Israel" (Bereishit Rabbah 16:7).

Only by residing in the land of Israel can one be truly saved from the disgrace of idolatry. The Torah explicitly makes the connection between living in the Land and monotheistic faith: "I took you out from the land of Egypt in order to give you the land of Canaan, to be your God" (Lev. 25:38).

(Adapted from Orot HaKodesh vol. II, pp. 423-424)

HhHhHhHhHhHhHhHhHhHhH

13 TORA MITZION

The Weekly Parshat Shavua Daf is a Newsletter which includes Divrei Torah on the Parsha, Halacha and Educational columns, as well as for kids - all in a Zionistic approach. The "Torah MiTzion Kollel" program establishes centers for the study of Torah and promulgates the connection between Torah and Israel. Torah Mitzion/ "Beit Meir" /54 King George Street /P.O. Box 71109 /Jerusalem, 91710 /Israel Tel: +972-(0)2-620-9020; http://www.torahmitzion.org/eng/default.asp

You Are a Holy Nation

Rav Yishai Lisner. Head of Shoham Community Beit Midrash and Former Rosh Kollel, Montreal

It is not by chance that our parsha – Parshat Re’eh – is read right before the start of Elul, haba aleinu l’tovah. After all, Elul is the month of penitence and forgiveness, and this week’s parsha serves as an apt introduction to the month of Elul.

In Parshat Re’eh, the Torah commands us not to eat bassar neveilah (literally, carrion meat):

“You shall not eat any carcass…” (Devarim 14:21)

And explains why:

“…For you are a holy nation to Hashem, your God…” (Ibid)

The fact that you are an “am kadosh” (“a holy nation”) is the reason why you must refrain from eating bassar neveilah.

In fact, this is not the first time that the Torah warns against eating meat which has not undergone proper sh’chitah (ritual slaughter). Back in Parshat Mishpatim – immediately after the Exodus from Egypt – we are told not to eat treifah (literally, “torn flesh”):

“And you shall be people of holiness to Me; and you shall not eat flesh torn in the field, you shall throw it to the dog.” (Shmot 22:30)

As we know, the prohibitions against treifah and neveilah are related, because “the beginning of neveilah is treifah.” Yet, when it comes to the prohibition against treifah, the Torah charges us with the mission of becoming “anshei kodesh” (“people of holiness”), and in order to fulfill this mission, we must refrain from eating bassar treifah. However, in reference to the prohibition against neveilah, the Torah states a fact – “you are a holy nation” – and therefore, we may not eat bassar neveilah.

The Meshech Chochmah points out a significant difference between the two psukim. In our parsha, the Torah uses the word, “kadosh” (holy). But in Parshat Mishpatim, the Torah uses the word, “kodesh” (holiness). Although the two terms are similar, they have different connotations. As Rashi explains in his commentary on the Gemara (BT Kiddushin 57b):

“Kodesh signifies that there is holiness. Kadosh signifies that it is holy.”

In other words, kodesh is a noun – like kedushah (holiness) or tzedek (righteousness) – but kadosh implies that the object itself is holy. The practical implication of this distinction is that something which is kadosh can never lose its inherent holiness. In contrast, when the holiness is not inherent to the object, the holiness can be removed or revoked. (See, for example, the nazir’s hair, as discussed in the Gemara - Masechet Kiddushin.)

Based on this idea, we can understand that during the Exodus from Egypt in Parshat Mishpatim, Am Yisrael was holy, but the holiness was a separate entity. It could be severed from the nation. However, in our parsha, when Am Yisrael is about to enter Eretz Yisrael, their status has changed. Am Yisrael’s very essence is now kadosh, and the kedushah is an intrinsic and inseparable part of the nation.

According to the Meshech Chochmah, the shift is manifested by Moshe Rabbeinu’s request:

“And I and Your nation will be distinguished from every nation on the face of the earth.” (Shmot 33:16)

Moshe asks that the Shechinah will rest only on Am Yisrael and not on any other nation. And, thus, from this point on, Am Yisrael becomes distinct and unique, because Am Yisrael’s very essence is transformed into a dwelling place for the Shechinah.

We can now also understand the difference between the two psukim. During the Exodus, our task was to hold on to the discrete kedushah by following Hashem’s commandments. Now, however, on the eve of entering Eretz Yisrael, following the long sojourn in the wilderness, our very essence is sanctified with a kedushah which cannot be removed. Therefore, the Torah states the immutable fact (which will not change even if we eat bassar neveilah) that we must conduct ourselves in a manner befitting our spiritual level.

This fundamental principle sheds light on Elul and the teshuvah (repentance) process. Am Yisrael as a whole and each and every individual Jew are holy! Moreover, this kedushah cannot be removed or relinquished under any circumstances. Hence, our attitude to sinning changes completely. As R’ Tzadok HaKohein (Tzidkat HaTzadik 75) writes:

“The transgressions in the Jewish soul are not a personal acquisition but rather only incidental. And therefore, they can be redeemed, as it says, ‘And He will redeem Israel from all its iniquities.’ (Tehilim 130:8) Just as kedushat damim (literally, monetary sanctity) can be redeemed, for something else is held in its stead and the sanctity falls on it… And like the issue of, ‘the he-goat shall bear upon itself all their iniquities.’ (Vayikra 16:22) …But the mitzvot are kedushat haguf (literally, corporeal sanctity), and they cannot be redeemed…”

While kedushah is intrinsic and cannot be revoked, sins and wickedness are external and incidental to a Jewish person. Furthermore, the teshuvah process can purify the person and remove the iniquity from his heart. Teshuvah allows the person to return to his essence – to the kedushah inside of him – and enables him to recognize that everything else is external and can be eradicated and refined.

It is not a coincidence that our parsha was chosen this year to open the door for us to Elul and the beginning of the teshuvah process. Parshat Re’eh underscores the most important message of one’s return to one’s essential core and being: “For you are a holy nation” – an am kadosh – and not merely a nation of holiness, an am shel kedushah!

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