by Zvi Akiva Fleisher
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SEDRAH SELECTIONS PARSHAS KI SEITZEI 5771 BS"D
Ch. 22, v. 3: "Lo suchal l'hisa'leim" - You may not look away - The story is told of when HRH"G Rabbi Akiva Eiger came to Warsaw. The whole community came to greet him from old to young. He was offered to stay at the home of any of a number of wealthy people in the community. He chose instead to stay at the home of a relative of his, not very scholarly, not especially religious, and also the home was a hovel. The community leaders were displeased with his choice and told him that it was unbefitting a for a Torah scholar of his stature to stay there, and they applied the concept of the gemara B.M., "P'omim she'atoh misa'leim." He responded that in one other place the Torah tells us not to be "misa'leim," regarding relatives, "Umibsorcho al tisalom" (Yeshayohu 58:3). He continued, "The gemara only says that when it unbefitting for a Torah scholar to return a lost object that he is excused, but nowhere does the gemara say that this applies to relatives." (The difference is obvious. By returning a lost object two verses earlier the verse says "v'hisalamto," indicating that there is a situation when one should look away. No such word appears in Yeshayohu.)
Ch. 22, v. 6: "Ki yiko'rei kan tzipor l'fo'necho" - When it will happen a bird-nest in front of you - The mitzvoh of sending away the mother bird before taking the chicks requires clarification. The Chavos Yo'ir response #67 writes that he is in doubt as to whether the mitzvoh applies anytime one comes upon this situation (provided all other halachic details are present), or whether it is only when he wants the chicks.
How does one "send away the mother?" The Rambam hilchos sh'chitoh 13:5 writes that one should physically grasp the mother's wings and to toss it. The Ben Ish Chai writes that the Rambam's opinion is that this is the first choice of how to send it away, but in another manner the mitzvoh is also fulfilled. Rashi on the gemara chulin 141b d.h. "ba'meh" writes that it is sufficient to raise one's voice and scare it away.
Ch. 22, v. 7: "Ba'derech" - On the path - The Ragotchover Gaon was asked if one should recite "tefilas ha'derech" when traveling by airplane. He immediately responded that the answer is found overtly in the gemara Chulin 139b. our verse says that the mitzvoh takes place when one finds the nest "Ba'derech." If so, queries the gemara, "If one where to find a bird-nest on a body of water, does the mitzvoh apply? The gemara responds that it does, as we find the term "derech" by a body of water, "Hano'sein ba'yam derech" (Yeshayohu 43:16). The gemara then asks that one should also be responsible to do this mitzvoh if he finds a birdnest in the sky based on the verse, "Derech ha'nesher bashomayim" (Mishlei 30:19). The gemara responds that the sky has no "derech" in it, but rather a "derech nesher," where an appendage is added. This is not a pristine "derech." We thus see that a path in the sky is not a "derech" and no traveler's prayer should be recited. (This is an insight only and not to be relied upon l'halacha.)
Ch. 22, v. 7: "Sha'lei'ach t'shalach es ho'eim v'es habonim tikach loch" - You shall surely send away the mother and the chicks you shall take for yourself - The Chinuch mitzvoh #545 cites the M.R. piska #6, which says that he who has not merited to have children, by doing this mitzvoh has the "seguloh" of having children, as the verse ends with, "v'es habonim tikach loch."
Ch. 22, v. 7: "V'es habonim tikach loch" - And the eggs you shall take for yourself - The Chizkuni writes that this is the source that permits consumption of eggs even though they came from a live bird, and we do not say that this is "Yotzei min hachai" and prohibited for consumption.
Ch. 22, v. 8: "Ki sivneh bayis chodosh v'ossiso maakoh l'ga'gecho v'lo sosim domim b'vei'secho ki yipol hano'feil 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 as the one who is destined to fall might fall from it - Why doesn't the verse simply warn the one residing in the home to build the safety fence for his own benefit, so that he not fall from it, a more likely possibility, as he lives there? The previous verse tells us that he who sends away the mother bird before he takes the chicks will merit a long life. He is the person building the house and will be safeguarded. However, another person might fall from the roof. (Binyan Ariel)
Ch. 22, v. 8: "V'ossiso maakoh l'ga'gecho" - And you shall make a parapet for your roof - A "maakoh" is a safety fence to be built on a roof so that no one should fall from the roof. An allusion: The "gag" is the highest area, i.e. the head. One is required to create a safeguard to avoid sinning. This is that he should avoid thinking about these matters. "MaAKodoH" is an acronym for "Hirhu'rei A'veiroh Koshim Mei'a'veiroh." (Toldos Odom)
Ch. 22, v. 10: "Lo sacharosh b'shor vachamor yachdov" - Do not plow with an ox and a donkey together - "Shor" also has the meaning of upward outlook, as in "ashu'renu v'lo korov" in parshas Bolok. "Chamor" also has the meaning of coarse physicality, "chumri'us." Do not plow, i.e. do not your spiritual work with "shor," an upward outlook, like when you pray and study Torah, when at the same time, "yachdov," you are doing this with "chamor," a great involvement in physicality. The two cannot mix. (Mo'ore Vosho'mesh)
Ch. 24, v. 15: "B'yomo ti'tein s'choro v'lo yikro ei'lecho el Hashem v'hoyoh v'cho cheit" - In his day shall you give him his wages and he will not call out against you to Hashem and there will be a sin in you - On a simple level we translate these words to mean that if you don't pay your worker his wages in a timely manner even if he will not call out to Hashem in complaint of your improper behaviour towards him you will have a sin, but if he will call out in complaint there is in store for you an even quicker response. However, Rabbi Shlomo Kluger in Imrei Shefer writes that the verse means the following: When you will not pay his wages promptly he will become distressed and this will undo his clarity of mind. This in turn will affect his ability to pray to Hashem, not referring to prayer to Hashem in the form of complaint against you, the employer. However, this in and of itself is the sin that you must bear, as you caused him to be unable to pray and call out to Hashem.
Ch. 24, v. 17: "Lo sachbol be'ged almonoh" - Do not take as surety the garment of a widow - Our Rabbis say: If one person of a group dies, all the remaining members of the group should be concerned. The common understanding of this maxim is that each and every one of the group should be concerned over the death of this close member of the group, as it indicates that there is a greater likelihood that one of them will shortly die as well. This understanding is corroborated by the Rabbis saying that this is similar to a stone slipping out of place in a row of stones that create a wall. When one rock is dislodged there is a likelihood that other stones will shortly follow. The holy Admor of Satmar zt"l adds that this also carries the following message: All surviving members of this group should concern themselves for the welfare of the widow and the orphans.
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