Parshas Behar 5779
Candle Lighting Time: 7:59 pm
May 24, 2019
Volume 15 Issue 23
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Dvar Torah

Parsha Soundbites  
By Rabbi Sruli Schwartz
Fortifying Our Future

This week's parsha deals with laws applicable to buying and selling properties in Eretz Yisroel. Generally, one may buy his sold property back if the proper conditions are met, even to the chagrin of the buyer. Additionally, the sale is only binding until the year of Yovel. At the Yovel year, the real estate returns to the original owner. A house in a walled city is the one exception to both rules. Here, the seller can only redeem the house for one year, and if he does not buy the house back, the house does not return to the seller at Yovel; it stays in the possession of the buyer. The Meshech Chochmah offers a practical explanation for this exception. The primary advantage of dwelling in a walled city is the fortifi cation it provides against outside forces. The dwellers of the city know the ins and outs of the walled city and have the upper hand over any potential enemy wanting to attack the city. If the sold house goes back to the original owner every fifty years and then possibly sold again for another fifty years, there will be a constant turnover of inhabitants. These newcomers do not yet know the strengths and weaknesses of the city and have to be briefed on how to protect themselves in case they are attacked. Thisinfl ux of newcomers and their lack of knowledge of their whereabouts weaken the inherent strength of a walled city. In order to guarantee safety to the inhabitants of the city, the Torah does not command that the house returns to the original owner. This ensures that the residents dwell in the city long-term and have the proper know-how to protect themselves.

Prevention Medicine

"If your brother becomes impoverished and his means falter in your proximity, you shall strengthen him" (VAYIKRA 25:35).

Rashi infers from the words, "you shall strengthen him," that this needy person has not yet reached rock bottom. The posuk is referring to someone who is starting to lose ground and is financially unstable. He needs some help to take hold of his situation. Our obligation is to prevent him from sinking lower and help him get back on his feet and see to it that he is able to support himself again. Rashi gives an analogy to a donkey carrying its burden. If the donkey has not yet fallen, but is just staggering under a heavy load, then it only takes one person to help adjust the load, preventing the donkey from falling. However, if the donkey had already fallen, then it is much more difficult to lift the donkey from the ground with its load, and even five people cannot set the donkey on its feet. It is easier to prevent poverty than to correct it. This powerful analogy from Rashi could apply to another thought as well. Now, we are in golus. The second Beis Hamikdash was destroyed because of sinas chinam, hating other Jews. The Chofetz Chaim, in the introduction to his classic work Chofetz Chaim, writes that loshon hora was the primary cause for sinas chinam. During the Temple era, it would have been easier to correct the problem and save the Beis Hamikdash. The "donkey" was still standing, but was starting to lose its footing. If the Jews that lived at the time of the Beis Hamikdash had started to correct their ways from the sin of loshon hora, they possibly would have saved the Beis Hamikdash from destruction. Now that the Temple is destroyed, the "donkey" has already fallen and it is substantially harder to merit rebuilding the Beis Hamikdash. We must totally correct our ways from the aveira of loshon hora. We must exterminate loshon hora from our society and then we will witness the rebuilding of the Beis Hamikdash, bimhayra bi'yameinu.

Dvar Halacha
Uber Eat

Part 5

Based on the Sunday morning Halacha Shiur 
given by Rabbi Y. Biberfeld, Rosh Kollel
Written by: Ovadia Gowar

We've been learning about the number of chosamos, seals that each type of food item requires. Ideally, everything would always be delivered with the correct number of seals. But what if this doesn't happen? What happens if I order a meat sandwich from my favorite deli, and the Uber Eats guy delivers it with one seal, a bad seal, or no seals at all? What do I do now?
First of all, when it comes to food items where we have a concern for a Torah prohibition, such as with a meat or fish sandwich, the requirement is to have two chosamos. For example, one could cover the meat sandwich in a plastic wrapping, and then seal it with a heat seal or sticker. One could then wrap a second seal, such as tape, around the sandwich and over the heat seal. Another example would be to take the plastic-wrapped sandwich with the heat seal and then place it in a paper bag, staple the bag and write Hebrew letters over the closed edge. This would fulfil all the halachic requirements.
Sometimes you can have packaging that is so good, that even with one seal, if it was ever tampered with, it would be impossible to fix and you would easily spot the tampering. With modern manufacturing, this type of packaging is commonplace. Some authorities regard this type of "super"-seal as being equivalent to two seals.
The next level down would be having a chosam and a mafteach (literally "key") rather than two chosamos. A chosam is a standard seal, like the ones we mentioned above. A mafteach is something that can be easily opened and closed, just like a door with a key. An example would be a piece of tape over the opening of a box that can be partially removed in order to open the box, and then easily put back. The Shulchan Aruch says that even though on its own, a mafteach is regarded as nothing, nonetheless, when combined with another fully-fledged chosam, the two are as valid as having two chosamos. This is because the mafteach still introduces some additional effort in order to switch the food.
The next level down would be where the meat sandwich is sent with only one chosam. The Shulchan Aruch is strict and says that since it required two seals, it is forbidden to consume the food. The Rema is lenient and says that technically, two seals are only required with a Jew who is suspect of not keeping halacha. However, with a non-Jew, bedieved (post facto), one seal is enough. Nowadays, a non-religious Jew is regarded as a tinok shenishbah (captured and raised without an awareness of Judaism) rather than being an actual heretic. So for the purposes of food delivery, they fall into the same category as non-Jews, and therefore bedieved with them as well, one seal is enough.
What if the food was delivered with no seal at all? In one case, a certain rov said that if the time it took from the moment you placed the order to the time it was delivered was only enough for the delivery person to come straight to you without having time to switch it, then you could rely on this bedieved. Another argument is that if there are cheap and convenient non-kosher alternatives for the delivery person, then you can assume that he doesn't stand to benefit from switching the food and Chazal were only goizer when this incentive existed. A third argument would be using tevias ayin, if one can recognize that the delivered food item appears the way it is supposed to.
These are arguments that have been used in individual circumstances. One should call their rov for a psak in any particular situation.

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