Parshas Tetzaveh 5779
Candle Lighting Time: 5:18 pm
February 15, 2019
Volume 15 Issue 15
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Dvar Torah

Upping the Ante
By Rabbi Sruli Schwartz
 
"Now you shall command Bnei Yisroel..." (SHEMOS 27:20)

Since Parshas Shemos, this is the only parsha in the whole Torah that does not mention Moshe's name. Instead of stating, "And Hashem said to Moshe," as it normally does, it just says, "And you..." Many explain the reason for this absence resulted from what Moshe said when the Jews sinned with the Golden Calf. When Moshe advocated on behalf of the Jews, he told Hashem, "And now, if You would but forgive their sin! - but if not, erase me now from Your book that You have written," (Shemos 32:32). Although Hashem did forgive the Jewish people, once Moshe uttered these words, the damage was done, and his request to be erased from the Torah had to take effect to a certain degree. Therefore, Moshe's name is not mentioned in one parsha, partially fulfilling his words. This explanation is hard to understand. Moshe stuck his neck out for Klal Yisroel, apparently a commendable act, so why was he punished? 
My father, Reb Shloime Schwartz, offers a different explanation as to why the parsha does not mention Moshe's name. Usually, when the Torah records a conversation between Hashem and Moshe, it is written in third person, "And Hashem spoke to Moshe." However, this week's parsha says, "And you," written in first person. The Torah written in first person shows a stronger relationship than written in third person. We see the conversation come to life as opposed to being told about the dialogue. When Moshe davened for Klal Yisroel and put his own life at stake, it showed Hashem that Moshe felt such a deep relationship with His nation, the Jews, that he was willing to sacrifice himself on their behalf. When Moshe did this, he shared something in common with Hashem- a deep affection towards the Jews. As a result, Moshe grew closer to Hashem and Hashem rewarded Moshe and showed this closeness by writing the parsha in first person.
 
Body and Soul
"And you shall make an altar for burning the incense" (SHEMOS 30:1).

In the Mishkan and Beis Hamikdash there were two mizbaychos, the mizbayach hanechoshes and the mizbayach hazohov. The mizbayach hanechoshes, the copper altar, was located outside of the actual sanctuary in the courtyard of the Mishkan and was used for sacrificial services. The mizbayach hazohov, the golden altar, located inside the Mishkan, was used for burning the incense. Why was it necessary to build two altars? Why couldn't they use one altar for both services? 
The Klei Yakar explains that there are two different parts of a person, the physical part and the spiritual part. The physical entity of a person entices the individual to commit a sin and fulfill the desires of the guf, the body. The neshoma is the spiritual dimension of person and was created in the image of G-d. Our spiritual side therefore constantly strives to attain closeness with Hashem. When a person commits a sin, both his body and neshoma are involved and both require atonement. The copper altar was used to atone for the physical part of a person by sacrificing physical materials such as animals and birds. However, our souls were also damaged through the sin and require a kaporah as well. The offering of the incense on the golden altar served this purpose. The incense represents our neshoma. Just like the incense, when used as a korban, forms a cloud and travels upward, our neshoma strives to be elevated and will ultimately return to the Creator when it fulfills its purpose.


 
Dvar Halacha
Sechorah B'Devarim Assurim: 
Nursing Homes

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

Last week we looked into the issue of feeding non-kosher food to one's non-Jewish workers or housekeepers. We saw that this may or may not fall under the prohibition of doing business with non-kosher food items, depending on the circumstances.
 
What about a situation where food is an essential component of the business and there is no way to avoid this? One clear example, in which many Jews are involved, is in the ownership and management of nursing homes. Can a Jewish-owned nursing home feed its non-Jewish residents non-kosher food? Feeding them kosher food in most cases is not feasible, because it is either not available, or even if it is available, it is probably much more expensive.
 
All the poskim over the last 150 years rule that this is forbidden. Since part of the nursing home's profit is derived from the sale of food to the residents, this would clearly be doing business with forbidden food. So what should a Jew in the nursing home business do? We will present three strategies to avoid transgressing the prohibition.
 
Option 1: Get a non-Jewish business partner. One can structure a contractual arrangement such that any profits derived from the food-related activities of the business are directed solely to the non-Jewish partner. One would then need to monitor the business' accounts diligently in order to calculate exactly what these profits are. The Chasam Sofer says that a yirei shomayim should stay away from this lechatchilah (a priori).
 
This arrangement is a solution because the prohibition of doing business with non-kosher food only applies where the Jew actually owns the food. According to the nursing home's arrangement, the non-Jewish partner owns the food and therefore there is no issue.
 
Option 2: If you were to ask the average person on the street "What makes a transaction final?" many would answer "when the money is handed over." In halacha, there is a disagreement as to whether this is how the Torah views it as well. To avoid any doubt, the practice in halacha is that the buyer makes the kinyan (acquisition) through a "chazakah" (literally translated as "taking hold"). A chazakah can take many forms. For movable objects, the buyer can simply lift the object three handbreadths up into the air. With fixed property, the Jew must display ownership, such as fixing a fence, or hammering a nail into the wall. Based on this, the Jew in the case of the nursing home should buy the food using only money and not a chazakah, while simultaneously having in mind not to acquire the food. In this way he will never actually own it, even though he is using it, and will therefore avoid the prohibition.
 
Option 3: Horav Shlomo Miller, shlit"a a well-known posek from Toronto, suggests that the Jewish owner should outsource the food service to a non-Jewish catering company. The caterer will own the food the whole time; the Jew never takes ownership of it. The Jewish-owned nursing home just allows the non-Jewish catering company to use its facilities.
 
He also wants to extend this strategy to deal with the problem when you have non-religious Jewish residents. The Jewish-owner, by feeding them non-kosher food, would be transgressing the prohibition of lifnei iver (causing another Jew to sin). Horav Miller holds that if the non-Jewish caterer is the one dealing with the food, then you have what is called "lifnei d'lifnei" i.e. lifnei iver with two degrees of separation, which is permissible.
 
So these are three possible ways of dealing with this difficult situation. One should consult a posek fluent in these matters before pursuing any particular strategy. Next week we will deal with more issues of business-related involvement with non-kosher food, such as being a waiter in a non-kosher restaurant, or owning shares in a company that sells non-kosher food.



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