Parshas Vayakel 5779
Candle Lighting Time: 5:34 pm
March 1, 2019
Volume 15 Issue 17
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Dvar Torah

Be Focused
By Rabbi Yosef Prupas
When beginning to read this week's parsha, one immediately wonders why Moshe needed to precede the command to build the Mishkan with the prohibition to do work Shabbos. Rashi quotes the well-known Mechilta that this was in order to let the Jewish People know that Shabbos takes precedence over construction of the Mishkan. This begs to be understood, for in Parshas Kisa we find this law already conveyed. Why the need to repeat it here?
To answer the above, we need to focus on another point of interest. Very rarely do we find the passuk referring to the Jewish Nation as "adas B'nei Yisroel," "Congregation of the Children of Israel," usually only as "B'nei Yisroel," "Children of Israel." What is unique about this Parsha? The Nesivos Shalom writes that by rearranging the letters of the word "Adas" you will come up the word "Da'as," knowledge. Our sages teach us in Tractate Sota 3a, that a person only sins as a result of a foolish spirit that has entered him. Losing one's ability to think is the precursor to sin. Rashi tell us that events of this week's parsha take place immediately after Yom Kippur when Moshe brought down the second Luchos. The Jewish People at that point were fragmented as a result of the sin of the Golden Calf. They had "lost" their minds to sin, and Moshe was now tasked to rectify that. To accomplish this mission Moshe to introduce to the Jewish People the concept of Mishkan, but first he had to start with the prohibition to work on Shabbos. Why?
The Vilna Gaon, in Aderes Eliyahu, writes that G-d renews creation each day, and the recreation of Shabbos is prepared on Erev Shabbos. Rabbi Yitzchak Hutner explains the words of The Gaon with one of the laws of Shabbos.
There is a prohibition to carry an item of significance from a private domain to a public domain, or vice versa. However if one were to use an object of significance to carry an item that is insignificant (e.g. a pitcher to carry a piece of bread smaller then a bites worth), one will have transgressed the Shabbos. This is because the significant item is nullified by its purpose to carry the insignificant object. What is considered worthy or not, depends of the evaluation of mankind. That ability represents the "da'as," the ability to think, unique to man.
Rabbi Hutner then informs us that this singular law speaks to broader concept of Shabbos. The "six days of work" are only prelude to Shabbos. Shabbos brings back into focus man's purpose in this world. Therefore although the world continues anew on Shabbos physically, human intellect is now is now focused on the loftier spiritual role of Shabbos. G-d prepared this by creating the intelligent man right before Shabbos, thus allowing the world of secondary purpose, by man's understanding, to function on a day with different priorities. This is similar to the pitcher carrying the insignificant piece of bread.
"Ki os hi beini uveineichem la'da'as ki Ani Hashem mikadishchem ." The verse clearly states that Shabbos is symbol (of our relationship with G-d) to know that Hashem is the One who sanctifies us. Shabbos with its laws and rules, gives the Jewish people the time to reflect and think about their priorities in this world. Guard the Shabbos because it guards us from making unthinkable mistakes.

Dvar Halacha
Sechorah B'Devarim Assurim: 
Receiving Non-Kosher Gifts

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

It's the end of the calendar year and your non-Jewish co-worker gives you a lavish food basket, but unfortunately, none of it is kosher. Can you sell it or use it to cultivate a good relationship with another non-Jewish associate of yours? Isn't this doing business with non-kosher food?
We've seen in a previous issue that there are four main leniencies that allow one to sell non-kosher food. One of these leniencies was "nizdamnu lo" ("it happened upon him").
The example brought in the Shulchan Aruch is that of a fisherman who, upon returning to land, finds that among the kosher fish he caught in his net, there are also non-kosher fish. Since these just happened upon him, without any specific intent on his part, he is allowed to sell them as well.
In the case above with the co-worker, the food came to you without your intent. Rabbi Akiva Eiger maintains that this falls into the category of nizdamnu lo and therefore you would be allowed to sell it. Tosfos in Pesachim rule the same would apply if you received something non-kosher through an inheritance.
But what if an amazing opportunity comes your way, such as a once-off sale on something non-kosher for an extremely low price, where you could make a massive profit. Would this be regarded as nizdamnu lo? The Shach says that nizdamnu lo only applies when you came upon it. However, if it came upon you through a business opportunity, this would not be allowed. Chancing upon an opportunity to buy/sell does not fall under the leniency.
Even though the leniency of nizdamnu lo makes things easier for us in all the cases, the Rema says that one needs to sell the food item immediately, so that he won't come to eat it.
There is an interesting shaila from time of the Bach. There were Jews who would buy or rent whole sections of forests from the regional noble. Now, it was inevitable that in the forests there would be non-kosher animals such as wild boars. The buyers were also aware of this. In the Bach's particular case, the person in question was using these boars to feed his workers. The Bach felt that this was a big problem. The Taz, his son-in-law, agreed that it was wrong for the person to be feeding the boars to his workers. However, the Taz wants to give the person the benefit of the doubt by arguing that the presence of the non-kosher animals falls into the category of nizdamnu lo.
The Taz marshals the Tur, who, when discussing nizdamnu lo, uses the expression "oi sh'tzad t'mei'im im t'horim" (he catches non-kosher animals with kosher animals) which implies that he knows he will catch them both. Even though it is impossible not to catch the non-kosher animals together with the kosher animals, since his main intent is on the kosher animals, it is permitted.
The Taz thus says that you go after the person's intent, and since the Jew's main intention was to buy the forest, the non-kosher animals are secondary and fall into nizdamnu lo.
R' Moshe Feinstein, zt"l interprets the Taz's words differently. He understands that what the Taz means is that the person buying the forest did not have in mind to buy the non-kosher animals from the noble. Rather, the buyer is simply taking care of the animals for him. The noble gives the Jew permission to sell and make a profit from the animals, but the Jew never actually acquires them and thus avoids the problem.
That concludes our study of s'chorah b'devarim assurim. Next week we will begin covering the topic of chosamos i.e. placing seals on kosher food for secure transportation.

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