Friday, August 29, 2014

when going to work is a ma'aseh mitzvah

For the past few weeks I’ve at least touched on a topic that relates to Eretz Yisrael in every parsha, and I don’t know if a cease fire is a reason to cease this practice.  Last post I mentioned the din that a new chassan who has just gotten engaged is exempt from going to war.  The Torah has a similar din that if you just built a home and have not yet done a chanukas habayis you are also exempt.  Rashi explains that there would be tremendous agmas nefesh to start a home or become engaged and not return from battle to see things completed.  However, the Yerushalmi at the end of Sotah (8:4) darshens “v’lo chanacho” as a miyut – you are excused only for a home that there is a mitzvah to make a chanukas habayis on, i.e. a home in Eretz Yisrael.  According to the Yerushalmi, the dispensation is based on a consideration for yishuv ha’aretz.

(The Shiurei Korban points out that the Bavli reads the pasuk as coming to exclude a house that you steal.  However, since the Rambam quotes both halachos, presumably the pasuk implies both dinim and there is no machlokes.  He also points out that you see from this Yerushalmi that there is no mitzvah to make a seudas chanukas habayis if you move into a new home in chutz la’aretz.) 

The Chasam Sofer doesn’t quote the Yerushalmi, but what he writes certainly touches on the same theme.  He writes that the parsha places building a home before working the vineyard, the reverse of the Rambam’s advice in Hil Deyos to first get a job, because the parsha is talking about Eretz Yisrael when Klal Yisrael is doing what they should be doing.  The gemara (Brachos 35) writes that according to RshBY”Y in those circumstances we don’t need to work for parnasa – Hashem will have others take care of everything.  So why plant a vineyard at all?  Because even if the work is not needed for parnasa, there is a value to secular education and work as a means of fulfilling yishuv Eretz Yisrael.  Work in that circumstance is not merely a means to make ends meet, but is a positive end in its own right, a ma'aseh mitzvah.  



    "Torah im Small Jugs
    "Posted on ‍‍ט״ו כסלו תשע״ג - November 28, 2012

    "What is the role of the laws of business listed in Choshein Mishpat (the quarter of the Tur and Shulchan Aruch on financial matters)?

    "One approach could be that working for income is a necessary evil. It’s Hashem’s punishment to Adam for eating the forbidden fruit — 'with the sweat of the brow shall you eat bread' (Bereishis 3:19). However, by following these laws these activities are kosher, they are rendered permissible.

    "But if all it offered were the ability to deal with a necessary evil, we would have difficulty understanding a gemara about this week’s parashah...."

  2. Yasher koach for the Chasam Sofer but he doesn't say secular studies, just learning a craft. According to CS elsewhere, secular studies must come from torah כפתוריה ופרחיה ממנה יהיו

    1. If you can learn to become an engineer or an architect just from learning Torah, kol hakavod. If not, you need secular studies otherwise the sevara of the C.S., that Eretz Yisrael would have to import these professionals, would apply