Thursday, April 01, 2010

Pesach - din on wheat

We tend to think about G-d’s judgment on Rosh haShana and then put that idea out of our minds for the rest of the year, but the Mishna tells us that there are other judgment periods; on Pesach we are judged as to how much wheat we will get. The Ran asks why this separate judgment is necessary, as the judgment of Rosh haShana includes details like how much money a person will make, how bountiful his crops will be, etc. How much wheat should grow should already be determined.

The Ran answers by distinguishing between the judgment of the individual, which occurs on Rosh haShana, and the judgment of the community, which occurs on Pesach.

The Shem m’Shmuel is troubled by this distinction. The amount of wheat which the community deserves should be no more than the sum total of that which is deserved by the individuals which comprise that community. If the amount each individual deserves is already determined on Rosh haShana, then QED the amount of wheat that the community will get is already a foregone conclusion.

I think the point of the Ran may be that the community is indeed more than the sum of its parts. As we discussed earlier (here), there is a distinction between a tzibur and a shutfus. A partnership is no more than a division of a whole into parts. A tzibur, however, is like a corporation; it is a new collective entity and not merely the glue which holds the parts together. There is no one particular individual or group of individuals who is the owner of a shul, of a yeshiva, of a chessed institution. Whether these mosdos are successful or deeply in the red perhaps is decided in the din of Pesach. Let's hope and daven that we come out OK.

No comments:

Post a Comment