Friday, August 13, 2021

not fully functional

 I) With respect to the mitzvah of appointing judges, The Rambam distinguishes between Eretz Yisrael and ch"ul:

אין אנו חייבין להעמיד בתי דינים בכל פלך ופלך ובכל עיר ועיר אלא בארץ ישראל בלבד. אבל בחוצה לארץ אינן חייבין להעמיד בית דין בכל פלך ופלך שנאמר תתן לך בכל שעריך אשר ה' אלהיך נותן לך לשבטיך:

Why should that be so?  Are we less in need of courts and police in chu"l than in Eretz Yisrael?

R' Gifter suggests that the establishment of courts is not just a means of meting out justice, but is indicative of an organized social structure.  The Torah here is telling us that Eretz Yisrael is the only place where such a fully functioning Jewish society can be created. 

II) The parsha warns not to learn from what the aku"m do (18:9) לֹֽא־תִלְמַ֣ד לַעֲשׂ֔וֹת כְּתוֹעֲבֹ֖ת הַגּוֹיִ֥ם הָהֵֽם׃ and then follows up לֹֽא־יִמָּצֵ֣א בְךָ֔ מַעֲבִ֥יר בְּנֽוֹ־וּבִתּ֖וֹ בָּאֵ֑שׁ קֹסֵ֣ם קְסָמִ֔ים מְעוֹנֵ֥ן וּמְנַחֵ֖שׁ וּמְכַשֵּֽׁף.  Shem m'Shmuel (5675) reads this second pasuk as not just an additional lav, but as a consequence.  If you don't engage in the study of sorcery and avodah zarah, then the Torah promises לֹֽא־יִמָּצֵ֣א בְךָ֔ , you won't end up getting involved in doing it.  

 Zeh l'umas zeh, if that study is the slippery slope to consequential wrongdoing, then studying the right things is necessary to lead to a consequential kedusha of the chagim:

 כן להבדיל בקדושה כל המצות ועניני ירחא שביעאה הכל נכלל בהלימוד של מסכתות הללו ר"ה יומא סוכהוע"כ כל בעל נפש מחויב לגזול מעתותיו הספורות ולקבוע לימוד מסכתות הללו בימי אלול שהוא הכנה לירחא שביעאה הגדול לפי גדלו והקטון לפי קטנו:

The clock is ticking -- what are you waiting for?

1 comment:

  1. The part about batei din is helpful. A friend asked me what the difference is between dinim of the sheva mitzvos and titen lecha of the Taryag. I came up with several possible answers, including enforcement of moral standards, and the fact that our judiciary is combined with the police force. Your Ramban that distinguishes even for us between EY and ChL, and Rav Gifter's interpretation, I think, flows well with the idea of the court being responsible to engineer and maintain a moral and just society for the Rabbim, not just enforce the law.
    As for the Shem miShmuel, I don't know... I don't see that the danger of learning about avodah zara corresponds to a benefit from learning RH, Y, and S. I guess that he only wrote that because the Gerers are not into mussar sefarim, as far as I know.