Parshas Mishpatim:
 By: Yaacov Silverstein
e@mail: hm16@popeye.cc.biu.ac.il

Parshas Mishpatim:

Pasuk (22:24)

"Im Kesef Talveh Et Ami, Eit Haani Imach..."

Why does the pasuk first use Ami (plural), while then it uses Imach(singular)?

Comes the Gra"h and explains that when a person lends someone money, it is good to lend it with witnesses. In case the borrower forgets, the witnesses will remind him.

Therefore the Pasuk tells us in the plural, that there should be witnesses.

However, when one comes to give charity to the poor, this should be done in private, only between you and the poor man, so he shouldn't be embarrassed. Therefore the Pasuk tells us in the singular.

Rav Chaim Shmulevitz tz"l writes in his Sefer Sichot Mussar, that we see from Chazal that when one does an act of kindness, such as lending money or charity, the way one performs the Mitzvah is an essential part of the Mitzvah.

One should not force the poor borrower to repay, when he sees it is hard for the poor to repay at the present time. One should also not embarrass the poor, he should try to put himself in the poor man's shoes. The quality of a Mitzvah is not only evaluated by its form. Yet it must be evaluated also by the accompanying motivation of the performer. Even if one was careful in doing a Mitzvah B' Hidur, yet he left out doing the Mitzvah for its own sake, he has fallen short of doing what is expected from him.

The L'ishmah of a Mitzvah is what differences us from the gentiles. As we see in the Gemarah (Baba Basra 10:b), when the nations do a kind act, they only do it for themselves.

Their act of kindness may be complete, yet their motives are wrong.

One that does an act of charity for his own egoistic pleasure, transforms the Mitzvah into an Aveira, and thus at times it is better if he didn't do the Mitzvah at all.

Yet, on the other hand , a Jew who performs an act of charity in order to gain the merit of the good deed, such as to help a sick person, he is considered as a righteous person.

This is because deep down in his heart, his act is done Lshem Shamayim.

For if the person would be healed or not, one knows that it is all according to Hashem's will.

The above does not only apply to Mitzvos done privately, yet also Mitzvos done publicly.

How does one go about doing this?

Comes Rav Chaim S. tz"l and explains that it is done by one concentrating only on the benefit done to the receiver, while forgetting about the reward for such good acts.

We must take this lesson even when learning Torah, we must forget about the reward received. Especially if one is deep in his learning, and he feels the inner ness of the Torah, that feeling alone is enough to give one the adrenaline to keep on learning, even without thinking of the reward he will get in Olam Habah.

For we know that, even ones understanding in Torah is based on what level Hashem wants him to attain,

"Im Tevakshenah Ka-kesef V'Ka-matmonim Tit-pashenah, Ahz Tavin Yiras Hashem Vedas Elokim Timtza". (Mishlei, 2:4,5) (If you request the torah like one requests silver, and you spread it out like coins, than you will understand the fear and understanding of Hashem's way's).

One has to want Torah, the same way that people want money, without any alterior motives.

Than one will merit to understand and find the true meaning in his learning.

Pasuk (23:2)

The Pasuk says one should go after the majority, when in a court case.

Rav Elchanan Waserman tz"l brings down that, the Baal Hatumim was asked by a wise gentile, "Doesn't the Torah say to go after the majority?

For the Jews are a minority ?

So why don't the Jews act like the other Nations?"

Answers the Baal Hatumim that the law of going after the majority, is only when one is in doubt, and not when one is certain.

Since we have no doubt in our trust in Hashem, that he is the creator, we have no need to look at the majority.

Rav Elchanan Waserman tz"l also added that the Halacha of the majority, is only when one has no part in the court case. If one has "Negiah Bedavar", we don't listen to the majority.

The same is true by Emunah, once one has some "Negiah" in the Taavot of this world, he is already cancelled out for counting as a judge. Therefore, the majority of judges that can judge this case, is found by the Jews, since only by us do we find the majority of "Talmedei Chachamim" that have no "Negiah" in the Taavot of this world.

Guest Speaker (Yisroel Mordechai Silverstein) :

The Pasuk says: "Ki Tireh Chamor Sonacha..."

If you see that your enemies donkey needs help with its load, and it is falling from its heavy load, there is a mitzvah to help take off its burden.

The Gemarah (Pesachim 113:b) asks, who is the foe that the Pasuk is referring to ?

The Gemarah comes to a conclusion that the foe is somebody you saw do a sin and you can't tell anybody about the sin (since there weren't 2 witnesses who saw him do the wrong act).

Tosfos asks that there is another Gemarah (Baba Metzia 32:b) that if you see your friend needs help with unloading his donkey, and your enemy with loading his donkey. There is a Mitzvah to help the "Soneh" first, even though the process of unloading is a greater Mitzvah (since it includes Tzar Balei Chaim).

The reason for this is in order for one to override his Yeitzer. And thus lower the level of hatred between the two.

Comes Tosfos and asks, if there is a Mitzvah to hate one that has committed a sin, why does one have to try to lower the rate of the hatred ?

Answers Tosfos that if you hate another person, then he will hate you back. And then you would come to hate him even more, "Kemaim Hapanim Lapanim Leiv Ha-adam" (Mishle 27) and you will come to hate him a complete hatred.

That is why the Torah commands you to help him in order to prevent a complete hatred, a hatred of the person, and not a hatred of the persons wrongful acts.

The way we act and the way we even think of another person, causes others to act the same to us.

There is a famous story told (Beh Ish Al Hachomah part 3, pg 346) that a group of vandals once broke into Rav Yosef Chaim Sonnenfeld's tz"l house and threatened to kill him.

When they saw that the Rav was not reacting to their threats, they got even wilder.

The Rav then stood up and unbuttoned his shirt and showed his heart and told them, "shoot and he said aloud to them that "from the truth I will not budge!" and he continued explaining them his Hashkafa". The vandals were startled and they fled from the scene.

Later the Rav explained his actions and the secret to his success was because he managed to take all his hatred against the vandals, out of his heart. He then rebuked them, with a full heart, without any personal interest. They then saw that he was truly talking Lshem Shamayim.

They then saw that the Rav was right in his claims, and they ran away in fear.




Milk & Meat

We learn out from Pasuk (23:19), that one is forbidden to cook a "kid in its mothers milk".

This law does not only apply to kid meat, yet all sheep and cattle.

Through Rabbinic Law, the Rabbi's extended this Law to include other Kosher meat and fowl.

Rashi comes and explains that since we find this prohibition three times in the Torah, it comes to teach us three types of prohibitions.

1) Cooking meat and milk together.

2) Eating meat and milk together.

3) Benefiting from milk cooked together with meat.

The cooking and benefiting from meat and milk together, is only prohibited by kosher meat, when dealing with non-kosher meat, the prohibition does not apply.

Of course, they are prohibited to be eaten, together, or even Treif, by itself.

One is allowed to have milk with fish or Kosher grasshoppers (most opinions hold not to eat them, since we don't know exactly which types are Kosher).

There are opinions that hold not to eat fish and milk together (Beit Yosef O.C 173).

The Ramah in Darcei Moshe (Y.D) brings down that there is no prohibition, one should only be careful not to eat fish with meat.

The Sefer Otzar Dinim Uminhagim, brings down that one should have separate utensils for milk and meat.

Also, that the excepted Minhag is to mark the Milichig utensils, since the Pasuk says "Charitze Chalav..."

While the meat utensils don't need any special sign on them, for we rely on tPasuk "Ubesarhm Loh Yisretuh Sarateis".

When one uses a glass cup for milk, as long as the milk was cold, all he has to do is rinse it out well and the cup may be used during meat meals also.

According to the Rabanan, one is also forbidden to eat meat that was mixed with milk, even though it wasn't cooked together.

One who wants to eat meat after milk, should rinse out his mouth with water first.

He should also do Kinuach(chew and swallow a Pareve food, except for sticky things like flour, dates, or vegetables)

One who wants to eat milk after meat, must wait the amount of time of "a second meal". There are many opinions to what this amount of time is, most people wait six hours. Some wait only one hour, and some wait three hours (Germans).

One must also make sure to keep two other conditions.

1) Make a Beracha Achronah after his meal

2) Clear the table from the meat utensils, and prepare for a new meal(or to eat the other meal at a different table.).

One starts counting the six hours from the time he finishes eating the meat, and not from the time he finishes his meal.

If one cooked in a clean meat pot, a Pareve food, he may eat cheese right after he finishes eating the Pareve food. Even in the same meal, yet he should not eat them together. The Halacha applies even in a case that the meat pot is Ben Yomo.

(These are only a few Halachos, there are many more Halachos to be found. A good Sefer to use is "Hilchos Meiros - Basar B'Chalav (Ehud Rozenberg)

Good Shabbos !!