Meir Panim’s Tiberias Free Restaurant not only provides warm meals, but the opportunity to socialize as well.
There are two different types of vows, nedarim, mentioned in the Torah. The first, which is the subject of Tractate Nedarim, is the prohibitive vow, nidrei issur, pursuant to which a person utters a vow not to do an action, which but for the vow would have been permitted. The second, which is the subject of Tractate Arachin, is known as a nedrei hekdesh, that is a vow to dedicate something of value for the upkeep of the Temple.
While the first type of neder is applicable today the second is not because we no longer have a Temple to maintain.
Nevertheless, the Rambam includes studying the laws of nidrei hekdesh in his list of mitzvot.
The laws of nidrei nekdesh permit one to vow to pay a certain amount of money for the upkeep of the Temple. The amount to be paid depends upon the payment index the person has chosen when making his or her vow. The Torah permits one to choose between four different indices. One can make a personal vow, by pledging the worth of a person, either of oneself or another person, one can pledge the worth of an animal or one can pledge the worth of a parcel of land.
For the purpose of determining how much the Temple treasurer will collect from a person who vowed that he or she will pay his own, or her own, or somebody else’s worth to the Temple, the Torah ascribes the following fixed amounts: (i) 5 Shekalim for a male between the ages of 1 month and one day and 5 years, and 3 Shekalim for a female in this category; (ii) 20 Shekalim for a male between the ages of 5 years and one day and 20 years and 10 Shekalim for a female in this category; (iii) 50 Shekalim for a male between the ages of 20 years and one day and 60 years, and 30 Shekalim for a female in this category; and (iv) 15 Shekalim for a male over 60 and 10 Shekalim for a female in this category.
It should be noted that in fixing a person with an “erech,” loosely translated “worth” or “value,” the Torah is not discussing the worth of a person for any purpose other than determining how much such a vow obliges a person to pay to the Temple and how much money the Temple’s collection agency may collect.
Although the Torah has a fixed scale for the payment of vows, arachin, it takes into account the financial circumstances of a person who may have vowed to the Temple his or her own erech or the erech of somebody else.
A person who cannot afford to pay according the fixed scale he or she has chosen may fulfill his or her vow by paying not less than 1 Sela (a silver coin having the weight of 384 barleycorns), the exact amount being determined in accordance with his or her means as assessed by the kohen. The Sela is the minimum payment with which a person can discharge his or her erech vow. If the person is too poor, in the kohen’s assessment, to pay 1 Selah, the whole payment is deferred until he or she can afford to pay the full amount in accordance with the fixed scale.
Once an erech vow is made, the maturity date by which the vow must be paid is the date which is the first Yom Tov on which the person would be oleh regel – would visit Jerusalem as a pilgrim. If the vow is not fully paid up by then, the person is considered in default and violates the positive law, the mitzvat aseh, of paying one’s vows in Jerusalem.
If a full annual cycle of three festivals has come and gone and the vow has still not been paid, the person is considered in violation of the negative law, mitzvat lo ta’aseh, of bal te’acher, delaying payment.
After the passage of three Festivals, the Temple treasurer has the power to enter the homes of those whose erech payments remain outstanding and seize personal property and foreclose on real estate to cover the amount of the outstanding payment. The treasurer must, however, set aside minimum subsistence requirements for a poor debtor, including food for thirty days, clothing for one year, basic furniture and bedding, tallit and tefillin and basic tools of trade. The rest of the debtor’s assets are put up for sale to pay the vow.
As we have seen, “erech” means the value of a person attributed by the Torah as opposed to the value of a person attributed by society. In valuing a person, society takes many factors into account including physical, intellectual, social and financial. The way society tends to see it, one is worth as much as one makes. The way the Torah views it, social distinctions are artificial and ephemeral and the only immutable differences are age and sex.
About the Author: Raphael Grunfeld’s book, “Ner Eyal on Seder Moed” (distributed by Mesorah) is available at OU.org and your local Jewish bookstore. His new book, “Ner Eyal on Seder Nashim & Nezikin,” will be available shortly.
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The belief in the power of the evil eye and the desire to ward off its deleterious spell are rooted firmly in Jewish historical consciousness. Indeed, the Talmud is replete with numerous references to the notion of ayin hara and takes its existence for granted.
Yaakov Avinu spent the final seventeen years of his life in Mitzrayim. While there he lived in peace for the first time in many years and remained in that state for the rest of his life. Near the end of his days he called in his beloved son Yosef and made an impassioned request: “Please do not bury me in Mitzrayim.”
This week’s parshah begins with Yaakov Avinu on his deathbed. He called for and requested of Yosef not to bury him in Mitzrayim, but rather in Eretz Yisrael. Although Yosef agreed to fulfill this request, Yaakov asked him to swear that he would keep his word, which he did.
Question: I have noticed that some people stand during the Birkot Keriat Shema. I was always under the impression that one is supposed to sit for Shema and its berachot. Is there a source that allows one to stand during this part of the prayer?
In One’s Grasp
‘Ein Ma’avirin Al Hamitzvos’
How come Kiddush for Shabbat contains different phrases regarding the Jewish people’s chosenness than Kiddush for Yom Tov?
Mr. Sofer completed his book order with an online company. The vendor offered special, fast shipping for an additional cost, but he opted for regular free shipping. “Delivery within three weeks,” stated the site.
We had inadvertently parked in the lot of a nearby church…
It is not difficult to understand the care Joseph took to ensure that Jacob would bless the firstborn first.
My tatte had a magnificent voice that had the power to pierce the most hardened heart.
In our story a couple of kids discover Chanukah within the walls of a gym.
Shemos Rabbah states that Yaakov transmitted the “secret of the redemption.”
Just as the moon waxes and wanes and then totally disappears from view before returning to the night sky, so, too, the Jewish people.
Question: Why do women cover their eyes when they light Shabbat candles?
At about 4 a.m. on cold and damp autumn mornings in London, Dad would try to wake us in time for Selichot, the pre-Jewish New Year dawn prayers. As we heard Dad’s footsteps mounting the stairs, my brother and I would hide under our covers and mutter our displeasure at being disturbed.
Even Moshe Rabbeinu, who spoke with God one on One, was not allowed to see Him during his lifetime. “You cannot see my face, for no man shall see me and live.” Ultimately, we shall all see God one on One and face not just Him but also ourselves and the lives we led.
You’ve been too busy to open your mail. When you finally do, it is overflowing with bills and letters. Solicitation letters from the Jewish hospital, a gemach (interest-free loan fund), the yeshiva and the synagogue.
Continuing with our examination of Pesachim as per the Daf Yomi cycle, the Seder commences with Kiddush recited over the first cup of wine. Whereas Kiddush may be recited before nightfall on Shabbat, it must be recited after nightfall on Seder night. Unlike Shabbat and Yom Tov, on Seder night there is a requirement that each participant drink from his own cup.
There are lots of back seat drivers at the Seder. Your kezayit (portion) of matzah is not big enough, they chide. Red wine only; shmurah matzot or nothing; don’t start the Seder before nightfall; must finish the meal before midnight; don’t drink wine between the four cups; the Seder plate set in the wrong order. This article is intended as a defensible guide for the brave volunteer who leads the Seder (the ba’al haseder).
It’s 12:30 on a Yom Tov, Monday morning. You are about to leave the synagogue for the third day in a row. As you look around, you notice, even as you try to ignore it, a certain wilting of the spirit. A belabored pace. How good you felt on Friday night, with the onset of Shabbat. An effortless serenity set in then.
Prayer is always an avenue to God. But in the month of Elul, the last month of the Jewish year, and during the ten days between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, God lends a particularly sympathetic ear.
Taste is everything. If the taste of chametz has been absorbed into a cooking vessel, such a vessel may not be used on Pesach unless it undergoes koshering, the halachically prescribed way of expelling the flavor of forbidden food such as non-kosher foods, meat and milk mixtures or chametz on Pesach from utensils and restoring them for use.
Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/judaism/halacha-hashkafa/you-arent-what-you-make-arachin-23b/2012/01/26/
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