web analytics
July 24, 2014 / 26 Tammuz, 5774
Israel at War: Operation Protective Edge
 
 
At a Glance
Judaism
Sponsored Post
IDC Advocacy Room IDC Fights War on Another Front

Student Union opens ‘hasbara’ room in effort to fill public diplomacy vacuum.



Home » Judaism » Parsha »

Parshas Ki Sisa: A Day Of Transformation


Staum 030113

“And you (Moshe) speak to the Children of Israel saying, ‘But my Shabbos you are to observe; for it is a sign between Me and you for your generations, to know that I am Hashem Who sanctifies you” (Shemos 31:13).

The Torah makes it clear that Shabbos is not only about acting in certain ways and refraining from certain activities, it must also be a cognitive experience. Through Shabbos a Jew comes to realize and understand that G-d is the source of holiness and sanctity.

This idea is especially apparent from the laws governing the many prohibitions of Shabbos. Although there are specific labors that are forbidden on Shabbos, performing any of the forbidden labors does not automatically cause someone to be liable for desecrating Shabbos. The doer’s personal objective must be taken into account. The rule is, “מלאכת מחשבת אסרה תורה – calculated (i.e. planned) labor was forbidden by the Torah.” In other words, whether a specific labor is forbidden or not is also contingent on the forethought and motive of the doer. If the doer’s intent differs from the general motive of one who performs such labor the doer may have committed no sin at all. It all depends on the active mind.

Rav Yitzchok Hutner zt’l (Pachad Yitzchok, Shabbos, mama’ar 1:4-5) explains this concept in his characteristically profound and poignant manner:

The status of a vessel or a tool is dependent on its purpose. A small leather pouch may be used for money or to store marbles. If it is used to store money it becomes a wallet; if it is used for marbles it is a toy.

There is a prohibition on Shabbos of “hotza’ah” to transport objects from domain to domain. However, one only transgresses this prohibition if one transports an object of value. If the transported item does not possess any value, carrying it does not violate a Biblical prohibition. Therefore, transporting a vessel may not be forbidden in and of itself. It will depend on the motive of the carrier and whether there is anything in the vessel. For example, if one transports an empty silver goblet, he has transgressed the violation of carrying because the cup is his object of interest and therefore is valuable to him. However, if the goblet is filled with wine then he is not (Biblically) liable for transporting the goblet since his primary intent was to transport the wine (he is obviously liable for carrying the wine). This is true even if the goblet is more valuable than the wine. Halacha is concerned with the value of an object in regard to the specific act being performed. In regard to this specific act, the doer was not really interested in the goblet. He was only using it to facilitate the transportation of the wine which he wanted to drink along the way. Therefore, he is not liable for carrying the goblet.

This example demonstrates the concept of meleches machsheves in regard to the prohibitions of Shabbos. It is not merely the act that matters, but also the motive and intent of the doer.

Rav Hutner continues explaining that the concept of determining what is the “ikkar – priority” and what is the “tafel – accessory” is not merely one of the myriad laws regarding the prohibitions of Shabbos. Rather this concept is fundamental in regards to understanding the essence of Shabbos and the role it plays in the life of a Jew.

Chazal (Avos 5:1) explain that G-d created the physical world with “ten utterances.” Throughout the initial week of creation, utilizing those utterances G-d created, fashioned, formed, and brought forth every concept, natural law, and living being within creation. However, when the world stood completed at the conclusion of the six days, it lacked purpose and direction. It was essentially, a creation without meaning. With the onset of Shabbos, G-d invested into the world a new concept, i.e. holiness! At that point, it immediately became apparent that creating holiness was the purpose of creation. Holiness was preeminent; the rest of creation was an accessory. It suddenly became clear that the world, which until now seemed like an end unto itself, was merely a “vessel,” a conduit for holiness, and a means to reach a higher goal and purpose.

About the Author: Rabbi Dani Staum, LMSW is the Rabbi of Kehillat New Hempstead in Monsey NY. He is also Guidance Counselor/Rebbe in ASHAR and Yeshiva Bais Hachinuch. His website is www.stamtorah.info. He can be reached at stamtorah@gmail.com.


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

No Responses to “Parshas Ki Sisa: A Day Of Transformation”

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
Only El Al and British Airways continued to fly routine flights in and out of Ben Gurion International Airport.
Did the US Let Hamas Rule Israel’s Skies?
Latest Judaism Stories
The Yabok River

Today, we remain Hashem’s nachal.

Lenny1

Will Your brothers go to war, while you sit (in peace) here? (Bamidbar 32:6)

PTI-071814

Perhaps, just perhaps, we can relate to this: whenever we feel distant from Hashem, that is the Churban.

Parshat Matot

Over the next 2 weeks covering portion Matot and Maasei, Rabbi Fohrman will bring order to confusion.

Our home is in the center of the Holy Land, surrounded by (what else?) green hills and valleys.

“Sound fine,” said Mrs. Schwartz. “In the middle, paint their names, Shoshana and Yehonasan. He spells his name Yehonasan with a hei and is very particular about it!”

Question: I recently returned from a trip abroad and wanted to say HaGomel. When I mentioned this to the officers of my synagogue, however, they told me – as per the instructions of the synagogue’s rabbi – that I would have to wait until Shabbos to do so. I was not given any reason for this and did not wish to display my ignorance, so I quietly acquiesced. Can you please explain why I had to wait?

Name Withheld
(Via E-Mail)

We may not recognize the adverse affect of eating forbidden foods, but they leave an indelible imprint.

There are several rules that one must adhere to when making a neder.

Important message for Jews in the Diaspora: In times of need run to Israel rather than from Israel.

The negotiation between Moses and the tribes of Reuven and Gad is a model of conflict resolution.

Once again we find ourselves alone – a little lamb among wolves.

When we return to our routines, things don’t have to go back to exactly the way they were.

The Three Weeks determines the “who we are and how we live” as Jews.

More Articles from Rabbi Dani Staum
Staum-062714

After listening to the driver’s incredible story, Rabbi Levenstein asked him, “What about you? After seeing such a miracle why didn’t you became Torah observant?”

Staum-061314

Twelve of the greatest leaders of the nation, one from each shevet, were dispatched to survey the land. The results of that mission were catastrophic.

It is one thing to do a chesed for someone one time or when it is convenient. But for a person to go a few hours out of his way every year for a stranger demonstrates incredible selflessness.

Rav Pam said we must realize that God has no pleasure from such negative speech.

A friend of mine recently heard a comment that left him stunned. A colleague told him that his mother, a survivor of Auschwitz, who had recently lost her husband of five decades, told her son, “You should know, being alone is worse than Auschwitz!”

Even if he has committed sins that warrant his rejection from the community, he is never rejected by G-d.

Winston Churchill repeated a grade during elementary school. He twice failed the exam to the Royal Military Academy at Sandhurst. He later wrote, “Never give in, never give in, never, never, never, never – in nothing, great or small, large or petty – never give in except to the convictions of honor and good sense. Never, Never, Never, Never give up!”

That was G-d’s original request, that Moshe “please” speak to the people and request that they borrow and share with their own friends – their fellow Jews, and demonstrate fraternity and devotion.

    Latest Poll

    Do you think the FAA ban on US flights to Israel is political?






    View Results

    Loading ... Loading ...

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/judaism/parsha/parshas-ki-sisa-a-day-of-transformation/2013/02/28/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: