web analytics
August 27, 2014 / 1 Elul, 5774
At a Glance
Judaism
Sponsored Post
Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat (L) visits the JewishPress.com booth at The Event. And the Winners of the JewishPress.com Raffle Are…

Congratulations to all the winners of the JewishPress.com raffle at The Event



Home » Judaism » Parsha »

Why Did Yosef Have To Swear?

Taste-of-Lomdus-logo

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.

The Panim Yafos, authored by the Hafla’ah, addresses the validity of Yosef’s oath. After all, Yaakov is Yosef’s father, and as such the mitzvah of kibud av demands that Yosef heed his requests. The halacha is that when one swears to perform a mitzvah, the oath is not valid. This is because he is already obligated to perform the mitzvah. Therefore, the oath does not require him to perform a voluntary action.

The Gemara in Nedarim 8a, however, says that one may take an oath stating that he will perform a mitzvah, for it will ensure that he will not be lax in performing it. If one knows that non-performance of the mitzvah will induce an additional punishment for not keeping his oath, he will be more frivolous about keeping the mitzvah.

The Gemara quotes a pasuk in Tehillim as the source for the halacha that one may swear that he will perform a mitzvah. Asks the Panim Yafos: Why didn’t the Gemara cite the pasuk of Yosef swearing that he would bury his father in Eretz Yisrael, which he was already obligated to perform by means of the mitzvah of kibud av?

According to the Shvus Yaakov (siman 168), this question does not begin. He understands that the mitzvah of kibud av does not require that one heed his father’s request after the latter passes from this world. The mitzvah would only apply if one’s father left money and instructed his son what to do with the money after his passing. In fact, the Shvus Yaakov cites this pasuk as a source for this halacha. He asks: Why did Yaakov have to make Yosef swear that he would do this? Why was the mitzvah to listen to his command not sufficient? His answer: we see from this that there is no obligation to listen. Thus, Yaakov had Yosef swear that he would bury him in Eretz Yisrael.

The Maharsham argues with the Shvus Yaakov on this matter and refers to the Ramban here in Parshas Vayechi, who states clearly that Yaakov had no doubt that his son Yosef would observe his command. Yaakov only had Yosef swear so that Pharaoh would allow him to go to Eretz Yisrael. Yaakov knew that Pharaoh would not allow Yosef to leave Mitzrayim so easily. Therefore, he wanted Yosef to swear – so that Pharaoh would allow him to not break an oath.

It is a machlokes whether the mitzvah of kibud av requires one to heed a command from parents after they are no longer alive. Those who say that there is no obligation explain that it was for that reason that Yaakov had Yosef swear. Others who hold a contrary opinion explain that this oath was in addition to the obligation to heed the command.

The Panim Yafos answers his original question as follows: The Gemara in Nedarim 8a says that the reason why an oath that one takes to uphold a mitzvah should not be valid is because we already took an oath to uphold the mitzvos at Har Sinai. Since we already swore to keep the mitzvos, taking another oath to do so is superfluous. This is similar to swearing the same oath twice not to eat a certain food. The term the Gemara uses is “mushba v’omed” – we have already sworn to do this; thus the new oath should not take effect. The Gemara concludes that the oath does in fact take effect because it will enhance our performance of the mitzvah.

About the Author: For questions or comments, e-mail RabbiRFuchs@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 “Why Did Yosef Have To Swear?”

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
The three salesmen -Netanyahu, Ya'alon and Gantz
Netanyahu Tries to Sell Bill of Goods that Israel Won Goals in the War
Latest Judaism Stories
Rabbi Sacks

Judaism is a religion of love but also a religion of justice, for without justice, love corrupts.

Rebbetzin Esther Jungreis

The time immediately preceding Mashiach’s arrival is likened to the birth pangs of a woman in labor.

Parsha-Perspectives-logo

Eisenhower understood that motivated men will fight much harder and longer than unmotivated men.

Who does not want to get close to Hashem? Yet, how do we do that?

Hashem recalls everything – nothing is hidden from His eyes.

According to Rabbi Yishmael one was not permitted to eat such an animal prior to entering Eretz Yisrael, while according to Rabbi Akiva one was permitted to eat animals if he would perform nechirah.

Discretion
‘Vendors Of Fruits And Clothing…May Sell In Private’
(Mo’ed Katan 13b)

Question: The Gemara in Berachot states that the sages authored our prayers. Does that mean we didn’t pray beforehand?

Menachem
Via Email

If a man sins and follows his inclinations, he will find comfort in this world – but when he dies, he will go to a place that is all thorns.

Nothing is more effective to diminish envy than gratitude.

The first prayer of Moshe was Vayechal, where Moshe’s petition was that no matter how bad bnei Yisrael were, the Egyptians were worse.

“We’re leining now, and shouldn’t be talking,” Mr. Silver gently quieted his son. “At the Shabbos table we can discuss it at length.”

If we regard pain and suffering as mere coincidence, we will feel no motivation to examine our lives

Culture is not nature. There are causes in nature, but only in culture are there meanings.

More Articles from Rabbi Raphael Fuchs
Taste-of-Lomdus-logo

According to Rabbi Yishmael one was not permitted to eat such an animal prior to entering Eretz Yisrael, while according to Rabbi Akiva one was permitted to eat animals if he would perform nechirah.

Taste-of-Lomdus-logo

Tosafos there takes issue with Rashi’s view that the letters that are formed in the knots of the tefillin are considered part of the name of Hashem.

The Rambam says that in order to honor Shabbos, one must wash his hands, face, and feet with warm water on Friday.

The talmid is not allowed to speak up due to any fear. If he remains silent, he is in violation of this prohibition.

It is apparent from the Maharsha that he does not see galus as atoning for killing accidentally; otherwise, this Gemara would not bother him.

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

We need to understand why Moshe Rabbeinu decided to ask that his sons inherit his position after this new halacha was introduced.

If it is not prohibited when there is a purpose for inflicting the tza’ar, why was Bilam chastised for tza’ar ba’alei chaim?

    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/why-did-yosef-have-to-swear/2013/12/12/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: