Thursday, October 27, 2011

Thursday's Parsha Tidbits - Parshas Noach

The following is a brief summary of a thought said over by R' Frand on the parsha this evening. I have attempted to reproduce this vort to the best of my ability. Any perceived inconsistency is the result of my efforts to transcribe the shiur and should not be attributed to R' Frand.

In Bereishis 9:5, Hashem instructs the world as to laws against murder. In so doing, the Torah writes "V'ach es dimchem l'nafshoseichem edrosh, m'yad kol chaya edreshenu, oom'yad ha'adam, m'yad ish achiv, edrosh es nefesh ha'adam." [The translation of the pasuk into English lessens the meaning of the pasuk as some of the more important words do not translate into English properly, as such I will leave it in the Hebrew for the purpose of this vort].

R' Frand quoted the sefer HaKisav v'Hakabalah to explain a seeming redundancy in the pasuk. He noted that although the sefer was written several hundred years ago, the more things change the more they stay the same.

When reading the pasuk it appears to state twice in the second half of the pasuk that if a man kills another man, Hashem will seek to punish the killer. However on closer inspection, the language of the pasuk changes slightly as it uses both the term ish and adam for man. The author of the sefer explains that it appears to him that there are two types of killing. One person kills because he hates the victim or seeks to benefit from the death of the victim. The second person kills to help the victim, as for example when the victim is suffering with some form of grave physical or mental illness.

Both of the above scenarios are seen in the pasuk. The Torah uses the term "adam" which is the lowest form of man in Hebrew. However the pasuk also states that Hashem will punish an ish (a higher form of man) who kills his brother. The sefer explains that even one who kills his brother to save him from misery or suffering, is viewed as a murderer.

R' Frand then told a personal story about his mother o'h who at the end of her life was suffering with Parkinson's disease and also had a heart condition. When they went to see a cardiologist about putting in a pacemaker, the doctor told them that "he would not do this to his mother." However, R' Frand did not listen to the cardiologist as Judaism favors life over social engineering.

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1 comment:

Yaakov said...

I heard a very interesting shiur from the Bais Havaad on end of life issues it had a nice ending.Rav Greenwald said a torah yid looks at it from halachic point of view even if it goes against secular understanding to determine right from wrong.