Thursday, February 12, 2015

Thursday's Parsha Tidbits - Parshas Mishpatim

The following is a brief summary of some of the thoughts said over by R' Frand on the parsha this evening. I have attempted to reproduce these vorts 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 Shemos 22:24, the Torah states "Im Cesef Talveh Es Ami..." This pasuk is commonly translated as "When you lend money to My people..." The Torah instructs that the money should not be lent on interest and the lender should not be an oppressive lender.

Rabbi Frand observed that the mitzva is a positive commandment, but the use of the word "Im" suggests that the mitzva is optional. The Torah does not use the word "Im" to describe tefillin or matza - it does not say if you wear tefillin or if you choose to eat matza. So why does this mitzva begin with the word "Im."

Rabbi Frand noted that the use of the verbiage was discussed in the Mechilta which writes that all the times that the Torah uses the word "Im" it is optional, except for this mitzva and that the use of the word "Im" in this mitzva means when.

The Ohr HaChaim HaKadosh asks the obvious question - so why does the Torah use the word "Im"? He answers that the word "Im" teaches that if you have more money than you need and you see that someone else needs money, you should know that its not your money - its the poor person's money which happens to be deposited with you. This is why the continuation of the pasuk contains the words "es heani imuch" - the poor person with you - because the money you have belongs to him. 

The Ohr HaChaim HaKaosh explains that this is also the reason that the pasuk teaches that you should not be an oppressive lender, because its not your money.

R' Frand next quoted R' Yaakov Yosef M'Polna who cites to a gemara in Bava Basra which teaches that if a man writes in his will that he is leaving all his money to one of his five sons, the father has not accomplished anything more than making the son the executor of the estate, because why would a person intentionally create such strife among his children by leaving all the money to one of them.

This is the reason that the Torah writes the pasuk on lending in this manner - this money that you have is not your money - it belongs to the poor person and you are just watching it for him.

If you have seen this post being carried on another site, please feel free to click to find other articles on the kosherbeers blogsite. Hey its free and you can push my counter numbers up!

No comments: