Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Tuesday's Thoughts on the Daf - Bava Kamma 119

I have not really found the time lately to write much, but I did not want the mesechta to close without at least one Tuesday's Thoughts on the Daf post. And when I was preparing the daf, I remembered a thought said by Rabbi Frand a few weeks ago which did not make it into a TPT post, so it gave me the perfect opportunity.

On Bava Kamma 119 there is a discussion as to whether a person can destroy the property of a "Moser" - someone who turns over Jews and/or the property to the government for being Jewish. The gemara offers two alternatives - that since there is a mitzva to kill a moser to prevent him from turning a Jew in to the government, then there certainly it is permitted to destroy his property. The second view is that his property should be taken as he might have children who are not evil in nature and they should not be deprived of support, merely because their father is evil.

I was reminded of a vort said by R' Frand on the concept of Ir Miklat - the city of refuge. He noted that during the first fourteen years after the Jews entered the land of Israel there were no Jews sent to Ir Miklat. But why?

R' Frand quoted the Meshech Chachma who explained that the concept of Ir Miklat existed for Jews who killed accidentally to seek refuge there until the death of the Kohain Gadol. However, during the first years that the Jews were conquering and dividing the land, Elazar the Kohain Gadol was involved in the division. Since it was certain that Elazar would not die until his mission was fufilled, no Jews were sent to Ir Miklat because they would have no hope of ever leaving.

R' Frand explained that a Jew must always have hope and that without hope it is difficult to continue. However, there is an exception. As explained by R' Shlomo Zalman, the moser should have no hope. If these people are driven to give over Jews to the government for being Jewish, there is no hope for them.

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Yaakov said...

Very nice hope for more.

Neil T said...

Thanks so much.