Thursday, July 27, 2017

Thursday's Parsha Tidbits - Parshas Devarim

Since there are no Rabbi Frand shiurim on the Parsha until Elul, I would like to substitute a vort from other Rabbanim each week, rather than leaving the blog without a vort for shabbos. This week, I am attempting to repeat a vort heard from R' Eli Mansour as recorded on Same rules as usual apply - I have attempted to reproduce the 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 the maggid shiur.

In Devarim 1:17 the Torah states that a Judge should not fear any man who is litigating before him because the judgment is Hashem's.

R' Mansour told a story which tied into this pasuk. There was a young Rabbi named R' Rephael who was named Chief Rabbi of Hamburg. Soon after he was named Chief Rabbi, a man came before him and complained that he was the victim of a fraud which had been perpetrated by the president of the shul.

After hearing the man's tale of woe, the Rabbi summoned the president to appear for a din Torah. The president did not answer the summons. The Rabbi then sent a second summons and again the man did not show up. The Rabbi next threatened the president with excommunication if he failed to appear on the third court date. However on the third court date, the President did appear...and when he did he told the Rabbi this was all a sham. The president explained that although R' Rephael had been chosen as Chief Rabbi, the people were still concerned about his ability to determine issues. As such, they concocted the fraud story in order to see if the Rabbi was strong enough to threaten the President if he failed to appear at a din Torah.

The president concluded that since the Rabbi made the proper decision to threaten the president if the president failed to appear for the din Torah, the people of the community were certain that the Rabbi was fit to lead.

R' Mansour gave a second explanation of the pasuk. He stated that if a Judge slants his decision because of a personal affinity for one of the litigants, he causes Hashem to work harder. Hashem had made a determination before Rosh Hashanah as to how much money each of the litigants should have for the year. If the Judge slants his decision and causes the transfer of money against the weight of the testimony, Hashem must work harder (kiviyachol) to make sure that the improper winner loses that money in some way and that the improper loser regains the sum of money which was taken from him. Thus when reading the pasuk, we see that Moshe was stating fact - don't fear any man and make an improper decision, because the Judgment is Hashem's and He will then have to fix what you have slanted.

It is "ironic" (or in the words of a former chavrusa Doniel H, the daf is laughing at you) in that this topic was covered in portions of Sanhedrin which we have been learning in Daf Yomi over the last week and a half.

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