Skip to main content

Thought for the Day: Olam Chesed Yibaneh for Yaakov to Populate Klal Yisrael

We have discussed the Maharal's explanation of how Shimon could marry Dina.  One aspect of that explanation was that there simply was no one else to marry.  Just as Adam haRishon was the beginning of humanity -- ie, B'nei Adam, so too Yaakov was the beginning of klal yisrael -- ie, B'nei Yisrael.  Just as Adam haRishon's children married siblings by necessity, so to Yaakov's children married siblings by the same necessity.  At first glance, this seems to contradict the first explanation (that they were all geirim), because a ger can marry Jew he wants.  (I know, I know... "Jews" as a label really comes from Yehuda and after the destruction of the northern kingdom.  However, you all know what I mean and it is needlessly tedious to avoid the term.)  If, on the other hand, they married each other out of necessity and "olam chesed yibaneh" (at times forbidden relations are permitted for populating the world), then why do I need the geirus explanation at all?
But I think these explanations are really complementary.  Geirus does not make a person homeless, it makes him part of klal yisrael.  In doing so, the ger loses his original relatives and can marry any other Jew.  However, klal yisrael lives at a higher level of k'dusha than the umos ha'olam.  Using a loophole (brothers and sisters are no longer halachically related) simply to permit a previously forbidden marriage is, well, just not done.  You need a very strong reason to push you in that direction.  Having no other candidates together with "olam chesed yibaneh" is that push.  The Maharal points out that Yaakov would not have married another two sisters; he married the two sisters he was supposed to marry.  Shimon would not have married another sister; he married the sister he was supposed to marry.

How did they know when they were permitted/required to do something that the Torah would later forbid?  How does that go along with the fact that the avos kept kol haTorah kulo?  Great questions.


Popular posts from this blog

Thought for the Day: Battling the Evil Inclination on all Fronts

Yom Kippur.  When I was growing up, there were three annual events that marked the Jewish calendar: eating matzos on Passover, lighting candles on Chanuka, and  fasting on Yom Kippur.  Major news organizations around the world report on the "surreal" and "eerie" quiet of the streets in even the most secular neighborhoods of Israel.  Yom Kippur.

As you know, I am observant of Jewish law.  Some have even called me "ultra orthodox" (not in a kind way).  Given that, I have a question.  How likely do you think that I would be tempted to eat on Yom Kippur, that most holy day of the year?  Let's make the scale zero to ten, where zero is "as likely as driving through McDonald's on Shabbos and ordering a Big Mac with extra cheese." and ten is "as likely as breathing regularly".  Take your time.  If you answered "zero"; thank you, but -- sadly and penitently -- no.  The answer is more like nine; I'd like to say lower, but i…

Thought for the Day: Coming Into This World for Torah, Avodah, and Acts of Loving Kindness

This TftD is so self-serving that I should be embarrassed.  But I am not... talking about grandchildren is always off budget.  I have, bli ayin hara, a beautiful new grandson; born at 6:11 PM CDT last Friday night.  The secular (aka -- by me, anyway -- slave) date is October 20, 2017 CE.  The Hebrew (aka Real) date is certainly Rosh Chodesh חשון/Cheshvan and certainly in the year 5778 since Creation.  The date, you ask... good question!

Sundown on Friday night was 6:01 PM CDT, which means he was born either at the end of the last day of תשרי or the beginning of the first day of Cheshvan; a period know as בין השמשות/twilight.  What's the big deal, you ask... I am so glad you asked.  We all deal quite handily with בין השמשות every week and every holiday; we're just stringent.  We start Shabbos and the first day of Yom Tov before בין השמשות; that is, before sundown.  Likewise, we end Shabbos and the first day of Yom Tov after בין השמשות; some 42, 50, 60, or 72 minutes after sundo…

Thought for the Day: Prayer II -- How?

Now that we know that the obligation to pray is nothing more (nor less!) than a divine decree, we are going to also need instructions from heaven on how to implement that decree.  I cannot stress enough how important it is to have instruction from heaven how to implement heavenly decrees.  One only needs to look at the shambles that one modern ism has made of the very important Torah principle of תיקון עולם/improving and fixing the world.  They have taken words out of context and used them to support their own nefarious schemes.  (To the point that Google Translate actually translates -- not transliterates -- תיקון עולם as Tikkun Olam.  Amelia Bedelia would be proud; we are not amused.

The Torah teaches us how to pray in two complementary fashions.  One is the way in which the concept is presented as an obligation, the other is by giving us examples of how to practically implement those instructions.

The obligation is introduced in the second paragraph of "sh'ma" -- וּלְ…