Illuminations #14, Tevet 5775, Parshat Vayigash

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Torah Gems

“אל תרגזו בדרך”

The Pasuk states the following “אל תרגזו בדרך” which liteally means don’t trouble on the way. Rashi on this Pasuk quotes a Gemara that explains this Pasuk to mean, Yosef Hatzadik was telling his brothers not to toil in halakha on the way to Yaakov Avinu. The reason for this was that they should not get distracted by their learning, and thereby erring on the route home. He wanted his brothers to tell their father that he was still alive as soon as possible. The question asked, is how come Yaakov Avinu didn’t warn them not to toil in Halakha when he sent them to Egypt? Didn’t he also want his sons to come back as quickly as possible?

The Hanukat Hatorah gives an answer to this question. He answers that the Halakha is that learning Torah is even greater than the command of honoring ones parents. We learn this from Yaakov Avinu, for he was punished for the twenty two years that he was away from his parents, at the house of Lavan. However, for the fourteen years that he was studying at the Yeshiva of עבר he was not punished. The punishment Yaakov Avinu received was that he did not know where his son, Yosef Hatzadik was for twenty two years. This punishment was measure for measure, for being away from his father.

With this we can understand the reason Yaakov Avinu didn’t warn his sons not to engage in Halakha on the way. Since the twenty two years that Yosef Hatzadik was away from his father were now over, and Yosef Hatzadik still did not return. Yaakov Avinu understood the reason his son still didn’t return, must be due to the fact that he was also being punished for the years that he spent learning in Yeshiva. If that was the case it was apparent that respecting one’s parents is more important than the study of Torah. Hence, he was being punished for the fourteen years in Yeshiva away from his parents. If that was the case, Yaakov Avinu had no need to tell them not to toil in halakha in order that they not get delayed, since honoring one’s parents precedes the study of torah.

However, when the sons of Yaakov Avinu realized that Yosef Hatzadik was still alive, and would be coming to meet his father, they realized that Yaakov Avinu was not punished for his years studying in Yeshiva. From the fact he was not punished it was apparent to them that learning torah is greater then respecting one’s parents. That being the case, the sons of Yaakov Avinu didn’t have to rush back to there faher to tell him the news, if they were toiling in Torah. Therefore, Yosef Hatzadik needed to warn them not to toil in Halakha in order to arrive home speedily.

The Pasuk says that the sons of Yaakov Avinu told there father, “עוד יוסף חי” “Yosef is still alive”. The Alshikh Hakadosh asks, why did the sons of Yosef Hatzadik have to tell their father that Yosef Hatzadik is alive, they told him that Yosef Hatzadik was in charge of Egypt so obviously he was alive. He answers that when they said Yosef Hatzadik was alive they were not referring to a physical life rather that he was living spiritually. If they only told Yaakov Avinu that he was the leader of Egypt he might have thought that he was influenced by the Egyptians. Therefore they had to iterate that he was alive spiritually, and still was Yosef Hatzadik.


“כל איש מעלי”הוציאו

The Midrash says Yosef Hatzadik put his life in danger by sending away all the Egyptians, in order that his brothers should not get embarrassed. Rav Yehuda Tzadka zt”l, Rosh Yeshiva of Porat Yosef, had a student coming over to his house to receive an oral exam. When the student arrived the Rosh Hayeshiva told the student to come with him to the Synagogue. The Rosh Yeshiva’s family members asked him why he doesn’t stay in the house. Rav Yehuda Tzadka replied saying that the student might not do so well and that he might even have to rebuke him, and therefore he wants to go to the Synagogue where there was no one around. We see the importance of not embarrassing anyone even if they need to be rebuked it must be done in a way they will be least embarrassed.


Halachah Weekly

Q: Would it be permissible to drink hot coffee from a coffee machine that serves dairy and pareve beverages, like hot chocolate and regular coffee, that does not have separate pipes for delivering the beverages (the hot chocolate and coffee go through the same pipe into your cup) after one ate a meat meal?

A: A machine like the one illustrated above would create a problem for consuming coffee, since there are sometimes drops that remain after it pours the hot chocolate from its pipe, which could mix in with the regular coffee.  However, according to halacha, if there is 60x more coffee than the hot chocolate, then it is permissible to drink the coffee within 6 hours of eating meat. Even though it is also possible that there are no remaining drops of hot chocolate at all on the pipe, one still may not drink the coffee with a meat meal.

There are also espresso coffee machines which sometimes make the coffee in the same vessel where the hot milk is made. The question is whether one is permitted to drink the coffee that is made in the same pipe as the hot milk if one intends to drink only the coffee by itself after a meat meal. The answer is yes, one is permitted to drink the coffee but not while eating a meat meal.

This week’s Illuminations is in honor of the 38th wedding anniversary of Jacques and Amy Elfersy. Mazal Tov!