2 CROWN HEIGHTS NEWSpapER ~July 25, 2008 The Vaad Hakohol The Prohibition of going to Court Zaida Getzel Rabbi Shlomo Segal Member of the Bais Din of Crown Heights Community Newspaper 392 kingston avenue Brooklyn, Ny 11225 Question a person entered another person’s home, and as a result of dirt on the staircase, the person slipped. is one permitted to sue the owner in court in order to collect from the owner’s insurance-- the owner can argue that this is damaging to him? answer in Shulchan aruch, Choshen mishpat chapter 26, it cites the strict prohibition against going to court. The only exception would be when one does not adhere to the Bais Din, his plaintiff would then receive a special consent from the Bais Din to summon the defendant to court. Surely,, one is not allowed to cause damages to another person’s money by summoning him to court, as it is cited in Shulchan aruch, Choshen mishpat chapt. 388. Regarding this aspect, even when one had refused to come to the Bais Din, there is no granted permission to cause pain to the person by going to court and subpoenaing the defendant in person or financially. But in the situation when the claim is against the insurance and in order to collect from the insurance, he needs to file a complaint against the owner--this is not forbidden. Since it is known that one cannot claim insurance in a Bais Din, and the only option to obligate the insurance to pay is by filing a claim in court. in such a case, it is cited in the poskim that this is not included in the prohibition of going to court, and as it is stated in detail in the Tshuvos of the Bais yitzchok Choshen mishpat Published & edited weekly by the vaad Hakohol of Crown Heights. moshe Rubashkin, Rosh Hakohol Dr. Tzvi (Harvey) lang, Chairman Rabbi Plotkin, Secretary layout: Simplyunique (firstname.lastname@example.org) all material in this paper has been copyrighted. it is the exclusive property of this newspaper, unless otherwise attributed., and cannot be reproduced without the consent of the publisher. Composition responsibility: This newspaper will not be liable for errors appearing in advertising, beyond the cost of the space occupied by the error. advertiser assumes responsibility for errors in telephone orders. all advertisement designed and prepared by the CHCommunity Newspaper are the property of the newspaper and cannot be reproduced without the consent of the publisher chapt. 38. But being that the original responsibility was on the owner and the insurance entered as a guarantor for the owner, therefore, if it is verified that the insurance is not obligated to cover the damage, a person would then prohibited to continue in court in order to obligate the person to pay. Because: From the perspective of the dayan in Bais Din, the owner is not obligated to pay when a person got hurt on his property. it is stated in Shulchan aruch, Choshen mishpat chapt. 412, that in a location where there are things that can cause a person to slip, a person needs to be aware and protect himself. in a home, where there are young children, it happens quite often that items are left on the floor, which can cause one to stumble or slip, and one should have noticed them while walking up the staircase. and there is no reason to obligate the owner for the damages. when one summons the owner and not the insurance, it is a prohibition of going to court. Regarding the issue that this claim may cause an increase in the insurance premium, it would be appropriate that the plaintiff should cover the costs of the insurance increase, because one is forbidden to cause any damage to the owner through court. and since, in any case, the insurance reimburses the plaintiff more than what the Torah requires, therefore the plaintiff should, on a monthly basis, reimburse the sum of the increase that the owner had to pay as a result of this claim, until the owner changes to another insurance policy. it would be noteworthy to mention that the owner should assist the plaintiff to collect his reimbursement from the insurance and surely not hinder or stop the plaintiff from receiving his damages. Clarification in last week’s column, we discussed that when one rented or leased a car, and he received a ticket – who would be responsible for the payment? it seemed from some of our readers, that the final conclusion lacked some clarity. The answer is the obligation falls on the one who rented\leased the car, as it is cited in Shulchan aruch Choshen mishpat, chapter 128--in such a case, we obligate the one who was negligent in paying the money. By: moshe Rubashkin This coming Sunday, Chof Daled Tammuz, yidden will recite the Hallel Prokim as part of the Tehillim of Chitas. The words of Praise express the deep appreciation we have for the almighty and the wondrous miracles He wrought for us. Once these precious words of Dovid Hamelech are offered we feel ennobled, a notch higher than before. This coming Sunday Chof Daled Tammuz is the 25th yartzeit of Reb Shneur zalman yissocer Getzel Halevi ben Reb Sholem, a”h. The extended Rubashkin family and friends will offer their added heartfelt gratitude c/o the Hallel verses of the Tehillim of the day. The grace and the privilege of having had a zaide Getzel is something to continually thank Hashem for. zeide was a marvelous model, a life example of a true chosid, a True Pnimi. it’s also interesting to note that the Hayom yom of Chof Daled Tammuz describes the character of a Pinimi. zeide Getzel was an original. He was a colorful fellow. He had his own inimitable style and signature. They reflected his deep concern for what was right and respectful. He possessed a sharp wit along with an endless treasury of stories with which to elucidate every concept and circumstance. in his earlier years zeide would express freely his thoughts and his observations, but in his later years he was more reticent. at his 80th birthday surrounded by his children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren, gathered to celebrate with l’Chaim, he relented. in appreciation of the occasion and in response to our proddings, zeida shared a few stories. we never forgot them. Their lessons penetrated and enriched us. The wisdom gleaned, served us in countless ways. a country yokel inherited a silver spoon. what use did he have for a singular, silver spoon---none he decided. So he went to the trading store and received a few coupons in lieu of the silver spoon. up and down the aisles he went, but couldn’t find anything that caught his fancy until he found a lacquered, colorful, wooden spoon. Gleefully he gave the agent the coupons, and it was only a while after when he left that he realized that he had traded a silver spoon for a wooden spoon. zeida paused for emphasis when he finished his folk tale. He didn’t offer more. He left the thinking to us. another favorite was the Tale of the Four Horses. along a lone highway traveled a man with four horses. Behind him rode a man with three horses. The man the man with three horses urged his horses on, convinced with just a bit more effort he could be on par to the man with the four horses. Now behind him rode a man with two horses. He too urged his horses in thinking with a bit of prodding his horses could catch up to the man with the three horses. unknown to him was that the man with the three horses was really competing with the man with the four horses. and so it continued to the man with the one horse who tried to catch up with the man with the two horses who in reality was competing with the man with the four horses. No wonder the horse dropped shortly. zeide again let the lesson sink in. He left the thinking to us. all grandchildren love their grandparents. They mirror and respond to the unconditional love and warmth. They know they are the heroes and heroines in the eyes of their grandparents. what grandparent doesn’t light up when seeing their grandchildren? Their dreams, their yearnings their hopes are invested in their grandchildren. we felt all this and more when visiting our grandparents. who could forget the twinkle in the eye, the animated facial expression, the profuse blessings. They fuel us ‘til today. as an adult grandchild, BH, a grandmother myself, i continuously cherish the blessing of having known my grandparents. what i realize now that i haven’t considered previously is how unique and amazing our grandparents were in their own generation. Fooled by their exceptional modesty, we didn’t realize then that we were provided with an encounter of truth that can never be duplicated. “emes is in the Siddur,” a wise woman remarked to my mother when noticing her bewilderment at the action of those who should have known better. “emes is in the Siddur,” became a slogan we would quote often to remind ourselves that whereas human beings can fail, Continued on Page 6
The Rebbe's Sicha Parshas Matos-Masei 5750 The Three Weeks and their meaning Published by Sichos In English The three weeks between the 17th of Tammuz and Tishah B’av are referred to as the Three weeks of Retribution and Bein Hametzorim, “between the straits,” names whose connotation is not openly positive. This presents a conceptual difficulty. The number three is generally connected with positive themes, e.g., the three Patriarchs, the three pilgrimage festivals. Similarly, our Sages associated the giving of the Torah with the number three, praising G-d for giving, “a threefold light to a threefold people... in the third month.” Furthermore, the number three has the implications of permanence as expressed in the verse, “the threefold cord will not be snapped speedily.” Similarly, in halachic terms, the number three is connected with a chazakah, a presumption that can be assumed to continue. accordingly, it is difficult to understand: why is the concept of retribution and destruction, the direct opposite of holiness and permanence, associated with the number three? Generally, the concept is explained as follows: The awesome descent of the Three weeks is intended to allow for an ascent. when a person wants to reach a level which is much higher than his present rung, it is necessary for him to undergo a descent first. Similarly, for the Jews to reach the peaks of the messianic redemption, a redemption which will not be followed by a descent, it is necessary that they first undergo the descent of exile. in this context, the Three weeks are associated, not with exile, but rather with the Third Beis Hamikdash that will be built after this exile. This explanation, however, is insufficient for the Three weeks connect the aspect of descent (and not the subsequent ascent) with three. when a descent is intended for the sake of an ascent, the descent itself is not desired. indeed, it will ultimately be nullified and all that will remain is the ascent. if so, why is three which is, as above, usually connected with permanence, associated with a dimension that has no self-contained purpose and which ultimately will be nullified? The question can be reinforced: Generally, the number three expresses an ascent which follows a descent. For example, in the narrative of creation, the first day, is referred to in the Torah as yom echad, “one day,” i.e., a day of oneness, to quote the medrash, “the day that G-d was at one with His world.” it was followed by the second day, “the day on which strife was created,” as reflected in the separation of the higher waters from the lower waters. accordingly, the expression, “and G-d saw that it was good,” is not mentioned in connection with the second day since division, even when necessary for the world, cannot be called “good.” This was followed by the third day, which compensated for the division of the second day, creating peace and unifying the two opposites. For this reason, the expression, “and G-d saw that it was good,” is repeated twice, revealing a compound goodness which qualitatively exceeds the goodness of the other days. This is reflected by the attribute of Tiferes (“beauty,” which was expressed on the third day of creation) which unifies Chesed (“kindness,” expressed on the first day of creation) with Gevurah (“might,” expressed on the second day of creation). This reveals a unity which surpasses that of the first day. On the first day, the unity existed on a level above division. Thus, there is the possibility that division will ultimately arise. in contrast, the unity of the third day is established within the context of division, bringing about a true state of unity. The same concept is reflected in Torah where we find the concept of “a controversy for the sake of heaven,” the controversy between Hillel and Shammai. This division has its source in the division which came into being on the second day of creation and, in turn, serves as the source for subsequent differences of opinion within Torah. a “controversy for the sake of Heaven,” is obviously not a simple matter of strife or conflict. Nevertheless, it -- even the controversy between Hillel and Shammai -- brought about a descent. ultimately, however, it serves a positive function. The debate between a thinking process that favors leniency (since its source is the attribute of Chesed) and a thinking process which tends to severity (since its source is the attribute of Gevurah) leads to a clarification of Torah law. a third opinion emerges which reconciles and unifies both conflicting perspectives. Thus, both in the world at large and in Torah, the concept of descent and division is associated with the number two and three is associated with the ascent and unification that follows. Similarly, in regard to the Batei Hamikdashos: The first (associated with the Patriarch avraham, and the attribute of Chesed) and the second (associated with the Patriarch, yitzchok, and the attribute of Gevurah) Batei mikdashos were destroyed, while the third Beis Hamikdash (associated with the Patriarch ya’akov and the attribute of Tiferes) will be an eternal structure. Thus the original question is reinforced: why are these weeks which are connected with mourning, destruction, and exile associated with the number three? This question can be resolved by developing a different understanding of the concept “a descent for the purpose of an ascent.” To explain: a Jew should be in a constant process of ascent, “always ascending higher in holiness,” “proceeding from strength to strength.” if so, what is the reason for a descent? To proceed to a higher and more elevated rung that could not otherwise be reached. To give an example from every day life, when faced with obstructions and difficulties, a person summons up inner strength that brings out greater achievements that would otherwise be impossible. in this process of descent for the sake of ascent, there are two levels: a) a descent which is limited within the context of the natural order, b) a descent which cannot be fathomed by the rules of nature. in the first case -- which reflects the progression from two (descent) to three (ascent) -- just as the descent is limited, so, too, the ascent has certain limits. in contrast, when the descent is unlimited, as in the Three weeks, the ascent which follows is also unlimited in nature. The first type of descent was implanted by G-d in the natural order of the world. in contrast, the second descent is brought about by man, through his sins. Thus, in the first instance, there is a direct connection between the descent and the ascent which will follow. in contrast, when a person sins, on a revealed level, there is no apparent connection between the sin and the ascent through teshuvah which will ultimately follow. in particular, when the descent that is brought about by sin is connected with three -- and thus, has the power of permanence -- the ascent becomes even higher. To rephrase the matter: The process of ascent that is brought about by descent is a natural phenomenon. Since the descent into the realm of division brings about a higher sense of oneness, the division is not genuine. On the contrary, even on the level of division, it is felt how it is temporary in nature, with no purpose in and of itself, and that it exists only to bring out the higher level of unity. when is there genuine division? when there is an approach that possesses the aspect of permanence associated with three and yet appears to be totally negative in thrust with no connection with the ascent that will follow. when unity is established in that context, then it is true and complete. in this context, we can understand the Three weeks. This period, brought about by our sins, reflects the lowest possible descent, a descent that would not be possible within the order of nature, and reflects the aspect of permanence associated with the number three. Thus, we see that this exile continues without end, to quote our Sages: in the first generations, their sin was revealed and the end [of the period of retribution] was also revealed. in July 25, 2008 ~ CROWN HEIGHTS NEWSpapER 3 the later generations, their sin was not revealed and the end [of the period of retribution] was also not revealed. even after our Sages declared, “all the appointed times for moshiach’s coming have passed,” the exile continues. Furthermore, on the surface, there is no way in which it is apparent how such an exile will lead to the redemption. Nevertheless, this itself is an indication that it will lead to an ascent which is totally beyond our comprehension, that it will surpass even the peaks of holiness that were attained previously, establishing an entirely new framework of reference. Furthermore, since this is the purpose of the descent of the Three weeks -- although it is not consciously felt -- we must appreciate that the Three weeks themselves have a positive dimension. The Three weeks are associated with the revelation of the three powers of intellect. in that context, the word rendered as “retribution” can be reinterpreted in a positive context. The zohar associates Pharaoh “with the revelation of all the sublime lights.” Similarly, these Three weeks can be the source for a revelation of light that transcends all limits, the light that will be revealed in the Third Beis Hamikdash. The concept of an immeasurable ascent which comes because of the descent into exile is also alluded to in each of the parsha of matos. The name matos refers to a branch which has become strong and hard because it was cut off from the tree. There is a parallel to this in our service of G-d. The Jewish soul as it descends into a body, particularly as it exists in exile, is, on an apparent level, cut off from its source. This brings about a hardening and strengthening process. On the surface, the hardening is negative in nature, intensifying the challenges which a Jew faces. Through confronting these challenges, however, a Jew attains added strength and power in his service of G-d which enables him to endure the challenges of exile without being affected. Thus, the extended exile which is felt acutely in these Three weeks should not bring a Jew to despair, but rather to an appreciation of the heights to which the exile will bring us. This realization should, in turn, bring about a strengthening of Torah and mitzvos which will lead to the messianic redemption. This should be expressed in “spreading the wellsprings outward,” extending the influence of Torah to places which by nature have no connection to it. in particular, this should be expressed in making siyumim, conclusions of the study of Talmudic tractates or Torah works. These siyumim should be made in every place possible. may this lead to a siyum of the exile.