Tuesday, 14th Adar 5783/March 7, 2023
Parshas Ki Sisa-Shelishi
- Moshe pleads to Hashem and Hashem concedes:
- Moshe pleads to Hashem to escort the people Himself: Moshe told Hashem that He had instructed him to lead the people but did not tell him who will escort them. “Now, You have said that I have found favor in your eyes. If this is true, then make Your ways known to me.”
- Hashem retracts from His decision and agrees to escort the Jewish people: Hashem replied that He will no longer send His angel but that He Himself will escort them. Moshe replied to Hashem that if He will not go with them then they should not go onward, as this is the only way that they will know that they have found favor in His eyes, by Hashem traveling with them and setting them apart from all the other nations of the world.
Tanya Begining of Chapter 34:
Chapter 34: Rejoicing over Making a dwelling place for G-d within one’s Torah learning
1. The unity of the divine presence within the forefathers, prophets, and ancestors:
- The forefathers: Our forefathers were a chariot for G-d. All of their days, they never ceased connecting their minds and souls to G-d.
- The prophets: Likewise, all the prophets that followed after Them, each one connected their mind and souls to G-d according to their level.
- Moshe: However, the level of the connection of Moses was the highest of all, as the divine presence would speak through his mouth.
- The Jewish people on Mount Sinai: On Mount Sinai, the Jewish people also merited a glimmer of such an experience, however, due to their inability to handle it their souls left their bodies and they became nullified in their existence.
2. The residing of the divine presence in the Temple:
- Being that the Jewish people were not able to handle the revelation of G-d within them, therefore G-d immediately commanded them to build a tabernacle with a holy of holies in order for the divine presence to reside.
3. The residing of the divine presence in the teachings of Halacha:
- From when the temple was destroyed, G-d now only resides with His full unity within the four cubits of Jewish law.
- The reason for this is because Jewish law represents the will and wisdom of G-d.
4. Intending to make a dwelling place for G-d within one’s Torah learning:
- Contemplating the above: A person should contemplate the above idea of the nullification of our ancestors to G-d and G-d resided in the temple and how now G-d only resides within the teachings of Halacha, and should then tell himself the following, in order so he too merit to make a dwelling place for G-d below:
- Personally, my mind is too limited, and the root of my soul is too low to merit to become a true abode for the revelation of G-d and his unity. This is due to the fact that my mind cannot comprehend regarding G-d even one iota of what the forefathers and prophets were able to comprehend.
- Accordingly, instead, I will make for G-d a dwelling place below within my Torah learning according to my time and ability by both day and night, in accordance to my requirements of Torah learning brought in Jewish law, which at minimum is one chapter in the morning and one chapter in the evening.
5. Rejoicing in one’s making for G-d a dwelling place below within one’s Torah learning:
- Using the above contemplation and resolve, a person should rejoice in his Torah learning and over the fact that he married it to become a host for G-d twice a day, and in accordance to the amount of time he has two set aside for learning Torah.
Rambam, Hilchos Eidus, Chapter 9:
Chapter 9: Invalid witnesses
Halacha 1: The 10 invalid witnesses
- There are 10 categories of disqualifications for witnesses:
- mentally incompetent [i.e. Shoteh]
- the deaf-mute
- the blind
- A Rasha
- low lives who lack no shame
- one who is biased
Halacha 2: Women invalidation’s
- Women are biblically invalid for testimony.
Halacha 3: A questionable invalidation
- Anyone with a questionable disqualification is invalid to act as a witness.
- Thus, A Tumtum or Androgenous is invalid as they are possibly a female.
Halacha 4: Slaves and Gentiles
- Both slaves and Gentiles are biblically invalid to give testimony.
Halacha 5: A half slave
- A slave which has been partially emancipated is nevertheless invalid as a witness.
Halacha 6: An emancipated slave who has yet to receive his emancipation document
- A freed slave is not considered a valid witness until he receives his emancipation document.
Halacha 7: Children
- Children are considered invalid witnesses.
- This applies even if the child is very wise.
- A child only becomes valid after he reaches the age of 13, and grows two pubic hairs.
- If by the age of 20 he has still not grown to pubic hairs, then if he shows the signs of a Saris, then his testimony is valid. If he does not show any of these signs, then his testimony only becomes valid only reaches the age of 35.
Halacha 8: Checking for the signs of maturity in a child above 13
- It is not necessary to check for the signs of maturity in a child over the age of 13 if the upper signs of maturity are apparent [such as a beard and armpit hair].
- If, however, there are no upper signs that are seeable, then his testimony may not be accepted until his signs of maturity are verified.
- If the child does not understand business: Even if the child is over the age of 13 and has shown the above signs, his testimony regarding real estate is only accepted if he understands business. However, regarding movable property, his testimony is accepted.
Halacha 9: The mentally incompetent [i.e. Shoteh]
- A person was mentally incompetent is not obligated in any of the Mitzvos of the Torah, and is therefore considered an invalid witness.
- The definition of a Shoteh: A person is considered to be mentally incompetent if his mind is constantly delusional regarding certain matters [in which he interprets reality in an abnormal way].
- This applies even if he is completely mentally sane regarding other matters.
- Thus, a person can be considered Halachically insane even if he does not walk around naked and break vessels and throw rocks.
- An epileptic: An epileptic is invalid during this time of the seizure, although is considered valid during other times of mental sanity.
- Retardation and Very low IQ: People with very low levels of understanding who cannot comprehend when things contradict each other, as other normal people would understand, are invalid to be witnesses.
- Eccentric people: People who are very eccentric, and act in a mentally deranged manner are included within the insanity invalidation.
Halacha 11: Deaf and/or mute
- The deaf-mute: A deaf-mute is invalid for testimony being that he is similar to one who is insane, and is hence not liable in mitzvah’s.
- Deaf or mute: Even a person who is only deaf or only mute is invalid, being that he needs to be able to personally verbalize the testimony to the court, and hear the questions he is asked from the judges.
- One who lost his voice and cannot speak: Due to the above reasons, a person who lost his voice is an invalid witness being that he cannot verbalize his testimony.
Halacha 12: The blind
- A blind person is a biblically invalid witness, as he must be able to see and witness events to be a valid witness.
- Blind in one eye: A person was blind in only one eye is a valid witness.