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Keep The Whole Torah

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By Rabbi Berach Steinfeld

In the beginning of Sefer Vayikra the Torah tells us that a person must return anything he stole. In connection to this I would like to recount an interesting maaseh that occurred to meshulachim who were collecting money for their prospective causes. A meshulach in London walked into a Bais Medrash where he met a gvir who was having a difficult time understanding a Tosfos in Yevamos. The gvir told the meshulach if he were able to explain this Tosfos to him he would give him a thousand pounds. The Meshulach did not know the Tosfos so he only received a small donation. On the way out the meshulach met his friend who was also coming to collect money. The first meshulach advised the second meshulach if he wants to make a thousand pounds he should learn this specific Tosfos really well and go to explain it to that gvir. The second meshulachsat down with a mesivta Gemara, learned the Tosfos and subsequently went over to the gvir and explained the Tosfos. The second meshulach received a thousand pounds as a donation. When the second meshulachreturned to Eretz Yisroel he started feeling guilty that maybe the gvir only intended to give the money to a talmid chochom who knows Tosfos cold and perhaps he fooled the gvir by preparing the Tosfos.

Reb Yitzchok Zilbershtein asked Reb Chaim Kanievsky this question. Reb Chaim responded that the meshulach may keep the donation since he had siyata dishmaya to prepare that Tosfos and fulfilled what the gvir wanted, which was an explanation to the Tosfos. Rabbi Shamai Gross elaborated upon this response and said if the case had been that just on that day the meshulach happened to learn the Tosfos, even though he almost never learns Tosfos, he would be justified in taking the money despite the fact that he is not such a talmid chochom since we would say he had Siyata Dishmaya, It would therefore not be considered gneivas daas. Chances are were he to go back to the gvir and tell him the story, the gvir would tell him to keep the money and probably get a good laugh out of how this story took place. It is therefore clear that he may keep the money.

Rabbi Naftali Nussbaum argued with this line of reasoning and said that the meshulach should call up the gvir and find out his intention. Was the intention to give the money to a talmid chochom who could explain the Tosfos, or was it that he pashut was looking for pshat in Tosfos? He can therefore be clear that he was not oveir on gneivas daas.

On another note, how is it possible for a person to keep the entire Torah? There are mitzvos that are special for Kohanim and mitzovs that are special for Leviim. There are other mitzvos that are designated for women. We can explain the question of how one may be mekayem the whole Torah based on the story about a nochri who came to Shamai and asked to become a ger while standing on one foot. Shamai sent him away. Hillel, on the other hand, told him two things: firstly, whatever you don’t like done to you make sure not to do to others. Secondly, the rest of the Torah is just a pirush of the first phrase, so go and learn it! Bais Hillel told the ger that there are two ways of doing kol haTorah al regel achas, regel being a lashon of paam – one time. The first way is by showing ve’ahavta le’reiacha komocha. When every Jew is considered one body, all mitzvosare counted for everybody since we are areivim ze loze. The second way is by learning the laws of the mitzvos like in Parshas Vayikra. When we learn about the korbanos it is as if we brought the korbanos. That is what Hillel was expressing when he said that the Torah is just a pirush. Go learn the pirush and you will be able to be mekayem the whole Torah.

May we strengthen our selves during this time of Purim when we are marbeh reyus and friendship so that we can be mekayem kol haTorah kulah.

Do you have a topic or discussion you want to read about? Please send comments or questions to hymanbsdhevens@gmail.com or berachsteinfeldscorner@gmail.com

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