This week’s Kiddush was sponsored by the Feldinger family in honor of their sons Aufruf.
The words כי יקח איש אשה appear three times in this week’s Parshah in the following Psukim. כי יקח איש אשה ובא אליה ושנאה (כב,יג)
כי יקח איש אשה ובעלה והיה אם לא תמצא חן בעיניו כי מצא בה ערות דבר וכתב לה ספר כריתת ונתן בידה ושלחה מביתו (כד,א)
כי יקח איש אשה חדשה לא יצא בצבא ולא יעבר עליו לכל דבר נקי יהיה לביתו שנה אחת ושמח את אשתו אשר לקח (כד,ה)
In fact, the source for כסף קדושין is learned out from the גזירה שוה of קיחה קיחה משדה עפרון and one of them is in the Parshah. But it is not clear in the Gemara which one of these threeכי יקח we are referring to. The תורה אור on קדושין דף ב ע"א writes דברים פרק כב. But if you look in קדושין דף ד ע"ב, when the Gemara is bringing the full ברייתא, it’s clear that it’s quoting the Pasuk fromפסוק א פרק כד. But that is surprising because the Gemara should quote the first mention of כי יקח when learning the גזירה שוה of קיחה קיחה?
Rashi on 4b might be addressing this that the Pasuk is teaching me even if she would only be נקנה בכסף she stills needs a גט, and that’s why the Pasuk from פרק כד is brought. But why would we have thought from the Pasuk in פרק כב that she would not need a גט if she is considered married enough to be killed for being מזנה, than certainly she would need a גט because it’s obviously a full fledged אירוסין?
Perhaps an explanation could be based on what the Rambam writes in the beginning of Hilchos Ishus. The Rambam writes that before Matan Torah, marriage was just a commitment, and if a person decided to annul the marriage, he could just send her out and it would be over. Therefore, even though in the first Pasuk she would be considered married to the point where she gets סקילה for being מזנה, we still wouldn’t know that she needs a גט. Only once we have the second Pasuk do we see that she needs a גט once she is married with money (בגודל הדוחק). In any case it seems odd that the source for this Halacha is learned out from a story of someone burying his wife?
The Rav said his Rebbe, Reb Chaim Visoker used to say about bochurim that most bochurim only see a Kallah in front of them, but not a wife. Fewer bochurim see their kallah in front of them on the day of their wedding, and then even fewer bochurim can see their kallah in front of them on the last day of Sheva Brachos.
Based on this, it could be suggested that we are being taught that a marriage is a commitment and union and it’s not just for the short term but for the long term. One has to see marriage in its entirety from here until the grave. That’s could be an explanation as to why the method of Kidushin through money is learned out from a story that has to do with burial.
It’s also surprising that we learn the קנין of marriage from the Psukim about divorce? It must be that this Pasuk about divorce is telling us about the quality of marriage. From this Pasuk that speaks about what marriage is not supposed to be, we see what a marriage ought to be and what is expected to be. This is why we learn the Parshah of Kidushin from the Parshah of Gerushin.
The Pasuk says כי יקח איש אשה ובעלה והיה אם לא תמצא חן בעיניו כי מצא בה ערות דבר וכתב לה ספר כריתת ונתן בידה ושלחה מביתו. There is a מחלוקת the meaning of אם לא תמצא חן בעיניו. Either it’s because she burned the food or because he has found another girl that is prettier than his own. The question is that it seems what warrants divorce according to the Torah are very petty reasons such as burning the food so how could this be explained.
Reb Yackov Kaminetzky in אמת ליעקב explains that in marriage a man has to think that his wife is the most amazing and beautiful woman the world. However, if he reaches a point where he doesn’t feel this way, and he feels there is a אחרת יפה ממנה, then it’s not a good marriage and therefore it’s not cruel to divorce her but rather it’s in the best interest of both parties to end the marriage. These seemingly petty reasons show that it’s not a real marriage because a real marriage is supposed to be that he feels that his wife is like no other.
This idea is also brought out from the Zohar (Bereishis 49b) which says as follows:
הא בסימו דמלין לאמשכא עמה חביבותא ולאמשכא לה (עמה) לרעותיה לאתערא עמה רחימותא, חמי כמה בסימין אינון מלין כמה מלי דרחימותא אינון עצם מעצמי ובשר מבשרי בגין לאחזאה לה דאינון חד ולא אית פרודא בינייהו בכלא, השתא שרי לשבחא לה, לזאת יקרא אשה דא היא דלא ישתכח כוותיה, דא היא יקרא דביתא כלהון נשין גבה כקופא בפני בני נשא, אבל לזאת יקרא אשה שלימו דכלא לזאת ולא לאחרא
A man must view his wife as she is one of a kind and there is no one like. No one was and no one will be like her. And that all other women should seem to him as monkeys.
The Pasuk says that עמון ומואב are forever prohibited from marrying into the Jewish nation because they didn’t greet us with water and bread and because they hired בלעם to curse us. The question is why are these two reasons even mentioned in one Pasuk as if to say the reasons or on the same level of severity, and even more so why is the reason regarding bread and water mentioned before the reason of hiring בלעם? The reason regarding hiring Bilaam to destroy us seems exceedingly worse than the reason of not greeting us with bread and water?
An explanation could be as follows. In war and in political situations, people tend to do radical and crazy things such as hire Bilaam to curse the Jews. But even such people who act that way in those circumstances do not act that way when it’s on a personal level. But if a person does act in such a way on a personal level, to not greet someone with bread and water, then there is something more fundamentally wrong with him. That is why the reason for not bringing water and bread is mentioned first in the Pasuk because such a person who acts like that in such a way has much more of a קלקל than someone who just hires a person to curse a nation to destroy them in a political context. How a person reacts to the single individual who knock on his door who is hungry and thirsty defines his personality much more that how he acts in a general situation of war.
בן סורר ומורה
The beginning of the Parshah talks about בן סורר ומורה who is killed על שם סופו. The question is that what happened to תשובה? Why is he deprived of the ability to do Teshuva and instead killed על שם סופו?
The שם שמואל gives a beautiful explanation to answer this question. The Halacha is that even when the parent are ותפשו בו and they bring him to court, they still have the option to be מוחל in which case he won’t be killed. But how should מחילה work if the reason why he is killed על שם סופו is because he will end up being a רוצח? He explains that if the parents are being מוחל, then they are embracing him as their son. If such a relationship exists between the father and mother and their son, then the son will surely repent and therefore he is not killed. It’s the parents embracing and connection which will turn the kid around and cause him to do Teshuva. But if the parents aren’t מוחל, then there is no chance that he will do Teshuva.
Many of the commentaries such as the רא"ם and the גור אריה ask that why is the בן סורר ומורה killed על שם סופו but when it came to ישמעאל, he was saved from death because he was judged באשר הוא שם and not על שם סופו?
The פרקי דרבי אליעזר in פרק ל records a story with Avraham and the wives of Yishmael. Three years after Yishmael took his first wife, Avraham set out on a journey to go visit him, but Sarah made his promise that he wouldn’t get of his camel. When he came to Yishmael’s house, only his wife was home because Yishmael and his mother were out picked dates. Avraham asked for some water and bread and she responded that they didn’t have any. Avraham told her to tell Yishmael what had happened and he left. She told Yishmael that an old man came from כנען to see you and Yishmael divorced her and sent her away. This exact occurrence happened three years later with Yishmael’s new wife but this time she provided Avraham with bread and water. Avraham stood up and prayed on behalf of Yishmael and his house was filled with Brachah. When Yishmael came back and his wife told him what happened, it says וידע ישמעאל שעד עכשו רחמי אביו עליו, שנאמר [תהלים קג, יג] כרחם אב על בנים. This רחמים which existed between Avraham and Yishmael could be why he was judged באשר הוא שם and not על שם סופו, because when there is such רחמים and connection, the child will return. And In the end of פרשת חיי שרה, the Pasuk says ויקברו אתו יצחק וישמעאל and Rashi says מכאן שעשה ישמעאל תשובה והוליך את יצחק לפניו. We see that Yishmael was able to do Teshuva and it was because Avraham never stopped loving him and never abandoned him.