Tuesday, March 2, 2021

Holiness Flew Away


by Rabbi David Hanania Pinto Shlita

"He shattered them at the foot of the mountain" [Ki Tisa 32:19]

Rabbi Avraham Chizkuni in his sefer 'Shtei Yadot', explains how Moshe could break the Luchot, even though one is forbidden to break vessels out of anger. He quotes the Maharsha in his commentary on Masechet Shabbat (105b), who says that there is no prohibition to tear something insignificant and not substantial. 

The Yerushalmi in Masechet Shekalim brings that when Am Yisrael made the Golden Calf, the letters flew from the Luchot. It follows then that when Moshe broke the Luchot they were already considered as 'insignificant' and not a substantial object, so there was no prohibition of shattering them in his anger.


Miriam said...

Hmm...that makes sense yet we also see tzaddikim value things of monetary value as Yaakov crossed the river again just to retrieve a few jars of low monetary value. All the more so the luchot should have been valued for their huge sapphire content worth unimaginable amounts of money. We do see the shards were saved in the aron for after moshiach's coming when they will again combine into whole pieces again but still, they were very valuable. In fact, the second luchot were made out of a large amount of sapphire located under Moshe's tent. He was allowed to keep the remainder after he carved out the luchot and thus became very rich from it.

I always learned that the weight of them was very heavy and when the letters flew off, they stopped miraculously carrying themselves and therefore they just dropped. There was nothing for Moshe to do therefore he was never blamed for it.

Unknown said...

Made of sapphire, it's hard to imagine the lukhote - even blank - as insignificant.

LondonMale said...

Perhaps the luchot miraculously turned to regular stone after the letters flew away, and were no longer made of Sapphire?
Or simply that they lost their spiritual value and spiritual function, and therefore were only valued materially.
In that case, if they were shattered so what?
The small fragments could be fashioned into gemstones used in jewellery anyway, even if they were in small pieces.

moshe said...

Doubt if those holy letters were ever retrieved and used for any purpose. These were H' Himself!