Sunday, May 20, 2012

Bechukosai, The Law of Arachin and Happy Birthdays

When a person orally obligates himself to donate to Hekdesh or to any charity his own or another person's "value", the court has to determine the subject's monetary value.  If, however, the person uses the term "Eirech," as opposed to the word "D'mei," or "value,"then his obligation is not dependent on the particular person he named.  The Torah lists standard monetary amounts for people according to their age and gender, and actual market values are irrelevant.  This year, my Eirech is going to drop like a rock.  From fifty Shekel to fifteen.  Overnight.  (See pesukim 27:3 and 27:7.)  Time to buy karka.

Well, in ten years I'll qualify for מפני שיבה תקום, if not והדרת פני זקן, for whatever that's worth.  See Aruch Hashulchan YD 245:1-3.  It's not worth much.  When I was at Ner Israel in the seventies, there was a bachur, a bright young man, who liked to walk into the Beis Medrash behind Rav Rudderman, so that when the entire Beis Medrash stood up, he could imagine that they were standing up for him.  Like many noisome young baalei ga'ava I knew, he turned out quite successful- the last I heard, he was practicing law in DC.  In any case, my personal collection of Yetzer Haras does not happen to include this one, so it's not much of a consolation.


  1. Happy Birthday -Ad Meah V'Esrim Shana!

  2. Thank you. May we all be zocheh to greet the Mashiach.

  3. Happy Birthday. The last Mishna in Kinim should be a little consolation.