Friday, April 1, 2011

The Laws of the Future

Many people wonder why there are so many halachos which don’t seem to have any application today. Of course on a simple level they explain the halachos of what used to be, and we can certainly learn various halachos from how these cases where dealt with. Nevertheless, why learn what is mostly not applicable today? The Chasam Sofer, zt”l, answered this question while dealing with a different query.
“Once a certain Rav asked me to explain what will happen to the parshah of Amalek in the ultimate future. Surely this evil nation will be eradicated, so why have verses discussing this in the Torah? To me this did not present a problem since there are many parshios in the Torah which will not apply in times to come on a simple level. Take Parshas Terumah, Tetzaveh and the like, which discuss the halachos of building the Mishkan. How could this possibly apply in the ultimate future?
“The answer can be understood through of our sages. They wonder why we learn the tractates dealing with sacrifices; after all, these halachos will not apply until Moshiach arrives. The gemara responds that although they are truly laws that will only apply with the coming of Moshiach, we should still learn and expound them since we will be rewarded for their study.
“The same is true regarding all other parshios that apparently no longer apply. We will receive reward for learning them since we can learn many lessons in the realm of derech eretz, mussar, and yiras Shamayim from them even if do not apply right now in the simple sense. Is learning lessons of midos tovos, derech eretz, and yiras Shamayim any less important than learning actual halachos?”

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