Parshas Ki Seitzei 2018: Falling From A Height
Did you know, if you have a flat rooftop, you have a Torah obligation to construct a fence around that roof?
“When you build a new house, you must make a railing for your roof.” (Deuteronomy 22:8)
This mitzvah (commandment) has a very simple and obvious purpose -safety. The Jewish people were entering into a land where they would build settlements and dwell. Now that they would be building homes Hashem gave them this mitzvah for their well being.
Why is this a mitzvah though? Usually mitzvos elevate us spiritually and connect us with Hashem. Building a fence around one’s rooftop doesn’t seem to have any “spiritual elevation” to it.
This mitzvah can be interpreted in another vein as well. This law can be attributed to a newlywed couple about to begin the exciting and grand endeavor of building a house. As they begin to take on this challenge and the all the gashmius (materialism) that goes with it, the Torah guides them. They have all new responsibilities and tasks that stand before them as they build their new lives. Their attention to all the physicality can be seen as a decent in their spirituality. As before, when each was single they didn’t have the same concerns and intense focus on material as they do now.
Therefore, the Torah instructs, “you must make a railing…” be careful, guard yourself to make sure you don’t misstep and fall from your spiritual height. Maintain and enhance your Torah study and mitzvah observance. When the couple does this, they essentially carry the kedusha (holiness) of being under the chupah and the euphoria from their wedding celebration with them into the marriage and spiritually elevate themselves and their soon-to-be-built new home.
Have a wonderful Shabbos and weekend!
Maverick V. Peters