Monday, July 26, 2010

Shavuos 30b - Standing up for an eishes chaver

The gemara relates a story where the wife of Rav Huna came to din in front of Rav Nachman, and Rav Nachman was conflicted whether he should stand for her. On one hand she is an eishes chaver, so he should stand, but on the other hand it will cause the other litigant not to be able to articulate his case (because the perception is that the din was lost before it even began). So, Rav Nachman told his clerk to throw a duck at him which will cause him to stand. He will really be standing to honor the wife of Rav Huna, but it will look to the other litigant that he is only standing because of the duck being thrown at him.

Rashi points out that this is after the death of Rav Huna. It is not clear what compels rashi to say this, but the implication is that even after the death of a Talmid Chacham, his wife has status of eishes chaver. Perhaps what compels Rashi to say this is the question of Tosafos. Tosafos asks that for kavod hatorah one is allowed to violate the aseh of having the ba'alei dinim stand, so what was the problem – Rav Nachman could have sat and had her sit as well? Tosafos answers (second answer) that although there is a requirement to stand for an eishes chaver even after he dies, the advantage of “kavod hatorah a'dif” only applies in his lifetime. Since Rav Huna was already dead, the aseh of standing for an eishes chaver is no stronger than the aseh of having the ba'alei dinim to stand, so he couldn't have allowed her sit. But, another possibility of how rashi knows that Rav Huna was not longer alive is that had he been alive, he would have come to din because any monetary matters would impact him (even on nichsei mi'lug he gets the fruits) and wouldn't have sent her. The Ran explains this approach of Tosafos that the mitzvah to be mechabed the wife of a chaver after he dies is only d'rabonon, therefore R. Nachman wasn't able to violate the mitzvah for the dayan to sit while the ba'alei dinim stand.

Tosafos raises another question on this gemara. The solution of Rav Nachman doesn't seem effective because to fulfill the concept of standing for a T.C. (or eishes chaver), it would have to be a standing that has hidur? Tosafos seems to understand that the din of “kima she'yesh ba hi'dur” means that it is not sufficient for Rav Nachman to stand having in mind that he is standing for her, but that it would have to be recognizable that he is standing for her, so if it looks like he is only standing because of the duck thrown at him, there is no kiyum mitzvah in the standing? Tosafos gives 2 answers: 1. There are two dinim in standing for a T.C. (and eishes chaver). One is an issur to sit in their presence, and secondly there is a positive kiyum in the standing. Although the kiyum mitzvah would only be when it is recognizable that he is standing for her, Rav Nachman would still not be in violation of an issur since he would be standing. It would seem that the same would be true if one is already standing when the talmid chacham enters the room, there is no way to fulfill the positive mitzvah of standing since there is no hidur in the standing, but this would also not be a violation of not standing since he is in fact standing. 2. Tosafos qualifies the “hidur” requirement that it wouldn't have to be recognizable to everyone that he is standing for her, it would only have to be recognizable for her. So long as she would realize that he is standing for her, that would be considered a standing that has “hidur”, and she would have realized that he is actually standing for her. It would come out that the 2 answers of Tosafos argue whether to fulfill the “hidur” din, it has to be obvious to everyone that the standing is for the talmid chacham, or it would just have to be obvious to the talmid chacham himself.

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