Sunday, December 31, 2006

Rosh Hashana 27a - 2 Simultaneous Sounds

The gemara concludes that if it is "precious" or new (rashi), then a person can hear 2 sounds. It is not clear from the gemara if we are saying that you can hear one of the two sounds, or you can actually hear both sounds. Rashi 34b implies that you can actually hear both. The gemara speaks about hearing the 9 sounds of the shofar from 9 different people and rashi says that you would be yotzei since we hold that trei koli mishtamai. Rashi seems to understand that even though you needed to hear all the sounds, not just one of the 9, we still consider it possible since it is chaviv.
Also, the gemara must still make a distinction between one source and 2 sources to explain why zachor and shamor couldn't be heard even though they are presumably chaviv. Therefore, if one person would blow 2 shofars even though it is chaviv it would not be able to be heard - so we would say 'trei koli lo mishtamai' and it is as if he heard neither one. But, rashi 27a indicates that if 2 people could read together word for word, it would be considered one 'voice', not 2 voices. Similarly if 2 tekios were blown by one person at the same time, it would seem that would be one 'kol' and you can be yotzei a tekiah.

r"h seeing is believing

ראוהו ב"ד
יש פה מ"ח רש"י ותוספות בדין לא תהא שמיעה גדולה מראיה, דלתוס' ראית ב"ד הוא בגדר של קבלת עדות ולרש"י בקידוש החדש ל"צ קבלת עדות דכתיב כזה ראה וקדש אך בד"נ שיש דין קבלת עדות גם לב"ד ־דהיינו יש דין בב"ד שידיעתם תבא מכח עדות־ ראיה לא תהני. וכבר עמד הרמב"ן בכתובות דתלוי בשתי לשונות בגמרא במקום אחר
הרע"ג במשניות אומר שיש נפ"מ בין רש"י ותוספות בראו ב"ד ביום כ"ט ולא הספיקו לומר מקודש עד שחשכה דלתוס למחרת ל"צ עדות שיש בראיתם ביום דין קבלת עדות ביום אך לרש"י והרע"ב לא מהני "שאין על מה לקדש". וצריך ביאור דבשלמא לתוספות מובן שיש דין דידיעת הדיינים תבא מכח דין עדים וראית הב"ד במקום העדים ושפיר מהני כשראו ביום אך לרש"י מה הביאור בזה ווהנראה אולי שזה דין בסדר הקידוש. וצ"ע

Friday, December 29, 2006

בסוגיא דשמשין

בסוגיא מובא שני פסוקים בפרשת יתרו. לא תעשון אתי אלהי כסף וכו' ואח"כ מובא הפסוק המוקדם שבעשרת הדיברות אשר בשמים ממעל וכו'. וכשהגמרא תירצה דפסוק בשמים ממעל איירי לעובדם משמע מתוספות דהיינו הלאו הוא עצם העבודה אך לא העשיה, דבתוספות ד"ה ממעל כתב "למאי דסליק אדעתיה דאיירי בעשייה הוה מצי לאקשויי דמות שמשיי מלא תעשון נפקא". אך עיין ברש"י בחומש וברמב"ן ובגור אריה שם. ולא עיינתי כדבעי אך מפורש במהר"ל דהלאו קאי על עשייה ויש בזה חידוש שאפילו לא גמר העשייה כבר עובר על הלאו. עכ"פ בגמרתינו לכאורה היה צריך ללמוד כפשוטו שאיירי בעושה ע"מ לעבדם וחייב על העשייה ולא הבנתי את דברי התוספות. ובעיקר רוצה אני לעורר העולם לעיין ברמב"ן ומהר"ל שם. א גוטן שבת

Thursday, December 28, 2006

Rosh Hashana 24b - Making Tzuros and Chashada

i would like to clarify the two issurim mentioned: 1.making tzuros (not to worship) 2.chashad.

1. Making tzuros - The gemara includes in this the issur to replicate the shamashim in mikdash, tzuras adam (R' chananel- since G-d appears to nevi'im as a person), tzuras daled panim, tzuras madur haelyon and tachton. There is an issur even to tell a goy to make it bec. of amirah l'nachri unless it is for a mitzvah (tosafos) [which seems to be like the ba'al haitur mentioned in the Rama o.c. 266 that shevus is mutar for mitzvah need, but the ritvah implies that kiddush hachodesh mitzvah might be different, and rashash says the issur shabbos may be more chamur]. This issur applies even if it is only 2d (see comment for proof from tosafos).
2. Chashad - Acc. to both rashi and tosafos it means that people will be choshed you of worshiping these things. The issur applies to all mador hatachton (as seen from r' gamliel), and partzuf adam (as seen from andarta) and acc. to tosafos even to a darkon (snake) since it is often a form made for avodah zarah [even though the darkon is mutar to make]. Although the gemara says the issur is only if it 3D(bolet), tosafos holds that objects that are seen as 2D, are assur even to make 2D. It is not so clear what is the geder of leaving these things around bec. of an issur chashad. Rashi by the ring indicates it is only an issur to wear but not to leave in your house [acc. to this why should the tzuros of r' gamliel be assur (if not for the 3 answers at the end of the sugya) - perhaps public a display in a private home is the only time it is assur [like r' gamliel who used it to show the eidim] but if it is not displayed [like the ring sitting at home] or it is displayed in a public area [like andarta], it is mutar]. but tosafos (end of d.h. sha'ani - see tos. harosh) seems to hold that it is only mutar by things that will not be around for a long time.

r"h 24a- 2 dinim - Determining the month and sanctifying it

הקשה המנ"ח למ"ד דבין בזמנו ובין אין בזמנו אין מקדשין אותו וכי נאמר דלשיטתו אין מצות קידוש ע"פ ראיה? אלא מוכח דיש שני מצות שונות, קידוש ע"פ ראיה ואמירת מקודש בב"ד. ולפ"ז מקשה מדוע אין דין קידוש ע"פ ראיה ביום ל"א? ומדוע הרמב"ם אומר שעושין סעודת העיבור מיד? ובמיוחד קשה במקרים שאף ע"פ החשבון צריך שהמולד יהיה ביום ל"א ואכן יש עדים על זה. ומחמת חומר הקושיא מחדש שכיון שידוע לכל שהיום יראה הלבנה ויהיה ר"ח הוי כעין שיש עדים לזה. ובדומה מצינן עכ"פ שיטות שסוברות בנישואין אזרחיים כשאיש ואשה דרים ביחד יש להם דין של נישואין וצריכים גט דאנן סהדי וכאילו אנן העידי ביאה. וזהו חידוש עצום והמנ"ח נשאר בצע"ג. וע"ע במנחת שלמה ח"ג סימן ק'.
וחכם אחד פעם שאל אותי מדוע הרמב"ם מביא שלפני מתן תורה אדם פגע באשה בשוק וכו' וכך נישאו, ומאי נפ"מ לדידן, אך לדברי הנ"ל נראה שגם לנו שייך נישואין באופן כזה מדין אנן סהדי. וזכור לי שהחת"ס ג"כ פסק הלכה למעשה בעובדה שנמצא שא' מהעדים היה קרוב.

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

23b- Center of the world ירושלים or טבריה? a shrunken country?

תוספות asks how can we say that ירושלים הויא טבור של א"י, meaning the center, if so it should take 20 days to travel to the borders since we know that ארץ ישראל us 400 x 400 פרסה and a man walks 10 פרסה a day, and the Gemara other places says that it takes 15 days to walk to the border of Bavel and 1 day to walk to the ירדן which is the eastern border?
the מצפ"א asks on Tosfos that in מגילה ו ע"א it says that טבריה יושבת בטבור א"י, further the פנ"י asks where did Tosfos find a גמרא that ירושלים is the center? However, the מצפ"א says that the תנחומא in קדושים does say like Tosfos. I found this interesting in light of the Dateline discussion where all sides seem to agree that ירושלים is the center. (you can find in מצפ"א also a discussion if the other side of the Jordan should be in the 400 x 400 calculations.)
Another interesting point is that when Tosfos discusses the walking distance of the border to the east he brings proof from סוגיות that it is less then 20 days and only 1 day walk, why does he not simply say that the distance from ירושליםto the Jordan is much less then 20 days. To bring this point home you see what tosfos answers in ב"מ כח ע"ב where he says וי"ל דעם כרמים ויערים היה ארבע מאות פרסה אבל מישוב לא היה כל כך this is amazing, for he is saying that the walking distance to the Jordan was really 20 times more then it seems to be! What i'm getting at is that it seems that Tosfos holds the land shrunk! and even though today it is a short distance it's possible that it was much more. i once heard said this is the meaning of ארץ הצבי for the skin of the deer stretches. another illustration is the varied climates in Israel in very short distances, this -some suggest- is a proof that the land really should be much bigger.

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Rosh Hashana 22b - How many witnesses?

1. The gemara concludes that there must be 2 witnesses testifying on anyone that the beis din in yerushalaim doesn't recognize, but 1 witness is not enough.
The Ritvah has a different girsa in which the outcome of the gemara is that 1 witness is enough. The Ritvah explains his approach that "although normally to testify on a chashud you need 2 witnesses, bec. 'eid echad' is only believed to testify on the actual issur rather than testify on the individual, here it is different since the whole concern is due to a takana derabonon... and they were lenient to rely on 1 witness".
Based on the Ritvah, we can explain why according to our girsa we require 2 witnesses. The gezeiras hakasuv of 'eid echad ne'eman b'issurin' is only to testify that an object is mutar, but not to testify on a person. I think that the rationale is that testifying on a person is not a one time license, rather it gives power to this person to testify many times in the future, and we therefore require 2 witnesses to create such a status.

2. The question was rasied whether the witnesses testifying on the eidim of kiddush hachodesh must also be recognized by the beis din or do we believe any 2 people to testify that the eidim who saw the new moon are ne'emanim? It seems to me that we would require the beis din to recognize them, bec. otherwise they should allow any 4 eidim to testify on seeing the new moon since there is no advantage to 2 witnesses testifying on the 2 eidim over 4 witnesses serving as eidim.

Rosh Hashana 21a - Yom Kippur in Bavel

The gemara implies that there is a technical requirement to hear from beis din "mekudash" that is needed to obtain the status of a shliach beis din to be believed about which day was established as rosh chodesh.
Tosafos asks that although levi did not hear from beis din "mekudash", how can he allow them to ignore the fact that yom kippur is actually a day later. Tosafos seems to answer that not only the beis din of yerushalaim has the power to establish the calendar, but even the local beis din in bavel that considered yom kippur to be a day earlier than it was in yerushalaim, is binding. The Turei E'ven elaborates with many questions on this premise, including the fact that we never find accepting 2 different days as the actual correct yom kippur. The turei e'ven gives an alternative explanation that the real reason he wasn't believed is because only 2 witnesses are believed, and levi was only one. The reason 2 witnesses are needed is bec. an eid echad is not belived in place of chazaka, certainly not in place of 'rov' which is even stronger. Since there is a 'rov' that ellul is not me'ubar, only 2 witnesses would be believed to say that it was me'ubar(the implication that had he heard "mekudash" he would have been listened to, would have only been a chumra). The approach of the Turei E'ven is difficult bec. even later on daf in the story with r' nachman it seems clear the "hahau gavra" was believed - which sounds like there was only one individual.
The sefas emes explains tosafos that it was not the local bavel beis din that had the power, but rather the beis din in yerushalaim instituted that any area that a shliach who heard mekudash cannot reach, for them yom kippur would be established assuming day 30 of ellul was rosh chodesh. The Ritva seems to have understood similar to the sefas emes's explanation of tosafos, that the original takana of the beis din hagadol is not too deviate from assuming the 30th of ellul was rosh chodesh, unless the shliach reporting heard from beis din mekudash. This is slightly meduyak in tosafos who asks the question from the perspective of levi, "how can levi allow them to eat on yom kippur" - implying that from the perspective of the people in bavel, it was assumed even in tosafos question that they were justified in not listening to levi.

Sunday, December 24, 2006

Rosh Hashana 20b

1. The Ba'al Hameor has a beautiful mehalech in explaining the statement about "layla v'yom min hachodesh" and "nolad kodem chatzos...". His premise is that there is a point in the world where the clock is 18 hours behind Yerushalaim (Far East). The halacha is that at the time of the molad in Yerushalaim there must be a place in the world where that entire day is going to be after the molad is seen in Yerushalaim. Therefore, if the molad is before midday in Yerushalaim, that day can be Rosh Chodesh since there is a place in the world that is 18 hours behind and will have the entire day, beginning with sunset, after the molad. But if the molad is after midday then even in a place that is 18 hours behind, the sun would have already set for that day and you don't have the "layla v'yom min hachodesh". This is the source for the opinion of the Chazon Ish about the dateline. I recently gave a shiur about this - click to download:

2. The Brisker Rav (in his sefer on kiddush hachodesh) claims that the gemara challenging shmuel's expertise regarding the 'sod ha'ibur' and Rabbeinu Chananel's commentary is the source for the Rambam (kiddush hachodesh 5:1) that there is a Halacha l'moshe misinai that beis din can establish the rosh chodesh through cheshbon when there is no sanhedrin. Rabbeinu Channanel says that shmuel could make a cheshbon until the coming of mashiach when there would be a sanhedrin, which implies that with the return of the sanhedrin we can no longer use cheshbon and will have to be mekadesh through witnesses. Furthermore, from Rabbeinu Chananel's commentary on the challenge to shmuel, he proves that the expertise is not just in scientific knowledge but to do proper 'cheshbon' one must be an expert also in the traditions passed on from Moshe mi'sinai.

Rosh Hashana 18b - 19a Adding a Yom Tov

The gemara addresses whether they were mevatel the yomim tovim of megillas ta'anis, except for chanukah and purim that were kept bec. of parsumei nissah. I am trying to figure out how this fits with the gemara in megilla 14a that the nevi'im did not add anything new, except for mikrah megilla which was learned from a kal v'chomer (and ner chanukah - see rashi and maharsha that they found a semach in the midrash). The Ramban in the mitzvah of B'al Tosif understands that there would be a violation of B'al Tosif to add a new yom tov (unless they found a source in the Torah).
My question is, How could they have instituted all the yomim tovim of megillas ta'anis without a violation of this prohibition?
My understanding of Rashi in Megilla is that the concern of B'al Tosif by adding a yom tov would only apply in a time where there are nevi'im i.e. purim, and that is why the institution of chanukah is not a problem (not like the maharsha) [The rationale is that things said by Nevi'im can be confused with D'oraysa, but things instituted after nevuah stopped cannot be confused so the issur would not apply]. If this is true, then there is no question. But, if we assume like the maharsha and that B'al Tosif is a concern even after the Nevi'im era, how do we explain megillas Ta'anis.
Without the Ramban, one could argue that the issur is creating a new mitzvah, not a new yom tov [as the language of the gemara seems to imply by focusing on megilla rather than purim], but in light of the ramban it is clear that the issue is creating a new yom tov -so how does this fit with megillas ta'anis? Would the Ramban hold that hesped and ta'anis alone without a mitzvah associated would not be considered a new yom tov?

Saturday, December 23, 2006

2 days y"t

Shvuos: why 2 days if it depends on the count of pesach, rambam says in kidush hachodesh so as not to differentiate between the y"t. question is, it sounds like it should be a "yuma arichta"! see chasam sofer 145 that wants to say that shvuos should be more strict then regular 2 days.
Tisha B'av: see ritva that it was to hard to keep 2 days so they kept the 9th maybe 10th and not the 9th maybe 8th because anyway the 10th was when the mikdash was burning and also we do not make "puranos" early.
Channuka and purim: why no 2 days?
the mordechai in megilah asks why we don't keep 2 days purim. his answer: because the pasuk says "v'lo y'aavor".
regarding chanuka, some say since it d'robonon we don't make 2 days (abodraham), however this depends on machlokes ran and tosfos in succah 47 if by d'robonons we automatically say no 2 days. (purim is in ksuvim - divrei kabalah). some answer that you won't be able to tell from the candles what day it is.
the question on chanuka is why does the mishna say in r"h that messengers were sent to tell the people when kislev is (for chanukah) implying that even late in the month not everyone knows the date; and the mishna in sanhedrin (5:3) says that if the witnesses are a day off from each other and it is after the midpoint of the month their testimony is null because, as the bartenura says, after the half of the month EVERYONE knows what the date is. (see pnei yhushua here)

Friday, December 22, 2006

Rosh Hashana 18a - Torah and Chesed

The gemara says that Rabba and Abbaye, although they came from beis Eili, Rabba lived 40 years in the zechus of Torah, and Abbaye lived 60 years in the zechus of Torah and Gemilas Chasadim. I remember seeing the Chofetz Chaim in Ahavas Chesed ask, that the gemara in Moed Kattan give parameters as to when it is appropriate to stop learning in order to do chesed - if it is possible to do it through others then you don't stop learning, otherwise you stop learning and do it yourself. If we are speaking in situations where it could be done through others, what was the rationale of Abbaye, and if it could not be done through others then what is the rationale of Rabba? The Chofetz Chaim explains that it is speaking in a situation where others can to the chesed, but bec. of the tremendous influence of the great personalities, it would have been possible to grow the chesed project exponentially had Rabba and Abbaye participated. The machlokes between them is whether that qualifies as not possible to do by others, and the implication of the Gemara is that Abbaye was correct. It is only considered possible to do by others if the others can do it exactly the same way and as productively.

Thursday, December 21, 2006

R"H 18 - Naming after Rabbis

The gemara tells us that רבן יוחנן בן זכאי was able to extend the lives of a certain family through his sage advice. Because he was such a great help, the gemara tells us that the entire family became known as משפחת רבן יוחנן after him. This is reminiscent of two other sources where the naming of a particular child was chosen based on a person who made an impact in the child's existence. First, in בבא מציעא דף פד: the gemara tells us that Rabi Eliezer b'Rabi paskened on sixty different blood stains from 60 different women that they were tahor. They all concieved and named their children after him. Second, גמרא שבת דף קלד tells us that Nasan Habavli saved a baby's life by paskening when it was ready for a bris. As a result the baby was named after him. I have a more complete treatment of the issue of whether a child should be named after a family member or a rabbi in my article on how to choose a name for your child which can be found at or in the link provided below and in the RJJ journal from a couple of years ago.

R"H 16b - Changing names

I am going to include an article I wrote on changing a person's name in the comment (it is too long for the blog itself).

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Rosh Hashana 15 - 2 points on R.H. for Trees

Before we say our goodbye to Zeraim, i want to point out 2 things that i found interesting, but i will place them in the comment section.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Rosh Hashana 15b - Minhag Shtus

Tosafos points out from our gemara that we would not allow the continuation of a minhag if there were an issur involved (therefore, if we pasken like the rabbonon, we would not allow people to rely on r' nechemiah, even if that was their minhag). The Pri Chadosh (O.C. 496) elaborates about minhag. In category #10 he points out that our gemara contradicts the Maharik, who allows a minhag to continue even if it against a halacha. In the course of the discussion the Pri Chadosh quotes that perhaps by an issur d'rabonon we can rely on the Maharik, and to that the P.C. responds that we see from our gemara that there is no distinction bec. ma'aser on charuvin is only derabonon and we still do not allow the minhag to override halacha.
The Pri Chadosh quotes a teshuva from the Rosh who explains the gemara in Ta'anis that when Rav visited bavel and found that they were reading hallel on rosh chodesh, once he realized they were only reading chatzi hallel, he allowed them to continue making a brachah on the hallel bec. minhag avoseihem biyadeihem. From this the Rosh concludes that you can allow minhag to override an issur of bracha she'eina tzricha. The Pri Chadosh argues that the peshat in the gemara is not that we allow bracha she'eina tzricha bec. of minhag, but rather since there is a minhag to read hallel, it is not a bracha she'eina tzricha - meaning we can make brachos on minhag.
Now, although the Pri Chadosh argues on the premise of the maharik regarding minhag overriding halacha, he seems to concur to the maharik in that even a minhag b'mdinah achas may have the status of minhag. Therefore, if a group has a minhag for example to light menorah in "public places", would that qualify as a minhag to allow brachos to be made even according to the Pri Chodosh?

בארבעה פרקים העולם נידון במה הערות מהרב משה שפירא שליט"א ע"פ ספר אפיקי מים

מדוע לגבי ר"ה המשנה מביאה פסוק משא"כ בשאר הימים. מדוע המשנה והגמרא לא מביאין את הדרשא דלעיל ח ע"א. עוד, למה לא אומרים שבר"ה דנין לחיים ולמות דומיא דבחג נידונין על המים. ועוד כבר הקשה הט"א לר' יוסי ולר' נתן דאדם נידון בכל שעה או בכל יום מה א"כ יחוד ר"ה שודאי שהוא יום דין מיוחד לכ"ע
אלא שיש שני בחינות דין. האחד על המעשים עצמם אם מצוה אם עבירה ועל כל פרט ה' פורע אם בדין אם ברחמים אך לא זהו עיקר דין דר"ה דדין ר"ה עיקרו על השם צדיק או רשע של האדם דהיינו עד כמה הוא משתייך למלכות ה'. ושוב א"א פה להאריך וכדאי לעיין שם. אך היסוד דדין של ג' ספרים פתוחים וכו' הוא על שם צדיק או רשע ודין דלכ"ע בר"ה נכתבין וביו"כ נחתמין הוא על המעשים. וידוע שמהר' אלחנן שלכל מצוה ועבירה יש שני בחינות הא' מעלת המצוה עצמה שבזה רמ"ח מ"ע כנגד רמ"ח איברים וכו' ועוד בחינה של קיום הדין עבד שמציית לרצון מלכו. ועיין

Monday, December 18, 2006

r"h 14a need help!

מאד הייתי שמח לקבל פה עזרה אבקש סליחה על הבילבול אך כך המצב בשיכלי
מדוע בירק לא אזלינן בתר שליש, במה זה שונה מתבואה, דכל מה שרואים בתבואה דאזלינן בתר שליש גידולו ומדוע זה ל"ש בירקות? ומה כונת רש"י כיון שנלקט פעמיים מה איכפת לן בזה? ובמיוחד זה קשה למסקנה דלעיל דעיקר מקור לשליש רק מיתור פסוק שנאמר שלש וקרינן שליש ול"ש לדרשא שמה שנלקט בסוכות נגמר לפני ר"ה שזה נדחה למסקנא כדאיתא בתוספות. עוד נקודה, למה אנו מדברים רק על תבואה הרי גם זיתים וענבים או עכ"פ תירוש ויצהר מדאורייתא וגם שם אזלינן בתר שליש ומדוע הם שונים מכל אילנות שבתר חנטה.
כבר העיר הרש"ש על רש"י שבתבואה אומר שאזלינן בתר שליש כיון שאפשר לקצור בדוחק אך באילן שהולך בתר חנטה העיקר כתב שאפשר שיגדול ויגמר הפרי מחנטה וזה נראה סותר דבאילן אין פרי בחנטה שיכול ללקוט בדוחק
מדוע ירק נחשב לגודל ממי שנה הבאה יותר מתבואה הרי שניהם גודלים יותר עם גשמים ואיך שונים בצלים ופולין עם מונעים מהם מים ל' יום? והאם גם בצלים ופולין נלקטים פעמיים

Rosh Hashana 13a - omer and chanukah

The gemara questions how the Jews were able to bring the korban omer when they first arrived in Eretz Yisroel. The Ran (in the chidushei haran) wonders why they couldn't have brought their own grain from the other side of the yardein, which would be kasher l'omer b'dieved. The Ran answers that even though something may be kasher b'dieved, the very first time you do something cannot be in a b'dieved fashion. Rav Yosef Engel (gilyonei hashas to Shabbos 21b as expounded by Rav Yonasan Sacks shlit"a) extends this idea as follows: the torah in Parshiyos Terumah/Tetzaveh tells us about the mitzvah of constructing the mishkan and its various keilim. It also mentions, along with each k'li, what that k'li was used for (the mitzvah of avoda associated with it). The gemara Sanhedrin daf 17 understands that while Moshe was able to consecrate keilim with the shemen hamishcha, once we no longer have the shemen hamishcha the avoda of the kli is what gives it its kedusha and allows it to be used in avoda. Essentially, the torah tells us of the avoda together with the construction because the completion of the "construction" may be the very first avoda one does with that kli. This is why the torah only mentions the korban tamid when it talks about the avoda of the mizbeach even though there are so many other korbanos for which the mizbeach is used (because the focus is not on what it is used for but on what its first use is for because it derives its kedusha and is only complete after the first use. The idea is that the beginning of everything sets the tone and must be on the highest level. The first use of each kli paves the way for every subsequent use and therefore is viewed with extra scrutiny. With this Rav Yosef Engel explains the necessity for the neis shemen on chanukah in light of tumah hutrah/dechuya betzibur. It may be okay to have the oil tamei for lighting the menorah, but it is not okay to have tamei oil for the chanukas hamenorah which is meant to set the tone for each subsequent lighting. This is why the ba'alei hatosafos on the torah explain "bi'krovai ekadeish" that on the day a kohein hedyot starts his avoda he can't become tamei even to kerovim, because the beginning and chinuch of his avoda must be b'tahara.

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Rosh Hashana 13a - Shiurei Chachamim

The gemara elaborates that chazal are extremely precise in their shiurim. Tosafos comments that even when they give the shiur of mikvah as 40 seah, and say that even a "kurtav" less than 40 seah is a pasul mikvah, they don't mean to say that a half of a kurtav less than 40 seah would be kasher. Tosafos holds that even the smallest measurable amount less than 40 seah would invalidate the mikvah.
In my sefer on Mikvaos, "Mayim Rabim" (pg. 304) I mentioned this Tosafos in the context of the Rashbatz quoted in the Beis Yosef (Y.D. 201) who claims that "kurtav" is to be taken literally. As a proof to Tosafos, I pointed out that we find a similar expression by nidah that even a drop of blood like a "chardel" renders her ta'mei, and clearly chardel is not literal, but even less that a chardel would make her ta'mei.
However, I didn't mention any sources to prove the point by chardel. The Shach in Y.D. 183:3 clearly states that even less than a chardel is ta'mei. Sidrei Taharah 183:4 concurs and cites an explicit Rashi in Nidah 14b who says that even less than a chardel is ta'amei - and therefore is amazed that the shevus ya'akov seems to elaborate on this issue.
Hayotzei Midvareinu, that when our gemara says that midos chachamim are precise, they are sometimes even more precise than the exaggerated measure mentioned, and in actuality the halacha is determined by the smallest measurable amount (obviously, w/o the use of microscopic instruments).

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Rosh Hashana 10a - When is the Bar Mitzvah?

Tosafos (d.h. ben) says that sometimes we don't use yom echad b'shana chashuv shana, but we require full days mei'ais le'ais. The example Tosafos uses is becoming Bar and Bas mitzvah, where we say 13/12 and 1 day - "that one days is to complete the mei'ais le'ais". I understood Tosafos to mean that really you need 13 complete years to the hour, but since it is difficult to remember the time you were born, we require 13 years plus a day. So, even if one was born adar 7th toward evening (right before shekiah of adar 8), by requiring him to wait the extra day (bar mitzvah would be ohr l'adar 8), we would insure that we have 13 complete years. But, if someone does remember when they were born, they would not have to wait the entire extra day (unless we are to assume that chazal made a lo plug). Obviously this is not the predominant custom. I found that the magen avraham 53:13 quotes from the Bach that as soon as your 13th birthday comes, you are bar mitzvah even if you were born later that day (the extra day is just to the exclusion of using miktzas hayom kikulo on the last day before your birthday). The Shach in C.M. 35:1 (mentioned in Magen Avrohom) cites the divrei chamudos who understood Tosafos in R.H. like I explained, and the shach argues that when tosafos says mei'ais le'ais they don't really mean down to the hour, he therefore concurs with the Bach. I also found that the Mishneh l'melech (Ishus 2:21) explained the Tosafos the way I did, and that according to this Tosafos the Bar Mitzvah would be on your birthday at the hour of the day you were born. But, he cites many opinions who hold like the Bach (Tosafos in Nida and Erchin, Rashbah and mashmaos of gemara in Yevamos), and therefore rules like the Bach (not like our Tosafos).

r"h 9 - 10 במ"ח רש"י ותוספות בדין תוספת שביעית

נראה בשיטת התוספות שיש דין דרבנן שלא לנטוע בל' יום קודם שביעית אך מותר לקיים בדיעבד אם נטע כל עוד דלא השריש בשביעית. ולכן ביאור המשנה בשביעית היא דלת"ק בין לקליטה ובין לתוספת צריך ל' יום ולכן בין לכתחילה ובין בדיעבד תלוי בל' יום אך לר"א ולר"י אף שמודים לדין ל' יום לכתחילה מדין תוספת שביעית אך לדין קליטה חולקים והנפ"מ בדיעבד דכל דנשרש לפני שביעית מותר לקיים בדיעבד. ואף שזה נראה לי פשוט לא נראה שכך הבין הנוב"י בתוספות עכ"פ ברור שלתוספות בשביעית ל"צ יותר מל' יום לכ"ע
ושיטת רש"י שצריך שישרש לפני תוספת שביעית ולכן גם בשביעית צריך ל' יום ועוד שיעור קליטה. ויש בסוגיא דיוק חזק ברש"י שהנוב"י קמא יו"ד פ"ז מדייק ברש"י שדין התוספת של ל' יום זה תלוי במ"ח ר"א ור"מ אי יום א' בשנה קרוי שנה. דרש"י אומר "צריך שלשים ושלשים: שלשים לקליטה ול' לתוספת כר"א" א"כ משמע דלר"מ צריך רק תוספת יום א' מדין יום א' בשנה קרוי שנה. וכן מוכיח הנוב"י באריכות שזוהו שיטת הרמב"ם אך צ"ע בביאור הדברים דמה שייך דין תוספת לדין שנה? וא"א פה להאריך ע"ש.
עוד אשאל ואחלה לתשובה, מה ההסבר בדין יום ל' עולה לכאן ולכאן? דלכאורה אם יום זה עדיין צריך להשרשה איך מועיל לדין שנה ובמיוחד לתוספות שיום א' זה צריך שיהיה שלם

Rosh Hashana 9b and 10b - Tosefes Shivi'is

In yesterdays post, R' yossi quoted Rav Elyashiv explaining that there are 2 possible understanding of Tosefes. 1. Doing something that will have an effect during the actual time i.e. plowing before shivi'is to improve the growth during shivi'is and eating before y.k. to alleviate the inuy of y.k. 2. An issur melacha on the zeman of tosefes as we find by shabbos. With this he explained the opinion of the Rambam. I commented yesterday that we find a source for #1 in rashi 9a d.h. charish. But, Tosafos 9b (d.h. umutar) seems to imply otherwise. Tosafos is making a distinction between plowing and planting. By plowing where any effect during shivi'is is problematic we assur starting from pesach, but by planting the effect is not assur(since all trees grow during shivi'is). The issur of planting is either an issur melacha during zeman of tosefes [#2] like i suggested yesterday, or causing klitah to take place during shmitah (as we see from 10b). Both reasons make it assur only 30 days before.
In light of learning Tosafos on 10b, I want to explain this a little better (what i am suggesting is not explicit in Tosafos).
Tosafos (10b d.h. sheloshim) seems to understand that there are 2 reasons to forbid planting 30 days prior to shivi'is.
1. Klitah is 30 days, so if you plant within 30 days you are causing "planting" to take place during shivi'is.
2. There is an issur melacha 30 days before like we find by shabbos.
The consequence of violating issur #1 is even bidieved it is assur to be mekayem. The consequence of violating issur #2 is mutar bidieved. Therefore, R' Elazar who holds that klita is 30 days, and you are therefore violating #1 (and #2), even bidieved it must be uprooted. But, according to R' Yehuda that klita is just 3 days, if you were to plant more than 3 days before shemita, you violated #2, but not #1, therefore you can leave it.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

ביאור שיטת הרמב"ם בתוספת שבת

הגאון רב אלישיב שליט"א מבאר שיטת הרמב"ם בדין תוספת שבת ויו"כ. ששיטת הרמב"ם שרק תוספת יו"כ דאורייתא ורק העינוי ולא האיסור מלאכה. והאחרונים דנים במקורו. והנה בגמרא דנן לרבי עקיבא לומדים דין תוספת מתוספת שביעית ובפשטות משם לומדים ג"כ לשבת ויו"ט כדמפורש בתוספות אך הגהש"ס כבר מקשה דא"א ללמוד משביעית לשבת ויו"ט עיין שם. והרמב"ם באמת פוסק כר"ע ולכן א"א ללמוד תוספת שבת ויו"ט משביעית ורק דין תוספת עינוי של יו"כ שייך. והטעם, דיש שני דיני תוספת: א' שמוסיפין קדושת היום וזה הדין בשבת ויו"ט ואיסור מלאכה דיו"כ וזה לר"ע לא מצינו אך יש עוד דין ב' של תוספת שביעית שבו אסור לחרוש ערב שביעית למה שיועיל לשביעית ושם אין הפשט שמוסיפין קדושת שביעית ללפני שביעית אלא שזה חומרא לשביעית שלא לעשות לפני שביעית מה שיועל לשביעית, ובדומה לזה איסור עינוי דמה שמוסיף לעינוי דיו"כ עושה עינוי של יו"כ ליותר קשה ויותר חמור. ומפני שא"א להאריך בבלוג זה מאד כדאי לראות בפנים איך שמתרץ עוד רמב"ם ע"ש בעמוד מ"ה ועוד בעמוד מ"ז בהערות למסכת ר"ה. ויה"ר שיאריך ימים ושנים ויגן על דורינו בזמן כ"כ חמור זה

why do we blow shofar on yom kipur

the rishonim explain that we blow shofar on yom kipur to remember the yovel. the question is asked, if then we should blow only once every 50 years?
the sefarim answer: the concept of yovel is that EVERYTHING returns to its proper place. this doesn't only mean the slaves go home, but that in spiritual terms we are freed from being enslaved. if so yovel can be described as having a whole yar y"k. (this concept is based on the ramban on yovel)
this fits well with the famous gaon that if you count up all the yomim tovim you have 7. (2 pesach 1 shavuos 1 r"h 2 succos 1 y"k) and y"k is the shabbos (7th) of the yomim tovim as yovel is the kedusha of 8th after the 7 x 7 shmita cycle.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Rosh Hashana 8a - Tekufa and Molad

It took me hours to work through Tosafos, so interested or not, here it is!
Summary of Tosafos: Tekufa is counted from Nissan (assuming like R' Yehoshua that world was created in Nissan which is 6 months prior to Tishrei). Molad is counted from Tishrei of Tohu which is 1yr before Adam

Lunar month = 29d 12hrs 793 chalakim (1080 chalakim = 1hr)
6 lunar months = 177d 4hrs 438 chalakim
Solar year = 365d 6hrs
6 solar months = 182d 15hrs

Discrepancy between solar and lunar in 6 months = 5d 10hrs 642 chalakim

Original Kiddush Hachodesh by Adam - Friday in 21hr (9 day hrs), therefore original molad (Tishrei of Yishuv - creation) is 6 hrs prior = Friday after 8am (14hrs)
Every month molad is 1d 12 hrs 793 chalakim earlier in week - 6 months = 9d (or 2d since it will be same day of week) 4hrs 438chal
Nissan of Tohu (6 months before creation) - molad is 2d 4hrs 438chal before Friday 14hrs = wed. 9hrs 642chal
Tishrei of Tohu (12 months before creation) - molad is mon. 5hrs 204chal.

Original Tekufah Nissan of Tohu (for tekufa we follow R' Yehoshua that it was in Nissan) - first hr. of wed. (tues. eve 6pm).
Tishrei of Yishuv (creation) is +15hrs for 6months later = wed. 15hrs.

Discrepancy between tekufa and molad in Tishre of Yishuv (Friday 14hrs and wed. 15hrs) = 1d 23hrs

Add time tekufa preceeded molad in Tishrei (Yishuv) with time tekufa preceeds molad over 6 months from Tishrei of yishuv back to Nissan of Tohu:
1d 23hrs + 5d 10hrs 642chal = 7d 9hrs 642chal
Therefore, in Nissan of Tohu, tekufa preceeded molad by 7d 9hrs 642chal

Monday, December 11, 2006

Rosh Hashana 7a - First Month of the Year

Nissan is considered to be the Rosh Hashana l'chadashim, meaning it is the first month of the year. The Ritva is bothered, according to R' Eliezer that the world was created in Tishrei, the count of the months began in Tishrei, shouldn't Tishrei be the first month? The Ritvah explains that until Yetzias Mitzrayim, Tishrei was considered to be the first month. Only after the exodus "gazar hakadosh baruch hu limnos m'nissan zeicher l'yitzias mitzrayim". Therefore, when the Torah was given (post yetzias mitzrayim), it considers the first month to be Nissan rather than Tishrei. This was introduced in mitzrayim when Hashem said "Hachodesh hazeh lachem rosh chadashim, rishon hu lachem l'chadshei hashana", meaning for you it is the first of months, but Adam Harishon counted from Tishrei. The same idea is apparent from the Ramban in Bo, but the Ramban is not as clear in describing that prior to yetzias mitzrayim we counted from Tishrei. The Rashbam in Bo also expresses the same idea, that Nissan is the first month for the Jews, but the rest of the world counts from Tishrei (or at least should count from Tishrei). This is the reason we count for Jewish kings from Nissan, but non-jewish kings from Tishrei (3a). The Ran (2a) elaborates that without yetzias mitzrayim there would be no possibility of a Jewish kingdom, therefore we connect the malchus of Shlomo to yetzias mitzrayim, since yetzias mitzrayim introduced the possibility of a Jewish king, so all Jewish kings commemorate this by renewing their year in Nissan.