Friday, March 30, 2007

Moed Kattan 21a - Mourner Tefilin

For a continued discussion about this see earlier post on 15a

Moed Kattan 20b - Difference between Aveilus: Wife vs. Other Relatives

The Gemara implies (and Tosafos confirms) that when one's wife is an Avel, they must be nohegaveilus with her out of respect for her. However, this only applies when she is an Avel for one of her parents, but if she is an Avel for her son or other relatives the husband does not have to keep Aveilus even in front of her. But when it comes to other relatives, the gemara is clear that even if one's son is an avel for his son, the grandfather must keep aveilus in front of his son (Tosafos is not sure whether this would apply to other relatives that the son is an avel for i.e. wife or only to descendents - see nimuke yosef that this may apply to all blood relatives such as one's father sitting shiva for his brother i.e. uncle). Why it there a difference between a wife and other relatives?
It seems that the aveilus that is done in front of a father or son while they are in shiva for their father or son, is actually a form of aveilus for one's grandfather and grandson directly (it is not just a din in kavod). But when one is noheg aveilus in front of their wife for her relatives, since there is no blood relation to the deceased, it is definitely not aveilus for the niftar. Rather, as the gemara says, it is a din in kavod ishto. It seems that the geder of this kavod is that one must express kavod ishto by participating in aveilus for those she is required to show kavod for i.e. parents. Meaning, it is not purely a kavod ishto din, but rather similar to the din kavod for a grandfather, son is bound to respect father and father is bound to respect his father, so son must respect grandfather. Similarly, one is required to respect his wife (see rambam in Ishus), and she is required to respect her parent, so the husband must respect his in laws both in life and in death. Based on this distinction, nowadays where we are not noheg this din at all, it is easily explained by a wife since kavod she can be mochel on, but when it comes to a grandfather and grandson it is not just a kavod din rather a hilchos aveilus din, so how can we not do it?

Thursday, March 29, 2007

day starts when?

The rishonim say that an Avel get up from Shiva after נץ and the reason is from the Gemara in Megilla that לכתחילה one has to wait for נץ. Rav Elyashiv wonders that its not a proof for the laws of mourning which are of rabinic nature whereas there it was things that apply to torah law.
Perhaps this is a proof to the very big חידוש of Rav Moshe in יו"ד א' עמוד שנ"ו that argues on rashi and the minchas chinuch and says that נץ is the beginning of day מדאורריתא and עלות is day בדיעבד מדאורייתא, but still Rav moshe is saying a VERY big chidush - see there.

Moed Kattan 19a - Avel: Difference Between Yom Tov and Shabbos

The Mishna says that Shabbos counts towards shiva but does not stop it, whereas Regel stops it but does not count toward it. The simple understanding as pointed out by Nimukei Yosef is that Regel has simcha associated with it, which is more powerful than oneg of shabbos.
Perhaps the mishna can be explained based on another line of thinking. The mishna indicates that one day yom tovim such as shavuos, r"h and y"k may have a "shabbos" status rather than regel. The nimukei yosef explains the rationale is that regel should really be no better than shabbos, meaning it should count toward shiva but not stop it. But, since pesach and succos are 7 days, even if they count toward aveilus they will end up stopping it. Based on this logic, even the chachamim may hold that we don't want to distinguish between one regel and another so we allow even shavuos to stop the aveilus. According to this line of thinking shabbos and Regel are exactly the same (except for the private things such as relations and studying torah, that is assur on shabbos but is mutar on regel). If aveilus began before then shabbos and regel "count" but by regel (pesach and succos) that translates into stopping the shiva (and lo p'lug for shavuos). But, if the burial takes place only during the regel then the regel doesn't even count toward shiva and the same would be true by shabbos, just that there is never a burial on shabbos.
However, regarding regel stopping the sheloshim, the gemara implies that the logic is totally different. Really regel should count toward 30, but not stop it. But, since we allow grooming for kavod haregel on erev yom tov, "ho'il v'hutra hutra" - once we allow violation of sheloshim, we don't want to go back and assur it. That is why rav and rav huna insist that one must take advantage of the heter to shave in order to abolish the sheloshim, whereas r' sheishes/abah shaul would say that even if you didn't take advantage, since it was mutar we don't go back and assur it after the regel.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Moed Kattan 19a - Eating Matzah All 7 Days

There seems to be a strong proof from Tosafos to the opinion of the Gr"a that although there is no chiyuv to eat matzah every day of the 7 days, there is a mitzvah. Tosafos says that Chol Hamoed is considered an "os" and we do not put on Tefillin even acc. to the opinion that the issur melacha is only derabonon, bec. the mitzvah of matzah and succah make it an "os". Clearly Tosafos holds that there is at least a kiyum mitzvah to eat matzah and sit in the succah all 7 days. By Succos it is clear that it is a kiyum mitzvah bec. we even make a bracha, but the chiddush is that eating matzah on every day of the 7 days is also a kiyum mitzvah. See also B'al Hameor at the end of Pesachim who asks why we don't make a bracha on eating matzah all 7 days. His question is also a strong proof to the Gr"a.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Moed Kattan 17a - Using a Razor for a Moustache

Rabbeinu Chananel (brought in Nimukei Yosef Makos 4b b'dafei harif and Tur Y.D. 181) says that the 2 sides of the moustache are (2 out of 5 of the) areas that one is not allowed to shave with a razor. This is also brought in the Taz (181:3). L'ma'aseh we are choshesh for all the various shitos mentioned in Nimukei Yosef in Makos.
Rashi's peshat in our gemara is clearly against Rabbeinu Chananel. Rashi explains the story of the pair who came from 'chamsan', had they asked about shaving the moustache he would have been matir. Rashi explains that he would have been matir as far as the issur of "b'al Taschis p'as zikanecha". The Chasam Sofer is medayek from Rashi that he must hold like the Mordechai in the name of Rabbeinu Tam, that during aveilus it is only mutar with a shinuy (like tosafos), but he adds that this means specifically a knife rather than scissors (he seems to assume that a knife would not be a normal way to trim) and that is why there is a concern of hashchasa. The gemara says that the heter to cut the moustache is from corner to corner, which would certainly include the area mentioned by Rabbeinu Chananel. We see clearly that acc. to Rashi and other rishonim who would require the use of a knife rather than scissors, the ends of the moustache are not considered pe'os hazakan.

שמא יקדמנו אחר

בפשטות הגמרא קשה להבין, דקודם אמרינן דיש חשש שמא יקדמנו אחר ומהמעשה בגמרא משמע שרבא סבר דל"ש שיועיל בתפילה וכן בהמשך הגמרא מה' אשה לאיש משמע שבמזל תלוי ולא שייך לשנות בתפילה (עיין בעין יעקב). ובפשטות הביאור שהגמרא אומרת שצריך להיות תלוי במזל אך אם תפילה ושינוי מעשים שייך לשנות הזיווג (עיין שיטמ"ק ור"ן ותוס' הרא"ש ומהרש"א) ורק שאין זה עיצה טובה להרבות כ"כ בתפילה על פלונית מסויימת דדילמא היא לא ראויה לא וינשא לה כיוון דפעמים ה' שומע תפילתו אף לדבר שלא טוב בשבילו ולבסוף ישנאה. ואגב ביארו שמה שמבואר פה ברש"י בפשוטו זה וודאי טעות ואינו מפרש"י (ועיין רש"י ברי"ף). וכל זה שייך אף בזיווג ראשון ומתורץ קושית התוספות

אך מתוספות נראה שסובר שבזיווג ראשון ל"ש שישתנה כלל וידוע דהרבה סוברים דזיווג ראשון ושני אין הכוונה אשה הראשונה אלא שתלוי בדרגת הזכויות של האדם ומהאר"י אומרים שזיווג ראשון שייך רק בגלגול ראשון ורובם ככולם בגלגול שני ועוד שבד"כ אין הנשים מתגלגות אלא האנשים

ולגבי רמת ההשתלות המחוייבת בשידוכים היה נראה שאין נפ"מ בכל זה אלא תמים תהיה וצריך השתדלות כמו בכל דבר מצוה וכל א' כפי מדריגתו .

Monday, March 26, 2007

Moed Kattan 17b - Issur to Take Haircut during Regel

My post is a bit long and slightly involved so i am posting it in a comment. The issue is a discussion about the prohibition to shave during the regel when one was an avel before the regel, is it an issur bec. of regel or an issur aveilus bec. of sheloshim?

אילמלי אתה שאול והוא דוד

משיח בן דוד and משיח בן יוסף have different roots. Yosef was the one who resisted temptation where as Yehuda was the one who admitted his wrong doing. Dovid too sinned to teach תשובה as Rashi points out.

This is perhaps what the Gemara means, besides for the judgment on the actual sin there is a much greater judgment as to whether a person is doing his תפקיד in life. This concept is learned from a medrash that when a person goes to the heavenly court 3 מלאכים greed him 1 to judge his positive actions 1 to judge his negative ones and the 3rd to see "where he is holding". this 3rd מלאך is checking to see if he did his job (see גר"א משלי ו' ל"ג). Shaul's essence was not to sin - at all! so even few sins caused his demise, Dovid on the other hand is suppose to reveal T'shuva and as such "get's a brake

this has a little to do with the last discussion, for there is a story of a Yeshiva boy who was stomped with not knowing a simple Tosfos over lunch. He got so upset about it and left lunch with out bentching and went straight to the bais medrash and went on to become a great masmid and a gadol. The question is will he get punished for not bentching or do we say that since he fealt this surge of energy will get him going to complete his תפקיד he is a sort of an אונס and may bend the rules. i heard 2nd hand that one of the famous American poskim in erets yisroel justified this boy's actions. to me that is strange.

when do we bend the rules??

The age old question.
The 1st ט"ז in hilchos נידוי is a shocking one!
the rema there says that if one is חייב בנידוי we do so even if we suspect that he will be "יצא לתרבות רעה" the Gr"a there seems to agree and sites a Gemara in Kidushin 72b as a source. The Ta"z on the other hand disagrees sharply and brings a proof from the Gemara that we must redeem a jew who has been serving as a כומר לע"ז so surely he argues we should בשב ואל תעשה prevent him from going that way. I am not elobarting on the gemaros because you'lle can look it up.
My point being is that according to the Ta"z where does one draw the line, as some בחור asked me, would the Ta"z say the same by מלקות?.

Sunday, March 25, 2007

Moed Kattan 16a - Rechilus

The Chofetz Chaim (10:5) proves from our gemara that rechilus is assur even if one is repeating to a gadol b'yisroel a degrading comment made by a "nobody". The gemara proves that the shliach beis din was allowed to report back to the beis din the degrading comments made by one being summoned about the beis din (Acc. to the girsa of Rosh that it was Rechilus, not loshon hora). This was a special dispensation given to a shliach beis din, which implies that otherwise it would be assur even in the situation of dasan and avirum degrading moshe Rabbeinu. It would seem clear then that R' Shimon who reported back to his father the comment made by bar kafra, was certainly loshon horah. Rashi defends R' Shimon by saying that it was "l'fi tumo".
Does Rashi mean to justify what R' Shimon did, or is Rashi simply stating that R' Shimon slipped by accidentally saying over rechilus?

Kefiyas Hamita

The gemara on 27a states that it is not sufficient for the avel to turn his bed over, but all of the beds in the house need to be turned over. The clear implication of the gemara is that kefiyas hamita is not a din in the avel, but in the beis ha'avel. The rishonim debate whether the beds of guests should be turned over (see Rosh #78). Furthermore, the Rosh holds that one who did not turn his bed over but did not sleep on it either (he slept on the floor) has violated this halacha, further implying that this is a din in the house and not in the avel himself. If he did kefiyas hamita and did not sleep on it , he has fulfilled his obligation. The Rosh continues to discuss why we don't do this anymore (see also Beis Yosef who suggests that we should at least turn over our blankets and pillows). This, of course, is not the only example of a din in the beis ha'avel rather than in the avel himself. There seems to be two dinim in talmud torah - an issur ont he avel to learn and an issur in the beis ha'avel (see שולחן ערוך סימן שמד שאין אומרים שמועה ואגדה בבית האבל וכן נקטינן דלא כרבי חנינא בן גמליאל - ועיין ברש"ש לקמן למה לא אמרינן הלכה כדברי המיקל באבל).
The Chasam Sofer famously suggested that our minhag to cover the mirrors is based in kefiyas hamita because the mirrors are where we find the expression of our tzelem elokim. Along similar lines, Rav Hershel Schachter shlit"a has suggested that photographs should also be covered in the beis ha'avel because they also represent the tzelem elokim. (I heard he did this during his recent shiva - when I visited on Shushan Purim his pictures were exposed)

Moed Kattan 15a - Mourner Wearing Tefillin

The gemara says that an avel does not wear tefillin. We pasken like R' Yehoshua on 21a that he only abstains from Tefillin on the first day. This is paskened in Shulchan Aruch Y.D. 388 and O.C. 38:5. It is not clear from the gemara and Shulchan Aruch if this exemption only applies when the day of burial is the day of death (which is d'oraysa aveilus acc. to behag and rif), or even if the burial is a day or 2 later we still exempt the avel from tefillin on the day of the burial. The Pischei Teshuva in Y.D. brings 2 opinions about this, and the M.B. is machria that we always exempt the avel on the day of burial from wearing tefillin even if it is not the day of death. This is clear from the Rosh. The Behag and the Rif are of the opinion that aveilus is d'oraysa on the first day, when the burial and death occur on the same day. Based on this it could be that the exemption of tefillin would only apply on the first day if it is "d'oraysa" meaning the yom hamisa and yom hakevura. However, the Rosh writes (end of siman 3) that the exemption from tefillin is even for aveilus d'rabonon. The Rabbonon felt that it was inappropriate to wear the crown of Tefillin while in a state of depression, therefore they uprooted the mitzvas aseh of tefillin on the day of the kevurah. It is for this reason that until the burial the avel does not put on tefillin (or do any positive mitzvah) bec. he is an onen, but even after the burial he does not put on tefillin later that day.

Friday, March 23, 2007

Moed Kattan 14a - Exemptions to Take Haircuts

The Mishna gives a list of people who couldn't take haircuts before regel and are therefore allowed to do in on regel. The reason for the issur on others to take haircuts is not bec. it is a melacha [Tosafos is mesupak if a full haircut is a melacha and the gemara may only be addressing a trim], but rather to prevent people from coming into the regel "menuval". So, What is the peshat in the heter for the people listed in the mishna: Was the issur only said as a prevention to coming into moed menuval, so one who could not take a haircut before is not included in the issur; or the issur was made across the board for concern of people coming into yom tov menuval, just that in a situation of o'nes there is a special leniency to allow them to take a haircut?
It seems to me that this is really the shaila of the gemara about one who lost an object. If the heter is just that a case where one could not do it before, is not included in the issur, then certainly one who looses an object would also qualify. But if the heter is an exemption for o'nes then chazal made a blanket issur and were only matir for a case that is clear to all that it is an o'nes, to the exclusion of one who lost an object. V'DOK.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Moed Kattan 12b - Setting Aside Work for Moed

Rashi and Tosafos seem to argue what the case of kivein milachto b'moed ye'avdu is. Rashi says it is talking where he left it for moed and already did it; ye'avdu means it is assur b'hana'ah. Tosafos (and Nimukei Yosef) seem to understand that it is speaking where you pushed it off for chol hamoed but did not yet do it so the mishna says he can't do it relying that it is now davar ha'aveid; yeavdu means you have to let the melacha go to waste and not do it. Obviously Rashi is more machmir then Tosafos by introducing an issur hana'ah.
The gemara's question about penalizing the son. Acc. to rashi, if the father did the work and the outcome is assur b'hana'ah, is it also assur b'hana'ah to the son. Tosafos learns that the father did not do the work and the question is whether the son can do it.
Tosafos would never hold that there is an issur hana'ah for the father or the son. But, we can still ask that even acc. to the conclusion of the gemara that there is no penalty of issur hana'ah for the son (acc. to rashi), if the melacha was not yet done would we allow the son to do it. Rashi may be more lenient than Tosafos acc. the maskanah whether we would let the son do a melacha left by the father, even though he is more machmir regarding the bidieved to create an issur hana'ah on the outcome of the melacha for the father.

Moed Kattan - Issur Melacha on Chol Hamoed

I was having a discussion last night with R' Menachem Spira regarding what types of melacha are assur on chol hamoed. We discussed 2 issues:
1. The Gemara on 10b gives a list of things such as digging, letting water in the field, cutting branches from a palm... and says that if done in a certain way that shows that you need if for yom tov it is mutar, but if not it is assur. R' Spira asked that even if done in a way where your intent is not for the melacha, it should still be assur bec. of psik reisha? At first I thought that the nature of issur melacha on chol hamoed which is tircha rather than melacha would not include psik reisha, but rather all davar she'eino miskavein, even a psik reisha would be mutar. However, Tosafos 4b says in the context of shevi'is that psik reisha would be assur even on shevi'is. But, we learn from tosafos that if it is done with a shinuy, meaning if it is done differently than the melacha is normally done, it is mutar. Therefore, the heter for these cases on chol hamoed is perhaps not davar sh'eino miskavein, but rather shinuy?
2. How do the 39 melachos of shabbos relate to chol hamoed? Do we assume they are all assur unless there is a special heter for tzorech yom tov, davar ha'aveid, ein lo ma yochal e.t.c. or do we assume that they are all mutar unless they involve either tircha and ma'aseh uman? Tosafos 12b seems to be misupak whether tircha that is not a melacha is assur (such as pragmatia which is not a real melacha), or must the tircha be associated with melacha to be assur. The gemara about building the amah 4b implies that chol hamoed it is an issur tircha even if not associated with a melacha (like choresh), it is only to explain why it is assur by shevi'is does the gemara have to make the comparison to choresh. It seems clear that tircha is assur on chol hamoed even if it is not a melacha, bec. it is like uvda d'chol (similarly, the rosh also points out from the fixers of the reish gelusa 12a, that even when the melacha is b'etzem mutar bec. it is not a real melacha, the receiving of payment creates an issur bec. it is uvda d'chol). But, I don't think that there is any place where we see melacha is assur even if not a tircha. We actually find the hagdara of the issur melacha is "tircha" as the gemara distinguishes between chol hamoed and shevi'is on 2b and also implies this on 13a.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Moed Kattan 12b - Adam Chashuv

The gemara uses the concept of adam chashuv a few times to say that even something which is mutar m'ikar hadin, should not be done by an adam chashuv. It is not clear if the reason is b'geder "ba'al nefesh yachmir" or if the reason is that even though it is totally mutar, people will be midameh it to something assur and come to be matir an issur. Rashi in Shabbos 51 explains that an adam chashuv should be more machmir bec. someone will see that he is lenient and come to be more lenient.
The sho'el in Igros Moshe O.C. 1:96 challenged R' Moshe about riding in a car to the Yeshiva after candle lighting bec. it was mar'as ayin. R' Moshe responds by explaining that mar'as ayin is when you do something that is mutar that people will confuse with something that is actually assur, but here the people are making a mistake in thinking that it is assur when it is mutar. That is called "am ha'ratzus" not "mar'as ayin" (That phrase is my own, not R' Moshe's!). Perhaps our gemara is a source that the sho'el is correct, in that an adam chashuv should not do something that is mutar if people will think that it is assur. Perhaps this is why R' Moshe refrained from driving to the Yeshiva from then on (as he writes about himself) and just argues the point that it is not an actual issur of ma'aris ayin. Also, if one reads the Teshuva carefully it seems that he rejects the notion that a few people who see would make a mistake and think that it is assur, would make it assur, since it is known to almost everyone that it is mutar. But in a case where many people may think that it is assur, even though it is mutar, an adam chashuv should refrain from doing it.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Moed Kattan 11b - Chol Hamoed vs. Aveilus

The gemara seems to assume that chol hamoed is an issur melacha d'oraysa as rashi implies (although tosafos chagiga 18a and the rosh at the beginning of the meseches learns the gemara to be lav davka) and aveilus is only d'rabonon (or at least melacha during aveilus is only d'rabonon as tosafos points out 14b). The machlokes in the gemara seems to be that R' Ashi holds that it is more mistaver to be machmir by chol hamoed which is d'oraysa (since we are meikil on chol hamoed certainly we are meikil for aveilus) than aveilus d'rabonon. R Shisha seems to hold that it is more mistaver to be machmir by aveilus which is d'rabonon than chol hamoed which is d'oraysa. This seems a bit strange. Are they arguing in general whether we are concerned to be mechazek drabonon's more than Torah laws?

Moed Kattan 10b - What is a Davar Ha'aveid?

The Rosh writes that although an opportunity to sell merchandise on chol hamoed for a high profit and after yom tov the profit will be minimal, is not considered davar ha'aveid. We see from the yerushalmi that a merchant who has an opportunity to buy merchandise on chol hamoed for a cheap price, and the opportunity will be lost after yom tov, [and certainly the opportunity to sell on chol hamoed for a high price which will be lost after yom tov] is considered davar ha'aveid and it is mutar. The language of the Rosh is "Loosing an opportunity to profit is considered a loss since it is not common". Shulchan Aruch paskens like this Rosh 639:5. The question is, why is this considered "davar ha'aveid"? Isn't davar ha'aveid only a loss of principal that you already have in your hands i.e. produce rotting?
I thought that perhaps we are speaking about the capital that one has invested in their business and is designated for buying and selling. That cash is not considered cash since its whole purpose it to invest in merchandise. The cash is considered a commodity like the merchandise who's value is determined by the amount of goods that it can be traded for. Therefore, just as one can offload merchandise on chol hamoed if it will loose its value by the time yom tov is over, one can also offload their "cash goods" on chol hamoed since it will loose its value in relation to the amount of merchandise that can be purchased with it by the time yom tov is over. Based on this, the heter of the Rosh would only apply to capital invested in the business, but would not necessarily allow for new cash to be invested in the merchandise.
But, someone in my shiur [Stan Sussman] pointed out that the simple understanding is that a lost opportunity to profit is deemed by halacha as a loss bec. the nature of business is to survive and prosper by taking advantage of these opportunities.

Monday, March 19, 2007

Moed Kattan 9b - Torah vs. Mitzvah

The gemara makes a distinction between mitzvos that can be done by others for which one does not stop their learning and mitzvos that cannot be done by anyone else for which one must stop learning. We find a similar distinction made if one is conflicted with a mitzvah vs. kibud av; the shulchan aruch 240:12 says that if the mitzvah can be done by others one should choose kibud av, but if it can't be done by others one should forfeit kibud av and do the mitzvah. Normally when conflicted with 2 mitzvos to do, one should weigh and choose the "greater" mitzvah, but Torah is an exception that even though it is greater you stop learning to do the mitzvah that cannot be done by others (there is not even a p'tur of osek b'mitzvah). The halacha indicates that kibud av is like Talmud Torah in that you don't choose the greater mitzvah, rather you do the mitzvah that cannot be done by others. The question is, if we consider Talmud Torah and Kibud Av to be the greatest mitzvos which is why they override any mitzvah that can be done by others, why do we forfeit them for "smaller" mitzvos that can't be done by others. Why is it that kibud av is different than other mitzvos?
It seems the source is the gemara in megillah at the end of the 1st perek that Gadol Talmud Torah than kibud av. We learn from this that if one has to forfeit Talmud Torah for a mitzvah, then certainly one must forfeit kibud av for a mitzvah, bec. Talmud Torah is greater.
Just as by Torah one is required to stop learning and do the mitzvah, bec. the advantage of learning is only 'al m'nas la'asos', but at the expense of a mitzvah the learning is not considered to be a significant. The same holds true with kibud av, since the concept is bases on the "3 parteners in man" idea, one cannot forfeit their responsibility for avihem shebashamaim to fulfill kibud av.

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Moed Kattan 8b - Ein Mearvin

R' Nota Greenblatt was in Palo Alto and we were busy doing gittin all day, so i didn't have time to post.
Quick point: Re: The source for not making wedding on chol hamoed, what is the difference whether it is bec. of ein mearvin simcha b'simcha or bec. of v'samchata b'chagecha and not your wife? It may be true that ein mearvin is more general in that it applies to other situations and also other forms of mitzvah conflicts like bris and pidyon as tosafos points out. The question is doesn't the other opinion also agree in concept to ein mearvin, why would they need a special pasuk to exclude ishticha (your wife)?

Friday, March 16, 2007

Moed Kattan 7b - Pushing off Mitzvos

I once saw a fabulous ma'areh makom on this gemara quoted by R' Schachter (from YU).
The gemara implies that we need a special pasuk to give the kohen a heter not to see negaim on yom tov and during the sheva brachos. The Chazon Ish (Negaim 13:17 - last one in Negaim) discusses whether one is allowed to push off a positive mitzvah that does not have any time limit and do it later. Is the pushing off the mitzvah tantamount to being mevatel the mitzvah? The Chazon Ish explains that the gemara implies we need a special pasuk to give a heter to the kohain to push off seeing the negah (acc. to one opinion we even need a special pasuk for a heter to push it off for a d'var mitzvah), which indicates that without a pasuk the torah recognizes this procrastination (acc. to one opinion even if it is for a mitzvah) to be a violation of the mitzvas aseh. The Chazon Ish then pushes this off by saying maybe Negaim are more chamur or maybe there is just a ma'alah of zrizin to do it immediately and we need a pasuk to teach that in this case one should wait and there is no advantage of zrizin. He brings a proof from moshe Rabbeinu who settled into the hotel before doing milah to his son and was punished bec. it was inappropriate for moshe to do that, but clearly moshe would not have done an issur. It must be that delaying a mitzvah does not constitue a violation of the mitzvah in any way.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Moed Kattan 5b - Minhag to Wash Meisim - Rashi

Rashi writes about the sadeh bochim, that it was a place where the niftar was transfered from one group to another and "they would bathe him there". As far as I know, this is one of the earlier sources for the minhag of the chevra kadisha to wash the meisim. The Rambam also mentions this (Avel 4:1) and it is recorded in the Tur and Shulchan Aruch 352:4. The Kol Bo brought in Beis Yosef explains that the purpose is to wash him so that he doesn't smell so that the people carrying him won't be disgusted by the smell. However, the Darkei Moshe (also in Rama) quote the Binyomin Z'ev who adds that we are meticulous to wash between the hands, feet, ears, and even comb his hair.... "so that he comes b'tahara to his resting place like one is accustomed to doing every shabbos before going to shul".
It seems that the source for washing found in Rashi and the Rambam was for practical purposes of the living, but our minhag is more mystical to prepare the meis for where he is going.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Moed Kattan 5a - Tziyun Kevaros

Rashi explains that the purpose of grave marking is to prevent terumah eaters from becoming tomei and then eating teruma b'tumah without realizing. It seems that Rashi prefers this concern rather than the issur of being metamei l'mais bec. it includes not only kohanim but even their wives and daughters. But why does rashi in d.h. metzaynin and d.h. asu mishmeres, say that the concern is for terumah eaters, but in d.h. lifnei, rashi says the concern is for terumah and taharos carriers?
Based on the gemara in avodah zarah 14a says that we are only concerned for lifnei iver, but we are not concerned with lifne d'lifnei. Meaning that if it is more that one step removed, it is not a violation of lifnei iver. Therefore, Rashi explains that the main concern is terumah eaters who would eat terumah temeiah, but by the esmachta of lifnei iver teruma eaters would not be a problem bec. it is an indirect michshol - meaning, by not marking the grave they will be tomei and then go home to eat terumah. Instead Rashi explains that there is a concern of a direct michshol that someone will be carrying terumah/taharos and it will become tomei when it is passed over the kever.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

General Question: Going to Work on Chol Hamoed

I was asked recently whether someone who works for a large tech company and is entitled to a week vacation must take the vacation during chol hamoed. He prefers to take vacation in the summer when he can actually have a vacation, but then if he takes of chol hamoed they will deduct money from his salary. I don't have an answer, but it seems the question can be broken down into 3 issues:
1. Although in a case where missing work one will not receive their hourly wages, that is not davar ha'aveid (rather missing out on gains). But, perhaps deducting money from a salary that he is entitled to for the work that he will put in this year is considered money already in his hand and qualifies as a davar ha'aveid?
2. Even if loosing salary is davar ha'aveid, since there are still vacation days that he is entitled to they must be taken during chol hamoed. Or perhaps if this person needs a "real" vacation for his emotional well being, that itself is like a davar ha'aveid and therefore he may be entitled to his vacation in which case the extra time off from work which will cause a reduction in his salary is considered davar ha'aveid?
3. Perhaps davar ha'aveid is only necessary for real work such as field work and sechorah, but this person will be sitting in front of a computer and typing (not even writing) which would not be a violation of chol hamoed, so even without davar ha'aveid it should be mutar?

Moed Kattan 4b - Digging an Amah on Moed

The Chachamim in the mishnah allow digging an amah on shevi'is. They reject both the sevara of nira'ah k'oder and the sevara of machshir agfei l'zriah. Tosafos seems to imply that the sevara of looking like oder which is R' Elazar d'rabonon concern, the Rabonon simply don't hold of. The same would be true if machshir agfei l'zriah would just be that it looks like plowing, the Rabonon can easily not hold of it. But, if the concern of machshir agfei l'zriah is that it is an actual melacha of plowing that is done through a pesik reisha, the rabonon have to hold that it is mutar bec. of a shinuy. Since the melacha of plowing is done with a shinuy, it is not a melacha, and mutar.
Although the Rabonon hold that the fact that it is a shinuy removes the prohibition of plowing during shevi'is, on chol hamoed one cannot build a new amah. Shinuy helps by shabbos or shevi'is to remove an issur melacha, but chol hamoed which is an issur tircha as the gemara points out, the fact that the melacha is done through a shinuy doesn't matter, it is still assur.
It is important to note that even in the context of chol hamoed we find that chazal also said that melachas u'man such as writing is assur. This is clearly an issur melacha and therefore shinuy would help.

תוספת שביעית

בדין תוספת שביעית ל' יום יש לחקור האם יש דין כעין תוספת שבת, דל' יום לפני שביעית נחשבים ממש לשביעית, או שדין תוספת שביעית הוא שאסור לעבוד בל' יום אלו- דבר שיועיל לשביעית עצמה. והנפ"מ לחרישת נטיעות ילדות דמועיל לעכשיו שלא יתקלקלו. ונמצא מדין שמותר לחרוש עשר נטיעות מוכח דכל הדין של תו"ש הוא לא לעשות עבודה שתהני לשביעית. וכך ביאר ב"הערות" דלכן אף לר"ע שלומד תו"ש מקראי ס"ל דעשר נטיעות מותר -כדמוכח במשניות שמודה בזה- אף שאין לו הל"מ
רק דצ"ב לפ"ז מה התוספת שהוסיפו ב"ש וב"ה, דאם רק ל' יום מועיל לשביעית מהו השיעור של פסח ועצרת. והנראה שדין ל' יום הוא דין שבזמן זה מהני לעצם הקרקע דהיינו דהחרישה ל' יום לפני שביעית תשביח את הקרקע לשביעית ושיעור פסח ועצרת זה לתבואה ולאילן. אך א"כ לכאורה הדרא קושיא לדוכתא דמהו מקור ההיתר לר"ע לחרוש עשר נטיעות אי מועיל לקרקע עצמה של שביעית. ואולי כיוון שהחרישה מועילה לאילנות כעת זה מפקיע מהטפל שמחזק הקרקע וצ"ע
any thaughts?

Monday, March 12, 2007

Moed Kattan 3a - Toldos by Shevi'is

The gemara seems to indicate that to be considered an av it must be written in the Torah by shevi'is, that is why plowing is considered a Tolda (even though by shabbos it is an Av). But not every melacha written by shevi'is is an Av. Regarding Zeriah/Zemirah the gemara understands that Zeriah is the Av and Zemirah the Toldah. Regarding Ketzirah/Betzirah the gemara understands that Ketzira is the Av and Betzirah is the Tolda. Rashi is very meduyak in that we determine Zeriah to be the Av because it is more basic, and by default Zemirah is the Tolda. But by Ketzirah and Betzirah, they are both exactly the same just that one is to grapes and the other to tavuah. We cannot figure out from sevara which is the av and which is the Tolda, so we look at shabbos and determine that just as by shabbos Ketzirah is the av, so too here Ketzirah is the Av.
In short: Zeriah and Ketzirah are Avos. Zemirah and Betzirah are Toldos that you are chayev malkus for. Charishah is according to all an issur D'oraysa (if we assume that R' Elazar is the opinion who says that you don't get malkus - see Tosafos 3b). R' Yochanan would hold that you get malkus by charishah and by all the toldos mentioned in braisa (bec. only acc. to R' Elazar we say the braisa is an Esmachta). R' Elazar holds that Charishah is d'oraysa (based on klal prat..) but no malkus (based on his explanation of R' Dimi), and all other Toldos mentioned in braisa are only D'rabonon.

Moed Kattan 2b - Weeding: Not Harvesting

Rashi explains that the machlokes regarding weeding is only whether it is planting or plowing, but it is definitely not considered harvesting since it is not being done to collect and use the grass. It would seem that this would only work if we assume that one is patur on melacha sh'ein tzricha l'gufa, but according to R' Yehuda (who the Rambam paskens like) that you are chayev for ein tzricha l'gufa, you should be chayev for 'kotzer'. However, Tosafos in Shabbos 73b d.h. vtzarich, explains that kotzer by definition must be done for the purpose of using the items that were collected. Kotzer is not just a ma'aseh melacha, and therefore does not qualify as a melacha at all unless it is done for the purpose of collecting the wood. Tosafos supports this from tearing not for the purpose of sewing and erasing not for the purpose of writing, would also be patur even according to R' Yehuda bec. the definition of tearing is to erase, and the definition of erasing is to write.

Sunday, March 11, 2007

torah is a song

בסוף מגילה הגמרא אומרת דיש מעלה שהתורה היא בבחינת זמרה ושאלתי דהרי במקום אחר יש טענה על דוד שאמר זמירות היו לי חוקיך

Moed Kattan 2b - Melacha on Chol Hamoed - Deoraysa or Derabonon

There is a big machlokes rishonim whether melacha on chol hamoed would be violation of a d'oraysa or a d'rabonon. It is based on the understanding of the cryptic line in chagiga 18a - see tosafos there and rosh and the beginning of moed katan.
Today's gemara seems very meduyak like the opinion that it is d'oraysa. The gemara says why should it be mutar to water on chol hamoed and shevi'is. Chol Hamoed makes sense since "it is an isuur tircha and in a situation of loss there was no prohibition", but shivi'is is an issur melacha d'oraysa so how can chazal permit it. To this the gemara answers that on shevi'is watering is also only derabonon, either bec. shevi'is nowadays is only derabonon or bec. toldos are only derabonon. From the fact that the gemara does not say, "chol hamoed makes sense since it is only an issur derabonon and in a situation of loss there was no prohibition", implies that really chol hamoed is an issur d'oraysa. The gemara is saying that even though it is an issur d'oraysa, it is not an issur melacha rather an issur tircha. Since the nature of the issur is tircha, it is automatically relative to the level of stress necessary and the loss that would be suffered by not doing it. It is considered excessive tircha which would be assur d'oraysa only if it would be very difficult i.e. watering from well water, or it is only for extra gains but not a loss i.e. beis hashalchin. But if the tircha is not excessive and it is to prevent loss, the rabbis determined that there would not be a torah prohibition of tircha in that case.

Friday, March 09, 2007

מראה מקום

והכי אמר רב האי שמעתי מפי חכמים כי תחיית המתים עתידה להיות בניסן ונצחת גוג ומגוג בתשרי ומש"ה בניסן מפטירין העצמות היבשות ובתשרי ביום בא גוג - ע"כ לשון הטור

בדין שמואל שאי י"ד אדר נופל ביום שיש קורין זכור למחרת בט"ו כי היכי שיהיה זכירה ועשייה בהדי הדדי. מכאן מוכיח הנוב"י באו"ח קמא מ"ב שסעודת פורים ומשלוח מנות דינם בשבת ולא ביוא ראשון - לאנשי ירושלים. ושנה הבאה כך יוצא שיש פורים משולש. ובירושלמי מפורש שהסעודה ביום ראשון אך המנ"ב פוסק שיש להמיר לצאת גם בשבת וגם ביום ראשון (סעודה + משלוח מנות)

במגילה ל"א ע"ב מאד כדי לעיין בביה"ל דרשא ז

Megillah 30b - Torah Reading on Public Fasts

The gemara implies that if a Ta'anis would occur on Monday and we would be able to accommodate for reading both the parsha of the week and the reading for the Ta'anis by having the parsha of the week read by shacharis and the Ta'anis reading by mincha, we should do so. But since the Ta'anis for rain did not allow for reading by shacharis we forfeit the regular parsha of the week for the Ta'anis reading. Based on this, when one of the 4 fasts or Ta'anis esther falls on monday or thurs, why do we read vayechal both by shacharis and mincha? Shouldn't we read the regular reading by shacharis and vayechal just by mincha?

Thursday, March 08, 2007

Megillah 30b - Torah Reading for Holidays

Why does the mishnah list that the reading for pesach is parshas hamoados, but on succos mention that we read the korbanos on chol hamoed? Tosafos already points out that out minhag is always to be maftir with korbanos, but the mishnah leaves them out. This seems to strengthen the question as to why we mention them on Succos.
There are 2 requirements in the krias hatorah of moadim. 1. To read inyana d'yoma based on the drasha at the end of the mishna "sheyihu korin kol echad v'echad b'zmano". 2. To read the korbanos of that day based on tosafos who quotes the gemara in yoma 31b that the reading is equivalent to sacrificing them. The mishna is only listing the readings of inyana d'yoma (#1). We see from here that the gemara considers the inyana d'yoma of pesach to read the mitzvos related to pesach i.e. matzah, chometz. But the mishnah considers the inyana d'yoma of succos to be the Parei Hachag. The korbanos that are pochsin v'holchin are an integral part of the yom as the maharsha (succah 55b) brings from the midrash to symbolize that the nations of the world will be pocheis v'holeich.

Megillah 30b - Rashi: Question From Ta'anis is Only on R' Yirmiya

The gemara asks: "On Ta'anis (that falls on monday or thurs.) why do we stop reading the parsha of the week, we can read the parsha of the week in the morning and the Ta'anis reading in the afternoon?" Rashi comments that this question is only according to R' Yirmiyah who says that we try to incorporate the parsha of the week together with the special reading on the 4 parshiyos, so we should do the same here. But acc. to R' Ami that we interupt the parsha of the week and substitute if with the 4 parshiyos, we can skip the parsha of the week here too.
Lulei divrei Rashi: I would like to suggest that this question can even be acc. to R' Ami. The reading of the parsha on shabbos is not called the inyana d'yoma, rather it is the seder haparshiyos in order to finish the entire torah in a year (that is why bnei ma'arava could institute a different system to finish in 3 years). But, once there is a parsha that is going to be read on shabbos, portions of that reading are automatically considered inyanan d'yoma on monday and thurs. [see Rashi 22b (d.h. sh'ani) that to extend the reading of monday and thurs. and read more pesukim of that parsha also qualifies as inyana d'yoma]. Therefore, even acc. to R' Ami that we push off the shabbos reading for the 4 parshiyos, that is only bec. the shabbos reading is not inyana d'yoma, but the mon./thurs. reading from the section that will be read on shabbos is considered inyana d'yoma. So even acc. to R' Ami the gemara can ask that we should incorporate both the parsha of the week and the Ta'anis reading.

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Megillah 29a - Transplanting Shules in The Holy Land

Tosafos 28b explains that the stipulation made on shuls that one should be able to derive personal benefit from them only applies to shuls that are outside the land of Israel and only applies after they have been destroyed. Tosafos explains that the stipulation doesn't work for shuls in E.Y. bec. there kedusha will always remain. But for shuls outside E.Y. the kedusha will go away (therefore, when they are no longer serving as a shul i.e. after they have been destroyed, there is no kedusha that remains). Magen Avrohom 151:15 asks that we say on 29a that the shul will be transplanted to E.Y. so the kedusha should linger similar to the shuls already in E.Y. He answers that any shul destroyed before the bi'as go'el will not be transplanted in E.Y. The Korban Nesanel #3 answers that the shuls outside of E.Y. will become part of the ground in E.Y. but they will not be shuls in E.Y. so they will only have kedushas E.Y. not kedushas Beis Hakneses.
I may be missing something, but when I learned Tosafos I understood the gemara to be supporting their explanation (opposite of Magen Avrohom's question). The shuls outside of E.Y. will be moved to E.Y., meaning the ground will be left void of a shul hence void of kedusha, therefore the spot on which the shul stands now has no kedusha (once the shul is destroyed).

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Megillah 27b - Selling a Shul and Removing Kedusha

R' Moshe (Igros Moshe O.C. 1:51) was asked about using the Ezras Nashim of a shul to build a mikvah in a case where there was no other mikvah and no other space available for it. He first explains that gadol hashalom would be docheh even if there would be an issur, but then he launches into an elaborate explanation how to do it so that there should not be an issur. It seems that the main issue is that although the people in control of the shul may have the status of the 7 tuvei ha'ir, it cannot be done b'mamad anshei ha'ir. In the course of the discussion he answer the question of R' Akiva Eiger. The gilyon hashas 26a asks that Rashi 26a implies that without 7 tuvei ha'ir b'mamad anshei hair (7th-bmah) the kedusha remains on the shul and the money, and with 7th-bmah the kedusha is removed from both. Yet rashi on 27b writes that there is a case where the shul will not be kadosh, but the money will be. What is that case? R' Moshe writes that the 7th have the monetary control to sell the shul but it is like selling a sefer torah where the kedusha will remain on both the money and the item. The addition of bmah verifies that all agree that this location is no longer needed for the shul, so the kedusha will automatically go away. Therefore, when done by 7th-bmah, if the place is no longer needed the kedusha will leave the place but remain on the money. If the money is also no longer needed the kedusha will leave the money also. He is michadesh that if the halacha would endorse selling it, that is the equivalent of bmah since that we can assume all would agree, therefore the people in charge of the shul can sell the ezras nashim to be used for a mikvah since it is the equivalent of 7th-bmah and the kedusha goes away.
chaval al d'avdin v'lo mishtakchin!

Megillah 28a - Talmid Chacham Before Kohein

There is a machlokes rashi and tosafos whether the gemara is speaking about birchas hamazon or an aliya. Tosafos assumes that the gemara is talking about getting an aliya where they made a takana that a kohein is called bec. of darchei shalom and still the gemara implies that it is assur for a Talmid Chacham to allow a Kohein am ha'aretz to get the first aliya. In a situation where the kohein is also somewhat of a talmid chacham that they are considered "equal", Tosafos says the Talmid Chacham would go first only if other kohanim are submissive to him or that the takana only applied to a large group like that which gathers on shabbos. But, if the kohein is a real am ha'aretz it seems that the Talmid Chacham has to insist on getting the first aliya even if kohanim are not kafuf and even if there is a large gathering.
Maybe we should start a minhag that Talmidei chachamim leave the shul before the kohen is called up!

ג' קושיות

הרמב"ם בסוף מנין המצוות הקצר כותב דמצות דרבנן אינם בבל תוסיף כיון דהם לא אמרו שה' ציווה כך אלא שזה מדרבנן. "...ולכך אנו אומרים שהנביאים עם ב"ד תקנום וציוו לקרות המגילה בעונתה כדי להזכיר שבחיו של הקב"ה..." וצ"ע מאי קושית הגמרא מגילה י"ד ע"א שמ"ח נביאים וכו' ולא הוסיפו אלא מקרא מגילה ומאי דרשו וכו' עד שמצאו ק"ו? (וע"ש בסוגיא ברש"י ובמהרש"א ורש"ש וברמב"ן דברים פרק ד' על מצוות בל תוסיף). עכ"פ לרמב"ם מדוע הגמרא לא תירצה שיש לחכמים כח להוסיף כל עוד שאומרים שלא הוי דאורייתא
בהאי דאשה וקטן עולין לקריאת התורה הר"ן כותב (יג ע"א בדפי הרי"ף) שרק לשבעה אך לא לשלשה. ועדיין איך מוציאין הרבים ידי חובה ואי לא צריך להוציא מדוע א"כ לשלשה לא עולין
בריש פרק בני העיר מוכח שלכ"ע מקום מקודש לא נקרא אחוזתכם ולכן לא מיטמא בנגעים (לולא סוגיא דיומא כמבואר בתוס'). ואף שבית השותפין רגיל וודאי נקרא אחוזתכם נראה מוכח ששותפות דרבים שאני משותפין רגילה. (וזכור לי שבביצה בסוגיא דברירה יש מ"ח ראשונים איך ללמוד ששותפין שנדרו הנאה זה מזה לא נאסרין בעזרות ומבואר באגר"מ וצריך אני למצוא, עכ"פ מזיכרון שזה לפחות שיטה אחת בראשונים שם). ולפ"ז קשה לי על הרע"א ביו"ד ריש סימן ע"ר דכתב שלהתורת חיים שאם הקדיש ס"ת שלו לרבים לא יוצא מצוות כתיבת ס"ת שה"ה לבעלות בשותפות לא יצא ולכאורה יש לחלק בין שותפות רגילה לשותפות של רבים. וצ"ע
I would love to hear what the עולם thinks.

Monday, March 05, 2007

Megillah 27a - Selling an Aron and Buying and Aron

If one already sold an Aron (bidieved), can they use the money to buy another one, or must they go up in the level of Kedusha?

The gemara concludes that although one may not be allowed to sell a Torah to purchase another Torah (even a newer one), if it was already sold one should use the money to purchase another sefer Torah. Rashi explains that bidieved we tell you to use the money for another sefer Torah because "if not, what will you buy with that money". The Pri Megadim (O.C. -M.Z. 153:1) points out that based on Rashi's sevara, this only applies to a sefer Torah where you can't possibly go higher. But, if one sold another tashmish kedusha like an Aron or Paroches, since you can go higher, even bidieved (after it was already sold) we require you to use the money for something that has a higher level of kedusha.

Megillah 26b - Sefer Torah Cover

The gemara says that the curtain used in an Aron can be used for a sefer torah but not for chumashin. It would seem that a pasul sefer Torah has the status of chumashin rather than a sefer torah. Based on this, someone in my daf yomi shiur asked, how can we redress a sefer torah in the same cover after it has been found to be pasul? Isn't that using the cover of a sefer torah for chumashin? Any suggestions?

Friday, March 02, 2007

Megillah 24a - Like a Goy

Tosafos writes that chazal were not mesaken that women should be chayav miderabonon in time bound positive mitzvos (Tosafos proves that women are expempt from time bound rabbinic mitzvos so chazal were certainly not mechayev them midrabonon in d'oraysa time bound mitzvos). It was not necessary to be mechayev women miderabonon in time bound positive mitzvos, because they can express they "jewishness" by keeping many other mitzvos that they do have. But, blind people according to R' Yehuda who are expempt from mitzvos m'doraysa would be exempt from all mitzvos, therefore, Chazal were mechayev them in mitzvos m'drabonon so that they should not be like goyim.
There is a machlokes between the Noda b'yehuda and Pri megadim (i can't recall the ma'areh makom right now) whether this exemption for blind people according to R' Yehuda is only from positive mitzvos or whether they are exempt from even negative commandments (like a cheiresh and shoteh who are exempt from all mitzvos). According to the opinion that they are exempt from only positive mitzvos but are chayev d'oraysa in negative mitzvos, tosafos is saying a fascinating chiddush. Even though they would be chayev in negative mitzvos, chazal were still concerned that they would be like goyim since they would not be actively performing mitzvos aseh. What makes us different from "them" in the public eye is not what we don't do but rather what we DO!