Thursday, May 29, 2014

Rosh Hashana 24b - Amirah L'nachri for Other Issurim

The gemara says that there is an issur to make pictures of the moon and sun do Rabban Gamliel could not have done it himself, rather he had a goy do it for him. Tosafos assumes that he commissioned a goy to make it for him, and therefore asks that by telling a goy to make it, it should be a violation of amirah l'nachri. The Ritva says that perhaps he simply purchased it from a goy, rather than have a goy draw it for him. The reason Tosafos assumes that he actually commissioned a goy is because he needed very particular pictures to show the eidim and it would be hard to imagine that he found exactly what he needed sitting in a store.
Tosafos answers that although there is an issur of amira l'nochri to have a goy do an issur for a jew, even something that is not shabbos related, for the sake of the mitzvah it is mutar. The difficulty with Tosafos answer is that Tosafos in Gittin 8b rejects the approach of the Ba'al Ha'itur (cited in the Rama O.C. 276) who permits a shevus of amirah l'nochri for the sake of a mitzvah without any additional shevus. How is it that Tosafos assumes here that we would permit amirah l'nachri on an issur Torah for the sake of a mitzvah? The Ritva implies within the approach of Tosafos that it is only for an issur such as this, the issur to create a form of the sun and moon, that we would permit it. The Ritva most likely does not mean that the issur of making the form of the sun and moon is in some way inferior to other issurim. Rather, he means like the Rashash who says that we only require a shevus d'shevus b'makom mitzvah to permit a more severe issur such as chilul shabbos, but for a regular la'av we would permit one shevus of amira l'nachri b'makom mitzvah. Based on the Rashash it should come out that for Yom Tov which is just a la'av, there is no misah or kareis, we should permit even one shevus for the sake of a mitzvah (meaning that Tosafos would agree that one can rely on the ba'al ha'itur).

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Rosh Hashana 21 - Fasting on the Wrong Day

There is a machlokes Rashi and Tosafos whether people out of the Yerushalyim vicinity would keep two days of Rosh Hashana out of concern that Elul was a 30 day month. Rashi writes on 18a that they would only keep one day of Rosh Hashana. Rashi continues that the only reason that messengers went out for Tishrei is to prevent people from being concerned that they were keeping the wrong day for Y.K. and Succos, implying that they would not keep two days. Tosafos there and 18b disgrees and hold that they kept two days. However, the gemara on 21a makes it clear that they would typically not keep two days of Yom Kippur. When Levi visited he found that they were fasting on the wrong day, they weren't fasting both days. The gemara says that Rava would fast two day, and seems to be saying it as somewhat of a chiddush, implying that it wasn't actually necessary, just a personal chumrah. And Rav Nachman got upset when someone told him that the following day was Y.K. which would force him to fast a second day, putting his health at risk. 
The gemara says that Levi pointed out that they were eating on what was established to be Y.K. in Eretz Yisroel, but could not formally testify to force them to fast that day because he didn't hear the beis din be mekadeish day 31. Rashi and Tosafos both explain that Levi was 100% confident that day 30 was not Rosh Chodesh and therefore it had to be on day 31, yet he refused to testify to force them to fast because of the technicality of not hearing the beis din formally declare day 31 as Rosh Chodesh (the difficulty with this is that the gemara 24a says we pasken like R. Elazar Bar Tzadok that on a me'ubar month, the beis din doesn't need to declare mekudash because it is automatic). Tosafos asks that since he knew that they were eating on Y.K. wasn't he obligated to stop them? Why is the technicality of not hearing the formal declaration of Beis Din sufficient to allow them to violate an issur kareis of Yom Kippur? Tosafos answers that since we say 25a that even if the Beis Din makes a mistake, it is binding, therefore it was considered Y.K. for the people of Bavel.
This Tosafos is very difficult to understand. The Turei Even already asks that the concept of אתם ואפילו מוטעין only applies to a circumstance where the Beis Din HaGadol in Yerushalayim messes up. The mistake of a local Beis Din couldn't possibly change Yom Kippur for their community? Furthermore, the gemara indicates that if Levi was able to testify because he heard the declaration of Beis Din, he would have been obligated to do so. Why would he have to testify for them, let them continue with their mistake since for them it would be binding as Yom Kippur? The Ritva explains that it was a believeability issue. There was a takana that one is not obligated to believe any testimony from someone who didn't hear the Beis Din say mekudash. Based on the Ritvah it makes sense that Levi didn't say anything because he would not have been believed on what he was saying since that was the takana. The approach of the Ritva would not apply the concept of אתם ואפילו מוטעין, so clearly Tosafos is not saying like the Ritvah.
The Chiddushei HaRan also assumes like Tosafos and explains that had Levi testified for them, they would be bound by the Beis Din HaGadol in Yerushalayim, since all batei dinim were kafuf to them. But without Levi's testimony they have independence and can also excercise the concept of אתם ואפילו מוטעין to make the prior day into Y.K. The Aruch LaNer also assumes that the local Beis Din must be able to also use this concept. Any place that could not possibly know better must have the right to be under the excuse of אתם ואפילו מוטעין, because otherwise when they find out that they ate on Yom Kippur they should need to bring a Korban. Furthremore, the Aruch LaNer explains that anyone who is able should be REQUIRED to fast 2 days out of safeik, which the gemara clearly assumes is not the case. Although the Beis Yosef cites the Yerushalmi that the heter for not fasting two days was a concern of sakana, the Aruch LaNer writes that one could not rely on this as a general rule, rather each person would need to figure out whether it would be dangerous for them to fast two days. Therefore he concludes that we must be able to apply the אפילו מוטעין even to a local Beis Din.
Although I think that the approach of the Aruch LaNer is the correct peshat in Tosafos, I think that the rejection of the Beis Yosef is incorrect. There are sometimes circumstances where if we would have people do something dangerous as a large group en masse it will statistically be a sakana for a percentage of the group. Even if by looking at individuals we would say that 95% of them would be able to fast without danger, but if the 95% would fast some would inevitably die, that would also be a sakana to permit eating on Yom Kippur. Aside from a concern that if we told the 95% to fast, there would inevitably be people from the 5% that would also fast and be a sakana, there would even be a sakana to the 95% because looking at it on a more global scale rather than as individuals, there is inevitable danger. A mashal to this is when a state hires 1000 workers to build a tunner or bridge. For each worker the chance of death may be small, but there is not question that someone will die in the process. In halacha, that may also qualify as sakana - v'tzarich iyun.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Rosh Hashana 16b - Confusing the Satan

The gemara says that we blow shofar both sitting (prior to shemoneh esrei) and standing כדי לערבב השטן, in order to confuse the Satan. Tosafos cites the Aruch to explain that the Satan upon hearing the second set of tekios will think that Moshiach is coming and he will be killed, so he will be too distraught or distracted to prosecute agains klal yisroel. Rashi and Rabbeinu Chananel take a much simpler approach. They say that the confusion to the Satan will be caused by the repeating the mitzvah which will demonstrate love and endearment for the mitzvah. The Satan will be automatically silenced by our demonstration of love for mitzvos. The Ran has a third approach that the sound of the shofar humbles the yetzer horah. It seems from the Ran that the Satan is not referring to an external angel who speak bad to Hashem about klal yisroel, rather it is referring to the Satan/Yetzer Horah within each person. The shofar will remind the person to submit himself before Hashem, and not yield to the infulence of the yetzer horah.
I would like to focus on the approach of Rashi and Rabbeinu Chananel and its connection to Shavuos. The gemara says in Pesachim 58b that although there is a dispute whether לכם, personal enjoyment is necessary on most yom tovim, all agree that on Shavuos it is necessary - יום שנתנה בו תורה הוא, it is the day the Torah was given. Rashi explains שישמח בו במאכל ומשתה להראות שנוח ומקובל יום זה לישראל שנתנה תורה בו - to rejoice with good food and drink to show that this day is pleasant and accepted by yisroel, that the Torah was given on it. In other words, the avodas ha'yom of shavuos is to indulge and partake of a feast to show the importance of the day. I saw in the sefer Ohr HaChama on the M.B. (from Rav Zundel Kroizer zt"l who just passed away) an interesting question. Why would physical indulgence be the avodas hayom of Shavuos? Wouldn't it make more sense if the way she demonstrate appreciation for the Torah is by learning Torah (which we do)? Why would the halacha dictate otherwise? He explains that on Shavuos klal yisroel accepted the Torah, but the gemara says that they needed to be coerced into receiving the Torah - מלמד שכפה עליהם את ההר כגיגית. Learning Torah would demonstrate that we feel connected to the Torah but it would not necessarily indicate that we are happy about it. Chazal instituted that we physically indulge as an expression of happiness and excitement, to demonstrate that we are happy to have received the Torah and it isn't something that was forced on us against our will.
In general, the קטרוג that the Satan will have against klal yisroel is not that they don't perform mitzvos. We do perform mitzvos. The issue is that we often lack the excitement and enthusiasm in the performance of the mitzvah. We do it in a way that makes it seem like a burden. Therefore, the way we counter this kitrug is by blowing twice, to show that we want to be connected to the mitzvah as much as we can and don't want to let go. That is what Rashi means - שלא ישטין כשישמע ישראל מחבבין את המצות.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Rosh Hashana 10a - Counting the years of Orlah

Over the years, the question of when one can start using the fruit on their newly planted tree arises so it is worthwhile to summarize the halacha l'ma'aseh for this. On one hand the Mishna says that the first day of Tishrei is Rosh Hashana for new plantings, yet we say Tu B'shvat is Rosh Hashana for trees. Both are true.

Replanting potted trees:
Any fruit that grows on a tree for the first 3 years has a status of orlah, and during the fourth year has a status of נטע רבעי. The count begins from when the tree is planted, but if the tree is uprooted and replanted, it is complicated because one must determine if the dirt that was removed with it and how long it could have lasted. The Shulchan Aruch (294:19) writes that if it could survive with the dirt that was removed with it without adding any additional dirt, the count need not restart. However, often the tree can be uprooted and replanted in the pot that already contains soil. In that case the count would at least restart from the point that it was potted. If it is then removed from the potted soil and placed into the ground without much of the potted soil, the count would restart once again. It is not clear in the Shulchan Aruch how long it would need to survive in the dirt that was removed with it. The Pischei Teshuva (13) sites an opinion of the פרח מטה אהרן who says that it has to have enough dirt to survive for the duration of the years of orlah, 3 years. The Pischei Teshuva also quotes the Livushei Sered as saying that the Shulchan Aruch doesn't permit one to actually replant a tree with dirt to avoid the orlah years, it is only bidieved. He also writes that it is not so clear how much dirt it would need to survive for all 3 years. The Shivas Tziyon disagrees and holds that only in Eretz Yisroel would we require enough dirt to survive for 3 years, but in chutz la'aretz even if it is uprooted with just enough dirt to survive for days, it is sufficient. Furthremore, since we pasken that safeik orlah in chutz la'aretz is permitted (even though it is d'oraysa, it is part of the halacha l'moshe misinai to be matir the safeik), if one is unsure it is permitted. Based on this, one can generally be lenient in chutz la'aretz and assume that there was always enough dirt both when removed from the ground originally and when replanted, surrounding the roots to survive for a few days. Therefore, one can judge the age of the tree by its size and maturity to determine whether it is still within the years of orlah.

Rules of Orlah and Revai:
The fruits of orlah that grow within the first 3 years are forbidden to benefit from. The fruits which were orlah will always remain orlah regardless of how much time passes. Orlah is not a דבר שיש לו מתירין since the fruits that are assur will never become mutar. The fruits that grow during the fourth year have status of נטע רבעי. Nowadays when there is no option of eating the fruits in Yerushalayim, they can be redeemed onto a coin and are permitted. One should not redeem the fruits until they are detached from the tree (Shulchan Aruch 6 and Shach 11). One can redeem even a large quantity on a peruta and deform the coin afterward. There is a bracha made on the pidyon - על פדיון רבעי. There is a machlokes cited in Shulchan Aruch (7) whether netah revai applies in chutz la'aretz. Rabbeinu Yona holds that it applies in chutz la'aretz as it does in E.Y. The Rambam holds that it only applies in Eretz Yisroel, but in chutz la'aretz the fruits are considered chulin after the 3 years of orlah and there is no need for redemption. Other rishonim (cited by the Rama) holds that it applies to grapes in chutz la'aretz but not to other trees. The Shach (17) seems to hold that for all trees in chutz la'aretz one should redeem the fruits without a bracha. However, the Gr"a (28) says that the third opinion is the ikar and therefore in chutz la'aretz one can be lenient to use all fruits other than grapes after the 3 years of orlah have passed without redeeming.

Counting the years:
The system for counting the years of orlah is relatively simple. It takes 14 days for the tree to take root (in halacha), and must take root 30 days prior to Rosh Hashana to count as the first year. Also, Tishrei is the Rosh Hashana for newly planted trees, whereas Tu B'shvat is Rosh Hashana for full grown trees. Therefore, if one planted a tree 44 days before Rosh Hashana (before 16th of Av), those 44 days count as year one. From tishrei to tishrei ends year 2, and from that tishrei to the next tishrei ends year 3. BUT the fruits at the end of year 3 remain assur until Tu B'shvat because at this point we regard it as a full grown tree so that the Rosh Hashana is 15th of Shevat, not Tishrei. Therefore, the fruits that reach the stage of חנטה prior to Tu Beshvat of that year remain assur forever, but the fruits that are only cho'neit after Tu B'shvat are permitted to be used. There is a machlokes Rishonim whether the requirement to wait until Tu B'shvat is due to the fact that we are cutting corners at the start of the count and considering anything more that 44 days prior to Rosh Hashana to count as a year. The opinion of many Rishonim including Rashi ("ד"ה ופירות - "מט"ו בשבט עד ראש השנה - משמע שודאי מותר בר"ה הרביעית) and the Rambam is that if one plants within 44 days of Rosh Hashana so that their first year will only end after a full year plus, they can use the fruits that are cho'neit at the end of the third year and don't need to wait until Tu B'shvat of that year (the Yerushalmi Shevi'is perek 2 end of halacha 4 says this almost explicitly as the pnei moshe explains). The Ran disagrees and says that even if one is waiting a full 3 years or more, only fruits that reach חנטה after Tu B'shvat are permitted. This argument would only apply if one actually waited 3 full years, meaning 3 Rosh Hashana's have passed, but if one planted a few months prior to Rosh Hashana and are considering those few months to be the first year, all agree that they would have to wait until Tu B'shvat after the passing of the third Rosh Hashana (Shach 11). In chutz la'aretz one can certainly be lenient so that if 3 Rosh Hashana's passed the fruits that are cho'neit from that point and on are permitted. Furthremore, even if one knows that the tree was planted in the summer (if they didn't even know if it was planted in the summer, they can certainly assume it was planted more than 44 days before R.H.), but couldn't recall whether it was prior to the 16th of Av, they can be lenient in chutz la'aretz to assume that it was planted early and use the fruits that are cho'neit after Tu B'shvat of year 4 (Shivas Tizyon cited by Pischei Teshuva 3).

Trees from a non-jew:
Orlah applies m'doraysa both in Eretz Yisroel and in Chutz La'aretz, just that in chutz la'aretz it is a halacha l'moshe misinai which includes that special exemption for ספק ערלה. It even applies to property that is owned by a non-jew. Therefore, one cannot purchase fruits from the market if there is a strong chashash that they are orah fruits. The Chasams Sofer (cited in Pischei Teshuva 7) holds that the combination of factors, chutz la'aretz and land of a goy makes it so that the orlah is only d'rabonon.

Rosh Hashana 9a - Tosefes Shabbos and Yom Tov

Tosafos writes that the gemara takes for granted that everyone agrees that there is an obligation to be מוסיף מחול על הקודש for every shabbos and yom tov. The machlokes between R. Yishmael and R. Akiva is what the source of this is. R. Akiva holds that the pesukim speaking in the context of shemittah require tosefes, and from there we learn to shabbos, yom tov and Yom Kippur. R. Yishmael holds that the source is inuy by yom kippur and from there we learn to everywhere else.
Tosafos asks on the gemara in Pesachim which only considers the bein hashmashos time of Y.K. to be forbidden in melacha, but melacha should be forbidden even before bein hashmashos to fulfill tosefes? Tosafos answers - ושמא משום דסגי בתוספת משהו נקיט, meaing that since tosefes can be fulfilled by abstention from melacha for an insignificant moment, we don't bother mentioning it as a separate entity from bein hashmashos. On the other hand, Tosafos in Beitzah 30a writes that since bein hashmashos is assur m'safeik, clearly the mitzvah of tosefes would be coming to add some significant amount of time onto the bein hashmashos, since it would be impossible to do melacha up to the split moment before bein hashmashos (and it isn't plausible that women violated this as the gemara says). The Ran in Tosafos also concurs with Tosafos that the tosefes must be some significant amount of time, otherwise it would be a safeik issur d'oraysa since bein hashmashos is considered a safeik. Regarding the amount of time that would need to be added for Tosefes, the M.B. and Chayei Adam assume it must be about 15 minutes. The Chayei Adam (Shabbos, 5:1) writes that bein hashmashos together with tosefes will add up to approx. a half an hour. Since he would assume that bein hashmashos is 3/4 of a mil, which is a little under 15 minutes, he considers the time for tosefes to also be approximately 15 minutes. However, Rav Moshe (Dibros Moshe on Beitza) disagrees with this and holds that the time for Tosefes at least regarding eating, even according to Tosafos in Beitza and the Ran who require a significant amount of time for tosefes, would only be a few minutes. Rav Moshe calculates that according to Reish Lakish who holds that eating a chatzi shiur on Y.K. would not be a Torah violation. Therefore, if one ate a koseves ha'gasa in more than a shiur of achilas pras ON yom kippur, they would not be violating a Torah prohibition. Certainly, if they ate that before Y.K. they would not be violating. Therefore the shiur tosefes for which we are demanding one abstain from eating must be within a shiur of achilas pras of bein hashmashos.
Regarding the proof of the Ran and Tosafos that there must be a shiur for tosefes if one holds safeik d'oraysa l'chumra min hatorah, otherwise the time of tosefes would anyway be assur as a safeik d'oraysa. The Magen Avrohom O.C. 342 (cited in maharatz chiyus) writes that perhaps we would not apply safeik d'oraysa l'chumra to bein hashmashos because there is a chezkas heter of it being daytime. Therefore, even if the Tosefes literally went into bein hashmashos, it is necessary to require Tosefes because otherwise it would be mutar m'doraysa even according to those who hold safeik d'oraysa l'chumra is min hatorah.
Going back to the machlokes R. Yishmael and R. Akiva - The Gilyon HaShas asks that according to R. Akiva that the source for tosefes is shevi'is, that would only be a source for issur melacha, but would not be able to create a zman of tosefes from which one must abstain from eating before Y.K.? Furthremore, not all melachas are assur before shemittah, so how can we learn from there that no melacha can be done in the z'man of tosefes shabbos? Another fundamental question that I have is that Rashi says the nature of the tosefes by shevi'is is not that we extend back the issur melacha to a z'man of tosefes, rather we forbid the type of melacha that will help during the shemittah year (Tosafos 9b d.h. u'mutar) also says that the reason we assur plowing is because it is benefiting the land for shevi'is but as counterintuitive as it seems, planting is permitted up until 30 days before R.H.). This is fundamentally different than the tosefes melacha of shabbos and yom tov where the concept is to extend the kedusha of shabbos back to the z'man tosefes thereby forbidding all melacha. The Rashash cites the Rashba who says that R. Akiva would also need to learn from inuy to teach the din of tosefes for Y.K. and melacha on shabbos and Yom Tov and could not just use the pasuk for the drasha of eating on erev Y.K. 

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Rosh Hashana 8b - Mitzvah To Be Mekadesh Yovel and Count Toward It

I mentioned earlier on daf 2 that there is a machlokes between the Rabbonon and R. Yishmael the son of R. Yochanan Ben Broka whether yovel begins on R.H. (Rabbonon) or on Yom Kippur (R.Y.B.R.Y.B.B.). Within the opinion of R.Yishmael the braisa learns from the pasuk of וקדשתם את שנת החמשים שנה, that שמתקדשת והולכת מתחלתה. The Rabbonon who disagree use the pasuk to say שנים את מקדש ואי אתה מקדש חדשים. This means that for yovel there is a mitzvah aseh to be mekadesh it, but for Rosh Chodesh there isn't. Rashi explains that the mitzvah of kiddush yovel is - כששנת היובל נכנסה, מצוה על הב"ד לומר מקודשת השנה. There is a requirement on the Beis Din to declare that the year of yovel has kedusha. This Mitzvah is counted in the Chinuch (#332) but the Minchas Chinuch points out that it isn't clear what the mitzvah entails. Rashi both in our gemara and in chumash holds that the Beis Din must be mekadeish it with a formal declaration. Rashi also seems to hold that the kiddush of yovel is done on Rosh Hashana, but the Minchas Chinuch points out that the Sefer HaChinuch seems to hold that it is done on Y.K. The Sefer HaChinuch writes - 
ומן הדומה שהיו סנהדרין מתקבצין בקידוש השנה ומברכין עליה לקדש שנים ואח"כ תוקעין בשופר. The fact that he associates it with shofar implies that it is done on Y.K. The Minchas Chinuch explains that it makes sense to do it on Y.K. even according to R. Yishmael who holds that Yovel begins on R.H. because since tekias shofar of Y.K. is me'akeiv, it isn't clear that it will be yovel until the shofar is blown. In truth, it seems from the Sefer HaChinuch both in Mitzvah 332 and more in Mitzvah 330 that the kiddush done by the beis din is NOT a declaration of מקודשת השנה, rather just imposing the dinim of yovel. The Sefer Hachinuch writes in Mitzvah 330 - ואחר כך מקדשין שנת החמשים בשביתת הארץ ולקרות דרור לכל העבדים והשפחות וכל הקרקעות חוזרין לבעליהן. It seems that the Sefer HaChinuch disagrees with Rashi and holds that there is no formal declaration of mekudeshes hashana, but he does write in Mitzvah 332 that they make a bracha. Perhaps the Sefer Hachinuch holds that the kiddush is done through the blowing of the shofar, not with a statemenet of מקודשת השנה.
Aside from the mitzvah to be mekadeish yovel, there is a separate mitzvah that is counted by the Chinuch (#330) to count to the Yovel. The Rambam holds that just as for the Omer we say that there is a mitzvah to count both days and weeks (R.H. 5a), for yovel there is a mitzvah to count 49 years and also to count 7 shemita cycles. Regarding the formality of this count, Tosafos (Menachos 65b) says that perhaps Beis Din would formally make a bracha and count toward the yovel the same way that individuals count sefiras ha'omer. Tosafos in Kesubos 72a also assumes that there is a formal count with a bracha for the Yovel, and asks why there isn't any bracha on the 7 day count for a zavah. It isn't clear from Tosafos whether they hold that a zavah needs to verbalize the 7 day count each day, just that there is no bracha, or whether Tosafos means that there is no verbalization of the count, just a mitzvah to keep track (The Da'as Zekeinim Miba'alei HaTosafos takes for granted that yovel must be counted like sefiras ha'omer and seems to assume that zava is the same, just that there is no bracha). The Minchas Chinuch points out that the Sefer HaChinuch certainly assumes that there is no verbalization of the count of a zavah, just an obligation to keep track. Yet, when it comes to the count of Yovel the Sefer Hachinuch clearly assumes that there is a formal count with a bracha. Even though Tosafos writes דשמא ב"ד סופרין ומברכין על הספירה, the Sefer HaChinuch takes it for granted - וכן היא המצוה שהיו מונין שנה שנה ושבוע שבוע של שנים עד שנת היובל כמו שאנו מונין ימי העומר.
R. Akiva Eiger (Pesakim 29 and 30) had a discussion with his uncle R. Binyomin Eiger about the nature of kiddush of yovel. The Ran holds that Yovel is similar to sefiras zava, not to sefiras ha'omer (the Ran is cited in the Taz 489). R. Akiva Eiger points out that his uncle assumes that the peshat in the Ran is that the sefirah of yovel can be accomplished by the Beis Din through hirhur - merely thinking the number. R. Akiva Eiger himself disagrees and holds that according to the Ran there is no mitzvah at all to count the Yovel. The obligation of the Beis din is just to keep track of when Yovel will be, just as a zavah must keep track of her 7 clean days. Either way, the Ran is disagreeing with Tosafos and the Chinuch.

Monday, May 12, 2014

Rosh Hashana 6a - Bal Te'acher For Tzedakah

The gemara learns out from the pasuk of בפיך that there is a violation of בל תאחר for delaying the tzedaka that one owes to the poor. Rava says that the violation of בל תאחר is immediate since there are aniyim available. The gemara elaborates that even though it is learned from the context of korbanos, it is not dependent on the passing of 3 regalim like yom tov, rather it is immediate. The definition of לאלתר - immediate, is somewhat nebulous. It seems from Tosafos on 4a that it is one regel (and that even tzedaka is dependent on the regel). However, the language of לאלתר seems to imply literally מיד as is recorded in shulchan aruch Y.D. 557:3, which would probably mean at the earliest opportunity that is feasible.
The Braisa on 4a lists tzedakah as one of the items for which there is בל תאחר after 3 regalim. All the Rishonim raise the question that this contradicts the statement of Rava who considers it to be immediate. There are 3 approaches in the Rishonim that are cited by the Gr"a in Shulchan Aruch 557:6.
1. Tosafos 4a holds that when there are aniyim present, the violation is immediate which is clearly what Rava was speaking about. When aniyim aren't present one has 3 regalim to distribute the money. Meaning he has the obligation to seek out the aniyim before the expiration of 3 regalim. The implication of Tosafos at the end is that the definition of "immediate" is until the first regel passes.
2. The Rashba holds like the approach that Tosafos rejects. The aseh is violated immediately, but the lo ta'aseh is only violated with the passing of 3 regalim. He holds that even in the absence of aniyim one is in violation with the passing of 3 regalim.
3. The Ran (and Rambam) hold that tzedaka is only mentioned derech agav in the braisa. The entire obligation is contingent on the presence of aniyim. When aniyim are present one is in violation immediately. When they are not present, there is never an obligation to track them down and even after 3 regalim pass one would not be in violation of בל תאחר.
The Shulchan Aruch 557:3 paskens like the Rambam and Ran. The Gr"a agrees with this approach as well because the concept of being dependent on the regel is simply because that is when people were in yerushalayim and were able to bring their korbanos. There is no inherent connection between בל תאחר and the regel. Therefore, tzedaka is no at all connected to the regel, it is completley contingent on the access to aniyim. Nevertheless, the Shulchan Aruch and Rambam write that since one is capable of separating the money even when aniyim aren't present, they are required to at least separate it from their regular spending money and put it in a designated account for the aniyim.
Regarding pledging money to a shul or organization, the Rama writes that the בל תאחר only applies once they send a bill claiming the money. When receiving the bill, it must be paid immeditately. The Rama also writes that one is obligated to tell the gabbai that he made a pledge so that a bill can be sent. Finally, the Rambam and Shulchan Aruch conclude that if a person stipulates that they will distribute their tzedaka at will, and not be bound to give by a certain time, they avoid bal te'acher.

Thursday, May 08, 2014

Rosh Hashana 2a - When Does Yovel Begin? (Also pertinent for this weeks parsha Behar)

The Rambam writes in Hil. Eruchin (4:24) that when one is makdish the field and fails to redeem it, it goes to the kohanim by yovel. The Rambam writes - ואם היה ראש השנה של יובל בשבת שהרי משמר יוצא ומשמר נכנס,תנתן למשמר היוצא. The Rambam clearly holds that Yovel begins on Rosh Hashana so that the kohanim serving on Rosh Hashana have the rights to the field. Both the Lechem Mishneh raises the point that the Rambam in Hilchos Shemitin V'Yovel writes that Yovel begins on Yom Kippur, not Rosh Hashana, so why does he make it dependent on the kohanim of the mishmar of Rosh Hashana?
In truth, there is a machlokes tanaim about this issue. The first mishna in Rosh Hashana says that the first day of Tishrei is Rosh Hashana for Yovel. The gemara 8b asks that yovel doesn't begin on Rosh Hashana, it begins on Yom Kippur? The gemara responds that our mishna which says that Yovel begins on Rosh Hashana follows the opinion of R. Yochanan Ben Broka who says that in the Yovel year from Rosh Hashana until Y.K. the slaves no longer work, but also may not go home, rather they eat and party until the sound of the shofar on Y.K. at which point they return home. Both Rabbeinu Chananel and Tosafos explain that the gemara makes our mishna that considers R.H. to be the start of yovel to follow R. Yochanan Ben Broka, but the Rabbonon disagree and hold that yovel only begins on Yom Kippur.
Going back to the Rambam, the Mishnah L'melech points out that the question of the Lechem Mishna doesn't make sense. The Lechem Mishna understood that the concept of מר"ה עד יוה"כ לא היו עבדים נפטרין לבתיהן ולא משתעבדין לאדוניהם אלא אוכלין ושותין ושמחין וכו' כיון שהגיע יוה"כ תקעו ב"ד בשופר נפטרו עבדים לבתיהן is the opinion of the Rabbonon who hold that Yovel begins on Y.K. but according to R. Yishmael the avadim would even return home on R.H. Based on that assumption the Lechem Mishna asks that the Rambam who quotes that statement in Hilchos Shemitah contradicts the ruling in Hil. Eruchin of Yovel starting on R.H. But in truth, the Rambam is simply paskening that yovel begins on R.H. like R. Yishmael, yet the avadim don't return home until Y.K.
We still need to understand the concept of Yovel beginning on R.H. but the avadim not being able to return home until Y.K. Why would that be? The Minchas Chincuh (end of mitzvah 332) cites the Turei Even who says that yovel is dependent on blowing shofar so the yovel cannot go into effect without the shofar being blown on Y.K. But, when the shofar is blown on Y.K. the entire year gets kedushas Yovel even retroactively starting for R.H. Therefore the avadim cannot be forced to work because they may retroactively be freed if yovel goes into effect, but they cannot go home since the kedusha is still pending until the shofar is blown on R.H.
The approach of the Turei Even works to explain the Rambam, but it seems to me that the true peshat in the Rambam is simpler and can be understood from what he writes in the pirush hamishna. The Rambam writes - אע"פ שדיני יובל אינן מתחילין אלא מיום העשירי לתשרי לפי שאמר השי"ת "ביום הכפורים תעבירו שופר", אבל מראשית השנה יתחיל חשיבותה ותסתלק העבודה מן העבדים כדבר השי"ת וקדשתם את שנת החמשים שנה. The Rambam does not seem to support the notion of kedushas Yovel going into effect by the blowing of shofar retroactively from R.H. as the Turei Even explains. Rather, the Rambam holds that there are 2 dinim in Yovel. There is the kedusha of yovel and there is the halachos of yovel. The kedusha of yovel goes into effect on R.H. and that entitles the avadim to not have to work, but they are not set free. The dinim of yovel only begin on Y.K. and that is when the avadim go free (According to this approach the fields of hekdesh going to kohanim should be on Y.K. not R.H. as the Rambam writes in Hil. Erchin?)