web analytics
August 4, 2015 / 19 Av, 5775
At a Glance
Judaism
Sponsored Post


Daf Yomi


Daf-Yomi-logo

Beware Of The Fruit!
‘A Mis’asek Is Excluded’
(Kerisos 19a)

Our sugya distinguishes between a shogeg and a mis’asek. A shogeg must bring a korban chatas while a mis’asek is exempt. A shogeg is someone who intentionally commits a forbidden act, such as plowing a field in Eretz Yisrael during shemitah, but forgets that doing so is forbidden. In contrast, a mis’asek is someone who, for example, pulls a plow to a storeroom during shemitah, unintentionally plowing his field in the process. In other words, he acted willfully but never intended to do anything forbidden. The forbidden act was a byproduct of his action. The shogeg therefore must bring a chatas as he intended to do a forbidden act, while the mis’asek is exempt as he did not intend to do a forbidden act.

Free Of Sin Or Free Of Penalty?

Most commentators on the Gemara maintain that a mis’asek is completely exempt. He is not obligated to bring a chatas, and he is not guilty of any violation. However, Rabbi Akiva Eiger offers proofs that a mis’asek is considered an unwitting sinner. He may be exempt from bringing a chatas, but he still sinned (Responsa Rabbi Akiva Eiger 1:8).

What are the implications of Rabbi Akiva Eiger’s opinion? First, since the mis’asek sinned, he needs atonement. Second, it has ramifications for the rule of “kim lei bideraba minei –the harsher penalty is adequate.” This rule dictates that that if a person faces two punishments for the same act – for example, the death penalty and a financial penalty – he only receives the harsher penalty. This rule also applies to a shogeg. Even though a shogeg doesn’t receive the death penalty, he can commit sins that, in theory, are punishable by death (if committed intentionally). Thus, this rule can also exempt a shogeg from financial penalties. If Rabbi Akiva Eiger is right, the rule can exempt a mis’asek as well. (It does not, however, concern a mis’asek who did a melachah on Shabbos because to violate Shabbos one must act intentionally; meleches machsheves is required.)

Rabbi Akiva Eiger’s position aroused a great deal of discussion among the Acharonim. Both sides adduced piles of proofs for their position. Is a mis’asek a sinner who needs atonement, or not?

Waking Up A Sleeping Kohen

Rabbi Akiva Eiger’s son, Rabbi Shlomo, brings a proof for his father’s position from his pupil Rabbi M. Yafeh. The halacha is (Rema, Y.D. 374:1) that if a person dies in a home, one should immediately wake up any kohanim in the house and urge them to leave since tumas meis rests in the house. If a mis’asek, however, is regarded as though he did not sin at all, why should we wake up the tired kohanim? After all, they knows nothing, they’re busy sleeping. Can we think of a greater example of a mis’asek? And yet, the halacha is that we do wake up the kohanim. We thus see that a mis’asek is considered to be a sinner even though he acts unintentionally (Responsa Rabbi Shlomo Eiger, kesavim, 20).

Two Types Of Prohibitions

The Gaon of Lissa, author of Mekor Chayim and Nesivos HaMishpat, rejects this proof. He writes that we must distinguish between two different types of prohibitions. Most prohibitions involve an active deed. To violate Shabbos, for example, one must do a melachah. The prohibition for a kohen to become impure, however, involves “avoidance behavior.” The kohen must do everything possible not to become impure. He violates this prohibition not by doing something but by not doing something.

Thus, Rabbi Shlomo’s proof doesn’t work. For even if Rabbi Akiva Eiger’s disputants are correct – and a mis’asek is completely free of sin – we would still have to wake up the kohanim. The category of mis’asek only exempts one from a sin which requires a deed. It doesn’t exempt one from a sin which requires “avoidance behavior.” These kohanim may be doing nothing to become impure, but that is precisely what the Torah forbids – doing nothing.

Rabbi Yisrael Salanter’s Question To Rabbi Akiva Eiger

In Rabbi Akiva Eiger’s old age, a young Rabbi Yisrael Salanter sent him a letter. He wanted to know why a great commotion was made about eating wormy fruit. After all, a person who eats wormy fruit is considered a mis’asek since he intends to eat the fruit and not the worm. And since a mis’asek isn’t even considered a shogeg, there is no reason to forbid eating wormy fruit.

Rabbi Salanter waited a long while but did not receive a reply from Rabbi Akiva Eiger. He eventually met Rabbi Shlomo Eiger who told him that his father did not reply because an elderly rabbi lived in Salant (where Rabbi Yisrael lived), and his father did not want to answer a question which rightfully should have been addressed to Salant’s rabbi. Nonetheless, Rabbi Shlomo Eiger said it is well known that his father maintains that a mis’asek is considered to have sinned; thus, there is no basis for Rabbi Yisrael’s question (see Teshuvos Vehanhagos by Rabbi Moshe Sternbuch 4:190).

Since we are discussing wormy fruit, we should mention that the Acharonim state that eating wormy fruit is prohibited even according to the opinion that a mis’asek is free of all sin (see Imrei Binah on the Bach, end of siman 4; Darchei Teshuvah 84:28; Minchas Shlomo 6; Kovetz Shiurim, Pesachim, os 215 and 117, where he questions Rabbi Akiva Eiger about helam mikdash; Or Sameiach, Hilchos Geirushin 1:17; Eglei Tal, Meleches Kotzer 24:12 and Meleches Ofeh 33:3; and Chazon Ish, Horayos 15, 9).

Meoros Hadaf Hayomi Newsletters are published by the Sochachover Kollel of Bnei Brak, led by Rabbi Chaim Dovid Kovalsky. Meoros Hadaf Hayomi Newsletters in Hebrew and/or English, are available for dedications for simchas as well as memorials (yahrzeiten, shloshim, etc.). They are distributed by e-mail: dafyomi@hadaf-yomi.com.

About the Author: RABBI YAAKOV KLASS, rav of Congregation K’hal Bnei Matisyahu in Flatbush, Brooklyn, is Torah Editor of The Jewish Press. He can be contacted at yklass@jewishpress.com. RABBI GERSHON TANNENBAUM, rav of Congregation Bnai Israel of Linden Heights, Boro Park, Brooklyn, is the Director of Igud HaRabbanim – The Rabbinical Alliance of America.


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

No Responses to “Daf Yomi”

Comments are closed.

Current Top Story
Meir Ettinger in a previous arrest.
Shin Bet Arrests Grandson of Meir Kahane for ‘Nationalist Crimes’
Latest Judaism Stories
Torat-Hakehillah-logo-NEW

By internalizing the Exodus, it is as if we ourselves were redeemed from Egypt.

Neihaus-073115

Each Shabbos we add the tefilla of “Ritzei” to Birchas HaMazon. In it we ask Hashem that on this day of Shabbos He should be pleased with us and save us. What exactly do we want to be saved from? Before we answer this question, let’s talk about this Friday, the 15th of Av. Many […]

Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks

Amongst the greatest disagreements in Judaism is the understanding of the 1st of the 10 Commandments

Daf-Yomi-logo

The Day He Heard
‘One May Seek Revocation Of A Confimation’
(Nedarim 69a)

The director picked up the phone to Rabbi Dayan. “One of our counselors lost his check,” he said. “Do we have to issue a new one or is it his loss?”

Six events occurred on Tu B’Av, the 15th of Av, making it a festive day in the Jewish calendar.

Why would Moshe Rabbeinu have thought that the vow that disallowed him to enter Eretz Yisrael was annulled simply because he was allowed to conquer and enter the land of Sichon and Og?

Question: When a stranger approaches a congregant in shul asking for tzedakah, should the congregant verify that the person’s need is genuine? Furthermore, what constitutes tzedakah? Is a donation to a synagogue, yeshiva, or hospital considered tzedakah?

Zvi Kirschner
(Via E-Mail)

Snow in Jerusalem! For many New Englanders like me, snow pulls at our nostalgic heartstrings like nothing else can.

Man has conflicting wishes and desires. Man has forces pulling him in competing directions.

Perhaps the admonition here is that we should not trivialize the events of the past by saying that they are irrelevant to the modern Jew.

One must view the settlement of Israel in a positive light. Thinking otherwise is a grievous sin.

Reaching a stronger understanding of what Moses actually did to prevent him from entering the land

Anti-Zionism, today’s anti-Semitism, has gone viral, tragically supported globally & by many Jews

More Articles from Rabbi Yaakov Klass and Rabbi Gershon Tannenbaum
Daf-Yomi-logo

The Day He Heard
‘One May Seek Revocation Of A Confimation’
(Nedarim 69a)

Daf-Yomi-logo

‘Older’ By A Month
‘…Until The Beginning Of Adar’
(Nedarim 63a)

The Plucked Apple
‘…Which Cannot Become Permitted’
(Nedarim 58a)

Going Public
‘From A Wealthy Roman Lady’
(Nedarim 50a)

This Land Is ‘My’ Land
‘[If The Vow Was Imposed] In The Seventh Year…’
(Nedarim 42b)

My Plate, My Food
‘My Loaf Is Forbidden To You’
(Nedarim 34b)

Not As An Asmachta?
“An Asmachta [In Beis Din] Does Acquire”
(Nedarim 27b)

Ulla’s Murderous Companion
‘Yes! Cut Him Even Deeper’
(Nedarim 22a)

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/judaism/halacha-hashkafa/daf-yomi-27/2012/04/05/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: