web analytics
September 19, 2014 / 24 Elul, 5774
At a Glance
Judaism
Sponsored Post
Apartment 758x530 Africa-Israel at the Israel Real Estate Exhibition in New York

Africa Israel Residences, part of the Africa Israel Investments Group led by international businessman Lev Leviev, will present 7 leading projects on the The Israel Real Estate Exhibition in New York on Sep 14-15, 2014.



Daf Yomi


Daf-Yomi-logo

An Eventual Resolution
‘May The Likes Of You Increase Manifold In Israel’
(Bechoros 45b)

The gemara on our daf continues discussing unique deformities that disqualify a kohen from performing any ritual service. One of them is additional fingers and/or toes. In the Mishnah (on 45a) there is a dispute between R. Yehuda and the sages regarding a kohen with such a deformity. R. Yitzchak on our daf explains that both derive their position from the same pasuk (II Samuel 21:20), which describes a man who had six fingers on each hand and six toes on each foot. R. Yehuda interprets this passuk as praising the prowess of such an individual. The sages, on the other hand, interpret this verse as disparaging him.

The Gemara relates that R. Yehuda said that a man like this once came before R. Tarfon, who said to him, “May the likes of you increase manifold in Israel.” Presumably he meant this statement as a blessing. R. Yose, however, disagrees. He suggests that what R. Tarfon really meant was that mamzerim and Nesinim should possess these deformities so that they will be easily identified as unfit with the result that their numbers will thereby decrease. (The verse in Samuel concerns Nesinim – the people whom King David excluded from marrying into the Jewish people.)

The question is why did R. Tarfon include mamzerim when the pasuk only refers to Nesinim?

Cursing One’s Father

A Mishnah (in Yevamos 22b) states that a son who wounds or curses his father is subject to capital punishment (Shemos 21:15,17). The Mishnah notes that a mamzer who wounds or curses his father also receives this punishment.

The Gemara derives from this verse that the prohibition applies only if the father is “oseh ma’aseh amcha,” lit. one who is observant of the laws of the Torah. (Rambam – Hilchos Mamrim 6:12 – rules that the son is obligated to honor his father in any event whereas the Tur, Yoreh De’ah 240, disagrees.) Consequently, the Gemara explains that a mamzer is not punished for cursing his father unless the father repented for his immoral acts and is no longer considered a sinner.

Even So, Repent, My Friend

The Gemara wonders how it is possible to achieve atonement for this sin, for Shimon b. Menassiah says (Chagiga 9a) that fathering a mamzer is deemed “me’uvas lo yuchal liskon – that which is crooked cannot be made straight” (Ecclesiastes 1:15); namely, it is a misdeed that cannot be remedied.

The Gemara answers that even though fathering a mamzer is called a misdeed that cannot be remedied, if the father repents he falls into the category of one who is observant of Torah laws, and cursing him is forbidden.

There are several approaches to understanding the Gemara’s conclusion.

Constant Humiliation

Rabbenu Chayyim (Tosafos, Bava Bathra 89b) maintains that an immoral father who does teshuvah is considered to be observant of Torah laws because repentance fully eradicates all sins (even if a mamzer was produced). When Shimon b. Menassiah says that this type of sin is a misdeed without remedy, he simply means that the sinner will suffer endless humiliation since the effect of his act (the mamzer) is a constant reminder of his immoral deed (Tosafos, Chagiga 9a. s.v. “zeh”).

Removing Stigma

Rashi (infra Yevamos 21a s.v. “arayos” and Chagiga 9a s.v. “ve’holid”) indicates that even according to the Gemara’s conclusion, the sin of immorality cannot be entirely eradicated if a mamzer was produced since the effect of the sin is present in the world. The Gemara explains, however, that although teshuvah for such a sin is not entirely effective, it is sufficient to remove the stigma of classifying the father as a sinner, thus making the son liable to a penalty for cursing him.

‘Trace’ Sin

Kovetz He’aros (end of siman 21) explains that the novelty of teshuvah is that Hashem does not merely cleanse a person of his sins. He usually eradicates all traces of the sin retroactively so that it is considered as though the sin was never committed. Shimon b. Menassiah teaches that if the sin produced a mamzer, the sin cannot be eradicated retroactively since a visible trace of the sin still exists. The Gemara explains, however, that if the father repents, the son may not curse him because the father is not considered a sinner from that point onward.

Shouting From The Rooftops

Now let us consider R. Tarfon’s statement according to R. Yose. He is suggesting that any means whereby the mamzer’s status becomes public knowledge – and thus protects unknowing individuals from entering into a forbidden marriage – is commendable. The mamzer will not marry into the Jewish people, thus assuring that the lasting object of the father’s transgression will at some point cease to exist, leaving no trace. This will assure the sinner’s eventual exoneration and restore his standing before Hashem as a ba’al teshuvah (even if only after his own death).

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.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
Protest rally against Metropolitan Opera staging Death of Klinghoffer on 9/22 at 4:30 pm at the Met.
For Grass Roots Klinghoffer Protest 9/22, Jewish Establishment MIA
Latest Judaism Stories
Hertzberg-092614

Perhaps the most important leadership lesson Elkana taught us is to never underestimate the difference a single person can make.

Teller-Rabbi-Hanoch-NEW

“he’s my rabbi” the Black painter said with pride, pulling out a photo of the Rebbe from his wallet

Rabbi Avi Weiss, head of theYeshivat Chovevei Torah. Rabbi Asher Lopatin will be replacing him as head of the school.

The Torah notes that even when we are dispersed God will return us to Him.

Rabbi Sacks

Simply, for Rambam the number 14 (2×7) was his favored organizing principle.

One of the cornerstones of our Jewish life is chesed, kindness. Chesed can only be taught by example

Our understanding of what is and what is not possible creates imagined ceilings of opportunity for us.

This young, innocent child gave me a powerful, warm surge of energy and strength.

The Chafetz Chaim answered that there are two forms of teshuvah; teshuvah m’ahava and teshuvah m’yirah.

Question: I recently loaned money to a friend who has been able to repay only part of it. This was an interest-free loan. We exchanged a signed IOU, not a proper shtar with witnesses, since I have always trusted her integrity and only wanted a document that confirms what was loaned and what was repaid. Now that shemittah is approaching, what should I do? Should I forgive the loan? And if my friend is not able to repay it, may I deduct the unpaid money from my ma’aser requirement?

Name Withheld

A Role Reversal
‘Return, O Wayward Sons…’
(Chagigah 15a)

When the Kleins returned, however, they were dismayed to see that the renters did a poor job cleaning up after themselves.

In Parshas Re’eh the Torah tells us about the bechira to adhere to the commandments of Hashem and refrain from sin. In Parshas Nitzavim, the Torah tells us that we have the choice to repent after we have sinned.

As Moshe is about to die, why does God tell him about how the Israelites will ruin everything?

Jonah objected to God accepting repentance based on ulterior motives and likely for short duration.

This week’s parsha offers a new covenant; a covenant that speaks to national life unlike any other

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

A Role Reversal
‘Return, O Wayward Sons…’
(Chagigah 15a)

Daf-Yomi-logo

An Astonishing Miracle
‘Why Bring the Infants to Hakhel?’
(Chagigah 3a)

A Blast At A Funeral?
“R. Hamnuna Came To Daramutha…”
(Moed Kattan 27b)

Untimely News
‘A Mourner Is Forbidden To Wear Shoes…’
(Mo’ed Katan 20b)

Discretion
‘Vendors Of Fruits And Clothing…May Sell In Private’
(Mo’ed Katan 13b)

An Outcast
‘He Shall Dwell Outside His Tent’
(Moed Katan 7b)

Pondering A Kapandria
“It Should Not Be Used As A Shortcut”
(Megillah 29a)

The Gender Factor
‘Where There Is Loss Of Work…
Three Are Called To The Torah’
(Megillah 22b)

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/judaism/halacha-hashkafa/daf-yomi-5/2011/12/29/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: