web analytics
December 20, 2014 / 28 Kislev, 5775
 
At a Glance
Judaism
Sponsored Post
8000 meals Celebrate Eight Days of Chanukah – With 8,000 Free Meals Daily to Israel’s Poor

Join Meir Panim’s campaign to “light up” Chanukah for families in need.



Daf Yomi


Daf-Yomi-logo

Sow The Seeds Of Repentance
‘This Potted Plant’
(Shabbos 81b)

The minhag to shlag kapparos before Yom Kippur is an old and accepted in many communities. The Mechaber (Orach Chayim 605:1) dismissed this custom and urged that it be abolished. The Rema (ibid.), on the other hand, encouraged it, writing: “Some Geonim and many Achronim cited this custom. It is practiced in all these countries [Ashkenaz], and it should not be abandoned since it is the custom of the pious.”

The earliest known source for this minhag is a Rashi on our sugya. The Gemara discusses a potted plant called parpisa. To define this term, Rashi (s.v. “hai parpisa”) writes, based on teshuvos of the Geonim, that in Talmudic times people customarily made wicker baskets and filled them with earth and fertilizer – one basket for each member of the household. The baskets were called parpisa. Grains or legumes were planted in the baskets 22 or 15 days before Rosh Hashanah, which sprouted by the time Rosh Hashanah arrived. On erev Rosh Hashanah, each person would take his or her designated basket, circle it around his or her head, while reciting, “This is in place of that. This is my redemption, this is my substitute,” and then throw the basket in the river.

What was the significance of this custom? The Chasam Sofer (ibid.) explains that the seeds planted in the parpisa baskets represented a person’s children. People prayed that if a Heavenly decree had been passed against their seed, it should fall it upon the parpisa seeds and not upon their children. This concern was especially prevalent in the time of the Gemara when an epidemic of ascara, a fatal breathing disorder (tuberculosis?), claimed the lives of many children.

People would cast these parpisa baskets into the river because when beis din is unable to carry out the punishment of death by strangulation, Hashem brings about the guilty party’s death by drowning or ascara. They thus prayed that the “drowning” of the plant take the place of the drowning or ascara that might afflict their children, G-d forbid.

Kapparos With A Chicken

Many years later, the custom changed, and people performed kapparos with chickens instead. The Rosh (8:23) cites this custom, and asks why specifically a chicken is used and not a different animal. He offers a simple explanation: chickens were the most common animals to among the impoverished Jewish communities of Europe. Indeed, in more affluent communities, horned animals were used in order to recall the merit of the horned ram that was sacrificed in place of Yitzchak Avinu. Another reason why a chicken was used is because the Hebrew word for rooster is gever, just like the Hebrew word for man. Therefore, a chicken is the most appropriate substitute for man.

Additionally, the Acharonim write that one must never use an animal for kapparos that would be kosher as a sacrifice on the mizbe’ach (such as a dove, sheep, goat or cow) in order to avoid the mistaken impression that one intends to sanctify the animal as a korban (Mishnah Berurah ibid. s.k. 4).

Objections

The Aruch Hashulchan (O.C. 605:1) suggests that the sources for the Mechaber’s negative assessment of kapparos are the Ramban and Rashba who sensed a tinge of “darkei Amori – Amorite custom” in this practice (as cited by the Mechaber himself in his longer Beis Yosef commentary to the Tur, O.C. 605).

Widespread Acceptance

Nevertheless, the minhag of kapparos is prevalent today among both Ashkenazic and Sephardic communities. Although Sephardim generally follow the rulings of the Mechaber, who opposed the custom of kapparos, in this case they follow the Rema since the Arizal also attached great importance to kapparos (Kaf Hachayyim 604, s.k. 5)

Interestingly, R’ Yaakov Emden (Shaar Shomayim 112b) writes that even today, if someone does not have chickens or money with which to perform kapparos, he should follow the custom of parpisa and perform kapparos with seeds.

Kapparos On Erev Rosh Hashanah

We conclude with the following interesting note. Although the prevalent custom today is to perform kapparos on, or before, erev Yom Kippur, Rashi writes that it was customarily performed on erev Rosh Hashanah.

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
Posted to Twitter in Ferguson, MO by St. Louis County Police: "Bricks thrown at police, 2 police cars burned, gun seized by police. Tonight was disappointing."  Their motto is, "To protect and serve."
Prosecutor in Ferguson Case: ‘Witnesses Lied Under Oath’
Latest Judaism Stories
Parsha-Perspective-Logo-NEW

To many of our brethren Chanukah has lost its meaning.

Parsha-Perspective-Logo-NEW

This ability to remain calm under pressure and continue to see the situation clearly is a hallmark of Yehuda’s leadership.

Torah-Hakehillah-121914

It would have been understandable for these great warriors to become dispirited.

Torah-Hakehillah-121914

The travail of Yosef was undoubtedly the greatest trauma of Yaakov’s life, which certainly knew its share of hardships.

Yosef, in interpreting the first set of dreams, performed in a manner that was clearly miraculous to all.

Chazal teach us that we need to be “sur may’rah v’asei tov,”avoid bad and do good.

When we celebrate the completion of learning a section of Torah, we recite the Hadran.

Fetal Immersion?
‘The Fetus Is A Limb Of Its Mother’
(Yevamos 78a)

Yosef proves he is a true leader; He is continually and fully engaged in the task of running Egypt

When the inability cannot be clearly attributed to either spouse, the halacha is the subject of debate among the Rishonim.

Those who reject our beliefs know in their souls Jewish power stems from our faith and our prayers.

He stepped outside, and, to his dismay, the menorah was missing. It had been stolen.

Though we Jews have deep obligations to all people our obligation to our fellow Jew is unique.

In a way that decision was the first in a series of miracles with which Hashem blessed us.

Question: If Abraham was commanded to circumcise his descendants on the eighth day, why do Arabs – who claim to descend from Abraham through Yishmael – wait until their children are 13 to circumcise them? I am aware that this is a matter of little consequence to our people. Nevertheless, this inconsistency is one that piques my curiosity.

M. Goldman
(Via E-mail)

Exploring the connection between Pharaoh’s dreams and the story of Joseph being sold into slavery.

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

Fetal Immersion?
‘The Fetus Is A Limb Of Its Mother’
(Yevamos 78a)

Daf-Yomi-logo

No Fault Lines
‘…His Father And Mother Were In Prison…’
(Yevamos 71b)

The Daughters Are Mine, The Sons Are Mine
‘Grandchildren Are like Children’
(Yevamos 62b)

The Decree Of 1587
“Two Kabs Of Dinars Were Given…To King Yanai”
(Yevamos 61a)

Ever Vigilant
‘When Unworthy, One’s Number Of Years Is Reduced’
(Yevamos 50a)

Where Frequency Matters
‘We Forbid Haircutting And Laundering’
(Yevamos 43b)

Informing The Decision
‘Found To Be With Child’
(Yevamos 35b)

The Ban Of The Communities
‘Impaired Chalitzah’
(Yevamos 26b)

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/judaism/halacha-hashkafa/daf-yomi-56/2012/12/19/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: