web analytics
July 30, 2015 / 14 Av, 5775
At a Glance
Judaism
Sponsored Post


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.

Current Top Story
A Jewish bride visits the Western Wall next to the Temple Mount before her wedding. (archive)
Jewish Bride Arrested at Temple Mount on Her Wedding Day
Latest Judaism Stories
Rebbetzin Esther Jungreis

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

Moses and the Ten Commandments,

The 10 Statements main point was not content but the encounter between G-d & His nation, Israel

Torat-Hakehillah-logo-NEW

Before going in, I had told R’ Nachum all of the things we were doing in Philly, and how it was very important to receive a good bracha on behalf of our newest venture, a Russian Kollel.

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)

(JNi.media) Tisha B’Av (Heb: 9th of the month of Av) is a fast day according to rabbinic law and tradition, commemorating the destruction of the First Temple in 586 BCE by the army of Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon, and the destruction of the Second Temple in the year 70 CE by the Roman army led […]

Devarim often parallels the stories in Bereishit but in reverse & can be considered as a corrective

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

We realize how much we miss something only after it’s gone.

Because the words of Torah gladden the heart, studying Torah is forbidden when Tisha B’Av is on a weekday, except for passages in Scripture that deal with the destruction of the Temple and other calamities.

On Super Bowl Sunday itself, life seems to stop. Over one hundred million people watch the game. About half of the households in the country show it in their living rooms and dens.

Moses begins Sefer Devarim reviewing much of the 40 years in the desert & why he can’t enter Israel

While they are definitely special occurrences, why are they cause for a new holiday?

Torah wasn’t given to be kept in Sinai; Brooklyn or Beverly Hills-It was meant to be kept in Israel!

“When a king dies his power ends; when a prophet dies his influence begins” & their words echo today

In addition to the restrictions of Tisha B’Av, there are several restrictions that one may not perform during the week that Tisha B’Av falls in.

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

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

Daf-Yomi-logo

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)

An Enduring Text
‘If One Vows By The Torah…’
(Nedarim 14b)

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

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: