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Posts Tagged ‘Al Hadaf’

Daf Yomi

Thursday, June 21st, 2012

The Great Switch
‘These Are The Sons Of Leah’
(Niddah 32)

Our Gemara notes a teaching that confounded our sages. According to this teaching, the gender of a child is dependent on whichever parent is the first to “emit the seed.” If it is the mother, the child is male; if it is the father, it is female. Yet, this teaching remained without a source until R. Tzadok expounded the following pasuk (Bereishis 46:15): “These are the sons of Leah whom she bore to Yaakov in Padan Aram and Dinah his daughter.” Significantly, the pasukattributes the boys to Leah and the girl to Yaakov.

The Prayers Of Righteous Women

The Gemara (Berachos 60a) relates that Leah, after bearing Yaakov six sons, found herself pregnant with a seventh son. At this juncture, Yaakov already had 10 sons and the matriarchs knew through prophecy that Yaakov would only bear 12 sons. Leah reasoned that if she has another son, Rachel (who did not have any children at this point) would be humiliated as she would end up with fewer children than Bilhah and Zilpah, who already had two sons each. To save her sister from this humiliation, Leah prayed that she give birth to a daughter rather than a seventh son.

The Yefei Toar (cited by the Me’am Loez) adds that Bilhah and Zilpah entered Leah’s tent, told her they were satisfied with having two sons each, and agreed that it was Rachel’s turn to bear children. All three of them then prayed together for Rachel.

The Power Of Prayer

In light of this Gemara, the Maharsha (Niddah 32a) questions R. Tzadok’s exposition from the words “and Dinah his daughter.” It wasn’t any action that Yaakov took that resulted in a girl being born. Rather, the child was originally a male and it was the prayers of Leah (and Bilhah and Zilpah) that converted it into a female!

The Maharsha answers by citing the Paneach Raza (which is similar to Targum Yonasan and Da’as Zekeinim) who refers to one of the piyutim recited on Rosh Hashanah which indicates that Hashem did not transform the male fetus in Leah’s womb into a female one. Rather, Hashem exchanged the male fetus in Leah’s womb (i.e., Yosef) for the female fetus in Rachel’s womb (i.e., Dinah). Thus Dinah was indeed a female from conception, due to her father Yaakov.

This week’s Daf Yomi Highlights is based upon Al Hadaf, published by Cong. Al Hadaf, 17N Rigaud Rd., Spring Valley, NY 10977-2533. Al Hadaf, published semi-monthly, is available by subscription: U.S. – $40 per year; Canada – $54 per year; overseas – $65 per year. For dedication information, contact Rabbi Zev Dickstein, editor, at 845-356-9114 or visit Alhadafyomi.org.

Daf Yomi

Thursday, June 14th, 2012

Lost In Translation
‘A Shesua Is A Creature…’
(Niddah 24a)

R. Chanin bar Abba, on our daf, interprets the pasuk (Devarim 14:7) “Ach es zeh lo sochlu mi’ma’alei hagerah u’mi’mafrisei ha’parsah ha’shesuah, es hagamal v’es ha’arneves v’es hashafan… – But of these you must not eat of those that chew their cud or have cloven hooves that are cleft through, the shesua, the camel, the hare and the hyrax…” The shesua, according to him, is a creature that has two kosher signs but is nonetheless not kosher. The Gemara elaborates that the shesua is an animal with two backs and two spines.

Not A Cow

Rav and Shmuel disagree regarding the shesua. Rav maintains that the animal does not exist as a distinct species. Rather, the Torah is referring to a freak case in which an ordinary kosher animal (e.g. a cow) conceived such an offspring. Thus, in Rav’s view, the Torah is teaching us that if such a fetus is found inside the womb of a slaughtered cow, it isn’t kosher even though it is the offspring of a kosher animal.

A Part Of The Whole

Shmuel contends that a shesua species does exist. Thus, according to Shmuel, if one slaughters a cow and finds a shesua inside the womb, it is kosher since it is the offspring of a kosher animal.

We might ask: Why does the Gemara frame the dispute of Rav and Shmuel in the context of a fetus found in an animal’s womb (a ben pakua)? Why not talk about a regular live shesua living independently?

A Question Of Survival

The answer is that Rashi (sv “b’veheima asur b’achila”) maintains that it is impossible for a cow to give birth to a viable shesua. Such a freak of nature cannot survive a pregnancy. Therefore, their dispute only concerns a shesua that is a ben pakua.

The Missing Word

One difficulty with the above Gemara, which is cited by Rashi in Chumash (Devarim, ad loc.), is that Onkelos and all subsequent translators and redactors do not translate shesua as being an animal. Rather, they translate the word as part of the phrase “u’mi’mafrisei ha’parsah ha’shesuah.” It simply modifies the pasuk’s split hoof requirement and means that the hoof must be fully split.

It’s possible that since a shesua is only found in wombs and since the whole matter is in dispute, Onkelos and others avoided translating in such a manner that would suggest that a shesua is a distinct species. This is essentially the view of the Ramban, who maintains that Rav and Shmuel dispute whether a cow can actually give birth to such a shesua. Rav maintains that it is impossible, while Shmuel contends that it is. According to Shmuel, a shesua that a cow gave birth to is exactly what the pasuk prohibits. A ben pakua, however, found in a cow’s womb after she was slaughtered is permitted.

This week’s Daf Yomi Highlights is based upon Al Hadaf, published by Cong. Al Hadaf, 17N Rigaud Rd., Spring Valley, NY 10977-2533. Al Hadaf, published semi-monthly, is available by subscription: U.S. – $40 per year; Canada – $54 per year; overseas – $65 per year. For dedication information contact Rabbi Zev Dickstein, editor, at 845-356-9114 or visit Alhadafyomi.org.

Daf Yomi

Thursday, May 24th, 2012

Location, Location!
‘Alive Until Determined Otherwise’
(Niddah 4)

Our Gemara cites a mishnah (Taharos 5:7) which discusses the status of a man who touched a body in the darkness of night and discovered the next morning that the body was a corpse. We don’t know, however, when the person died – before or after the person touched him. The sages argue that we assume the body was already a corpse before the person touched him due to the rule that “all uncleanness [discovered now] is assumed to have been present previously as well.” Thus, the person who touched the body has the status of tamei mes.

A Rabbinic Stringency

Tosafos (sv “shekol hatemei’os…” and supra 2a, sv “me’es l’es”) note that this ruling is a rabbinic stringency that only applies to kadshim. In biblical law, however, this individual is tahor since everyone has a chezkas chay – everyone is presumed alive until we know otherwise. In our case, this chazakahremained in place until the moment in the morning when it was determined that the body was a corpse.

Not So, Argues The Rashba

The Rashba (supra 2b) disagrees and argues that the person is tamei even on a biblical level. He cites a Tosefta (Taharos 6:5), which qualifies the sages’ assertion, to support his assertion. The Tosefta says that the sages agree with R. Meir that the individual in question is not tamei if the person he touched was seen alive the previous evening. In such a case, a chezkas chay exists, and we therefore assume that the person was still alive when the individual stumbled upon him in the darkness of night. If he wasn’t seen alive the previous evening, however, the man who touched the body is tamei since there is no chezkas chay.

Surely The Dead Once Lived

Rabbi Akiva Eger (hagahos to Rambam, Hilchos Avos Ha’tum’os 17:2) asks why it’s important for the person to have been seen alive the previous evening. Even if he wasn’t seen, surely he should have a chezkas chay since he obviously was living, and was known to be living, until the morning when his corpse was found.

Rabbi Akiva Eger answers that a person found dead in a certain location only has a chezkas chay if he was seen alive in the very location where he was later found dead. Being seen alive somewhere else, though, is not sufficient to establish a chezkas chay.

This week’s Daf Yomi Highlights is based upon Al Hadaf, published by Cong. Al Hadaf, 17N Rigaud Rd., Spring Valley, NY 10977-2533. Al Hadaf, published semi-monthly, is available by subscription: U.S. – $40 per year; Canada – $54 per year; overseas – $65 per year. For dedication information, contact Rabbi Zev Dickstein, editor, at 845-356-9114 or visit Alhadafyomi.org.

Daf Yomi

Wednesday, May 16th, 2012

Spared Possible Punishment
‘Those Who Are New To The Ketores’
(Tamid 32b-33a)

Since there was an abundance of kohanim who wished to perform the various tasks in the Beis Hamikdash, the decision of who performed what was decided by means of a lottery. The mishnah on our daf relates that the task of offering the ketores was different. That task was always assigned to a new kohen who had never done it before.

A Source Of Wealth

The Gemara (Yoma 26a) explains that the Torah juxtaposes the verse (Devarim 33:11) containing the words “yasimu ketorah b’apecha – they shall place incense before Your presence” to the verse (Devarim 33:12) containing the words “barech Hashem cheilo – Hashem, bless his possessions” to teach us that the person offering the ketores receives a special blessing of wealth. Therefore, this task was always given to new kohanim so that every kohen would have a chance of performing it at least once and gain this blessing of wealth.

One-Time Honor

There are several midrashic sources (Bereishis Rabbah 47:17; Zohar, end of Lech Lecha 94:2) which liken a sandek to a kohen offering ketores. Based on these comparisons, Rabbeinu Peretz (cited by the Rema, Yoreh De’ah 265:11 in the name of Maharil) states that a sandek should only serve in that capacity once. Some people interpret Rabbeinu Peretz as saying that a father should not appoint a person as sandek for more than one of his children. Others, however, read Rabbeinu Peretz as saying that a person should not accept the honor of being sandek more than once.

The Rabbi As Sandek

The Noda BeYehuda (Yoreh De’ah, Responsum 86) notes that we do not seem to follow Rabbeinu Peretz’s position since many communities honor the rabbi as sandek at every single bris. The Chasam Sofer (Orach Chayim 158), however, explains that this minhag does not contradict Rabbenu Peretz’s position since a rabbi is different. He likens a rabbi to the kohen gadol who was given first choice in offering korbanos. Just like a kohen gadol had the right to offer ketores repeatedly, so too does a rabbi have the right to serve as sandek repeatedly.

Where Is The Wealth?

The Vilna Gaon (Yoreh De’ah 265:46) asks why a sandek does not always become wealthy in light of the Gemara’s drashah. The Chasam Sofer explains that every sandek is blessed with wealth, but many of them forfeit this blessing by committing other sins. In a sense, then, they are lucky since instead of suffering punishment – such as sickness, poverty, or even death – they simply do not receive a blessing that they otherwise would’ve gotten.

This week’s Daf Yomi Highlights is based upon Al Hadaf, published by Cong. Al Hadaf, 17N Rigaud Rd., Spring Valley, NY 10977-2533. Al Hadaf, published semi-monthly, is available by subscription: U.S. – $40 per year; Canada – $54 per year; overseas – $65 per year. For dedication information, contact Rabbi Zev Dickstein, editor, at 845-356-9114 or visit Alhadafyomi.org.

Daf Yomi

Thursday, April 26th, 2012

A Transfusion, An Element Of Life
‘Blood From A Sanctified Animal Is Forbidden’
(Me’ilah 12)

The mishnah on our daf says that one may not derive any pleasure from the milk of an animal sacrifice or the eggs of a sanctified bird. However, they are not subject the laws of me’ilah. The reason for this unique situation is that these items are not fit to be put on the mizbe’ach.

The Animal Before Us

Tosafos (sv. “bameh devarim ha’amurim…”) explain that when a person wishes to consecrate an animal to be offered as a korban, he has no intention of consecrating its milk (or eggs) since he knows they may not be offered on the mizbe’ach. And yet, when one consecrates a donkey, its milk is subject to me’ilah. This is so because the person has donated the donkey for the upkeep of the Temple (not for the mizbe’ach). The Temple would sell the animal – its value obviously includes its milk – and use the proceeds for its needs.

In light of these laws, why does Rav in the Gemara rule that the laws of me’ilah apply to blood that is extracted from a sacrifice by means of blood-letting? The extracted blood is not fit for the mizbe’ach! In answer, the Gemara explains that an animal cannot survive without its blood. Thus, the blood is considered part of the animal. The same, however, cannot be said about an animal’s milk.

Outliving Its Usefulness

Earlier (2b), the Gemara discusses a case of an animal designated as a korban dying before it could be brought on the mizbe’ach. Its carcass is not considered hekdesh any longer – and thus not subject to the laws of me’ilah – since the Temple no longer has a use for the animal.

Rabbi Yosef Sholom Elyashiv (cited by his son in the Yad Binyamin) asks a phenomenal question. Based on this Gemara, why do the laws of me’ilah apply to blood extracted from a korban through blood-letting? The blood should be considered to be a “korban” that died before it could be brought on the mizbe’ach, whose status is no longer hekdesh.

What We Now Know

The Even Ha’azel (Hilchos Me’ilah 2:11, sk2) answers by pointing out that it is medically possible to re-infuse blood into an animal’s body after it was extracted. If so, it cannot be considered “dead” since it could still theoretically be used by the Temple.

This week’s Daf Yomi Highlights is based upon Al Hadaf, published by Cong. Al Hadaf, 17N Rigaud Rd., Spring Valley, NY 10977-2533. Al Hadaf published semi-monthly, is available by subscription: U.S. – $40 per year; Canada – $54 per year; overseas – $65 per year. For dedication information contact Rabbi Zev Dickstein, editor, at 845-356-9114 or visit Alhadafyomi.org.

Daf Yomi

Wednesday, April 18th, 2012

When The Service Is Done
‘Once Permitted To Kohanim, Me’ilah Does Not Apply’
(Me’ilah 4b)

R. Yehoshua, on our daf (and the mishnah on 2a) states that any hekdesh object which became permissible to kohanim at one point is no longer subject to the laws of me’ilah. For example, the laws of me’ilah do not apply to the meat of a karban chattas after zerikah has been performed, since the meat is permitted to kohanim after zerikah. Even if the meat is subsequently invalidated, it does not become subject to the laws of me’ilah since at some point a kohen was allowed benefit from it.

The Gemara (Kiddushin 54a) questions this ruling based on a contradictory one: We know that me’ilah does not apply to priestly garments in good wearable condition, and yet, when such are ragged and beyond normal wear, it is forbidden to wear them and one who does so is guilty of benefiting from sanctified objects. This law seems to contradict R. Yehoshua’s rule.

Of Angels And Men

The Gemara explains that the Torah suspended the law of me’ilah regarding priestly garments as long as kohanim are wearing them. Why? Because the Torah was not given to angels, and kohanim would find it impossible to remove the garments at exactly the moment they have completed their service. But when the garments are no longer being used, their sacred status returns.

Puzzling

The Meiri (Kiddushin ad loc.) finds this answer quite puzzling. R. Yehoshua’s rule clearly dictates that once a hekdesh item is permitted, the laws of me’ilah do not return.

The Meiri answers that this case is different than all others since the garments were never truly exempt from the laws of me’ilah for intrinsic reasons. They were only exempt because “the Torah was not given to angels.”

This week’s Daf Yomi Highlights is based upon Al Hadaf, published by Cong. Al Hadaf, 17N Rigaud Rd., Spring Valley, NY 10977-2533. Al Hadaf published semi-monthly, is available by subscription: U.S. – $40 per year; Canada – $54 per year; overseas – $65 per year. For dedication information, contact Rabbi Zev Dickstein, editor, at 845-356-9114 or visit Alhadafyomi.org.

Daf Yomi

Wednesday, March 28th, 2012

Seizing An Opportunity?
‘A Person Is Believed Regarding Himself More Than 100 Witnesses’
(Kerisos 11b-12a)

The Sages in our mishnah maintain that a person is not compelled to bring a karban chattas unless he admits that he sinned. This is true even if two witnesses testify that he did, in fact, sin. If he denies it, he is not compelled to bring a karban.

In explanation of this ruling, the Gemara states that a person is believed regarding himself even if more than 100 witnesses offer testimony contradicting his account. Rashi (12a, sv “adam ne’eman al atzmo”) explains that a person will not pass up the opportunity to atone himself before his Creator. Since he has an opportunity to attain forgiveness by bringing a karban, we assume he wouldn’t lie and claim he is innocent.

Caught Unaware

The Rambam (in his commentary to Kerisos) offers a different explanation of the Sages’ ruling in the mishnah. He explains that they expound the pasuk “…oh hodah eilav chataso asher chata bah – …if the sin he committed became known to him” (Vayikra 4:23). Only “if the sin became known to him” does he bring a karban. If his sin only becomes known through witnesses, he doesn’t.

Testifying Against Himself: Two Views

Tosafos (Bava Metzia 3b, sv “mah l’pive…”) assert, based on the Gemara’s rule that a person is believed regarding himself over the testimony of 100 witnesses, that if someone comes forward and says he ate cheilev, he brings a karban even if 100 witnesses say that what he ate was not cheilev but shuman (permissible fats). This conforms with Rashi’s view cited above.

In general, if someone consecrates an animal as a karban chattas when in fact he did not sin, the consecration is ineffective. Such an animal remains chullin and may not be offered on the altar. The Ramban (novella to Yevamos 87) therefore disagrees with Tosafos and maintains that one does not bring a karban by his own admission if witnesses contradict him (and say he did not sin) because an individual’s personal account is never more credible than the testimony of witnesses.

This week’s Daf Yomi Highlights is based upon Al Hadaf, published by Cong. Al Hadaf, 17N Rigaud Rd., Spring Valley, NY 10977-2533. Al Hadaf published semi-monthly, is available by subscription: U.S. – $40 per year; Canada – $54 per year; overseas – $65 per year. For dedication information contact Rabbi Zev Dickstein, editor, at 845-356-9114 or visit Alhadafyomi.org.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/judaism/halacha-hashkafa/daf-yomi-26/2012/03/28/

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