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September 19, 2014 / 24 Elul, 5774
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Posts Tagged ‘Magen Avraham’

Q & A: Mourning In A Leap Year (Part I)

Wednesday, February 27th, 2008
QUESTION: When does a mourner complete the year of mourning during a leap year?
Zev Stern
(Via e-mail)
      The Halacha: The Shulchan Aruch (Yoreh De’ah 391:2) states, “Following the death of a relative, one may participate in a formal feast (a seudat mishteh) once 30 days have passed. However, following one’s father or mother’s death, he may do so only after 12 months have passed. If it is a leap year, one is permitted [to participate] after 12 months [as well].”
   The Discussion: This rule of Rabbi Yosef Caro is based on a baraita in Mo’ed Katan (22b) and on Masechet Semachot (Ch. 9), where there clearly is no reference to “one year” but rather to “12 months” when discussing the mourning period for a parent.
   Yet there are other aspects related to mourning for a parent that may require a full year, meaning 13 months in a leap year, depending on  which month the parent died.
   Rabbi Dov Aron Brisman, Rav in Philadelphia and Segan Rosh Beit Din of Igud HaRabbonim, the Rabbinical Alliance of America, discusses this question in his Shalmei Chovah (Responsum 94). He was asked the following question:
   If one’s father died on Rosh Chodesh Adar [which is the first day of Adar and not the 30th day of Shevat in a non-leap year], when does one observe the Yahrtzeit in a leap year? Is it in Adar I or Adar II?
   Rabbi Brisman states that according to Chochmat Adam (Topic 171:11), the Kitzur Shulchan Aruch (Ch. 221) and the Kol Bo (Hilchot Aveilut), the widespread custom in Ashkenazic communities is to observe the Yahrtzeit in both months regarding the recital of Kaddish. However, fasting would be required only in Adar I.
   The basis for this ruling is the Magen Avraham (Orach Chayyim 568:20) and the Shach (Yoreh De’ah, end of 402). To enable us to understand the Magen Avraham and the Shach, Rabbi Brisman reviews the halacha as stated by the Mechaber (Rabbi Yosef Caro) and Rema (Orach Chayyim 568:7), from which they derive their ruling:
   “If one’s father or mother died in the month of Adar [in a non-leap year], one is to fast on that date in Adar II. Rema in his glosses disputes this and rules that one is to fast in Adar I. There are some who are more stringent and fast on that date both in Adar I and in Adar II. If the parent died in a leap year in Adar II, some say that one is to fast [on that date] in Adar II while others are accustomed to fast in Adar I.”
   “The Taz (ad loc.) explains that these differing views are based on the [original]  controversy between R. Meir and R. Yehuda (Nedarim 63a). R. Meir rules that when referring by name to the months themselves, one specifies ‘Adar I’ for the first month of Adar in an intercalated year and one simply states ‘Adar’ when referring to the second month of Adar. R. Yehuda’s opinion is the opposite: One simply writes ‘Adar’ when referring to the first month of Adar in such a year but specifies ‘Adar II’ when intending the second Adar.
   “The Mechaber thus rules according to R. Meir, for that is the way Rambam rules (Hilchot Nedarim 10:6).
   “However ‘others’, as Rema notes, opine  like the Rosh. Terumat HaDeshen (294) therefore  concludes that since we follow R. Yehuda, one is to fast in Adar I because of the principle (Yoma 33a), “Ein ma’avirin al hamitzvot – One must not forego the occasion to perform a mitzvah” (and we thus fast at the first opportunity, namely, in Adar I).”
   Rabbi Brisman now questions the position of Terumat HaDeshen: If we rule according to R. Yehuda – that the reference to ‘Adar’ means ‘Adar I’ -  why do we need the additional reason of “Ein ma’avirin…, which implies that according to Halacha there is also a reason to require fasting in Adar II? Isn’t the primary date for fasting in Adar I, according to the view of ‘others’ as cited by Rema?
   A further difficulty is that the controversy between R. Meir and R. Yehuda focuses on what people usually mean when they refer to ‘Adar’. Do they mean the month that immediately follows Shevat or do they refer to the month that precedes Nissan?
   Rabbi Brisman reasons: “In our situation it [the fasting] relates to the Yahrtzeit since [as the Kol Bo points out] the son’s/daughter’s fortune (mazal) is in distress on the date of the parent’s death, and as such the desire is to fast on the date   of the parent’s Yahrtzeit.”
   Rabbi Brisman also notes the dispute between Terumat HaDeshen and Maharil (cited by the Magen Avraham) as to which Adar is the proper Adar in which to observe the Yahrtzeit.
   Terumat HaDeshen considers Adar I to be the   proper month to observe the Yahrtzeit, pointing out that Purim is observed in Adar II (Megillah 6b) in order to connect the redemption of Purim to the Exodus, the redemption of Pesach. Were it not for that reason, we would observe Purim in Adar I, and we would similarly observe all other matters that occurred in the month of Adar during Adar I.
   Maharil argues that the Gemara’s explanation regarding the observance of Purim during Adar II is only in answer to Ein ma’avirin…, namely, that we do not delay the observance of any mitzvah.
   However, Maharil notes that since we derive from the verse (Esther 9:29), “Lekayyem et iggeret HaPurim hazot sheinit… – To confirm this second letter of Purim…” that Purim is celebrated in Adar II, we ignore the rule of Ein ma’avirin…” Thus, according to the Maharil, Adar II clearly seems to be the ‘real’ Adar.
   Rabbi Brisman suggests that, indeed, both Adar I and Adar II are endowed with the [zodiac] attributes of Adar (though we observe Purim and all matters related to it during Adar II) and thus each is considered the primary or main month of Adar. Thus, Terumat HaDeshen rules that generally Adar I is the ‘main Adar’, and the fact that we observe Purim in Adar II is a separate reason that overrides our usual rule of Ein ma’avirin, but for all other matters such as Yahrtzeit, the takes place during Adar I.
   Rema combines these views: Adar I is considered the ‘main Adar’ in regard to fasting, but the Kaddish is to be recited on the date of the Yahrtzeit during both Adar I and Adar II.
   We note that Rema also states “Yesh machmirim” – there are those who are more strict and fast on that date both in Adar I and Adar II.
   It is obvious from the above discussion that if one’s parent died in another month of the year, the Yahrtzeit, including fasting and Kaddish recital, will be observed only on that date in the following year, even though, during a leap year, it will be 13 months after the parent’s death.
   However, all other manifestations of mourning conclude at the end of 12 months.
   (Next week: Serving as chazzan on the Sabbath before the conclusion of 12 months).

   Raabi Yaakov Klass can be contacted at yklass@jewishpress.com.

Q & A: Hachana (Part VI)

Saturday, July 26th, 2003

QUESTION: Is it halachically permissible to pack on Shabbat or Yom Tov for a trip to be taken on the next day (Motza’ei Shabbat or Motza’ei Hachag)?
Moishe Halberstam, Esq.
Brooklyn, NY


ANSWER: We began our discussion with the general premise that it is preferable not to pack on Shabbat or a holiday in preparation of a trip to be taken subsequently, on a weekday. Some halachic authorities prohibit doing so. This activity would be categorized as hachana or preparation on Shabbat or a holiday for a need after Shabbat or the holiday, which is prohibited. Items not intended for use on the same day of Shabbat or a holiday are considered muktzeh, a biblically based concept (Exodus 16:5; Beitza 2b), the Torah’s frame of reference being food preparation.

In order to be able to prepare food on one day of a holiday for the next day of that holiday or for a Shabbat that immediately follows it, an eruv tavshilin (two types of food set aside as preparation of a meal) is prepared, the reasoning being that food is prepared for that same
day and it is the leftovers that are used on the following day. With this reasoning, the prohibition of hachana is avoided in the preparation of food. Though the Torah refers to food only, other types of preparation are included as well.

We also focused on the issues of hachana as they relate to garments and beds. Garments may be folded after being worn if they will be worn again on Shabbat; if they are folded by just one person; are new and not laundered yet; are white; and if the person has no other garment to wear. Beds may be made up on Friday night for the Shabbat day, but not on Shabbat day in preparation for Saturday night. However, should the unmade bed cause embarrassment (i.e., it
is in a room where one will receive guests), the bed may be made, as this is now a need for Shabbat itself. A comment by the Mishna Berura (Orach Chayyim 302:3-18) indicates that not to fold at all (on Shabbat or a holiday) is a praiseworthy stringency.

We presented the views of R. Y. Neuwirth (Shemirat Shabbat Kehilchatah, Vol. I 28:70). He bases his rulings on the Mishna Berura (254:43), and concludes that on Shabbat and holidays one may perform an activity which would fulfill a need of a subsequent weekday if a monetary loss would occur without such intervention, but provided no extra effort is required to accomplish it, and the opportunity to do so will not present itself again later. An example offered was the soaking and salting (within three days) of meat that has been slaughtered. If Shabbat is the third day, and the koshering process has not been started yet, it may be started on Shabbat, preferably by rinsing one’s hands over a pot containing the meat. R. Neuwirth also described how one would put away a pile of clean, dry, laundry so as to avoid the
prohibition of choosing - the work of borer - on Shabbat or a holiday.

Last week we discussed the ruling that on Shabbat we are permitted to place used clothing into an unplugged washing machine that has no water in it, and also to replace food and drinks into the refrigerator on Shabbat, although both these actions seem to involve hachana. This is permitted because we wish to contain any odors that may emanate from the used clothing; these activities involve the normal routine of placing items in their normal places; and we are permitted to take action to prevent monetary loss, such as spoilage of food that needs to be refrigerated.

We continue this week with further examples of activities entailing hachana on Shabbat that are allowed.

* * *

Rav Shlomo Zalman Auerbach states (Shulchan Shlomo I:290, Hilchot Shabbat): “One is permitted to leave his home on Shabbat, on a hot day, and take along a vest or a cardigan where there is an eruv - in order that he might wear it at night when he is on his way [assuming the weather will be chillier at night]. This is permitted in the event that he will have no other way of bringing this item on Motza’ei Shabbat, but he cannot openly state that he is preparing it for the weekday.”

R. Auerbach explains the reasoning for this ruling thus: “It is permitted for one to go where he chooses on Shabbat [within the techum, the border limit of 2000 cubits on Shabbat; and a city's limits are considered within the techum even if the distance is greater than 2000 cubits. In this case we are referring to a city where the eruv allows carrying within its limits.] But one must take heed not to catch a cold. Thus, when he leaves his house on Shabbat in the afternoon and takes with him this vest for wear in the evening, it is just to avoid catching a cold. He is not preparing a vest for the evening in order to avoid effort or a loss…”

R. Auerbach clearly differentiates this situation from those matters which we are specifically prohibited from doing, such as bringing wine for Havdalah (Mishna Berura, Orach Chayyim 667:5), the scroll of Megillat Esther before Purim, or cloth shoes for Tisha B’Av. Items brought solely for use on Motza’ei Shabbat are clearly prohibited to be brought on Shabbat. However, where the vest is involved, one brings it to keep oneself from catching cold; likewise, R. Auerbach is inclined to rule leniently about taking along some food or a little
water, even when he may experience the cold, hunger or thirst only at night. R. Auerbach does caution that the food he takes along is not to be specifically prepared on Shabbat; rather it should be taken from what was readily available (such as leftover food from the meal rather
than preparing a new dish of food).

The underlying premise to the above ruling is that our sages never enacted rules to restrict movements on Shabbat.

We noted earlier in our discussion the Noda BiYehuda’s views regarding a specific situation involving hachana (see Mishna Berura 321:21). As his views are relevant to our question, we will refer to that text (Responsa Noda BiYehuda by R. Yechezkel Landau, Vol. 2:27). The question to which R. Landau was responding was put to him by the rabbi of a community who had once been his student. That rabbi had ruled that a geshtupte genzel – a fattened goose that had remained more than three days after shechita without being ‘koshered’ (salted) may only be broiled. Now he was also asking R. Landau what he would rule in the event that the third day after the slaughtering was Shabbat. Would it be permissible to soak (and salt) on Shabbat, or would we leave the goose to be broiled the next day?

R. Landau responded that he agreed with his disciple’s ruling that the goose that was not soaked can only be broiled. In the situation where the third day after the slaughter of a stuffed goose is a Sabbath, if a gentile was available to begin the soaking, it would be definitely permitted, even according to the Magen Avraham (Orach Chayyim 321:7), who normally prohibits the soaking of meat on a Shabbat which is the third day after slaughter even by a gentile.

R. Landau notes that the Magen Avraham’s reasoning is that meat can be eaten when broiled, and thus there would be no monetary loss (even if a gentile is not allowed to do it). But the case of the stuffed goose is different, for the main delicacy of stuffed geese is their fat, which, if broiled, completely disintegrates. The loss of the fat of the goose is similar to the loss of [the whole cut of] regular meat, and in this case, it is a matter of simple fact that it is permitted for a gentile to do the soaking. R. Landau adds that “in a place where no gentile would be available, it is permitted to be done by a Jew.”

R. Landau notes the Gemara’s statement: (Shabbat 128a) the meat of geese is different; it is so soft that it can be eaten raw. Rashi s.v. “le’umtza’ explains that it would be permitted to be consumed raw even unsalted, but Rashi does not preclude the need to rinse it of any blood, as only the blood in the limbs (subsurface) is permitted (see Tosafot s.v. “dachazi le’umtza,” and Yoreh De’ah 67:1-2).

The Noda BiYehuda challenges the Magen Avraham, as most authorities do not differentiate between beef and the meat of geese. The Mechaber and the Rosh actually rule with the same leniency regarding beef which was soaked but not salted). He also notes the Magen Avraham’s statement (Orach Chayyim 311:7) that we do not handle such meat on Shabbat because it is muktzeh, which is the reason we may not pour water over it (for soaking). The Noda BiYehuda finds this quite at odds with R. Huna’s ruling – which is the accepted view in halacha ? that one may handle raw meat on Shabbat.

Further, even if the meat is not to be handled and considered muktzeh, we have a rule that an item which one may not handle may still be handled through that which may be handled (Keli nital letzorech davar she’eino nital), thus the water may be handled or poured for the need of the meat.

We must therefore explain the ruling of the Magen Avraham. He sees the problem as one of touching muktzeh, which must be the stream of water, as the Mechaber cautions (Orach Chayyim 310:6) that one may not touch the muktzeh item. We must assume that he considers the touching of the stream of water that flows on top of the meat as prohibited, as it is as if one is touching the meat itself.

R. Landau finds this quite difficult to correlate with his views. First, because this is only indirect touching. Second, this goes according to the Mechaber who rules similarly to the Terumat
HaDeshen and differentiates between where one touched an item for the need of a muktzeh item, which would be prohibited, and where one touched for the need of a permitted non-muktzeh item (for example, a bed or pillow where he might usually put money, but this time, from bein hashemashot (dusk) on Friday there was no money there, or there was no intention to put money there.) This would be permitted. However, R. Landau notes that the Rema (Orach Chayyim 513:1 as both the Magen Avraham and the Taz explain) rules only in the case of an item that can move or roll easily is it prohibited to touch, such as an egg or a candle. However, since so many authorities rule that raw meat is not muktzeh at all, we may permit touching it, as we do not look for extra stringencies.

Therefore, based on all of the above reasons, R. Landau concludes that even raw beef if it is not as good when broiled as when cooked, it would be permitted to pour water over it (on Shabbat, the third day after slaughter). However, if there is a gentile who can do it, preferably he should, but if not, even a Jew may pour the water. R. Landau adds, “If by the way, [the Jew] needs to rinse his hands, he may disguise the action by washing directly over the pot of meat.”

Thus, R. Landau shows us that we may soak the meat, if possible, indirectly, although there clearly are issues of hachana from Shabbat to weekdays involved.

(To be continued)

Q & A: Hachana (Part IV)

Friday, July 11th, 2003

QUESTION: Is it halachically permissible to pack on the Sabbath or Yom Tov for a trip to be taken on the next day?

Moishe Halberstam, Esq.


ANSWER: We began our discussion with the general premise that it is preferable not to pack on Shabbat or a holiday in preparation of a trip to be taken on a subsequently, on a weekday.
Some halachic authorities prohibit doing so. This activity would be categorized as hachana or preparation on Shabbat or a holiday for a need after Shabbat or the holiday, which is prohibited. Items not intended for use on the same day (Shabbat or a holiday) are considered muktzeh, a biblically-based concept (Exodus 16:5, Beitza 2b), the Torah’s frame of reference being food preparation.

In order to be able to prepare food on one day of a holiday for the next day of that holiday or for a Shabbat that immediately follows it, an eruv tavshilin (two types of food set aside as preparation of a meal) is prepared, the reasoning being that food is prepared for that same day and it is the leftovers that are used on the following day. With this reasoning, the prohibition of hachana is avoided in the preparation of food. Though the Torah refers to food only, other
types of preparation are included as well.

We also focused on the issues of hachana as they relate to garments and beds. Garments may be folded after being worn if they will be worn again on Shabbat; if they are folded by just one
person; are new and not laundered yet; are white, and if the person has no other garment to wear. Beds may be made up on Friday night for the Shabbat day, but not on Shabbat in preparation for Saturday night. However, should the unmade bed provide embarrassment (i.e., it is in a room where one will receive guests), the bed may be made, as this is now a need for Shabbat itself. A comment by Mishna Berura (Orach Chayyim 302:3-18) indicates that not to fold at all (on Shabbat or a holiday) is a praiseworthy stringency.

Please Note: Last week’s installment of our discussion should have followed this week’s but was inadvertently printed a week early. We apologize for any confusion this might have caused.

* * *

The Machatzit Hashekel (Orach Chayyim 302) cites Eliyahu Rabbah in the name of the Kol Bo, who explains that all the conditions regarding folding are required precisely because such
folding has no lasting effect nor does it fulfill a need. If he has another garment to wear, albeit not as nice, the Acharonim all agreed that in that event it is prohibited to fold. However, when R. Yosef Caro’s remark, permitting folding if ‘he folds it in a manner different from its original folding,’ is accepted by everyone.

The Magen Avraham (Hilchot Tzitzit), however, as we noted, is strict regarding Shabbat, opining that we do not fold at all [and in all fairness, the Magen Avraham is consistent since he does not cite here the Mechaber's lenient view in regard to folding that is not done following the original folding creases].

The Machatzit Hashekel suggests that since there are those who are more strict, and since the Mechaber himself cited this stricter view at the outset, and only concluded with a lenient position, according to which he ruled, the Magen Avraham therefore added in Hilchot Tzitzit that one who takes his friend’s tallit on Shabbat need not fold it because even though it will sustain a small loss (the creases), we apply here the rule that it is accepted that one is content when his fellow fulfills a mitzva with his possessions.

The Aruch HaShulchan (O.Ch. 302:10-12) cites the Rambam (Hilchot Shabbat 22:22): ‘An individual may not fix [press] sleeves of clothes and set the creases in the manner of repair done during the week when one washes them; likewise, one does not fold clothing on Shabbat in the same manner that one does on weekdays when one washes them. However, if one has no other garment to wear, one may fold it and straighten it out and then wear it in order that he derive pleasure from it on Shabbat. But it must be a new, white garment because in such a case it gets creased and soiled quickly, and when he folds it he should do so alone, without
the assistance of a second person as that is forbidden.’

The Aruch HaShulchan explains that we see from Rambam’s words that he would forbid this act because of tikkun (repair). And such is the case only when it involves the sort of tikkun that is considered ma’aseh umman – professional work. Rambam rules likewise (Hilchot Shabbat 23:7) regarding making beds on Shabbat - also because of tikkun.

The Ravad (O.Ch. 23:7) disagrees, and rules that the reason for forbidding making the beds [in preparation] for Motza’ei Shabbat is tircha (painstaking labor).

The Aruch HaShulchan then goes on to explain the difference between these two reasons – tircha and tikkun. According to Rambam, who doesn’t consider tircha a prohibited activity, it
would thus be permitted to fold our clothing in a simple manner where there is no tikkun to the garment, even [though its next use will be] for a weekday.

The Ravad, however, would forbid such ‘preparation’ from Shabbat to weekday because it engenders tircha.

The Aruch HaShulchan comments that according to Ravad the folding of clothing for weekdays would be prohibited if it engenders tircha even though it would not cause tikkun. And he cites as proof to that view the Tosafot (Shabbos 113a) which we quoted at the outset: ‘From here we derive that it is forbidden to fold tallitot of the synagogue [on Shabbat, at the conclusion of the tefilla] because their being folded is a need for tomorrow.’

The Aruch HaShulchan clarifies [Tosafot] as regards a tallit according to what we now understand. There is no possibility of tikkun keli (repairing the garment) resulting from the manner we fold it but it is rather a problem of tircha.

And he adds: But to throw the garment (the tallit) without folding it at all is not proper accepted behavior, and thus the reason for the prohibition [according to Tosafot and Ravad] is a specific meticulous type of folding, but our folding, which is not really perfect, even he [Raavad] would agree to permit.

He then cites the Mordechai who quotes an early source that confirms that if one folds, but not in the normal manner, even where there is no further need for that item, such as a tallit after
the synagogue prayer service, one would be allowed – even according to Tosafot and Ravad – since it entails no tircha.

However, the overwhelming view - Rashi, Rambam, Tur, R. Yosef Caro, the Kol Bo - is that tircha is not a concern, but rather tikkun - and when we fold not in the original manner, there is no tikkun.

The Aruch HaShulchan states that based on this view ‘many today fold their tallitot [on Shabbat].’

The Aruch HaShulchan also points out the curious absence of hatza’at hamitot (making the beds) from the Mechaber’s ruling.

Indeed, the Aruch HaShulchan clearly considers hatza’at hamitot and kippul (folding) to be one and the same. And he notes, as we quoted, ‘to throw the garment (the tallit) without folding it at all is not proper accepted behavior.’ Just imagine what our synagogues would look like after the prayer service for the rest of the day if we were not to neatly fold our tallitot and put them away. (The same applies to putting away siddurim, chumashim and other sefarim.)

Surely this is the same reasoning to permit making the beds on Shabbat. As the Chayyei Addam states (Klal 60), we [do] make the beds for the need of beautifying the house, but not for the need of Motza’ei Shabbat. As we noted earlier, our beds are usually in rooms that we use and see in the course of Shabbat. Thus we would permit their being made on Shabbat, even though their next use will be on Motza’ei Shabbat.

(To be continued) 

Q & A: Hachana (Part II)

Friday, June 27th, 2003

QUESTION: Is it halachically permissible to pack on the Sabbath or Yom Tov for a trip to be taken on the next day?

Moishe Halberstam
Brooklyn, NY


ANSWER: We began our discussion with the general premise that it is preferable not to pack on Shabbat or a holiday in preparation of a trip to be taken subsequently, on a weekday. Some halachic authorities prohibit doing so. This activity would be categorized as hachana or
preparation on Shabbat or a holiday for a need after Shabbat or the holiday, which is prohibited. Items not intended for use on the same day of Shabbat or a holiday are considered muktza, a biblically based concept (Exodus 16:5, Beitza 2b) with the Torah’s frame of reference being food preparation.

In order to be able to prepare food on one day of a holiday for the next day of that holiday or for a Sabbath that immediately follows it, an eruv tavshilin (two types of food set aside as preparation of a meal) is prepared, the reasoning being that food is prepared for that same day
and it is the leftovers that are used on the following day. The assumption is that a guest may suddenly arrive and require food. With this reasoning, the prohibition of hachana is avoided in the preparation of food. And even though the verse quoted refers to food only, other types of
preparation are included as well.

This week we focus on the issues of hachana as they relate to garments and beds.

* * *

We learn (Shabbat 113a, mishna): “We may fold articles [of clothing, on Shabbat], even four and five times. We may arrange the beds from Shabbat [Friday] night for Shabbat [by day] but not on Shabbat for Motza’ei (the departure of) Shabbat…”

Rashi s.v. “mekaplin et hakeilim” explains that generally clothes that are removed are also folded, because the cleaning/washing process softens the material and causes the garments to wrinkle easily.

Thus, we see from Rashi’s statement that folding garments improves their appearance and possibly prolongs their usage even after Shabbat, yet we may do so on Shabbat, even four and five times, if the intent is to wear them again on that day.

It is obvious that if there is no further need for these garments on that day, one may not fold them. Indeed, Tosafot s.v. “mekaplim keilim” state as follows: “From here we derive that it is forbidden to fold the tallitot of the synagogue [on Shabbat, at the conclusion of the tefillah]
because that is [equivalent to providing for] a need for the morrow.”

The Gemara, in explaining the mishna, cites what they expounded in the school of R. Yannai about this rule [of folding]: applies to one person only, but where two people [are engaged in folding] it is not permitted; as regards new garments [it is allowed] if they are white, but colored garments are not permitted [to be folded]. Further, the folding was only allowed in the event he had no other garment, but if he possesses other garments, he may not fold it.

It is on this Gemara that R. Yosef Caro (Shulchan Aruch, Orach Chayyim 302:3) bases his rules: “We may fold, on Shabbat, garments that are needed to be worn that day, provided the following conditions are met: [the garments are folded] only by one person; they are new garments that have not as yet been laundered; they are white; and then only if one has no other [garment] to change into. If any of these stipulations are not met, one is prohibited from doing so (folding).”

The Mechaber then concludes: “There is an opinion stating that folding [the tallit] not according to the original creases is permitted in all cases, and his words seem to be correct.” This last statement of the Mechaber refers to both the Mordechai (Shabbat 113) and the Kol Bo (Hilchot Shabbat 31), who rule accordingly. In the Kol Bo we find this ruling attributed to a text of Ra’avad.

There appears to be an inconsistency in the Magen Avraham regarding the folding of the tallit and arranging a bed. The Magen Avraham (ad loc.) states: “And it seems to me that a bed that stands in a room in which he lives may embarrass him and be unpleasant if it remains that
way [unmade], and therefore it may be made, for it has become a need of Shabbat itself.” This statement stands despite a seemingly contradictory statement in the mishna (Shabbat 113a) stipulating that one may make the bed from Friday night for the Shabbat [day], but not from on the Shabbat day [in preparation] for Saturday night, since on Shabbat the straightening of the bed is not a necessity for Shabbat, but rather for after Shabbat. The reason for the former statement is obviously the fact that the unmade bed’s presence in a room that is being used
on Shabbat, even though the bed itself will not be used, will cause an impingement on the holiness of Shabbat, and thus making up the bed is permitted in that situation.

Yet we find that the Mechaber (Shulchan Aruch, Orach Chayyim 14:4) states as follows: “One is permitted to take his friend’s tallit [without the latter's knowledge] and recite a blessing upon it, as long as he folds it [again] if he found it folded.”

The Magen Avraham posits that he folds that tallit even in a manner different from the way he found it. [This halacha of the Mechaber is found in Hilchot Tzitzit, and refers primarily to weekdays.] However, on Shabbat he does not fold it at all, and even then it is permitted for
him to take [the tallit].” This is based on the rule in Bava Metzia (29b) “Nicha lei le’inish de’tiavid mitzva bemamoneih – A person is pleased when a mitzva is fulfilled with his possession” (lit. money). We apply this rule to the tallit scenario, so that although the borrower
returns the tallit unfolded and not in the condition in which he found it originally (because he had borrowed it on Shabbat and was therefore prohibited from folding it), the owner will rejoice in the fact that his possession enabled a fellow Jew to fulfill a mitzva. On the other
hand, when it comes to his own bed, an individual is allowed to make it (despite the folding that may be involved) even though he has no further use for it on Shabbat, to prevent an infringement on the spirit of sanctity of the Sabbath.

Regarding the tallit, the Mechaber himself seems to rule that as long as one does not fold the tallit in the original manner, one is permitted to fold it even on Shabbat. The Mishna Berura (Orach Chayyim 302:3-18) explains how we rule in this matter, stating: “Because this type of folding has no lasting effect and therefore there is no liability for transgressing [the labor of]
metakken (lit. fixing) [on Shabbat] at all, it is permitted in this manner even in the event that one of the four above mentioned conditions [i.e., folded by one person only, new garments never laundered, white garments, and where no other garment is available to change into] is not met, and even if there is no intention to wear the garment [again] on that day [Shabbat].”

The Mishna Berura continues, explaining the Mechaber’s last words in this chapter, “and his words seem to be correct” to indicate that “so have the Acharonim, the later halachic authorities, concluded in their rulings.”

“However,” adds the Mishna Berura (ibid.), “he who wishes to be more stringent and not fold at all, that is [considered] far better.” He then concludes with the statement of the Magen Avraham regarding the making of beds on Shabbat which, though generally prohibited as
the preparation of something needed later, on Saturday night, would be allowed if it is a bed in his house (i.e., in a room he frequents) and it is unpleasant for him to leave the bed unmade, as making the bed has thus become a legitimate need of Shabbat itself.

We will highlight out some points requiring further discussion. Why does the Magen Avraham include hatza’at hamitot, the making of beds, in this halacha, when the Mechaber did not? (The same question is addressed to the Mishna Berura as well.) We should also be asking why the Mechaber did not include the halacha relating to the making or straightening of beds – which
is found in the Mishna – in his Shulchan Aruch, especially since we see that Rambam did include it (Hilchot Shabbat 23:7). We wonder as well why the Chayyei Adam included this halacha in a separate chapter (60), apart from the chapter regarding the halachot of folding clothes on Shabbat (56). Further, why does the Mishna Berura state: “However, he who wishes to be more stringent and not fold at all, that is [considered] far better” - after he has already ruled that it is permitted? Also, we find the same ruling in the Aruch HaShulchan
(loc. cit. 302:11), with no mention of any laudatory stringency in this regard.

All this necessitates further explanation as to what the halacha actually allows.

(To be continued)

Q & A: Hachana (Part II)

Friday, June 27th, 2003

QUESTION: Is it halachically permissible to pack on the Sabbath or Yom Tov for a trip to be taken on the next day?

Moishe Halberstam
Brooklyn, NY


ANSWER: We began our discussion with the general premise that it is preferable not to pack on Shabbat or a holiday in preparation of a trip to be taken subsequently, on a weekday. Some halachic authorities prohibit doing so. This activity would be categorized as hachana or
preparation on Shabbat or a holiday for a need after Shabbat or the holiday, which is prohibited. Items not intended for use on the same day of Shabbat or a holiday are considered muktza, a biblically based concept (Exodus 16:5, Beitza 2b) with the Torah’s frame of reference being food preparation.

In order to be able to prepare food on one day of a holiday for the next day of that holiday or for a Sabbath that immediately follows it, an eruv tavshilin (two types of food set aside as preparation of a meal) is prepared, the reasoning being that food is prepared for that same day
and it is the leftovers that are used on the following day. The assumption is that a guest may suddenly arrive and require food. With this reasoning, the prohibition of hachana is avoided in the preparation of food. And even though the verse quoted refers to food only, other types of
preparation are included as well.

This week we focus on the issues of hachana as they relate to garments and beds.

* * *

We learn (Shabbat 113a, mishna): “We may fold articles [of clothing, on Shabbat], even four and five times. We may arrange the beds from Shabbat [Friday] night for Shabbat [by day] but not on Shabbat for Motza’ei (the departure of) Shabbat…”

Rashi s.v. “mekaplin et hakeilim” explains that generally clothes that are removed are also folded, because the cleaning/washing process softens the material and causes the garments to wrinkle easily.

Thus, we see from Rashi’s statement that folding garments improves their appearance and possibly prolongs their usage even after Shabbat, yet we may do so on Shabbat, even four and five times, if the intent is to wear them again on that day.

It is obvious that if there is no further need for these garments on that day, one may not fold them. Indeed, Tosafot s.v. “mekaplim keilim” state as follows: “From here we derive that it is forbidden to fold the tallitot of the synagogue [on Shabbat, at the conclusion of the tefillah]
because that is [equivalent to providing for] a need for the morrow.”

The Gemara, in explaining the mishna, cites what they expounded in the school of R. Yannai about this rule [of folding]: applies to one person only, but where two people [are engaged in folding] it is not permitted; as regards new garments [it is allowed] if they are white, but colored garments are not permitted [to be folded]. Further, the folding was only allowed in the event he had no other garment, but if he possesses other garments, he may not fold it.

It is on this Gemara that R. Yosef Caro (Shulchan Aruch, Orach Chayyim 302:3) bases his rules: “We may fold, on Shabbat, garments that are needed to be worn that day, provided the following conditions are met: [the garments are folded] only by one person; they are new garments that have not as yet been laundered; they are white; and then only if one has no other [garment] to change into. If any of these stipulations are not met, one is prohibited from doing so (folding).”

The Mechaber then concludes: “There is an opinion stating that folding [the tallit] not according to the original creases is permitted in all cases, and his words seem to be correct.” This last statement of the Mechaber refers to both the Mordechai (Shabbat 113) and the Kol Bo (Hilchot Shabbat 31), who rule accordingly. In the Kol Bo we find this ruling attributed to a text of Ra’avad.

There appears to be an inconsistency in the Magen Avraham regarding the folding of the tallit and arranging a bed. The Magen Avraham (ad loc.) states: “And it seems to me that a bed that stands in a room in which he lives may embarrass him and be unpleasant if it remains that
way [unmade], and therefore it may be made, for it has become a need of Shabbat itself.” This statement stands despite a seemingly contradictory statement in the mishna (Shabbat 113a) stipulating that one may make the bed from Friday night for the Shabbat [day], but not from on the Shabbat day [in preparation] for Saturday night, since on Shabbat the straightening of the bed is not a necessity for Shabbat, but rather for after Shabbat. The reason for the former statement is obviously the fact that the unmade bed’s presence in a room that is being used
on Shabbat, even though the bed itself will not be used, will cause an impingement on the holiness of Shabbat, and thus making up the bed is permitted in that situation.

Yet we find that the Mechaber (Shulchan Aruch, Orach Chayyim 14:4) states as follows: “One is permitted to take his friend’s tallit [without the latter's knowledge] and recite a blessing upon it, as long as he folds it [again] if he found it folded.”

The Magen Avraham posits that he folds that tallit even in a manner different from the way he found it. [This halacha of the Mechaber is found in Hilchot Tzitzit, and refers primarily to weekdays.] However, on Shabbat he does not fold it at all, and even then it is permitted for
him to take [the tallit].” This is based on the rule in Bava Metzia (29b) “Nicha lei le’inish de’tiavid mitzva bemamoneih – A person is pleased when a mitzva is fulfilled with his possession” (lit. money). We apply this rule to the tallit scenario, so that although the borrower
returns the tallit unfolded and not in the condition in which he found it originally (because he had borrowed it on Shabbat and was therefore prohibited from folding it), the owner will rejoice in the fact that his possession enabled a fellow Jew to fulfill a mitzva. On the other
hand, when it comes to his own bed, an individual is allowed to make it (despite the folding that may be involved) even though he has no further use for it on Shabbat, to prevent an infringement on the spirit of sanctity of the Sabbath.

Regarding the tallit, the Mechaber himself seems to rule that as long as one does not fold the tallit in the original manner, one is permitted to fold it even on Shabbat. The Mishna Berura (Orach Chayyim 302:3-18) explains how we rule in this matter, stating: “Because this type of folding has no lasting effect and therefore there is no liability for transgressing [the labor of]
metakken (lit. fixing) [on Shabbat] at all, it is permitted in this manner even in the event that one of the four above mentioned conditions [i.e., folded by one person only, new garments never laundered, white garments, and where no other garment is available to change into] is not met, and even if there is no intention to wear the garment [again] on that day [Shabbat].”

The Mishna Berura continues, explaining the Mechaber’s last words in this chapter, “and his words seem to be correct” to indicate that “so have the Acharonim, the later halachic authorities, concluded in their rulings.”

“However,” adds the Mishna Berura (ibid.), “he who wishes to be more stringent and not fold at all, that is [considered] far better.” He then concludes with the statement of the Magen Avraham regarding the making of beds on Shabbat which, though generally prohibited as
the preparation of something needed later, on Saturday night, would be allowed if it is a bed in his house (i.e., in a room he frequents) and it is unpleasant for him to leave the bed unmade, as making the bed has thus become a legitimate need of Shabbat itself.

We will highlight out some points requiring further discussion. Why does the Magen Avraham include hatza’at hamitot, the making of beds, in this halacha, when the Mechaber did not? (The same question is addressed to the Mishna Berura as well.) We should also be asking why the Mechaber did not include the halacha relating to the making or straightening of beds – which
is found in the Mishna – in his Shulchan Aruch, especially since we see that Rambam did include it (Hilchot Shabbat 23:7). We wonder as well why the Chayyei Adam included this halacha in a separate chapter (60), apart from the chapter regarding the halachot of folding clothes on Shabbat (56). Further, why does the Mishna Berura state: “However, he who wishes to be more stringent and not fold at all, that is [considered] far better” - after he has already ruled that it is permitted? Also, we find the same ruling in the Aruch HaShulchan
(loc. cit. 302:11), with no mention of any laudatory stringency in this regard.

All this necessitates further explanation as to what the halacha actually allows.

(To be continued)

Q & A: Women Counting Sefirat Haomer (Conclusion)

Wednesday, June 13th, 2001

QUESTION: In my wife’s family, women count Sefirat Haomer. This is something that I have not seen in my own family, although they are quite observant. As a newly married couple, we are quite confused.
 
Please discuss this matter and explain.
No name please
Toronto, Ontario
 
ANSWER: Last week we explained that though all Jews were given the Torah, not every Jew is able – or responsible – to perform every command due to circumstance. One such example being those ‘Mitzvot Hateluyot Ba’aretz’ – commands unique to those who dwell in Eretz Yisrael, which those living in the Diaspora are exempt from.

We also quoted the mishna in Kiddushin (29a) which exempts women from ‘mitzvot asei she’hazeman garma’ – timely positive precepts. In seeking a source for this ruling the Gemara on the Mishna based this on the mitzva of Tefillin.

Kol Bo explains the Torah’s reason for exempting women from performing these mitzvos as being due to their heavy household responsibilities (including raising the family).

We then set out to determine the status of this mitzva of Sefirat Haomer – counting the omer – is it indeed a timely precept or not.

We then began to quote from the discussion on this matter found in the Sefer ‘Orot Hapesach’ by Harav Shlomo Wahrman, Rosh HaYeshiva of Nassau County. He quotes the Rambam who rules that Sefirat Haomer is a positive precept incumbent [only] upon males. Kesef Mishneh explains this is due to it being a timely precept. Ramban, whom we quoted, rules otherwise and and includes Sefirat Haomer among those mitzvos that are not timely, thus obligating women in their performance. We now continue with this discussion.

* * *

Avnei Nezer on Orach Chayim 384 finds great difficulty with Ramban’s inclusion of Sefirat Haomer in this grouping, since how is it possible to refer to Sefirat Haomer as a non-timely precept as it is only observed between Pesach and Shavuot’

Rav Wahrman postulates as follows. Perhaps the words of the Ramban including Sefirat Haomer as an non-timely precept [and thus women are obligated in this mitzvah] is really due to a different reason. It is well known that there is a dispute regarding Sefirat Haomer in our times [bereft of the Beit Hamikdash, our Holy Temple] as to whether this is considered a Biblical command. The Ramban, as we quoted, rules that even today it is a mitzvah of Biblical nature – and so rules the Chinuch, R’ Eliezer ben Yoel Halevi, R’ Amram Gaon, Ritz Gaos, as well as the Be’er Halachah and the Orach Chayyim 489, who quotes as well the names of many Rishonim.

However, on the other hand the Tur, Mechaber and many other poskim (see Be’ur Halachah ad loc.) rule that in our times this counting is only Rabbinical [however it was established in the style of a Biblical mitzvah, thus we must wait until 'Tzeit HaKochavim,' the minimum three stars required to begin to count] and was instituted as a remembrance for the Temple.

If we rule that counting the omer today is Rabbinical, continues Rav Wahrman, then indeed women should be obligated. This is according to Bircei Yosef, Orach Chayyim 291:8 who quotes Orchot Chayyim and Rabbeinu Tam as saying that regarding Rabbinical commands, men and women are equally obligated [and thus there are no exemption]. We find this rule as well in the Sefer Hamanhig, who explains that for this reason women are obligated to partake of the three meals on the Sabbath [which one may reason as being a timely command].

The only difficulty with this solution to our problem is Tosafot S.V. ‘Mi shelo Ra’ah Meorot, etc.’ (Megillah 24a), where it is stated that women are absolved from performing ‘Mitzvot Asei Shehazeman Garma,? positive timely precepts, even when they are only of Rabbinical nature, because we find as relates to Chanukah candles, four cups [of wine at the Seder on Pesach], and the reading of the Megillah [Esther on Purim], which are only Rabbinical and yet they [women] are obligated in these mitzvot [for a different reason] because they too were beneficiaries of each of those miracles.

Even as such, while we might venture a solution notwithstanding this difficulty, from Ramban’s words we see clearly that he refers to Sefirat Haomer as ‘Mitzvot Asei She’Ein Hazeman Garma’ – a non-timely precept. We thus remain with Anvei Nezer’s question as to how can Sefirat Haomer, which takes place in a specific time each year [between Pesach and Shavuot], be included among those mitzvot that are indeed non-timely.

In order to understand those Rishonim who posit that women are obligated in all Rabbinical precepts, we must note that Rambam (in Sefer Hamitzvot, shoresh 1) and the Ba’al Halachot Gedolot both rule that these precepts too are of Biblical origin via the Pasuk in Parashat Shoftim (Devarim 17:11) ‘…Lo Tasur Min Hadavar Asher Yagidu Lecha’ – you shall not turn aside from that matter that they [the sages] shall tell you.’ We must question, however, the aim of the mitzvah – whether it is, in regard to Chanukah candles, for example, the lighting itself, or that we have fulfilled the condition of listening to the sages.

Thus if the purpose is listening to the sages, it would seem that the aim of the mitzvah is not the actual individual mitzvah but only its performance in the context of ‘listening to the sages.’ Thus regarding a Rabbinical mitzvah, even though it is timely, its purpose ‘to listen to the sages’ would make it non-timely and women as well as men would be obligated in its performance.

However, due to various questions in his more detailed discussion, Rav Wahrman suggests yet another approach in explaining the Ramban’s reasoning. In certain instances, the performance of a mitzvah would be possible at all times, were it not for a statement in the Torah such as regarding tefillin in Parashat Bo (Shemot 13:10), ‘Veshamarta et Hachukah Hazot L’Moadah Miyamim Yamima,’ you shall keep this law in its times, from time to time [Rashi ad loc 'from year to year,' but lit. 'from days to days']. In the Gemara Eruvin 96a we find that from the first word ‘Yamim,’ days, we exclude nights, and so rules Rabeinu Tam, Tosefet S.V. ‘Ve’shamarta et Hachukah,’ and Rambam Hilchot Tefillin 4:10.

Thus we might possibly argue that only in such a case where we have a specific exclusion do we refer to a precept as timely, but where its observance is in a certain time frame only due to circumstance, i.e. that the wheat must have ripened and that time happens to occur on the 16th of Nissan, but if that ripening would occur at another time perhaps the obligation to count would be at that different time (as well), thus this could be a possible explanation for Ramban positing that this is a non-timely precept.

Regarding the actual halachah as pertains to women’s obligation in Sefirat Haomer, Rav Wahrman quotes Magen Avraham, Orach Chayyim 489, who states that women are exempted from Sefirat Haomer because it is a timely precept, however ‘they have already accepted upon themselves [this mitzvah] as obligatory.’

Sha’ar Hatziyun quotes the Pri Chodosh, who states that women are indeed exempt, and he makes no mention of them having accepted upon themselves its obvservance. Minchat Chinuch Mitzvah 206 further questions this reasoning of the Magen Avraham, for we do not see that in observance of any mitzvah where one accepted upon himself the mitzvah should become obligatory [as if actually obligated].

The Mishnah Berurah (ad loc) quotes the sefer Shulchan Shlomo that at the very least women should not recite the blessing because they possibly will either forget one day [*and thus not complete the Mitzvah properly for the remainder of the days'], and as a general rule women do not know the meaning of the words.

Rav Wahrman finds difficulties with this last statement as many women in today’s generation are quite learned and do understand Hebrew well [and possibly their scholarship will prevent them from forgetting to count on any given night as well]. He then concludes by quoting Aruch Hashulchan ad loc, ‘And the women are exempted [from Sefirat Haomer] because it is a timely precept, but nevertheless they have accustomed themselves to bless and count as in all timely precepts, such as shofar, sukkah and lulav.’

Harav Zvi Cohen writes in his sefer Halachot U’Minhagim Hashalem, Sefirat Haomer volume chapter 4:18 regarding a woman who indeed is accustomed to recite the blessing of Sefirat Haomer, that she can fulfill the obligation of another woman [but not another man]. He quotes the Gaon R? Chaim Kanievsky who says that this rule applies even though their blessing requirement is not obligatory but of permissible nature. I might have thought, he explains, that one cannot act as a meesenger for another in such a case, but rather, our rule here is that just as one who has already fulfilled his obligation [for kiddush, for example] can fulfill another individual?s requirement, the same must be true here as well.

As to why we see that women do indeed recite a blessing on certain timely mitzvot, we find the following in the responsa Tiferet Tzvi (of Harav Hagaon Nachum Tzvi Kornmehl, zt”l) siman 6: Certain mitzvot that deal with Kedushah al Haguf, holiness on the body, meaning that the body is the object of the mitzvah – such as tefillin, which we wear, or sukkah, which we are required to sit therein, or talit, which we wear – in such cases women do not recite the blessing, but with lulav and shofar, where the mitzvah is itself the object, we find that women do recite the blessing.

Nevertheless, since in this case the mitzvah of counting as well as the blessing are not obligatory, where your wife’s family has a minhag that differs from yours, we already have a rule that a women follows her husband’s minhag (see Igrot Moshe, Yoreh Deah vol. 4:3, who attributes this to Chullin 110b).

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