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October 23, 2014 / 29 Tishri, 5775
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Posts Tagged ‘Orach Chayim’

Daf Yomi

Wednesday, November 14th, 2012

Children And Corpses
‘A Body Lying In The Sun…’
(Shabbos 43b)

As a general rule, functionless items (i.e., non-utensils which are not designated for any use), such as stones and broken utensils, are muktzah on Shabbos and may not be moved. These types of items belong to a category of muktzah called “muktzah machmas gufo” – inherently muktzah. A human corpse is included in this category and may not be moved on Shabbos except under certain conditions.

A Loaf Of Bread And Kavod Ha’mes

The Gemara on our daf states that if a dead person is lying in the sun on Shabbos and in danger of decaying, it is permissible to move him or her via means of a loaf of bread or a child. That is, one should place either the loaf of bread or child on top of the corpse. Doing so permits one to carry the corpse (since there is a non-muktzah item on top of it). Our sages permitted this action only because they were concerned for kavod ha’mes, the dignity of the deceased.

A Moment’s Interruption

The source for this leniency is, as the Gemara explains (supra 30b), the story of David Hamelech’s death. David knew he would die on a Shabbos and therefore engaged in Torah study ceaselessly every Shabbos in order to keep the Angel of Death at bay. However, one Shabbos, as he was sitting in his garden studying, the Angel of Death caused the trees to stir, whereupon David ascended a ladder to investigate the source of the noise. As he was ascending, the ladder broke causing him to fall to his death. Shlomo Hamelech, seeing his father lying out in the sun and worried his corpse would begin to decay, sent for the Sages, asking them what to do. They replied that he may move the corpse, albeit only after placing either a loaf of bread or child upon it.

The Ran (novella, ad loc.) explains that the Sages did not mean that only a loaf of bread or child may be utilized in a case like this. Rather, any non-muktzah object is acceptable.

What About The Bed?

Rabbi Akiva Eiger (novella, ad loc.) reasons that if all non-muktzah objects are acceptable, the bed of the deceased should suffice. Why, then, does the Gemara state that a child or loaf of bread is necessary? The Rashash answers that a corpse’s bed is not sufficient because it is considered tafel – a subordinate object to the deceased.

His Clothing?

Interestingly, the Mordechai (siman 312 and cited by the Mechaber, Orach Chayim 311:4) opines that in the event that the corpse is clothed, there is no need for any other non-muktzah object since the clothing serves the same purpose that a child or loaf of bread would.

The Beis Yosef (to the Tur, O.C. 311), however, argues that a corpse’s clothing is subordinate to the deceased and can never be considered a substitute for a child or loaf of bread.

The She’lah (cited by Ba’er Heitev, Orach Chayim 311, sk11) adduces proof for the Beis Yosef’s position from the incident concerning David Hamelech’s death (as cited above). The Gemara relates that he collapsed on Shabbos when he momentarily interrupted his Torah study. Clearly he was dressed at the time. Nevertheless, Shlomo was instructed to place either a loaf of bread oa child on his father’s body before moving it out of the sun. According to the Mordechai, placing a child or loaf of bread should not have been required since David was clothed at that moment.

Rules For Royalty

In defense of the Mordechai, the Magen Avraham (Orach Chayim 311, sk16) argues that David Ha’Melech’s situation was different in light of the Gemara in Sanhedrin 52b which states that a king’s clothing and personal effects are burned after his death (because it would be considered disrespectful to the king if they were subsequently used by ordinary people). Since the king’s clothing was prohibited for use by others, they were muktzah. Therefore, the fact that David was clothed was not sufficient, and it was necessary to place a loaf of bread or child on him.

Daf Yomi

Thursday, November 8th, 2012

Enjoying A Hot Dish
‘What Was Really Meant Was Replacing It…’
(Shabbos 37a)

The Gemara states that even though Chananya would permit shehiyah (leaving partially cooked food on an open flame on Shabbos), he would prohibit chazarah unless the coals are garuf ve’katum (swept or covered).

Appearances’ Sake

Rashi (36b sv “aval lo tavshil”) indicates that chazarah is prohibited because it gives the impression to anyone watching that one wishes to cook the food further. Thus, he only permits doing so if the coals (or flame) are covered.

Stoking The Coals

The Ran (ad loc.) explains that Chananya’s concern with chazarah is similar to the rabbanan’s concern with shehiyah: namely, that one may to stoke the coals. (Nowadays, the equivalent would be moving a pot closer to the flame or raising the flame.) Chananya fears that when returning a pot to the flame, he may find that the pot has cooled off and will desire to stir the coals to help reheat it.

Thus, even if one accepts the lenient ruling of the Rema (Orach Chayim 253:2) who rules in accordance with Chananya, it is important to perform grifah and ketimah (covering or sweeping the coals) because many times pots have to be adjusted and moved closer to the fire. Also, occasionally one needs to lift a pot to remove some food and then replace it on the stove. Since such an act is considered chazarah, Chananya would only permit if the coals are garuf ve’katum.

The Blech

The Maharil (cited by Magen Avraham, Orach Chayim ad loc. sk31) maintains that placing a blech on a stove is the equivalent of ketumah (and gerufah) and thus permits leaving food on a blech-covered stove on Shabbos. This is the widely accepted minhag today (see Chayyei Adam 20:12; also Kisvei Rav Henkin, page 21, who rule accordingly).

What To Cover?

Rabbi Shimon Eider (Sefer Hilchos Shabbos note 961) cites Rabbi Aaron Kotler who says that covering the knobs on a stove or oven constitutes ketumah since it serves as a reminder not to raise the flame.

Rabbi Moshe Feinstein (Igros Moshe, Orach Chayim vol. 1, responsum 93) disagrees and asserts that the essence of ketumah is accomplished today by covering the flame, not the knobs controlling the flame. Why? Because, as the Ran explains, the whole point of ketumah is to make a hekker – a recognizable sign that one is only interested in letting the food simmer on its own but is uninterested in stoking the coals. Thus, only covering the flames constitutes ketumah, not covering the knobs. Nevertheless, Rabbi Feinstein advises people to cover the knobs as well. While using a blech demonstrates that one does not wish to cook, covering the knobs ensures that one does not do so.

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.

Support Of Sechach

Thursday, October 4th, 2012

Question: May one support kosher sechach in a sukkah by placing it on a davar she’mekabel tumah, an item that can receive impurity (i.e., metal)?

Answer: The Mishnah Berurah rules that doing so is only prohibited l’chatchilah (Orach Chayim 629:22).

What about sitting in (as opposed to building) a sukkah with sechach supported by a davar she’mekabel tumah? Can one sit in such a sukkah l’chatchilah or not? It is not clear what the ruling of the Mishnah Berurah is on this issue.

The Ba’al HaTanya, however, rules unequivocally that the prohibition of using a davar she’mekabel tumah to support kosher sechach is merely an issur l’chatchilah for the builder of the sukkah. On the other hand, people who wish to eat or sleep in a sukkah with sechach supported by a davar she’mekabel tumah may do so l’chatchilah (Shulchan Aruch Harav, Orach Chayim 629:13).

Rabbi Cohen, a Jerusalem Prize recipient, has authored eight books on Jewish law. His latest, “Jewish Prayer The Right Way” (Urim Publications), is available at Amazon.com and Judaica stores.

Standing And Sitting For Kiddush On Sukkot

Thursday, September 27th, 2012

Question: Should a person recite kiddush standing or sitting on Sukkot? If he stands, should he sit down after saying the berachah of leshev ba’sukkah or remain standing?

Answer: The Shulchan Aruch (Orach Chayim 643:2) cites the Rambam’s ruling that kiddush on Sukkot should be recited while standing so that one can sit down immediately after the leshev ba’sukkah berachah. The Rema, however, demurs. He notes that such is not the custom; rather, “we recite kiddush while seated.”

The Mishnah Berurah (Orach Chayim 643:sk4) explains that the Rambam maintains that a person has fulfilled the mitzvah of sukkah as soon as he sits in one. Since a general halachic principle dictates that a person should recite a berachah on a mitzvah right before performing it, it only makes sense that one should sit down after making the berachah of leshev ba’sukkah.

The Rema, however, maintains that sitting in a sukkah is not a fulfillment of the mitzvah of sukkah. That only starts when one eats in a sukkah. Accordingly, there is nothing wrong with sitting down and making kiddush before saying the berachah of leshev ba’sukkah.

What should a person do if his minhag is to stand for kiddush? If he sits after saying leshev ba’sukkah, he will convey the impression that he has fulfilled the mitzvah of sukkah by sitting down. But he has not. The mitzvah of yeshivat sukkah mean dwelling in a sukkah, not sitting in it. So as not to convey an incorrect impression, perhaps a person who stands for kiddush should remain standing after concluding kiddush.

Of interest is the position of the Shulchan Aruch Harav. He writes that a person should sit after saying leshev ba’sukkah, not because he has thereby fulfilled the mitzvah of sukkah, but so as to avoid giving the impression that he is immediately leaving the sukkah. It is merely a symbolic act to project the image that he is remaining in the sukkah and not standing, ready to leave.

A means of demonstrating loyalty to both the position of the Mishnah Berurah and the theory of the Shulchan Aruch Harav would be to recite kiddush while standing and then to manifest permanency by sitting down to drink the wine.

Rabbi Cohen, a Jerusalem Prize recipient, has authored eight books on Jewish law. His latest, “Jewish Prayer The Right Way” (Urim Publications), is available at Amazon.com and Judaica stores.

Daf Yomi

Thursday, September 13th, 2012

Shehakol Bread?
‘One Recites A Blessing On The Primary Food’
(Berachos 44a)

The mishnah on our daf states that whenever a person eats a primary food (an ikar) and a subordinate food (a tafel), he should only recite a berachah on the ikar. For example, if someone eats salted food and subsequently eats bread solely for the purpose of absorbing the salt, he should only recite a berachah on the salted food, not on the bread. He should recite neither hamotzi nor birkas hamazon.

Set Before Him

Tosafos (sv. “b’ochlei…”) assert that the berachah on the ikar does not exempt the tafel unless the tafel was in the person’s presence when he recited the berachah on the ikar and intended to eat the tafel afterwards. However, if someone recites a berachah on salty fish without intending to eat bread at that time, and then afterwards decides to eat some bread to absorb the salt, he must recite a berachah on the bread.

Two Explanations

The Chazon Ish (Orach Chayim 27) suggests two possible reasons why a tafel does not require a separate berachah. First, the tafel is ancillary to the principal food and as such is considered too insignificant to require its own berachah. Second, the tafel, being ancillary to the ikar, is subject to the same berachah as the ikar. Thus, the berachah recited on the ikar covers the tafel as well. In other words, the tafel as not insignificant and does require a berachah according to this second explanation. However, the berachah recited on the ikar satisfies this requirement.

A Matter Of Intent

The Chazon Ish adduces proof from Tosafos that his second explanation is the correct one. According to the first explanation, even if someone did not originally intend to eat a tafel, it should still be exempt from a berachah since, in the end, it is being eaten as an ancillary to the ikar. And yet, Tosafos rule that the tafel is not exempt.

According to the second approach, however, Tosafos is more understandable. According to this explanation, the tafel is always subject to a berachah, only that the berachah on the ikar covers it. When one recites a berachah on the ikar, however, without intending to eat a tafel afterwards, the tafel cannot be subsumed under the berachah of the ikar and needs its own separate berachah.

Interestingly, the Magen Avraham rules (Orach Chayim 212 sk2) that in such an instance – where one only decides, for example, to eat bread as a tafel after making a berachah on an ikar like fish – the berachah for the bread would be shehakol, like the berachah one recited on the fish.

Berachah Acharonah?

The Shulchan Aruch Harav (op cit. sk10) notes that if someone only decides to eat a tafel after making a berachah on an ikar, he must make both a berachah rishonah and a berachah acharonah on the tafel. It is not covered by the berachah acharonah of the ikar.

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 their office 845-356-9114 or visit Alhadafyomi.org.

L’Zera Yaakov Tizkor

Thursday, September 6th, 2012

(Editor’s note: In contemplation of the yamim nora’im, we would do well to focus on proper liturgical expression in our tefillot. The topic that my good friend, Rabbi Nosson Dovid Rabinowich, rav of Beis Hamedrash Ahavas Torah, Flatbush, Brooklyn, discusses here is one that has long intrigued me as well as many others. Therefore, with his kind permission, we present this dvar Torah that he wrote for the shloshim of his dear friend, Menachem (Michael) Gruda from Ramot, l’iluy nishmato. Michael was torn away from us so suddenly while he was in the prime of his wonderful life. Yehi zichro baruch.)

A passage at the end of the Zichronot blessing in the Mussaf Amidah of Rosh Hashanah appears to have two slightly different versions. The Shulchan Aruch (Orach Chayim, 591:7) rules that this is the correct text: “V’akeidas Yitzchak hayom l’zaro tizkor.” It also rules and those who change the words and specify “l’zera Yaakov tizkor” are mistaken and guilty of changing the text instituted by Chazal. The source for this ruling is a responsum (chapter 38) by the Spanish and then Algerian Rivash (14th century).

There are many difficulties with this ruling. The main one is that the Gemara itself asks on the verse (Genesis 21:12), “Ki b’Yitzchak yekarei lecha zera”: Perhaps, the reference is to Esav, not Yaakov? The Gemara asks this in two places – Nedarim 31a and Sanhedrin 59b. Why then is it considered so wrong to detail explicitly in the Mussaf Amidah that we are referring to Yaakov and not to Esav?

The Rambam in Hilchot Nedarim (9:21), probably to resolve this difficulty, quotes the Gemara’s drashah but makes his own addition: “If one vows to derive no benefit from the seed of Abraham, he is allowed to derive benefit from the sons of Yishmael and the sons of Esav, but he is forbidden to derive benefit from Bnei Yisrael as the pasuk states: ‘Ki b’Yitzchak yekarei lecha zera.’ And we find further (Genesis 28:4) that Yitzchak says to Yaakov, ‘Veyiten lecha et birkat Avraham.’ ”

It is also noteworthy for serious students of the Rambam that in Hilchot Melachim (10:7), the Rambam essentially cites the Gemara’s drashah, repeats his addition from Hilchot Nedarim, and writes: “Circumcision was commanded only to Avraham and his offspring as the pasuk (Genesis 17:9) states: ‘…ata v’zaracha acharecha l’dorotam.’ This excludes the offspring of Yishmael because the pasuk states ‘Ki b’Yitzchak yekarei lecha zera.’ Further, Esav is excluded because Yitzchak said to Yaakov ‘V’yiten lecha et birkat Avraham.’ From here we see that Yaakov (and his progeny) alone is considered to be the offspring of Avraham, the one who is firm in the practice of Avraham’s beliefs and proper path.”

Nevertheless, Rivash’s application of the Talmudic principle “that whoever deviates from the proper formulation is guilty of altering our sages text” is a very strong statement. One wonders if according to the Rivash we have fulfilled our obligation if we do mention Yaakov in the tefillah in Zichronot.

Even if we fully accept the proposition that “b’Yitzchak” refers to Yaakov, perhaps “zera Yitzchak” can still refer to Esav. Indeed, this question is posed by the Magen Avraham (Orach Chayim, loc. cit., sk7). And in fact, if one makes a vow not to derive any pleasure from “zera Yitzchak,” he is probably forbidden to derive any pleasure from Esav and his descendants! (Cf. the crucial emendation of the Yad Efraim (loc. cit.) on this suggestion of the Magen Avraham.) So, the question remains: Why does the Rivash so strongly frown upon adding the word “Yaakov” after saying “l’zaro”?

Although the answer to this question is not simple, this much is obvious: The Rivash, based upon the various drashot of Chazal, believed it was totally superfluous to mention the very obvious – that Yaakov alone is Yitzchak’s progeny. In fact, Rivash claims that it would be disrespectful to Yitzchak to mention Yaakov since it would imply that the merit of Yitzchak’s akeidah sacrifice is insufficient for us.

He also adds another fascinating argument: Although, he admits, it would be much simpler to add the word “Yaakov,” and not have to resort to all the various drashot to prove that Yaakov is the only progeny of both Avraham and Yitzchak, the “difficult” approach preferable. Why? Because it is obvious from the omission of Yaakov’s name that the one reciting the blessing of Zichronot is a talmid chacham: As the Gemara (Berachot 50a) states: From the blessings that a person recites one can discern whether a he is or is not a talmid chacham (see also supra 38a). And creating the impression of being a talmid chacham is a “good thing.”

Q & A: Chazzan And Congregation (Part XIV)

Wednesday, August 29th, 2012

Question: What should the chazzan do when he reaches Kedushah and Modim? Some chazzanim say every word of Kedushah out loud and some only say the last part of the middle two phrases out loud. As far as the congregation is concerned, some congregants say every word of Kedushah and some say only the last part. Finally, some chazzanim and congregants say Modim during chazaras hashatz out loud and some say it quietly. What is the source for these various practices?

A Devoted Reader
(Via E-Mail)

Answer: The Shulchan Aruch Harav (Orach Chayim 124:1) explains that a chazzan repeats Shemoneh Esreh out loud to fulfill the prayer obligation of those who can’t pray on their own (see Rosh Hashanah 33b-34a).

The Mechaber (Orach Chayim 125:1) states that congregants should not recite Nakdishach [Nekadesh] together with the chazzan; rather they should remain silent and concentrate on the chazzan’s recitation until he finishes that portion, at which point they should say, “Kadosh, kadosh…” The Mishnah Berurah (ad loc. sk1) explains that congregants should remain quiet because the chazzan is their messenger, and if they say Nakdishach along with him, he no longer appears as their messenger.

The tefillah of Modim within the Amidah is so important that Berachot 21b instructs one who arrives late to begin praying only if he will conclude before the chazzan reaches Modim. Tosafot explain that one must bow with the congregation at Modim in order that one not appear as a denier of G-d to whom the congregation is praying (see Rabbenu Tam, Tosafot s.v. “ad sh’lo yagia…” Berachot 21b).

Rabbi Soloveitchik (as cited in Nefesh Horav by Rabbi Herschel Schachter, p. 128-129) notes that the congregation must listen to Modim of the chazzan and compares the question of what congregants should do during Modim to the question of what congregants should do during Birkat Kohanim, as discussed in Sotah 39b-40a. Rabbi Soloveitchick suggested that the chazzan recite the beginning of Modim out loud, pause for the congregants’ Modim D’Rabbanan, and then continue with his Modim blessing out loud.

Birkat Kohanim is part of chazaras hashatz but is said by kohanim (unless none are present in which case the chazzan says it). One prayer recited during Birkat Kohanim is “Ribono shel olam,” which the Mechaber (Orach Chayim 130:1, citing Berachot 55b) states should be said by anyone who has a dream which he doesn’t understand. The Shulchan Aruch Harav (Orach Chayim 128:58) says this prayer should be recited while the kohanim are melodiously drawing out the last word of each verse.

He and the Aruch Hashulchan also discuss saying the “Adir bamarom” prayer at this time. The Aruch Hashulchan, clarifying Berachot 55b, explains that someone who cannot complete “Ribono shel olam” in time should say the shorter “Adir Bamarom,” while Taz and Magen Avraham say the shorter prayer is recited after the longer, time permitting. The Aruch Hashulchan concludes, based on the Rif and Rosh that the congregation should say “Adir Bamarom” during the drawn-out last word.

During Birkat Kohanim, the kohanim should look downward so as not to interrupt their concentration. The congregation should likewise concentrate and face, but do not to gaze upon, the kohanim, who customarily spread out a tallit over their heads. Some also cover their hands (see Rema, Bet Yosef, and Tur, Orach Chayim 128:23). The Mechaber (128:24, citing Sotah 38b) writes that people standing behind the kohanim are not included in their blessing.

* * * * *

The Mishnah Berurah (to Orach Chayim 128:24) in his Bi’ur Halacha commentary (s.v. “afilu mechitza shel barzel…”) cites Elyah Rabbah, who mentions the ruling (in Orach Chayim 55:20) that there can be no separation between the person saying and the person responding to Kaddish and Kedushah. The Elyah Rabbah asserts that the same rule should apply to Birkat Kohanim. If a wall separates people from the kohanim, those beyond the wall should not be included in the berachah.

The Mishnah Berurah, however, cites Sefer Ha’Eshkol which states that the law is different for Birkat Kohanim regarding people in the fields and have no need to answer “Amen” to the berachah. What, then, is the basis of the Elyah Rabbah’s opinion that the standard rule of separation does apply to Birkat Kohanim? The Mishnah Berurah speculates that perhaps the Elyah Rabbah was referring to a case where people were either in the synagogue’s courtyard or outside but quite close to the synagogue. These people are too close to the synagogue to be considered anusim and faultless and therefore are not included in Birkat Kohanim.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/judaism/ask-the-rabbi/q-a-chazzan-and-congregation-part-xiv/2012/08/29/

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