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Posts Tagged ‘Pri Megadim’

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Friday, November 2nd, 2012

For Appearance’s Sake
‘Moving Forward At The Word Of G-d’
(Shabbos 31a)

When the umbrella was invented, poskim debated at length whether it may be used on Shabbos. The core of their debate was whether opening an umbrella is considered making an ohel for protection from the rain or sun. In practice, the prohibition against using umbrellas has been universally accepted among all Jewish communities. As the Chafetz Chaim, zt”l, writes, “One who guards his soul should utterly refrain from their use” (Biur Halacha 315, s.v. tefach).

However, when the Chasam Sofer was first informed that a great posek considered opening an umbrella to be an issur d’oraisa, he pointed to our sugya as proof to the contrary (Teshuvos O.C. 72).

As is well-known, the 39 melachos are defined and characterized by the activities that were necessary to construct the Mishkan. For example, because curtains were sewn for the Mishkan, sewing is forbidden on Shabbos. Because rams were slaughtered for their leather to cover the Mishkan, slaughtering is forbidden on Shabbos. Because building was necessary in constructing the Mishkan, building is forbidden on Shabbos.

In Talmud Yerushalmi, amora’im debate whether one may construct a temporary building. In other words, may one build a structure on Shabbos that one intends to soon demolish?

On the one hand, one can argue that doing so should be forbidden. After all, the Mishkan itself was a temporary building. When Bnei Yisrael camped, they assembled its parts. Before they traveled, they dismantled it. Since the issur of meleches boneh is based on what happened in constructing the Mishkan, temporary building should be forbidden on Shabbos.

Temporary Building

On the other hand, though, one can argue that temporary building does not fall under the category of meleches boneh since it is unimportant, and unimportant building is not considered real “building” when it comes to the laws of Shabbos. It’s true that the building of the Mishkan was also temporary, but that was by no means a sign of its unimportance. Bnei Yisrael assembled and disassembled it by Hashem’s command. Even if the Mishkan only sometimes stood for a short period of time, the command of Hashem made it as important as any permanent building.

A Permanent Umbrella?

An umbrella is a temporary structure. As such, it is subject to the debate in Yerushalmi. Though the Yerushalmi does not resolve this debate, the Chasam Sofer argues that our sugya reaches a clear conclusion on our question.

Demolishing is one of the 39 melachos if done in a constructive fashion. In other words, one may not destroy for the sake of building. For example, one may not demolish an old building to build a new one in its place. Our Gemara wonders whether one may demolish for the sake of building in a different locale. One can argue that doing so does not fall under the category of forbidden demolishing since there seemingly is no connection between the act of demolishing and the act of building.

The Gemara suggests a proof that doing so is forbidden based on what happened in constructing the Mishkan. When the Jews dismantled the Mishkan, they did so for the sake of building it in another locale. Since the construction of the Mishkan is the very source of the 39 melachos, demolishing for the sake of building elsewhere should therefore be forbidden.

The Gemara rejects this reasoning. It states that the dismantling of the Mishkan was done at Hashem’s command, thus making the dismantling extremely significant. It cannot be compared to the demolition of mundane buildings in order to build them in a different place.

The Gemara accepts this argument. Demolishing on Shabbos in order to rebuild in a different place is not the biblical melachah of demolishing even though it was performed in the Mishkan.

The Chasam Sofer and the Umbrella

We can extend this line of reasoning to temporary building. This act was also done in constructing the Mishkan but cannot be compared to ordinary temporary building. In the Mishkan, temporary building was important because it was done at the special command of Hashem for the purpose of traveling in the desert. The same cannot be said of ordinary temporary building.

Q & A: Tashlich

Wednesday, October 13th, 2004
QUESTION: Why do some people say Tashlich on the second day of Rosh Hashana when the first day falls on a Sabbath, while others say it on the first day (in areas where there is an eruv)? What if someone missed saying Tashlich? Finally, what is the source for this custom?
Zvi Kirschner
(via email)
ANSWER: We will first address the source of Tashlich, and then deal with your specific questions.In his encyclopedic work Otzar Erchei HaYahadut, HaRav Yosef Grossman, zt”l, states as follows in his discussion of Tashlich based on Kitzur Shulchan Aruch (Hilchot Rosh Hashana Ch. 129): “On the first day of Rosh Hashana after the Mincha prayer, but before shekia, it is customary to go to the seashore or to a riverbank, preferably outside the city [limits]; it
[the body of water] should contain fish in order to remind us that we are compared to fish that are captured in a net, and through this we will return to Hashem in repentance.

“It also serves as a good omen that we will multiply and be fruitful like fish; and the evil eye will
not prevail over us just as it does not affect fish [which are hidden in the water and generally
protected from the evil eye.]”

If there is no body of water, ocean or river in that locality, one goes to a water well or a water pond and one says the verses found in the machzorim (Micah 7:18-20, Psalms 118:5-9 and Psalm 31, with some machzorim substituting or adding Psalm 33 and other tefillot for parnassa).”

As for the word “Tashlich,” it is found in Micah (7:19), “… Vetashlich bi’metzulot yam kol chatotam – You will cast all their sins into the depths of the sea.”

We go to a stream of water because of the following (I Samuel 7:6): “… Vayish’avu mayyim
vayishpechu lifnei Hashem … vayomru sham, chatanu l’Hashem - … They drew water and poured it out before Hashem … and they said there, We have sinned to Hashem.”

Targum Yonatan (ad loc.) explains that they poured out their hearts like water in repentance
before Hashem. Rashi (ad loc.) explains it as “a sign of submissiveness: we are before You like these waters that are poured out.”

The Midrash (Tanchuma, Parashat Vayera 29) cites the following: “When Abraham brought his son Isaac to be bound for a sacrifice [on Rosh Hashana], Satan transformed himself into a large river before them. When [upon crossing] the water reached their necks, Abraham prayed and the river dried up.”

Aside from the Kitzur Shulchan Aruch upon which R. Grossman obviously bases his discussion, we also find that the Rema (Orach Chayyim 583) mentions this minhag in the name of the Maharil. The Mishna Berura (ad loc.) quotes the Pri Megadim as a reference as well.

We find another reason in the Kitzur Shulchan Aruch (ad loc.): We go to the riverside because it is the custom to anoint kings next to a river, and on Rosh Hashana we anoint Hashem as our King.

We also find another possible early source for Tashlich in Yitav Panim by the Admor R. Yekutiel Yehuda Teitelbaum, zt”l, the Sigheter Rav (Vol. 1, page 28), who sees a hint to this custom in Psalm 137: “Al naharot Bavel sham yashavnu gam bachinu bezochrenu et tziyyon… – By the rivers of Babylon, there we sat, there we cried, as we remembered Zion…”

My uncle, HaRav Sholom Klass, zt”l, in his discussion on this topic, quotes the Aruch
HaShulchan (Orach Chayyim 583) who cautions against Tashlich becoming a ‘social scene.’ He also quotes his grandfather (my great-grandfather), HaRav Yaakov Epstein, zt”l, who was of the family of Aruch HaShulchan, who cited R. Yitzchak Elchanan’s opinion that it is a far greater mitzva to sit and learn Torah than to waste one’s time going to Tashlich. My uncle notes that R. Epstein never went to Tashlich.

However, my uncle concludes that the majority do indeed follow the Rema (citing the Maharil). The custom is to say Tashlich, and we do not violate a custom.

Next we address whether saying Tashlich is universal to all Jewry or only to Ashkenazic Jews, as it would seem from the above discussion that our source is the Maharil as cited by the Rema. R. Yosef Caro (the Beit Yosef, whom Sephardim follow) makes no mention of this practice. Thus it would seem that Sephardim do not go to Tashlich.

Yet we find that the Rishon LeZion Rav Ovadiah Yosef, past Sephardic chief rabbi of Israel,
was asked if one should go to Tashlich on the first day of Rosh Hashana if it falls on the Sabbath (Responsa Yechaveh Da’at, 56).

The question in and of itself points out that both the questioner and R. Ovadiah Yosef accept as fact that Sephardim do go to Tashlich.

In his notes, R. Ovadiah Yosef explains that in this matter Sephardim follow the Arizal, and
disputes the Gaon R. Moshe Sternbuch, who states in his Mo’adim U’zemanim (Vol. I, 34) that the Gaon of Vilna did not say it, nor do many Gedolim as well as Sephardim.

R. Ovadiah Yosef also explains that going to Tashlich on Shabbat is permissible only where the body of water is within the boundaries of the locality’s eruv.

He reasons that we follow the rule of “zerizim umakdimim lemitzvot – The zealous perform their religious duties early.” [The Gemara (Pesachim 4a) refers to Abraham's haste in performing the mitzva of the Akeda].

Thus, it would be proper to say Tashlich on the first day, even on a Sabbath, rather than wait until the second day of Rosh Hashana.

However, a problem arises because there are numerous prayers that we are accustomed to recite as part of Tashlich, and we fear that people might carry a machzor outside the permitted boundaries, much as we delay blowing the shofar to the second day of Rosh Hashana when the first day falls on a Sabbath, because “he might carry it four cubits in the public domain”  (Rosh Hashana 29b). In such a case, R. Ovadiah Yosef agrees that we delay until the
second day.

However, after citing an almost equal number of sources for both sides of the issue, he concludes that Sephardim will recite Tashlich on the first day, including those who are more stringent and do not carry even in an area that has an eruv; they are able to go to Tashlich by having minors carry the machzorim for them.

Ashkenazim, however, generally follow the Chida (Birkei Yosef ch. 583), who states that it is a Kabbalistic rule that we do not say Tashlich on the Sabbath, but postpone it to the second day.

Similarly, the Gaon R. Shlomo Yosef Zevin, zt”l, notes in his Hamo’adim BaHalacha (Hilchot Rosh Hashana) that it would be permissible to go to Tashlich on the first day that falls on a Sabbath. However, he cites the Pri Megadim who states that “in some places I have seen that when the first day falls on Shabbat, they go to the river on the second day…”

It seems that the custom in all places is not to go to Tashlich on a Sabbath but rather to wait until the second day.

In Likutei Maharich (Rosh Hashana Vol. 3 p. 772) the Gaon R. Yisrael Chaim Friedman notes that if one did not say Tashlich on either of the two days of Rosh Hashana, one says it on any of the days of Aseret Yemei Teshuva, the Ten Days of Awe between Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur.

Q & A: Netilat Yadayim (Conclusion)

Friday, June 1st, 2001
QUESTION: Does one wash one’s hands in the bathroom with soap and water, or by pouring [fresh] water from a vessel with handles three times on each hand alternatingly? I have heard it said that a vessel is used only in the morning.
A Reader
New York, NY
ANSWER: Last week we explained the basic principle of washing the hands in the morning with water poured three times on each hand, alternatingly (Shulchan Aruch, Orach Chayyim 4:1-2), and cited several sources for this established practice. The vessel should contain a revi’it of water – just as for washing before a meal – but if there was less water, the blessing al netilat yadayim may still be recited.
We also noted that washing the hands in the morning is the only one that requires pouring water alternatingly three times on each hand according to all opinions, whereas in other situations pouring water three times is not required, and in some cases the hands may even be cleansed with anything that will clean them.
* * *
The Mechaber (Orach Chayyim 4:18) states that the following require washing with water (the Magen Avraham, the Taz and the Ba’er Heitev, based on Seder Hayom, explain that although water is required, pouring alternatingly three times on each hand is not):
Upon getting out of bed, leaving the bathroom and/or the bathhouse, cutting one’s nails, removing the shoes (when using a hand to touch them), touching one’s feet or washing one’s hair. Some add: One who has walked in a cemetery. Also included are touching a corpse, after cleaning one’s vessels (since he might have found and touched a dead insect, and the rule applies even if he did not find any), marital relations, touching a louse, touching one’s body (obviously this refers to parts of the body that are usually covered, see infra 4:21). The Mechaber concludes: ‘One who has done any of these and has not washed his hands, if he is a scholar he forgets what he has learned. If he is not a scholar, he goes out of his mind.’ The Mishna Berura explains, quoting Eliyahu Rabbah, that a spirit of folly takes hold of him, which in turn may cause him to sin, as noted in Tractate Sotah (3a): Resh Lakish said, A person does not commit a transgression unless a spirit of folly enters into him.
The Vilna Gaon (Be’ur HaGra ad loc.) lists the various Talmudic sources on which these rulings are based.
Sha’arei Teshuva states that there are different reasons for washing the hands in the cases listed by the Mechaber, since some are due to the evil spirit resting on the hands (after sleeping), while others are mandated for the sake of cleanliness. Only upon arising from sleep is there a requirement to wash three times with water.
But both the Sha’arei Teshuva and the Mishna Berura cite sources that advocate strictness in the case of exiting from a bathroom, namely, washing the hands by pouring water on them three times. (The Mishna Berura attributes this opinion to Heichal Hakodesh.)
So, although from a strict halachic point of view, the requirement to wash the hands by pouring water from a vessel is limited (according to most opinions) to the morning, there is much confusion in this area of practice, particularly when it comes to a child’s education. A child forms lasting impressions at a very young age, and that is why girsa de’yankuta, the knowledge acquired in childhood, is so important. In his responsa Mishneh Halachot, vol. 7:1, HaGaon R. Menashe Klein answers the question: At what age are small children required to perform netilat yadayim? He quotes the Pri Megadim on Orach Chayyim 4:7, who is astonished by the fact that many parents are lax in this regard. Therefore he suggests that as soon as it is possible to do so, even when children are one year old, the parents should wash their children’s hands (by pouring water) since it is not so much a question whether they are of an age to be halachically required to do so, but rather a matter of avoiding danger.(The Pri Megadim states in his general introduction, Peticha Kollelet 2:1, in regard to the mitzva of sukka, that for the purpose of chinuch, education, the child can even be younger than age five). The Chida points out that we wash the hands of very small children so that they will not contaminate [ritually] whatever they touch.
R. Klein does not cite the Mishna Berura (op. cit. 4:2) who remarks that it is important that small children wash their hands in the morning because they touch the food (that their mothers prepare), and concludes that if a Gentile touches food (as in a restaurant etc.) without washing his hands [ritually], it is of no concern since they are not defiled by the nocturnal evil spirit.
R. Klein also quotes R. Shlomo Zalman Auerbach, who states in his Minchat Shelomo (4:2) that the spirit of uncleanliness seeks to rest on a vessel of holiness, i.e., the body whose soul has risen to heaven while a person is asleep, and leaves once the soul returns. Since it is accepted that the divine soul establishes itself in the human being at the age of responsibility for the fulfillment of mitzvot, i.e., twelve plus one day for a girl and thirteen and a day for a boy, people have been lenient about allowing small children to touch food even without [ritually] washing their hands. Thus accustoming children to wash their hands is for educational purposes.
Finally he quotes the Lechem Mishneh’s commentary on Rambam (Hilchot Shevitat Asor 3:2), who states that according to Rambam we do not worry about evil spirits since they are not found among us today.
Therefore, concludes R. Klein, we teach young children to wash their hands as soon as they are able to comprehend the meaning of the mitzva.
It is written in Mishlei (22:6), ‘Chanoch lana’ar al pi darko, gam ki yazkin lo yasur mimmenah ‘Train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it.’ In order to endure, a structure needs a solid foundation.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/judaism/ask-the-rabbi/q-a-netilat-yadayim-conclusion/2001/06/01/

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