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Posts Tagged ‘Rabbi Zev Dickstein’

Daf Yomi

Friday, October 12th, 2012

Where Beis Shammai And Beis Hillel Agree
‘One Must Not Sit Before A Barber Near Minchah’
(Shabbos 9b)

Our mishnah states that one is proscribed from taking a haircut half an hour before the time for minchah lest one forget to pray that tefillah. The mishnah lists other activities, as well, that one may not engage in at this time for the same reason.

Rashi (s.v. “ad she’yispallel”) wonders why the tanna cites this halacha in the midst of a discussion of the laws of Shabbos. This halacha, after all, applies to every day of the week. Rashi suggests that that this halacha appears here specifically because it is similar to another one mentioned in the next mishnah: the halacha that a tailor may not go out in the public domain with his needle near nightfall.

A Shabbos Concern

The Sefas Emes (Novella, ad loc.) offers a different reason. He explains that one might have thought that on erev Shabbos there is no concern that a person may prolong his haircut to the extent that he will miss minchah since, in any event, he knows that he must stop all his activities before the onset of Shabbos. That’s why although this halacha applies every day, it is necessary for the mishnah to state that it applies even on erev Shabbos.

The Shofar Blasts

Additionally, the Gemara (infra 35b) teaches that there was a custom on erev Shabbos to sound several shofar blasts shortly before the onset of Shabbos to remind people to cease working. One might have thought that a person need not worry about taking a haircut half an hour before the time of Minchah on Friday since the shofar blasts will remind him that Shabbos is about to arrive. That’s why the tanna has to state that doing so in nonetheless forbidden.

To Honor The Sabbath

The Rashash (ad loc) offers yet another reason. He explains that taking a haircut and bathing in honor of Shabbos is a mitzvah. Therefore, the mishnah in Meseches Shabbos needs to stress that, nonetheless, one may not perform it starting half an hour before the time of Minchah.

The Maharitz Chayos (Novella, ad Loc.) cites the Rambam in Pirush HaMishnayos (first perek of Meseches Shabbos) who states that this halacha is among the (Sabbath-related) halachos that were jointly enacted by Beis Shammai and Beis Hillel in the aliyas Chananya ben Chizkiya ben Garon (infra. 13b). Therefore, it is stated here.

No Blessing

The Mechaber (Orach Chayim 251:1, based upon Pesachim 50b) states that one should not do any melachah from the time of Minchah since one will not see a siman berachah from it. Some say this applies starting from Minchah Gedolah; others say it only applies starting from Minchah Ketanah.

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

Daf Yomi

Thursday, August 23rd, 2012

No Cell Phones Please!
‘A Kerchief That One Designated For Storing Tefillin’
(Berachos 23)

R. Chisda on our daf cites the following halacha: If someone designates a kerchief for storing tefillin and then does in fact store his tefillin there, he may not store his money there too. However, if he designated a kerchief without actually storing his tefillin in it, or stored his tefillin in a kerchief without designating it for that purpose, he may also store his money there.

The Mechaber (Orach Chayim 42:3) codifies this halacha, and the Rema adds that this rule also applies to other tashmishei kedushah. For example, it is only forbidden to write on a piece of klaf if it has already been both designated and used for tefillin, a mezuzah, or Sefer Torah – whatever the case may be.

Tallis Bag

The Magen Avraham (ad loc. s.v. “ve’da d’chol zeh…”) notes that talleisim are not considered sanctified items but tashmishei mitzvah. Therefore, this rule about “designating and using” does not apply to them. Thus, we may store keys, reading glasses, and cell phones, for example, in a tallis bag.

A Designation How To

How does one formally designate a tefillin bag as a tashmish kedushah? The Mishnah Berurah (ad loc. sk 10, 24) writes that one may 1) verbally designate it; 2) manufacture it [or improve upon an existing bag] for the sake of tefillin; 3) actually place tefillin in it with the intent to permanently use it for storing tefillin; or 4) repeatedly use it for one’s tefillin.

The Aruch Hashulchan (ad loc. sk 4) argues that “repeatedly use” means three days. After that, the bag assumes the status of tashmishei kedushah. However, if one openly stipulates that he does not intend to use this bag for tefillin on a regular basis, then the bag does not acquire the status of tashmishei kedushah even after three days.

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

Daf Yomi

Wednesday, July 18th, 2012

Self Evident?
What Uncleanness Is There In A Nasal Discharge?’
(Niddah 55b- 56a)

The mishnah on 54b lists spittle (saliva) as one of the bodily secretions of a zav that convey tumah. This law appears in Vayikra 15:8: “Ve’chi yarok hazav batahor ve’chibes begadav ve’rachatz ba’mayyim ve’tamei ad ha’arev – And if the zav spit upon someone, that person shall immerse his garments and immerse himself in the water, and he remains unclean until the evening.”

A baraisa (on 55b) states that the term “if the zav spit” includes other secretions as well, such as mei ha’af (a nasal discharge). The Gemara then cites a dispute between Rav and Shmuel as to the meaning of mei ha’af: Shmuel says that it refers to all types of discharges – whether from the nose or the mouth since nasal secretions are no different than saliva.

Traces

Rav, on the other hand, asserts that a nasal secretion is not like saliva and therefore does not convey tumah. He says that the term mei ha’af in the baraisarefers to phlegm expelled through the mouth. The reason this phlegm conveys tumah is simply because it is impossible to discharge phlegm through the mouth without traces of saliva in it.

Two Questions

The commentators ask two compelling questions. First, the Aruch LaNer (ad loc.) asks why, according to Rav, must the baraisa derive the uncleanness of a nasal secretion from the pasuk “Ve’chi yarok.” Since the phlegm contains traces of saliva, it is self-evident that phlegm is unclean. Darshening the pasuk seems to be superfluous.

Second, the Be’er Avraham (Hilchos Metam’ei U’Moshav 1:14) asks why the small amount of saliva mixed in with the phlegm should be of any significance. Since the saliva comprises only a small percentage of the total mixture, it should be nullified in the majority (batal b’rov).

Simple Logic

The Marcheshes (siman 37:1-10) explains that these questions present no difficulty. Indeed, each one provides the answer for the other. He explains that if not for the pasukVe’chi yarok,” a zav’s phlegm would not be tamei despite the fact that it contains traces of saliva. Why? Because that small amount would, indeed, be batal b’rov as Be’er Avraham argues.

When Rav says that it is impossible to discharge phlegm through the mouth without traces of saliva, what he means to say is since orally-expelled phlegm invariably contains saliva, it is logical to treat such a discharge more stringently than a nasally-expelled discharge which contains no saliva. Rav assumes that “Ve’chi yarok,” which comes to include phlegm, does not include all discharges but only orally-expelled phlegm since it contains some saliva. Thus if not for the exposition from this pasuk, the miniscule amount of saliva would indeed be nullified.

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

Daf Yomi

Wednesday, July 11th, 2012

Soul Food
‘It Comes To Include A Fragrance’
(Niddah 52a)

One must recite a berachah prior to eating (berachah rishonah) and another one after eating (berachah acharonah). The mishnah on 51b states that there are some instances where only a berachah rishonah is required.

The Gemara explains that the mishnah is referring to someone who smells a pleasant fragrance. He should recite a berachah (“borei minei besamim”) prior to smelling the fragrance, but not afterwards.

Why not? Rashi (s.v. “reichani”) explains that one berachah is sufficient since smelling only provides a han’ah mu’etes, a limited amount of pleasure.

Quick And Immediate

Alternatively, the Kol Bo (cited by Sha’arei Tziyun, Orach Chayim 216, sk3) explains that there is a time limit within which a berachah acharonah may be recited. The berachah acharonah after eating must be recited before the food is digested. If a longer period has elapsed and a person no longer feels satiated from his meal, he may no longer recite a berachah acharonah. By the same token, a person does not recite a berachah acharonah after smelling a fragrance because the pleasure he derives does no linger. Thus the time limit to recite a berachah acharonahin the instance of a fragrance expires immediately.

No Bodily Benefit

The Me’iri (Yalkut Hame’iri citing Berachos 42b) offers yet another reason. He writes that smell is something that benefits the soul, but not the body. Therefore, one cannot say the berachah acharonah.

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

Daf Yomi

Thursday, June 21st, 2012

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

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

The Prayers Of Righteous Women

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

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

The Power Of Prayer

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

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

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

Daf Yomi

Thursday, June 14th, 2012

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

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

Not A Cow

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

A Part Of The Whole

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

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

A Question Of Survival

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

The Missing Word

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

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

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

Daf Yomi

Thursday, May 24th, 2012

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

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

A Rabbinic Stringency

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

Not So, Argues The Rashba

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

Surely The Dead Once Lived

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

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

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

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/judaism/halacha-hashkafa/daf-yomi-18/2012/05/24/

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