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August 28, 2014 / 2 Elul, 5774
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Posts Tagged ‘Rabbi Zev Dickstein’

Daf Yomi

Wednesday, April 18th, 2012

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

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

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

Of Angels And Men

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

Puzzling

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

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

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

Daf Yomi

Wednesday, March 28th, 2012

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

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

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

Caught Unaware

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

Testifying Against Himself: Two Views

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

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

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

Daf Yomi

Thursday, January 5th, 2012

Lingua Franca ‘The Jordan Is Only From Jericho And Below’ (Bechoros 55a)

The Mishnah (54b), discussing ma’aser, notes that even though a flock is the property of one individual, if part of the flock is separated from the rest, the two parts cannot be combined to constitute one unit when tithing. Thus, R. Meir says that if one has flocks on both sides of the Jordan River they cannot be combined to constitute one entity for the purpose of tithing.

On our daf, Rabbah b. Bar Chana says the Jordan River only divides a flock from the city of Jericho and below. Above Jericho, the city does not. As far as nedarim are concerned, though, when one refers to the Jordan River, its entirety is implied.

Primary Factor

Mishnayos in Tractate Nedarim (18b and 30a-31b) cite numerous terms that restrict the force of a neder. The Gemara (Nedarim 30b and on our daf) notes that as a rule, the words of a neder follow their common meaning, not their biblical meaning. In codifying this halacha, the Rambam (Hilchos Nedarim 9:13) rules according to the Gemara (Nedarim and our daf) that in all matters relating to vows, common parlance is the primary factor taken into consideration. In light of this, the Radvaz (to Rambam, op. cit.) questions the necessity for the mishnayos, since all ambiguous terminology is interpreted according to common parlance and not dependent on the usage of mishnaic or biblical times. The Radvaz answers that the definitions in the mishnah are relevant to places where there is no common or agreed-upon meaning.

Shechorei Ha’rosh

The Nimukei Yosef (ad loc., Nedarim 30b) cites the Ritva, who says that some definitions have changed since mishnaic times. An example: A mishnah (30b) states that if someone vows not to benefit from shechorei ha’rosh (literally, dark headed people), he is prohibited from deriving any benefit from adult men, but is permitted to benefit from women and children.

Rashi (30b) explains that women always cover their heads – thus they can never be referred to as “dark headed.” Men, on the other hand, sometimes cover their heads and sometimes do not; thus, those who don’t would be referred to as shechorei ha’rosh. All children, however, go about without a head covering. Thus, they are not included in the vow.

Specifically Stated Intention

The Ritva notes that in post-Talmudic times, the term shechorei ha’rosh has come to refer to anyone with dark hair and it therefore excludes people who are bald, and in general people who are elderly (whose hair is usually white). He notes as well that even where the custom is to follow the mishnaic definition, if one specifically states that he wants his vow to be interpreted according to the simple understanding (interpretation) of his words, his instructions are to be followed even if that produces a leniency.

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.

Daf Yomi

Thursday, December 29th, 2011

An Eventual Resolution
‘May The Likes Of You Increase Manifold In Israel’
(Bechoros 45b)

The gemara on our daf continues discussing unique deformities that disqualify a kohen from performing any ritual service. One of them is additional fingers and/or toes. In the Mishnah (on 45a) there is a dispute between R. Yehuda and the sages regarding a kohen with such a deformity. R. Yitzchak on our daf explains that both derive their position from the same pasuk (II Samuel 21:20), which describes a man who had six fingers on each hand and six toes on each foot. R. Yehuda interprets this passuk as praising the prowess of such an individual. The sages, on the other hand, interpret this verse as disparaging him.

The Gemara relates that R. Yehuda said that a man like this once came before R. Tarfon, who said to him, “May the likes of you increase manifold in Israel.” Presumably he meant this statement as a blessing. R. Yose, however, disagrees. He suggests that what R. Tarfon really meant was that mamzerim and Nesinim should possess these deformities so that they will be easily identified as unfit with the result that their numbers will thereby decrease. (The verse in Samuel concerns Nesinim – the people whom King David excluded from marrying into the Jewish people.)

The question is why did R. Tarfon include mamzerim when the pasuk only refers to Nesinim?

Cursing One’s Father

A Mishnah (in Yevamos 22b) states that a son who wounds or curses his father is subject to capital punishment (Shemos 21:15,17). The Mishnah notes that a mamzer who wounds or curses his father also receives this punishment.

The Gemara derives from this verse that the prohibition applies only if the father is “oseh ma’aseh amcha,” lit. one who is observant of the laws of the Torah. (Rambam – Hilchos Mamrim 6:12 – rules that the son is obligated to honor his father in any event whereas the Tur, Yoreh De’ah 240, disagrees.) Consequently, the Gemara explains that a mamzer is not punished for cursing his father unless the father repented for his immoral acts and is no longer considered a sinner.

Even So, Repent, My Friend

The Gemara wonders how it is possible to achieve atonement for this sin, for Shimon b. Menassiah says (Chagiga 9a) that fathering a mamzer is deemed “me’uvas lo yuchal liskon – that which is crooked cannot be made straight” (Ecclesiastes 1:15); namely, it is a misdeed that cannot be remedied.

The Gemara answers that even though fathering a mamzer is called a misdeed that cannot be remedied, if the father repents he falls into the category of one who is observant of Torah laws, and cursing him is forbidden.

There are several approaches to understanding the Gemara’s conclusion.

Constant Humiliation

Rabbenu Chayyim (Tosafos, Bava Bathra 89b) maintains that an immoral father who does teshuvah is considered to be observant of Torah laws because repentance fully eradicates all sins (even if a mamzer was produced). When Shimon b. Menassiah says that this type of sin is a misdeed without remedy, he simply means that the sinner will suffer endless humiliation since the effect of his act (the mamzer) is a constant reminder of his immoral deed (Tosafos, Chagiga 9a. s.v. “zeh”).

Removing Stigma

Rashi (infra Yevamos 21a s.v. “arayos” and Chagiga 9a s.v. “ve’holid”) indicates that even according to the Gemara’s conclusion, the sin of immorality cannot be entirely eradicated if a mamzer was produced since the effect of the sin is present in the world. The Gemara explains, however, that although teshuvah for such a sin is not entirely effective, it is sufficient to remove the stigma of classifying the father as a sinner, thus making the son liable to a penalty for cursing him.

‘Trace’ Sin

Kovetz He’aros (end of siman 21) explains that the novelty of teshuvah is that Hashem does not merely cleanse a person of his sins. He usually eradicates all traces of the sin retroactively so that it is considered as though the sin was never committed. Shimon b. Menassiah teaches that if the sin produced a mamzer, the sin cannot be eradicated retroactively since a visible trace of the sin still exists. The Gemara explains, however, that if the father repents, the son may not curse him because the father is not considered a sinner from that point onward.

Shouting From The Rooftops

Now let us consider R. Tarfon’s statement according to R. Yose. He is suggesting that any means whereby the mamzer’s status becomes public knowledge – and thus protects unknowing individuals from entering into a forbidden marriage – is commendable. The mamzer will not marry into the Jewish people, thus assuring that the lasting object of the father’s transgression will at some point cease to exist, leaving no trace. This will assure the sinner’s eventual exoneration and restore his standing before Hashem as a ba’al teshuvah (even if only after his own death).

Daf Yomi

Wednesday, December 7th, 2011

Not Necessarily Good For The Goose, Gander Or Any Fowl
‘On The Festival, Plucking The Wool Is Permitted Because…’
(Bechoros 25a)

 

The Torah states that “lo sagoz bechor tzonecha – you may not shear [the wool] of your first born sheep” (Devarim 15:19). R. Yosi b. HaMeshullam in the mishnah (24b) to our sugya offers a leniency to this rule. Prior to slaughtering a bechor, he says, one may make a clear space on both sides of the place of the shechitah and pluck the hairs on either side. Rashi explains that this is done to prevent chaladah – passing the knife under cover.

 

A Scissors

The gemara on our daf concludes that R. Yosi b. HaMeshullam’s reason to permit plucking hairs is because the scriptural term “sagoz,” shearing,  applies only when one uses scissors, not when one plucks by hand, which is properly called “tolesh,” tearing. Thus, if one follows R. Yosi b. HaMeshullam’s procedure, one avoids the Torah’s prohibition (and helps facilitate proper shechitah).

 

Uprooting From Its Place Of Growth

The gemara, tangentially, questions whether it is permitted to pluck the neck hairs of an ordinary animal on yom tov to facilitate shechitah. The gemara argues that it should be prohibited because the prohibition of cutting hair on yom tov is rooted, not in shearing, but rather in the general prohibition of uprooting something from its place of growth.

 

K’le’achar Yad

The gemara, however, concludes that plucking hairs by hand is classified as giza k’le’achar yad – plucking hair in an unusual manner, and is therefore permitted because the Torah did not forbid a melachah done in an unusual manner. The Sages, it is true, normally do prohibit conducting melachah even in an unusual manner, but since the person is plucking for the sake of simchas yom tov, the Sages allow him to do so.

 

What About A Bird?

A baraisa on our daf states that if one plucks a large feather from a bird’s wing, he must bring a karban chattas. This baraisa seems to imply that plucking by hand is a biblical prohibition, which contradicts what our gemara just concluded. The gemara, however, states that there is no contradiction. Although plucking hairs is usually considered unusual, and hence permitted, plucking feathers from a bird’s wing is considered routine, and hence prohibited.

Tosafos (sv “d’hava lei”) rule, based on our gemara, that plucking a bird’s feather on yom tov is forbidden – even if one needs the bird for one’s yom tov meal. The Rambam (Pirush HaMishnayos to 24b) rules accordingly: Plucking the wool of an animal for the purpose of shechitah is permitted on yom tov; plucking a bird’s feathers is forbidden.

The Ramban (novella to our daf) disagrees and permits plucking a bird’s feathers on yom tov to facilitate shechitah. He argues that since one is permitted to pluck a bird’s feathers on yom tov to enable eating it, one is also permitted to do so prior to shechitah since they will be plucked afterward in any event.

 

 

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

Saturday, November 12th, 2011

Remember The Sabbath Day…
Shiluach HaKen Applies In Temple Times And After’
(Chullin 138)

 

The Torah (Devarim 22:6) states that one who finds a bird’s nest with chicks or eggs on the road or in a tree may not take the mother bird while she is on her young. One must send away the mother bird and only then take the young. This is referred to as the mitzvah of Shiluach HaKen.

The Mishnah on our daf says that this mitzvah applies both during the times of the Beis HaMikdash and after. The Gemara comments that this is a superfluous statement because there is no reason to assume that the mitzvah would  apply only when there is a Beis HaMikdash extant.

 

A Query To The Chasam Sofer

The following question was asked of the Chasam Sofer (Responsa Orach Chayyim 100): If someone happens upon a nest on Shabbos, is he required to perform the mitzvah of Shiluach HaKen or not?

Vehabanim Tikach Lach

In answer to this query, the Chasam Sofer first goes into a lengthy analysis of the mitzvah in which he cites the Chacham Tzvi, among others, who is of the opinion that one is only required to send away the mother bird but is not required to take the chicks. In his view, the Torah merely stated the word’s “vehabanim tikach lach – and the children take for you” as a segula – that in the merit of this mitzvahone will be blessed with children.

Evoking Compassion

The Chasam Sofer also cites the Zohar (Tikunei Zohar, Tikuna 6, as cited by Responsa Chavos Yair, siman 67), which offers the following kabbalistic reason for the performance of this mitzvah. When one sends the mother bird away and then takes her young, one evokes feelings of compassion in the mother who by nature takes pity on her young. The mother bird’s merciful cry arouses Hashem’s compassion for His “young,” Bnei Yisrael, and causes Him to take pity on us.

However, according to Zohar, one is prohibited from performing this mitzvah on Shabbos because beseeching Hashem for mercy is prohibited on Shabbos.

 

Nigleh Or Nistar

The Chasam Sofer points out that our Gemara apparently differs with the Zohar. The Gemara had argued that the statement that the mitzvah of Shiluach HaKen applies whether the Beis HaMikdash is extant or not is self-evident and therefore superfluous. But it is hardly superfluous according to the Zohar. One may have thought that the mitzvah only applies during our exile when we are in special need of Hashem’s mercy for our redemption. Thus, we need the Gemara to tell us that this reasoning is false – that we need Hashem’s mercy even during the era of the Beis HaMikdash. Our Gemara, however, does find the Mishnah’s statement to be superfluous. Thus, we see that the Zohar’s reasoning is not accepted by the Talmud, and the Chasam Sofer notes that whenever there is a dispute between nigleh and nistar (i.e., the Talmud and Kabalah) we follow nigleh.

Tzeidah Or Muktzeh

The Chasam Sofer, however, offers another reason to prohibit performing the mitzvah on Shabbos. According to the Rambam (Hilchos Shechitah 13:5) the mitzvah entails grabbing the bird’s wing with one’s hand and causing it to fly away. Thus, according to the Rambam, sending away the bird on Shabbos is prohibited since one would violate the melachah of trapping – tzeidah. Even if one does not “trap” the bird, sending it away is still prohibited because the bird is muktzeh and the mitzvah of Shiluach HaKen does not override the prohibition of muktzeh.  

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/judaism/halacha-hashkafa/daf-yomi/2011/11/12/

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