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October 22, 2014 / 28 Tishri, 5775
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Daf Yomi

Wednesday, October 17th, 2012

Crystal Clear As The Waters
Speak In The Manner Of One’s Teacher
(Shabbos 15a)

A mikveh must have, minimally, forty se’ah of water that has gathered in it by natural means. This precludes the use of mayim she’uvin – water that was drawn in a vessel to fill the mikveh. If a significant amount of mayim she’uvin fell into a mikveh before it contained the minimum forty se’ah of naturally-gathered water, all the water in the mikveh is disqualified. The question is: What constitutes a significant amount?

A Dispute Even In Expression

The Gemara cites a mishnah in Eduyos (1:3). Hillel says a hin of drawn water (three kabim) renders the mikveh unfit. Shammai maintains the measure is nine kabim. The Gemara notes Hillel’s unusual usage of the hin measure as opposed to the kab measure (which, the Ravad explains, is the term usually used in mishnayos) and explains that a person is required to speak in the manner of his teachers. Since Hillel was a student of Shemayah and Avtalyon who used the hin measure as opposed to the kab measure, he too used that measure.

Mispronouncing Hebrew

The Rambam (Pirush Hamishnayos, Eduyos, at the beginning, cited by Rabbenu Ovadiyah Mi’Bartenura) offers a unique explanation of the Gemara. He says that Shemayah and Avtalyon were converts who came from a nation where people were unable to properly pronounce the letter “heh.” They would pronounce it as an aleph. Thus, they would pronounce “hin” as “in.” In deference to his teachers, Hillel too would pronounce “hin” as “in.”

No Reason To Copy Mispronunciations

The Vilna Gaon (novella to Shabbos ad loc.) explains the mishnah in a similar fashion but rejects the notion that one is obligated to mimic one’s teacher’s mispronunciation of words. He explains that when the Gemara states that Hillel copied his teachers’ pronunciation, what it means is the following: Shemayah and Avtalyon used to preface the word “hin” with “maleh.” In other words, they used to say “maleh hin” even though saying “maleh” is redundant since, by definition, a hin is always maleh (just like a kab is always maleh which is why Shammai in the Gemara just says “kabim” and not “maleh kabim”).

Concern For A Halachic Misunderstanding

Why, indeed, did Shemayah and Avtalyon say “maleh hin”? Because they were concerned that people might misunderstand them. Since they couldn’t pronounce a “heh” properly, people might think they were saying “ein” – which means “no” – instead of “hin.” People would thus conclude that drawn water does not disqualify a mikveh. By adding the word “maleh,” Shemayah and Avtalyon made clear that they meant to say the word “hin,” not “ein.”

Even though, Hillel, whose pronunciation was fine, had no reason to add the word “maleh,” he did so nevertheless so as not to deviate from his teachers’ manner of speech.

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, September 20th, 2012

The Lady Of The House
‘One Blesses First On The Wine…’
(Berachos 51)

The evening Shabbos kiddush consists of two berachos: “Hagafen,” the blessing on wine, and birkas hayom, the blessing on the sanctification of the day. Our mishnah cites a dispute between Beis Shammai and Beis Hillel. Beis Shammai assert that the sanctification blessing precedes the wine blessing. Beis Hillel, on the other hand, opine that the wine blessing goes first. The halacha follows Beis Hillel.

The Primacy Of The Wine

Beis Hillel offer two reasons for their view. First, it is the wine that causes the recital of kiddush (if not for the wine, we wouldn’t say kiddush). Second, the rule is “tadir v’she’eino tadir, tadir kodem” – whenever we have two mitzvos, the one that is performed more frequently takes precedence.

Biblical Vs. Rabbinical

The Pnei Yehoshua (ad loc.) points out a difficulty with Beis Hillel’s ruling. The obligation to recite the sanctification blessing is biblical whereas the mitzvah to recite the wine blessing is only rabbinic. Therefore, the sanctification blessing ought to go first. And yet, Beis Hille states the very opposite.

Rabbi Yechezkel Landau (the Tzlach ad loc.) asks another question: Why do Beis Hillel say that if someone lacks wine, he is not required to recite kiddush? Since the sanctification blessing is a biblical mitzvah, he should be required to say kiddush with or without wine.

Kiddush In Ma’ariv

The Pnei Yehoshua answers these questions by explaining that a person has already fulfilled the biblical mitzvah of sanctifying the day of Shabbos in the Ma’ariv Amidah. If there is no wine at home, therefore, there is no reason for him to recite kiddush.

Kiddush At Home

The Tzlach further notes that, according this reasoning, a woman who did not daven Ma’ariv and recites kiddush for herself should reverse the order of the berachos, with the sanctification blessing preceding the wine blessing.

The She’arim Metzuyanim B’Halacha (ad loc.) notes that this might be precisely why often the lady of the house, upon receiving kiddush wine from her husband, does not rely on her husband’s berachah of “borei pri hagafen” but recites her own. Since she did not daven Ma’ariv, her kiddush obligation at the Shabbos table is biblical. Thus, she must first hear the sanctification blessing and only then make the wine blessing.

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, 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.

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.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/judaism/halacha-hashkafa/daf-yomi-29/2012/06/14/

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