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December 25, 2014 / 3 Tevet, 5775
 
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Daf Yomi

Thursday, April 26th, 2012

A Transfusion, An Element Of Life
‘Blood From A Sanctified Animal Is Forbidden’
(Me’ilah 12)

The mishnah on our daf says that one may not derive any pleasure from the milk of an animal sacrifice or the eggs of a sanctified bird. However, they are not subject the laws of me’ilah. The reason for this unique situation is that these items are not fit to be put on the mizbe’ach.

The Animal Before Us

Tosafos (sv. “bameh devarim ha’amurim…”) explain that when a person wishes to consecrate an animal to be offered as a korban, he has no intention of consecrating its milk (or eggs) since he knows they may not be offered on the mizbe’ach. And yet, when one consecrates a donkey, its milk is subject to me’ilah. This is so because the person has donated the donkey for the upkeep of the Temple (not for the mizbe’ach). The Temple would sell the animal – its value obviously includes its milk – and use the proceeds for its needs.

In light of these laws, why does Rav in the Gemara rule that the laws of me’ilah apply to blood that is extracted from a sacrifice by means of blood-letting? The extracted blood is not fit for the mizbe’ach! In answer, the Gemara explains that an animal cannot survive without its blood. Thus, the blood is considered part of the animal. The same, however, cannot be said about an animal’s milk.

Outliving Its Usefulness

Earlier (2b), the Gemara discusses a case of an animal designated as a korban dying before it could be brought on the mizbe’ach. Its carcass is not considered hekdesh any longer – and thus not subject to the laws of me’ilah – since the Temple no longer has a use for the animal.

Rabbi Yosef Sholom Elyashiv (cited by his son in the Yad Binyamin) asks a phenomenal question. Based on this Gemara, why do the laws of me’ilah apply to blood extracted from a korban through blood-letting? The blood should be considered to be a “korban” that died before it could be brought on the mizbe’ach, whose status is no longer hekdesh.

What We Now Know

The Even Ha’azel (Hilchos Me’ilah 2:11, sk2) answers by pointing out that it is medically possible to re-infuse blood into an animal’s body after it was extracted. If so, it cannot be considered “dead” since it could still theoretically be used by the Temple.

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, 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, March 22nd, 2012

Temple Management 101
‘The Rest Were Given To The Craftsmen As Wages’
(Kerisos 6a)

The Gemara, on our daf, discusses how to dispose of ketores from the previous year that remained unused. The Gemara explains that any leftover ketores went toward the wages of the craftsmen engaged in the service of the Beis Hamikdash.

The funds for purchasing ketores came from the machatzis hashekel that every Jew was required to contribute annually before Rosh Chodesh Nissan. These shekalim were used to purchase karbenos tzibbur (which included the ketores).

The Gemara (Jerusalem Talmud, Shekalim 1:1) derives from Scriptural sources that sacrifices offered after Rosh Chodesh Nissan must be purchased with shekalim designated for the new year’s sacrifices and not with shekalim designated for the previous year’s sacrifices.

The Remaining Lambs

The Gemara (in Shevuos 10b) deals with the similar problem of sanctified tamid lambs remaining at the end of the year. Since they were purchased with shekalim collected for the previous year’s sacrifices, these lambs are unfit for use in the new year.

Rashi (ad loc. s.v. “temidim shelo hutzrechu l’tzibbur”) explains that at the conclusion of every year, four lambs remained. The mishnah (in Arachin 13a) states that Temple authorities always kept a minimum of six lambs on hand from which two would be chosen for the daily tamidim sacrifices. Thus, on the last day of Adar (the end of the year for this matter), the Beis Hamikdash had six lambs but only two were sacrificed. Four lambs thus remained.

Why the need for six lambs every day? The Rashba explains that the Beis Hamikdash needed extra lambs in case the chosen two developed blemishes. The six lambs were bought in advance and examined for four days to ensure the absence of blemishes.

A Simple Solution?

The Turei Even (Rosh Hashanah 29b) questions this procedure. Why, he asks, did the Beis Hamikdash purchase six lambs four days before they were needed? If examination of blemishes was the goal, why didn’t they examine them without buying them? In this manner, they could have avoided the whole question of what to do with the four extra lambs remaining at the end of the year.

In truth, the Gemara (in Shevuos 10b) states that Temple administrators would stipulate at the time of purchase that the animals were only to become hekdesh if they were needed. Thus, the four remaining lambs were not hekdesh and could be sold. Nonetheless, the Turei Zahav’s question still stands: Why did they buy the animals in the first place?

Chullin In The Azarah

In answer to this question, the Netziv (Meromei Sadeh, to Shevuos 10b) suggests that the administrators probably purchased and sanctified the tamid lambs because they were kept in a chamber of the Temple courtyard – the lishkas ha’tela’im – and it would have been inappropriate to bring chullin animals into this area.

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, February 2nd, 2012

Pleading The Fifth
‘…And Minors Are Not Obligated To Fulfill Mitzvos’
(Arachin 22a)

A mishnah (21b) states that if beis din wishes to sell the property of orphans for payment of a debt, it must publicize the sale and take bids for at least 30 days. Rabbenu Gershom explains that this is done to ensure that a wide a range of prospective buyers will come and try outbidding one another. This will result in the orphans receiving the highest possible price.

R. Yehuda stated in the name of R. Assi that as a general rule beis din does not sell the property of minor orphans to satisfy debts, unless the loan was given on interest (by a non-Jewish creditor). In such a case, beis din is duty-bound to expedite a sale to prevent the further accrual of interest. Two reasons are given for beis din not being allowed to sell the property of minor orphans.

Was It Repaid?

R. Huna ben R. Yehoshua explains that we are concerned that the father might have paid off the debt immediately prior to his death. Rashi (s.v. “tzerori atfesei”) explains that in his haste he might not have retrieved the bill of indebtedness from the creditor. Delaying collection of the loan (by selling property) until the orphans mature gives the orphans an opportunity to seek proof that their father possibly did indeed repay the debt.

Keeping One’s Word

R. Pappa, on the other hand, offers a totally different reason for restraining beis din from selling the property of minor orphans to satisfy a creditor’s claim. He argues that repaying a debt is a mitzvah and minor orphans are not obligated to fulfill mitzvos. The Ramban (novella, Bava Basra 174) explains that even if the orphans inherited property from their father, R. Pappa is of the opinion that properties are not legally mortgaged for payment of a father’s debts on a biblical level. The only factor compelling a debtor and his heirs to repay a debt is due to a Torah obligation requiring a person to keep his word. Minors, however, are not obligated to keep mitzvos and thus cannot be compelled to pay their father’s debt until they reach maturity.

Don’t Pay More Than A Fifth

The Gemara (28a) states that a person should not give more than a fifth of his earnings to charity. The Rambam (Hilchos Arachin ve’Charamin 8:13) applies this rabbinic teaching to other mitzvos. He writes that if a person obligates himself to bring a korban with an oath, he should be cognizant of the fact that the Torah itself is very protective of his possessions and should never go beyond his means in fulfilling this oath. Similarly concerning an esrog: If a person only has $100 to his name, he should not purchase an esrog for more than $20. If he can’t find an esrog for that price, he is not required to buy one.

Total Exemption?

The following question was posed to Rabbi Chayyim Solovechik of Brisk (Novella 129) regarding R. Pappa’s ruling that repaying a creditor is a mitzvah: What if one’s debts amount to more than twenty percent of one’s assets? Is one then exempt from repaying the debt being that one is generally exempt from spending more than a fifth of his money for a mitzvah?

Just Getting Back What’s His

The Brisker Rav answered: Money that a person gives to his creditor is the creditor’s money – not his. (Prior to the payment of the debt, we consider the money to be the debtor’s – and not mortgaged to the creditor – but once the debtor pays the creditor, we view this payment as if the creditor has received his own money back.) Therefore, since the debtor is not spending his own money but is rather simply returning money that belongs to the creditor, the rule that one does not spend more than a fifth of his wealth does not apply.

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 26th, 2012

A Burning Question?
‘If Said In The Concerned Person’s Presence It’s Not Evil Speech’
(Arachin 15b)

Rabba says that if Reuven makes a remark concerning Shimon in his presence, it does not constitute lashon hara and is permitted. Abaya, however, maintains that making derogatory remarks about Shimon in his presence takes great nerve and is an act of chutzpa and is certainly lashon hara.

The Rambam (Hilchos De’os 7:5) codifies this halacha and states that making derogatory or insulting remarks about another person, whether in his presence or not, constitutes lashon hara and is a grave sin.

The Kessef Mishna (op cit. 7:4 at end) questions why Rambam rules in accord with Abaya.

Only For A Constructive Purpose

Rabbenu Yona (to Bava Basra 39a) explains that Abaya actually misunderstood Rabba’s assertion. Rabba did not mean to permit saying lashon hara about an individual in his presence; insulting someone to his face is certainly a grave sin. Rather, Rabba was referring to a case in which the subject is a rasha who refuses to abandon his sinful ways.

According to Rabba, one is permitted to report a rasha’s evil behavior to others provided one is doing so for a constructive purpose. For example, one may perhaps wish to make others aware of the danger of associating with such an individual, or one may perhaps reason that informing others about the rasha will inspire him to repent out of embarrassment. By speaking about Shimon’s unacceptable behavior in his presence, Reuven demonstrates that he is doing so for legitimate reasons.

In a similar vein, Tosafos (s.v. “kol milsa d’misamra b’apei t’lasa…”) also argue that Rabba is not referring to general lashon hara. Rather, he is referring to the type of lashon hara mentioned in the Gemara above whereby one issues a statement which can have derogatory connotations but is not inherently derogatory – avak lashon hara. An example of avak lashon hara is stating that the ovens in Shimon’s home are constantly burning. This statement can be construed as an insult since it could imply that Shimon is a glutton and constantly indulging in feasts and merrymaking.

Pardon Me, I Have Need Of…

On the other hand, if someone is seeking a burning coal with which to ignite his stove, and Reuven innocently advises him to go to Shimon’s house where there are usually fires burning, Reuven cannot be accused of spreading lashon hara.

Rabba teaches that we can tell what Reuven’s motivations are by whether he would hesitate making his statement in Shimon’s presence.

Accordingly, Rambam does not rule according to Abaya against Rabba. Rather, everyone agrees that genuine lashon hara is prohibited regardless of whether or not the party who is the subject of the lashon hara is present.

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).

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/judaism/halacha-hashkafa/daf-yomi-5/2011/12/29/

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