Monday, February 13, 2006

Parsha Chabura Beshalach:The Obligation Of Kriyas HaTorah

This week’s shiur was about the nature of the chiyuv of K'riyas HaTorah.

The Nature of the Obligation

Immediately after K'riyas Yam Suf, the Torah tells us that that the B’nei Yisroel went three days without water. The gemara in Baba Kama (82a) understands this to mean that they went three days without Torah. Subsequently, Moshe made a takanah that the Torah should be read every three days. The question is, what is the nature of this chiyuv? There are two ways to understand the nature of this chiyuv. It could be viewed as a chovas hatzibbur, meaning that it is an obligation on the community as one unit to read the Torah. The other way to understand it is that it is a chovas hayachid, meaning that it is an obligation incumbent on each individual. However, even if you say that it is a chovas hayachid, it would still be necessary to gather a minyan to read the Torah. The obligation would be on the individual, but the way in which this mitzvah is performed would have to be with a tzibbur.

Machlokes Rishinim

The achronim point out that this is really a machlokes between the Ba’al HaM’eor and the Ramban (Milchamos) in Megillah. (The two opinions are found in Daf 3 of the Rif). There is a machlokes in Megillah between Rav and Rav Asi over whether the megillah can be read privately. Rav Asi holds the megillah must be read with a minyan. The Ba’al HaMeor and Ramban have a machlokes over whether Rav Asi's opinion is l'chatchilah or even b’dieved. The Ba’al HaM’eor proves from a mishna that Rav Asi would agree that b'dieved one can read the megilla privately. The mishna lists those things which need a minyan and reading the megillah is not part of that list. The Ba’al HaM’eor proves that since mikrah megillah isn’t part of the list, we see that the megillah can be read privately according to everyone. The Ramban rejects the proof because that mishna only lists those things which are a chovas hatzibbur. Now among those items listed in the mishna is k'riyas hatorah. We see from this machlokes that the Ramban holds k'riyas hatorah (which is listed in the mishna) is a chovas hatzibbur while the Ba’al HaM’eor would hold it is a chovas hayachid.

Nafka Mina

There are a number of nafka mina in this chakirah.

1) The Birchas Shmuel (Yevamos Siman 21) quotes R’ Chaim as being mesuppak in this chakirah. R’ Chaim said if it is a chovas hatzibbur one would need 10 people who did not hear leining. Since the chiyuv is on the tzibbur, if only rov of the tzibbur needed to hear leining then you don't have a tzibbur and m'meila you can't lein. However, if it is only chovas hayachid then you can apply rubo k'kulo and if six people need to hear leining then you can lein. This safeik is mentioned in the Biur Halacha Siman 143 in the name of the Chayei Adam Klal 31.

2) What happens if you miss leining? In Nefesh HaRav (p. 130), Rav Schachter brings down how Rav Soloveitchik would be makpid to make up leining since he felt k'riyas hatorah was a chovas hayachid.
I would like to suggest that even if it is a chovas hatzibbur one might be obligated to make it up. A person only would fullfill his obligation if he is part of a tzibbur. If you have no tzibbur to attach yourself to then you still have a chiyuv. Therefore, if you don't go to shul at all then you have not attached yourself to a tzibbur and would need to make it up. (But if you were in shul and missed a word, you wouldn't have to make it up unless you held it was a chovas hayachid. ayin Emek Beracha k'riyas hatorah os 3). The Minchas Asher (Parshas Beshalach) writes a similar sevarah.

3) Is one allowed to learn during leining? The Mechaber (Siman 146) paskens one can learn quietly. The Biur Halacha brings the Shibolei HaLeket that one can not learn since it is a chovas hayachid and you must hear every word. For this reason the Biur Halacha assumes the Mechaber is referring to someone who already heard leining. Of course the Mechaber could hold it is a chovas hatzibbur.

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