Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Parsha Chabura Naso: Does A Non-Kohein Have A Mitzvah To Hear Birchas Kohanim?

This weeks chabura discussed whether a zar (non-kohein) has a mitzvah to hear birchas kohanim.

NOTE: Thi seems to have been a "hot" topic this past week. See here and here

The Biur Halacha (Beg of Siman 128) quotes a Sefer Chareidim that says it is a mitzvah for a Yisroel to be be bentched by the Kohanim. There are actually three different ways to understand this Sefer Chareidim.

1) Hafla'ah (Kesuvos 24B): The Hafla'ah seems to understand that there is a chiyuv for a yisroel to go and here birchas kohanim. This means that if you are at a minyan which has no kohanim you should go to a minyan that does. The Hafla'ah seems to learn this from a drasha of "Emor Lahem". This implies that you need a conversation between the kohan and the yisroel. The kohein gives the bracha and the yisroel listens.

(The Hafla'ah uses this to answer a stirah from gemara in Kesuvos 24B and Shabbos 118B. ayin sham. Also, teh Hafla'ah has an interesting dimyon to yibum-there is a mitzvah on yavam and yavama even though the Torah only mentions the mitzvah on the yavam. Same thing here.)

The Chasam Sofer (OC Siman 22) also understands there is a chiyuv on the yisroel to go and here birchas kohanim. This is why there is no issur of beracha l'vatalah if a kohein would duchen at two different Shachris minyanim provided that the people at the 2nd minyan had not heard birchas kohanim. Since the kohein is helping the yisroel be yotzei his chiyuv there is no beracha l'vatala.

2) The D'var Avraham (Siman 32) disagrees with the Hafla'ah. He brings a Ritva in Sukkah that states there is no chiyuv for a yisroel to hear birchas kohanim. This seems to be against the Chareidim. He answers that ain hachi nami, it is against the Hafla'ah's understanding of the Chareidim, but that is not p'shat in the Chareidim. The actual p'shat in the Chareidim is that only if the yisroel is standing by birchas kohanim is there a mitzvah to listen. But there is no mitzvah to search out birchas kohanim. This p'shat is not against the Ritva.

3) Rav Asher Weiss in MInchas Asher quotes a Mahari Asad that a yisroel's chiyuv is just to help the kohein fullfill his chiyuv. I was told that the Torah Temima says something similar but I didn't see it.

The kasha is asked (by the D'var Avraham and Minchas Asher) that if noone is in shul, the kohanim bentch the people in the fields. According to the Hafla'ah's understanding how are you doing the mitzvah since l'chorah you need to be tehre. Rav Weiss wants to say that there is a chiluk between the beracha and the kiyum hamitzva. The kiyum hamitzva requires you to be there but the berach is chal even if you are in the fields. The D'var Avraham suggests this but says it is dochek without explaining why.

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