Monday, October 30, 2006

Parshas Noach:The Status of A Ger Toshav

This weeks chaburah was on understanding the status of a ger toshav.
Note: Due to the nature of this topic I am being m'katzeir and providing mareh m'komos. v'hameivin yavin. (If you can convince me that I am being overly sensitive I will provide greater detail).

The gemara in Avodah Zara (65b) brings a machlokes in understanding what makes a ben noach into a ger toshav. The Rambam (Hil Avodas Kochavim perek 10 and Hil Issurei Biah 14:7) paskens like the chachamim that a ger toshav is a ben noach who accepts on himself in from of a beis din that he will keep the 7 mitzvos b'nei noach. The Rambam also adds (Issurei Biah and in Melachim Perek 8) that one who accepts on himself to be a ger toshav is from the chasidei umos ha'olam and gets olam haba. However, if a ben noach keeps the 7 mitzvos on his own then he does not get the special status of a ger toshav.
The Ritva in Makkos (9B) also writes something similar ayin sham. A ger toshav is a metzuvah v'oseh and a ben noach is aino metzuvah v'oseh.

In terms of what special laws apply to a ger toshav, ayin the Chazon Ish Baba Kama Siman 10:16.

The Brisker Rav (mechtavim in Chiddushei HaGriz, last letter) explains that the status of ger toshav was created after mattan torah and he bases this on the gemara Baba Kama 38a and the Ritva mentioned above.
The lomdus boils down to whether it is a real geirus or just a kabbalah in beis din. The Brisker Rav feels it is just a kabbalah to keep teh 7 mitzvos and it brings with it certain dinim. The Mishans Ya'avetz (Y.D. Siman 3) brings many ra,ayos to show it is a type of geirus and the cheftzah of the ben noach is affected. Rav Asher Weiss in Minchas Asher brings many of the ra'ayos of the Mishnas Ya'avetz (but he doesn't quote the Mishans Ya'avetz so presumably they are his own ra'ayos as well) and then shows how they are not ra'ayos.

The nafka mina would be could a ger toshav be chozer and are his children geiri toshav. The Brisker Rav writes explicitly that a ger toshav can be chozer by not keeping the mitzvos since it is not a real geirus and jsut a kabbalah.
If it is a real geirus then the children should also be geiri toshav

The Chazon Ish writes a ger toshav can be chozer but he also says the small children of a ger toshav are geiri toshav. This seems to be a bit of a stirah. (Although tzarich iyun why davka the small children and not all children)

Friday, October 27, 2006

Techiyas Hameisim and Noach

The thought occurred to me last week, what will be the status of Adam and Noach after techiyas hameisim. When it comes to the Avos and Shevatim, one could get into the whole discussion whether they have a status of Yisroel or not. (ayin Parshas Derachim). However, everyone agrees that Adam and Noach do not have the status of Yisroel. Will they need to be m'gayeir after techiyas hameisim, will it be optional ? Just wondering.

Parshas Beraishis:The Mitzvah of Peru U'revu

Last Shabbos I gave my chaburah on the obligation of peru u'revu. I mainly focused on whether women and b'nei noach are obligated in this mitzvah. I have already written about this topic over here, so I won't add much. I will just add that I believe the lomdus is based on how one understands the nature of "lo tohu bera'a, lasheves yatzarah". Is this an independent mitzvah besides the mitzvah of peru u'revu, or is it part of peru u'revu and is the reason why peru u'revu is a mitzvah rabba.

One nafka mina would be if someone already was m'kayeim peru u'revu, would there still be a mitzvah of "lo tohu bera'a, lasheves yatzarah". If they are two independent mitzvos, then one could argue you still get a mitzvah for having more kids.
Another nafkah mina would be that even though women and b'nei noach don't have a chiyuv of peru u'revu they still might have a chiyuiv of "lo tohu bera'a, lasheves yatzarah"

This seems to be a machlokes rishonim. Tosafos in Gittin 41b asks 'why did the gemara say you must free an eved because of "lo tohu bera'a, lasheves yatzarah" , why don't we say we should free the eved so he can be m'kayeim the mitzvah of peru u'revu? Tosafos gives 3 answers., one of them being that an eved has a chiyuv to have children because of "lo tohu bera'a, lasheves yatzarah". The Chasam Sofer understands all 3 answers of Tosafos as saying that "lo tohu bera'a, lasheves yatzarah" is an independent mitzvah from peru u'revu. Others like the Chelkas M'chokeik in Even Ezer Siman 1, learn it is a machlokes within the answers of Tosafos.
Tosafos in Chagiga 2b seems to learn it is all one mitzvah.

I think one can possibly be m'dayeik in the Rambam that he holds "lo tohu bera'a" is part of the mitzvah of peru u'revu. The Rambam paskens that a women is patur from peru u'revu. If lo tohu bera'a, lasheves yatzarah is an independent mitzvah, shouldn't he write that women are chayav because of this reason? Furthermore, the Rambam writes that even if you have been m'kayeim peru u'revu, there is a mitzvah m'divrei sofrim to have more children in order to bring more Jews into the world. Why didn't the Rambam write it is a mitzvah because of lo tohu bera'a, lasheves yatzarah? Possibly, the Rambam held lo tohu bera'a, lasheves yatzarah is part of peru u'revu.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Shailos and Torah From Yom Tov I

I hope everyone had a nice Yom Tov. Over Yom Tov I heard some interesting divrei torah and soem interesting halachic shailahs. I will try and write about them in the next few days.

Shailah I:

This year, Shimini Atzeres was Shabbos and Simchas Torah fell out on a Sunday. This raised the interesting question of whether one would be allowed to move the lichter from the sukkah into the house on Motzei Shabos. The issue is that the lichter was muktzah the whole Shabbos, including bein hashemoshos Shabbos evening. We have a klal that something that is muktzeh during bein hashemoshos is muktzeh the whole day. Therefore, why don't we say that since the lichter was muktzah during bein hashemoshos on Erev Simchas Torah, it is muktzah the whole Simchas Torah and one can not move it until after Simchas Torah.

The answer is actually pretty simple and is a b'feirush Tosafos in Beitzah (Daf 6 and 30). Tosafos says a klal that we don't say "migo l'yom sh'avar". In other words we don't say that if something is muktzah bein hashemoshos due to the previous day that it is muktzeh teh next day as well. Therefore, in this case the lichter is only muktzah bein hashemoshos because of Shabbos and therefore would not be muktzah on Sunday, Simchas Torah.

What is more interesting is some of the discussions in the achronim regarding this topic.
Rav Akiva Eiger (Siman 6) brings to proofs to this Tosafos. He writes that at one point it was possible for YomKippur to fall out on Friday. If we didn't say "migo l'yom sh'avar" then we should say that the food is muktzah bein hashemoshos of Friday evening and then it would be muktzah the next day on Shabbos. How would it ever be possible to eat on Shabbos? From here you see we don't say "migo l'yom sh'avar".

Another nafka mina that Rabbi Akiva Eiger brings is when Shabbos is the day after Pesach. Can one eat chametz on that Shabbos. Again, since we don't say "migo l'yom sh'avar", the chametz would not be muktzah on Shabbos.

The Shemiras Shabbos (Perek 22 very end of footmote 1) does bring a case where there is a problem. When the lichter is still lit bein hashemoshos of Friday evening (eg. a yartzeit candle) , he quotes Rav Shlomo Zalman as saying it could be muktzah on Shabbos. The sevara to say it is assur is because it would be similar to a sukkah on the eigth day Sukos. Tosafos writes (Beitzah 30) that even though we don't say "migo l'yom sh'avar", since one has a chiyuv to sit in the sukkah bein hashemoshos because it might be Sukkos, the sukkah is muktzah. The yartzeit candle could be similar to this case however, the Shmiras Shabbos leaves it a s a tzarich iyun. ayin sham.

Another interesting mareh mokom on this sugyah is the Kehilas Yaakov in Beitzah Siman 2.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Making A Koton Pay A Fine

I recently heard of a story where a teacher disciplined the children in her class by making them pay a quarter when they did something wrong. Without getting into a discussion whether this make sense from a chinuch perspective, I was wondering if one could do this al pi halacha. Can one k'nas a koton and make them pay money. I was also wondering if it could be tied to inyanei d'yoma regarding the machlokes whether a koton can be makneh a lulav.

Anyone have any thoughts.

(Note: I really am not interested in discussing whether this is good chinuch so I respectfully ask that no comments be posted regarding that area. Thank you.)