Friday, June 30, 2006

Lifnei Iveir On Shabbos

My brotehr in law asked me this interesting shaylah last week. Someone asked him if they could borrow his stroller on Shabbos. Now my BIL lives in Flatbush and does not hold of the eiruv. Obviously, his neighbor does hold of the eiruv. Is my BIL allowed to lend out his stroller knowing that it wil be used for what he feels is an issur?

Would it make a difference if you hold the other tzad is a shittah that you don't pasken like or if you hold the other tzad has no standing at all.

Friday, June 23, 2006

Parshas Shelach:He'oros on Challah

I will be giving my shiur this week on the mitzvah of challah. Here are a couple of he'oros that I found.

Note: For some other he'oros on this mitzva check out here and here.

1) The Noda B'Yehuda (YD Tanyina Siman 201) discusses the issue of how is it that you are mikayeim the mitzvah of hafrasha with a chita achas yet the nesina (amount given to the kohein) needs to be a shiur chashuv ( by challah 1/24). He writes that he has a chiddush that is not found anywhere, namely that the mitzvah of terumah,challah etc is one mitzvah with 2 inyanim a) to be mafkia the tevel b) the nesina which is the ikar mitzvah. Therefore, to be mafkia the tevel you only need a hafrasha of chita achas but the nesina needs a shiur.

The hagahos from his son points out that the Noda B'Yehuda doesn't mean that I can be mafrish a chita and give more than that as the nesina. Rather, only what I am mafrish I need to give. It comes out that l'chatchilah in order to be m'kayeim the nesina of a davar chashuv I need to be mafrish a perutah also.

The Noda B'Yehuda uses this yesod to explain the Rashi's in this weeks parsha.
Ayin sham kol hadevorim.

2) The Minchas Asher points out that the Shoeil U'Meishiv in his hagahos to the Noda B'Yehuda writes that this chiddush of the Noda B'Yehuda is actually a Tosfos Rid in Kiddushin (Daf 58)

3) The Marginisa Tuva writes in interesting chiddush in Sefer HaMitzvos Shoresh 12. He says that the hafrashas teruma is really being given to Hashem. When the kohein gets his cheilek he is not getting it from teh Yisroel but rather he is getting it "m'shulchan gavoha". That is why there is no mitzvas nisana on the Yisroel, since the Yisroel doesn't gibe teh kohein anything.

4) There is a diyun in the Achronim whether hafrasha counts if you have no intention to give it. The Har Tzvi (Zeraim Siman 44) has a whole arichus on it. It is nogeia b'zman hazeh where we destroy the teruma we separate. The Har Tzvi understands that this is called doing a hafrasha w/out intent to give it to anyone.

Monday, June 19, 2006

Parshas Be'ha'alosecha: The Chashivus Of Limud HaTorah

In this week's parshas we read about Pesach Sheini. A few members of Klal Yisroel who did not partake in teh 1st korbon pesach came to Moshe with a ta'anah of "lama nigara". Rav Gedaliah Schorr (Ohr Gedalyahu Chelek Moadim Pesach Sheini) has a very interesting p'shat in their ta'anah.

Rav Schorr quotes a zohar that brings the following story. A child once met some Tanaim who were coming back from doing a pidyon shevuyim. The child accused them of not having read kriyas shema. The Tanaim answered that they were patur because of oseik b'mitzvah patur min hamitzvah. The child responded you might have been patur but I can still see on your faces that you didn't read shema. Rav Schorr explains this zohar that even if you are patur from a mitzvah, you are still missing out on not being able to perform that mitzvah. In fact the only reason HKBH put you in a matzav in which you were patur is because of your chisranos. If you didn't have any chisaron HKBH would have removed the petur and enabled you to perform the mitzvah. RAv Schorr goes on to explain that this idea especially applies to limud hatorah. Limud HaTorah is the ultimate form of serving HKBH. Granted there are times when other tzrachim or mitzvos come up which make you patur from learning. However, sof kol sof you are still missing out on the zechus of learning and you are affected. Furthermore, as we see from the zohar it is only cause of your chisronos that you were put in a situation where you became patur from learning.

Getting back to our parsha, these people involved in Pesach Sheini were tzaddikim. Because they were oseik b'mitzva acheres, they were patur from the 1st korbon pesach. However, they looked into their actions and couldn't discover in themselves any chisaron which would have caused HKBH to make them miss out on the 1st korbon pesach. Therefore they came to Moshe with the ta'anah of "lama nigara".

Friday, June 16, 2006

The Uniqueness of Geirim

I just came back from Rav Dovid Feinstein's chumash shiur and he had two interesting he'oros on geirim.

1) Moshe Rabbeinu tells Yisro that he should come to Eretz Yisroel with the B'nei Yisroel. Why was Moshe so insistent that Yisro come? Since when is there a mitzvah to activelly encourage geirim to join Klal Yisroel?

Rav Dovid answered that when Moshe told Yisro ""al kein ya'data" he was saying that you can't leave us because Hashem has gone out of His way to show you all the nisim that have happened in the Midbar. If HKBH took teh time to show you His gadlus and to be m'orer you, you are not allowed to turn away. If HKBH didn't want to give you teh zechus of being m'gayeir, he would never have ensured that you witness His gadlus.

Rav Dovid added that HKBH (for reasons only known to Him) will select the people who he wishes to become geirim and gives them the hisorurus to make the decision. In fact the gemara says if a person receives this hisorurus and doesn't become a ger, even if he becomes a ger at a later point intime, he loses the zechus and schar that he would have gotten. Even Rus was on some level selected by HKBH to recieve the hisorus that led her to becoming a geyores. If HKBH goes out of his way to give you the hisorurus you have to take the plunge.

Side note: I asked Rav Dovid why this doesn't go against the idea of bechira. He answered that ultimately the decision is yours but the hisorurus to even consider such a decision is given by HKBH.

2) Moshe tells Yisro "v'hayisa lanu l'anayim".

Rav Dovid explained this to mean that geirm help us recognize the nissim and special gifts we get from HKBH. During the z'man of the Beis HamMikdash, when nissim happened everyday it was hard to appreciate the specialness of it. A ger who has not experienced it before can help us realize that what we have is truely special. This is why Yisro was the first to give HKBH a bracha over the nissim in the Midbar. B'nei Yisroel were so used to the nissim that they didn't fully appreciate them and consequently did not thank Hashem properly. It was only Yisro who came as an outsider who was able to fully appreciate the nissim and give proper thanks.

Dovid HaMelech was able to write Sefer Tehillim which praises HKBH, only because his grandmother was RUs, a geyores. She taught him to appreciate all the things that HKBH does for us. Although Dovid was the one who wrote the Tehillim on paper , it was Rus who was the spirit behind it.

Side note: I asked Rav Dovid if both ideas above would apply to Ba'alei Teshuva as well and he said certainly it would.

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.

Thursday, June 08, 2006

Beis Medrash or SHul:Which has greater kedusha

The gemara in Megilla (27A) brings a machlokes between Rav Yochanan and Rabbi Yehoshua Ben Levi over which has more kedusha a beis keneses or a beis medrash. The nafka mina is the question they deal with over whether you can turn a shul into a beis medrash or a beis medrash into a shul. If you hold a shul has more kedusha you can only turn a beis medrash into a shul (Rav Yochanan) and similarly if you hold a beis medrash has more kedusha then you can only turn a shul into a beis medrash (RYBL).

The main question on this sugya is what is the nekudas hamachlokes. To that I have no answer.
However, there is an interesting Meshech Chochma in Parshas Titzave (29:42). There is a machlokes between Rav Yochanan and Rabbi Yehoshua Ben Levi whether HKBH spoke to Moshe from the koperes on the aron or from the mizbayach. The Meshech Chochma explains that they are l'shitaso. Rav Yochanan held tefilla is more important and therefore HKBH spoke from the mizbayach (mokom tefilla). Rabbi Yehoshua Ben Levi held torah is more important and therefore HKBH spoke from the kapores (mokom torah).

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Tashmishei Kedusha:The Status of an Aron HaKodesh

The nosie keeilim in Shulchan Aruch (OC 154) and the poskim try to understand why an aron hakodesh is considered tashmishei kedusha. from the gemara in Megillah (26B) it is clear that in order to qualify as tashmishei kedusha the object must touch the davar she'b'kedusha. An aron does not touch the sefer torah, so how does it become tahsmishei kedusha.

Some achronim (Pri Megadim) make a chiluk between something used for kavod and something used for shemirah. The gemara in Megillah is only referring to an object that is used for shemirah. In such a case it must touch the sefer torah. But if it is used for kavod it doesn't need to touch. (A possible nafka mina would be a safe used to store a sefer torah-the poskim discuss does it have a din of tashmishei kedusha).

I saw in the Harirei Kedem (vol 2) that Rav Shirkin brings a different approach from Rav Soloveitchik zt"l. (Interestingly, my chavrusah pointed out that Rav Shirkin also has a similar piece in the sefer zikaron for Rav Moshe zt"l, but there it is not attributed to Rav Soloveitchik zt"l)
The Rav zt"l wanted to say that an aron has a special din of being the makom of the sefer torah. This is learned out from the aron in the mishkan which had a unique status as being the mokom for the luchos, besides being one of the klei mishkan. Consequently, the fact that the aron is designated as the mokom of the sefer torah gives it a status of tashmishei kedusha even if the torah doesn't touch the aron.

Thursday, June 01, 2006

Rav Wolfson: Shavuous

Note: HaRav Isser Wolfson shlita is a noted talmid chacham, dayan and posek. The shiurim were transcribed by me and reviewed by Rav Wolfson. What you are reading is just an excerpt and not the whole shiur. I have also taken the liberty of making some slight editorial changes to the original version in order to make it read better. This week's excerpt is from 5763.

Although every korbon has a requirement of tenufa, The requirement of tenufa by both the korbon omer and shtei halechem is differnet than the tenufa of other korbonos. By the omer, the Lechem Mishna writes that the parsha of tenufa is separate from the parsha of bringing the korbon. From here we see that the tenufas ha'omer is the major part of the mitzvah and is a special avodah that is different than all other tenufos that we find by other korbonos. Also, by the shtei halechem the tenufa on the animal is done while it is still alive., unlike other korbonos where the tenufa is done after the animal is dead. The reason for this is because the shtei halechem also has its own special avodah of tenufa.

The question remains however, what is the purpose of this special tenufa and what does it represent? The gemara in Menochos (62) explains that the tenufa represents a form of tefilla in that we are asking HKBH to send us good wind and dew to help our crops. Tosfos points out that this special tenufa was only done for the korbon omer and the shtei halechem since the korbon omer was brought on Pesach k’neged the tevuah and the shtei halechem was brought on Shavuos k’neged the fruits. With this we can now understand why the korbon omer and the shtei halechem each had a special avodah of tenufa. Unlike the other tenufos done year round which were just a minor part of the avodah, these special tenufos represent a ma’aseh tefillah. where we are asking HKBH to help out our crops.

We also find this idea in the Rambam. The Rambam (Ma’aseh Korbonos Perek 6) paskens that all the tenufos were done in the six directions. (From the Rambam we wouldn’t have the rayah we brought from Tosfos). The reason is because the yesod of the tenufos is that it is a bakashah that calamities shouldn’t happen. Again we see from here that the tenufa represents an inyan of tefillah. Furthermore, the Rambam (Ma’aseh Korbonos Perek 3) connects smichah to tenufa. We can say that just like smichah is a ma’aseh tefilla, since this is where vidui was done, so too the tenufa is a ma’aseh tefilla.

The complement to the is the lulav that we take on Sukkos. The possuk says that we should take the lulav in order to be “samechtem lifnei Hashem” and we learn out from here that there is a chiyuv d’oraisa to shake the lulav in the Bais HaMikdash as a form of simchah. We see from here that just like on Pesach and Shavuos there is an inyan of tenufa as a form of tefillah (through the korbon omer and the shtei halechem ), so too on Sukkos there is an inyan of tenufa through the lulav to show our simchah.

Finally, we can also add that the mitzva of Bikkurim can be done until Sukkos. So it comes out that from Pesach until Sukkos we have the tenufa b’derech tefillah and then starting on Sukkos we have a tenufa b’derech simchah.