Thursday, September 28, 2006

Issur Melacha and Issur Achila On Yom Kippur II

One more interesting he'arah on this topic.

Rav Shirkin in the Harirei Kedem (Siman 49) brings a Beis HaLevi (Chelek 1 Siman 18) that jsut like if one does melacha on Shabbos he is a mumar l'kol hatorah so too if one does melacha on Yom Kippur he is a mumar l'kol hatorah. (The rayah is from the Rambam Hil Geirushin 3:19 that if one who writes a get on Shabbos or Yom Kippur the get is batul and the kesef mishna explains because he is like an akum). Rav Shirkin then writes that Rav Moshe Soloveitchik added that since the issur achila and issur melacha of Yom Kippur comes from the same kedushas hayom, then just like if one does melacha on Yom Kippur he is a mumar l'kol hatorah, so too if one eats on Yom Kippur he is also a mumar l'kol hatorah.

Rav Shirkin asks on this Beis HaLevi, why is this whole idea true. B'shlama by one who does melacha on Shabbos, we can understand why you are a mumar l'kol hatorah because as the Rambam writes in Hil Shabbos (30:15) Shabbos is an os that HKBH created the world. However, what kind of os is represented by Yom Kippur? He leaves it as a tzarich iyun.

The Mesoras HaRav Machzor actually brings down this exact question on the Beis HaLevi and gives the following answer. The Rav compares Yom Kippur to Shabbas. Why is Yom Kippur called "shabbos shabboson". The Rav explained that whereas Shabbos represents the idea that HKBH created the world thru middas hadin, Yom Kippur represents the idea that the world is created thru middas hachesed. The medrash says that the "yom echad" in the possuk "vayehi erev vayehi boker yom echad" refers to Yom Kippur. Teshuva was created before the world and is a necessary component in sustaining the world. This is why keeping one who violates Yom Kippur is a mumar l'kol hatorah. Yom Kippur also represents a fundemental idea about HKBH and the creation of the world, just like Shabbos.

Issur Melacha and Issur Achila On Yom Kippur

I saw an interesting chiddush in the Mesoros HaRav Machzor, the new machzor just published that contains the torah thoughts of Rav Soloveitchik about Yom Kippur.

The Rav writes that we find in the piyutim that Rabbi Eliezer HaKalir refers to Yom Kippur by three names: a)Yom Kippurim b) Tzom HaAsiri c) Shabbas Shabboson. However, the Rambam in Hil Shivisas Asar only refers to two names a) Yom Kippurim b) Shivisas Asar. The Rambam seems to fuse the names Tzom HaAsiri and Shabbas Shabboson into one name. The Rav explains that the machlokes between Rav Eliezer HaKalir and the Rambam is how to understand the nature of the issur of eating and drinking on Yom Kippur. The Rambam holds that it falls under the same issur as doing melacha. Therefore, he fuses the name Tzom HaAsiri which represents the issur achila with the name Shabbas Shabboson which represents the issur melacha.

Interestingly (although not surprising) , Rav Shirkin in Harirei Kedem (Siman 49) says the exact same thing although he doesn't bring it as a machlokes between the Rambam and Rabbi Eliezer HaKalir and he doesn't mention the point of calling Yom Kippur, Tzom HaAsiri. Also, Rav Shirkin writes that the Rav heard this idea either from Rav Chaim or Rav Moshe Soloveitchik. The way Rav Shirkin brings it is that the issur achila comes from the same kedushas hayom as the issur melacha.

The rayah to this comes from the Rambam in Hil Avodas Yom Kippurim (3:7). The Rambam writes that the shaliach responsible for taking the Azazael to the midbar can eat if he feels weak. The Rambam is mashma that we don't require that the shalaich be in a matzav of pikuach nefesh, but only that he feels weak. How does the Rambam know this? Based on the above yesod, we can understand this halacha. The issur achila of Yom Kippur comes from the same kedushas hayom as the issur melacha. Therefore, just like you can do melacha for the avodas hayom, you can also eat to enable you to complete the avodas hayom.

The above rayah is found in both the machzor and in Harirei Kedem. Rav Shirkin adds in another rayah from the fact that the Rambam writes (Shevisas Asar 1:5) that the mitzva to refrain from eating and drinking comes from the possuk "shabbos shabboson". The mitzvah of shabbson implies a mitzvah to keep the kedushas hayom and the same kedushas hayom that assurs melacha also assurs eating and drinking. Therefore, we can learn out issur achilah from "shabbos shabboson"

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Teshuva For Violating An Issur M'D'Rabanan

Must one do teshuva for doing an aveirah that is only m'd'rabanan? The Gevuras Yitzchak in his sefer on Yomim Noraim brings down A Nesivos in Siman 234:3 that one is not punished for violaing an issur d'rabanan b'shogeg. Thereforfe, the Nesivos writes that you don't need teshuva or a kapparah.
The Rambam in Hil Teshuva (1:1) writes "kol mitzvos sheh'b'torah" require teshuva. The question is, can one be m'dayeik in this Rambam in favor of or against the Nesivos. The Gevuros Yitzchak writes that on the one hand "kol mitzvos sheh'b'torah" could imply only issurim m'd'oreisa (like the Nesivos) . However, if that is true the Rambam should write that an issur d'rabanan b'meizid does require teshuva.
One could also say that the Rambam really holds like the Nesivos and he is l'shitaso that by violating a d'rabanan you are oveir on an aseh of "asisa k'chol asher yorucha" and a lav of "lo sasur" (ayin Hil Mamrim 1:2). Therefore, when the Rambam writes "kol mitzvos sheh'b'torah", he is including even an issur d'rabanan. But again according to the Nesivos the Rambam should write that issurei d'rabanan b'shogeg don't require teshuva.

Friday, September 22, 2006

Kesiva V'Chasima Tova

I just want to wish everyone a kesiva v'chasima tova. Thank you for visiting my blog and reading my divrei torah. We should all be zocheh to have a healthy year and grow in torah, avoda and yiras shamayim.

Monday, September 18, 2006

Parshas Nitzavim-VaYeilech:Davening At A Cemetary

This weeks shiur was on the sugyah of davening at a cemetary. The Shulchan Aruch brings down the inyan of davening at a cemetary in 3 places. In Hilchos Ta'anis it is quoted as one of the halachos that a tzibbur should do when there is a ta'anis for rain. It is also mentioned in Hil' Tisha B'Av and finally in Hilchos Rosh Hashana. Although everyone agrees one should or could go to a cemetary there is a machlokes about why we are going.

The gemara in Ta'anis 16A brings two reasons why we go to a cemetary on a fast day. One opinion holds it is to arouse in ourselves a feeling of teshuva by saying that if we don't do teshuva we are like meisim. The 2nd opinion is that we are davening to the meisim that they should intercede on our behalf. The gemara says the nafka mina is whether one should go to a non-Jewish cemetary if no other cemetary is available. Acc. to the first reason one could go but not according to the 2nd reason. Tosafos writes from here we have a minhag to go to the cemetary on Tisha B'Av.

Also the Rambam and Shulchan Aruch seem to pasken like the first reason (to arouse in ourselves a feeling of teshuva).

Davening To Meisim


Shittas HaMachmirim
The question is, is there anything wrong with davening to the meisim. The Bach (end of Y.D. 217) brings a shittah that it is assur to daven to a meis and to do so is a violation of "doresh el hameisim". The Be'er Heitev in Hil Rosh Hashanah (581:17) also quotes a Maharil who holds it is assur and the only reason to go to a cemetary is because it is a mokom kodosh v'tahor. Teh Maharil writes that a person is only allowed to daven to Hashem and not to any other intemediary. The Bach also points out that even though we find that Kaleiv davened in Chevron by the Ma'aras HaMachpeila (Sotah 34b) he wasn't davening to the avos. Rather, since a cemetary is a mokom kodosh v'tahor it is a place where ones tefillos will be readily accepted.

Shittas HaMeikilim

There are poskim who hold that it is muttar to daven to meisim. It should be pointed out that there is a similar machlokes regarding davening to ma'lachim (eg. machnisiei rachamim in selichos). However, as we will see one can be m'chaleik between davening to a meis and davening to a malach. The Maharam Shik (O.C. 293) writes that it is muttar. He asks how is it possible to ask a living tzaddik to daven for us? He answers that when the tzaddik hears our problems the tzaddik himself is in paon. Therefore the tzaddik is really davening that HKBH should help him (i.e. the tzaddik). It just happens to be that the way to ease the tzaddik's pain is by helping the other person. This sevara would apply to a meis as well. The meisim know what is going on in this world and when they hear we are in pain they will also be in pain. Therefore, they can ask HKBH to heal their pain (i.e. the pain of the meis) and m'meilah the pain of the other person will also be healed. Although the Maharam Shik doesn't mention it, I saw brought down in the Minchas Yitzchak (Chelek 8 Siman 53) that this idea is found in the Chasam Sofer (O.C. 166) who was actually the rebbi of the Maharam Shik. The Chasam Sofer used this sevara to distinguish between davening to malachim (which he held was asasur) and davening to a live person (which is muttar) . It seems the Maharam Shik took itone step further and applied it to meisim as well.

The Minchas Elazer (Chelek 1 Siman 68) has a lengthy teshuva why it is muttar. He quotes many gemaras and medrashim as proofs. Rav Moshe (Igros Moshe O.C. chelek 5 Siman 43:6)
also discusses this issue. However, Rav Moshe doesn't seem to come out with a final psak. He just says that the machlokes is based on whether meisim are better than malachim.

I would like to say that maybe we have a rayah that Rabbi Akiva Eiger held it was muttar. In Hil Rosh Hashana the Magan Avraham writes that the minhag to go to a cemetary is found in the gemara. But he doesn't say which gemara. The GR"A points you to the gemara in Ta'anis. However, Rabbi Akiva Eiger says that the MG"A is referring to the gemara in Sotah about Kaleiv. Why did Rabbi Akiva Eiger choose this gemara? It could be that Rabbi Akiva Eiger held it was muttar to daven to meisim and therefore he chose the gemara in Sotah which clearly states it is muttar (unless you learn like the Bach that it was a din in the mokom).

One more mareh mokom to look at (which I didn't get a chance to see) is an article in Techumim vol 21 by Rav Moshe Tzuriel. (also see here at the end of the article)