Monday, January 28, 2008

Parshas Yisro: Eating and Working before Havdala

It is assur to eat or do any melacha before one makes havdala. The question is what is the geder of this issur? We find by mitzvos in general that it is assur to eat 1/2 before the zman of the mitzvah (ayin siman 235 by davening). However, if one had started eating b'heter it is mutar to continue. On the other extreme we find by Kiddush (siman 271) that even if one started eating b'heter one must stop for kiddush. The difference is that the seudah of Shabbos needs to be proclaimed a "Shabbos seudah" which one does by making kiddush therefore one must stop eating regardless of when you started. (ayin the Magan Avraham 271:6 and Rabbi Akiva Eiger for diff ways to explain this). The question is, what status does havdala have? In this we can possibly differentiate between doing work and eating.

Melacha before Havdala

The Griz Al HaRambam (Shabbos 29:5) writes that the geder of issur melacha before havdala is a machlokes Rishonim. The gemara in Shabbos 150B says one can say "Hamavdil bein kodesh l'chol" and do melacha. The Rif in Pesachim says you must make a full havdala and the Ran adds this includes making it over wine. The Brisker Rav writes that the Rif holds the issur melacha before havdala is like any other mitzvah-it is a gezeirah maybe you'll forget to do the mitzvah. Therefore, in order to do melacha a full fledged havdala must be made. This is also the Rambam's shitta since the Rambam equates the issur achila to issur melacha. It would appear the Rambam holds just like the issur achila is a gezeira maybe you'll forget to do the mitzvah, so too is the issur melacha. Other Rishonim hold that the issur melacha is an inyan of kavod Shabbos. Rahsi writes that you say "Hamavdil bein kodesh l'chol" as a way of escorting the king home. Making a clear break between Shabbos and Chol is a form of kavod Shabbos. This is enough to allow you to do melacha.

Achila before Havdala

From the Brisker Rav it seems he holds the issur achila is a gezeira maybe you'll forget to do the mitzvah. However, I saw in the Harirei Kedem (vol2 sman 67) that the issur achila is similar to issur achila before kiddush. The point of havdala is to differentiate between seudas Shabbos and seudas chol. Therefore, one can't eat his seuda of chol until he makes this distinction. He brings a raya from Pesachim 105 ayin sham.

nafka mina coming soon...

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Parshas Va'Eira:Moshe's Nevuah

Everyone know that teh Torah proclaims Moshe as the greatest navi whoever lived or will live. The question though is when did Moshe attain his status as a navi. This question can really be divided into two parts. First of all when did Moshe become a navi and second of all when did the B'nei Yisroel accept him as a navi.

Regarding the first question it seems pretty straight forward to say that when Hashem spoke to Moshe by the burning bush that his nevuah career began. It is the second question, when did the B'nei Yisroel accept him, that is not so simple.

The Rambam in Hil Yesodei HaTorah Perek 7-9 discusses the idea of nevuah. The Rambam writes that the B'nei Yisroel's emunah in Moshe did not come from the osos and mofsim which he performed but rather through the experience of Matan Torah. To me it is not clear exactly what the Rambam means. If one looks in the Rishonim you will find two mehalchim and I am not sure which one the Rambam holds like.

Sefer Ikkarim

The Sefer Ikkarim in Ma'amar 1 Perek 18 states very clearly that the B'nei Yisroel did not believe in the metzius of nevuah before Matan Torah. They viewed Moshe as someone who was close to Hashem and could perform miracles when needed. However, Moshe was no different then Nakdimon ben Gurion who caused the sun to stand still or Pinchas ben Yair who split the Jordan. These people were not neviim but rather due to their special relationship with HAshem, they could perform miracles. This is how the B'nei Yisroel saw Moshe.
I would like to point out that I don't think this means that Moshe didn't receive nevuah before Har Sinai-he clearly did, it just means the B'nei Yisroel didn't believe it could have happened.

However, at Har Sinai, the B'nei Yisroel themselves experienced nevuah. Once this happened they realized it was possible for Hashem to "speak" to someone and from that point on they viewed Moshe as a Navi. Furthermore, the second revelation the B'nei Yisroel had at Har Sinai was that they heard HKBH give the Torah to Moshe. From this point on they realized that Moshe was HKBH's direct shaliach to give over the Torah and consequently noone had the right to add or subtract to Toras Moshe.

Drashos HaRan/Ramban

Both the Drashos HaRan (Drasha 11 and 12) and the Ramban (Shemos Perek 19) argue on this approach. The Ramban arguing on an Ibn Ezra who is ismilar to the Ikkarim asks, how can you say B'nei Yisroel didn't know about nevuah. The Avos had nevuah and there was a mesorah that the Avos were neveiim. The Derashas Haran also writes that in Parshas Shoftim Moshe says you can test a navi "kamoni". "kamoni" means just like Moshe showed B'nei Yisroel osos and mofsim before taking them out so too a Navi should show osos and mofsim. Clearly the Ran holds that the point of the osos and mofsim were to convince the B'nei Yisroel he was a navi.

The Ramban and Ran would agree to the second point of the Ikkarim. Namely, that the point of Har Sinai was so that teh B'nei Yisroel would relaize that Moshe was HKBH's direct shaliach to give over the Torah and consequently noone had the right to add or subtract to Toras Moshe.

Nafka Mina

The nafka mina between these two approaches would be the following. Were the B'nei Yisroel required to listen to Moshe b'toras navi before Matan Torah. The Rambam paskens that a person who is fit to be a navi and proves he is a navi has to be listened to. Did this apply to Moshe before Matan Torah? According to the Ikkarim, l'chorah not. Since the B'nei Yisroel didn't even believe in the metzius of nevuah, one can't expect them to have a chiyuv to listen to Moshe b'toras navi.

According to the Ran and Ramban, the B'nei Yisroel were required to listen to Moshe b'toras navi before Matan Torah. However, they would agree that before Matan Torah there was no such thing as Toras Moshe. Therefore, if another navi got up to contradict Moshe then one could presumably listen to that other navi. The Chiddush of Har Sinai was that the Torah became Toras Moshe and a navi can no longer get up and permanently change it.

Question on Ikkarim

I do have 2 kashas on the Ikkarim.

1) First of all the gemara in Sanhedrin 88 says a navi muchzak can be okeir the Torah temporarily. The 2 examples the gemara gives is Eliyahu bringing shechutei chutz and Avraham bringing Yitzchak on the akeida. Yitzchak had to listen to Avraham since he was a navi muchzak. According to the Ikkarim, how did Yitzchak know about nevuah. If he knew about it why didn't the B'nei Yisroel know about it in Mitzrayim.

Maybe one could answer that Yitzchak himself experienced nevuah. Therefore, since he knew about nevuah and since Avraham was a navi muchzak, he had a chiyuv to listen to Avraham.

2) The second kasha is that Moshe told the B'nei Yisroel the mitzva of Kiddush Hachodesh. If he wasn't viewed as a navi what chiyuv was there to listen this mitzvah?

Friday, January 04, 2008

Hitting a Jew: Part II

Three Catagories of Hitting

The Rambam in Hilchos Choveil U'Mazik lists 3 catagories in the issur of hitting a Jew.

1) If you hit someone and don't cause damage more than a perutah you get malkos.

2) If you hit someone and cause damage more than a perutah you pay the damages and m'meilah you are patur from malkos.

These 2 catagories are learnt from the lav of "lo yosif l'hakoso" in Ki Tzeitzei. As the Rambam and Chinuch write "if it is assur to give a rasha an extra malkos then kal v'chomer it is assur to hit another Jew".

One could ask that "ein onshin min hadin" and therefore why would someone get malkos based on this kal v'chomer. One answer is found in the Bach (Siman 420) that there are 2 lavin in the possuk , "lo yosif" and "pen tosif". "lo yosif tells us you get malkos for giving extra malkos. We then have a kal v'chomer that it is assur to hit another Jew and the chiyuv malkos for that is from "pen tosif"

3) The third catagory is the issur of raising your hand to strike someone. The m'kor for this is Sanhedrin 58B and is learnt from Moshe's response to Dasan and Aviram "Rasha, lama sakeh rei'echa".

Issue D'Rabanan or D'Oreisa

The question on this third catagory is whether it is an issur d'rabanan or an issur d'oreisa. The Chinuch and the Ramabm in Lo Saseh 300 seem to imply it is only d'rabanan and that is the way the Birkas Avraham in Sanhedrin learns these opinions. The Mordechai in Sanhedrin also leanrs it is only m'd'rabanan.

However, the GR"A and the Sema in Choshen Mishpat 30 seem to hold it is an issur m'd'oreisa as we will explain.

The Rema paskens that if one raises his hand against his friend you are pasul l'eidus m'd'rabanan. The question is why are you only posul m'd'rabanan.

The Mordechai in Sanhedrin writes that you are only posul l'eidus m'd'rabanan because the issur is only d'rabanan. The Shut Beis Yosef also learns this way.

However the Beis Yosef in Siman 30 says that this is an issur d'oreisa however, the only time you are posul l'eidus is if you are chayav malkos. Therefore, since you are not chayav malkos for raising your hand, you can't be posul m'd'oreisa. At the same time it doesn't make sense to say that you are better than someone who does an issur d'rabanan and is posul m'd'rabanan. Therefore, the Beis Yosef says you are at least posul l'eidus m'd'rabanan. This is also the opinion of the Sema and the GR"A.

Chiyuv Malkos and Posul L'eidus

A similar question arises with one who hits his friend and causes damage more than a peruta. You are patur from malkos so would we say that you are not posul l'eidus? The Shut Beis Yosef says it would not make sense to say that if you don't damage the person you are chayav malkos and posul l'eidus but if you damage the person you are kosher l'eidus. Rather since the lav has a chiyuv malkos you are always patur l'eidus. The Maharit however seems to hold that if there is no chiyuv malkos there is no pesul eidus and therefore, if you cause damage you are still kosher l'eidus. The Shiuri R' Shmuel on Sanhedrin learns the Maharit like this and I think that is pashut p;shat in the Maharit. As far as the lomdus why you need a chiyuv malkos to create a p'sul eidus, ein kan m'komo but the Chavtzeles Hashoron on Parshas Shemos delves into it.

Cheirem and Pasul L'Minyan

Interestingly, the Rema in Choshen Mishpat Siman 420 writes that there is a "cherem hakadmonim" on someone who hits his friend and he is posul for a minyan. (The m'kor is a Maharam Rottenberg). The Chasam Sofer was asked if one should make a macha'ah against such a fellow. The Chasam Sofer answered that ein hachi nami you should but now a days it is not practical. Noone will listen to you and they will make fun of you instead. Furthermore, if we were going to be makpid on charamim we could pasul plenty of people. L'ma'aseh he suggests not doing anything since it would be counter productive. He uses very strong language in describing how we live in a time where people don't listen to leadership.

Nireh li, that I now understand why on Erev Rosh Hashana people do a hataras charamim. We see that there are things people could do that put themselves in cheirem and it could even passul you for a minyan.

Reshus to Hit

Rav Moshe writes that if someone gave you reshus to hit him, if it is a chavala k'tana it is not derech b'zayon and would be muttar. If it is a chaval g'dolah and would cause monetary damage that it is assur even with reshus, after all it is assur to even hurt yourself. I guess according t o this boxing would be assur. I wonder what Rav Moshe would say about tackle football on an organized level (high school or college) -is it a p'sik reisha to cause monetary damage or maybe most people don't get seriously injured so if you do seriously injure someone maybe it is a davar sh'eino miskavein.
Just food for thought.

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Parshas Shemos: Hitting Another Jew (Part I)

Due to the recent vacation I haven't had a chance yet to post last week's shiur, but better late than never.

This week's shiur was given l'iluyei nishmas my Zaidy, Michoel ben Dovid who was nifter last week on Shabbos Kodesh Parshas VaYichi. The levaya was on Monday December 24th.

In memory of my Zaidy, I just want to share one story that happens to tie into the shour. (It's not coincidental since I decided on this topic after hearing this story). My Zaidy, who grew up in Poland, was in the concentration camps during the war. He never spoke about his years duringthe war but I few stories did get out. Here is one story:

There was a capo in the concentration camp that was mistreating the Jews and my Zaidy got very upset. He wound up punching the capo in the face. Miraculously, nothing happened to him and the Germans didn't retaliate. Afterwards, all the Jews in the camp came over to him and gave him a beracha that the same hands that hit the capo should bring him hatzlacha. After the war my Zaidy became a glazer (he installed windows and glass) and he was very successful in running his own buisness. It seems the beracha came true.

After wriying this I decided to split up the post into two pieces. The next post will be a summary of the shiur.