Monday, June 23, 2008

Parshas Shelach: Mitzvos Beteilos L'Asid Lavo Part II

How to understand the machlokes whether mitzvos will be batul in the future is itself a machlokes Rishonim.


The Ritva in Nidda (61b) says that it refers to the time of techiyas hameisim. The Ritva adds that even the opinion that says that there is no difference between the days of Moshiach and our tines, can still hold the mitzvos will be batul. There are two different time periods. One is the days of Moshiach where nothing will change and then there is the tekufah of techiyas hameisim where mitzvos will be batul.

It seems from the Ritva that the reason for the petur in mitzvos is that during this tekufah it will be a zman of neither zechus or chovah, and tehrefore there will be no point in commanding someone to do mitzvos.

There are however 2 ways to understand what is the reason why mitzvos are batul. The gemara writes that Yechezkel HaNavi was m'chayei meisim and these meisim wore tefillin. From here we see that even after someone dies he is still chayav in mitzvos. The Ritva gives 2 answers. The first answer is that the petur from mitzvos will only take place by the global techiyas hameisim. It is only at this time that there will be no need to be commanded in mitzvos. The 2nd answer is that really misa itself causes the petur, once a person dies he is "chofshi min hamitzvos". However, even though mitzvos will be batul, it doesn't mean that one can not do mitzvos. You can still do the mitzvos since there is an inherent kedusha in them. Just like the Avos were m'kayeim the mitzvos so too people brought back to life can do mitzvos.

These 2 mehalchim seem to also be found in the Koveitz Shiurim Chelek 2 Siman 29. Rav Elchanan asks how can mitzvos be batul if the torah can't be changed. He answers either it is built into the Torah that at a certain time (techiyas hameisim) mitzvos will no longer apply or the pshat is that misa causes the petur, but someone who doesn't die will still be chayav. He writes that the nafka mina is someone who comes alive before the final techiyas hameisim. The Radvaz says that tzaddikim will have their own techitas hameisim by zman Moshiach. According to the first mehalech, they would still be chayav in mitzvos and according to the second mehalech they would be patur. L'chorah, these are the 2 answers in the Ritva also.

Shittas HaRashba

The Rashba disagrees with this whole idea. In his Chiddushei Aggados (Berachos 18a) he says "mitzvos beteilos l'asid lavo" refers to the time of death. In other words, this opinion holds that when someone dies he is patur from mitzvos. However, once he is alive again he is chayav. The opinion that holds "mitzvos ain beteilos l'asid lavo" doesn't necessarily hold a meis is chayav in mitzvos but rather he holds that we can not cause a meis to do an aveirah. Just like we can't cause a katan to do an aveirah so too meisim. That is why you can't bury a meis in kelayim.

Understandably, this is a hard sevarah to understand, and the Ritva rejects it as making no sense.

The Rashba does add that after the z'man of techiyas hameisim there will be another tekufah called "olam haneshamos". During this tekufah there will ne no mitzvos and this is pshat in the gemara "hayom l'a'sosam u'l'machar l'kabeil schar"-at some future point we will not be doing mitzvos only getting reward. This is the tekufa of "olam haneshamos". (The Ritva says it refers to the zman of techiyas hameisim).

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Parshas Shelach: Mitzvos Beteilos L'Asid Lavo

Although I ususually write up my chaburah after I give it , this week I decieded to start writing it up beforehand. I have not formulated the whole structure yet, but here is the basic idea.

(The connection to the parsha is the fact that the mitzvah of tzitzis is in Parshas Shelach)

The Rosh in Moed Katan (Perek 3 Siman 80) discusses whether one should put tzitzis on the tachrichin of a meis. (ayin Menochos 41A). The Rosh says that the opinion that we do put tachrichin on a meis holds like Shmuel that mitzvos won't be batul l'asid lavo. The reason for this is that if you hold mitzvos won't be batul l'asid lavo, so by techiyas hameisim, the meis will come back to life without wearing tzitzis and it will be a problem of "loeig l'rosh". The Rosh paskens that we don't put tzitzis on a meis because we hold that mitzvos will be batul l'asid lavo.

The question is what does it mean that the mitzvos will be batul in the future. This is a sugyah in Niddah 61B and there is a machlokes Rishonim how to understand this sugyah.

More to come...

Monday, June 16, 2008

Parshas Beha'aloscha: Backwards "Nunin"

Well it only took me 3 weeks to put up another post.

This weeks chaburah was concerning the backwards "nun"s in this weeks parsha. The gemara in Shabbos 115b has a machlokes why we have simanim by the parsha of "vayehi binso'a aron". Either it tells us that this parsha doesn't belong here or it tells us that it is a sefer b'fnei atzmo. However, the gemara doesn't tell us what these simanim are.

The Maharshal (Siman 73) writes that the simanim can not be referring to placing upside down or backwards nunin by this parsha. Writing a nun backwards before and after this parsha would make a sefer torah pasul. You can't just add letters into the sefer torah. Rather the Maharshal writes the m'kor seems to come from a zohar that writing the nun upside down/backwards teaches us that even when the aron is travelling the shechina stays with b'nei yisroel. Furthermore, the nunin the zohar is referring to are the nunin of the words "b'n'so'a" and "u'v'nucha". There are those who flip around the nunin of "mis'oninim" as well.

The Noda B'Yehuda argues and says adding extra letters does not pasul a sefer torah. The only extra letters that pasul a sefer torah ar eletters you add to a word. Adding symbols on the side of the torah is okay. Furthermore, the rishonim discuss these nunin. The halacha is one can not write 2 symbols on Shabbos. Rav Hai Gaon gives as an example the two nunin in our parsha. Therefore, writing 2 separate nunin is okay.