Friday, December 01, 2006

Daf Yomi - Beitza 36 - HALACHA AND STORY

The Mishna ruled that one cannot marry a wife on Shabbos or Yom Tov. This was included in the second category of actions that are not mandatory mitzvos. The Gemora asks that marrying is indeed an obligation since this will enable him to fulfill the mistva of having children. The Gemora answers that the Mishna is referring to a case where he previously had a wife and children.

Tosfos states that even if one never had children, it is still forbidden to marry on Shabbos. The reason for this is explained in the Gemora later that we are concerned that the groom will write the kesuvah on Shabbos. Tosfos cites a Yerushalmi who offers a different reason for not marrying on Shabbos. The Yerushalmi learns that it is forbidden since one is not permitted to acquire objects on Shabbos. Rabbeinu Tam disagrees and holds that one who does not have children is permitted to marry on Shabbos. The Ran quotes Rabbeinu Tam that this permission is limited to extreme cases and generally it is forbidden.

The Rama in teshuvos (125) relates an incident that happened where a father arranged for his daughter to get married and passed away suddenly days before the wedding. An uncle had compassion on her and brought her into his house. There was no money for her dowry and the neighbors had to convince the girl to continue with her marriage plans. The chasunah was scheduled for a Friday afternoon and they were still short a substantial amount of money for her dowry. The two families began to fight and the groom was contemplating breaking off the arrangement. Many people interfered and peace was restored one hour after nightfall.

The Rama decided that the chasunah should take place on Shabbos since he was worried that if they would wait until after Shabbos, the peace would be lost. There were many people that attacked the Rama for transgressing the prohibition of marrying on Shabbos. The Rama defended his position stating that he relied on Rabbeinu Tam that a marriage can take place on Shabbos in extreme situations.

Furthermore, he stated that the reason for the prohibition is because we are concerned that the groom will write the kesuvah on Shabbos and since the custom became that the groom does not write the kesuvah himself, there is no reason to be concerned.

It is well known that from that incident, it became the custom in the city of Crakow not to arrange chasunos for Friday.

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Daf Yomi - Beitzah 36 - Lekavod Shabbos

The Gemara cites the opinion of Rabbi Yitzchak who maintains that a vessel cannot be moved except for the need of an item which that item itself can be moved on Shabbos. We can interpret this statement homiletically to mean that one should not conduct himself on Shabbos in an unbecoming manner, as one should ensure that all his actions are in consonance with the Holy Shabbos.

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Daf Yomi - Beitza 35 - SUNSET OR NIGHTFALL?

The Gemora cited a Mishna in Terumos where there is an argument between Rabbi Eliezer and Rabbi Yehoshua regarding one who was eating grapes on Friday and then it became dark. Rabbi Eliezer maintains that he is permitted to finish eating the grapes and Rabbi Yehoshua holds that he is not allowed to finish.

Sheorim Mitzuyanim B’halacha discusses the meaning of ‘becoming dark’. Is this referring to shekias hachama, sunset or to tzeis hakocahvim, the time that the stars come out. The Rosh Yosef infers from a Rambam that it is referring to sunset. The Rif in Pesachim 105a states explicitly that Shabbos establishes an obligation for maaser by sunset. The Ramban also agrees to this. However, it would seem from the Baal Hamaor that the Gemora is referring to actual nightfall, tzeis hakochavim.

This topic can have a far-reaching relevance in regards to Kiddush on Shabbos. The Gemora in Pesachim states that in the same manner that Shabbos establishes an obligation for maaser, it establishes an obligation for Kiddush. There is a prohibition against eating prior to Kiddush. Does this prohibition begin at sunset or at tzeis hakochavim?

The Minchas Elozar writes that there are many pious Jews who have the custom based on the Arizal to taste the food for Shabbos prior to Shabbos and they do so after sunset before mincha. Our Gemora can be used as a source to justify that custom. The Mishna Berura (271:11) rules that one is not permitted to eat on Friday evening after sunset.

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Daf Yomi - Beitza 35 - PREFERENTIAL VERSE

The Mishna rules that one may lower produce from his roof through a skylight on Yom Tov but not on Shabbos. The Gemora discusses the term used in the Mishna to connote lowering. There are two versions cited. One version is that the word is mashilin and the other is mashchilin. The Gemora offers proofs for each of the versions. The verse cited to prove that mashilin connotes lowering is a possuk at the end of Devarim. It is written “ki yishal zeisecha” – “your olive tree will throw down its fruits.” This indicates that yishal, mashilin means to throw down.

Rosh Yosef asks that there is an earlier verse in the Torah that would also prove this point. Hashem commanded Moshe to remove his shoes by the burning bush and the possuk states “shal nalecha” – “remove your shoes.” Why isn’t that possuk cited? He answers that the definition of the word “shal” is to remove and not to “throw down” and therefore the verse at the end of Devarim, where it is evident that “yishal” connotes “throw down” is more preferable.

Rav Shlomo Zalman Auerbach answers that the Gemora would rather cite a possuk that is discussing fruits or produce.

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Daf Yomi - Beitza 35 - Highlights # 2


The Mishna rules that one may lower produce from his roof through a skylight on Yom Tov but not on Shabbos. This is referring to a case where one placed wheat or barley on his roof in order to dry and he is concerned on Yom Tov that the impending rain will ruin the grain. He is permitted to throw the grain through the skylight in order to avoid a financial loss. It would be forbidden to throw the grain through a window on the side since then he would be exerting himself excessively, which is prohibited on Yom Tov.

The Gemora inquires as to how much grain will one be permitted to lower into his house. A Mishna in Shabbos is cited which rules that one is permitted to remove four or five boxes of straw or produce in order to make room for his guests to eat or for the student to utilize as seats in the Beis Medrash. It can be said that here too, four or five boxes of grain can be lowered into the house.

The Gemora offers three reasons to reject this analogy. Firstly, perhaps one is permitted to remove four or five boxes only because there is a concern due to the lack of room in the Beis Medrash or because his guests do not have where to sit; however in our Mishna where those concerns do not apply, perhaps we would not be so lenient. Secondly, perhaps only in regards to Shabbos do we permit the removal of four or five boxes but on Yom Tov, we would be stricter. The reasoning for this is because Shabbos is generally strict and we are not concerned that this leniency will cause people to be lax in the laws of Shabbos; however Yom Tov, whose laws are lenient, we are concerned that further leniencies will lead to laxity and therefore we should be strict and not permit any boxes from being lowered. Thirdly, one can argue and state that here, it would be permitted to lower more than four or five boxes since there is a concern for the loss of money; however by Shabbos, where there is no such concern, it would only be permitted to move four or five boxes. (35B)

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Daf Yomi - Beitza 35 - Highlights # 1


Our Gemora continues with its discussion from the previous daf that proclaiming unprocessed produce to be considered food obligates the person to separate maaser. The Gemora will attempt to prove that Rabbi Eliezer, the Tanna of our Mishna cannot agree to this opinion.

The Gemora cites a Mishna in Maasros where Rabbi Eliezer maintains that one who took olives from a vat which is tahor is obligated to separate maaser, however if he took them from a vat which is tamei, he is not required to separate maaser. What is the reasoning for this distinction? The Gemora explains that the first case is referring to a case where the vat is tahor but the person is tamei. Since he cannot return the olives to the vat (for the olives that he touched are now tamei), it is evident that the person’s intent was to eat all the olives and therefore it is considered a regular meal obligating the person to separate maaser. The end case is referring to a case where both the person and the vat were tamei enabling the

olives to be returned to the vat. It can therefore be assumed that his intent was to only eat some of the olives, which would be regarded as a snack and therefore there is no obligation to separate maaser.

If taking the olives with the intent to eat them does not obligate one to separate maaser from the produce according to Rabbi Eliezer, certainly an oral designation will not be sufficient to establish an obligation for maaser from the produce. This proves that Rabbi Eliezer is not consistent with the view purported in the Mishna.

We cannot learn the Mishna as referring to a case where the one designating the produce was tamei and therefore the produce cannot be returned since the Mishna’s case is where the produce was not actually touched at all – only designated to be used later.

The Gemora concludes that Rabbi Eliezer will maintain that even without an oral declaration; there will be an obligation to separate maaser from the unprocessed produce. Rabbi Eliezer will adhere to his opinion cited in Maasros that the separation of terumah will establish an obligation for maaser even on produce that has not been processed completely and certainly the Shabbos will establish an obligation for maaser since on Shabbos all eating is significant. (35a)

Rabbi Yochanan rules that there are four things that establish an obligation for separating maaser providing that the produce is completely processed. Shabbos, terumah, a courtyard and a purchase will establish an obligation for maaser. All four of these rulings are disputed in the Gemora. (35a – b)

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Thursday, November 30, 2006


The Mishna rules that one is not permitted to heat tiles on Yom Tov for the purpose of roasting food on them. Rabbah explains this ruling to be referring to new tiles, where there is a concern that the tiles might break and there is a necessity to test them.

Rashi explains that if the tiles would crack, it would come out that the tiles were heated for no purpose and therefore it is prohibited to do on Yom Tov.

One can ask on the reason for this prohibition, that while it’s true that if it breaks, retroactively the heating of the tiles was for no purpose but at the time of the heating, it was being done for the preparation of food which is permitted on Yom Tov? If someone would cook on Yom Tov and not eat the food, will it be regarded as he retroactively cooked on Yom Tov for no purpose?

Rav Elchonon Wasserman asks a similar question on the Gemora on daf 11. Beis Shamai rules that one is not allowed to take the knife to the animal on Yom Tov with the intention of slaughtering it. Beis Hillel disagrees and allows it to be done. Rashi explains that the knife and the animal are far apart from each other. Beis Shamai maintains that since there is a possibility that the slaughterer might change his mind and not slaughter the animal, it would be regarded as an unnecessary exertion on Yom Tov.

Rav Elchonon does not understand what Beis Shamai is concerned about. He asks that even if the fellow will decide not to slaughter the animal, nonetheless at the time that he took out the knife, his intent was to perform a shechita and at that time it was necessary?

Rav Menachem Kohn Zt”l in his sefer Ateres Avi answers that there can be a distinction between preparing the actual food and the preliminary stages. Heating up the tiles to be used for roasting is considered the preliminary stages of preparing the food and this will only be permitted if ultimately the tiles will be used. If the tiles end up cracking and they cannot be used for the roasting, it cannot be regarded as preparing the food and it will be considered as if he violated the Yom Tov. This is in contrast to cooking food, where he is involved in the actual preparing of the food and even if he does not eat the cooked food, it does not negate the fact that the cooking prepared the food.

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Daf Yomi - Beitza 34 - STORIES FROM THE DAF

The Gemora Chulin (52a) rules regarding an animal which most of its ribs were broken is deemed to be a treifa and cannot be eaten even if it was slaughtered properly. The Gemora and Shulchan Aruch (Y”D 54) does not clarify as to what the halacha would be regarding a bird. The Peri Megadim relates an incident that took place in the city of Rahbutsh where there was a great disagreement amongst the poskim as to what the halacha would be regarding bird that most of its ribs were broken. The Peri Megadim ruled that it would seem to him that the bird should be considered a treifa even though he didn’t find explicit proof for this. Present at that argument was the Gaon Rav Sender, the grandson of the Tevuos Shor and he too was not certain of the correct ruling. Upon returning to his city, Rav Sender found that Rashi in Beitza 34 explicitly states regarding a bird that most of its ribs were broken, is deemed to be a treifa. The Peri Megadim commented “ani heoni lo motzosiv” – “I, the poor person was not able to locate it.” The poor person is not referring to one who lacks wealth, rather one who lacks Torah knowledge.

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Daf Yomi - Beitza 34 - Highlights


The Gemora cites a Mishna in Chulin which rules regarding a bird that has been crushed by another animal. If the bird remained alive for twenty-four hours after it had been crushed and then it was subsequently slaughtered, the bird is permitted to be eaten. Staying alive for twenty-four hours indicates that the bird is not a treifa (a life-threatening blemish that would prohibit the bird from being eaten even if it was slaughtered correctly). Rabbi Eliezer learns that the bird must be examined after it was slaughtered to ensure that it doesn’t have any internal wounds that would render the animal a treifa.

Rabbi Yirmiyah questioned if this bird can be slaughtered on Yom Tov after waiting the twenty-four hours. Should there be a concern that the inspection will reveal that the bird is indeed a treifa and the slaughtering will be deemed to be a melocha on Yom Tov since the meat of the bird cannot be eaten.

The Gemora attempts to bring a proof from our Mishna that it should be forbidden to slaughter the crushed bird. The Mishna rules that one is not permitted to heat tiles on Yom Tov for the purpose of roasting food on them. Rabbah explains this ruling to be referring to new tiles, where there is a concern that the tiles might break and there is a necessity to test them. Slaughtering the crushed bird should have the same stringent ruling.

The Gemora concludes that one may not heat up the tiles since heating them solidifies them and that is forbidden on Yom Tov since you are creating a utensil. This case is not similar to the crushed bird and there is no proof as to what the halacha would be in that case.

The Gemora cites a Braisa which rules that a person who places an empty pot on a fire on Shabbos will be liable for violating the Shabbos. Rish Lakish explains that this is referring to a new pot and the reason for the prohibition is because the original heating hardens the pot and would be forbidden the same way it is prohibited to heat the tiles.

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Daf Yomi - Beitza 34 - Highlights # 2


The Mishna cites the opinion of Rabbi Eliezer who maintains that one can stand by his dried figs on Friday in a Shemitah year (the seventh year in the cycle) and proclaim that he intends to eat from here tomorrow. The figs we are referring to are ones that have not dried completely and some people will eat them while others won’t. Rabbi Eliezer holds that by announcing his intention to eat from these fruits, they are not regarded as muktza. One does not have to specify the precise fruits that he intends on eating because of the principle of bereira (whichever fruits he eats will retroactively clarify that those were the fruits that he designated). During the Shemitah year, one is not required to separate maaser and terumah and subsequently, the fruits may be eaten immediately.

The Chachamim disagree and maintain that he must specify the precise fruits that he intends to eat since they do not hold of the principle of bereira and he must mark off the fruits as well. Declaring orally is not adequate.

Rava asked of Rav Nachman if Shabbos creates an obligation for maaser (a tithing where one tenth is given to the Levi) on produce that has not been completely processed. Generally, one is not obligated to give maaser until fully processed fruit is brought into his house or courtyard. Prior to that, the produce cannot be eaten as a regular meal but may be eaten as a snack. The exception to this rule is Shabbos. One may not eat a snack on Shabbos from untithed produce that has not entered the house or courtyard. The Gemora states the reason for this is because eating on Shabbos is considered a pleasure and all food that is eaten on Shabbos is regarded as a regular meal.

Rava’s inquiry to Rav Nachman is regarding produce that has not been completely processed. Does Shabbos establish the requirement for maaser even though the produce is not completely processed, thereby prohibiting one from eating these fruits even as a snack?

Rav Nachman responded that produce which was designated for Shabbos creates an obligation for maaser even if the produce is not completely processed. This obligation prohibits the produce from being eaten even as a snack and even after Shabbos.

The Gemora offers proof to this from our Mishna which stated that the unprocessed fruits can be eaten on Shabbos during Shemitah providing that the owner designates the produce prior to Shabbos. We can infer from here that if it would be a regular year (not Shemitah) where one is obligated to separate maaser, one would not be able to eat from these fruits. This would indicate that Shabbos creates an obligation for maaser even on unprocessed fruits.

The Gemora discards the proof by stating that the reason there would be an obligation of maaser is not due to Shabbos, rather it is because the owner designated these fruits to be eaten and therefore they are considered food produce even though they are not completely processed.

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Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Daf Yomi - Beitza 33 - Two Categories of Muktza

The Gemora cites a Braisa which rules that one is prohibited from supporting a pot or a door with a piece of wood on Yom Tov. The reason given is that one has permission to use wood only for kindling and not for anything else.

Rashi explains that since the primary purpose of wood is for making utensils, something that is forbidden on Yom Tov to do, it is considered muktza; however there was a special dispensation given that the wood may be used for kindling purposes.

This is a unique concept that an object can be considered muktza and not muktza at the same time. It would depend on what the intended use is for.

The Maharsha comment that although Tosfos had previously stated that it is permitted to handle muktza for the sake of ochel nefesh on Yom Tov, that permission is only granted to remove the muktza (removal of the ashes from the oven) but not to use the muktza (supporting the pot with the wood). Using muktza is compared to eating muktza which is prohibited.

The distinction of the Maharsha requires clarification. If there is permission to handle the muktza due to ochel nefesh, why can't the muktza be used as well?

This can be explained by analyzing the words of the Chasam Sofer in regards to muktza.

The Gemora in Shabbos (124b) states that the reason handling muktza is forbidden is because it will lead to carrying objects from a private domain to a public one. The Sages decreed that muktza items cannot be handled because of the concern of carrying. (They did not forbid handling any objects because Klal Yisroel would not be able to uphold this decree.) The Raavad in Hilchos Shabbos (24:13) states this reason as well.

However Rashi in Beitza (26b) seems to offer a different reason for the prohibition against muktza. Rashi states that the Tanna that holds of muktza maintains that in order for objects to be used on Shabbos, they must be prepared prior to Shabbos and he cites a verse in the Torah that states "On the sixth day, you should prepare etc." It is evident from this Rashi that the principle prohibiting muktza is due to the lack of designation and preparation from before Shabbos and not because of a concern of carrying.

The Chasam Sofer answers this question by stating an important principle regarding muktza. There are two types of muktza. One is muktza which is forbidden to eat and that is either a Biblical prohibition (or close to it, like an asmachta) learned from the verse V'heichinu etc. which teaches us that food cannot be eaten on Shabbos or Yom Tov unless they were prepared prior to Shabbos or Yom Tov. The Chasam Sofer states unequivocally that there is no argument regarding this at all. Everyone agrees to this drasha. Rabbi Yehuda and Rabbi Shimon disagree as to the guidelines of this muktza but they both agree that this type of muktza exists.

There is a second type of muktza and that includes objects that are forbidden to handle. This is a Rabbinic enactment instituted by the Prophet Nechemiah. Nechemiah saw that the people were becoming extremely lax in regards to the prohibition of carrying and therefore he decreed that there are certain objects which may not be handled at all. (I found a strong question on the Chasam Sofer in the introduction to the Sefer Imrei Yehuda from Rabbi Yehuda Wiezner. The Gemora in Shabbos relates that Dovid Hamelech died on Shabbos and was laying in the sun. Shlomo asked how Dovid can be moved since a dead body is muktza on Shabbos. It is evident from here that there existed a concept of muktza hundreds of years before Nechemia?)

With this principle, we can now explain the Maharsha (I found this tzu shtel in the Sefer Hayovel for the Chasam Sofer from Rav Shmuel Borenstein who learns Kollel Volozin in Bnei Brak). The Maharsha stated that the permission to handle muktza for the sake of ochel nefesh on Yom Tov is only granted to remove the muktza (removal of the ashes from the oven) but not to use the muktza (supporting the pot with the wood). Using muktza is compared to eating muktza which is prohibited. Handling muktza is forbidden because of the concern that it will lead to carrying and carrying itself is permitted for the sake of ochel nefesh. It will obviously follow that handling muktza for the sake of ochel nefesh will also be permitted. Eating muktza, which is prohibited on the account that it wasn't prepared from beforehand does not have the permission of ochel nefesh.

Using this principle from the Chasam Sofer, we explained the Tosfos on daf beis. If an egg was laid on Yom Tov, Bais Shammai rules that one is permitted to eat it on Yom Tov and Bais Hillel disagrees. Tosfos wonders why the Mishna states tochal, that one is permitted to eat it, and lo tochal, that one is prohibited to eat it. Why did the Mishna not state matirin, it is permitted, and osrin, prohibited? Tosfos answers that one might have erroneously assumed that it is permitted for one to handle the egg but it is forbidden to eat it.

Reb Menachem Kohn zt”l in his Sefer Ateres Avi explains the answer of Tosfos according to the Chasam Sofer who writes that there are two types of muktzeh. One type of muktzeh is derived from the verse regarding the manna where it is said vehayah bayom hashishi veheichinu eis asher yaviu, and it shall be that on the sixth day when they prepare what they bring, which means that one should prepare the Shabbos and Yom Tov meals beforehand and if one does not, one is forbidden to eat from that food. A second type of muktzeh is the muktzeh instituted by Nechemiah that one cannot handle certain objects on Shabbos as there is a concern that he might carry them into a public domain.

There are differences between the two types of muktzeh. One who did not prepare a food item prior to Shabbos or Yom Tov is prohibited from eating the food, whereas an object that is muktzeh because of the decree of Nechemiah cannot be handled on Shabbos or on Yom Tov. A further distinction between the two categories of muktzeh is that the decree of Nechemiah was only instituted with regard to utensils, whereas food cannot become muktzeh unless it was not prepared prior to Shabbos or Yom Tov.

Based on the words of the Chasam Sofer, we can now understand the answer of Tosfos. Given the fact that the decree of Nechemiah was not instituted regarding food items, the egg would only be muktzeh because it was not prepared prior to Yom Tov and one may have assumed that there would be a prohibition from eating the egg. Therefore, Bais Shammai teaches that one is permitted to eat the egg. Bais Hillel, however, who maintains that the egg is muktzeh and cannot be eaten, maintains that the egg forfeits its status as a food item and subsequently the egg also cannot be handled.

We previously cites a Beis Halevi who makes a very similar distinction. Bais HaLevi, cited in sefer Matikei Shemuah, writes that when the Baraisa rules that an egg is forbidden in a case of doubt, that only refers to the prohibition of eating the egg, as it is biblically prohibited to eat an egg which was not prepared prior to Yom Tov. It is permitted to handle the egg, however, as handling the egg is only a rabbinical decree and we are not stringent in a case of doubt.

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Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Daf Yomi - Beitza 32 - Disagreement and Harmonious Growth

The Gemora states that there are three categories of people whose lives are not lives. One of them is someone whose wife rules over him. What is the explanation in this Gemora? Does that mean to say that none of us have lives? I came across an article by Rabbi Yisroel Reisman published in the The Jewish Observer here that explains this based on the words of the Chasam Sofer.

Even couples married for many years should keep themselves focused on Shalom Bayis. Everyone can benefit from an occasional reminder, and it pays to always be alert for advice to stay on the right track.

A lesson that the Chasam Sofer derives from Parshas Chayei Sarah stands out as crucial appreciation of the difficulties that normal people can encounter in this area. His words are both simple and profound; intellectual, yet practical; they offer sound advice for all couples to whom Shalom Bayis is sacred.

Eliezer proposes that Rivka marry Yitzchak. In response, Lavan says, “Mei’Hashem yatza hadavar – this marriage is Divinely ordained. Lo nuchal dabeir eilecha ra oh tov – there is nothing we can say, neither bad nor good.”

Chasam Sofer asks: It was understood that Rivka would marry Yitzchak. Certainly, no person would say anything bad about a shidduch once he realized that it was a sealed agreement. But, why not say something good? After all, if the shidduch was going to happen away, why not offer a positive assessment of the shidduch?

Chasam Sofer answers that the Torah (through Lavan) is teaching us a lesson regarding marriage. We often harbor the misconception that to make a good marriage, it is crucial that both partners be similar, that they be as identical as possible. But this is not true. In a successful marriage, it is important that there be differences between the two partners, as well. If two people are exactly the same, what benefit is there in marriage? Instead of one six-foot person, marriage would give you eleven-and-a-half feet of that person. He is the same; nothing has changed. Marriage would not bring any fundamental improvement to a human being.

On the other hand, if the two are different, there is a great advantage. When two people with differences join together to form a single home, there are going to be disagreements. How wonderful! They will disagree, they will argue, they will discuss… and ultimately, they will come to a decision regarding their course in life. The decision will be well thought out. It will be the result of much analysis and deliberation. And it will result in a well-planned life.

“Lo nuchal dabeir eilecha ra oh tov – there is nothing we can say, neither bad not good.” The tov, says the Chasam Sofer, is not always tov, and the ra is not always ra. Differences between husband and wife may seem to be ra, but it is not actually so. These differences may in fact be the greatest tov in the life of the couple.

Chasam Sofer gives one example of this idea, an example with which many couples would easily identify. Often (very often), one partner in marriage is a pazron, a person who is quick to spend money, while the other is a kamtzan, reluctant to incur expenses. They often disagree on how their finances should be run. How fortunate they are! Imagine if they were both pazranim, impulsive spenders; the house would come to economic ruin. No money would be saved. If both would be kamtzanim, reluctant to part with their money, the house could not be a happy place. It is because they are different – one is a kamtzan and the other a pazran – that they will disagree and their constructive dialogue will bring them to a proper, happy medium.

A Funny Thing Happens on the Way Back From the Chupa

I am fortunate enough to be in yeshiva, where I come into contact with young chassanim. They are full of enthusiasm as they tell me, “You know, it’s amazing. We’re the same. Could you believe it! I loved it in Eretz Yisroel and she loved it! We like similar foods; we have similar hobbies; we even use the same brand of toothpaste!”

Then they get married. They find that they are not so alike after all. They like the same foods, but one likes to eat out while the other likes to stay home. They both use the same brand of toothpaste, but one replaces the cap, while the other loses it. (It seems that the Ribbono Shel Olam uses this crucial factor in determining shidduchim; pairing one cap-loser with a cap-replacer.)

Suddenly, things are not so rosy. There are disagreements, then arguments, and the happy couple is not so happy. There are problems and the match made in heaven is a mismatch!

The Chasam Sofer says: “Problems? Not at all. This is a match made in heaven, a perfect shidduch! That’s precisely the benefit of marriage!”

Afraid of Disagreements?

Perhaps we can better appreciate this by referring to the chavrusa relationship. Two young men are studying together, trying to appreciate the depth of a sugya (topic in the Talmud). The Gemora introduces a concept, which can be understood two ways. Each chavrusa pauses to mull over the two possibilities.

Occasionally, you have chavrusos who will generally agree. They understand the Gemora in a similar manner. They read the Gemora, express their understanding, and move on. Across the study hall, there are two other young men who are studying together. They come to same sugya. One expresses his understanding. The other disagrees. They begin arguing. One cites a source, to support his approach; the other presents a logical counter-argument. Look – they’re fighting!

Which pair of chavrusos is ideal? Which will have a better chance of fully appreciating the sugya? The pair that agree? Or the pair that disagree? Which will pursue the truth? Which is more likely to become complacent and move on without much thought or depth?

You get the picture. We know that the best chavrusa is the one that disagrees, providing that he disagrees on the issue with intellectual honesty, and with the willingness to yield when disproven, realizing that he in truth is a winner. Now he has arrived at the truth. This is what a good chavrusa is all about.

The sugyos of life deserve the same scrutiny. Disagreements are important tools in a good, constructive dialogue. They are an integral part of marriage. No wonder couples so often disagree!

I had often heard that in-laws sometimes do damage to a marriage. It’s something I could never understand. Which parents would destroy a marriage?

Over time, I’ve observed that problems often stem from parents’ insecurity. When their child and his/her wife/husband have disagreements, the parents suffer from their failure to learn this Chasam Sofer. They fail to realize that disagreements, when engaged in with willingness to listen and mutual respect, are a part of marriage. Yes, your tatelle can learn to work things out without you!

After yeshiva, I often walk around the block to catch a bus home. One evening, as I turned the corner, I saw a member of our kollel standing at the edge of the street, looking towards Boro Park, where he lives. I realize that he’s waiting for someone. I see that he is repeatedly looking at his watch… then down the street… looking… stepping out… he looks angry. I realize that he is waiting for his wife. I sympathize.

As I walked by, I commented to him, “Yehuda, don’t blame her. Blame the Ribbono Shel Olam. He created wives that way.”

The following day, Yehuda approached me to thank me for my comment the evening before. “We were headed to an important appointment. My wife was late. When she finally arrived, she was ready for a fight. I was ready for a fight. Instead, I go into the car and said, ‘Reb Yisroel said it’s not your fault! I’ll take up my complaints with the Ribbono Shel Olam.’”

Accept differences; that’s the lesson of the Chasam Sofer. It’s a lesson for shana rishona, the first year of marriage, and a lesson for all subsequent years of marriage.

A Deeper Appreciation

Rabbi Chaim Shmulevitz takes this lesson a step further. In Sichos Mussar (5732:20), he refers to a “sod gadol be’yetzira,” what he calls a great secret of creation. “A woman is created to be helpful to her husband, and as a result of this responsibility, she is endowed with the ability (chush ha’re’ach) to sense the truth regarding the manner in which her husband conducts himself, in relation to his spiritual status.”

He explains that a woman’s ability to disagree with her husband regarding his conduct – and to be correct in her contention – is a gift to the husband from the Ribbono Shel Olam.

The Gemora relates that Rav Chanina ben Tradyon, one of the ten harugei malchus (Torah giants martyred by the Romans), was punished because he pronounced Hashem’s Name as it is spelled, something that is normally done only in the Beis Hamikdash. When the Romans took him to be killed, his wife was defiled as well. The Gemora relates that he was punished for pronouncing Hashem’s Name, while she was punished for not preventing him from doing so. How incredible! Rav Chanina was a gadol hador (leader of his generation), a poseik (authority) for his people. He held that he was permitted to pronounce Hashem’s Name. Wouldn’t it be expected that his wife accept his p’sak (ruling)? How could she be faulted for failing to correct him?

Rabbi Chaim Shmulevitz presents this question, and concludes that even if a man is a gadol hador, his wife’s ability to sense his failings rises to correspond to his level. Thus, his wife did indeed have the ability to correct him.

What men often see as a hindrance, as a burden, is actually a gift of the highest order!

How tragic it is when people turn the great gifts of marriage into problems. The very potential for disagreement and constructive criticism that marriage offers should be appreciated and utilized with great joy.

If we understand that it is inherent in marriage to have disagreements, to build from differences – and yes, to accept criticism – then we can build in our marriage.

Ishto Mosheles Alav

The Gemora (Beitza 32) teaches “There are three whose lives are not lives.” One of the three is mi she’ishto mosheles alav, a man whose wife rules over him.

Using the Chasam Sofer’s idea, we can understand this Gemora in a new light. The Gaon of Vilna teaches that there are two Hebrew words for a monarch: melech, king, and moshel, ruler. There is a fundamental difference between the two.

A melech is a king who is willingly accepted by his subjects as their leader. His commands are followed happily. A moshel rules by force, against the desire of his subjects.

Ki lashem hamelucha u’moshel ba’goyim, the Jewish people have accepted Hashem’s rule willingly, but the idolater does not accept Hashem’s dictates. To him, Hashem is a moshel.

Only when Mashiach comes will all accept Hashem’s rule willingly: “V’hayah Hashem l’melech al kol ha’aretz. On that day will G-d be King over all the Earth.”

Returning to our subject, Mi she’ishto mosheles alav, a man whose wife rules over him, lives a tough life, indeed. This is because his wife’s opinions cause him anger and aggravation; he feels threatened by her. She has become a moshel. Sad, indeed. A couple should never have a memshala relationship. The home should have an atmosphere of malchus, where the royal couple rules jointly, and disagreements that arise are cause for fruitful discussion and joyful growth.

We need to internalize the Chasam Sofer’s message. Having a disagreement does not mean that a marriage is a failure. It makes growth possible. It can make a home better than it was before. Yes, intelligent people can have different opinions.

And so, the next time you and your wife view a matter differently, declare with appreciation, “Baruch Hashem, this is a marriage made in heaven!”

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Daf Yomi - Beitza 32 - Six Sad Cases

Three people, declare our Sages, have such difficult situations that it may be said of them that their life is not really a life.
• A person with no means of his own and looks to the table of another for his subsistence
• A person dominated by ones spouse
• A person whose body is dominated by suffering
The gemara in Mesechta Pesachim (113b) lists three different categories of people whose life is not a life.
• A person who is extravagantly merciful
• One who is overly excitable
• One who is too sensitive
All three of these, explains Rashbam, face situations regularly which allow them no peace because of their overreaction, and therefore their life is not a life. But why, asks Tosefot in Pesachim, are these six types of sufferers separated into two categories of three each, rather than combined into one statement?

The explanation, Tosefot offers, is that the three mentioned in Pesachim are the result of a persons own character traits, while the ones mentioned in Mesechta Beitza are the result of circumstances beyond his control such as poverty, illness or a mismatched marriage.

This and other insights can be found at Ohr Sameach's Weekly Daf Points here

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Daf Yomi - Beitza 32 - Temporary Walls

The Mishna rules that one cannot situate two barrels next to each other in order to place a pot on top of them. The Gemora cites the opinion of Rav Nachman that it is permitted to arrange the stones of a beis hakisei (outhouse) on Yom Tov. The Gemora asks on Rav Nachman from the Mishna which prohibited the positioning of the stones in this manner on account that it is similar to erecting a tent? The Gemora answers that Biblically, it is only forbidden to build a permanent structure and the Sages decreed on a temporary structure as well; however by a beis hakisei this decree is not applicable since we are concerned for the respect of the individual that requires the outhouse.

Shulchan Aruch (315:1) rules that it is permitted to erect temporary walls on Shabbos providing that it does not have a roof. Biur Halacha questions this from our Gemora where this is only permitted by a beis hakisei where we are concerned for the dignity of the person but otherwise it would be forbidden?

He answers that the Gemora is referring to a case where the wall is being constructed from stones which resembles a permanent structure and that is why it is only permitted by a beis hakisei; however it will be permitted in any instance to erect a temporary wall using curtains or mats which do not resemble a permanant structure.

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Monday, November 27, 2006

Daf Yomi - Beitza 31 - Tzibel mit Ayer (Eggs with Onions)

The Mishna rules that one is not permitted to chop wood on Yom Tov. The Ran states that this melocha would be regarded as grinding and one that chops wood on Yom Tov would be chayav sekilah. The Gemora makes a distinction between the wide edge of the ax blade that is prohibited and the narrow edge which is permitted. A craftsman does not generally use the narrow part and therefore it is permitted.

Tosfos rules that since we are not experts in the specifics of an ax, one is prohibited from using any part of the ax to chop wood and it should be done only by hand. Shulchan Aruch (501:11) rules that it is permitted to use a knife but not an ax.

Rav Shlomo Zalman Auerbach is bothered as to why we are permitted to cut melons, apples and other fruits on Shabbos to many pieces. Chopping wood into pieces is regarded as tochen, grinding even though the pieces are large. It can be considered grinding even if the pieces are the size of a tefach.

How can we chop eggs and onions on Shabbos when the pieces are approximately a tenth of a tefach? One may answer that since it is common to chop them smaller, this will not be regarded as grinding.

Rav Shlomo Zalman answers that grinding is only if the chopping leads to the final intended result. Cutting a fruit into small pieces is not its final state since the teeth are still required to chop it further. It would appear that if one cuts fruits or vegetables so small that they can be swallowed as is, that would be prohibited and constitute grinding. One should be careful when cutting food for fish not to cut the pieces too small since fish do not have teeth and they swallow the food whole.

He concludes that creating a utensil through chopping is not regarded as grinding even though the utensil is the intended final product. This is because the melocha of grinding is only when the product is intended to be consumed and not if the intention is for the object to remain in that state.

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Sunday, November 26, 2006

Daf Yomi - Beitza 30 - Seven Esrogim

Kollel Iyun HaDaf

(Answer from Kollel Iyun Hadaf)

Michael Post asked:

The Gemara states (concerning someone in Eretz Yisrael) that if
someone had 7 esrogim for 7 days (he designated one for each day),
then one opinion states that he may eat each one immediately after
using it, while the other opinion holds that he may not eat each one
until the end of the day. Thus, on day two, according to all
opinions, he can eat the esrog that was only designated for day one.

The Gemara then states (just a bit later…) that outside of Eretz
Yisrael, there is a Rabbinic decree that forbids the esrog from being
eaten on the eighth day.

My question… If someone outside of Eretz Yisrael designated 7
esrogim for 7 days (actually, 6, because of Shabbos), how would the
d'rabbanan work? Is the person not allowed to eat ANY of the esrogim
until after Simchas Torah? That doesn't seem to make a whole lot of
sense. Is the person only not allowed to eat the last one the next
day? That seems counterintuitive as well, since if there was a true
safek on the day, all the other ones should have a one-day delay in
eating them as well. Is this person "off the hook" on the d'rabbanan
because of his designation? Not sure why that should be the case either…

In reality, whether the day we outside of Eretz Yisrael call Shmini
Azeres is really Hoshanah Rabbah or not should be irrelevant. Since
clearly the halacha is that we do NOT take lulav/esrog on the "eighth
day", when we purchase the esrog, we have intention to use it on the
6 days that we use it. Therefore, the esrog should become permitted
at the end of Hoshana Rabbah the same way as for all of the other days.

Michael Post, usa
The Kollel replies:

Dear Michael,

Thanks for your query. I would like to sort out the different
statements, and I think that then all will fit into place.

The Din of a person using seven Esrogim for seven days is identical
to Eretz Yisrael and Chutz la'Aretz. The issue is whether it is
designated for the Mitzvah only and thus may be eaten immediately
after the Mitzvah was performed, or does it apply to the entire day,
and may not be eaten until the next day. As I said, the Din is the
same everywhere. The fact that in Chutz la'Aretz it might be the
second or third day of the Chag has no bearing on the situation. The
designation applies to the Mitzvah relevant on that specific day (or
the entire day) only.

The second issue is in the case of using one Esrog for the entire
Chag: when does it become permissible in Chutz la'Aretz. And in this
case the rabbinic decree forbids using it on the eighth day since in
reality it might be the seventh day and the mitzvah of Esrog still
applies. You may ask, "But nevertheless we do not observe the Mitzvah
of Esrog on the eighth day, so why should we treat it as if the
Mitzvah applies on this day also?"

There are various answers offered by the Rishonim for this question.
The most common answer is that if the people would be permitted to
benefit from the Esrog on this day, they would come to the ultimate
conclusion that it is the eighth day of the Chag, and there would be
no need to eat in the Sukah either. Thus the prohibition of eating
the Esrog applies to remind us that it is indeed a Safek.

All the best.
Y. Landy

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Daf Yomi - Beitza 30 - Question and Answer

Question from Michael Post

The notion that there are 7 separate mitzvahs of esrog but only one long mitzvah of sukkah doesn’t really seem to answer the question.

First, according to the opinion that the esrog could be eaten immediately, the fact that the mitzvah is a full day mitzvah did not cause the esrog to be asur until the end of the day, so similarly the fact that sukkah is a seven day mitzvah should not cause it to be forbidden for the rest of the seven days.

So if I understand correctly, if someone built seven sukkahs, one for each day, all seven would be prohibited from use until the end of Sukkos?

I’m really confused about what makes a sukkah a sukkah (no, not the details…). What causes a structure that happens to meet the minimum sukkah requirements to attain this status whereby the wood is prohibited from use? If someone built a sukkah and intended to use it, but never did, could he take down the wood on Chol Hamoed, or did his intention at the start of the holiday convey the prohibited status? Or is it actually using the sukkah on Sukkos that causes it to attain this status?

If someone was out in a field and found a hut that met the requirements for being a sukkah, and he just sat in it and had a meal, does that structure, which may not even have been built as a sukkah, now acquire sukkah status for the rest of the festival? If someone is going out of town for the last days, their sukkah cannot be taken down before they leave? And, if I am understanding this correctly, someone who builds a “car sukkah” by opening their car door and laying the s’chah across the top can no longer close their car door for the remainder of Sukkos, right? Obviously that is not the case. Why not? Closing the car door effectively demolishes the sukkah.

Answer from Reb Avi Lebowitz from Palo Alto Kollel

The mishna berura 638:3 says that the concept of shem shamayim on a succah only applies if it was made l'sheim chag, to the exclusion of huts that just happen to be kosher as a succah. however, in the sha'ar hatziyun (3) he is not sure if the primary factor is whether it is made l'sheim chag, or used many times (b'kvius) as a succah. The nafka mina would be a succah that is made to use only once, but is made l'sheim chag i.e. a makeshift succah on a trip, would you be allowed to use the materials of that succah for another use. However, it seems clear if originally your intent was to only designate it as a succah for a one time use, it would not be assur afterwards (see gr"a who quotes rif, that a stipulation would work for the wood of the succah. even rashi who disagrees, that is only on yom tov where there is an issur of destroying an ohel, but for a succah built on chol hamoed even rashi would hold that a stipulation of one time use would prevent the material from being assur).


brought to you by Kollel Iyun Hadaf of Yerushalayim

Rosh Kollel: Rabbi Mordecai Kornfeld


Beitzah 030: Sukah and Esrog

The Kollel replies:

It seems to me that there is a basic difference between Sukah and Esrog. Sukah is a continual Mitzvah for every moment of all seven days whilst Esrog is a one-time Mitzvah, only once a day. See the MISHNAH on SUKAH 48a that even though one has finished one's meal on the seventh day of Sukos (i.e. in Eretz Yisrael where one does not live in the Sukah at all on Shemini Atzeres) one should nevertheless not dismantle the Sukah. RASHI DH LO YATIR writes that this is because one is obligated all day long to sleep or study inside the Sukah, and if a meal should come one's way, one requires the Sukah to eat it in.

Therefore, according to Rav (end 30b) one may eat the Esrog immediately because (1) the Esrog was only seperated for use on one day and (2) even on that day the Esrog is only specified for the Mitzvah until one performed the Mitzvah, but for no longer, because there is no obligation to "shake" the Esrog more than once a day.

In contrast not only is Sukah a 7-day Mitzvah but in addition, even though one has already fulfilled the Mitzvah, one is obliged to use the Sukah whenever one wishes to eat, sleep or learn Torah.

However if someone built 7 Sukos, one for each day, it would seem to me that he should be permitted to dismantle the Day 1 Sukah once Day 2 arrives, for instance. This is because of the reason the aforementioned Rashi gives that one may not dismantle the Sukah since one may still require it for sleeping or learning. According to this, if one has an alternative Sukah available, it should be permitted to undo the first. In addition, RASHI SHABBOS 45a DH AD seems to say more clearly that there is no prohibition against dismantling a Sukah on Chol ha'Mo'ed. However these latter points require further thought.

(1) See SHULCHAN ARUCH OC 638:1 in REMA who writes that the wood of the Sukah only becomes prohibited if one dwelt in the Sukah on one occasion, whilst if one merely prepared the Sukah but did not live there it does not become prohibited, because "Hazmanah Lav Milsa" ("Preparation is not significant").

MISHNAH BERURAH #9 cites MAGEN AVRAHAM who writes that even if the Sukah was not constructed with the intention of being a Sukah, but was merely intended to provide shelter, nevertheless, if it possesses the requirements of a kosher Sukah, and one sat there once, it is henceforth forbidden for the rest of Yom Tov.

MISHNAH BERURAH adds that this only applies if one specified before dwelling there that one intended that it should be the Sukah for Yom Tov, or if one had intention when dwelling there that it should be used henceforth for the whole of Yom Tov. Otherwise, a Sukah does not acquire Kedushah (to be considered the Sukah of Yom Tov) merely because one used it once.

(2) MISHNAH BERURAH proves the above Halachah from what he writes (638:3) that if somebody sat in the Sukah of (a) shepherds (b) "Burganin" (see RASHI SUKAH 8b DH BURGANIN that this is the booth of the city guards) or (c) "Kayatzin" (workers who guard the produce drying in the fields), this remains an ordinary hut, because merely sitting in these huts and eating one's bread does not give Kedushah to the Sukah.

(3) The question about the person who leaves town for the last days of Sukos and wants to knock down his Sukah, is not so simple. I pointed out that Rashi seems to suggest that if not for the fact that that one might still need the Sukah, there would be no prohibition on dismantling it on Chol ha'Mo'ed. Rashi is cited by MISHNAH BERURAH 666:1. I have found that SHEMIRAS SHABBOS KEHILCHASA (ch. 67 note 177) writes that it would seem that one may not dismantle a Sukah on Chol ha'Mo'ed because this constitutes doing Melachah which is unnecessary for Chol ha'Mo'ed. However SHEMIRAS SHABBOS KEHILCHASA notes that the aforementioned MISHNAH BERURAH would appear to suggest that it is permitted.

See PISKEI TESHUVOS (by R. Simcha Rabinovitz Shlita) 638:3 who cites Poskim who discuss whether one may take down a Sukah during Sukos if one is careful with the Kedushah of the walls and the roof-covering, and does not use them for other purposes. It may be that the mere fact that one demolishes the Sukah represents a lowering of its holiness, which is forbidden.

(4) I did not understand what the problem should be with the car Sukah. (See PISKEI TESHUVOS 628:4 DH UMI'KAN who writes that a Sukah made on a car is Kosher if made strongly and see also PISKEI TESHUVOS 638 note 2). If the car has a sliding roof, one could put the "Sechach" on the roof and the car might be a Kosher Sukah even if the door is open, if there is sufficient amount of Sukah walls provided by the rest of the car's structure.

D. Bloom

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