Thursday, January 18, 2007

Daf Yomi - Taanis 10 - Conditional Oath

We learned in a braisa that if one was fasting on account of troubling situations and it passed or he was fasting because of a sick person and he recovered before he completed the fast, he should nevertheless complete the fast.

Rashi and the Rosh learn that this halacha is even if the sick person dies, nevertheless one is obligated to finish the fast.

The Ohr Sameach in Hilchos Taanis (1) asks from Dovid Hamelech where he was fasting when his son from Bas-Sheva was sick. The Novi explicitly says that when they informed him that his son died, he got up from the ground, washed and anointed himself and began to eat. We see that he did not complete the fast.

In the sefer Peiros Te’eina he says that perhaps Dovid never made an oath to fast; rather because he was in such pain, he refused to eat and he slept on the ground. This is why he ate immediately after being informed that his son passed away since the halachos of a Taanis did not apply to him.

It would seem that this is the correct interpretation from the pesukim there which state that Dovid’s family tried convincing him to get up from the ground and to eat. If Dovid would have made an oath to fast, they would not have tried to persuade him to eat.

The Darkei Moshe rules that one should complete his fast only when he accepted to fast regularly. If he specifically stipulated during the acceptance of the fast, that he is fasting on condition that his son will get better; if the son dies, he will not be obligated to conclude the fast. The halacha by an oath is we consider the intent of the person and here his intention was clear that he was fasting on that condition.

This case would not be inconsistent with the Gemora which rules that a person should not test Hashem except by charity since that applies only if he stated that he is fasting in order for his son to recover from his illness. That is forbidden because it appears like he is testing Hashem; however to make such a stipulation would be permitted like we find by Yaakov where he made a vow and said “If Hashem will be with me.”

The sefer Tuv Taam V’daas asks on the Darkei Moshe from Rashi here. Rashi states that he must complete his fast in order that it does not appear that he made his commitment to fast conditional on the trouble not passing. It is evident from Rashi that pledging with a condition is not a correct thing to do.