Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Daf Yomi - Megillah 7 - Food for Thought

1. What is the distinction between "sefer hazichronos divrei hayamim" and "sefer divrei hayamim"? In the Megillah (6:1), it mentions the former and later (10:2), the latter is mentioned?

2. Why was it necessary to write about eradicating Amalek in the Torah, Nevi'im and Kesuvim?

3. Rabbi Meir said: Esther was composed through the Divine spirit, as it is written [ibid. 2:22]: "And the incident became known to Mordecai" and if it was not composed with the Divine spirit, how could Mordechai have known about the secret plot to kill Achashverosh. Perhaps Mordechai had ruach hakodesh and the Megillah was not written with ruach hakodesh? (Turei Even, Ya'aros D'vash, Sfas Emes)

4. What is the explanation in the psak of the Rama that you have discharged your obligation of mishloach manos even if the recipient is mochel the gift? (Chasam Sofer, Ksav Sofer, Aruch Hashulchan)

5. Are the guidelines for matanos l'evyonim and tzedakah the same?

6. (This one might require its own post) Rabbah said: A man is obliged to intoxicate himself with wine on Purim, until he cannot distinguish between cursed is Haman and blessed is Mordechai. what is the explanation in this obligation?

7. Did Rabbah actually kill Rabbi Zeira?


Bruce said...

Re # 1 - Could one be more of an official notebook than the other?

thanks for getting us to think

Avromi said...

I found a nice halachic discourse on Matanot L’Evyonim here
Aryeh Lebowitz
I. Introduction. When one thinks of the holiday of Purim we immediately think of the
festive atmosphere of the day as well as the particular mitzvoth associated with Purim.
We are trained form a very young age to appreciate the importance of kriat hamegillah
and mishloach manot. Many people become totally consumed with these mitzvoth while
all but ignoring the mitzvah of matanot l’evyonim. Most people do not associate matanot
l’evyonim with the joy and festive atmosphere of Purim. However, the Rambam (Hilchot
Megillah 2:17) rules that it is better to expend more energy on matanot l’evyonim than on
the other two mitzvoth. Indeed, the Rambam explains that the ultimate sensation of joy
that can be experienced is achieved through matanot l’evyonim. This week we will focus
on the details of the mitzvah of matanot l’evyonim.
II. Who is obligated? The Mishnah Berurah rules that everybody is obligated in the
mitzvah of matanot l’evyonim.
1. Poor people. The Bach and Taz (694) rule that even a poor person is obligated
in the mitzvah of matanot l’evyonim. The Pri Chadash, however, strongly disagrees with
the Bach on the grounds that it seems senseless to require a person who is in need of
financial assistance in the mitzvah of providing others with such assistance. The Pri
Chadash is especially difficult to understand in light of the fact that the Shulchan Aruch
(Yoreh Deah 248:1) rules that a poor person who is supported from tzedakah funds is
obligated in the regular mitzvah of tzedakah. It should therefore come as no surprise that
the poor person would also be obligated in the special mitzvah of tzedakah associated
with Purim.
2. Women. The Shulchan Aruch (Orach Chaim 695:4) rules that women are
obligated in the mitzvah of matanot l'evyonim. The Mishnah Berurah (695:25) notes that
the common practice seems to be that most women don't give, and he suggests that the
Shulchan Aruch only obligates a divorcee or a widow to give matanot l’evyonim. A
married woman, however, may discharge her obligation through her husband’s mitzvah.
The Aruch Hashulchan (694:2) agrees with the Mishnah Berurah and explains that this
ruling is based on the well-known Talmudic principle of ishto k’gufo (one’s wife is like
himself). The application of the principle of ishto k’gufo in this area is somewhat
questionable. Rav Yosef Dov Soloveithchik zt”l pointed out that the Talmud never used
the principle of ishto k’gufo to exempt a woman in a personal mitzvah. We do not find by
kiddush, for example, that a woman who does not hear kiddush can fulfill her obligation
with her husband’s kiddush that is not recited in her presence. Perhaps based on this
logic, the Mishnah Berurah recommends that we be encourage women (even married) to
give their own matanot l’evyonim.
3. Children. The poskim debate whether a child over the age of bar or bat mitzvah
who are supported by their parents are obligated to give their own matanot l’evyonim.
The Aruch Hashulchan (694:2) rules that a child pver the age of bar mitzvah must give
separately from their parents to fulfill their obligation of matanot l’evyonim. However,
Responsa Kinyan Torah (1:132 cited by Piskei Teshuvot) rules that a child who is
supported by his parents and does not have any source of income is not obligated to take
extra money from his parents in order to fulfill the obligation of matanot l’evyonim. If the
Page 2
child does have an income, even if it is not enough money to support himself, and he is
supported by his parents, even Kinyan Torah concedes that he is obligated.
Pri Megadim (Esghel Avraham 695:14) rules that children under the age of bar or
bat mitzvah should be trained in the mitzvah and are therefore subject to the same basic
guidelines as children over the age of bar or bat mitzvah.
III. What must be given? The gemara (Megillah 7a) states that one is obligated to give
two matanot to two poor people (one for each person). Shulchan Aruch (694:1) quotes
this as normative p’sak.
A. How much must be given?
1. The Mishnah Berurah (694:2 citing Ritva Megillah 7a) rules that one
may even give a tiny amount of money to each of the poor people and
thereby discharge his obligation. Rav Ovadiah Yosef SHLIT”A
(Chazon Ovadiah page 166) understands this to mean that one may
give the smallest currency in that particular country (e.g. a penny in
America, five agurot in Israel).
2. The Maharsha (Megillah 7b) rules that one must give a significant
portion in order to fulfill the mitzvah of matanot l’evyonim. Responsa
Zera Yakov (11, cited by Sharei Teshuva 694:1 and Kaf Hachaim
694:7) quantifies this in ruling that one must give an amount of food
that is equivalent to three eggs volume of bread. As a practical matter,
Responsa Tzitz Eliezer (7:27:15) notes that some poskim thought to
rule in accordance with the Zera Yakov, but changed their minds upon
seeing the words of the Ritva. Certainly all would agree that ideally
one should give as much as possible, and should even spend more on
matanot l’evyonim than on mishloach manot (see Rambam cited in
introduction to this essay).
B. May one give something other than money? There is a dispute amongst the
poskim as to whether one can fulfill his obligation of matanot l’evyonim by giving
something other than food or money. Responsa Kinyan Torah (3:102:2) rules that
one should always give money to the poor people. However, Leket Tov (2:163
cited by Chazon Ovadiah footnote 3) and Turei Even (Megillah 7a) rule that
anything, including clothing, may be given to the poor in fulfillment of this
IV. How and to whom should it be given?
A. Anonymous gifts. Regarding the mitzvah of tzedakah the poskim rule that an
anonymous gift is a higher greater form of the mitzvah than a gift that the
recipient knows who had sent it. Regarding the unique mitzvah of matanot
l’evyonim, however, Rabbi Yosef Engel (Gilyonei Hashas, Shabbat 10a)
writes that since the mitzvah is titled matanot l’evyonim one must inform the
recipient where the gift is coming from in keeping with the general Talmudic
rule that one who gives a gift (matanah) to his friend must inform him of the
gift. However, many poskim (Responsa Kinyan Torah 3:102:4, Chazon
Ovadiah 7) disagree with this novel idea developed by Rav Yosef Engel. They
reason that since giving anonymously is a higher level gift, the same would
apply to the mitzvah of matanot l’evyonim.
Page 3
B. How poor must the recipient be?
1. Opinion of the Mekor Chaim (694:3). The definition of an evyon is not
the same as the definition of an ani. An evyon is somebody who is not
merely poor, but is so destitute that he is no longer embarrassed to ask
for money. The mitzvah of giving to the poor on Purim is limited to
those who are so destitute that they are not even embarrassed to ask for
2. Opinion of the Aruch Hashulchan (694:3). Although generally there is a
distinction to be drawn between an evyon and an ani, the mitzvah of
matanot l’evyonim can be fulfilled by giving to either a poor person or a
totally destitute person. In the view of the Aruch Hashulchan, the only
reason that the megillah specified to give to an evyon is to teach that we
can fulfill this obligation even if he does not initiate the exchange but is
prompted to give the money.
C. Can one give the money to people that you normally support? The Aruch
Hashulchan (694:4) writes that many people mistakenly think that one can give matanot
l'evyonim to somebody that they normally support anyway. The Aruch Hashulchan
claims that such an idea is entirely false. The mitzvah must be performed with money
that one would not otherwise give away (e.g. not with ma'aser money).
V. Conclusion. This essay is far from an exhaustive analysis of all of the issues
pertaining to the obligation of matanot l’evyonim. We have merely touched upon many
aspects relating to the mitzvah in the hope of raising awareness and promoting proper
performance of this most important mitzvah.

Avromi said...

Bruce, your two notebook theory, i found in sefer margaliyus hashas. He quotes from a Rabbi Tanenbaum that everything got written down in a little notebook and from there, it was officialy recorded. Haman accomplished that the episode with Mordechai and Bigsan V'seresh should not enter the main book but it was written in the notebook. When Achashverosh couldnt sleep, they first looked in the sefer hazichronos and didnt find anything but then he asked for the divrei hayamim and that is where he found it.

Anonymous said...

1)sefer hazichronos:Diary
divrei hayamim:history book, newspaper
2)ZOCHOR:evrywhere you can
3)The Meggilah was alredy given to moshe rabbenu(Rabbi reisman motzeh shabbos shiur)
4)Machlokos if the chiyuv is for a seduah,or to increase chibah if its chibah you are yotzeh Nafkah mina by Dibetic gets sent cake and send cholov stam to person who eats only cholov yosroel.
6)I heard since they are both the same gematriah its untill you cant do the math (in this case i dont ned to drink at all) Of course there is the sleeping one
7)RAV SHLOM ZALMAN;To insult somone is as if you killed him when drunk we are loosed lipped
MARSHA:he had alchol poisioning (not exactly what he says but close)Meaning he was close to death but never dies as you notice the gemurah never says he did he davened and he got better the shecting refrence is because drinking is through the throat hence choking hence shecting