Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Daf Yomi - Taanis 29 - Action or Result

Rabbi Yochanan said as follows: "Were I living in those days, I would have ordained the fast for the 10th of Av; for on that day the greater part of the Beis Hamikdosh was burned." The Chachamim maintained that the day when the calamity began should be observed as a fast-day.

The Kotzker Rebbe asked from that famous Nimukei Yosef in Bava Kamma. Rabbi Yochanan holds that one is liable for sending out a fire because it is akin to shooting an arrow (isho mishum chitzov). The Nimukei Yosef explains that this is why one is permitted to light candles Friday afternoon even though they will be burning on Shabbos; since the candles were lit from before Shabbos, that is when he shot the arrow. According to this, why is Rabbi Yochanan stating here that he would have declared the fast on the tenth of Av if the fire started on the ninth?

The answer is that regarding Shabbos and damages, we are concerned with the action; when it occurred and how it happened. Regarding the Beis Hamikdosh being destroyed; we are not concerned with the action, rather with the result and it was burned on the tenth of Av. This is why Rabbi Yochanan said that if he were living in those days, he would have ordained the tenth of Av as the fast day. (Margaliyos HaShas)


Sruly said...

The Avnei Neizer answers that the fire of the Beis Hamikdosh was a Heaven-sent fire and that is constantly being lit - that is why Rabbi Yochanan thought the fast should be on the tenth - we dont look at the beginning - this also explains why he says in B"K ani hu shehitzeisi eish b'tziyon etc. because that is the connenction and answer why he thought the tenth (in other words this explains the connection of the gemora in b"k).

Michael Post said...

Thanks for the response. It doesn’t quite answer the question, but while that’s brewing, I have one on today’s daf…

How could Rabban Gamliel guarantee a soldier a place in the world to come? I was under the impression that Divine judgment is reserved exclusively for Hashem, who knows the actions, the thoughts, the intents, the public & private, etc… Rabban Gamliel certainly could not have known every nuance of this person’s life, so how could it be guaranteed?

I was also under the impression that one of the reasons murder is one of the “big three” sins one should give up their life for is because only Hashem the true judge knows whose life is better than whose, and how can anyone say that this person’s life is more or less important than my own. Based on that, I would not think it completely meritorious that this person committed suicide, a major aveirah, to save Rabban Gamliel. For all we know, perhaps Rabban Gamliel was slated in heaven to only live another week, while the officer was supposed to live another 50 years doing mitzvos (after all, R. Akiva started at 40…).


Avromi said...

one answer is that he was sure that this great zchus will be rewarded with olam habo

also based on gemora nedarim 27b that it is permitted to take a false oath to save yourself, so too here

in regards to second question, it wasnt a trade off, he committed suicide afterwards because he was scared of getting caught - Rabban Gamliel didnt permit him to do so