Thursday, March 29, 2007

Daf Yomi - Moed Katan 18 - Food for Thought

1. The Gemora states: We rule according to the lenient opinion regarding halachos pertaining to mourning. Where does this principle apply? Only when Tannaim argue? Amoraim? Does this apply nowadays as well?

2. The result of this apparent slip of the tongue was that Shmuel himself soon became a mourner because "there is a covenant for the lips" — a spoken word has the power to effect fulfillment. This is the source of children with living parents not to recite Kaddish (some even by a siyum by the Kaddish in the hadran). In teshuvas of the Divrie Yoel he was uncertain if the children of parents that were in the Holocaust should recite Kaddish if they were not a hundred percent sure that their parents died. (from my Anonymous commenter)

3. Our Patriarch Avraham, on his way to offer his son Yitzchak as a sacrifice, said to the two young men accompanying them. "Stay here and I and the lad will return to you" (Bereishet 22:5), and did indeed result in their both returning. This statement resulted in saving Yitzchak; how can we derive from here that a person should be careful with his words? The Chasam Sofer answers that to Avraham, it was regarded as undesirable since he was unable to fulfill the will of Hashem. (ibid)

4. Rav Shemen bar Abba said: I was once standing in front of Rabbi Yochanan in the Beis Medrash during Chol Hamoed and he was biting his nails and throwing them away. We can learn three things from here: One is allowed to cut his nails during Chol Hamoed; biting nails is not regarded as disgusting; one can throw fingernails into a public area. Why couldn't the Gemora derive a fourth halacha from this incident that on Chol Hamoed, one cannot use a scissors to cut his nails? Perhaps the answer is because he was in a Beis Medrash and no scissors was available.(ibid) Perhaps it is because the Gemora never states: We can derive four halachos from a certain incident; it is always three.