Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Daf Yomi - Moed Katan 3 - Can a Woman Plow during Shemitah?

The Gemora presents a dispute between Rabbi Yochanan and Rabbi Elozar whether one would incur the thirty-nine lashes if he would plow during Shemitah.

Rashi (2b) states that there is a positive commandment which forbids plowing on Shemitah. It is written [Shmos 34:21]: From plowing and harvesting you shall desist. The point of contention between the two Amoraim is if there is a negative commandment as well.

The Rambam in Hilchos Shemitah rules that one who plows during Shemitah does not incur the thirty-nine lashes. Kesef Mishna explains: Since in our Gemora, it was left ambiguously regarding which Amora held what, we cannot administer the lashes when there is uncertainty.

Sha’ar Hamelech in the beginning of Hilchos Shemitah writes that the Yerushalmi in Shabbos (7:2) states that Rabbi Yochanan is the one who maintains that he does not receive the lashes and the rule is that when Rabbi Yochanan and Rabbi Elozar argue, the halacha is in accordance with Rabbi Yochanan.

Minchas Chinuch (112) comments that women are obligated in this mitzva even though it is a positive commandment that has a time element to it and the principle is that women are exempt from any positive mitzva which is governed by time. He explains that this is applicable only regarding a positive mitzva that is incumbent on the body of the person and not a mitzva like Shemitah, which is a mitzva that is dependent on the land (mitzvos hateluyos ba’aretz).

Proof to this is cited from the Ritva in Kiddushin (29a). The Gemora rules, based on a Scriptural verse that women are not obligated to perform a circumcision on their sons. Tosfos asks: Why is a possuk necessary; circumcision is a positive mitzva which is governed by time since the mitzva can only be performed by day, and women are exempt? The Ritva answers: Any mitzva which is not related to the person themselves; this principle does not apply. The mitzva of milah is to perform the circumcision on the son and therefore women would be obligated if not for the special verse teaching us otherwise.


Berel said...

Did she know this Ritva? (or Gemora actually)


Here's Link said...

Yeshiva world woman performing bris

Pilpul l'Halacha said...

# kehotpub Says:
March 12th, 2007 at 11:57 am

Just a thought?

Parshas Shemos:Can A Woman Be A Mohel?

It was discussed in a shiur whether a woman can do mila. In Parshas Shemos we read how Tzippora gave her son a bris. The gemara in Avodah Zara (27a) has a machlokes whether a woman can be a mohel. The gemara asks, according to the opinion that a woman can’t do the mila, how do you understand the ma’aseh with Tzipporah? The gemara gives two answers, either a) Tzipporah asked someone else to do it b) Tzipporah started and Moshe finished the mila.

Machlokes Rishonim

How do we pasken? There is a machlokes Rishonim on this issue. Tosafos brings the opinion that a woman can not do the mila. This is also the shitta of the S’mak and Hagahos Mordechai. The Rif and Rosh (at the end of Perek 19 in Shabbo) and the Rambam pasken a woman could do the mila only if a man is not present. If there is a man around, the man should do the mila.

Mechabeir vs Rema

Both the Mechabeir and Rema (Y.D. Siman 264) pasken a woman could do the mila . However, the Rema adds on that the minhag is a woman should not do the mila. The Shach asks what is the Rema adding on to the Mechabeir. The Mechabeir would not disagree with the Rema.

The Aruch Hashulchan writes that the nafka mina between teh Mechabeir and rema is in acase where there is no male mohel in town but there is a male mohel in a different town. According to the Mechabeir one would not need to go to a different town to find a mohel and according to the Rema one should go to the other town because that is how the minhag evolved. Accordingto this the Rema would hold there is nothing wrong with a woman doing the mila, just teh minhag is that she doesn’t.

The Sefer HaBris gives a different hesber based on the Ra’avyah. Teh Ra’avyah understands teh Rema that he is being machmir for the shitta that a woman is posul. Therefore, we don’t use a woman because maybe she really can’t do the mila. The Mchabeir would hold that m’ikkar hadin a woman is kosher to do the mila but it is better to use a man.

Tichilas B’P’sul V’Sofo B’Kashrus

The gemra in Avodah Zara suggested that Tzipporah started the mila and Moshe finished the mila. This leads to the question, can a posul (an akum) start the mila if a kosher mohel finishes the job. Both teh Shut Beis Ya’akov (ayin Pischei Teshuva) and the Ohr Sameiach (hilchos mila)address this question. The both bring a rayah from the gemara in AZ that you could do this. However, the Ohr Sameiach points out that it would not work on Shabbos. On Shabbos, machshirei mila that can be done before Shabbos are not allowed to be done on Shabbos. (l’moshol if the mila knife breaks on Shabbos you can’t bring a new one if it involves carrying). Therefore, when a posul starts the mila it has the staus of machshirei mila since there is no mitzvah for the posul to do the mila. This machshirei mila could have been done before Shabbos (even though it would have been before day 8, since a posul mohel is doing the mila who cares when he starts it). Therefore, a posul can’t start the mila on Shabbos.

The Sefer Habris brings a teshuva from the Yidei Moshe that disagrees. He says this question is based on the machlokes in Chullin whether “yesh l’shchitah m’tichila ad sof” or “aino ella l’sof”. Since we pasken “yesh l’shchitah m’tichila ad sof”, we need a kosher mohel to do the whole mila.
Obviously the Ohr Sameiach disagrees with the comparison. I’ll leave this question hanging. How would the Ohr Sameiach answer the kasha from shechita?

Iraqi Jew said...

# ChalabiJew Says:
March 12th, 2007 at 12:03 pm

Tzipporah’s bris wasn’t in Eretz Yisroel, it was on the way from Midyan to Mitzrayim via the Sinai desert (after that episode, Aharon met Moshe at Har Sinai).
eliezer, I don’t think it’s assur for a woman to perform a bris, the problem is when these women feminist “Rabbis” leave their natural tafkid and try to take the jobs of men. They use the excuse that these things were always held back from them, and now they can have equality.
The problem is, that a fish may be upset that it can’t fly like a bird, and a bird may be upset that it can’t swim like a fish, but that doesn’t make them try to be what they are not. Men and women have different tafkidim.
R’ Moshe has a teshuva about women and these mitzvos, and says that if it stems froms a love of kedushah, then many great women have done things like wearing tefillin or other mitzvos, and that’s fine. This is dangerous because they’re trying to make a political statement. It’s a churban, and they teach others and set a precedent.

Anonymous said...

By the way most people hold tzipporah sent somone to do the bris not herself.

Anonymous said...

Mahretz Chayas in Nedraim 32a writes that this is proof to Rambam Hilchos Melachim Perek 10 that Bnei Keturah are chayav in milah. Midian is Bnei Keturah and Tzipporah as a Midyanis was a Midyanis, thus obligating her in milah. By Bnei Noach there is no distinction between a man and a woman.

Dr. Mark said...

GrumpyOldMan Says:
March 12th, 2007 at 7:47 pm
Let us take a moment to be inspired:

The following powerful story appears in “Hassidic Tales of the Holocaust” by Yaffa Eliach:

One of the forced laborers in the camps relates that one day he heard frightening cries of anguish the likes of which he had never heard before. Later he learned that on that very day a selection had been made — of infants to be sent to the ovens. We continued working, tears rolling down our faces, and suddenly I hear the voice of a Jewish woman: “Give me a knife.”

I thought she wanted to take her own life. I said to her, “Why are you hurrying so quickly to the world of truth…” All of a sudden the German soldier called out, “Dog, what did you say to the woman?”

“She requested a pocketknife and I explained to her that it was prohibited to commit suicide.”

The woman looked at the German with inflamed eyes, and stared spellbound at his coat pocket where she saw the shape of his pocketknife. “Give it to me,” she requested. She bent down and picked up a package of old rags. Hidden among them, on a pillow as white as snow, lay a tender infant. The woman took the pocketknife, pronounced the blessing — and circumcised the child. “Master of the Universe,” she cried, “You gave me a healthy child, I return him to You a worthy Jew.”

Anonymous said...

yasher koach for the inspiration. Rema in Hilchos Milah compares milah to korban, and this incident was truly a korban.

Avromi said...

Dr mark agrees