Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Daf Yomi - Chagigah 3 - Highlights

All are obligated in ascending to the Bais HaMikdash on the three festivals, except for one who can speak but is deaf, and one who can hear but is mute, as these two individuals are exempt from ascending to the Bais HaMikdash to offer the Olas Reiyah. Nonetheless, these individuals are obligated in simcha, the mitzvah of offering Shalmei Simcha. A deaf-mute, a fool and a minor are exempt from bringing an Olas Reiyah and from the mitzvah of simcha, since they are exempt from performing all mitzvos of the Torah. (2b-3a)

One who can hear but is mute and one who can speak but is deaf are exempt from bringing an Olas Reiyah because we derive this law from Hakhel, the gathering that occurred every seven years at the end of the shemittah cycle when the king would read Mishneh Torah, the Book of Deuteronomy, in the Courtyard of the Bais HaMikdash. Regarding Hakhel we excluded based on a verse one who can speak and is deaf and we exclude one who can hear and is mute. Similarly, we exempt these two individuals from bringing an Olas Reiyah. (3a)

There were two mute people who would attend Rebbe’s lectures and they would nod their heads and move their lips. Rebbe prayed for them and they were healed. It was subsequently discovered that they knew Mishnayos, Sifra, Sifri, and all of Shas. (3a)

One who is deaf in one ear is exempt from bringing an Olas Reiyah, because it is said regarding Hakhel that the Torah should be read before all Israel in their ears, which implies that one must have two ears that he can hear with. (3a)

One who is lame in one leg is exempt from bringing an Olas Reiyah, because regarding the ascent of the pilgrims to Jerusalem, it is said regalim, which literally means feet. The ruling that one who has a wooden foot is exempt from bringing an Olas Reiyah is derived from the usage of the word peamim, which also means feet. (3a)

It is said in Shir HaShirim, but your footsteps were so lovely when shod in pilgrim’s sandals, O daughter of nobles. The Gemara interprets this verse to refer to the Jewish People’s ascent to Jerusalem for the pilgrimage on the three festivals. The words, O daughter of nobles, alludes to our Patriarch Avraham who was called a noble, as it is said in Tehillim, the nobles of the people gathered, the people of the G-d of Avraham. The verse references Avraham because he was the first of converts. (3a)

Rabbi Yochanan Ben Berokah and Rabbi Elazar Ben Chasma visited Rabbi Yehoshua in Pekiin on the festival, as there is a requirement that one visits his teacher on the festival. Rabi Yehoshua requested of his disciples that they relate a teaching that they heard in the study hall. The two rabbis related that Rabbi Elazar Ben Azaryah had taught that regarding the mitzvah of Hakhel, it is said that men, women and children should assemble. The men come to learn, the women come to listen and the children come so that those who brought the children can earn reward. Rabbi Elazar Ben Azaryah also taught based on a verse that the Jewish People praise HaShem by reciting the words, hear O Israel, HaShem is our G-d, HaShem is one, and HaShem praises the Jewish People by declaring, “ who is like Your people Israel, a unique nation on earth.” (3a-3b)

It is said in Koheles, the words of the wise are like goads, and the nails well driven are the sayings of the masters of collections, coming from one Shepherd. The Gemara interprets this to mean that the Torah is likened to goads because just like goads align the cow to the rows of the furrows and this brings life to the world, so too the words of Torah align those who study the Torah and lead them from the pathways of death to the pathways of life. A goad, however, is movable, whereas the words of Torah are like nails that are immovable. Unlike nails that cause a loss when nailed into an item, words of Torah are planted and like plants, words of Torah cause an increase. The words “masters of collections” refers to Torah scholars who assemble together to study Torah. Despite the fact that the scholars all have different opinions, one can learn from all of them because the Torah was given by one G-d and disseminated by one leader, Moshe, whose words are indisputable. One must make his ears like a mill-hopper where the grain is funneled through. Similarly, one must be able to discern which halachic opinion is correct and decide accordingly. (3b)

Rabbi Yose Ben Durmaskis went to visit Rabbi Eliezer in Lod, and Rabbi Eliezer asked Rabbi Yose regarding what was taught in the study hall that day. Rabbi Yose responded that they concluded that day that in the lands of Ammon and Moav, it was permitted to plant during the shemittah year and they could tithe the Maaser Ani during the shemittah year. Rabbi Eliezer then told Rabbi Yose to open his hands and accept his eyes, which Rabbi Yose did. This act implied that Rabbi Eliezer was disturbed by the need to render this ruling which had already been decided in the time of the members of the Great Assembly. Rabbi Eliezer told Rabbi Yose that the ruling that Rabbi Yose had quoted was unnecessary and he should inform those in the study hall of this, because Rabbi Eliezer had received the tradition from his teacher, Rabbi Yochanan Ben Zakkai, who had received this tradition all the way back to Moshe at Sinai, that tithes could be taken from grain in the lands of Ammon and Moav during the shemittah year. The reason for this ruling was because the Jewish People who left Egypt captured many cities but these same cites were not captured by those who left Babylonia. The reason they did not capture these cites is because the first sanctification of the land was only done for that time period and not for the future. Yet, the second sanctification of the land was sanctified forever. Thus, regarding the rest of Eretz Yisroel, one was forbidden to plant during the shemittah year. The lands of Ammon and Moav, however, were not sanctified, so that the poor could rely on receiving their gifts during the shemittah year. For this reason the Chachamim instituted that in the lands of Ammon and Moav, people should tithe Maaser Ani during the shemittah year. The Gemara relates that once Rabbi Eliezer was calm, he prayed that Rabbi Yose should regain his eyesight. (3b)