Thursday, April 12, 2007

Daf Yomi - Chagigah 4 - Highlights

The Mishna had stated A tumtum (undetermined sex) and an androgynous (hermaphrodite) are exempt from the mitzva of re’iyah (the obligation to appear in the Beis Hamikdosh on the pilgrimage festival together with an olah offering).

The Gemora cites the Scriptural sources for this halacha.

The braisa had stated that a verse was needed to exclude a woman from this mitzva. The Gemora asks: Why is this necessary; they should be exempt based on the principle that women are exempt from any positive biblical commandment which is time bound and re’iyah is a mitzva which is applicable only during the festivals?

The Gemora answers: A verse is needed for otherwise, we might have said that women should be obligated in the mitzva of re’iyah in the same manner that they are obligated in the mitzva of hakhel (the reading of the Torah by the king after the first day of Sukkos on a year following a Shemitah year). The verse teaches us that we do not apply this gezeirah shavah (One of the thirteen principles of Biblical hermeneutics. Gezeirah shavah links two similar words from dissimilar verses in the Torah.) (4a)

The Gemora continues to analyze the braisa. It is understandable why a verse is needed to exclude an androgynous from the mitzva of re’iyah. One might have thought that he should be obligated since he has a masculine side to him; the verse teaches us that he is considered a creature unto himself and is not obligated in this mitzva. The Gemora asks: Why is a verse needed to exclude a tumtum; it is undetermined if he is a male or a female, and a verse should not be necessary to exclude a case of doubt?

Abaye answers: The verse is needed for a case when his testicles are outside the membrane (he is definitely a male, but nevertheless classified as a tumtum because his member is concealed). (4a)

The braisa had stated: A Scriptural verse taught us that a minor is obligated in the mitzva of re’iyah. The Gemora asks: The Mishna explicitly stated that a minor is exempt from the mitzva of re’iyah?

Abaye answers: The braisa is referring to a case where the child has reached an age of chinuch (the age where the father can train him to fulfill the mitzva) and the Mishna is referring to a case where he has not yet reached the age of chinuch and therefore there is no obligation for the father to bring him to the Beis Hamikdosh.

The Gemora objects to this explanation: The mitzva of chinuch is merely a Rabbinical one and cannot be what the braisa is referring to; the braisa had derived the obligation of a minor from a Scriptural verse.

The Gemora agrees to this objection and states that the verse is used as a Scriptural support for this halacha.

The Gemora states: The primary purpose of the verse is to teach us the halachos that the “Others” taught in the following braisa: People who scrape up dogs’ excretement, smelt copper ore or a leather tanner are exempt from the mitzva of re’iyah. This is derived form the verse: All your males; only people who are able to ascend together with other people are obligated; these people are excluded because they are not fit to ascend with others (because of their disgusting body odor). (4a)

The Mishna had stated: One who is lame, blind, sick or elderly are exempt from the mitzva of re’iyah.

The Gemora cites a braisa: We derive from the verse Regalim (which literally means feet) that people with wooden feet are excluded from the mitzva of re’iyah. Another interpretation: The verse excludes anyone who is lame, sick, blind, elderly and one who is not able to ascend by foot.

The Gemora asks: Who is the braisa referring to when it states, “One who is not able to ascend by foot”?

Rava answers: This is referring to a finicky person (he cannot walk without wearing shoes, and it is forbidden to enter the Temple Mount with shoes on his feet). (4a – 4b)

The Gemora cites a braisa: One who is uncircumcised and one who is tamei (ritually impure) are exempt from the mitzva of re’iyah.

The Gemora cites the Scriptural sources for these halachos. (4b)

The Gemora cites a braisa: Rabbi Yochanan ben Dahavai said in the name of Rabbi Yehudah: A person who is blind in one eye is exempt from the mitzva of re’iyah. The Torah writes: All men shall see Hashem (during the pilgrimage festival); These words are pronounced, All men shall be seen by Hashem. This teaches us: The same manner that Hashem sees the people who come to the Beis Hamikdosh with His two eyes, so too, He comes to be seen by the people with their two eyes.

Rav Huna used to cry when he came to that verse. He said: A master who desires to see his servant, nevertheless, he distances himself from him.

The Gemora cites other instances where Amoraim cried when they encountered certain verses. (4b)

5 comments:

Dror Maor said...

The Gemora states: The primary purpose of the verse is to teach us the halachos that the “Others” taught in the following braisa: People who scrape up dogs’ excretement, smelt copper ore or a leather tanner are exempt from the mitzva of re’iyah. This is derived from the verse: “All your males”; only people who are able to ascend together with other people are obligated; these people are excluded because they are not fit to ascend with others (because of their disgusting body odor)

The Rambam however rules that these people are obligated in re’iyah. The Kesef Mishna explains that the Rambam felt that this opinion is only “Others” (Acheirim), but the Rabbonon (general majority opinion) would rule that they are obligated.

Another answer that may be offered is that always in Shas the word “Kol” - כל (All) is used to include something, not exclude. So therefore, why is the Gemora excluding these men of unclean occupations? The Ramban felt that the Gemora omitted the conclusion that the word “Kol” is inclusive, and therefore he ruled that once they have cleaned they bodies and laundered their garments, they are obligated in re’iyah.

Avromi said...

yasherkoach - gut gezogt!!

Dror Maor said...

ברוך תהיה
keep up the great work!

ben said...

very nice vort, Dror.

Dror Maor said...

thank you Ben...