Sunday, April 01, 2007

Daf Yomi - Moed Katan 21 - A MOURNER STUDYING TORAH

The Gemora states that a mourner is forbidden from studying Torah. Rashi explains: The studying of Torah makes one happy and a mourner is required to be in a state of anguish.

The Ramban asks: Doesn’t every person have an obligation to learn everyday? He answers: One can fulfill this mitzva with the recital of krias shema in the morning and in the evening. .

The Ritva is uncertain whether a mourner is permitted to learn those topics (Iyuv, certain parts of Yirmiyah) that one is allowed to learn on Tisha b’Av. He cites from Rabbeinu Yitzchak that he is permitted. Tosfos HaRosh writes that it is customary for a mourner to study Moed Katan where it discusses the laws regarding a mourner.

The Meiri cites an opinion that a mourner is forbidden from studying any Torah since he is required to remain silent and it is not dependant on learning which results in joy to the heart. He adds that it is also permitted for a mourner to glance at seforim which lead a person to repentance.

The Chacham Tzvi rules that if someone is accustomed to reciting Mishnayos by heart and he is concerned that he will forget them if he interrupts this learning, he may continue to do so.

The Aruch Hashulchan cites a Yerushalmi: If someone is literally sick without studying Torah, he is permitted to learn. He concludes: the poskim do not bring this down because it is highly unlikely in our generations. The Rogatchover Gaon applied to himself.

It is said that the Chasam Sofer wrote his teshuvos regarding mourning while sitting shiva for his mother.

Chazal say that Esau was waiting for Yitzchak to die until he would kill Yaakov. The Keli Yakar explains: Esau understood that Yaakov will be protected by the studying of Torah; once Yitzchak dies, Yaakov will be mourning and will be forbidden to learn and this would be the opportunity he was anxiously awaiting for.

The Beis Yisroel asks: Couldn’t Yaakov be protected with the learning of the topics that are permitted to learn? He answers: It is the joy from the learning that protects a person and a mourner doesn’t have that joy.

[Once again, thanks to Hagaos Yosef Anonymous for his Daf blurbs.]