Thursday, April 05, 2007

Daf Yomi - Moed Katan 26 - RENDING BECAUSE OF AN ACCIDENT

Rav Yehudah told me in the name of Shmuel: There is only a requirement to rend your garments if the Torah or tefillin was destroyed forcibly, however, if it happens through an accident, there is no requirement.

Rashi states that if one can prevent the destruction and he doesn’t, there is no requirement to rend his garments. Rashi would seem to indicate that if the sefer Torah was burned by accident, there is a requirement to rend one’s garments.

The other Rishonim (Ran, Meiri, Nimukei Yosef) disagree with this. They maintain that there is only a requirement to rend your garments when the destruction of the sefer Torah was with the intent to incite the Ribbono shel Olam, however, if the Torah was destroyed by accident (through a fire or a bird), there is no requirement.

The Chacham Tzvi (17) questions Rashi’s logic. It would emerge according to Rashi that if a fire would erupt suddenly and destroy the entire city in a manner where it was impossible to prevent the destruction of the sifrei Torah, one would be required to rend his garments; however, if a small fire would burn a sefer Torah, and one was capable of preventing its destruction, one would not be required to rend his garments. Why would that be?

The sefer Matzeves Moshe explains this according to the Maggid MiDubna. When there is a possibility according to natural law of preventing destruction, Hashem does not involve Himself and create a miracle, however, in a scenario where there is no possibility according to natural law of preventing destruction, Hashem does get involved, if He sees fit, and will produce a miracle to prevent the destruction.

Accordingly, when a preventable fire destroys a sefer Torah, it does not appear as if this was a Heaven-sent sign, and the fact that Hashem did not procure a miracle is not regarded as a desecration of His name for there was ample opportunity for the people themselves to prevent this occurrence; there is no requirement to rend one’s garment. However, when there is an enormous fire, one that is unpreventable and the only manner in which the sifrei Torah can be saved is through a miracle from Above; the lack of a miracle demonstrates that we were not deserving of one, thus resulting in a desecration of Hashem’s name and therefore there is a requirement to rend one’s garments.

1 comments:

ben said...

unlike: G-d only helps those who help themselves.