Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Daf Yomi - Yevamos 5 - A POSITIVE COMMANDMENT OVERRIDING TWO PROHIBITIONS

Reb Moshe Rozmerin in Dvar Moshe states that the Rambam maintains that one who rounds the corners of his head has violated two prohibitions; one for cutting his payos (corners), and another for following in the statutes of the non-Jews.

Our Gemora states that the positive commandment for the metzora to remove all his hair overrides the prohibition of rounding the corners on one’s head.

According to the Rambam, it is actually overriding two prohibitions.

Tosfos above (3b) discussed this issue and did not cite our Gemora as a proof. Other Rishonim maintain that a positive commandment cannot override two prohibitions.

A question is brought in the name of the Lubliner Gaon: The Gemora later (20b) states regarding a widow falling to yibum to a Kohen Gadol that it is a situation where the positive commandment of yibum can possibly override the prohibition of a Kohen Gadol marrying a widow. He asks: There are two prohibitions for a Kohen Gadol to marry a widow; one is lo yikach (he shall not take her), and the other is lo yechallel (he shall not desecrate the kehuna). How can the positive commandment of yibum override two prohibitions?

Reb Chaim Ozer in Achiezer (Even Ezer, 4) answers: The Rishonim concede when the two prohibitions are dependent on each other, that the positive commandment can override both prohibitions. The basis for the prohibition of desecrating the kehuna is because it is an illicit relationship; once the mitzvah of yibum overrides the prohibition of lo yikach, it becomes a permitted relationship and there will be no prohibition of lo yechallel.

[It would seem to me that this is dependent on how we understand that a positive commandment cannot override two prohibitions. We can explain that each prohibition strengthens one another and the positive commandment cannot override any of them; or perhaps the positive commandment does override one of the prohibitions, but it does not have the capabilities to override the second one. Reb Chaim Ozer would be in accordance with the latter explanation.]

According to the Achiezer, we can answer the Dvar Moshe’s question. The positive commandment for the metzora to cut his hair overrides the prohibition against rounding the corners of one’s head, and consequently, there will be no prohibition of following in the statutes of the non-Jews.

1 comments:

Daniel said...

Does the Rambam maintain that in all cases rounding the corners on one's head is following in the statutes of the non-Jews? If the torah required a metzora to remove all his hair, how could this be considered a statute of non-Jews? I vaguely recall there being a principal that something required by the torah cannot be forbidden based on it also being a statute of the non-Jews.