Thursday, May 10, 2007

Daf Yomi - Yevamos 6 - A TELEPHONE IS THE ANSWER

One might have thought that the mitzvah of honoring one’s father and mother overrides Shabbos (if a parent would instruct their son to violate the Shabbos, he would be obligated to listen); the Torah writes [Vayikra 19:3]: Every man: Your mother and father shall you revere, and My Shabbos’ shall you observe, I am HaShem your G-d. We infer from here: Everyone is obligated to honor HaShem, including the father and the mother. The Gemora assumes that the Torah is referring to a case where the parent said to his son, “Slaughter for me,” or Cook for me,” which is a kares prohibition. The reason he shouldn’t obey the father is because of the specific verse (mentioned above), but otherwise, the positive commandment of obeying one’s parent would override a prohibition, even one that consists of kares.

Tha Maharatz Chyus asks: Why should we think that the son is obligated to obey the father; the Gemora in Bava Metzia (62) teaches us that one is only obligated to honor his father if he is an “oseh ma’aseh amcha,” not if he is one that is not observing the mitzvos of HaShem?

The Ostroftzer Rebbe was once in Warsaw by one of his chasidim. The chasid proudly showed the Rebbe the new invention that was just installed in his house, a telephone.

The Rebbe took the telephone in his hands and 'sanctified' it with words of Torah.

He said: The Meiri in Yevamos asks: Why is a verse required to teach us that a son may not listen to his father when he instructs him to perform an aveira; the father is a rosha and the son is thus excluded from honoring him based on the Gemora in Bava Metzia that a father who is not "oseh ma'aseh amcha," one is not required to obey?

The Rebbe answered: It is referring to a case where the father calls the son on the telephone. The father is in one time zone, and it is already Motzei Shabbos, and the son is in a different time zone, where it is still Shabbos. One might think that the son is required to 'listen' to his father and answer the phone, the verse teaches us that everyone is obligated to honor HaShem and therefore the son should not obey the father.


Felix said...

Answering the phone is the issur - that's not what the Gemora was saying?

The Gemora said that becoming tamei or cooking was the issur.

Avromi said...

I was wondering the same thing, perhaps he meant that he told him on the phone to cook etc., but how did the son answer the phone in the first place? Were there answering machines in Warsaw?

Moish said...

Possibly, all he meant was like a message - it was delivered on Shabbos and the son has a mitzva to do right away, but father never said to do on Shabbos.

Anonymous said...

Firstly, I believe that the story is not really meant as "Halocho L'Maaseh" just to show how a Gadol connects everything to Torah.

Secondly, I think that by the son picking up the phone he is respecting his father. (By not ignoring him) So picking up the phone is accomplishing the Aseh of Kibbud Av (assuming that not ignoring ones father is included in the Mitzvas Aseh) and an act of Chillul Shabbos for the son. In this case the father is still an Oseh Maaseh Amcha

On a similar note I once questioned if a person said Birkas HaMapil before going to sleep, and his father says goodnight to him should he respond by saying good night even though he doesn't usually talk after HaMapil?