Tuesday, June 05, 2007


The Shach (Y”D 238) rules that one who takes an oath that he will not eat neveilah (an animal that was not slaughtered properly), and subsequently got sick in a manner that he was permitted to eat neveilah; he is allowed to eat it, and he is not required to have his vow annulled.

The Peri Megadim in his introduction to Hilchos Pesach asks on this ruling. He states: That which we say that one prohibition cannot take effect on an existing prohibition merely means that the he will not be liable for violating both prohibitions; however, he is violating two prohibitions and he will be buried together with the completely wicked.

Accordingly, he asks on the ruling of the Shach: While it’s true that the prohibition stemming from his personal oath not to eat neveilah will not take effect because he is already prohibited from eating neveilah from the Torah, nevertheless, the oath is valid and is existent; he will not be liable for transgressing the oath. However, when he is dangerously ill and he is permitted to eat neveilah, the oath would subsequently take effect and he must have it annulled.

The Avnei Miluim (teshuva 12) does not agree with the way the Peri Megadim understands the Shach. He states: The ruling of the Shach is not based on the principle of one prohibition not taking effect on an existing prohibition, but rather, it is because of the principle mentioned specifically regarding an oath. One oath cannot take effect on another one and every person took an oath at Mount Sinai that he will not eat neveilah; this is why his personal oath is not valid and does not require annulment.

He explains the distinction between the two principles: One cannot be liable for a second prohibition when a previously existing prohibition is in effect, but there are obviously both prohibitions present. Regarding an oath, one does not have the capabilities to take an oath prohibiting himself on something that he already is sworn to uphold anyway; the second oath has no legitimacy whatsoever.

Rav Shach in Hilchos Shavuos (5:16) asks on the premise of these Acharonim. If the second prohibition is present, why isn’t one liable for violating it? If a second prohibition cannot take effect on an existing one only means that we do not administer punishment for the second prohibition, why should there be an exception for an extensive or an inclusive prohibition? He therefore learns that the second prohibition does not take effect at all. The Gemora, which states that one who violates such a prohibition will be buried with the completely wicked does not mean to say that he has indeed violated two transgressions; rather, it means that he is regarded as completely wicked since he is committing an action which involves two prohibitions even though in fact, he has only violated one.


Anonymous said...

I heard a great joke The maggid shiur realizes he is losing everyone besides one guy finishes the shiur the one guy comes over "I got everything but one question the shomer yavam is it a shomer chinam or shomer sachar.