Monday, December 24, 2007

Drinking Wine by Kiddush

The Gemora (Nedarim 4a)explains that the novelty of a chatas nazir is that it cannot be pledged to be brought as a vow. When we asked earlier that this is a trademark of all chatas offerings, it is possible to answer that all other chatas offerings are obviously not brought because they are pledged, as they are obligated to be brought to atone for a sin. However, why is a korban chatas of a nazir brought? [One might therefore have thought the prohibition of delaying vows does not apply to it, which is why the hekeish is needed.]

The Gemora asks: The korban chatas of a woman who gives birth is also not brought for a sin that she committed, but nonetheless we know the prohibition for delaying vows does apply to her korban chatas. [Why should a korban chatas of a nazir be different?]

The Gemora answers: Her korban chatas is still different than that of a nazir, as it enables her to eat kodoshim (korbanos, which she was unable to eat beforehand and is a mitzvah).

The Meiri asks: Doesn’t the chatas offering of a nazir help him that he is now permitted to drink wine?

Tosfos and the Ran answer that drinking wine is a voluntary act, and it is not a mitzvah like the eating of kodoshim.

However, we can ask: What about the mitzvah of drinking wine for kiddush and havdalah? The Gemora Pesachim (106a) derives from the verse Remember the day of Shabbos to sanctify it that there is an obligation to recite kiddush over a cup of wine. Accordingly, we should say that a nazir’s bringing of the korbanos is similar to that of a woman who gave birth; he is bringing the korban in order to be permitted to partake in the mitzvah of drinking wine for kiddush?

The Meiri answers: The mitzvah of drinking the wine for kiddush is only a Rabbinical one, and the korban is not coming for that.

Tosfos explains that although there is a Biblical obligation to recite kiddush with wine, the obligation that the one who recites the blessing should drink the wine is only Rabbinical.

Reb Koby Shapiro in the Hebrew Midrashiya states that there may be a practical difference in halacha whether the mitzvah of drinking the wine is a Biblical one or merely Rabbinical.

It is ruled upon in Shulchan Aruch that a woman is Biblically obligated in the mitzvah of kiddush on Shabbos. Accordingly, she would be allowed to discharge a man of his obligation by reciting the kiddush for him.

The Acharonim raise the following question: When a man comes home from Shul Friday night, he has already fulfilled his Biblical obligation of kiddush in the Shemoneh Esrei of ma’ariv. He still has a Rabbinical obligation to recite the kiddush over a cup of wine. His wife, on the other hand, who did not daven ma’ariv, still has a Biblical obligation to recite kiddush. How can the man, who only has a Rabbinical obligation discharge his wife of her Biblical obligation?

Some answer that she should recite vayechulu prior to kiddush.

Reb Akiva Eiger answers that there is no concern here because of the principle that one who has fulfilled the mitzvah can nevertheless discharge an obligation for someone who did not yet fulfill the mitzvah. This works because every Jew is a guarantor for another. Some Acharonim are not satisfied with this answer because they say that a woman is not included in this guarantee for each other.

The Chasam Sofer answers: It is as if the husband had intention not to fulfill the Biblical obligation of kiddush when he is davening ma’ariv. This way, they are both Biblically obligated in the mitzvah of kiddush.

This entire discussion is based upon the Meiri’s opinion that the mitzvah of drinking the wine is merely a Rabbinical mitzvah. However, if we would hold that there is a Biblical mitzvah to drink the wine of kiddush, then, there would be no discussion, for the husband still has not discharged his own obligation by davening ma’ariv; he still has a Biblical obligation to drink the wine.


Avromi said...

Beis Hillel maintains that first one recites the brocha on the wine and then he recites kiddush. This is because the wine is the cause for the kiddush. The Tzlach in Brochos (51b) explains that this is because one has already discharged his obligation of kiddush when he davened maariv. The Chachamim stated that kiddush must be recited with a cup of wine and therefore now the wine is the cause for the kidush.

The Gemora states another reason to explain the opinion of Beis Hillel and that is because of the principle that the blessing which is recited more frequently takes precedence and the brocha on wine is more frequent than the one recited for kiddush. The Tzlach explains this reason in a similar way. He states that the logic of the wine taking precedence because of its frequency is only referring to a case where he previously fulfilled his obligation of kiddush during maariv; however in an instance where one would be reciting kiddush prior to davening maariv, kiddush would take precedence over the blessing on the wine. This is based on a Gemora Zevachim (90b) which concludes (according to the Tzlach) that when presented with two mitzvos and one has more kedusha than the other, but the other is more frequent - the one with the higher level of sanctity takes precedence. If one is still obligated Biblically to recite kiddush, then the kiddush is regarded as being more kodosh and it would take precedence over the brocha on the wine, even though the wine is more frequent.

The Tzlach concludes l'halacha that women who do not daven maariv and thereby are obligated Biblically to recite kiddush, they should make kiddush first and then recite the blessing on the wine.

The Acharonim disagree with the Tzlach arguing that the Gemora in Zevachim is not conclusive and it is quite possible that a mitzva which is more frequent takes precedence over a mitzva with more kedusha.