Wednesday, July 06, 2011
The Lots for the Goats
The halachah that that the lot (for the two goats) does not assign the goat to Azazel unless it is fit to be the one offered to Hashem can be explained in two ways. Either, that it is a law in the assigning of the lot - to be regarded as a proper lot - they both have to be fit for the chatas which will be offered to Hashem - if one is found to be a tereifah, it is a deficient lot; or perhaps there is an inherent law that the goat being sent to Azazel must be fit to be offered as the chatas for Hashem; a tereifah is therefore disqualified from being the goat sent to Azazel, and that is why it is not considered a lot.
Rav Elchanan Wasserman in Koveitz Heoros says that a practical difference between the two explanations is if it became a tereifah after the lot. According to the first explanation it is valid because at the time of the lot it was not a tereifah. According to the second understanding, it is still invalid because the goat being sent to Azazel cannot be a tereifah.
As they Intended
The Mishna teaches us that the zomemin witnesses are only punished if they attempted to have someone executed, but they were found to be zomemin before the defendant was executed (as long as it was after the verdict was handed down). However, if they were discredited through hazamah only after the defendant had been executed, they will not be punished. This is derived from the Scriptural verse: as they intended to do; but not as they actually accomplished.
The Kesef Mishnah explains this seemingly perplexing halachah in two manners:
1. When the zomemin witnesses actually carry out their plan and the accused is executed - such a sin is of such a magnitude that they cannot get punished in this world. The punishment for such a hideous sin can only take place in the next world- in Gehinnom.
2. Alternatively, he explains, if the accused was actually executed, we assume that he was indeed guilty and deserved to die. Hashem is present by every court case and it must be attributed to Divine Providence that the second set of witnesses did not arrive until after the defendant was executed.
By: Meoros HaDaf HaYomi
HaGaon Rabbi Yehonasan Eibeschitz zt”l was once asked by a gentile king why he doesn’t convert as gentiles constitute a majority as compared to the Jews. He replied that a majority is only used in case of a doubt but not when the situation is definite. Though this is true, there’s another simple answer. A hundred drunkards do not outweigh one chacham and who is like the wise of Israel who are pure of ulterior motives? (HaGaon E. Wasserman, Beiurei Agadaos ‘al Derech HaPeshat).
to Honoring One’s Father
The source of the halachah of the majority stems from sacrifices, which are offered without worrying about treifos. Maharal Tzintz writes that it is possible that we can thus explain the verse “And you will sanctify him for he offers the bread of your G-d” (Vayikra 21:8). You should sanctify the kohen and if you have a doubt if he is a kohen lest his declared father is not his true father (see Chulin 11b: “…and maybe he is not his father”), the answer is “for he offers the bread of your G-d” – learn from sacrifices that we should follow the majority and if so, he’s certainly his father and you should sanctify him (Melo Ha’Omer).
Who Distinguishes Between the Holy and the Mundane
Our sugya says that the two goats of Yom Kippur, the chatas and the goat for Azazel, must be equal. This teaches us that the holy and the mundane are likely to be equal, almost without any difference. How much must we concentrate to know what is holy and what is mundane! (Leket Amarim).Read more!
Tuesday, June 28, 2011
Tractate Chulin: Hakol Shochatin
By: Meoros HaDaf HaYomi
With Hashem’s help we have finished Menachos and now we pass from the realm of kodshim to the realm of chullin - the mundane. Chullin is one of the longest tractates in the Talmud and its sugyos treat practical and most important subjects. It is one of the most varied tractates as it addresses a number of utterly different topics and therefore learners find much interest and satisfaction because of the many concepts they discover.
The tractate before us: First we shall learn the details of slaughtering, without which an animal is a neveilah. In the third chapter we shall learn about the signs of treifah and the signs of kashrus of land animals, fish and locusts. In the next chapter we shall complete different details of the topics learnt in the previous chapters and especially concerning the embryo of a slaughtered animal (ben peku’ah) and the impurity of a neveilah. Further on, the chapters are full of different subjects accompanying slaughtering and kashrus. In Chapter 5 we shall examine the details of the negative mitzvah not to slaughter an animal and its offspring on the same day and in the next chapter we shall explore the mitzvah to cover up the blood of a slaughtered wild animal or fowl. In Chapter 7 we shall learn about the prohibition of gid hanasheh and Chapter 8 is devoted to the prohibition of meat and milk. In these chapters we shall also become aware of the great questions of mixtures. The halachos of a limb from a live animal and the impurity of a neveilah are detailed in Chapter 9 and in Chapter 10 and 11 we shall learn halachos concerning gifts to kohanim. The final chapter addresses the mitzvah of shiluach haken (chasing away a mother bird before taking its eggs).
After we finish chullin, we shall again learn about kodshim. chullin is like an island of matters of mundane meat among the tractates dealing with kodshim and some say that it is therefore called chullin or Shechitas chullin, as Rashi often calls it. Rambam (in the preface to his commentary on the Mishnah) explains that chullin was placed after Zevachim and Menachos because the Torah also treats the halachos of sacrifices and then addresses eating mundane meat: “Yet as much as you desire you shall slaughter and eat meat” (Devarim 12:15).
Who is fit to be a shochet?
In the first paragraph of the first chapter of Yoreh De’ah the Remo details who is fit to serve as a shochet: “He shouldn’t slaughter, though he is an expert and knows the halachos of shechitah, till he slaughters three times before a chacham expert in the halachos of shechitah, so that he knows that he is expert and will not faint (Tur in the name of Rambam). Therefore, we are accustomed that no one slaughters unless he received a kabalah (approval to slaughter) from a chacham. The chacham does not grant him a kabalah unless he knows that he knows the halachos of shechitah and is expert with his hands. Therefore we are accustomed to rely on anyone who comes to slaughter (that he surely received a kabalah)… and in some places they have the custom to be stricter, that the recipient takes a written kabalah as proof. Every shochet, though he has a kabalah, should review the halachos of shechitah from time to time, that he should be expert in them not to forget them (Rav Yaakov HaLevi in the name of the Maharash). The same applies to the halachos of examining the lungs and to the bodeik - the person who examines - their halachah and custom are equal in this entire matter. And the beis din should inspect the bodekim and shochetim to see that they should be expert and kosher (Mahariu, 50) for the hazard of any transgression concerning shechitah and bedikah, accessible to everyone, is immense.”
How often must he review of the halachos of shechitah: When the Remo said “from time to time”, he meant that a shochet should review the halachos every month! (Baer Heiteiv, S.K. 8). Beer HaGolah wrote in the Maharil’s name that during the first 30 days of his position a shochet should review the halachos of slaughtering and examination every day. After the first 30 days he should review them every 30 days and when he completes his first year, he should review them once in a while but if he doesn’t do so, his slaughtering is disqualified!
ShUB: shochet ubodek: It has always been known that a shochet must be an outstandingly G-d-fearing person and the title Shub, the initials of shochet ubodek is a source of pride to many, such that some adopted it as their family name. The need for an outstandingly G-d-fearing slaughterer is not mere stringency but concerns the basic halachos of slaughtering, as follows.
The three phases of shechitah: The process of rendering an animal fit to eat by shechitah consists of three phases: (1) examining the knife, (2) slaughtering, (3) examining the lungs.
Examining the knife: Rabeinu Yonah writes in his Sha’arei Teshuvah (sha’ar 3, os 96) that examining the knife demands extreme scrupulous care: “And regarding someone who is not conscientious, his heart will not understand to be meticulous about examining the knife for he must greatly concentrate all his attention on his examination. You will see that a person sometimes checks two or three times without detecting a slight fault and then he finds it, for he concentrated the last time.” Indeed, the task of examining the knife was given to the chacham or Rabbi and a shochet who didn’t show his knife to the Rabbi before slaughtering would be ostracized (chullin 18a)! Shulchan Aruch (Y.D. 18:17) maintains that in later eras the custom arose to appoint special people for this task and the Rabbi relinquishes his honor to them as they are scrupulously careful. In fact, the author of Shulchan Aruch HaRav (18, Kuntres Acharon, S.K. 9) maintains that the Rabbanim only relinquished their honor for G-d-fearing people but others are not allowed to examine knives!
Slaughtering: One witness is believed regarding prohibitions (chullin 10b), as opposed to halachos of property and marriage, which require at least two witnesses. According to the Reem, one witness is still not believed to testify that an animal was properly slaughtered as, opposing his testimony there is a chazakah (previous knowledge) of prohibition to eat the (unslaughtered) animal, and one witness is not believed against a chazakah. Only a witness known to be faithful and kosher may testify (Mordechai, chullin, §579). There is therefore a need for a G-d-fearing shochet because otherwise, if he slaughtered an animal alone, he is not believed to testify that he slaughtered it properly. We emphasize that the Reem’s opinion was not accepted as halachah (see Pri Megadim in the preface and „Aroch HaShulchan, 4). But all the poskim repeatedly warn that we must eat from the shechitah of a G-d-fearing and scrupulous shochet, as Baer Heiteiv asserts (S.K. 29): “Not to give a kabalah to anyone who is frivolous but only to the G-d-fearing.”
Examining the lungs: An examination of the lungs is conducted to eliminate the possibility of a hole or another disorder of the lung, rendering the animal treifah. Though most animals are not treifah, one must examine the lungs because of the frequency of treifos (Shach, ibid) and Shulchan Aruch warns (Y.D. 39:1): “Anyone who breaches the fence - to eat without examination - should be bitten by a snake.”
Only the G-d-fearing may be lenient: Regarding two types of suspected treifah that could occur in a lung, Shulchan Aruch states (ibid, se’if 11 and 13) that in certain instances we may be lenient but he limits his statement: “We rely on this leniency only in case of an outstandingly G-d-fearing and kosher examiner.” We thus see that the need for an outstandingly G-d-fearing ShuB is essential, as otherwise one must not be lenient.
The Chasam Sofer zt”l decreed a fast in his yeshivah before learning chullin according to Sefer Chasidim (261 and 1012; Mekor Chesed on Sefer Chasidim, 261, remark 6). Some believe that the reason is because of the danger that arises when a person demonstrates the matters of slaughtering and treifos on his own body (Sichas chullin in the preface, according to the Maharsha, Gitin, end of 57b).
What Is an Outstandingly G-d-fearing Person?
As explained in the article “Who Is Fit to Slaughter”, a shochet must be an outstandingly G-d-fearing person (yerei shamayim meirabim). People say in the name of the Belzer Rebbe that an outstandingly G-d-fearing person means that he must practice every stringency practiced by two people in his town as the least number of rabim (many) is two!Read more!
Monday, June 27, 2011
Anyone who learns about the chatas is as though he sacrificed it
By: Meoros HaDaf HaYomi
With the conclusion of Menachos the Gemora teaches us: “Rabbi Yitzchak said, “…Anyone who learns about the chatas is as though he sacrificed it and anyone who learns about the asham is as though he sacrificed an asham.”
The Tur wrote (O.C. 1) that one had well say the parshah of the sacrifices every day and after saying the verses of the sacrifce one should say “May it be Your will” that saying the verses should be accepted as though the sacrifice were offered (see an expansion of this topic in the article “The parallel between saying korbanos and offering sacrifices” in Vol. 224).
Temporary atonement: Many sugyos indicate that even one who says the parshyos of the sacrifices devotedly does not become exempt from the obligation of his sacrifice and when the Temple will be built, he must offer them. Saying korbanos is temporary atonement, “as though he offered”, but he is surely not exempt from the Torah’s obligation (Responsa Har Tzvi, O.C. 1; Bnei Yisaschar, Maamar Rosh Chodesh, maamar 2, os 8; Responsa Torah Shleimah, 120; and see Kemotzei Shalal Rav, parshas Tzav).
Apropos, as we approach the end of Menachos, we mention two augmentive tidbits to explain Rabbi Yishmael ben Elisha’s famous words when once, on Shabbos, he tilted a light unintentionally and wrote down “I, Yishmael ben Elisha, read and tilted a light on Shabbos; when the Temple will be built, I’ll bring a fat chatas” (Shabbos 12b). Why wasn’t he satisfied with reading the parashah of the chatas?
Saying korbanos lacks the advantage of the kohanim’s eating:. The author of Yeshu’os Ya’akov (O.C. 1) wrote in the name of the Rishonim that as the atonement of the chatas is also achieved by the kohanim’s eating – “kohanim eat and the owners are atoned” (Pesachim 59b) – hence by saying the verses of the chatas we do not achieve that same level accomplished by offering the sacrifice. This is also the reason, he adds, that Rabbi Yishmael undertook a fat chatas – to emphasize the inability to make up for the kohanim’s part by saying the verses.
By saying the verses we do not achieve the advantage of an embellished sacrifice: Rabbi Yitzchak Shvadron, the Maharsham’s son, solved this question in the following manner (in the preface to Responsa Maharsham, II, os 32). A few times we have already cited the halachah mentioned by Rambam (Hilchos Isurei Mizbeiach 1:1): “It is a positive mitzvah that all the sacrifices should be perfect and choice, as we are told: „It should be perfect for a good will‟. This is a positive mitzvah.” It is obvious that though saying the verses of the sacrifices is considered like offering them, it can never achieve the level of observing the mitzvah with embellishment such as offering a fat sacrifice. This is what Rabbi Yishmael meant when he said “I’ll bring a fat chatas.”
Still, saying the verses of the sacrifices has advantages over their being offered. The first is if a person has a doubt as to if he committed a transgression unintentionally, he is forbidden to bring a sacrifice because of the doubt but he may say the appropriate verses and that is considered his atonement (Responsa Har Tzvi, ibid; see ibid, that he proves so from the Tur).
Saying korbanos atones for intentional sins: The Bnei Yisachar of Dinov zt”l tells of the second advantage (in the preface to his Derech Pikudecha, preface 5, os 8; cf Rabeinu Yonah to Rif, Berachos 3a, s.v. kivan), that saying korbanos can atone for intentional sins! This is based on Chazal’s statement (Taanis 27a, etc.) that Avraham said, “Ribono shel ‘olam…when there’s no Temple what will be with them?” He told him, “I already arranged the order of korbanos. When they read them before Me, I attribute to them as though they offered them and forgive them all their sins (‘avonoseihem).” An ‘avon is an intentional sin. We thus see that learning the verses of the sacrifices can ease atonement for intentional sins (Kemotzei Shalal Rav, ibid).
Hadran Aloch Maseches Menachos. We shall review it and learn about the sacrifices to atone for us before Hashem.
It is told about HaGaon Rabbi Shlomo Zalman Auerbach zt”l (Halichos Shlomo, I, Ch. 6, remarks 20 and 24) that he took care to come ten minutes before the start of prayers to say birchos hashachar and korbanos patiently and pleasantly. He told to those who asked to at least be careful to say the parshah of the tamid and the ketores (incense). If he didn’t say them before prayers, it is fitting to say the parshah of the tamid after prayers but not the ketores as they already said it at the end of the prayer. He was unsatisfied that people were careless about saying korbanos and would urge his pupils to heed such and in cheider the pupils should be taught to say at least part of korbanos.
Like a Body Without a Soul
At the start of Menachos (Vol. 228) we cited the following peninah: The pupils of HaGaon Rav Chayim of Volozhin zt”l write in the name of their mentor: Prayer resembles the tamid. “Prayer without concentration is like a body without a soul.” This means that prayer without concentration does not have the advantage of an animal sacrifice, which has a soul, but the advantage of a minchah, which is “a body without a soul” (Tosefes Ma’aseh Rav, 12; Keser Rosh, 22; Beiurei Rabeinu Chayim MiVolozhin, 163).
A reader sent us an interesting addition which he heard from HaGaon HaTzadik Rav Gedalyah Eiseman, mashgiach of Kol Torah Yeshivah. Chazal’s satement, that prayer without concentration is like a body without a soul, denegrates the value of such prayer while Rav Chayim’s statement apparently enlivens it as he treats such prayer as a minchah! However, a minchah was offered by a poor person who could not afford to offer an animal. From such a person, who is not able to pray with concentration, his prayer is accepted like a minchah. But someone who could have prayed with concentration should not expect his prayer to be regarded…Read more!
Friday, April 15, 2011
INSIGHTS TO THE DAF
The Glory of Tefillin
by: R’ Zev Busel
ליהודים היתה אורה ושמחה וששן ויקר - the Yidden experienced light and joy, delight and honor. The Gemora in Meseches Megillah tells us that that אורה זו תורה, and that שמחה זה יום טוב, ששון זו מילה, and ויקר אלו תפילין. Rashi explains that Haman decreed against the observance of the aforementioned mitzvos and now we are able to observe them.
The Sfas Emes pondered: If so, why didn't the passuk just say that ליהודים היתה תורה יום טוב ומילה ותפילין? The Sfas Emes answers that through the redemption, Klal Yisroel experienced a heightened realization that the true nature of light is Torah; the true nature of joy is Yom Tov; the true nature of delight is bris milah; and that the true nature of honor is tefillin.
Perhaps in regard to tefillin this concept can be explained as follows: Horav Yonasan Eibeschitz in יערות דבש דרוש ג' writes that the sudden rejuvenation of the mitzvah of tefillin subsequent to the miracles of Purim was because tefillin is symbolic of Hashem monitoring one’s thoughts and actions. Everything that transpires in our lives is not teva, natural, but rather the hashgachah protis, Divine providence of the Ribono Shel Olam. The shel rosh symbolizes that all our thoughts are observed by Hashem; the shel yad represents our actions. Therefore, after the great miracles of Purim, that even in the darkness of galus, where beforehand it was not so recognizable the glory of Hashem, the Jewish people merited to see the yad Hashem, and that created a renewed awareness for the mitzvah of tefillin.
With this we understand why true honor is reflected in tefillin. After the nes of Purim, witnessed by the nations, Klal Yisroel-- as the am hanivchar, the Chosen People, merited special hashgachah protis even in galus. This is the true kavod, as reflected by the mitzvah of tefillin as expressed in the Gemora: וראו כל עמי הארץ כי שם ה' נקרא עליך ויראו ממך - then all the peoples of the earth will see that the Name of Hashem is proclaimed over you, and they will revere you. When one realizes that the true nature of honor is tefillin, how much more so is it imperative to properly observe this unique mitzvah.
Tefillin In your Head
It is written: And all the peoples of the earth shall see that the name of Hashem is proclaimed over you, and they shall be in awe of you. It was taught in a braisa: Rabbi Eliezer the Great said: This refers to the tefillin of the head.
The Baal Hatanya notes that it does not say “the tefillin that are on his head,” but rather, “the tefillin in his head.” The tefillin will make an impression on others only if the wearer has internalized the message of the tefillin inside of him. If it is merely resting on his head, it will have no effect on others.
The Minchas Elozar continued and says that in order to reach that level, one must ensure that he has “his head” in the tefillin. One must make a strong effort not to lose focus while he is wearing his tefillin. If one works diligently to have his head in the tefillin, he will eventually reach the level where the tefillin will be in his head.
He used to say to a boy becoming bar mitzvah as he was putting his tefillin on for the very first time: Do not talk idle chatter with your tefillin on! If you guarantee me that that you will never talk idle chatter while wearing your tefillin, I will guarantee you that you will feel the “taste” of the tefillin.
HALACHOS OF TEFILLIN
by: Rabbi Boruch Hirschfeld Shlit”a
When one puts on tefillin he should have the following things in mind:
- To fulfill the mitzvah of tefillin shel yad.
- To fulfill the mitzvah of tefillin shel rosh.
- To subdue my heart, mind and body for Hashem.
- To remember the miracle of yetzias mitzrayim (shows Hashem’s power over heaven and earth).
- To minimize the physical pleasures of this world.
- To believe in the Oneness of Hashem written in the tefillin.
- To fulfill everything else written in the tefillin (love Hashem, learn Torah, mezuzah, tefillah, mitzvos of Pesach and prohibitions regarding chametz, pidyon haben).
The ideal time for thinking these כוונות is while he puts on the tefillin. If he didn’t, he can think them right after putting them on the tefillin or any time while still wearing them.
Between the של יד and של ראש it is אסור to speak out, even to answer אמן or יהא שמיה רבא. He should just think to be יוצא with what the others are saying.
After finishing tightening and positioning the של ראש, one should say ברוך שם... ועד. One should be very careful not to say ברוך שם till the של ראש is fully positioned.
It is very praiseworthy to learn something while wearing tefillin, before they are taken off.
Join the Kedushas Tefillin Program!
Who is this program for?
Any boy who has a ratzon to wear his tefillin without talking.
How do I Join?
Contact our Gabbai, Eli Jaffa, @ 216-385-4869, or send us an email @ email@example.com.
What are the rules?
What do I get?
A tremendous reward for davening properly, and for being careful in the fulfillment of this mitzvah. For the “she’lo lishma” part, see below.
How do I keep track?
After you join, you will receive a monthly card.
When Can I start?
The program begins on the second day of Rosh Chodesh Iyar, May 5th
Kedushas Tefillin Rules
- You should be davening with a minyan.
- You should be wearing your tefillin from at least “Boruch she’amar” until after “Aleinu.”
- There is no talking (including “mouthing”) with your tefillin on.
- Even if you (mistakenly) talk, you will try not to continue (during that Shacharis).
- The month begins on Rosh Chodesh (second day, when applicable).
- You cannot miss-out more than four times during a month.
- If you have a perfect month, or only miss once - you will receive the following: a set of old coins (which includes: 2 pennies from the 50’s; 2 from the 40’s; 2 from the 30’s), plus you will be entered into three raffles for sets of seforim.
- If you miss twice or three times, you will still receive the set of old coins, and you will be entered into two raffles for sets of seforim.
- When you have completed your third month, the set of coins will begin to include the following: Pennies from the 20’s; 10’s; 1900’s; 1890’s; 1880’s and even earlier; nickels from the turn of the century; foreign coins, plus more.
- Any boy that hands in 12 cards (and did not win any of the monthly raffles) will receive a sefer.
If you would like your school or class to join this project, please contact
Posted by Avromi at 4/15/2011 12:20:00 PM