Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Daf Yomi - Beitza 19 - Appearances can be Deceiving

The Halacha is that if someone was intending to shecht and eat the korban Pesach with one group, he has permission to change his mind and eat with another group and he is not required to immerse his utensils another time. Our Mishna states that if a person wants to act stringently and immerse these utensils a second time due to the new group, he is permitted to do so on Yom Tov.

Rashi explains that this is not regarded as 'appearing as fixing a utensil' which is forbidden on Yom Tov since there is no real purpose in immersing them a second time.

The Shita Mekubetzes asks that this halacha would seem superfluous? Why does the Mishna find it necessary to state this ruling when it is clear that if the immersing is accomplishing nothing, it will be permitted? He answers that the novelty is that even though the owner thinks that he is fixing this utensil, it is nevertheless permitted.

Sheorim Mitzuyanim Bhalacha infers from here that the prohibition against immersing utensils on Yom Tov because it appears that one is fixing a utensil is referring to others. Since others who are viewing the immersion will think that you are repairing this utensil, it is prohibited. That is why in this case it is permitted.

This explains why one is permitted to immerse himself on Yom Tov because it appears as if he is cooling himself. Even though the person himself knows that he is immersing to rid himself of the tumah, that is no concern to us since the onlookers think that he is cooling himself off. Therefore, one should recite the blessing quietly for otherwise it would be evident that he is immersing because of the mitzva.

This is similar to a Magen Avrohom (323:13) who writes regarding the Rama's ruling that if one purchased a utensil from a Gentile , there is a manner in which he can immerse it on Yom Tov that it will not appear as if he is fixing the utensil. He can immerse it in a mikvah and fill up the utensil with water at the same time and use the water, so that it will not appear as if he is immersing , rather he is just drawing water to use. The Magen Avrohom writes that if he would recite a blessing, it would be counterproductive.

This would not be consistent with the ruling of the Rambam according to the Beis Yosef's explanation. The Rambam writes that beis din should not immerse a convert on Shabbos or Yom Tov since it is something that requires beis din. Why didn't the Rambam say that the reason is because it is forbidden to repair on Yom Tov like it is stated in our Gemora? The Beis Yosef explains that the reason of appearing like fixing is negated by the logic that one could say that he is cooling himself off and therefore the Rambam needed a different reason. The logic of 'cooling off' by a convert is a little far'fetched. There are talmidei chachomim next to him and they are telling him all the laws of the Torah, plus for the fact that he is reciting a blessing and nevertheless we still would say that perhaps he is cooling himself off.

Harav Moshe Feinstein (O"C 1 126:6) writes different than what we were discussing. He states that an action that can be done for two reasons, one for fixing and one for pleasure - such an act is permitted to do on Yom tov for we are not concerned that he will become lenient in these matters because of this. This is why immersing in a mikvah is permitted even though the individual is well aware as to the real reason that he is immersing.


Anonymous said...

Doesnt Gemora say that it applies even in rainy season and even in dirty water?

Avromi said...

yes Tom,

but the Gemora uses that as a kasha and answers that one will still want to cool off in rainy season and perhaps even in a flax-pool and other places when he is extremely dirty.
Bottom line - the Gemora states that the sevara of 'appearing to cool off"' applies everywhere (and Yom Kippur, it's due to hoyil...).