Saturday, November 01, 2008

Afflictions Purge a Person's Sins

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The Gemora states that if a master knocks out the tooth of his slave, or if he blinds his eye, he must release the slave.

It is noteworthy that Rabbi Yochanan in the Gemora in Brochos (5a) derives from here that a person is considered fortunate if Hashem inflicts him. It is taught through a kal vachomer as follows: If the loss of a tooth or an eye, which is only one of the limbs in a person’s body, nevertheless, a slave gains his freedom because of it, then afflictions, which cleanse the person’s entire body, should certainly free a person from sin because of them!

Rish Lakish derives this same lesson from a different source. He says: The word covenant is written with respect to salt and the word covenant is written with respect to afflictions. Just as salt sweetens the meat, so too, afflictions will cleanse a person from his sins.

The Bobover Rebbe in Kedushas Tziyon notes that there is a distinction between the two expositions. According to Rabbi Yochanan, the afflictions will only cleans a person if they emanate from Heaven, similar to the halachos of a slave, where he will only be set free if his master knocks out his tooth or eye. He will not gain his freedom if someone else injures him. However, according to Rish Lakish, any type of afflictions will cleanse him, in the same manner as the salt sweetening the meat. It makes no difference as to who applies the salt.

Based upon this, Rav Tzvi Pesach Frank explains the following. It is written [Shmos 6:5]: And also, I heard the moans of the children of Israel, whom the Egyptians are holding in bondage, and I remembered My covenant. The Jewish people thought that the Egyptians were their masters and they were those who were afflicting them. They did not realize that their suffering was decreed from Heaven. Because they didn’t know who was causing them their hardships, they did not gain their freedom. It was only because Hashem remembered His covenant, that all afflictions cleanse a person from his sins, that was the reason they were released from the bondage.

Reb Meir Shapiro adds to this: If a slave does not come to court and testify that his master knocked out his tooth or eye, he will not gain his freedom. If he says that it happened by happenstance, he will not go free. So too, it is with afflictions. If a person does not believe with complete faith that the afflictions are affecting him because of Divine Providence, the afflictions will not purge him of his sins. However, if this principle was derived through the gezeirah shavah from salt, it would not make any difference.

The Rashba was asked the following question: If a slave initiates a fight with his master and strikes the first blow, and the master counters with some strikes of his own and knocks out the slave’s tooth, will the slave gain his freedom?

He replied that the slave goes free. The proof is from the aforementioned Gemora, where Rabbi Yochanan derived that afflictions will cleanse a person from his sins through a kal vachomer from the laws of the slave. How can the two be compared? Afflictions come to a person because he has sinned! It was his own fault! Perhaps, then, those afflictions will not purge him from his sins!? Evidently, we see that a slave also gains his freedom, even if he was the one who initiated the fight!

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Friday, October 31, 2008

Kohanim as Agents

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Rabbah inquired: Can a Canaanite slave make a messenger to accept his Get for him from his master? Do we say that being that we derive his laws from a woman (who can make a messenger), he too can make a messenger? Or do we say that a woman who can accept her Get can make a messenger, but he, who cannot accept a Get cannot make a messenger? After Rabbah asked the question, he resolved that he can make a messenger, based upon the above gezeirah shavah.

The Gemora asks: Rav Huna the son of Rav Yehoshua says that Kohanim are Hashem’s messengers. If we would say that they are our messengers, is it possible that there is something that a person themselves cannot do, yet they have the power to create a messenger to do it for them?
However, based on what we just said, this logic seems flawed. After all, a slave cannot accept his own Get, yet, he can make a messenger who will accept it for him!?

The Gemora answers: This question is incorrect. A regular Jew cannot have anything to do with bringing a korban. A slave, however, has a connection with emancipation documents. This is as the braisa states: It appears that a slave can act as a messenger to accept his friend’s Get from his friend’s master. However, he cannot accept a Get from his own master.

The Gemora in Nedarim (35b) poses the identical inquiry and states that a practical difference between the two perspectives is with regard to someone who declared that he would not derive benefit from a certain Kohen. If the Kohen is our agent, he will not be permitted to perform the service for the one who vowed against him. However, if the Kohen is an agent of Heaven, he would be permitted to perform the service for him.

The Rishonim ask: Why didn’t the Gemora there resolve this inquiry from that which Rav Huna said here that if we would say that they are our messengers, is it possible that there is something that a person themselves cannot do, yet they have the power to create a messenger to do it for them?

1) Tosfos answers that the Gemora wished to resolve the inquiry from a Mishna or a braisa, not from an Amoraic statement.

2) Furthermore, Tosfos notes that we can only prove from Rav Huna that the Kohanim are also agents of Heaven, and not only our agents, for if they would only be our agents, how can they perform the service when the Yisroel, who sent them, cannot perform it! However, it can still very well be that they are the agents of both.

3) The Ritva answers that we can prove from Rav Huna that the Kohanim are agents of Heaven only when they are offering the korbanos of a Yisroel; however, there would still be a matter of doubt with respect to a case when they are sacrificing the korbanos for another Kohen. Here, Rav Huna’s logic would not be applicable, for the sender is able to perform the service himself!

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Wednesday, October 29, 2008

The Beautiful Captive

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The Gemora teaches regarding a “beautiful captive” that she should not be subjugated by the soldier during battle.

Rashi learns that the soldier should not cohabit with her during the battle. Cohabitation is not allowed until the captive is brought to the soldier’s house and converts to Judaism.

Tosfos asks four questions on Rashi.

1) Why does the braisa state that the Torah’s permission for a soldier to have relations with a captive is based upon the Torah’s recognition of the strength of one’s Evil Inclination? If according to Rashi, he may not cohabit with her until she converts in his house, how is his desire appeased during the war? Shouldn’t we still be concerned that the beautiful female captives would represent an overwhelming temptation for the Jewish soldier, and he will engage in illicit relationships with them?

Tosfos answers that since she will be permitted to him after some time, we are not concerned that he will be tempted to engage in an illicit relationship with her during the war. He will be able to overcome this desire and wait until she will be permitted to him. This is based upon the concept of having “bread in his basket.”

2) Why does the braisa compare the permission of the beautiful captive with eating meat from a slaughtered animal that had been dangerously ill? It is not so proper to eat such meat, as the Gemora in Chullin (37b) considers it repulsive to eat such meat! But according to Rashi, cohabitation with the captive after her conversion is completely permitted and allowed! What is the comparison between the two?

Tosfos answers that it is nevertheless regarded as a permission b’dieved, because since the conversion is done without her consent, it is not regarded as a bona fide conversion.

3) The Gemora in Sanhedrin (21a) records that Tamar was the daughter of a beautiful captive, Maachah, whom David had taken as a wife. Tamar was therefore permitted to Amnon, David’s son, for she was not regarded as David’s daughter. However, according to Rashi that David did not have relations with Maachah until she converted, why would Tamar be permitted to Amnon? Since she was born from her mother after she converted, it emerges that she was Amnon’s sister, for they shared the same father!?

Tosfos answers that Rashi will learn that Tamar was not the daughter of David at all; rather, Maachah was pregnant with her even before David had taken her from the battle.

4) However, Tosfos concludes that he has no explanation according to Rashi why the Gemora above said that there is a distinction with respect to a Kohen between the initial act of cohabitation and the second act. This is only understandable if the initial act is done during the battle and the second act is done after she converts (which is the way Rabbeinu Tam learns the Gemora). However, according to Rashi, both the second act of cohabitation and the first one are only after she converts! Why would the first be permitted and the second would be forbidden?

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Using a Kohen

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The Rambam rules that a Jewish servant who is a Kohen cannot become a nirtza, for he will be rendered a baal mum (a blemish, which will disqualify him from performing the Temple service).

The Mishnah La’melech asks that the Maggid Mishnah understands in the Rambam that there is no required amount for how large the piercing of the servant’s ear must be. If so, why can’t the Kohen servant become a nirtza, and they will pierce his ear in a manner which will not cause a blemish?

He answers based upon a Yerushalmi which says that we are concerned that they will forget and create a large hole, which will render him a baal mum.

The Sma”g writes that it is evident from our Gemora that it is permitted to have a Kohen work for you as a servant. He says that the prohibition is only when the Kohen is working for free; however, if he is receiving compensation for the work, it is permitted.

The Makneh asks: Accordingly, the Kohen servant should not be allowed to become a nirtza because then, he will be working for free!?

He answers based upon the Mordechai in Gittin, who says that the Kohen, if he so desires, can be mochel, and then it would be permitted for him to work for you.

The Mordechai (Gittin 461) relates that Rabbeinu Tam once instructed a Kohen to pour him some water. This caused one of his students to inquire as to how he could allow a Kohen to serve him, being that the Yerushalmi states that whoever uses a Kohen for his own needs is in violation of the prohibition of me’ilah (since the Kohen is sacred). Rabbeinu Tam's response was that the Kohen who served him in 12th century France was without the clothing of the Kohen and, therefore, not a Kohen (based upon the Gemora Sanhedrin 83b). The student persisted that if so, we shouldn’t give a Kohen the first aliyah. Rabbeinu Tam remained quiet. Rabbeinu Peter then suggested that a Kohen can voluntarily forfeit the respect due to him as a Kohen and, therefore, there was no problem with Rabbeinu Tam's use of him.

The Ta”z asks that the Kohen is not permitted to forfeit his kedushah and marry a divorcee!? What is the difference between the two?

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Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Three Insights

By: Rabbi Avrohom Adler

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Rav Nachman bar Yitzchak answers: It means that if he comes into slavery with a wife and child, his master can give him a Canaanite slavewoman (to have relations with). Otherwise, he cannot.

The commentators ask: Isn’t this illogical? If he doesn’t have a wife, the master should be able to give him a slavewoman, and if he does have a wife, why should the master give him another wife?

The Daas Zkeinim explains that if he is married to a Jewish woman, he will not be so attracted to the Canaanite slavewoman and will not follow her ways. However, if she is his only wife, he is liable to follow her ways. The Torah did not want this.


It is written [Yirmiyah 22:10]: Cry intensely for one who leaves, because he will not return again and see the land of his birthplace. Rav Yehudah said: This is referring to one who departs this world without children.

Rav Huna said: The verse is referring to a person who committed a sin and repeated it. The Gemora states: Rav Huna is following his reasoning stated elsewhere that one who commits a sin and repeats it; it has become permitted to him.

The Gemora asks: Do you actually think that it is permitted? The Gemora answers: Rav Huna means that it becomes to him as if it was permitted.

The Gemora (Yoma 86b) explains that a true penitent is one who committed a sin in the past and then the opportunity for the same sins comes again a first time and a second time and he is saved from the sin on both occasions.

The Sefer Chasidim writes that a person should not put himself into a situation where he is tempted to sin, because he may not be able to withstand temptation.

The Tzlach questions the words of the Sefer Chasidim from the commentary of the Kli Yakar in Parshas Chukas, who writes regarding the phenomena of the Parah Adumah that the Parah Adumah was capable of rendering pure those that were impure and conversely, rendering impure those that were pure.

The Kli Yakar likens this idea to certain medicines that are beneficial for one who is ill but can prove fatal for one who is healthy. There is a parallel between remedying the body and remedying the soul. One who wishes to repent must be with the same woman that he sinned with the first time, at the same time of the year in which he had sinned, and at the same place where he sinned with her. Thus, the temptation to sin is particularly strong, as his Evil Inclination will entice him to respond exactly as he did before. By resisting the temptation, he demonstrates that he is a true penitent.

The Kli Yakar adds that this is what the Gemora (Brochos 34b) means when it states that in the place where penitents stand, the completely righteous do not stand, i.e. the completely righteous cannot stand in a place of temptation. Yet, according to the Sefer Chasidim, a righteous person is not permitted to endanger himself by entering into such a situation.


The Gemora states that if one commits a transgression and repeats it, it becomes like it is permitted to him.

Rav Shach was once giving rebuke and he questioned if there is any among us that have committed a sin and not repeated it. Woe is to us.

The Mabit in Beis Elokim (shaar hateshuva ch 11) writes that our sages have said if one commits a transgression three times, it becomes like it is permitted to him. Did he have a different version in the Gemora than us? Our Gemora states this to be correct if a person commits a sin even twice.

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Monday, October 27, 2008

Condition against the Torah

The Gemara cites a Machlokes between Rebbi Meir and Rebbi Yehudah regarding whether a person may make a Tenai modifying the obligations stipulated by the Torah regarding monetary law ("Masneh Al Mah she'Kasuv ba'Torah"). Rebbi Meir says that if a man is Mekadesh a woman on condition that he not be obligated to give her She'er, Kesus, and Onah, the Tenai is invalid and the Kidushin takes effect fully (and he is obligated to provide her with She'er, Kesus, and Onah). Rebbi Yehudah says the Tenai is valid, and the Kidushin takes effect and he is not obligated to provide her with She'er, Kesus, and Onah.
Rebbi Meir's view is difficult to understand. If the Tenai is null and void, then why should the Kidushin take effect at all? The man was Mekadesh the woman on condition that if he is not obligated to give her She'er, Kesus, and Onah, then he wants the Kidushin to take effect, and conversely, if he will be obligated in She'er, Kesus, and Onah, then he does not want the Kidushin to take effect! (Rebbi Meir requires a "Tenai Kaful" -- both sides of the condition stated explicitly -- whenever a Tenai is used, as the Mishnah says in Kidushin 61a.) Since the man specified clearly that he does not want the Kidushin to be valid if he will be obligated to give She'er, Kesus, and Onah, then how can the Kidushin take effect and obligate him in She'er, Kesus, and Onah? He did not have in mind for the Kidushin to take effect under such circumstances! (TOSFOS DH Harei Zu)


(a) The RI explains that we learns all the laws of Tenai, including the very fact that one may make a Tenai, from a verse (in Kidushin, ibid.) If not for the fact that the Torah teaches that there is such a thing as making a Tenai, we would not have known that there is a concept of Tenai at all. Had the Torah not taught us the concept of Tenai, that one may make a stipulation when making a Kinyan, we would have thought that when a person makes a Tenai as a precondition to a certain Kinyan, we just ignore the Tenai and the Kinyan takes effect. By teaching that a Tenai does work, the Torah is teaching that if the condition is not fulfilled, the Kinyan is annulled retroactively. In the situations in which the Torah does not teach that a Tenai works (such as a situation in which the Tenai counters that which is written in the Torah), we revert back to the original way we would have ruled had the Torah not taught us the concept of Tenai, and the Kinyan works regardless of the fulfillment of the Tenai.
This answer of Tosfos is very difficult to understand. Even without the Torah teaching us the laws of Tenai, we should know, logically, that if a person sells an item to his friend and stipulates that the sale should not be valid unless his friend gives him something or does something, then if the friend fails to fulfill the Tenai the sale should not be valid, since the person did not fully commit himself to the sale!
To answer this question, we must first analyze a related Halachah -- the Halachah of Bereirah. In many places in the Gemara we find the view that holds "Ein Bereirah," which means that a Kinyan cannot be effected if -- at the moment that it takes effect -- it is not clear upon what it takes effect. For example, a person cannot pick up an item in order to be Koneh it and say, "If it rains tomorrow, I want this act of Kinyan to be for Reuven, and if it does not rain tomorrow, I want this act of Kinyan to be for Shimon." If a person does make such a stipulation, then even if it rains the next day, the object will not belong to Reuven. Similarly, a person cannot eat fruits today, "The portion that I will choose to separate tomorrow will be Terumah on these fruits starting from now." If he does so, then even if he separates a portion tomorrow, it will not serve as Terumah.
The logic for this, as the RAN explains in Nedarim (45b), is that "it is not appropriate for a Kinyan to take effect in a way that leaves a doubt as to how it took effect." This means that the Kinyan must take effect at the same moment at which the action which accomplishes the Kinyan is performed (such as the act of Hagba'ah (lifting up an item) in the case of a purchase, or Dibur (speech) in the case of making something Terumah). The Kinyan cannot take effect after the act, because the act which makes the Kinyan is no longer present. Thus, if at the moment that the act is performed, the Kinyan "does not know" where to take effect, the Kinyan does not take effect (or it takes effect on one of the two, regardless of what happens the next day; see Insights to Eruvin 37b). The Kinyan cannot see into the future, so to speak.
What is the difference between Bereirah and a Tenai? No Tenai should ever work if we say "Ein Bereirah," because the Kinyan cannot know what will happen in the future (whether the Tenai will be fulfilled or not) in order to be able to take effect now!
RASHI and TOSFOS (Gitin 25b, DH u'l'Chi Mayis) explain that when a person makes a Tenai, it is in his ability, and it is his intention, to fulfill the condition (for otherwise he would not have made the Kinyan in the first place). Hence, the Kinyan is not taking effect in a matter that leaves doubt. Rather, it takes effect for certain at the time the act of Kinyan is made, since he intends to fulfill the Tenai. What, then, is it that revokes the Kinyan retroactively when the condition is not fulfilled? The Kinyan has already been made and completed; it took effect, so how can it be revoked retroactively? The answer is that this is the reason why the Torah has to teach us the novel concept of Tenai -- even though the Kinyan was made, it can be revoked through not fulfilling the condition. This is what the Ri means to say -- since the Torah did not teach the concept of Tenai in a case where the Tenai contradicts the obligations of the Torah, then we revert to saying that the Kinyan is completed and nothing can uproot it retroactively, since it has already been done and has already taken effect. The person who made the Kinyan did intend for the Kinyan to take effect for certain, since he was expecting the Tenai to be fulfilled.
For this reason, when a man makes a Kidushin on condition that he not be obligated to give She'er, Kesus, and Onah, he obviously thinks that he is able to create such a Kidushin and he has in mind that the Kidushin should be completed, except that it should be uprooted if it turns out that he is obligated to give She'er, Kesus, and Onah. But by that time, it is too late to revoke the Kidushin, since it already took effect.
(b) RABEINU TAM (cited by the Tosfos Yeshanim and the Tosfos ha'Rosh), the RITVA, and the RASHBA (cited by the Shitah Mekubetzes) explain that when a person makes a Tenai that contradicts the Torah, he does not really mean it, but he is just being "Mafligah b'Devarim" -- he is just frightening her with words. The Beraisa in Gitin (84a) teaches such a concept with regard to a person who says to his wife that he is giving her a Get on condition that she does something that is physically impossible to do (see Rashi there, DH Mafligah). Since he knows that the Halachah of the Torah requires that Kidushin be done in a certain way with certain obligations, it must be that he is not serious about his condition to alter those obligations, and therefore he probably has in mind to make a Kidushin, and he is just saying this condition in order to frighten her.
Rabeinu Tam might have rejected the explanation of the Ri because his explanation is logically sound only when the condition is something that will be fulfilled or not fulfilled at a point after the Kinyan is completed. In the case of Kidushin, though, the Kidushin takes effect at the same time that the obligations of She'er, Kesus, and Onah take effect (or do not take effect). Thus, since the Kidushin does not depend on a future event but on a present event, the Kidushin should not take effect (since he did not have in mind to make such a Kidushin that obligates him in She'er, Kesus, and Onah). (See also Rebbi Akiva Eiger.)
The Ri might have explained like the Rashba, who says that the condition that the husband was stipulating was not that Kidushin should take effect without the obligations of She'er, Kesus, and Onah. Rather, the husband was stipulating that Kidushin should take effect only if the woman forgoes her entitlement to She'er, Kesus, and Onah. This can take place after the Kidushin is effected. (This is not like the opinion of Rabeinu Elchanan as quoted later in Tosfos.)
The Ri, on the other hand, did not accept Rabeinu Tam's explanation, because "Mafligah b'Devarim" can only be applied to a Tenai made against something written in the Torah, but not when any of the other details of Tenai were omitted. However, we find that if a person makes a Tenai in the wrong order ("Ma'aseh Kodem le'Tenai"), then the Kinyan takes effect and we ignore the Tenai even though the logic of "Mafligah b'Devarim" does not apply (as the RE'AH points out)!

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Esav the Apostate

Rabbi Chiya bar Avin said in the name of Rabbi Yochanan that an idolater inherits his father according to Torah law! This is apparent from the verse, “For an inheritance to Esav I gave Mount Seir.”

The Gemora asks: Perhaps an apostate Jew, suchas Esav, is different (and this law does not apply to a genuine gentile)?

The Gemora answers: Rather, the proof is from the verse, “For to the children of Lot I gave Ar as an inheritance.”

Rabbeinu Bachye writes that Esav was considered an apostate because he was the child of the Forefathers, but yet, he did not follow in their path.

Reb Tzadok HaKohen writes that he was regarded as an apostate because he was not circumcised. Although the Chasam Sofer (responsa Y”D 245) writes that this was because he was red (Admoni) and that exempted him from performing this mitzvah (on account of the danger), this argument can be rejected because before the Giving of the torah, there was no commandment of “You shall live by the mitzvos,” and therefore, even though there was a health concern, he still would have been obligated to be circumcised.

In the sefer Torascha Shashuay, he explains why Yaakov was allowed to say, “I am Esav, your first-born” based upon the fact that Esav was an apostate. Accordingly, it would have been forbidden for Yitzchak to eat from Esav’s shechitah. The halachah is that one is permitted to lie in order to prevent someone else from transgressing a prohibition. If one is allowed to lie for the sake of peace, he certainly can lie to protect someone from sinning!

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Father (outside) and Mother (inside)

The braisa (Daf Yomi: Kiddushin 18) states: A person can accept kiddushin for his daughter again (if she became widowed or divorced after betrothal), he can sell her again, and he can marry her off after selling her as a maidservant. However, he cannot sell her after marrying her off. Rabbi Shimon says: Just as he cannot do this, he cannot sell her as a maidservant after he already sold her once.

This is like the argument of the following Tannaim. The braisa says: “When he betrayed her.” Once he spread his cloak over her (in marriage), he cannot sell her; these are the words of Rabbi Akiva. Rabbi Eliezer says, “When he betrayed her,” teaches that once he betrayed her (sold her as a maidservant) he cannot sell her.

What is their argument? Rabbi Eliezer says: The way the word is written in the Torah is important. Rabbi Akiva says: The way it is read is important. Rabbi Shimon says: Both are important. [“Important” here refers to how we understand the intent of the Torah. If we focus on the word as it is read, it refers to clothing, while if we focus on the letters, it refers to being sold.]

This is similar to a debate in the Gemora in Sukkah which discusses if a sukkah requires two full walls and a third wall that is at least a tefach, or should there be three complete walls. This debate is based on whether one reads the word Sukkos in the Torah with the letter vav or without the letter vav. The Chachamim maintain that we say yeish eim lemasores, the transmitted written form has primacy, whereas Rabbi Shimon maintains that yeish eim lemikra, the pronounced form has primacy.

The Rif was questioned as to why the Gemora uses the word eim, which means mother, and not av, which means father. A similar question would be that the Gemora refers to one of the thirteen principles of Biblical hermeneutics as a binyan av and not a binyan eim.

The Rif initially responded that he never heard anyone shed light on this matter, but then he proceeded to offer a possible explanation. When the purpose of a principle is to teach a concept in a different area, the Gemora uses the term av, whereas if the discussion at hand is regarding relying on a principle, the Gemora uses the word eim.

Shearim Mitzuyanim B’Halacha explains the words of the Rif. The mother is the akeres habayis, the mainstay of the house as it is said every honorable princess dwelling within. For this reason we say yeish eim lemikra or yeish eim lemasores, as the mother is the central figure in the house and it is the mother who everyone is dependant upon. The father, on the other hand, is not usually found in the house, as he leaves the house to seek a livelihood. The principle of a binyan av, however, is that we are building from one location to another, and this is analogous to a father who influences others. (See Rabbeinu Bachye to Devarim 33:8 for further discussion on the differences between the father and mother.)

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Yovel for a Runaway Servant

Rav Sheishes (Daf Yomi: Kiddushin 17) explained a braisa (which ruled that a servant who runs away does not receive gifts) to be referring to a case where the servant ran away, and Yovel intervened. The braisa is teaching us that he does not receive gifts in this case (and he is not considered as if the master has freed him).

The Ramba”m rules that the runaway servant does gain his freedom when Yovel intervenes. The Ritv”a explains that there is no servant who remains by the master after Yovel.

The Sma”g, however, disagrees, and he bases his ruling upon a Yerushalmi which indicates that a servant who is not under the jurisdiction of his master when Yovel intervenes, does not go free by Yovel.

The Kesef Mishna asks: Why would the Sma”g rule in accordance with the Yerushalmi when the Bavli (our Gemora) rules that he does go free?

The Lechem Mishna explains that the Sma”g will explain our Gemora differently. He would learn that the Gemora’s conclusion is that the runaway servant does not go free in this case, and that is why he does not receive any severance gifts.

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Singing after the Egyptian's Died

The Gemora (Daf Yomi: Kiddushin 16) cites a braisa that a servant who runs away is required to complete the remainder of his six-year term.

The Chanukas Hatorah asks the following question in Parshas Beshalach: Why did Bnei Yisroel not break out in song immediately upon leaving Egypt? Why did they wait until after the splitting of the Sea?

He answers: The halachah is that if a servant runs away before his term expires, he is required to complete it. However, the halachah is that if the master dies, he is not obligated to finish his servitude.

We know that the Jewish people left Egypt prior to the four-hundred years that they were destined to remain there. Accordingly, they would have been required to complete this term at some later date. However, once the Egyptians died, they were completely freed. This is why they waited to sing until after they saw that the Egyptians died.

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The Gemora (Daf Yomi: Kiddushin 15) used a verse to teach us that a Jewish maidservant does not have the option of remaining a servant by becoming a nirtza.

The Rishonim ask: Why is a special verse necessary for this? Since the halachah is that only a servant sold by Beis Din can become a nirtza, but not one who sells himself; isn’t it therefore obvious that a maidservant cannot become a nirtza? She is not sold by Beis Din!?

Tosfos answers: It could have been said that anyone who is sold without their consent can become a nirtza, and in this respect, a maidservant is similar to someone sold by Beis Din. Her father sells her and she has no say in the matter. Another verse is required to teach us that she cannot become a nirtza.

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