Tuesday, 20 May 2014

Shlichut Ledavar Aveira

I couldn't find an appropriate
picture for this post, so this will have to do
I’d like to take a break now from שיעורים לזכר אבא מרי ז"ל, so let’s move on to a more recent book, Rav Danny Wolf’s מנחה לאהרון.

The two books are similar in some respects. Both contain short essays detailing Brisker approaches to various sugiot in the gemara, explained in clear, modern Hebrew. And while שיעורים focuses mainly on topics from every day Halacha in Orach Chaim, מנחה לאהרון is specifically on topics from Seder Nashim.

That said, the two books have a different methodological focus with regards to novelty. While שיעורים’s chapters each come to painstakingly prove some chiddush, מנחה’s goal is to help a new student by presenting an overview, in each chapter, of the general approaches to a topic. On one hand, this makes the latter a lighter read. On the other hand, it's brevity can mean a lack of clarity at times, while the former’s detailed explanations really flesh-out the topic. Also, מנחה is forced to deviate from the standard Brisker format of presenting a duality of options, which presents a certain challenge for the reader.

שליחות לדבר עבירה

Take, for instance, the chapter on .שליחות לדבר עבירה  Rav Wolf presents four understandings of how אין שליחות לדבר עבירה  works:
  1. פגם בכוונת המשלח
  2. אשמת השליח
  3. הפקעת מוסד השליחות במעשי עבירות
  4. הדגש בביצוע עבירות הוא על גופו של אדם

So far so good. But when the discussion moved on to Nafka Minot, it took some considerable mental gymnastics on my part to follow how the four different concepts play out with regard to a concrete example. For instance, there is the gemara’s drasha that מעילה does allow for shlichot, and the fact that a korban מעילה only applies if the transgression was unintentional. The four understandings relate to this gemara as follows:

  1. The meshalayach doesn’t know he’s doing an aveirah so his kavana must be complete, Therefore, shlichut applies and the gemara shouldn’t need to bring a separate drasha to prove it. As such, we need to rely on the Tosafos’(קידודין מב ב ד"ה אמאי) answer that the drasha is for the case where the shaliyach transgresses intentionally and that even in such a case the unintentional sender is held responsible.
  2. Similarly to the previous explanation, if the shaliyach transgressed unintentionally, then he can’t be held at fault and the shlichut is valid and the drasha unnecessary. So again, we need Tosafos’ explanation that the shaliyach had intent and the drasha comes to say that, nevertheless, the shlichut stands.
  3. Since shlichut simply doesn’t exist in the case of aveirot, the gemara’s drasha to prove this exception makes sense.
  4. Since the shaliyach is always held responsible due to his having performed the aveira with his own body, again the gemara’s drasha is needed.

So, ultimately, I find I need to read both book quite carefully to really understand their content. The summaries I write on this blog are my touchstone, my chevruta even, to make sure I understood well enough that I can write a coherent summary.

Thursday, 15 May 2014

Rosh Chodesh vs. Chol Hamoed: Hallel

Following up on the chakira of Full/Partial Kedushat Hayom, we now have a related chakira, also about kedushat hayom. While the former chakira taught us that Rosh Chodesh only has a partial kedushat hayom limited to the korban musaf in Beit Hamikdash, this one will teach us that, additionally, Rosh Chodesh has a limited kedushat hayom created by the minhag of saying Hallel.

Chakira: Kedushat Hayom from the Torah vs. Kedushat Hayom created by a Minhag

  • Chag has Kedushat Hayom as expressed by mitzvot of the day
  • Rosh chodesh doesn’t have kedusha(except in beit hamikdash for korban Mussaf). But the minhag of treating it like Chag with regards to saying Hallel(itself a corollary to the mitzvah of Simcha) creates a limited Kedushat Hayom
אך לפי דרינו צריך עיון בדברי רב בסוגיא בתענית (כח ב) אשר אמר, אחרי שראה שבני בבל קוארים את ההלל בדילוג, "שמע מינה מנהג אבותיהם בידיהם"...הווה אומר, מנהג אבותיהם בידיהם לנהוג מנהג קדושה בקריאת הלל ביום זה, וממילא מתחייבים המה בקריאה זו.(הזכרת ר"ח וחוה"מ:ד)
  • This is similar to the Minhag of keeping 2nd day yom tov in the Golah, despite the original doubt over which day is Yom Tov having being alleviated by the move to a fixed calendar. The minhag creates a real kedusha, albeit one limited the level of the original safek(thus various leniencies apply to the second day).
קדושת היום חלה כמו ביו"ט שני על ידי הנוהג עצמו. עשיית יום טוב וניהוגו בבחינת יום מקודש מקדשים את היום ואין קדושתו חלה מעבר למנהג.(הזכרת ר"ח וחוה"מ:ד)

Nafka Minot


1. Rambam’s apparently contradictory halachot

The Rambam says that Rosh Chodesh Hallel is only an obligation when praying with a minyan.  However, he continues, if an individual begins saying hallel, he is obligated to complete it.

אבל בראשי חדשים קריאת ההלל מנהג ואינו מצוה ומנהג זה בצבור וכו', ויחיד לא יקרא כלל ואם התחיל ישלים ויקרא בדילוג כדרך שקורין הציבור (הל' מגילה ג:ז)

Explanation: Since Rosh Chodesh Hallel is a minhag by which a community gives Hallel limited kedusha, so it was only instituted in a communal setting i.e. when davening with a minyan. If, however, an individual does begin saying hallel, so the limited kedusha this creates obligates them to complete the hallel.
ברם היחיד הופקע רק מחובת ניהוג קדושה, אבל לא התמעט מיעילותו. ובכן, אם התחיל לקרוא – כלומר, אם פתח בניהוג קדושה – אז חלה קדושת היום לגביה והוא גומר את ההלל בחיוב. (הזכרת ר"ח וחוה"מ:ד)

2. Tosafot (ברכות יד א ד"ה ימים), on the other hand, says that neither Yachid nor Tzibbur say Hallel, but if they began, they should complete it.


Explanation: They don’t follow the minhag of Bavel, but even they agree that one who does creates kedusha that requires him to finish the Hallel.

3. The Raavad on the Rambam (ברכות יא:טז) says that Hallel should be recited with a blessing on Rosh Chodesh, but not on Chol Hamoed Pesach. 


Explanation: On Rosh Chodesh we are creating kedusha where there was none. This creates an obligation for Simcha and thus for Hallel, which then requires a bracha.
Chol Hamoed Pesach, on the other hand, has Kedusha from the Torah, but it’s part of the same unit of kedusha that we already said Hallel for on the first day. Since the obligation to say Hallel on Chol Hamoed Pesach stems solely from the Minhag, not from the obligation of Simcha, so it’s said without a Bracha.

Wednesday, 7 May 2014

Rosh Chodesh vs. Chol Hamoed: Tefilah & Bircat Hamazon

Last time we discussed the chakira of Full Kedushat Hayom vs. Limited Kedushat Hayom.  Let’s look how this distinction is realized with regard to mentioning the day in tefilah & bircat hamazon.

In general, the Rav points out three distinct requirements to mention the day in tefilah, the first two being generally accepted, the third being the chiddush:

  1. Mention the Kedusha of the Day- tefilah is incomplete if forgotten 
  2. Mention the Unique Nature of the Day- if forgotten, don’t need to repeat Shmoneh Esrei
  3. Israel’s acceptance of the day as Rosh Chodesh is what estabelishes it as such(based on השגות הרמב"ן על ספר המצוות מ"ע קנ"ג ורמב"ם קידוש החודש ה:א). Therefore, on Rosh Chodesh specifically, Chazal require that we all mention the day in our tefilah in order to demonstrate this acceptance.

בענין הזכרה בתפלה נאמרו שתי הלכות: א) הזכרת קדושת היום בכל מועד מקודש כמו שבת ויו"ט ב) הזכרת מעין המאורע אע"פ שלעצמו של יום אין קדושה מיוחדת, וכגון תענית... וכן חנוכה ופורים או תשעה באב(הזכרת ר"ח וחוה"מ:ה)

ובכן נראה, כי ההזכרה בתפילה בר"ח, פרט לדין הזכרה מעין המאורע שבה, שבגינה אין חוזרים, נובעת ממקור אחר- והוא, ענין קביעות ראש חודש שנוהג אפילו בזמן הזה(הזכרת ר"ח וחוה"מ:ו)

Nafka Minot

The Rav takes this model and uses it to explain various difficult halachot in the literature:

1. Forgot yaaleh veyavo in shmoneh esrei at night 


  • Chag- shmoneh esreh is lacking mention of kedushat hayom. Repeat it.
  • Rosh Chodesh- only has din of מעין המאורע, since establishing the month doesn’t apply at night time. Don’t repeat.   

2. Forgot yaaleh veyavo of rosh chodesh during day

The gemara(ברכות ל ב) suggests that you don’t repeat shmoneh esrei because you can say yaaleh veyavo in your next tefilah. Requirement of keviut apparently only applies once per day, leaving only the requirement of מעין המאורע, which doesn't require going back and repeating the tefilah.

 3. Gemara שבת כד א  


The gemara debates whether we need to say rosh chodesh yaaleh veyavo in benching. Why does it consider the possibility that we don't say it? Because perhaps the takana of saying yaaleh veyavo for kviut only applies to tefila, not birkat hamazon(הזכרת ר"ח וחוה"מ:ג)

4. Gemara ברכות מט א  

The gemara is of the opinion that we don’t say the chatima of the compensatory beracha after benching on Rosh Chodesh. Why? Because the chatima mentions kedushat hayom which is not relevant on Rosh Chodesh except during Mussaf.