Monday, January 6, 2020

Brachos Daf 2

    Q1: Why not tell us there is chiyuv before saying meieimasa
    Q2: WHy maariv first, not Shacharis?
    A2: Pasuk says beshachbecha first, not uvkumecha.
    A1: Read it: We say shma at night.  When can we begin to say it?
    A2b: follows briyas ha'Olam.
Why is A2 before A1 if Mishna Avos says "al rishon rishon v'al acharon acharon?  And see in Chayei Sarah, Rivka was praised for answering "who is your father? Do you have place for us to sleep?" in order?  I don't have an answer, though see ibn Ezra to Yoel 3:3:
ונתתי - מנהג אנשי לשון הקודש , כאשר יזכירו שנים דברים , יחל לספר דברי השיני בתחלה , ואחר כן ישוב אל הראשון באחרונה; כמו "לך יום אף לך לילה" (תה' עד , טז); "ואתן ליצחק את יעקב ואת עשו" (יהו' כד , ד); וככה זה: ונתתי דם - בארץ , ובשמים - אש ותימרות עשן.
ibnEzra that lashon chachamim is diff from lashon Psukim. I thought of answering with Chulin 137b that chazal use diff words than torah. But it doesn’t really answer it b/c that’s for use of one word. This is an entire style. See Tos Yom Tov Terumos 1:1.  Also, Rivka answered Eliezer "al rishon rishon v'al acharon acharon." (Breishis 24:24) And Rashi shemos 3:12 is al rishon rishon v’al acharon acharon.

I'll suggest another possible answer - when a katan becomes a gadol the first mitzvah that is chal would be kriyas shma of arvis.

Bein Hashmashos  based on
Ø  Shabbat 34b, the period of bein ha-sh’mashot (in between sh’kia and tzet hakokhavim) is identified by R. Yehudah as three quarters of a mil
Ø  Pesachim 94a. There, in a discussion concerning the dimensions of the Earth, R. Yehudah states that in between sh’kia and tzet hakokhavim there are four mil
Ø  (See Resp. Maharam Alashkar, 96, citing R. Sherira Gaon and R. Hai Gaon) and the Gra (see Biur to Sulchan Arukh, 261:2) represent different versions, the statement in Pesachim is not applicable to the halakhah in these cases. Thus, ¾ of a mil after shkia is tzet hakokhavim, and the time in between is bein hashmashot.
Ø  Rabbeinu Tam (see Tosafot, Berakhot 2b, s.v. dilma; Shabbat 35a, s.v. trei; Pesachim 94a, s.v. R. Yehudah), however, resolves the issue differently. In his assessment, there are actually two points called sh’kia The first sh’kia takes place when the sun begins to sink beneath the horizon The second sh’kia refers to the point once the sun has already sunk. The four mil period refers to the time in between the first sh’kia and tzet, while the ¾ mil period is the time from the second sh’kia until tzet. (see also Magen Avraham, 331:2, and Resp. Chatam Sofer, O.C. 80).  Almost all rishonim - Yabia Omer vol. 2 no. 21
Ø  Sefer Yereim, 274 night begins at sunset and that the three quarters of a mil represent the beginning of sunset. At sunset, when the sun falls below the horizon and there is no longer any direct sunlight, it becomes theoretically possible to see stars. Four mil later the stars become visible to everyone.
Ø  Tosfos Menachos 20 and Shaagas Aryeh 17: dam nifsal misafek.
Ø  אמר רבי יוסי: בין השמשות כהרף עין. זה נכנס וזה יוצא ואי אפשר לעמוד עליו (Brachos 2b last line and Shabbos 34b)
Ø  See Igros Moshe OC IV 62 – 50 minutes for latitude of NY.; alsoYD IV 17:26

How long is a mil?                                                  mil              ¾    3.25     4
Ø  18 minutes (  )                                       minutes    13.5    58.5     72
Ø  22.5 minutes ( )                                                                 18.875             90
Ø  24 minutes (Rambam, Perush Hamishna Pesachim)        18        72        96

Astronomical Phenomena
Ø  Civil Twilight – 6 degrees below Horizon: This is the limit at which twilight illumination is sufficient, under good weather conditions, for terrestrial objects to be clearly distinguished; at the beginning of morning civil twilight, or end of evening civil twilight, the horizon is clearly defined and the brightest stars are visible under good atmospheric conditions in the absence of moonlight or other illumination.
Ø  Nautical Twilight – 12 degrees bvelow horizon: At the beginning or end of nautical twilight, under good atmospheric conditions and in the absence of other illumination, general outlines of ground objects may be distinguishable, but detailed outdoor operations are not possible. During nautical twilight the illumination level is such that the horizon is still visible even on a Moonless night allowing mariners to take reliable star sights for navigational purposes, hence the name.
Ø  Astronomical Twilight – 18 degrees below horizon: scattered light from the Sun is less than that from starlight and other natural sources. For a considerable interval after the beginning of morning twilight and before the end of evening twilight, sky illumination is so faint that it is practically imperceptible

Parshios Kriyas Shma – see Eynayim Lamishpat p 130 (orig print)
Ø  RY Hanasi – pasuk of shma
Ø  Rashi 1st para (maybe because it’s connected, but a different parsha can’t be part of it midioraissa)
Ø  R Yonah 1st 2 para (since third is flexible – any parsha that mentions Mitzrayim, it cannot be part of the dioraissa) (But at end of 7th perek he says first pasuk or first paragraph)
Ø  Rambam and Tos – all 3 (see Siach Hagrid)
Ø  And see later Daf 12 about wanting to add 10 dibros to Shma.

Brachos Intro

6 orders of Mishna; Zeraim is first.  Why?
1. Rambam (Hakdama) - to serve Hashem you need nutrition, so Zraim first.
2. I think see Shabbos 31a Reish Lakish - vehaya emunas Itecha - zraim (Tos quotes Yerushalmi because you need emuna that what you plant will grow).  First in Pasuk so first seder.

Why is Brachos first in Zraim?
1. Rambam (ibid.) - to eat we need to make a bracha; diff people eat diff things, don't necessarily make same brachos, but birchos Kriyas Shma are the same for everyone, and once we discuss birkas KS, discuss KS itself (BZ - which is midioraissa; most brachos except Birkas Hamazon [or Birkas Hatorah acc to Ramban] are Rabbinic).
2. I think - all of halacha must be preceded by our Emuna Hashem is One and He created the world, so it's the first element of Torah Shebal Peh. (fits well with Reish Lakish Shabbos 31).

Layout of Page of Gemara
Dr. Grach; Torah UMadda Journal – rosh on daf; 
Rashi print – not b/c goyim didn’t know, but it saved ink.

Wednesday, January 1, 2020

Siyum Hashas, Nida 73a

תנא דבי אליהו כל השונה הלכות בכל יום מובטח לו שהוא בן העולם הבא שנאמר (חבקוק ג) הליכות עולם לו אל תקרי הליכות אלא הלכות:
What is so important of being "shoneh halachos" every day?  Learning Mishna Brura Yomis?  And why is the reward so great - assured of being a ben Olam haba? 

Now, Shoneh means recite Torah Shebal Peh - see Shabbos first perek ( & Tana D'Vei Eliyahu Perek 15) See end of my post here).  So I think the pshat is Shoneh Halachos means "study halachos l'Moshe Misinai"  because they are Torah Shebal Peh, and studying it every day shows a lot of dedication.  So if you are very dedicated to studying these Halachos LeMoshe Misinai, which are absolute Torah Shebal Peh, you are committing to Torah min Hashmayim and Mesorah, so the reward is Olam Haba, which is something that only exists because of the Mesorah - Olam Haba is not in Torah shebiksav.  That is why this is the reward. 

Thursday, December 26, 2019

Chanukah & Kiddushin 66b

    קידושין סו, ב 
ובן גרושה ובן חלוצה דעבודתו כשירה מנלן אמר רב יהודה אמר שמואל דאמר קרא (במדבר כה) והיתה לו ולזרעו אחריו בין זרע כשר ובין זרע פסול אבוה דשמואל אמר מהכא (דברים לג) ברך ה' חילו ופועל ידיו תרצה אפילו חולין שבו תרצה רבי ינאי אמר מהכא (דברים כו) ובאת אל הכהן אשר יהיה בימים ההם וכי תעלה על דעתך שאדם הולך אצל כהן שלא היה בימיו אלא זה כשר ונתחלל
In the new Sefer Hamitzvos of R' Saadiah Gaon

at the end of Perek Chof, when Hashem will give a victory to the descendants of Levi in their wars when they were attacked we will honor that time, as the pasuk says
בָּרֵךְ יְהוָה חֵילוֹ, וּפֹעַל יָדָיו תִּרְצֶה; מְחַץ מָתְנַיִם קָמָיו וּמְשַׂנְאָיו, מִן-יְקוּמוּן
and we do not find they fought except with the Yevanim.

The footnote quotes Rav Saadiah's commentary to Megillas Antiochus (Rav Kapach [or Kafih]  edition) that this pasuk  ברך ה' חילו is a prophesy about the victory of the Chashmonaim.  Rashi's second explanation on that Pasuk is like Rav Saadiah - it is a prophesy about the Chashmonaim's future victory.

Tuesday, December 24, 2019

More on Mothers in Tanach

see here for an interesting discussion on mothers in Tanach, and elaborates on a Ramban I quoted here

Ths is about when Tanach names the mother of a person.
(Recall the Mekallel isn't Ploni ben Shlomis, but
וַ֠יִּקֹּב בֶּן־הָֽאִשָּׁ֨ה הַיִּשְׂרְאֵלִ֤ית אֶת־הַשֵּׁם֙ וַיְקַלֵּ֔ל וַיָּבִ֥יאוּ אֹתֹ֖ו אֶל־מֹשֶׁ֑ה וְשֵׁ֥ם אִמֹּ֛ו שְׁלֹמִ֥ית בַּת־דִּבְרִ֖י לְמַטֵּה־דָֽן׃
in Vayikra 24:11

Wednesday, December 11, 2019

Testimony of Smell, not voice

The Bechor Shor on Toldos explains after Yiztchak said Hakol kol yaakov, vehayadayim yidei Eisav, he had two conflicting pieces of information: 1) voice is Yaakov 2) feels like Eisav.  So he asked Yaakov to come close to kiss him and smelled the begadim - because they were Eisavs' clothes, they smelled a bit like Eisav (or the fields that Eisav frequented), so Yitzchak was machriya that the person who brought him food was Eisav.

I am not aware of halachik discussions based on recognizing something as smell, but there may be sources out there.  Please comment if you have something.

Previous posts on testifying based on Voice (tevias ayin d'kol):
first, second, and third

Guide to Chodosh 2019-2020

Originally published by Rabbi Yoseph Herman, now by Mrs. Rosskamm.

Saturday, December 7, 2019

Surrogate Pregnancy - 2 Mothers

Parshas Vayeitzei discusses surrogate pregnancy - see this post. This week, the following story came out of England:
A same-sex couple has become the first in the world to carry the same baby in both their wombs as part of a landmark “shared motherhood” procedure. British couple Jasmine and Donna Francis-Smith welcomed their son, Otis, two months ago. The baby was born via in vivo natural fertilisation, which involves the eggs being incubated in the mother’s body, rather than externally, as is the case with in vitro fertilisation (IVF). The AneVivo procedure, which was pioneered by Swiss technology company Anecova and carried out at the London Women’s Clinic, involved the eggs of the biological mother being placed inside a miniature capsule and inserted into her womb, where they were incubated. After the incubation of the eggs, they were taken out of the first mother’s womb and placed into the womb of the gestational mother, who carried the baby to term.
So now two mothers carried this baby; like Tosfos (Kesuvos 4b s.v. ad) מכל מקום כמה דברים אשכחן דלא שכיח ומיירי בהן הש"ס לדרוש ולקבל שכר כדאמרינן בפרק המקשה (חולין ע.) בלעתו חולדה והוציאתו והכניסתו והקיאתו ויצא מאליו מהו הדביק שני רחמים ויצא מזה לזה מהו אף על פי שלא יבא לעולם where he quotes Chullin 70a where Rava asked if you connected two wombs and the [fetus] left the first and entered the second [which mother is the mother] we see technology is coming very close to that situation. (I think this news story where the egg was only in the first womb for 18 hours has minimal significance. Had it been for at least 40 days, then it would present more issues.) But this case is pushing the frontier to having multiple surrogates for the same fetus. Source here

Wednesday, March 28, 2018

The Prisoner's Hagaddah: Minimum and Maximum in Hagaddah

The Prisoner's Hagaddah: Minimum and Maximum in Hagaddah
See Shulchan Aruch Harav 473:53. He cites the Maharshal's "maase" (quoted in the Bach) of prisoner without access to a hagadda, but he had chumash and read on Leil Haseder the parshiyos on yetzias mitzrayim.
Just Masse. No instructional statement "if in that situation, do this workaround". My Har Nof uncle sees several possibilities. 1. Perhaps the standardized form of hagadda is so deeply rooted as The Way to do sippur, that the poskim can not say when you're in prison do it differently. They lacked the power to make such a statement (even if technically he may have been yotze with that). 2. The prisoner was in fact not yotze. Reading from the chumash without the droshos is not enough. But it was a nice thing to do like a person who only has half a kzayis matza, eating it without a brocho. 3. It is a psak. Calling something Maase is not diminuitive. The Maase of a man in the real word can be an even stronger form of psak than the instructions issued by the Rabbis in the beis medrish laboratory.
My reaction: 
Hagaddah Shleima and Sefer Hatodaah bring down opinions how old the Hagaddah is, some of the shitos seem farfetched. Some point out the Anshe Knesses Hagedolah made some of the text, and that does make sense. Re Rambam koseres, Rav Yoshe Ber said the text shelo bizman galus is different. One of the questions was on every night we eat meat cooked however, but tonight only roasted. Rambam holds there were 5 questions then; Gra holds we can only have 4 questions, so one of the current 4 was omitted.So there is not 1 correct text.
Rav Zevin brings a tshuvos hageonim that if you read the pesukim without the drashos Ghazal you are suspected of being a min. I think lashon harambam is vedoresh m'arami oveid avi. SO the drashos are part of the hagaddah, My feeling is that to only say torah shebiksav isn't a kiyum of hagaddah, there must be torah shebal peh also, and that's why we read the drashos and say things ourselves; that's why Rabi Akiva, Rabi Yehoshua, Rabi Elazar ben Azarya etc spoke, they were learnig Torah shebal peh (even some have girsa hilchos hapesach kol halayla - those halachos are from drashos).
So the prisoner did a good thing with what he had, but it wasn't complete.
If you think of the Hagaddah and don't verbalize it, are you yotzei? Can one do a pantomime Seder? No. Chinuch says so: Rambam 7:5 (Rabban Gamliel) You must say Pesach Matza and Maror; 7:3 if you are alone you have to ask the 4 questions to yourself. Thinking of the question isn't enough; you myst verbalize it. Why? One reason is Hagaddah is Torah Shebal Peh, so it must be verbalized. (Machlokes Gra/Beis Yosef on thinkning in learning, if it requires Birkas Hatorah.)
This TSBP isn't limited to being oral. Using props is mentioned: Rambam — for a she'eino yodeia lishol, point to maid and say we were slaves like her. Pantomime can be used to enhance the Hagaddah if someone will learn more from pantomime, but verbal sayings are also required. The mitzvah of Haggadah is V'higadta lebincha — not v'amarta lebincha. - Onkelos v'chavi (experience)? Otzar meforshei hagada - including maaseh (like Malbim v'higadti in Ki Savo - demonstrate). The Chinuch gives a different reason why we must verbalize the Hagaddah: Hearing those words will cause us to feel free and understand it, get it„ more. We thereby see that on Pesach night we must have a feeling of freedom. This is part of other mitzvos as well — like mourning or being happy on Yom Toy. Ray Ahron and Grid argued about it, though. Ray Ahron held the feeling was internal, and the actions are external manifestations fo the Inner feeling. The feelings gush out and cause the action. Grid hel the opposite; the actions are performed in order to cause a certain feeling in the heart. These two approaches are also offered with respect to Hagaddah. The Chinuch certainly holds like Grid, that the verbal Haggadah makes us feel free. However, I feel the Rambam holds that the feelings of freedom cause us to do certain actions. Rambam's Hagaddah in Avadim hayimnu says Maarich - because of your emotions you gush and are maarich. We must act free - drink 4 cups, recline. (See Griz if derech Cheirus - is it part of seder or separate.)
In the Gulag, Mendelevitz did lots of preparations for the seder — saving potatoes, making raisin wine, and saying as much of the Haggadah as he remembered. See Was he yotzei? As long as he verbalized it and mentioned Torah Shebal Peh. Yes. A prisoner in the punishment cell is able to — not everyone can, but some can — have the feeling of being free.
(And this answers why Moshe isn't in the Hagaddah — he isn't mentioned by name, but because it is TSBP everything includes Moshe because all TSBP came through Moshe.)
So the minimum is Pesukim, TSBP and feelings of freedom. The maximum is up to you. There is no maximum. (And see commentators why Rabbi Akiva and everyone spoke all night)

Saturday, March 10, 2018

Tzitz- related: Mtznefes of Kohen Gadol

There is much discussion if Mitznefes of Kohen Gadol and Migba'as of Kohen hedyot were the same, similar or different.

See Tosfos Eruvin 95b, Tosfors Sukkah 5a, Rishonim on Yoma 12 and 25, and Tos Yeshanim Yoma 86.  (BTW this is the mekor to smething I posted on long ago, that there is place for 2 Tefillin on th ehead, if it's next to each other or one in front of each other; most of these sources hold in front of each other.)  (Ritva Yoma 25 cites Shimusha Rabbah there is no minimum shiur for tefillin but most hold it is 2 fingers).

Rashi, Ibn Ezra and Ramban all say Mibaas has more Pe'er.  My first reaction to that si that Tefillin are called Pe'er and that's why an avel doesn't wear them the first day (whether that is yom misa ukevirah only or also yom kevura is a different discussion).  Both kohen gadol and hedyot needed to wear tefillin (pe'er) with their head-covering, so perhaps because the Kohen Gadol had tzitz and tefillin in the tefilin area, but the kohen hedyot only had tefillin, part of the migbaas was on the tefillin-area (which was empty on the head) so the migbaas part on that area is called pe'er.

from Torahmusings
Ramman on Vayakhel-Pikudei 
Verses 27-29 tell us about the garments common to Aharon (and all later High Priests) and the ordinary priests. Verse 27 speaks of kutanot, tunics, for Aharon and his sons; Ramban thinks those were exactly the same.
The next verse mentions the mitznefet, Aharon’s head covering, and the migba’ot, the ordinary priests’ head covering. Ramban thinks they were made the same way, but worn differently—as he said in 28;31, a comment we did not see at the time. The High Priest would wrap the material around and around his head, to create a sort of hat, one that has an opening in the middle. Other priests would take that same material but wrap it in such a way that it fully covered the head.
Then, in our third verse of this section, Ramban points out that Chazal in Yoma 12a debated whether the avnet, the belt, of the High Priest differed significantly (he does not elaborate further, but Rashi to Yoma 12a tells us that the issue was whether a regular kohen wore a belt of linen or of mixed materials; the High Priest wore one of mixed materials throughout the year, and of linen on Yom Kippur).

Sunday, February 4, 2018


Liebers changed suppliers, so there is an update to their yoshon statuses.  See below.

   Cert Liebers Yoshon by shasdaf on Scribd

Saturday, January 27, 2018

Beshalach - Takana to read Torah on Monday & Thursday

Bava Kama mentions from this week's parsha the Takana or Gzeirah to read Torah on Monday & Thursday (in addition to Shabbos) so we don't go 3 days without hearing Torah.  (Rav Yoshe Ber has a yahrzeit shiur about this in Shiurim L'zecher Abba Mari).

Rav Baruch Halevi Epstein, the Torah Temima in his other sefer, Tosefes Bracha, says this is a minimum, to not go 3 days without Torah, but you can increase it and read Torah more often.

This was surprising to hear, since in practice we've never seen this.

Maybe his logic isn't so good.  First of all,t his uncle the Netziv paskened you can't lain, even without a bracha, for a special ceremony in Baltimore when they were dedicating a new shul on a Sunday.  Meishiv Davar I 16.  According to Tosefes Bracha you can add to the number of times a week you lain.  Unless he's agree you'd have be consistent about it and not do a one time thing.

The Tosefes Bracha's logic isn't as good as it first seems.  From Netziv we see there are brachas that are not required.  Then, we have a mitzvah vehagisa bo yomam valayla (see Menachos 99b), so personally you can't go 1 day without Torah, so the public Kriyah is independent of this.  Thinking more about this, see my post about having to learn Torah every day, that form Rashi and Rambam in Moreh Nevuchim, as long as we have Torah once a week it is considered in our consciousness; therefore this takana/gzeira is a special gzeira to be stricter for public Torah reading (not 3 days without it) than other things (once a week is considered constant).  Since it's a special reason, there is no logic to say it is a minimum as Tosefes Bracha says.

(These are first impressions; I did not look at any of these sources in great detail)

Wednesday, December 27, 2017

In Memory: Rabbi Yaakov (Jack) Morgulis z"l, Drummettes

Rabbi Morgulis was from Detroit.  He served in the US Army in Panama.  He married his wife Nizria.  Her parents lived in the same building as the Chief Rabbi of Jerusalem, Hagaon Harav Zvi Pesach Frank zt"l.  While his wife and son stayed there, he traveled to Bnei Brak every week (by rickety bus on terrible roads) where he was in a group of 10 or 11 young men who learned with Rav Shach before he became Rosh Yeshiva of Ponovezh, but after the time described by Naphtali Lau-Lavie, older brother of former Chief Rabbi Yisrael Meir Lau Shlit"a when Rav Shach was at the Lomza Yeshiva in Petach Tikva.  Rabbi Morgulis returned to his family in Jerusalem for Shabbos.

In Chicago Rabbi Morgulis taught Torah.  That is what he loved to do.  He was a people-person, very friendly and welcoming.  While he taught at Arie Crown and Ida Crown, the most only things I heard about him as a teacher was from his students (and parents) from Skokie Valley Hebrew School, where he made tremendous impressions on the children and inspired many of them to observe Shabbos and Mitzvos, having many of them as guests in his home for Shabbos where his sons served as friends and role models for the students.  Several of his sons studied at Yeshivas Brisk of Chicago under Hagaon Harav Ahron Halevi Soloveichik zt"l.

He was fascinated with Targum.  One day he was so happy because the previous day he had an almost 2 hour block of time, so he went through eight pesukim in Daniel.  He recommended Nefesh Hager over Adler's Nesinah L'Ger.  I don't think he ever saw R. Pozen's  Parshegen which only came out within the last 5 years or so.   Once, very early in my studies of Tarhum, I found that vayikach has at least 3 different workds in Targum.  I (thought I) found the pattern of when Inkelos uses which word and told Rabbi Morgulis.  He laughed when I told him and I didn't get any other feedback.  I later realized that this is one of the most discussed words in all of Tarum Onkelos, and he knew the yam about it, and I tried to explain it all in 3 minutes.

Remarkably but not unexpectedly, none of this is his legacy.  He is most well known as the owner of Kosher Karry on Devon and Mozart in Chicago, which made the best Drumettes in the world, and to this day other stores in Chicago try to market their "Kosher-Karry-Style Drumettes" but all fall short.  Rabbi and Mrs. Morgulis retired in June 2001 and Kosher Karry closed.

I really got to know him after his retirement when he would learn in Rav Moshe Soloveichik Shlita's Gemara shiur.  His warmth, menschlichkeit and love of people were extraordinary.  He also had stories of many gedolim or VIPs whom he had encountered or heard specific stories from people close to them.  He was always full of support and lent us seforim (like on Targum).  He was our resource in Targum and Dikduk, though I think his wife was his resource on Didduk.

This brief tribute does not to justice to Rabbi Morgulis, who was a wonderful man.  An ish Chesed, who loved Torah and brought others close to Torah.  But I feel required to pass along my impressions of him so those who didn't know him, or only knew him as the guy who made the best drumettes,  so they know he was so much more than that.

May his wife, sons and entire mishpacha be consoled among the mourners of Jerusalem (which he and his wife loved so dearly, especially her being a Yerushalmis) and may the smile and shining face of Rabbi Morgulis inspire us to bring the love of Torah to many others.