Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Makos Mardus: 81a Malkin al lo tova hashmua

As Rambam says in Hil. Isurei Biah Ch. 12, there are issurei dirabanan in addition to issurei dioraissa for having sexual contact with a non-Jew. Our Gemara is one source, Malkin al lo tovah hashmua. Also, see Brachos 58a that Rav Sheila gave malkos to someone who was boel mitzris (or Aramis to girsa of Magid Mishna), and also see Taanis 24b, there was a certain man who was boel kusis and received malkos.

I would like to quote the Otzar Haposkim 5:12, os 75 about Malkos Dirabanan.

See Beer Heitev 12 - these makas mardos are 13 malkos, Maharai, Rashi end of Ki Tetzei. Magen Avraham O"C 496 writes frim Rambam it does not seem that way. See Rashi Chulin 141b who writes makas mardus has no set amount, until he accepts upon himself.

And Pri Chadash O"C 471 os 2 brings Rambam Hil. Chameitz Umatzah 6:12 that makas mardus is until his soul departs. Ran Kesuvis, beginning of Chapter 4 writes that it appears this way from the Aruch, and to them they are stricter than makos dioraissa [which are 39], and there is support from this fro taanis 24 that someone was baal kusis and Rav gave him malkos and he died. Teshuvos Rivash 90 writes that in no situation where one transgresses the words of the chachamim gets malkos until his soul departs, and he did not remember that the Rambam does hold this way. Ran brings in the name of Ramah that makas mardus is estimated [as to how many he can receive, just like makos dioraissa) and to be more lenient than makos dioraissa (and this is also Rivash's opinion) and his words appear [to be correct]. However, certainly for makas mardus for a continuing sin we lash him until his soul departs or he accepts the words of the chachamim, these are the words of the Ran. And this is Rashi's opinion at the end of Chulin: Makas mardus is hitting and reproach that he will not act like this regularly and there is no set amount [of lashes,] unless he accepts [the words of chachamim]. He implies that if he already transgressed, we hit him according to Beis Din's estimation and the severity of his sin. And Tosfos holds is like Rivash wrote in their name that even makas mardus have the same number of lashes as makos dioraissa but they're not as hard (see Tosfos Nazir 20b s.v. Ri) and there is support for this from Kiddushin 28 "one who calls his friend 'mamzer' gets 40 lashes." but Rashi Yevamos 52 where it says "but it says in a braissa he gets malkso" writes there are only 40 lashes for makos dioraissa, and he answers this isn't 40 lashes, rather it's makas mardus dirabanan, and the opinion of Rashi and Ran is the main opinion.

Gra C"M 27:12 on that which the Shulchan Aruch writes the judges wanted to lash him makas mardus the lash as many as they see fit, writes this is makas mardus to Rambam, as many as the judges see fit, and there in Yalkut he refers to Tosefta Makkos ch. 3 that for Malkos they evaluate him and makas mardus isn't like that, rather they lash him until he accepts it or his soul departs, and this is for something in the future, but for something already done it is like Rambam.

Api Zitri seif katan 19 after bringing the argument between Rambam and Ramah & Tosfos writes to this the opinion of Maharai in Beer Heitev is a daas yachid.

But Shiltei Giborim on Mordechai Bava Basra chapter Mi Shemeis os 1 writes that makas mardus is hitting & reproach, Rabbeinu Tam says this is 13 lashes which is a third of the makos in the Torah, for so did chachamim decree for one who transgresses on their words on a matter which cannot be fixed, but for something that can be fixed like Lulav on the second day they lash him until his soul departs. Tashbatz Volume 2 Siman 51 writes that Rashi in Yevamos perek gimmel (maybe he means perek r"g [Rabban Gamliel]) says that makas mardus are 13 lashes and no more, maybe Rashi Chulin...see Tashbatz. And see Sefer Amudei Eish to R' Yisrael Eisenstein, kunteros makal chavalim os gimmel who at length brings proofs that the amount of makas mardos is 40.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Yuchsin: Bechezkas Kashrus? (76a & 72b)

Shiur I heard from Harav Gedalia Dov Schwartz, Shlita. All inaccuracies should be attributed to me. As always, each case must be investigated by a capable posek.

Kiddushin 72b says: Amar R' Yehuda amar Shmuel [Rashi: The mishna that implies only Bavel is meyuchas] is the opinion of Rabi Meir, but the Chachamim say all lands hava a chazakah of Kashrus.

The mishna on 76a discusses checking four mothers. 1) Do you need the check for issurei kehuna? 2) Do you need to check when someone comes to a community and wants to marry a Jewish girl?

76b 3rd line says: Amar R' Yehuda amar Rav this [Rashi: the stam mishna that you must check the family] is the opinion of Rabi Meir but the Chachamim say all families are bechezkas kashrus.

Note this is talking about families, and on 72b is talking about countries.

Ran Kiddushin 31b s.v. Vgarsinan (it's above garsinan) Amar R' Yehuda amar Rav this is the opinion of Rabi Meir but the Chachamim say all families are bechezkas kashrus.m said R' Chama in the name of Rav if there was irur you must checkafter her - even according to Chachamim. Rashi explained Irur that tw witnesses mentioned an impurity but they did notgive actual testimony, just rumor (yetzias kol) and Rambam (IB 19) this is when two testify that one of the psulei kahal or psulei kehuna married into the family . And it's possible when we need krias irur only when there is a suspicion of mamzerus because Yisrael recognizes mamzeirim among them but for chalal you must check even without irur, and thus paskened Rambam. Others say to Chachamim, like whom we pasken, even for chalal we don't have to check unless theire is irur.

Tur Even Haezer 2 (p. 4b 3rd line) says to Rashi & Ramah you must check someone if they don't have chezkas kashrus. Tur feels you don't need to because all families are ksheirim, and Rabbeinu Tam says you only have to check for Kohein.

Beis Yosef (5a s.v. umah shehichria rabbeinu) - he argues on Tur and says for chalalus you must check even without irur.

Shulchan Aruch 2:2 Kol hamishpachos bechezkas kashrus. Beis Shmuel 3 at end says ..therefore we should be machmir that someone who is not known to us we must suspect he's a mamzer.... Achronim bring from Tosfos Yevamos 47a s.v. Bemuchzak, that when someone comes and says "I'm Jewish" we believe him...that rov who come before us "betoras yahadus, yisraelim heim." But does it hold true when it flies in the face of facts? To show how concerned in Europe they were of mi sheba, a stranger, see Beer Heitev 4: "The Beis Hillel (acharon, not the tana) says one who came from another land wheter it's a man or woman, a young man or young woman, a widow or widower, needs a proof that he is Yisrael. Even if he acts like "das yisrael" and speaks our language and knows the "tuv hayehudim" still needs a proof; this is the takana of Medinos Lita that one may not be mesader kiddushin unless there is a proof he is Jewish and from which family." This is talking about one person who coes alone, not with a family. The Mahrit, who was a Sfardi from Kushta (Constantinople), also says this. Pischei Teshuva 3 brings Shaarei Hamelech who strongly disagrees on the Maharit and says the mechaber holds one who comes from another land is believed because mishpachos have chezkas kashrus, and not like the Beis Shmuel says.

According to Rabbeinu Tam above, who seems to be a big meikil, the Otzar Haposkim (p. 90) brings Kiryas Chana David that we only believe him (and let him marry a woman from our community) only if he is acting kedas Moshe veYisrael, but if not we certainly suspect him.

Aruch Hashulchan 2:12 mentions other rishonim who are more lenient than the Ramah: Ramban, Ra'ah, Ritva in Shita Mekubetzes Kesuvos.

Regarding Russian immigrants who relatively recently arrived, Rav Shlomo Kluger in Haelef L'cha Shlomo relies on shitos that kol aratzos bechezkas kashrus. I sat on a Beis Din with other rabbonim asking Russian imigrants about their grandparents, who spoke yiddish, there was one woman whose maternal grandmother had an oven to bake the matzos for her neighborhood.

Response to a question: A mesader kiddushin must know the people. Brod Rov (R' Kluger) relied on a notarized affadavit because if you falsify it, you're perjuring. Because with a thorough investigation it is milsa d'avida ligluyei like Yevamos 39 - not only what he says, but it will come out in an investigation.


One of the ten categories of yuchsin is Nesinim. They were the Givonim (one of the 7 nations) who converted. While they are forbidden to enter the kahal, is it an issur dioraissa or an issur dirabanan?

Our girsa in the Mishna, Makkos 13a says there is malkos for marrying a mamzeres and nesina. Rashi (Makkos, and Sanhedrin 51a) says the lav for marrying a nasina is "lo tischaten bam." This implies that nesina is assur dioraissa. Ramban says this in Makkos and it is Ritva's first explanation.

Yevamos 88 says that Yehoshua and David Hamelech made gezeiros against the nesinim. If they were already asur because of lo tischaten, why were gezeiros needed? See a few paragraphs below.

Rambam (Hil. Isurei Biah 12: 22-24) says that if one of the 7 nations converted they are mutar lavo bekahal immediately (unlike mitzrim who must wait 3 doros), and Nesinim converted but Yehoshua decreed against them that they were asur lavo bekahal during the time of the Beis Hamikdash, and David decreed they were asur even after the Beis Hamikdash because they were cruel people. Thus, Rambam holds they are only asur midirabanan, and his text in the mishna in Makkos either does not have the word nasin in it at all, as the Ritva in Makkos says in his second explanation, or the Mishna says it "agav grara," just mentioned by the way once mamzer was mentioned, as Maggid Mishna (Issurei Biah 12:22) says (and Ramban in Makkos rejects).

To the opinions that Nesinim are asur midioraissa, why were gzeiros needed? To make them like avadim so they'd be asur lavo bekahal midirabanan.

From Ramban Yevamos 88b: A further question is that the mishna in Kesuvos (29a) says one does pay knas (50 silver pieces) for raping a naarah besulah, if he rapes a nesinah, but one does not pay knas for one who converted or was freed above the age of three years and one day. If they are like shifchos, why do they have knas? Ramban Yevamos brings Rabbeinu Tam that they were like avadim, but if one is raped they get knas because they are not avadim whose bodies are owned by a master.

Rabbeinu Avraham ben David reject this for certain reasons and explains that the Nesinim who originally converted did not have a good conversion. So Yehushua and David decreed that we may not accept converts even from later generations.

Ramban's third explanation is that only the first generation of givonim were asur (because of lo tischaten) and Moshe decreed on the first generation they should be like avadim so the Bnei Yisrael would look down on them for being avadim and not mingle (and marry) their descendants, and Yehushua and David decreed they are asurim forever.

Some other things are discussed on this topic, if you're interested see Ramban Yevamos 88b and Shita Mekubetzes Kesuvos 29a inside.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Yanai Hamelech (Daf 66)

Yanai was one of the Chashmonai kings (Rashi and Tosfos here state that). The Gemara tells us how an especially evil man (ish letz, lev ra, ubliyaal) Elazar ben Po'ira convinced Yanai that the Prushim were not fond of Yanai and that led to Yanai killing many, many chachamim. What was the action which Elazar used to show Yanai that the Prushim opposed him? To wear the Tzitz at the same time as the royal crown.

The Maharsha gives a beautiful hashkafic explanation to the problem of Yanai wearing the Tzitz and Keser Malchus. He interprets the Mishna in Avos "There are 3 crowns, the crown of Torah, the crown of kehuna and the crown of malchus, and the crown of good name is on them" as literally referring to Tefillin, the Tzitz and the royal crown, and all have the name of Hashem (keser shem tov) on them. The Gemara says there is room on the head for two tefillin shel rosh at one time (there is a dispute if it means side by side or in front and in back. I know a Persian man who wears 2 battim shel rosh at the same time, with one in front and one in back, and he keeps the second bayis & its retzuos covered in a very large kippah cap, almost like the old chazzanim used to wear). The Maharsha explained that when Yanai wore the royal crown and the Tzitz, he necessarily had to remove his Tefillin, because there was no room for them on his head. This was the complaint - isn't it enough to be melech because you already have to wear tefillin and to be Kohen gadol you also need to wear the tzitz, but there's not enough room for all of them.

With this Maharsha we can give another answer to Tosfos in Avodah Zarah 34a. The Gemara asks what did Moshe wear during the seven inaugural days of the mishkan, during which Moshe served as Kohen Gadol? A white garment. Why didn't Moshe wear the regular bigdei kohen gadol? Tosfos (s.v. Bameh) brings two answers: First, there was no law of bigdei kehuna yet, since the pasuk says "and you shall make holy garments for Aharon and his sons" - they were for Aharon and his sons, and not for anyone else. Second, R. Yaakov of Orleans answered that during the seven inaugural days the Mishkan had the status of a bamah (a large communal altar) but did not have the status of mikdash, and bigdei kehuna may not be worn at a bamah. With the Maharsha we may give a third answer (though it's a very hashkafic answer to a very halachik question): Moshe had the status of melech (Zecachim 102 and Rambam Hil. Beis Habechira 6:1, I'm looking at Griz on Vayeilech). He had to wear tefillin. And if he wore bigdei kehuna gedolah, he would have to wear the tzitz also, but there wasn't room for it. So he couldn't wear the bigdei kehuna.

Why does the Maharsha say this was a problem by Yanai, but other Chashmonai kings were also kohanim gedolim? Perhaps they always took off the Tzitz immediately after the avodah, which Yanai did not do (see Rabbeinu Tam in Tosfos s.v. Hakeim).
Side lesson - we see that just because something is mutar (i.e., to wear the tzitz shelo b'shaas avodah), it doesn't mean you have to do it. If Yanai would have taken off the tzitz, this episode would not have happened. To leave off with a question, is the statement of Yehuda ben Gididya similar to Rabi Zecharia ben Avkulas who, according to Rabi Yochanan in Gittin 56a, caused the Beis Hamikdash to be destroyed in the Kamtza & Bar Kamtza incident (as we see in Bava Basra 4a when Hordus realized the chachamim were good people after he killed so many of them, Bava Ben Buta said you killed "ohr - the chachamim" so fix "ohr - the Beis Hamikdash") in that Yehuda ben Gidiyah's statement caused many chachamim to be killed)?

Daf 70b Kol deamar Midibeis Chashmonaim Kaasina Avda Hu

Chashmonaim and their Descendants

Rambam writes (Hil. Chanukah 3:1) that the bnei Chashmonaim hakohanim defeated the yevanim and killed them and saved Yisrael from their hands and they established a king from the kohanim and the monarchy returned to Yisrael for over 200 years until the second [Temple's] destruction. From this formulation, Rav Yoshe Ber Soloveitchik explained (see Harerei Kedem) that the Rambam held the Chashmonaim acted properly in assuming the throne. However, the Ramban, on thepasuk Lo Yasur Shevet miyehuda (Breishis 49:10) says only shevet Yehuda could be king and the Chashmonaim were punished in assuming the throne and as a punishment they were killed out to the degree that our Gemara says Kol deamar midibeis Chashmonaim Kaasina Avda Hu.

The Chashmonaim line began with Yochanan the Kohen Gadol (abbreviated KG) who was succeeded by his son
Yehudah Maccabee who was KG and king who was succeeded by his brother
Yochanan KG, followed by his brother
Shimon king and KG, followed by
Yochanan Horkynus, king & KG who became a tzeduki after 80 years as KG (see Rashi, Avos 2:4). Followed by
Aristobulus. His wife was Shlomit, sister of Shimon ben Shattach (who was either Nasi or Av Beis din - see Rishonim on Makos 5b)
Side point: why does R. Chaim Kanievsky not hold of the name Shlomit (or Shira) to the degree he makes them take a new name? Why isn't it a good name? What will chas veshalom happen is if a woman whose given name was Shlomit and she received a get from her husband and her name on the get was not Shlomit, the get is pasul and if she remarries her children will be mamzeirim! That's much worse than someone having the name Shlomit, isn't it? Aristobulus died without children, and was succeeded by his brother
Yanai, king and KG. Before he became KG, he married Shlomit according to the laws of Yibum, which was muttar for him to do since he wasn't KG yet. Yannai had two sons, Horkynus and Aristobulus.
Shlomit succeeded Yanai as queen with Horkynus as KG. After Shlomit died, Aristobulus became king. He later took over as KG from his brother. Horkynus deposed Aristobulus after he was convinced by Anitpater that Aristobulus planned to kill Horkynus.

During Yanai's reign, Yanai captured Eretz Edom and many of those people converted to be avadim. Antipater was one of these people. An eved. His children included Herod (Hordus), Paziel, and daughters Salome and Shlomit.

Shmuel said Kol deamar idibeis Chashmonaim Kaasinam Avda Hu because in Bava Basra 3b the last of the Chashmonaim who was married (probably against her will) to Herod, killed herself. Jospehus identifies her as Miriam, daughter of Alexander & Alexandra, and Alexander was the son of Aristobulus, the son of Yanai.

Herod and Miriam had two sons, Alexander and Aristobulus, and two daughters, Salampsia and Cyprus.
(I'm switching to bullet and number lists to keep things less confusing. Bullet lists are for siblings (same generation) and a new number indicates another generation.)

1. Children of Herod & Miriam (Herod married his children to his siblings' children)
  • Alexander
  • Salampsia, married to Paziel, son of Paziel, brother of Herod
  • Cyprus, married to Antipater, son of Salome, sister of Herod
  • Aristobulus, married to Bernica, daughter of Shlomit, sister of Herod
2. Grandchildren of Herod & Miriam
  • Alexander - no one important to us
  • Salampsia & Paziel had 5 children: sons Antipater, Herod, Alexander and daughters Alexandra and Cyprus
  • Cyprus & Antipater - no one important to us
  • Aristobulus & Bernica had a son Aggripas I.
3. Aggripas I married his first cousin Cyprus, daughter of Salampsia & Paziel and had a son Aggripas II.

Here ends our history lesson.

Now Aggripas is important because Sotah 41 says Aggripas stood during Hakhel and he was praised by the chachamim, but when he read the pasuk "lo suchal lases alecha ish nachri" his eyes filled with tears and people (it's not clear if they were the chachamim or not) told him don't fear, Aggripas, you are our brother, for which statement, the Gemara tells us, the Jews were punished. Which Aggripas was this? If it was Aggripas I, his mother was Bernica, daughter of Herod's sister Shlomit, whose father was an eved. If it was Aggripas II, his mother was Cyprus bas Salampsia bas Miriam, the last of the Chashmonaim, so he was descended from Jewish mothers.

Rashi says this Aggripas was Aggripas II "in whose time the Mikdash was destroyed." (Tosfos in Sotah therefore explains Achinu ata that his mother was Jewish but because his father was not he shouldn't have been king.) Tosfos Yevamos 45b s.v. Keivan must hold it was Aggripas I because Tosfos says he really was an eved and he wasn't really achinu atah, he was only achinu in the sense that eved is obligated in some mitzvos.

As I heard from my Rebbi zt"l which he looked up in Josephus (obviously the last part about which Agrippas wasn't in Josephus!)

Chanukah: Chachma Yevanis

A Post for Chanukah, not about Kiddushin.

Chazal tell us that it is prohibited to learn chachma yevanis. The only question is, what is this chachma yevanis which is asur? It is unlikely that this means Greek philospohy, for the Rambam quotyes Aristotle extensively in Moreh Nevuchim. It is most likely (see R. Yehudah (Leo) Levi, Torah Study: A Survey of Classic Sources on Timely Issues (Jerusalem: Feldheim Publishers, 1990), pp. 263-4) a code, a mathematical code such as those used in crypotography in computers (and espionage). When I took number theory in college, we skipped that chapter, but it is interesting and results from the Greek mathemeticians study into number theory.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

The Prohibition of Intermarriage (Daf 68b), with Chanukah & Parsha Message

Some basic sources of "Lo Tischaten":
  • Chinuch 427
  • Rambam Sefer Hamitzvos Negative 52, Yad Issurei Biah Chapter 12
  • Avoda Zarah 36b, Yevamos 76a, Sanhedrin 82a, Kiddushin 68b
  • A good discussion on this topic may be found in Rabbi Dr. J. David Bleich's Contemporary Halakhic Problems, Volume II Chapter XIII.
The Rambam & Tur argue how we pasken the Gemara Avodah Zarah. Rambam paskens that "Lo Tischaten" prohibits one to marry a non Jew of any nation. Tur argues that "Lo Tischaten" only prohibits marriage to a member of the 7 nations who converted to Judaism. (Sancheirev mixed up all of the nationalities with massive population redistributions so the halacha is no members of any of the ancient nationalities exist anymore.)

See Sanhedrin 81b regarding "Kanaim Pogim Bo." Rambam in Hil. Issurei Biah (ibid) and in Perush Hamishna Sanhedrin Chapter 9 says if one was not nifga during the act, he gets Kares. This would be for the act itself, even without a marriage. I saw Kehati, Mishna Megilla 4:9, brings Rashi, that to imply boel aramis is chayav kareis is a non-Halachik thought. (My words in the Kehati; I did not see this Rashi inside.) UPDATE 4/14/10: Rashi, Megilla 25a s.v. ha'omer says if you translate the psuk of mizaracha lo sitein le'haavir lamolech as "don't have relations with a non-Jewish woman, becuase that child will serve avodah zarah" is changing the meaning of the pasuk, and giving kares to a ba al hakusis etc. We see Rashi holds haba al hakusis does not get kareis, not like the Rambam. However, Maharsha ibid. brings the Aruch who says the reverse of Rashi: the pshat of that pasuk is that haba al hakusis does get kareis, and if you say th epasuk deals with bringing your child as a human sacrifice, that is perverting the Torah. Furthermore, Targum Yonasan on Vayikra 18:21 explains the pasuk like the Aruch. The Aruch and Targum Yonasan, then, argue on Rashi and agree with Rambam. And, if you look at the context of the psukim, the Aruch & Targum Yonasan make more sense because all the psukim before it and after it discuss sexual sins. According to their explanation, this pasuk also deals with a sexual sin. However, according to Rashi, this pasuk deals with avodah zarah, and seems out of place.

There are definitely Rabbinic prohibitions against any sexual contact with a non-Jew, even outside wedlock. Gemara in Kiddushin 81 (lo tovah hashmu'a), Brachos 58a & Taanis 24b discuss that malkus dirabanan were administered for it.

Explanation of Lo Tischaten from an unexpected viewpoint:
Radak Melachim I 11:2 - "As it says 'v'Lo tischaten bam, do not give your daughter to his son and do not take his daughter for your son' even though this was said for the seven nations, it also applies to the other nations but because they were coming to their [the seven nation's] land, the pasuk warned against them. But if you will turn them to the Jewish religion it would not be prohibited if they converted sincerely and not because of fearor love. This matter is a dispute in the words of our sages as we wrote earlier (3:1)."

Radak Melachim I 3:1 "..."[A]nd that which is written 'lo tischaten bam' some of our sages say that only refers to them while they are gentiles but if they convert they are permitted. And some say while they are gentiles there is no marriage (chittun) and marriage is not relevant. And similarly it is written 'lo tischaten bam' because they were converts (megayri - I don't understand his tense) and Shlomo converted the daughter of Paroh. And to the one that they did not accept converts in the days of David and Shlomo because of the excessive love he had for her the pasuk calls it as if it was marriage..."

To be continued - esp. Tosfos about Ki Yasir (Kiddushin 68).

UPDATE: I've come across old notes which give the following revelation: Rav Aharon Soloveichik said that the Be'er Hagolah quotes R' Shaul Murtira, the Av Beis Din of Amsterdam (who put Spinoza in Cherem) that the Rabanan in Avodah Zarah 36 who argue on Rabi Shimon Bar Yochai and say that Lo Tischaten applies to members of the Seven Nations who converted (like the Tur paskens) - that's only to say that there is no punishment of Malkos for marrying a non-Jew who is not a member of the 7 nations, but such a marriage is asur midioraissa even according to the chachamim. I believe Rav Aharon is making reference to Siman 16 Be'er Hagolah 4, but it is not so explicit.

Connection to Parsha: In Vayishlach, Shechem raped Dinah and wanted to marry her. It is clear from the pesukim that her brothers would no let this happen because "nevalah asah biyisrael..." (To Brisker Rav it may only have been dirabanan based on Avodah Zarah 36.) In Vayeishev there is a discussion if the shevatim really married Canaanites as the simple reading of the pasuk implies by Yehudah. Ramban says it is inconceivable that they married Canaanites, so he translates Cannanite here as a merchant. (On a divergent note, I believe that the Brisker Rav says Yitzchak commanded Yaakov to not marry a Cannanite but did not similarly instruct Esav because Yaakov received Birkas Avraham. None of the shevatim received birkas Avraham, so maybe they were not prohibited from marrying Canaanite women. [The status of the Avos before Matan Torah is very interesting and there is ample Halachik literature on this topic but it is not relevant here.])

Message for Chanukah: Unlike Purim where Haman wished to kill all Jews, the Yevanim on Chanukah had a different goal - destroy the Jewish people spiritually, as they wanted us to offer pigs as korbanos, and to end the observances of tahars hamishpacha and Shabbos. They wanted to change the religion just a little bit, but the result of such a change is no longer Judaism. Much more recently, reshaim declared that their branches of religion accept "patrilineal descent." While its implications on Torah-true Judaism would seem to be minimal, when we recall the "Baal Teshuvah movement" in our time, people who identify as Jews because their father is Jewish, or even if their mother had a non-Halachik conversion, may very well enter our communities. After this, well-intentioned people try to find a husband or wife to this person. How could they do this when they don't know the family? It is a grave sin to marry a non-Jew, even if the person was thought to be Jewish. We will discuss this on daf 76 in great detail; in fact, this is my sole motivation for this blog. Those people who try to marry off these people without checking into their background, or those who ignore the background (yes, there are people like that) are little different from the Yevanim who tried to destroy our religion. About them the words of the Ri in Tosfos (Kiddushin 71a) apply: geirim are disturbing to the Jewish people like a rash (sapachas) - because they are not meyuchas, and the shechina only dwells on meyuchas families. There is no problem of marrying a ger, but it is a problem on many levels when "frum rabbis" try to arrange matches where one side is not halachikly Jewish.

Friday, December 19, 2008

He'aros on Daf 70-72a

  1. Maalin metrumah leyuchsin - I hope to discuss this when we reach Daf 76 about the 4 mothers. (Update: here.)

  2. Mishpacha shenitm'ah nitm'ah. As Rambam brings in the end of Hil. Melachim, Bnei Yisrael will be sorted into shevatim, but if a mamzer was incorporated into a family, he will remain there and Mishpacha shenitm'ah nitm'ah. The gemara does not say this, but see Rashi in Tehillim 87:6 : "In the future, when G-d will judge the nations, He will count the Jews who were swallowed up among them and those coerced among them and He will remove them [the Jews] from them [the non-Jews] and He will say 'this was born from those of Zion' and He will choose them for Himself. And this is what Yeshaia says (66)...and where is this said? 'The Hidden ones are [known] to G-d' (Devarim 29)." (Assist to my father who saw this in note in Stone Chumash.)

  3. 71a The 4 letter Name. See Griz (Brisker Rav) on Parshas Shemos: See Rashi that we learn of 2 names, the written name and the pronounced name. The written name is part of Torah Shebichsav, and the pronounced name is part of Torah Shebal Peh which is transmitted from generation to generation. That is why the pasuk says "My Name" which is the written name "forever" and by "my rememberance" which is the pronounced name, says "from generation to generation," which is transmitted that way like Torah Shebal Peh. We can also explain this based on Psachim 50, what does the pasuk mean when it says "on that day G-d will be One and His name One," that leolam haba the pronounced name will be the same as the written name. That's why by "My name" which is the written name, it says "forever," - even leolam haba it will be [the written name], but by "my rememberance" which is the pronounced name, it says "from generation to generation,"- only in olam hazeh it will be pronbounced this way but it will not be pronounced this way in Olam Haba.

    And see Gr"a in Kol Eliyahu on Naso by Birkas Kohanim - Sifri says the Kohanim bless [the people] in the Mikdash as it says "vesamu es shmi." How do we know they bless outside the mikdash? "Bechol makom asher azkir es shmi..." And it is perplexing. We can explain that it is known that in the Mikdash they would pronounce the Name as it is written and that is called "My Name," but outside the Mikdash we only use the kinuy (roughly translated as nickname) and that's only a zeicher to the Name, and that's the pasuk in Shemos "Ze zichri liolam" (see Griz above). This is the explanation of the Sifri: "vesamu es shmi" is only in the mikdash, where the name is pronounced as it is written, and outside the mikdas from "Bechol makom asher azkir es shmi..." azkir is only a zikaron to the name, not the real name.

    There is a famous Rogatchover on the pasuk at the end of Beshalach - Ki yad al kes kah, the midrash says "My Name is not complete nor is my Throne complete while Amalek survives" (kes instead of kiseh, and Kah instead of regular shem Hashem) - it's a little similar to the Brisjer Rav's second explanation ,that the name will be different leasid lavo.

  4. 71b. Zeiri carried Rabi Yochanan over the water, and Rabi Yochanan tried to marry off his daughter to Zeiri. This is interesting - see Bava Metzia 84a how Rabi Yochanan and Reish Lakish jumped over a river and Rabi Yochanan got Reish Lakish to return to the Torah and he would let Reish Lakish marry his sister, and then Rabi Yochanan had to carry Reish Lakish back over the water. It's strange how both stories with Rabi Yochanan, and the marriage of his sister & daughter involve someone being carried over water. Maybe it is symbolic and not merely literal.

    The wives of our patriarchs Yitzchak and Yaakov, Rivka and Rachel, were found by the local well. I explained this significance based on the distinction between a mikva, a pool of 40 saah of water, and a maayan, a natural spring which also grants tahara, but does not require a minimum amount of water. Why not? A maayan is connected to all of the waters of the earth - much more than 40 saah - through underground channels. A mikva is a self-supporting pool, so it needs a minimum shiur. Somehow, I think the wells here represent a maayan and show that there was a connection between Yitzchak and Rivka, and between Yaakov and Rachel. (I'm not sure if wells back then were dug and they collected rain, or they were like artesian wells or holes that hit an underground spring. I think it was the latter, because during the dispute with Avimelech, Yitzchak's servants told him "we found water." So it must be they dug looking for a spring.)

  5. 72a What do Talmidei Chachamim look like? Malachei Hashareis. See Chagiga 15b explain the pasuk in Malachi "ki malach Hashem Tzevakos hu." It seems a rebbi must have a purity of spirit and purity of action like a malach, who fulfills G-d's will without question.

  6. Up Next: Next week (Happy Chanukah!) I hope to discuss the end of the Chashmonaim and Hordus (Herod), which will include the Gemara "Kol de'amar mibeis Chashmonaim ana, avda hu." I will discuss the story of Yanai (daf 66a) as explained by Maharsha in great detail and bring applications of Maharsha's explanation to other Halachik topics.

    I hope to also post about freeing a slave "hameshachreir avdo over ba'asei."

    Maybe from Yanai I will discuss Srarah (for Yanai and Aggripas- Sotah end of Ch. 7). Stay tuned.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

He'aros on Daf 69

  1. How does the Gemara learn E"Y is higher than other lands? Yirmiya 23. But Rashi Devarim 1:25 seems to use that pasuk as a source that E"Y is higher (he says melamed, not mikan. Does that matter?). Why does Rashi bring a different pasuk?

    Similarly, Sanhedrin 42b leans that the beis haskila was outside beis din from the mekallel - Vayikra 24. But Rashi on Bamidbar 15:36 learns it from the mekoshesh.

    This also seems to be the remark of Rabi Akiva Eiger Kiddushin 41b that Rashi Vayikra 24:14 brings that pasuk as the source of shliach shel adam kemoso, but the Gemara Kiddushin 41b brings a different pasuk.

    Anyone have any ideas or more examples where Rashi on Chumash brings a pasuk other than the pasuk the Gemara brings?

  2. 69b Rashi s.v. Mesayei'a. It seems that when Ezra returned to E"Y, no gedolim remained in Bavel. Things did not remain that way, the leadership shifted to the talmidei chachamim in Bavel, and shas has many examples where students left E"Y to learn from the gedolim in Bavel (and see Rashi below 71a s.v. kotzim). In regard to proclaiming a leap year, it had to be done in E"Y unless the leaders in Bavel were much later, I think a gemara in Brachos says that when someone proclaimed a leap year in Bavel he was told "the cubs are now lions" that the talmidim in E"Y have developed into outstanding gedolim and they were qualified to rule on making a leap year.

    Does anyone know historically what caused these shifts?

  3. Rashi s.v. Ad Amod. No Urim V'Tumim in Second Mikdash. See Chidushei Hagram Vehagrid p 15, Rambam Beis Habechira 4:1. Rambam says there was no UvT , nor did they ask the Uvt. So why does the Rambam list they didn't ask - they wouldn't have received an answer anyway? Gram & Grid (The Rav) answered it was a din that they were not allowed to ask. I heard another answer from the Rav's nephew Rav Moshe Soloveichik. See Rambam Klei Hamikdash 10:11 how they Kohen would ask UvT. Rambam says "ruach hakodesh would envelop the kohein and he'd look at the choshen and see with maros hanevua..." Part of asking UvT was that the kohen would get some ruach hakodesh. So Rav Moshe explained that in Bayis Sheni even though we couldn't get UvT to answer us, maybe we would ask anyway, to get this ruach hakodesh. So the Rambam has to tell us you were not allowed to ask the UvT either.

  4. Rashi s.v. Bitrumah dioraissa - dagan tirosh & yitzhar - grain, vine and olive press. See Rambam Terumos 2:1 who says even fruit is obligated in Trumah dioraissa. See Kesef Mishna. Meiri Chulin 6 s.v. Maaser Yerek explains that the rishonim who argue on the rambam hold those drashos are asmachta.

    Side point - end of Kesef Mishna - Ravad argues on Rambam but there is no hasagah. Rabbi Dr. Haym Soloveitchik in "Rabad of Posquieres: A programmatic essay" lists some examples where we know Ravad argues on Rambam (like the cycles of zavah and nidda) but does not write a hasagah, because the Ravad was not primarily a bal hasagos. This can be another example.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Akum Sheba al Bas Yisrael

Akum Sheba al Bas Yisrael havlad kasher. (Kid. 71b , Yevamos 23a & 45a). Most rishonim say the child is a full Jew. However, Rashi in Kiddushin and Tosfos Bechoros 47 hold the kid is kosher in that he isn't a mamzer, but he is is asur lavo bekahal until he undergoes geirus. See this article from Rav Aharon Soloveichik in Hapardes 23 (1949), where explains this shita. Begins here at bottom, continues, 2, 3, and 4.
Also see Rabi Akiva Eiger on Shulchan Aruch Y.D. 266, Se'if 12 who mentions that to this shita you would not do a bris on this kid on shabbos, presumably since he's not Jewish (but according to Rav Aharon he is Jewish, he just is asur lavo bekahal so you would do the bris on shabbos).


Dear All,

Welcome to my blog. With Daf Yomi nearing the end of Kiddushin and learning Perek Asarah Yuchsin, there are topics I would like to discuss. Sometimes I may end a post with an open question (such as history or dikduk) and through the audience's erudition, we will all learn. YOU SHOULD NOT ACCEPT ANYTHING I WRITE AS PSAK HALACHA for a specific case. Please don't speculate as to my identity. I know it's hard to keep anonymity (like Gil "Simcha" Student), but let me try. I may also post other Torah topics unrelated to Kiddushin. Please comment, you'll see a focus on lomdus on my blog. Thanks!