Friday, June 26, 2009

81a Tosfos s.v. Sakva - BeHaB

81a Tosfos s.v. Sakva. Tosfos says because of Avin or Abaye's statement here (depends on the girsa), we have a custom to fast on a Monday, Thursday and Monday (hence BeHaB - yom bet, yom heh and yom bet) after Pesach and Sukkos - for atonement for the mingling of the sexes during yom tov. This is also brought by Rosh (Taanis Perek 1 Siman 20) but for a slightly different reason: perhaps with all of the feating we sinned, as we find Iyov brought sacrifices after his feasts because maybe his children sinned (Iyov 1:5). Sefardim do not have a custom of Behab.

Rambam (Yom Tov 6:21) says that Beis Din must set up guards to keep a lookout in all places where men and women may congregate to make sure people don't gather there and come to do aveiros. Maggid Mishna says our Gemara is the source for the din of the Rambam. It could be that the Rambam learned this gemara as an a priori law - this is likely to happen, so prevent it. The Tosfos and Rosh may have understood it as a post-facto statement - because these things happen, they promoted making fasts as forgiveness.

It is interesting that the Tur mentions the fast of Behab in O"C 492, and the Rambam's law in O"C 529, with the laws of celebrating Yom Tov. That would indicate that the Tur felt that Behab and the Rambam's law are different. Aruch Hashulchan mentions our Gemara in both places, but adds in 529 that Beis Din only has the responsibility of appointing guards in the time of the Beis Hamikdash. (Mishna Brura ignores our Gemara and only mentions the reason of the Rosh.)

Why does the Aruch Hashulchan limit it to beis din bizman habayis? I have two possibilities. The first is that he understood the Rambam as dealing with a real beis din appointing guards, and we no longer have real batei din. For example, see Rosh Hashana 29b that Rabi Yochanan ben Zakai decreed that if Rosh Hashana fell on Shabbos, we only blow shofar where there is a beis din - it is a beis din of semuchim, etc. (see Rambam Shofar 2:8-9. [That Rambam is a proof to what Chiddushei Hagram says in Hilchos Kiddush Hachodesh about Beis Din Hagadol after they left the Lishkas Hagazis.] The Rif argues with Rambam's formulation; he had them blow shofar in his place because he paskened he had a beis din kvu'a. See Tur 588 from Rosh, Rosh Hashana 4:1.) So maybe Aruch Hashulchan understood the Rambam's use of the term Beis Din here in Hil. Yom Tov like they are used in Hil. Shofar. The second possibility is that the Aruch Hashulchan understood Tosfos and the Rambam as dealing with gatherings for the regel when people made aliya leregel to Yerushalayim. Careful readings of Tosfos and Rambam yield no allusion to aliya leregel, but maybe that's how Aruch Hashulchan understood the halacha.

For more details about Behab, when we keep them (not until the month after yom tov) and why that is so, see Encyclopedia Talmudis volume 2 under "Behab."

Monday, June 15, 2009

69a Daughter of a Jewish woman and a non-Jewish man or Eved to marry a Kohen

Yevamos 45a says vehilchisa goy v'eved haba al bas yisrael havlad kasher - that it is not a mamzer. But is this child completely kosher, or if it is a girl, is she unfit to marry a kohen?
There are three main opinions on this matter. Many rishonim pasken she may not marry a kohen. This gemara which says havlad kasher means she is not a mamzeres, but she is not completely kosher either, as Ravina says on daf 23a. For example, see Rosh, Yevamos 4:30.

Rif 15a holds the matter is a safek (doubt) if the daughter may marry a kohen.

Rambam (Issurei Biah 15:3) holds the daughter of such a union is completely kosher and she may marry a kohen. The Rambam just says kasher, but Beis Yosef EH 4 says since that's all the Rambam writes, he just means completely kosher. And everyone (except Mishna Lamelech) understands the Rambam this way.

Shulchan Aruch EH 4:19 says like the first opinion we mentioned: If [a non-Jew or eved] had relations with a Jewish woman, whether she was married [to a Jewish man] or unmarried, the child is kasher (see the context, that it means non a mamzer) but is pagum (unfit) for a kohen. This SA is a repeatition of how he paskened in 4:5. Beis Shmuel 2 says since the Rambam says she's mutar, and the Rif has a safek, if this daughter married a kohen we would not force them to divorce, and the children would be safek chalalim. This is based on the famous principle that the Mechaber usually paskens like the majority of the opinions of the Rosh, Rif and Rambam, and here each holds a separate way. However, Be'er Hagolah explains that according to the Shulchan Aruch, we would force them to divorce, and their children would be chalalim.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Double Parshios, Part 2

Many shitos in this piece (and nearly all the scenarios) are brought by Rav Tzvi Hirsch Grodzinsky in Sefer Mikraei Kodesh Chelek Aleph, here on (He was a cousin of R' Chaim Ozer Grodzinsky. He came to America in 1891 and served as Rabbi of Omaha, Nebreaska for 56 years, until his death in 1948. This sefer is a very comprehensive work on Kriyas Hatorah and everything related to it. His other seforim - on hilchos Mikvaos and Gemara Brachos are thankfully available at They are superb sefarim.) See Klal 13 & Klal 19 for the shitos he brings on this topic (note in 19 he forgot to list Terumah Tetzaveh as a double pasha). I will refer to this sefer by MK and give klal number and seif and note numbers.

There is another time we read two parshios - if there was no minyan one shabbos in a community, the next week they read the missed parsha and the current week's parsha (see MK 13 ff 19 for a very interesting but brief discussion whether from takanas Moshe would allow them to read without a minyan). The revi'i aliya must connect the two parshios. If some shuls had a minyan and one didn't, they would only read the current week's parsha. This is because the parsha was read in the community, and kriyas hatorah is only an obligation on the community, not on an individual. Rav Chaim Soloveichik held it was an obligation of the individual based on the Milchamos Hashem (Ramban) Megilla first perek (read it very closely. Some, including Rav Chaim's mechutan Rav Elya Pruzhener and his grandson Rav Yoshe Ber Soloveitchik did not see it in the Milchamos, but it is there. Look closely.) I believe his great grandson Rav Moshe explained the Rabbeinu Chananel at the beginning of Megilla the same way, but we don't pasken like that.

If they missed two weeks, would they make up both missed parshios or only one? Some say only one: Maharam Mintz 85 - only one because we never find reading 3 parshios on one shabbos, only 2. A different reason to only read the most recently missed parsha (Shaar Hatizyun [Mishna Brurah] 135:8 from Biur Hagra) is because it's like tashlumin of davening, where you can make up only the most recently missed tefila and no more. Note - if it's like tashlumin, then you get into an issue that tashliumin only works if you missed it not bemaizid. (I heard Rav Refael Yitzchak Reichman of Geula in 2000 quote a Tosefes Maaseh Rav 34 (in siddur Hagra, on the bottom of Maaseh Rav, where the Gra was in jail for four weeks and after he was released he had the tzibbur read all four parshios he missed. He explained that we know the Gra in Biur Hagra says something because it is the opinion of the Mechaber or Rama, but he himself disagrees with it. This is what R' Reichman suggested as a possibility in these 2 Gras.) Mishna Brurah 135:6 brings the Eliyahu Rabbah that you would read all the parshios you missed.

If the missed parsha was a double parsha, or it was only one parsha but the next week was a double parsha, the Maharam Mintz holds you only read this week's parsha, because we don't find reading 3 parshios on one shabbos. He doesn't say the first case explicitly, but there is a sevara even to him that you would read the second of last week's parsha with this week's parsha, that way you only read 2 parshios. I heard that Rav Yoshe Ber said the kriyas hatorah of a shabbos is the inyana diyoma of that shabbos. I'd suggest, with what Rav Yoshe Ber said or even without it, that when 2 parshios are read on one shabbos, it is one kriya that happens to contain 2 parshios. But you could combine it with the next week's parsha if you missed it. I'd suggest - if the double parsha was missed, like Acharei Mos and Kedoshim, followed by Emor, that we'd read 1st aliya: acharei mos, 2nd - continue and begin Kedoshim; 3rd - continue Kedoshim; 4th - Kedoshim and continue into Emor (this is key, because a double parsha has to be linked in the fourth aliya. I'm suggesting Acharei Mos and Kedoshim are considered one, and Emor is the second), and continue 3 more aliyos in Emor. And this would be even simpler is we missed a double parsha and the next shabbos was also a double parsha - like Tazria & Metzora followed by Acharei Mos & Kedoshim - connect metzora & Acharei Mos in revi'i.

If it is a minyan that only meets once a month (by design, like in very small communitites), they probably aren't considered a set minyan and would not have to make up missed parshios; they'd only read the current week's parsha.

If the missed week was a chazak (like Vayechi or Pikudei etc.) most poskim say you don't make it up because it doesn't make sense to combine 2 parshios in the Torah that have a four blank lines in between them (MK 13 se'if 3 & ff 6). A weak sevara could be offered for the Aruch Hashulchan that you can read them, from Parshas Behaaloscha: Vayehi Binsoa is separated from the rest of the parsha with upside down noons (I didn't like how it looked when I spelled it "nuns".) In fact, some say Vayehi Binsoa is a separate sefer, and what we call Bamidbar is 3 books: Bamidbar until Vayehi binsoa, then vayehi binsoa is its own book, and after vayehi bonsoa unti ldevarim is another sefer. Yet we read Behaalosch, which includes readings from all three of those sefarim, in one kriya. A very weak proof, but interesting.