Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Positive Chinuch

by Rafi G.

NOTE: no halachic conclusions should be drawn from this article. A competent Orthodox Rabbi must be consulted regarding any practical questions that might arise. The following is a discussion for hashkafic thought alone and has not been fully researched for the purpose of psak.

On daf 82a of Masechet Yoma we have a discussion in the gemara regarding what age a parent must begin training his child to fast on fast days, specifically Yom Kippur.

The Tosefos Yeshanim asks an interesting question: There is a rule in halacha that says if one sees a child eating neveilos (non-kosher food) one must not (or need not) stop him. So what is the big discussion on what age to train him to fast, we should be discussing what age to stop him from actually transgressing something assur!!??

The Tosefos Yeshanim answers the question by bringing the opinion of R' Eliezer from Mitz. R' Eliezer from Mitz is of the opinion that the two issues are completely separate. There is an inyan of "chinuch" which entails training and educating the child to do a mitzva - to do what is right. Then there is an inyan of abstaining from issur. Chinuch, he says, has no bearing on abstaining from issur, only doing mitzvos. That is why we are discussing training him to fast rather than stopping him from issur.

The idea R' Eliezer is telling us is mind boggling (to me). The mitzva of chinuch is only for positive mitzvos, not to stop him from doing something wrong (though that too might be admirable to teach a child when possible). If one sees the candy-man in shul give a child a candy with a questionable hechsher (or even no hechsher), one should talk to the candy-man about no longer providing those candies, but he should not take away the candy from the child! Let the child finish eating it. To me that is an amazing chiddush in chinnuch!

Why is that so?

I was thinking about it and considered this thought. We want to give our children a positive outlook on Yiddishkeit and mitzvos. The obligation of chinnuch incorporates that idea. The obligation to educate your child in mitzvos is, on the one hand, to train the child in the habit of actually doing the mitzvos. On the other hand, it is also to engender within the child the positive attitude towards doing mitzvos. We urge him to do mitzvos, but we do not stop him when he does issurim. We want to give over the positive aspect and not the negative.

Again, this should not be used as a halachic guide. It is simply a thought on an idea presented by R' Eliezer from Mitz in the Tosefos Yeshanim. If the question arises and you need to know whether to stop your child from doign something that is assur, you must consult with your Rav.

Friday, August 25, 2006

Daf Yomi - Yoma 75 - Could the Manna Taste like Pig?

Daf Yomi - Yoma 75 - Could the Manna Taste like Pig?

Gilyonei Hashas writes that he saw in a certain sefer that discusses the issue of what would be if a person had in mind that the manna should taste like something which is forbidden to eat, such as chazir. What would you think should be the halacha?

As of now, there are 14 comments below.

Friday, August 18, 2006

100 Brochos

Daf Yomi - Yoma 70 - 100 Brochos

The Gemora states that two reasons explaining why a second sefer Torah was not brought to the kohen gadol for Parshas Pinchas. One is because it will look like the first one was possul. Secondly, it will cause him to make a new brocha unnecessarily.

The latter reason is brought down in Shulchan Aruch regarding a shochet who has many animals ready to be shechted. He should not talk in between the slaughterings for then he would be required to recite another brocha.

The Shalah rules that on Shabbos it is permitted to delay eating the fruits that were brought in middle of the meal and rather wait for the conclusion of the meal in order to enable a recital of a brocha acharona which will help one reach the goal of reciting one hundred brochos every day (which can be difficult on Shabbos).

The Magen Avrohom asks on this from our Gemora. Yom Kippur is even more difficult to reach this goal and nevertheless we do not permit the kohen gadol to bring another sefer Torah enabling him the opportunity of reciting another brocha.

Perhaps we can answer that this would be applicable only to the kohen gadol and therefore we apply the regular halacha of ברכה שאינה צריכה, however the fruits on Shabbos pertains to everyone and would be beneficial for all, so there we permit the extra brocha.

I just found in the אליהו רבה that the kohen gadol did not have the problem of one hundred brochos for he recited eight brochos on krias haTorah and he made a brocha on each and every avodah according to the Ramban.

posted by Avromi at 8/15/2006 04:52:00 PM

Aton said...

Maybe there's a difference between generating a brand new Beracha/set of Brachos (Borei Pri Ha'Eitz and Borei Nefashos, or Al Ha'Eitz depending) and causing the same Bracha to be repeated (Asher Bachar Banu, Al HaShechitah) -- it's clear when you make the same Bracha twice in a row on an item present at the outset that there's nothing new about this situation, thus no new real Mechayev of a Bracha, and it is undesirable to purposely be Mesi'ach Da'as so as to make a Bracha on that which you already know about (additional animals present at the first moment of Shechitah, e.g.). 100 Berachos maybe thus are parallel to Yitzchak's Me'ah She'arim, which are each distinct -- it's not the Beracha but Mechayev Bracha that you're supposed to experience and identify and be Mevarech. However, if it is a different Bracha to be said (thus identifying a different aspect of Beracha, like Ha'Eitz when previously HaMotzi was made), or if there are items now that weren't there initially so there's a new Mitzvah/Hana'ah/Mechayev Shevach, additional Berachos are appropriate?

Wed Aug 16, 10:22:49 AM 2006

Avromi said...

I spoke over your chiluk with two Roshe Kollel here, one from Montreal and one from Boston. One agreed and one didn't. Iy"H, we will research more.

Wed Aug 16, 01:52:35 PM 2006

Aton said...

Shkoyach!! Unfortunately I don't have too many Roshei Kollel here to run things by, at least not yet... I'm curious to hear what the objections were...

Wed Aug 16, 02:03:55 PM 2006

Avromi said...

Rabbi Zalman Leff from Boston objected by stating that the reason behind the issur of brocha sheaina tzricha is based on the possuk of lo sisa. Why should we be more lax if it is a different brocha? Lo sisa still applies.

Wed Aug 16, 02:05:35 PM 2006

Avromi said...

Rabbi Dovid Elias from Montreal concurred and said that the concept of 100 brochos is for different brochos and therefore we might be lenient on the eina tzricha if it's a benefit for the 100 brochos. As proof to this he cited the minhag of chasidim (although hes a Yekke - big time) to eat kneidlach on the eighth day of Pesach for a mezonos is really needed. (What about the other days?)

Wed Aug 16, 02:08:32 PM 2006

David said...

Ein min-ute! Speaking for the Chassidim of the world ( or at least those of us with chassidishe netiyos) the reason we eat knaidlach on eighth day Pesach has nothing to do with 100 berachos. The reason we eat it then is only because we couldnt eat it the first 7 days b/c of gebrokzt. Memailah, once the issur falls away, we ess.

Wed Aug 16, 05:13:05 PM 2006

Avromi said...

firstly, why is gebrokzt only seven days if its due to chametz issues?

secondly, there's more than one reason.

did you know some say the Baal Shem Tov found 40 kneidlach or something of the sort?

Wed Aug 16, 05:26:11 PM 2006

David said...

The real answer, I suppose, to your question, is that gebroktz is a minhag, and "aim mashivin al haminhag". Beleive me, everybody I know who doesnt eat gebrokzts asks himself the same question: ( " If this is really chometz, why can we eat it on the last day?"). Al minhag zeh ne'emar, "eeyasher chailee, avatlino". ( Looks better in hebrew).

But it's not b/c of the 100 berachos.

Wed Aug 16, 05:34:21 PM 2006

Avromi said...

I'll have to get you the mekor for it

Wed Aug 16, 05:39:20 PM 2006

ben said...

once we're on the topic of מאה ברכות it's worth knowing this בן איש חי שנה ראשונה פ' בלק

ודע דאע"ג דכל הברכות אנשי כנה"ג שהם עזרא הסופר ובית דינו תיקנום, אל תסבור לומר דמימות מרע"ה עד כנה"ג לא היו מברכים כלל, דדבר זה לא יתכן מכמה טעמי תריצי, אך העניין הוא כמו שהיה בתפילה דקודם אנשי כנה"ג היה כל אחד מסדר תפילתו כפי צחות לשונו, עד שבאו אנשי כנה"ג ותקנו י"ח ברכות על הסדר שיהיו ערוכות בפי הכל בשוה, וכן היה ענין הברכות שהיה כל או"א מברך ומסדר ברכותיו כפי צחות לשונו ובאו אנשי כנה"ג ותקנו נוסח כל הברכות שיהיו ערוכות בפי הכל בשוה וכמ"ש הרב ידי אליהו גאליפפה ז"ל ד ב' יע"ש, וקודם דאתא דוד ההע"ה לא היו מדקדקים לברך כל או"א מאה ברכות כפי צחות לשונו הן בדרך תפילו והן ע"פ הנאותיו אלא כאשר יזדמן יש מברך עשרים ברכות יש ארבעים יש ששים או יותר, עד שבא דוד הע"ה ותקן לברך כל או"א מאה ברכות בכל יום, אך עדיין אין הנוסח שוה ואתו כנה"ג ותתקנו נוסח שוה לכל אדם:

Thu Aug 17, 12:33:14 AM 2006

Aton said...

Just one point about Bracha She'Eino Tzricha in a different bracha- on Sukkah 27a it suggests that a way to make up a missed Sukkos Se'udah on Shmini Atzeres, according to R. Eliezer, would be to eat Minei Targima after the Se'udas Yom Tov. Ritva points out that you don't just have another meal because of B'racha She'Aino Tzricha. Could this be a Makor that making a different Bracha is indeed different than repeating the same one for the purposes of Lo Sisa?

Thu Aug 17, 01:52:43 PM 2006

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Lo Osoh V'Lo Klum vs. Lo Osoh Klum

Daf Yomi - Yoma 60 - לא עשה ולא כלום and sometimes it states לא עשה כלום

There are several times in shas that it states לא עשה ולא כלום. The רמע מפאנו explains this statement as follows: לא עשה means that he did not fulfill the mitzva and ולא כלום means that he did not do an aveira either. The Mishna states that if the kohen gadol performed one avodah before the other - לא עשה כלום. This is referring to the sprinkling of the דם השעיר in the Kodesh Hakodoshim before the sprinkling from the פר. In this instance, besides not fulfilling the mitzva, there is an aveira as well, for he entered the Kodesh Hakodoshim unnecessarily and is considered a ביאה שלא לצורך. The Gemora on עמוד ב discusses a case where he performed the חפינת הקטרת prior to the slaughtering of the פר and here the Gemora says לא עשה ולא כלום. This is understood because there is no aveira being committed for the חפינה is done outside. There is no mitzva or aveira. (שערים מצויינים בהלכה)

Did you come across any instance of either one of those expressions recently? Tell us about it and lets see if the yesod fits. Thanks

Bein Habadim by Rav Eliezer Jacobovits

The Chiddushei Aryeh Leib from Rav Ayeh Leib Mallin quotes a Rashi from Perek Eizehu Makomon(5th perek of zevachm) that the haz'oh of bein habadim is the kohen gadol standing between the poles of the aron and sprinkling the blood towards the aron but not neccessarily reaching the aron. He asks why Rashi thought to tell us these things here where the mishna isn't discussing all the dinim of these sprinklings? Furthermore, he asks how does Rashi know that the kohen had to stand between the poles? He answers based on a Gri'z. The Brisker Rav asks( I don't have either sefer with me and I don't remember where) if a kohen has to stand in the area where an avodah is taking place, assuming that there is a designated place for that avodah? The gemarah in Zevachim learns some avodos have pesukim that require the kohen to be in the designated area. His question is do we learn from them to all other avodos or not.Reb Aryeh Leib is m'chadesh that the sprinkling of blood by the aron wasn't an avodah of matan dam, putting the blood in a specific place, but an act of sprinkling itself. The kohen had to sprinkle the blood and it would kosher wherever it went, assuming he was doing it in the right direction.He says therefore a kohen whom was missing part of his arm was still kosher to do this avodah. So, the kohen had to be in between the poles of the aron because that was the main part of that sprinkling as the mishnah in Eizehu Makomon says that the blood was sprinkled bein habadin, paroches, and the mizbeach hazahav. The latter two are where the blood went onto but the first never is mentioned as a destination. So, Rashi is teaching us that the kohen had to stand there and sprinkle the blood in the direction of the aron without having to touch the kappores because that's what the mishnah is teaching us.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

KINNOS - Think of the Chilul Hashem

Tisha B'av 5766

In my shul we have a program which has become quite common among anglo communities in Israel. Instead of reading all the kinot published as was commonly done, we select a number of the kinnot to read (a lot of them, but not all of them). Before each kina one of the members will give a brief introduction to the kinna, an explanation, some words of inspiration, etc. The idea is that instead of mindlessly reading a lot of kinnot that many do not understand, we say less but it is more infused with meaning and understanding.

I was asked to give the introduction to Kinna 23, entitled "V'Es Navvi". Below I am posting what I plan (more or less to say as the introduction.

Kina 23

In Kina 21 we just lamented about the Asara harugei Malchus. There we read about R' Yishmael Ben Elisha, one of the great Kohanim Gedolim. We read about his horrific death at the hands of the Roman conquerors.

In 23 we will be lamenting the story of the children of R' Yishmael Ben Elisha. The paytan relates the tragic story of how these 2 children, a son and a daughter were captured by separate captors. The captors were bragging to each other about the special beauty each one saw in his respective captive. They came up with a plan to have the two captives mate and they would share the offspring, which they assumed would be tremendously beautiful children.

The paytan goes on to describe how they were put together in a dark room and they stayed apart the whole night ashamed that this is what could come of the child of such a great man. By daybreak they each realized who the other was and they held each other and their nashamos left them together.

Truly a tragic story. Bit it is difficult, at least for me, to relate to a story of a kidnapping from about 2000 years ago and be moved to tears.

If one has a hard time relating to a story from so long ago and crying about it and simply reads it as a tragic story, there is no lack of similar stories from more modern times.

If you must, think about Gilad Shalit, Ehud Goldwasser and Eldad Regev who are being held by barbaric captors under who knows what type of conditions. Think of Ron Arad whose daughter never had the opportunity of knowing him because he has been held captive for so long. Think of all the other MIA's who we have no idea of their whereabouts. Think of their parents who have no idea if their children are alive or dead or what kind of condition they are in. Think of the turmoil these people are going through.

The ArtScroll explains that we are not crying specifically about the capturing of these young adults, rather we are crying about the hillul hashem. We are crying because the children of R' Yishmael Ben Elisha, who the gemara relates regarding him that Hashem even asked him for a blessing, who come from such purity and yichus, were debased and defiled in this manner. That is a hillul hashem.

But if you have a hard time crying about a hillul Hashem that took place 2000 years ago, think of the hillul hashem that we have gone through daily, throughout history, since the destruction of the beis hamikdash. All Jews are princes and princesses and we all come from great yichus of Avraham Avinu. Yet the blood of jews, the children of Jews, have been left for hefker for the pillaging of the goyim. We have suffered throughout history bloog libels and progroms and holocausts. Killing and kidnappings. Even to this day. That is something everybody can relate to. If thinking of children being kidnapped 2000 years ago creating a hillul hashem does not move you to tears, think of the more modern instances of the same events, and that should move you.

But the kina ends off in the morning. In the morning they saw each other and were saved from the defilement and debasement that had been planned for them. Together they died being mekadesh shem shamayim. That is the g'vurah of the Jew. Despite our being hefker in the eyes of the goyim, they are not able to destroy our humanity, our moral purity. They cannot take away our tzelem Elokim. We are still people and we are still Jews. Despite our suffering, we will not give up our morals.

אוי כי זאת גזר אומר ועושה

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

איכה Perek 4 -5 by David Farkas

4:3- גַּם-תַּנִּין (תַּנִּים) חָלְצוּ שַׁד, הֵינִיקוּ גּוּרֵיהֶן; בַּת-עַמִּי לְאַכְזָר, כַּיְ עֵנִים (כַּיְעֵנִים) בַּמִּדְבָּר
This is the very worst lament of all. To expound on Rashi, the people have lost their humanity to such an extent that even the jackals are kinder than they are. It is crucial that men do not lose their sense of humanity and civilization when under extreme circumstances. This is true of our humanity in how we deal with others, as well as with ourselves as individuals, regarding cleanliness, hygiene, etc.

4:13- מֵחַטֹּאות נְבִיאֶיהָ, עֲו‍ֹנֹת כֹּהֲנֶיהָ: הַשֹּׁפְכִים בְּקִרְבָּהּ, דַּם צַדִּיקִים
Can the priests and the prophets have been guilty of such crimes as murder? According to Rashi, the reference is to false prophets and idolatrous priests. But according to the simple explanation, can they really have stooped so low? Maybe. Or maybe it is holding the leaders figuratively responsible, for not having done more to prevent the atrocities. See the end of Sotah for a parallel, concerning the Eglah Erufah. The law is that upon finding a corpse, and being unable to solve the murder, the leaders of the nation must declare publicly that they did not kill the person. The Talmud explains that this is not because they are actually suspected of such crimes, but because their actions as leaders, or inaction’s, may have led to it.

4:15- סוּרוּ טָמֵא קָרְאוּ לָמוֹ, סוּרוּ סוּרוּ אַל-תִּגָּעוּ--כִּי נָצוּ, גַּם-נָעוּ; אָמְרוּ, בַּגּוֹיִם, לֹא יוֹסִפוּ, לָגוּר
What an astoundingly tragic prophecy. The prophet tells us that the nations of the world will refuse to take the Jews in. This has been the story of the Jews since the destruction.

5:3- יְתוֹמִים הָיִינוּ ְאֵין) אָב, אִמֹּתֵינוּ כְּאַלְמָנוֹת
My uncle Willis told me in the name of his wife’s grandfather, Rav Yisroel Gustman, that the verse seems redundant. If one is an orphan, of course he has no father! But rather, he said, there are two types of orphans. There is the type who knew his father, and his father has now died. And then there is the poor fellow who never even knew his father. He thus highlighted the difference between today’s generation, and the generation that came out of Europe. The latter at least knew the father, i.e., what Jewish life was for centuries in Europe. We however, we were never even privileged to know what our father – Yiddishkeit of the old country – was like.
This is really what effectively caused the era of what we call the achronim to come to an end. All periods of Jewish scholarship end with two things in common. First, there must be a major event, catastrophe or advance, which changes the landscape in such a way that people realize that an era has passed. Second, the last scholars of the period must outshine, in a very large way, those that follow after him. Thus, the period of the amoaraim ended with the writing of the Mishna by R’ Yehuda Hanasi, who was clearly the greatest man of his time. The writing of the Mishna was clearly a landmark event in Jewish history, for that was the first time that the Oral law had been committed to writing. (Broadly speaking, of course. Many scholars have pointed out that R’ Yehuda merely collected and edited the private collections of written Mishnayos which had already existed for some time.) The period of the tannaim ended with the writing of the Gemara by Ravina and Rav Ashi, who also, stood head and shoulders above everybody else of their time. Rav Saddia Gaon, who ended the period of the Geonim, was perhaps the greatest of all the Gaonim before him. The Rishonim ended with the introduction of the printing press, an event that would have far-reaching repercussions in the Jewish world. And in our times too, the men who emerged from Europe were far more learned than anyone this generation has managed to produce. Thus, the era of the achronim has come to an end.

5:21- הֲשִׁיבֵנוּ יְהוָה אֵלֶיךָ (וְנָשׁוּבָה)חַדֵּשׁ יָמֵינוּ כְּקֶדֶם
The verse speaks about the idea of repentance. Sometimes people misunderstand the meaning behind the daily prayer for repentance. We are not praying for the ability to come closer to Him, for greater Deveikus, if you will. If this were the case, we would simply pray precisely for that, in those terms! Besides, the mere fact that one prays at all is itself indicative of an already existing relationship between God and the supplicant, (albeit one that can be improved), and thus by itself shows a desire to improve the relationship.
Rather, it seems to me that the prayer for repentance is really a prayer for help in becoming a better person, which would then lead to greater Deveikus. We pray that we should be able to break our bad character traits with ease, and with little outside interference. Once we have done that, we can move forward in our relationship with God. This is entirely different from the way the prayer is commonly understood.

5:22- כִּי אִם-מָאֹס מְאַסְתָּנוּ, קָצַפְתָּ עָלֵינוּ עַד-מְאֹד
It seems strange to end on this somewhat sour-sounding note, which basically says that we’ve suffered enough already. Why not end it on the pen-ultimate verse, which anyway is the one we repeat?
It might be because this at least gives us the hope of a future redemption. After all, it offers a convincing rationale to end this bitter, bitter exile. The other verse though, requires an effort on our part to do Teshuvah (According to the Medrash “shuvu bonim shovvim” -Jeremiah 3:22 - we may even have to take the initiative. I have not found this Midrash yet though. See also Malachi 3:7 - שׁוּבוּ אֵלַי וְאָשׁוּבָה אֲלֵיכֶם) This, unfortunately, has proven to be a difficult task. It is perhaps better then, that we end the exile on a kind of “ back-door” plea bargain of having suffered enough, rather than risk gaining it through the nobler, but riskier, route of repentance. It’s like a criminal appearing before the parole board. Naturally the criminal would like to exonerate himself, and demonstrate that he has done whatever it takes to reintegrate into society. However, if the standards seem to be daunting, he would rather show that he has already paid his debt to society and any more punishment would be futile or even counter productive. That’s what we say to God here.

May we all merit the coming of the Redemption, speedily, in our days.