Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Two Examples of the Kedushas Levi - Rav Levi Yitzchak of Bedritchev's novel Chiddushim in Halacha and Shas - Talmud Bavli

Two Examples of the Kedushas Levi - Rav Levi Yitzchak of Bedritchev's novel Chiddushim in Halacha and Shas - Talmud Bavli

- I -

In Orach Chaim in the Taz's commentary Siman 608:1:

The Tur writes regarding tosefes Yom HaKippurim – that is accepting Yom Kippur earlier and thereby adding time to the day, it is derived from a biblical verse that obligates one to add. However he did not cite from which verse. The Levush wrote that he meant the verse (Shemos 34:21) "You must cease and desist from plowing and reaping," and the Taz asked a question on the Levush's interpretation. The method that uses the derivation from that verse teaches us tosefes on every Shabbos and YomTov – namely that we accept Shabbos and YomTov early every time and thus add time unto those days [and not just Yom Kippur]. This is found in the Gemarra Yoma (81b). And if so why did the Tur not write regarding every Shabbos and YomTov that we need to add tosefes? Only regarding Yom Kippur does the Tur write that we are obligated in the law of tosefes namely adding time onto Yom Kippur [by accepting the day's forbidden activities] earlier [than nightfall]. This is his question. Study it there at length.

It seems to me with siyata di'shmaya, with the aid and help of heaven, to answer the question that the Taz asks on the Levush. That actually the Levush is correct in his understanding of the Tur, that the Tur does learn the law of tosefes Yom HaKippurim from the verse (Shemos 34:21) "You must cease and desist from plowing and reaping," and really one is obligated in tosefes on every Shabbos and YomTov. And the reason why the Tur did not write explicitly that one is obligated in tosefes on every Shabbos and YomTov is since he already wrote that there is an obligation of tosefes Yom HaKippurim and therefore one can derive the other obligation through logic. Normally on every Shabbos and YomTov by accepting them earlier there is no cancellation of another mitzvah, however by accepting Yom Kippur early he does cancel out another mitzvah. This is because our rabbis stated in Rosh HaShannah 9a-b and we rule so in Shulchan Aruch Siman 604:1 that it is a mitzvah to eat and to enjoy a large festive meal on Erev Yom Kippur. Study it there. Rashi in his Talmudic commentary to Rosh HaShannah 9b (sv Kol HaOchel) wrote similarly and he said: "Anyone who adds and eats and drinks more on Erev Yom Kippur is praiseworthy, since there is a mitzvah the more you eat." Study it there. Therefore by accepting Yom Kippur earlier and adding on the prohibition of eating and drinking as the Tur wrote (ibid) you cancel out the mitzvah of eating on Erev Yom Kippur, since there is a mitzvah to eat then and now that you are adding time to Erev Yom Kippur before nightfall to prohibit yourself from eating and drinking. You might have thought that therefore in the case of Erev Yom Kippur you should not add from the ordinary day onto the holy day, therefore the Tur needed to write that even so one should add, even though he will be canceling a mitzvah [of eating on erev yom kippur].

Based on this we have answered the Taz's question. Regarding Shabbos and YomTov [the Tur] did not find it necessary to write that one should accept Shabbos and Yom Tov early to add from the ordinary day unto the holy day. Since we can infer them based on logic from the law of tosefes on Erev Yom Kippur since in that case although we cancel a positive commandment to eat by adding time and accepting Yom Kippur early we still do so. And the Tur did in fact derive this law from the aforementioned verse (Shemos 34:21) "You must cease and desist from plowing and reaping," as the Levush had taught and on every Shabbos and YomTov you must also accept them early and add time of tosefes. (Study also the commentary of the Magen Avraham Siman 604:1 citing the Shelah, that even fasting for a dream – Ta'anis Chalom one may not fast on Erev Yom Kippur under any circumstances, since there is a mitzvah the entire day to eat, study it there. ) Study and be rewarded.

- II -

I have decided to write up whatever Hashem granted me to help answer the question of the Tosfos to Shvuos 25a (Tosfos s.v. Ini veHamar Rav Yochanan).

These are the words of Tosfos: "Now if you might think this oath was made forever, then this should have been said at the head of this chapter on page19b regarding an oath made by someone saying "that I shall not eat."

Tosfos answers that regarding [oaths regarding] eating, we wont make the mistake to think that he is taking an oath forever, and it is not necessary to explain that he meant only immediately.

Tosfos meaning is not understood, why does Tosfos assume that an oath regarding eating it is understood that he means immediately [and not forever]?

With siyata di'shmaya and the aid of heaven it seems to me to answer Tosfos question, since the Taz rules in Orach Chaim Siman 678:2 this is also cited in the Ateres Zekanim 1 that on Shabbos one is obligated by the Torah to consume bread, similarly on yomtov and erev yom kippur our sages taught in Pesachim (68b) that one is obligated to eat. If so we can say that one takes an oath that he will refrain from eating, he must mean that he only referring to this immediate time as tosfos wrote, since our sages taught in Shvuos (46b) that we do not assume a person is wicked, and if he had swore an oath that he will refrain from eating forever, then is there no more explicit transgression? Since he is swearing an oath that he will cancel a mitzvah. Since on Shabbos, YomTov and Erev Yom Kippur it is a mitzvah to eat, and si how can he swear that he will never eat again forevermore and cancel the mitzvah eating in Shabbos, YomTov and Yom Kippur?

Therefore regarding eating the Tanna who authored the Mishnah did not find it necessary that the oath was not taken forever, as tosfos wrote, since there are days when there is a mitzvah to eat.

However, this is not the case regarding sleep. Since there is no obligational mitzvah to sleep at any time. And this one of the reasons given by the poskim, that this is one of the reasons why we do not recite a blessing over sleeping in the succah. Since there is no specific obligation to sleep, rather if one wishes to sleep then he may only do so in the succah.1 Therefore we can clearly think that if he takes an oath "that I will not sleep," that he means forevermore. Therefore we asks "But R. Yochana says an oath that he wont sleep

(Study the commentary of the Ran 296a (10:1 sv Malkin Oso) his opinion is that he takes an oath not eat for seven days straight he does not eat immediately and they do not lash him immediately. Based on his opinion in understanding the Rambam (Laws of Oaths Hilchos Shvuous 5:20) regarding eating they do lash him immediately and he must immediately. Since he is actually canceling the mitzvah of "You shall greatly beware for your souls." (Devarim 4:15) Based on this opinion this is the question of the makshan (the Gemara's anonymous questioner) "How can this be? Rav Yochanan said etc." How can the Mishna imply that an oath that he wont sleep means forever, when rav Yochanan is of the opinion that he recieves lashes?! Since an oath forevermore in this regard is also an annulment of a mitzvah namely that of "You shall greatly beware for your souls." (Devarim 4:15) [since lack of sleep damages one's health this is seen as a direct transgression and annulment of this positive commandment to guard our soul and health scrupulously.] Since one cannot live without sleeping therefore they [Beis Din] give him lashes since he has [in essence] taken a false oath as Rashi explains (sv Malkin Oso) and he should go to sleep immediately. Since he swore to cancel a mitzvah and therefore the oath is not binding.)

This answers Tosfos question with siyata di'shmayah. Perhaps this is what Tosfos had in mind when they answered regarding oaths about eating that the Tanna did not need to explicitly declare that he is not taking the oath forever.


1. See O.C. 639 Nekudos HaKesef ibid; Tosfos Brachos 11b sv Shekvar.

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