Torah Riddles Test #207

2. Question: After Chatzos of Tisha b’av when one puts on tallis and tefillin, why can you say verses people have a custom of saying upon putting on tallis and tefillin but one should not say Shema and the parsha of “kadesh” upon putting on tallis and tefillin?


A. The Mishna Berura (555:1:5) says that by mincha one should put on tallis and tefillin and say a blessing on them but should not recite the 3 paragraphs of Shema or the parsha of “kadesh” because at this point it is like reading Torah, (since the mitzvah of krias shema is in the morning) and Torah learning is forbidden the entire day of Tisha b’av.

B. In Dirshu footnote 5 in the name of Rav Chaim Kanievsky, he says one can recite the verses that there is a custom to recite upon putting on tallis and tefillin.

C. Halacha is normally very strict with wearing tallis and tefillin while saying Shema because they are testimony to belief in Hashem since tallis and tefillin are mentioned in the 3 paragraphs of Shema.

 Answer: Because the verses recited upon putting on tallis and tefillin are a custom then it is not considered Torah learning but since the mitzvah of krias Shema has passed by mincha then it’s just considered Torah learning which is forbidden on Tisha b’av and it is only proper to have tallis and tefillin on in the morning when krias Shema is recited and not vice versa, i.e Shema must be recited while wearing tallis and tefillin.

Torah Riddles Test #206

1. Question: If a person took upon himself a personal fast right after shabbos, that night, why can he say havdala over wine from plag hamincha and drink the wine but if one would make havdala from that time when Tisha b’av falls out Motzei shabbos/Sunday then he can’t drink the wine because he took on the fast?


A. A personal fast is a vow and a vow is based on the language of how it was said. And how something is said is based on how people normally say things.

B. The acceptance of the fast of Tisha b’av is dependent on havdala if it falls out on Motzei shabbos.

Answer: When a person says he’s taking on a fast after shabbos he does not considered the, while it is still light, as an acceptance of the fast if he makes havdala for he means to start the fast at actual night but on Tisha b’av as soon as havdala is made the fast starts, so it’s forbidden to drink, even if havdala was made at plag hamincha. (See Dirshu Mishna Berura 556:1:2:3)

Torah Riddles Test #205

2.       Question: Why don’t Yerushalmi citizens tear kriah over seeing the Temple Mount in ruins and taken over by Muslims, as per Rav Shlomo Zalman Auerbach?


A.      The Mishna Berura (561:2:6) says that upon seeing the ruins of Yerushalayim and the Beis Hamikdash one should bow and tear his clothes in mourning and say certain supplications, see there, if one has not been in Yerushalayim or seen the Temple Mount more than thirty days.

 Answer: Rav Shlomo Auerbach explains the Yerushalmi custom that because the citizens have the ability to easily go and see the site of the Beis Hamikdash but they don’t then it is apparent they don’t really feel too much pain over the destruction and therefore the custom for them is not to tear even if they do visit the Kosel. This applies to all Yerushalmis even those that live in the new outskirts of Yerushalayim. One can even nullify his vow to tear once he knows it is a valid custom for a Jerusalem citizen not to tear. (See footnote in the back of the Dirshu Mishna Berura, volume 6, page 23 on the bottom.) 

Torah Riddles Test #204

1.       Question: Why doesn’t the chosson break the plate by the tanaaim before a wedding, rather he only breaks the glass under the chupa, and the mothers of the chosson and kalla break the plate?


A.      The Vilna Gaon says there is specifically a custom for a ceramic plate to be broken by the tanaaim because there is no foundation in the Torah for tanaaim to be broken just as ceramic can’t be fixed but a marriage has a basis in the Torah for being broken if need be, i.e. divorce therefore a glass is broken under the chupa since a glass can always be forged back together a new through fire symbolizing there is a halachic way to untie the knot of marriage, through divorce.

B.      The Mishna Berura (560:2:9) says the custom to break these things both by the chupa and by the tanaaim is in order to mourn the destruction of the Beis Hamikdash and one should feel joy while still feeling trepidation.

 Answer: Since the chosson’s full joy only comes when he completes the marriage under the chupa therefore he only has to break the glass to include mourning at that time and not before by the tanaaim. (See Dirshu Mishna Berura there footnote 20.)

Torah Riddles Test #203

2.       Question: Why shouldn’t a man send regards to another man’s wife, whether directly, or through someone else even her own husband but he can ask how she is doing according to the Bach and the Shai LiMoreh even says that the Bach is telling us it is proper manners to ask him how his wife is feeling, but he can ask others how she is feeling as well?


A.      The Chelkas Mechokek in Shulchan Aruch (Even HaEzer 21:6:7) says the reason why one shouldn’t send regards to a married woman even though her husband is obvious is because it shows affection and can lead to increase love and eventually sin.

Answer: Saying hello is showing affection, but asking how she is doing is just showing concern, which some opinions hold might lead to affection, but the Bach holds, it is proper derech eretz manners to be concerned about the health of any person, especially if it is known that someone is sick it makes those that are sick or there family members feel a bit better when they see people share their care and concern for them.

Torah Riddles Test #202

1.       Question: Why is a decree of men requiring enlisting into the army not as bad as years of famine?


a.       When there is a serious drought or famine in a certain area, the Mishna Berura (574:4:9) says that people in that area must act in a way of causing anguish on themselves, for example not having relations with their spouse, decreeing days of prayer and fasting, etc. In fact the Shulchan Aruch there says it is a mitzva to starve oneself in years of famine, and it is forbidden to have relations unless on the night of when your wife comes back from the mikva, or if you are trying to have a child. Anyone who doesn’t care and eats and does what he wants will not see comfort with the congregation.

 Answer: Since the government decree is only on part of the people, it does not apply to women and children, then it’s not as severe, whereas a famine applies to everyone therefore everyone must aggrieve. See Dirshu Mishna Berura footnote 7 there.

Torah Riddles Test #201

2.      Question: Why is the wife not believed when she says the house or cave filled with smoke and my husband didn’t survive but I miraculously got out but if she says non-Jews or bandits attacked us, my husband was killed, and I was saved she is believed?

  Answer: By the smoking house or cave just as she got out miraculously so to her husband might have. But by the bandits, it’s not normal for them to kill women to the extent that we can say just as she was saved maybe he was saved. See Shulchan Aruch Even HaEzer 17:52, 54.

Torah Riddles Test #200

1.       Question: Why do we assume the husband is dead if he falls into a pit full of scorpions and snakes but if he was in a crowd where a whole bunch of snakes and scorpions were unleashed upon them the wife can’t testify that her husband died to get remarried?


A. The Shulchan Aruch (Even HaEzer 17:51) says that if snakes and scorpions were sent into a crowd and a wife said a snake or scorpion bit my husband and he died. She is not believed because perhaps she assumed her husband is like most people that die of a bite.

B. The Chelkas Mechokek (105) points out that this is only if the snakes or scorpions were sent amongst mostly people but if it is known that one of the people was bitten and his wife came and said my husband died of a bite she is believed.

 Answer: If a person fell into a concentration of snakes and scorpions in a pit, we can assume that he could not avoid stepping on them and he was bitten but if a whole slew of snake and scorpions were sent into a crowd of people it’s possible the husband would not get bitten.

Torah Riddles Test #199

2. Question: In a case where one co-wife says her husband dies and the other says he was murdered, the Shulchan Aruch poskins that since both said he isn’t alive they are allowed to remarry. The Taz (Shulchan Aruch Even Haezer 17:47:60) asks why the Shulchan Aruch has to give the reason “that since according to both of them he is not alive they can remarry” for anyways a co-wife is not believed to say the husband is alive and not allow the other to remarry?


A. The Shulchan Aruch right before (si’if 46) says that even if one co-wife says the husband died and the other says he did not die the one who says he died can get remarried and the other one cannot because she is just being strict and forbidding herself to the world.

 B. The Taz says the reason why a co-wife isn’t believed for the other co-wife, just herself, is because they naturally hate each other so she is willing to forbid herself to the world just to make her co-wife also forbidden to everyone.

C. One is definitely lying or both.

 Answer: Since both are saying he is dead, just in different manners then it definitely looks like they aren’t angry with each other for if they were one of them would say he is still alive therefore the Shulchan Aruch is saying that since at least one of them is lying but it’s not a total lie so we accept their testimony since they both admit he isn’t alive anymore.

Torah Riddles Test #198

1.    Question: If you are on the way out of your house why can you say a blessing inside on a sucking candy for example and then walk out of the house without needing to say another blessing?


A. The Mishna Berura (178:4:31) elaborates that there is a difference between bread which “needs a blessing in its place” where one can technically finish eating in some other house from where he started or can walk out and come back without needing to make a new blessing, whereas fruits or drinks need a new blessing once one left his house where he started eating even if he goes back to it.

B. The Mishna Berura (42) says if they had in mind to have the meal in the place, they said hamotzi and changed their minds to finish on the road, then as long as they can see their original place they can still eat because it’s considered one area. But if they can’t see because they are so far away or because trees blocking then it’s considered changing places and for fruit, you’d have to make a second blessing and for bread technically it’s fine to continue eating but they should ideally say birkas hamazon in the place where they started. However, if they originally had in mind to eat some in their place and the rest in transit then it works even if trees are blocking the way from seeing where they started to eat, because only from house to house does one blessing not work for fruits and one must go back and make a new blessing, and by bread having in mind to eat on the way even ideally works.

Answer: Rav Moshe Feinstein poskins that one only has to make a new blessing when he was originally planning staying at home but if he is on his way out of his house it is as if he blessed on the road and does not need to make a new blessing like any other traveler. This blessing works even for another candy which he might pop into his mouth on the way (See Dirshu Mishna Berura 178:4:42:26).