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?

 Background:

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?

Background:

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?

Background:

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).

Torah Riddles Test #197

Question: Why does Rav Shmuel Wasner poskin that one can throw away newspapers that happen to have words of Torah mixed into their articles?

Background:

A. The Mishna Berura (154:5:24) quotes the Rambam (lav 65) who says that one who wastes or destroys holy writing transgresses “Don’t do this to Hashem your G-d.”

B. Rav Elyashiv poskins that if you are unsure if there is Torah thoughts in the newspaper then you don’t need to bury it but if you know there is then you should bury it and if you are strict then blessing will come to you.

C. Rav Shmuel Wasner poskins that if there are Torah thoughts within a story then it doesn’t have holiness.

 Answer: Because they are not written to learn Torah with them therefore it doesn’t have any holiness (Dirshu footnote 10).

Torah Riddles Test #196

1.    Question: Why is one allowed to say the chapter of tehillim of “Hashem Ro’i” after washing but before saying hamotzi but Rav Moshe Feinstein says one cannot say a “grace before the meal” made up by yourself that asks for success in all endeavors after washing but before eating?

 Background:

A. The Mishna Berura (166:1:3) quoting a Zohar says that one has a mitzvah everyday to pray for his food before he eats and should do so before washing but if he forgot and first washed then some say that this prayer or paragraph from tehillim can be said before eating but better to say it after say blessing of hamotzi and take a bite of bread.

B. Normally the halacha is one should not talk between washing and eating because that constitutes a distraction.

 Answer: A prayer on Hashem giving you food is needed as part of the meal so it might not be considered a distraction but a prayer for one’s own success is extra so it’s a distraction and Rav Moshe says if one always says it, it might even constitute the prohibition of adding to the Torah, bal tosif, because one is adding on something on his own accord which the rabbis did not feel a need to do (Dirshu note 4).

Torah Riddles #195

 2. Question: For allowing a woman to get remarried why is a person reliable even if he only saw the dead guy by the light of a candle or the moon at night but if a non-Jew or Jew would say that they saw a dead guy at night by the light of the candle or moon and he was just speaking masiach lifi tumo he is not believed?

Background:

A. The Shulchan Aruch (Even HaEzer 17:22) says that when you look at the body to recognize it in order to testify about it, one can even check and see it at night by the light if a candle or the light if the moon.

B. The Pischei Teshuva (91) is in fact in doubt whether a person who while just telling over a story happens to have mentioned (unintentionally), mesiach lifi tumo, happens to say he saw a man killed or dead when he was walking at night, by the light of a candle or the light if the moon.

  Answer: If a person is testifying he is trusted to be sure to get a good look at the body. But if he is just telling a story, even though masiach lifi tumo is normally believed but because of the circumstances it was dark maybe he didn’t pay close enough attention and he saw wrong.

Torah Riddles Test #194

1. Question: For allowing a woman to get remarried why can you testify that a man died if he fell into a pit of snakes and scorpions but if he fell into a lion’s den you can’t testify he died unless you saw him die?

Background:

 A. The Beis Shmuel (Even HaEzer 17:29:91) says a pit of snakes and scorpions is narrow but a lion’s den is wide.

 B. The Beis Shmuel also says that you should not rely on a miracle like what happened to Daniel in the lion’s den.

  Answer: Maybe the lions weren’t hungry so they didn’t eat him. But by the snakes and scorpions because of the squishy area and the man is on top of the snakes and scorpions they will bite.  


Torah Riddles Test #193

 2.      Question: Why can’t the view that holds we eat milk products on Shavuos because the Jews didn’t have checked sharp knives right after the Torah was given to properly slaughter animals, hold that Hashem gave us the Torah on Shabbos?

Background:

A.     The medrish Pirkei diRebbe Eliezer (46) holds the Torah was given on Shabbos the gemara in Shabbos 86b holds it was given on erev Shabbos.

B.      A knife has to be checked for no nicks to be sure there is a smoothe cut by the shechita. As soon as Hashem gave the Torah and obligated us in all the mitzvos at matan Torah which is Shavuos they didn’t have any kosher knives to use that day to slaughter animals, so in commemoration we have a custom to eat milchig on Shavuos.

 Answer: If Hashem gave us the Torah on shabbos we couldn’t anyways slaughter because of shabbos so there would be nothing special to commemorate. (See Dirshu Mishna Berura 494 footnote 18)

Torah Riddles #192

1.      Question: Why is one allowed to accept Yom Tov early on Shavuos, before sunset?

 Background:

A. On Shavuos we make it a point to daven maariv and say Kiddush once it is completely dark in order so that 49 complete days have passed in the omer as the Torah says should happen before the onset of Shavuos.

B. Rav Nissim Karelitz said that if you take on yom tov early only regarding stopping doing melacha that does not take away from the 49 complete days needed.

  Answer: Since that time is still considered the 49th day of the omer, it’s just that it’s forbidden to do melacha because of Tosefes yom tov, therefore it’s not really recognizable that you are impeding on the day rather you are just passively not working (See Dirshu Mishna Berura 494 footnote 2).