Torah Riddles Test #185

2.    Question: Why can’t Omer be written down to fulfill the mitzvah even according to the view that writing is like speaking?


A. The Mishna Berura (47:4) brings an argument by Torah learning whether writing is like speaking or thinking the question being whether you have to say the blessing for learning Torah before writing Torah thoughts. On the one hand it’s an action so it’s like speaking on the other hand he didn’t say anything and the blessing is for speaking in learning. The Mishna Berura concludes that one should be strict and not say a blessing in the morning upon writing Torah notes until he is ready to verbalize them.

B. The Aruch Hashulchan says that by Torah learning the purpose of writing is to reveal the thoughts in one’s mind and that is why one opinion says writing is like speaking. Why then would writing the omer be different?

 Answer: The mitzvah by omer, krish Shema, and the amida is speaking it out so writing isn’t enough. So if you did it you would have to say the blessing over again and recite the omer verbally. (See Dirshu Mishna Berura 489 footnote 43.)

Torah Riddles Test #184

1.    Question: What is the difference between making a mistake by the counting of the omer and immediately fixing it and making a mistake by the blessing in shemone esray by yom tov and mixing it up with shabbos and immediately fixing it?


A. The Mishna Berura (489:32) says that if one said “today is the fourth day of the omer” and then immediately realize it is the fifth for example he just has to say “the fifth day of the omer” and not start from the beginning of the statement. B. The Mishna Berura (487:3) says if a person mistakenly said “mikadesh hashabbos” in his yom tov shemone esray instead of “mikadesh Yisrael vihazmanim” he must go back and say “mikadesh Yisrael vihazmanim” and not just say “Yisrael vihazmanim” immediately, when he realizes his mistake.

C. On a yom tov That falls out on Shabbos we say in our shemone esray “mikadesh hashabbos Yisrael vihazmanim”.

 Answer: On Yom Tov it’s not recognizable that you are fixing the mistake if you just say the correct endings soon as you realize your mistake therefore you have to start from the beginning of the statement. But by the omer it’s obvious that you are fixing your mistake because you never count twice. (See Dirshu Mishna 489:32 footnote 68.)

Torah Riddles Test #183

2. Question: Why does the Eliah Rabba (447:1) differentiate between a hot piece of food (for example meat) which a kernel of wheat fell on it and a hot and wet ladle which had a kernel of wheat fall on it in terms of them being able to transfer the taste of that wheat kernel into a cooked dish?


A. By the meat he says the taste of the kernel cannot be transferred into anything else by the ladle he says the taste of the kernel can be transferred.

B. When a wheat kernel, supposedly chometz, falls onto the food or ladle on Pesach it must be removed and destroyed but now there is a very little amount of taste that is transferred into the meat or wet ladle if they are hot. However in terms of the meat we apply the axiom of “trei mashehu lo amrinan” meaning two insignificant amounts we are not bothered by, which means that the taste of chometz is so little we aren’t concerned that it got transferred to the next item that the meat was put into. But we are concerned about the transference of taste of chometz into the food that the ladle now mixes, why?

 Answer: When taste is mixed into food it sticks to the wall of the food and gets mixed up in it so never comes back out but by a spoon since whatever taste is inside it is not the spoon’s it comes from the outside it doesn’t get stuck to the spoon and easily comes out when mixed into the next thing it is used for. (See Dirshu Mishna Berura 467:footnote 41.)

Torah Riddles Test #182

1.    Question: Why can’t we say a shehecheyanu on making matzah but we could say a shehecheyanu on making the Sukkah?


 A. The Magen Avraham (641:1) says we don’t make a shehecheyanu on making a shofar and megilla because these are mitzvos that could be used for many years.

B. Tosfos in Kesubos 72a “visafra lah” says that a woman who has a flow (zavah) does not make a blessing on her counting of 7 days though it’s a mitzvah to count like the omer because maybe her count will get messed up with seeing blood again within 7 days.

Answer: We don’t says a blessing or shehecheyanu on making matzos because maybe they will become chometz in the process and won’t be able to be used on Pesach just like the zavah whose count of 7 days might get ruined. (See Dirshu Mishna Berura 453 footnote 26.)

Torah Riddles Test #181

2.       Question:Why does the Noda BiYehuda hold that if a person dies on Pesach and he had not nullified or gotten rid of his chometz why is the chometz permitted after Pesach if the Rabbis decreed in general a fine for any chometz in the possession of someone during Pesach is forever forbidden after Pesach?


A.      The Mishna Berura (435:1:3) says that a father does not bequeath to his children prohibition, however the father owned it in a prohibitive state at the beginning of Pesach before he died.

B.      Hint: When does the fine go into effect?

Answer: The chometz is not forbidden because of the dead father because the fine only ges into effect after Pesach and since he died beforehand the fine wasn’t enacted on him, nor was it enacted on his children since they did not commit any sin. (See Dirshu Mishna Berura there, footnote 7)

Torah Riddles Test #180

1.       Question: Why are the matzos set aside for the mitzvah of eating them on Pesach only muktzah when Pesach eve falls out on Shabbos but not on any other Shabbos?


A.      Muktzah literally means set aside. It is a rabbinic restriction prohibiting the movement of certain objects on Shabbos in order to preserve the sanctity of the day and avoid possible desecration.

B.      Three examples of categories of muktzah which might all apply in this case are (a) muktzah machmas chisaron kis: delicate objects used for their intended purpose because of their costliness like stationary, fountain pen, violin, electric microscope, shechita knife or camera, and (b) muktzah machmas mitzvah: Objects whose use are limited to involvement with mitzvos like a lulav and esrog, a megillah, or shofar. (c) muktzah machman gufo: Object that are not utensils and have no ordinary Shabbos function like raw potatoes, untithed fruit, dirt, rocks, money, etc.

C.      It is rabbinicly forbidden to eat matzah on erev Pesach.

D.      All other Shabbosim, Rav Shlomo Zalman Aurbach says the matzah is like yom tov clothing which you would only wear on yom tov, not Shabbos.

  Answer: Since it can’t be eaten or even given to the birds on erev Pesach then it is muktzah on Shabbos erev Pesach but on any other Shabbos, though you would not eat them and you are saving them for Pesach but they are potentially edible so they are not muktzah and can be moved on any other Shabbos. (See back of Dirshu Mishna Berura page 7, siman 443, footnote 8)

Torah Riddles Test #179

1.    Question: What’s the difference between pillows and cushions which aren’t nullified to the Sukkah in order to make it less than 20 amos high since most people would not want to just nullify their pillow and cushions which are laying in the Sukkah but on Pesach we do say people would nullify chometz even though a lot of it could get expensive like pillows and cushions so most people wouldn’t for such a thing?


A. Granted there is a prohibition of owning chometz so you would want to nullify it but there is a mitzvah to live in a Sukkah so you’d want to fulfill it.

B. Nullifying is to treat it as the dust of the earth which a typical person would not want to do to his pillows and cushions so the same should apply to a lot of food.

C. The Torah really takes chometz out of your property but puts it back in to your possession to give you a sin but it’s not really yours until after Pesach.

 Answer: By chometz you don’t need the chometz itself to be like dust rather just in your eyes it’s like dust so that the Torah takes it out of your property and keeps it out so your knowledge isn’t nullified to everyone else’s. But by the pillows and cushions your attitude has to really be that they are like the dirt of the ground so that it will minimize the space of the height of the Sukkah therefore we say one thought is nullified to what the world would think and they would never treat them that way so the pillows and cushions cannot be nullified.

Torah Riddles Test #178

1.    Question: Why do the poskim say you are allowed to sell chometz with just money even though there is an argument whether you can even use money as a means of acquisition with a non-Jew or do you need to actually have him pick it up or push it, and since this is a money question and there is a question if money even works then chazaka should say that the food still belongs to the Jew and he is definitely violating owning chometz on Pesach?


A. The question of whether acquisition with money works with a non-Jew can be treated leniently in this case since the whole question is whether the food can be used after Pesach which is only a rabbinic issue since chometz left over Pesach is only prohibited after Pesach as a rabbinic fine. The problem is that this might not even be a question is the chezkas mamon can answer the question.

B. The gemara in the beginning of Pesachim says there are two things which don’t belong to a person but the Torah makes it as if it’s in your possession: Chometz found in your place on Pesach though the Torah nullifies it and a pit in the street if you undug it or opened it. The Torah just makes chometz in your possession yours in order to give you a prohibition of chometz on Pesach but you don’t actually own it.

C. The Pnei Yehoshua views the assumption of ownership for the original owner (chezkas Marie kamma) similar to the original assumed state of prohibition (chazaka dimi’ikara).

Answer: Chazaka dimi’ikara wouldn’t apply in this case because because the chometz is really taken out of your possession by the Torah on Pesach and the question is if it is put back in your possession as a new status, not as the original status or not, therefore we can be lenient and say it was in fact validly sold to the non-Jew and never went into your possession over Pesach. 

Torah Riddles Test #177

2.    Question: Why can you have a snack before fulfilling the mitzvah of lulav and esrog if it’s delayed coming to you but if you are going to a later minyan to hear megilla you should not even snack until after you hear megilla?


A. The fast of Taanis Esther ends at nightfall but you shouldn’t eat anything until after you fulfill the mitzvah (of megilla) just as you shouldn’t eat anything until after you fulfill any other mitzvah like lulav or shofar etc.

 B. There is more of a mitzvah to fulfill the megilla reading in a congregation in order to publicize the miracle.

 Answer: You can taste before lulav and esrog if there is a delay because it’s a mitzvah you do by yourself. But megilla should be read in a group and we are concerned even if you eat a snack you might miss the mitzvah all together or at least the start of the reading, which means you’d have to hear it again by yourself not in a group. (Dirshu Mishna Berura back page 131 footnote 32)

Torah Riddles Test #176

1.    Question: How is it possible to fulfill the mitzvah of matanos li’evyonim when giving it to a father and son where the son is still dependent on the father?


A. The mitzvah of matanos li’evyonim is two give money enough for a meal to two people.

B. The Aruch HaShulchan (693:2) says that if you give to a husband and wife or a father and son or daughter who relies on their parents for food it is not considered giving to two poor people, rather to only one poor person.

  Answer: The Responsa Hisorirus Teshuva (3:489) says that if you give the father and son on condition that the father has no permission to touch the son’s portion then you fulfill the mitzvah. (Dirshu Mishna Berura back page 134 footnote 13)