Torah Riddles Test #45

  1. Question: What is the difference between taking out shaatnez from the collar of a four cornered garment after one has already tied tzitzis on it and removing an oath from the garment you swore you wouldn’t wear after you put tzitzis on it, according to the Pri Megadim?


A. The Pri Megadim (Mishbetzos Zahav 18:1) says that if one first put on tzitzis onto the garment and then removed the shaatnez one has to restring the tzitzis because the Torah says that one has to put on tzitzis on a garment ready to be worn, not make it obligated in tzitzis once the strings are already on, therefore if it has shaatnez on it, it is not wearable yet.

B. The Imray Binah mentions the case of a garment that one has sworn not to wear and then gets his oath annulled after putting on tzitzis. Why wouldn’t that be an issue of making it wearable after tzitzis is tied on it just like the shaatnez case?

Answer: The garment with shaatnez is forbidden to everyone so it is totally unwearable until fixed but the garment he swore not to wear is only forbidden to the one who made the oath but is permited to anyone else so it is considered ready to have tzitzis put on even before the owner is  able to wear it. You can also say that even if it was forbidden by an oath to the entire world it is different because it was a side issue which did not make it wearable but shaatnez is a fundamental issue in the garment itself so you must first take care of the issue then tie on the tzitzis.

Torah Riddles Test #44

Question: When creating a habit why would the fact that you made a mistake and said morid hageshem in your shemone esray after Pesach not disrupt and force you to start all over again the 30 day count of creating a habit but if an ox gores a cow one day then stops when he sees other cows for a couple of days then gores two more cows on consecutive days that does not create a habit of a muad, a habitual goring cow?


 A. The Shulchan Aruch (Orach Chaim 114:8) says that after 30 days of not saying morid hageshem in the summer or vice versa in the winter then one can assume that he said it if he is unsure but within 30 days he must go back and repeat shemone esray if he is unsure because he hasn’t yet created a habit to say or ignore morid hageshem.

 B. The Machatzis Hashekel is wondering why if one makes a mistake he doesn’t have to start the 30 days all over again in order to create the habit.

 C. The Gemara in Bava Kama daf 36 says that if an ox gores one day and the next day does not gore then gores for another two consecutive days it is not habitual because the first goring doesn’t combine with the other two (3 are needed to create a habit) since in between he saw cows and didn’t gore them.

Answer: The ox has to show that he formed a consistent pattern of an assumption that it will constantly gore if faced with the situation to gore if it doesn’t create the pattern it does not become a muad, habitual. Whereas the 30 days one needs to get use to saying morid hageshem or vice versa is creating a habit one is not used to so each time one does it correctly it compounded and combines with the previous time to create an amplifying affect which turns into a habit after 30 days so if one missed one or two days it is alright because he is not used to it yet but the cumulative effect is still building up until he is use to it after 30 days. (It has nothing to do with a pattern.)

Torah Riddles Test # 43

1. Question: Why does the Gemara in Yevamos find fault in nullifying the mitzvah of Yibum if one creates a situation where it is forbidden for it to be done but if that is the case it should be forbidden to take off your four corner garment because one is nullifying the mitzvah of tzitzis?


 A. The Gemara in Yevamos says that there is a view who holds that it is forbidden to nullify the mitzvah of yibum for example: If there are four brothers, two of them married two sisters and died and we say that the other two brothers should do chalitza not yibum for if one of the remaining brothers do yibum and then dies then the last brother cannot do yibum or chalitza after he die yibum to one of the sisters before because the Yevama would be the sister of his wife.

B. The mitzvah of tzitzis is to don tzitzis on a four cornered garment one is wearing or wrapped in.

C. The mitzvah of yibum is to marry the wife of your childless brother with the intention of upholding his name by having a child through his widowed wife.

Answer: The mitzvah of yibum is still there his brother still died childless it is just that he can’t fulfill it because it would be his wife’s sister who is forbidden to him, so there would be an overriding exemption. The Gemara is saying that one is not allowed to put in himself into a position that he would be forced to be exempt from the mitzvah. Whereas when one takes off his garment the entire mitzvah is gone it’s not like it is there but there is an exemption therefore it is not considered nullifying the mitzvah to take off one’s tzitzis garment.

Torah Riddles Test #42

Question: Why does Rav Shlomo Zalman Auerbach say that we do say Tachanun on the 13th of Sivan even if living outside of Israel even according to the opinion that one does not say Tachanun for six days after Shavuos which was the make up time of when they would bring their Yom Tov offering in the beis hamikdash since not everyone could do it on Shavuos itself?


A. The Mishna Berura (131:7:36) writes that there are places who have the custom to not say Tachanun all six days after Shavuos since they used to make up the sacrifices of the holiday during those days.

 B. Rav Shlomo Zalman Auerbach holds the count of those days does not start after the second day of Shavuos outside of Israel, rather after the first day which is the sixth of Sivan so there would be no Tachanun until the 12th and they would start back saying it on the 13th.

Answer: The sacrifices were only brought in the Beis Hamikdash in Israel which only keeps one day so that is why we don’t start counting from the day after Shavuos ends outside of Israel. (See Dirshu note 14 in Mishna Berura 494:3:8).

Torah Riddles Test #41

  1. Question: Why doesn’t Tosefes Yom Tov, taking on Yom Tov early in regards to prohibiting yourself from doing melacha before sunset, not contradict the 49 complete days of the Omer but saying kiddush and maariv before nighttime does?


A. The Mishna Berura (494:1:1) says that maariv should be pushed off to later on the first night of Shavuos until the stars come and it is completely night so that the days of the counting of Omer will be 49 complete days.

B. The Pri Megadim says this applies to saying kiddush also, if one would eat first then Daven maariv in a set minyan or for a woman who is alone and is not davening maariv.

 C. Rav Nosson Karelitz says one can accept upon himself “Tosefes Yom Tov” because that doesn’t take away from the completeness of 49 full days it is just that one cannot do any melacha because he took upon himself Tosefes Yom Tov.

Answer: Davening maariv or saying kiddush is an action which actively shows they are moving on to the next day so if done earlier they are not completing the 49 days of counting. Whereas refraining from doing malacha is passive, all it is taking a vow not to do any work for a certain time period for the sake of honoring the Yom Tov but it does not show that they are ready to move on to the next day. (See footnote 1 and 2 in Dirshu there.)

Torah Riddles Test #40

  1. Question: Why can a single Jewish witness absolve himself from paying for what he forced his fellow Jew to pay in non-Jewish court by claiming he was just telling the truth but if a person forcefully takes away something from one person in front of two witnesses which supposedly belongs to his friend and his friend skips town, he must pay back the guy he “stole” from because he is only one witness that says it belongs to his friend even if he claims he is telling the truth?


A. The Shulchan Aruch (Choshen Mishpat 28:3) presents a case where a non-Jew brings a Jew to non-Jewish court claiming he is owed money and a single Jewish witness testifies against his fellow Jew. The Shulchan Aruch says that the witness is excommunicated for testifying by himself against a fellow Jew and it is in fact forbidden to do. However the Rema adds that he would not have to pay for the loss of money he caused his fellow Jew to receive because he can claim “I was just telling the truth,” and in fact the Rema says in si’if 4 that if it were two witnesses that testified against the Jew in non-Jewish court that would be fine because they can do the same in Jewish court. Of course if the witness was lying he’d have to pay.

B. The Ketzos in footnote 4 adds that if the one witness was a relative of the Jew or invalid to testify in Jewish court then he feels he should have to pay for the loss he caused to his fellow Jew even if he claims he was telling the truth because he is an invalid witness whereas the single kosher witness is still a witness he just can’t testify without someone else in Jewish court.

Answer: . The person who grabbed from his fellow for his friend has no proof that he is telling the truth and he lost his credentials of being honest by looking like he is stealing from the person he grabbed from, whereas the single witness in non-Jewish wasn’t acting the way things should be done in Jewish court but there is no reason to think he lost his credentials of being a trustworthy honest Jew.

Torah Riddles Test #39

  1. Question: Why can a Jew make a deal with a non-Jew to take care of his vineyard and eat its grapes in exchange for the non-Jew working on his vineyard and eating those grapes during the 3 years of orlah but if they were partners in one field the non-Jew cannot just work on it the first 3 years and eat from its fruit and then the Jew eat for the next 3 years and eat the same amount of fruit as his non-Jewish partner ate the first 3 years?


 A. Orlah is the Halacha that for the first 3 years after a Jew plants a tree he cannot eat from its fruits.

B. The Shulchan Aruch (Yoreh Deah 294:13) poskins like the Rambam that by a partnership of a Jew and non-Jew, none of them can eat fruit from the tree for the first 3 years after planting unless a specific condition was made for the non-Jew to eat the fruits for the first 3 years and the Jew for the next 3 years. But the condition cannot be conditional on each one getting the same and equal amount of fruit because that would be trading orlah fruit for regular fruit.

C. In si’if 14 the Shulchan Aruch allows one to ask a non-Jew to work his vineyard and eat the fruits produce during the years of orlah while the Jew works on the non-Jews vineyard during those 3 years and eats the same amount of fruit.

 D. Everyone agrees that one can sell his orlah fruit for money when one first plants his tree (See si’if 15.)

Answer: Trading one’s land for the non-Jew’s land to work the land along with eating his fruits is more like a sale than a trade because he is selling his field in exchange for working and taking care of his field. This is totally permissible, unlike just a trade of fruit for fruit. (See Taz there note 22.)

Torah Riddles Test #38

  1. Question: Why should a majority be used to decide that a sheep already counted and then remixed into the pen can be ignored or nullified regarding taking tithes of animals but we can’t use a majority to nullify a string of wool which was not twirled for the sake of the mitzvah of tzitzis and got mixed up with other strings that were woven for the sake of the mitzvah?


A. The Oneg Yom Tov (siman 2) says that if strings twirled not for the sake of the mitzvah of tzitzis are mixed in a pile of strings that were twirled for the mitzvah one cannot use a majority to nullify the invalid ones because nullifying in a majority only works when stuff that are forbidden fall into stuff that are permissible where nullifying the majority removes the issue of prohibition but here the nullifying in majority is being used to make the strands of tzitzis kosher that were twirled not for the sake of the mitzvah and we don’t find anywhere a concept of nullifying like that.

 B. The Gemara in Bava Metzia 6b says that if one of the sheep that was already counted for tithes jumped back into the pen and got mixed up then all of them are exempt from tithing.Tosfos there asks and leaves the question unanswered, why not say that that sheep should be nullified in the majority and all then should be counted in the count of tithing? Problem is that means the majority is actually adding a new din of untithed to the animal that was already counted. It didn’t just nullify that animal because it will be part of the count again which is a question on the Oneg Yom Tov.

C. Chakira in tithing animals: (a) Does the obligation of tithing animals come off by itself once it is counted or (b) really each animal is obligated to be tithed but once they are counted they are exempted from animal tithing.

Answer: If you say like the second side that really each animal is obligated in tithing but is exempted after being counted then Tosfos question makes sense because the nullification through majority takes away the exemption of being counted already and automatically all that is left is the obligation of tithing an animal which by itself it is liable for. Just to clarify, by the tithing of the sheep the obligation of tithing is always on the animal but it is exempted one counted so the majority removes that exemption and the sheep is left with an obligation again which it always has but by the tzitzis, it started off not being made kosherly and the majority would be used to transform it into something kosher which it can’t do.

Torah Riddles Test #37

  1. Question: Why aren’t we concerned about many sins being transgressed when checking to see if the tzitzis on a Tallis is kosher before donning the tallis but we are concerned about many sins being transgressed when taking care of a sick person in danger on Shabbos, at least according to the Ra”n?


A. The Shulchan Aruch by the laws of tzitzis (8:9) says that before one makes a blessing upon donning a Tallis he should be sure the tzitzis strings have not torn so that he would not say a wasted blessing. The Mishna Berura there explains that granted there is a possibility of not wearing a kosher pair of tzitzis but one can rely on a chazaka/halachic assumption that nothing has changed since he wore them last. But for the stringent matter of saying Hashem’s name in vain we are extra strict to check that everything is kosher.

B. The Ra”n quoted in the Beis Yosef (Orach Chaim 328) says it is better to transgress the Shabbos prohibition of slaughtering a kosher animal for a dangerously ill person then to feed him non-kosher meat on Shabbos. The reason being is that it is better to do an act of a sin once even if that particular sin is normally more severe i.e. slaughtering on Shabbos, then many acts of sin, i.e. each time he eats a kazayis of non-kosher meat.

 C. The same should be the concern by the Tallis that every moment of wearing a non-kosher tallis is a sin which we should be more concerned about then one blessing that was made for naught. D. A chazaka deals with the present situation not the future.

Answer: When it comes to Shabbos what has to be weighed are the needs of the sick person and the amount of sins potentially transgressed to save him, what is the easiest way to heal him. The Ra”n holds that if feeding him non-kosher is the same as feeding him kosher meat which must be slaughtered on Shabbos then it is better to shecht one time on Shabbos then for him to eat numerous kazaysim of non-kosher meat. But by tzitzis what is really happening is that we are relying on a chazaka and a chazaka only takes care of the issue at present so when looking at each issue presently we’ll say that the chazaka takes care of the mitzvah of tzitzis to be sure it is kosher but we are more stringent by saying G-D’s name in vain so we don’t rely on the chazaka for that matter.

Torah Riddles Test #36

  1. Question: Why doesn’t one’s courtyard automatically acquires eggs in a nest for the one who buys the courtyard in regards to the mitzvah of shooing away the mother bird?


  1. The Shulchan Aruch (Yoreh Deah 292:2) say in regards to this mitzvah, “Any nest which is supposed to be by you like doves that you are normally raising in one’s house or ducks or chickens that one bought with the house are exempt from this mitzvah . But doves of a dovecote and on top of them are birds that were acquired with earthenware vessels that are built into the walls and birds hang out there, or in pits, as well as ducks and chickens bought with an orchard are liable to be shooed away in order to take the eggs. But this is only as long as the mother bird has not lifted itself from her eggs at all from when they were going to take them. But if she has been raised from the nest and her eggs and the place is his, then his courtyard does acquire them for him and he is exempt from the mitzvah.
  2. The Shach in siif katan 5 says the owner of the courtyard either got the bird to fly high enough that he can’t really get to it as mentioned in si’if 4 or if the bird on her own flew up high enough that she is not touching the nest or chicks with her wings then he is exempt from the mitzvah .
  3. There is a rule that one’s courtyard is like one’s hands, it is an extention of one’s hand, so it can make acquisitions for you like a woman’s courtyard can accept a divorce bill for her from her husband if thrown into her property, just as if it was given to her in her hand.

Answer: The Shach in siif katan 4 says that as long as the bird has not been raised from the nest then his courtyard cannot acquire the eggs for him because since one cannot acquire the eggs by himself as long as the mother bird is on the nest so to ones courtyard cannot acquire them for your since if you can’t your courtyard can’t either. The courtyard is only an extension of your hand.