Torah Riddles Test #157

2.    Question: Why can you open and close the door on Shabbos even if the Chanukah menorah is mounted on it but if you lit your menorah on the table, the table is muktzah and cannot be moved the entire Shabbos?


A. The Mishna Berura (277:1:7) says the reason why the door isn’t muktzah is because it’s of great value since it is used for the house and is nullified to the house and not to the candles.

B. By Shabbos candles the Mishna Berura there (si’if katan 18) say that if Twilight (bein hashmashos) there is challahs or other things needed for shabbos on the table and the shabbos candles are also there the table is a base for permitted and forbidden things and can be carried with the candles to a different place if the table is needed elsewhere assuming you can’t push off the muktzah stuff, i.e. the candles.

 C. Rav Elyashiv poskined that even if there is something more valuable which is permissible on the table when the Chanukah candles were lit there going into Shabbos still the table cannot be moved even after the candles go out.

 D. On any night candles cannot be moved until after the mitzvah is done and on shabbos they can’t be moved until after shabbos.

 Answer: The difference between a door and a table is that the door is considered part of the house which is part of the ground which can’t become muktzah but a table is an object which can become muktzah if it was set aside before shabbos to be used for something forbidden so since the table is being used for chanukah candles from before shabbos and is forbidden to be moved because of the Chanukah light then that supersedes even any important permissible thing from permitting the table to be moved on shabbos since the state of muktzah started from before shabbos whereas normally it starts as shabbos comes in.

Torah Riddles Test #156

1.    Question: Why do we differentiate blessings between one vessel and more vessels when dipping them in the mikvah but when lighting Chanukah candles we say the same blessing whether for one candle or more?


A. The Pri Megadim says we say “lihadlik ner” in singular form for all nights of Chanukah so that we don’t differentiate between the first day and other days of Chanukah.

B. The Mishna Berura (263:22) quotes the Pri Megadim to say that for Shabbos candles we say “lihadlik ner shel Shabbos” no matter how many candles you light because the main obligation is one candle. Technically you only have to light one candle a night on Chanukah too.

C. For dipping vessels into the mikvah you say “al tevilas kli” for one and “al tevilas keilim” for more than one. (Dirshu Mishna Berura 676:1:1:1)

 Answer: By tevilas keilim each vessel is a separate obligation so one should say it in plural for to bless Hashem for each mitzvah you do but by Chanukah each added candle is only beautifying the mitzvah, though that becomes part of the mitzvah but since technically only one candle is needed per night then we stick to singular form for the blessing.

Torah Riddles Test #155

2.       Question: Why on Chanukah is it beautifying the mitzvah by using bigger wax candles but it’s not beautifying the mitzvah when adding more oil into the cup to burn for more than the half hour allotted time for the mitzvah?


A.      The Mishna Berura (675:2:6) says there is no mitzvah to put in enough oil to last more than a half an hour but with wax candles their is a beautification of the mitzvah when having longer candles but they shouldn’t be too big.

 Answer: The Magen Avraham (there si’if katan 3) says there is an intrinsic beauty to longer candles that makes the mitzvah look nicer but oil is oil no matter how much was put in and once the half an hour is gone one can technically use that oil because it’s not being used for a mitzvah anymore so there is no intrinsic value to more oil. [/exapnd]

Torah Riddles Test #154

1.       Question: How can Tosfos (Kiddushin 16a “Leima Ley”) say that a Jewish slave can go free by his master just declaring him ownerless just like a non-Jewish slave?


A.      Shmuel holds a non-Jewish slave goes free even by his master just declaring him ownerless. Even according to the opinion that the slave needs a document of freedom that is only to remove his prohibition of marrying a Jewish girl but a Jewish slave can be married to a Jewish girl.

B.      The Pnei Yehoshua’s question on Tosfos is that the way a declaration of ownerless works is that anyone whether rich or poor, man, woman, etc. is able to acquire the ownerless object. Potentially by the non-Jewish slave anyone can really pick him up once ownerless, but practically speaking he acquires himself for freedom, but potentially if he did not want to do so then he can become  slave of someone else. However that does not work by a Jewish slave, once he is free, automatically only he has rights to himself, so he never could potentially be owned by someone else and therefore the rules of hefker, making things ownerless should not work by a Jewish slave?

C.      The Torah doesn’t allow the laws of acquisition, zechiah, to work on a Jewish slave. The temporary owner cannot even sell him to another master.

 Answer: Granted the Torah just doesn’t allow him to be acquired by anyone but that’s just a technicality, the slave himself and the owner potentially had in mind for anyone to take him when the owner declares him ownerless so the laws of hefker can work. Only if the owner limits who is allowed to take what he declares ownerless will the laws of hefker not work.

Torah Riddles Test #153

2. Question: Why does the Tur hold that Yochanan Ochel Challos did not have to divulge as part of his story that his father took him out of yeshiva?

A. Rebbe Yehuda HaNasi poskined that this person is a kohen based on the innocent story he gave of his childhood when he remembers his father carrying him on his shoulders and dipping him in the mikvah and then going to the threshing floor to collect teruma/tithes from the owners to eat in the evening, and hi friends would stay away from him and call me Yochanan Ochel Challos.
2. Tosfos holds that part of the story in Kesubos 56b was specifically that the father took him out of yeshiva and this was important so that it will rule out the possibility that he wasn’t a non-Jewish slave who can eat Teruma if his master is a kohen, but a non-Jewish slave cannot learn Torah so he wouldn’t be in Yeshiva. The Tur holds that the fact he was taken out of yeshiva was just part of the story but had no significance so he left it out.
C. Female non-slaves don’t get married so any children are out of wedlock and are automatically slaves to her master.

Answer: The Taz (Even HaEzer 2:1:1) says that we probably won’t know who the father is and even if we do the child should be with his master at all times so if he says his father carried him on his shoulders it must be the person talking is Jewish and according to his account that makes him a kohen.

Torah Riddles Test #152

1.       Question: Why can a blind person say Kiddush Levana with others outside but a sick person stuck in bed cannot say Kiddush Levana if he only sees the shine from the moon through his window according to the Responsa Zera Emes (volume 3 chapter 43)?


 A. If the sick person can see the moon itself from his window he can technically make Kiddush Levana because being outside is only better because it’s like going out to greet the king (Hashem) which shows more respect.

B. In the Mishna Berura (426:1) the Rema says one should not say Kiddush Levana unless it is night and he can benefit from the moon’s light. This means that this blessing is a blessing over getting satisfaction like by food, not a blessing over a mitzvah.

Answer: The blind person got as much benefit from the moon as he can get by the person next to him informing him that the moon is out but the sick person has the ability to get the full benefit of the moon he is just incapacitated at the moment so he cannot make the blessing if he does not actually get the full benefit of seeing the moon.

Torah Riddles Test #151

 2. Question: Why are you allowed to say Shalom to someone in an unclean area nowadays?

A. Shalom is one of G-d’s names and also means peace.
B. The Mishna Berura (84:1:6) says saying Shalom to a person before davening shouldn’t be done because Shalom is one of G-d’s names as it says “They called Hashem, Shalom”, so to it is forbidden to give Shalom to a friend in the alley way and other dirty places.

 Answer: Nowadays a person’s intent when saying shalom aleichem is only to say “may be peace be upon you,” not “may Hashem be with you”.

Torah Riddles test #150

1.    Question: Why doesn’t a marriage work if the man has in mind to divorce her soon after the marriage?


A. The Shulchan Aruch (Even HaEzer 2:10) says a person shouldn’t marry a woman with the thought to divorce her but if you inform her in the beginning that he is going to marry her for only some set amount of time, it is permitted.

B. The Chochmas Shlomo says that definitely when you inform her and she agrees, there is no prohibition in the matter. But even if you don’t inform her she fully agrees to marrying you right now and you fully agree to marry her right now so why is it forbidden to marry her without her knowing you are going to divorce her?

Answer: If she would know your intent it is assumed she would never agree to get married so really aren’t married and the relations you have with her is illicit. (See also the Taz.)

Torah Riddles Test #149

2. Question: Why can we wear tefillin during a bris but not on Shabbos or yom tov? Background:

A. There are 3 things that are called signs and they can’t actively overlap with each other besides bris, the 3 are bris, tefillin, and shabbos/yom tov.

 B. The problem with overlapping signs is that you are degrading one sign when having the other that is why one does not wear tefillin on Shabbos and yom tov but if so then he shouldn’t wear it when a bris is being performed?

Answer: Rav Moshe Feinstein answers (Igros Moshe Orach Chaim volume 4 question 101) the sign isn’t the act of giving the bris but the fact that one has a bris therefore the father can give his son a bris with tefillin on (to give a reason for the act of the bris, and to show that it’s an action of giving over the sign.) Where as Shabbos and Yom tov is the sign itself so to wear the tefillin during that day cheapens the day. [/exapnd]

Torah Riddles Test 148

1.       Question: Why does the Shulchan Aruch (Orach Chaim 426:2) hold we should wait until Shabbos to say Kiddush Levana in order to beautify the mitzvah but one should not wait to get his tallis if he only has his tefillin even though wearing the tefillin with the tallis beautifies the mitzvah?


A. There is a debate whether you should do a mitzvah sooner than later without pushing it off or if you delay and you do it in a better way than it is worth pushing it off. The Mishna Berura (25:1:7) by this tefillin case says a mitzvah done in a timely fashion is more beloved.

B. The reason to push off saying Kiddush Levana from the earliest possible moment, assuming you will have a good chance to do it later, is to say it while feeling fresh and nicely clothed.

Answer: By Kiddush Levana delaying to right after shabbos gives praise to the mitzvah of Kiddush Levana itself. But by tefillin, wearing it with the tallis doesn’t bring praise to the mitzvah itself of tefillin.