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?


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?


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?


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?


 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?


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?


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).  

Torah Riddles Test #191

2. Question: Why technically if you don’t answer amen but you just had in mind and the person saying the blessing had you in mind then it’s as if you said the blessing by any blessing besides if one bentches gomel upon hearing someone being saved, where the person actually saved must answer amen to fulfill his obligation of bentching gomel?


A.      The Mishna Berura (8:5:15) says that if 2 or 3 people are putting on their tallis all at the same time they should make the blessing all at the same time and if they want one can say it for everyone and the rest answer amen and even though one should anyways always answer amen to a blessing, but in this case when they want to fulfill the obligation themselves then answering amen shows they want to be apart of it, but technically even if they didn’t answer amen they fulfilled their obligation for the blessing [by just listening and having in mind.]

B.      When bentching gomel for himself a person should say Blessed is Hashem…Who has bestowed every goodness upon me. The Mishna Berura (219:4) says that if someone else said Blessed is Hashem… Who has bestowed every goodness upon you, and you answer amen then it works for yourself.

 Answer: Rebbe Akiva Aiger quoted in the Be’ur Halacha (219:4 “vi’ana amen”) says that since the listener cannot say “bestowed goodness upon you” then he cannot fulfill his obligation with the language of that blessing so listening is like answering would not apply and therefore he must answer amen which means he is acknowledging the subject of the blessing and not specifically how it was said.

Torah Riddles #190

1. Question: According to the Tur why do children who say they came back from a funeral have to explain in detail that they were just at a funeral of so and so and there were eulogies by these people etc. in order for the wife of the deceased to be allowed to be remarried but if he just said as testimony that so and so died he is believed without further interrogation or need to speak innocently, for her to be remarried? What the difference between the two cases?


A. We believe testimony of almost anyone, even a maidservant or slave or a child for a woman to get remarried because of the issue if aguna and she will make sure her husband is dead before actually getting married last all the fines in chapter 10 of Yevamos will be upon her.

 B. Children are prone to make up stories and playing games like performing a funeral for an ant.

C. When a child reaches the age of 7 or 8 he has enough knowledge to do some level of business and is not considered like an insane person.

Answer: The Taz (Even HaEzer 17:13:9) says that since a child of 7 or 8 is mature enough to do business then he can be relied upon for aguna like any other non-real witness because we aren’t worried he’s insane but when talking about a funeral we are concerned they are making up stories so they have to give more details in order to prove they are telling the truth.

Torah Riddles Test #189

 2. Question: Why does the Ohr Letzion poskin that anyone can give a haircut to their 3 year old at anytime of the omer but the bottom Tosfos in Bava Metzia 10b says that not even women can cut off the peus of boys?


A. The negative mitzvah of cutting off peus on a Jewish Male doesn’t only apply to a man but even a woman can’t do the action even to a boy who is not obligated in mitzvos but the women still transgressed the prohibition of cutting off the sidelocks. (See Tosfos there.)

B. The laws of mourning don’t apply to children whether it is for a relative who died or during the 3 weeks leading into Tisha b’av etc.

C. Not cutting hair during the omer is a custom in order to remember the loss of Rebbe Akiva’s students.

 Answer: Mourning doesn’t apply to a child at all so anyone can cut his hair even if they are mourning since not cutting hair only reflect mourning which doesn’t apply to the child but the prohibition of cutting off peus is an issue on the cutter not just the one being done to so even if the child isn’t obligated in the mitzvah as of yet but the hair cutter or the one allowing the hair cut to be done is.

Torah Riddles Test #188

1. Question: Why can you remarry a woman you divorced after Nisuin but not a woman you divorced after Kiddushin (Erusin) anytime during the omer? Background:

A. Weddings are forbidden during parts of the omer when we are mourning over the loss of Rebbe Akiva’s students because it creates a tremendous amount of joy.

 B. There are two parts to a halachic marriage, Kiddushin which is the acquisition by giving the ring and the like and nisuin which is the consummation. Now a days we do them all at the same time but they use to be done separately like an engagement and a wedding.

 C. A get (divorce bill) is required in both cases and a Kiddushin and nisuin must be redone both times too.

 Answer: There is no halachic joy when remarrying your wife from Nisuin because you are just getting back together, nothing new. But to consummate a Kiddushin that was broken off is a new step to the marriage so it has a lot more joy. (See Dirshu Mishna Berura 493 footnote 2)