Torah Riddles Test #81

  1. Question: Why can a woman ask someone to light Chanukah candles for her if she forgot and lit Shabbos candles first but she can’t ask someone to make an eruv tavshilin for her if she forgot and already lit Yom Tov candles?


A. The Mishna Berura (679:1:1) says, if a woman is lighting Chanukah candles, since the custom is that we assume she accepts Shabbos as soon as she lights Shabbos candles, then she won’t be able to light Chanukah candles herself, rather she should ask someone else to light for her and he will say the first blessing for her but she can say the second blessing herself.

B. One can’t light fires on Shabbos.

C. There was a decree made that one makes an eruv tavshilin as a means to start cooking for the needs of Shabbos before Yom Tov  which permits one to prepare food on Yom Tov for the next day of Shabbos as if preparations is being done for everything and you would not transgress the prohibition of preparing on Yom Tov for the next day. 


Answer: Once she accepts upon herself Yom Tov by lighting candles then the whole concept of an eruv tavshilin doesn’t apply to her anymore because it only is applicable before Yom Tov starts but by lighting Chanukah candles the only issue is doing a melacha on Shabbos, transgressing Shabbos so someone who has not accepted Shabbos yet can light candles for her. (See Dirshu footnote 4 here.) [/edit]

Torah Riddles Test #79

  1. Question: According to Rav Yaakov Emdan why can challah only be nullified if it accidentally fell into another batch of dough but not if it fell into the dough it was taken from?


A. The Torah requires one to take a piece of dough and give it to the kohen (nowadays we burn it) if an amount of dough of at least 1660-2250 grams of flour was made.

B. This dough is holy like teruma and can only be nullified 1 in hundred times the amount of dough it falls into and gets mixed up according to the Rema (Yoreh Deah 323:1).

Answer: Pischay Teshuva (2) says that according to him if the dough falls back into where it was taken all the dough becomes untithed again therefore it is not nullified but if fallen into some other dough it doesn’t affect that dough in anyway so it can be nullified.

Torah Riddles Test # 78

  1. Question: Why do you have to say a blessing on each animal you shecht if they weren’t all in front of you when you started, but if you make a blessing on a food like a fruit you don’t need to make a blessing for another one that comes afterwards even if it wasn’t in front of you when you made the blessing?


  1. The Tur (Yoreh Deah 19) poskins that in the beginning when you said a blessing there were many animals to shecht and afterwards more animals were brought, one must say another blessing for each animal that was not there when the first blessing was made.
  2. The Tur (Orach Chaim 206) says that if one makes a blessing on fruit that was in front of him and afterwards more is brought out of that kind then a new blessing is not needed even if they were not in front of you when the blessing was made.
  3. One is more settled when eating then when shechting.
  4. There is a Ra”n in Nedarim 17a that says if a person vows to be a nazir on condition of eating  bread then his vow is contingent on eating a kazayis of bread, and if he eats many kazaysim with being warned after each kazayis then he has multiple nazarite vows he must fulfill but if he was not warned in between each kazayis then he only has to be a nazir once, for 30 days. This, the Ra”n concludes implies that if not for warnings in between, eating multiple kazaysim at a time is considered one long process of eating.

Answer: Either you can say that because one is set and sitting down to eat then it’s expected that more food comes out so anything that comes out is automatically in mind to be eaten as part of the first blessing. Whereas by shechita the mindset is more likely that once all the animals around him are done there is no more coming so a new blessing must be made for more that come in. Or you can say that any fruit that comes out during the meal is one big eating which never really stopped so only one blessing is needed, whereas each animal is a different shechita which needs a new blessing unless specifically having in mind for more than one at a time which you know about. (Mishmeres Chaim 2:91)

Torah Riddles Test #77

  1. Question: What is the difference between shechita and chalitza? Why if shechita is done specifically in mind just to cut the animal and not to do a kosher slaughtering it is not kosher even if a kosher slaughtering was halachically done but if one does the process of chalitza with the opposite intent (I.e. to do yibum and marry her instead of get rid of her) then it still works as a chalitza?


  1. The Maharshal (Yam Shel Shlomo Chullin 2:12) holds that even though we poskin that if a knife falls and just happens to shecht an animal properly it is a kosher slaughtering  you don’t need specific intent to shect but if you specifically had in mind not to perform a kosher shechita, but rather just to stab it or strangle the animal that is not a shechita even if it was physically done properly.
  2.  The Oneg Yom Tov (57) asks on the Maharshal from a case in Yevamos daf 106 that Reish Lakish holds that the case of a mistaken chalitza being a kosher chalitza is when he says I will perform the process of chalitza in order marry her. Even though chalitza is the process to separate the brother from his yevama and avoid marrying or doing yibum to her.
  3. The Maharshal holds that by shechita, the shochet is the one who is permitting the animal to be eaten. But by chalitza G-d is the one permitting the woman to marry anyone it is just that chalitza is the process of acquisition done for her to acquire herself and be allowed to now marry anyone else.
  4. Normally by an acquisition the person doing the acquisition makes it his by himself but by chalitza G-D makes her free not the brother who is doing the action of kinyan (acquisition to release her from the bond of yibum).

Answer: By chalitza it makes no difference what the intent of the brother was when doing the chalitza the action was done which allows for the Torah to release her but by shechita, granted there is no acquisition done to make it kosher therefore no specific intent is needed as long as the act was done properly but because the shochet is the one in control to make it kosher then if he has specific intent for it not to be kosher then he ruined it.  (Mishmeres Chaim 1:81)

Torah Riddles Test #76

Question: What the difference between a safek peter chamor (a kosher animal used to redeem a donkey but in doubt if can be used) and a safek bechor (a first born domesticated animal in doubt whether it is a first born)?


A. The Shulchan Aruch (Yoreh Deah 321:2,3) says that you shouldn’t redeem a donkey neither with a calf, or a wild animal or with a slaughtered sheep or a sheep which has a debilitating blemish (Treifa), or with a species illegally mixed (kilayim) or a koy (rather it should be redeemed with a live sheep or goat and then given to the kohen). One can’t redeem with a sheep that looks like a different species but if he did it works. The Rema says that there is an opinion that if he did redeem with it, it is a doubt whether it works.

B. The Be’er Heitiv (2) explains the ramifications of it being a doubt that if the redeemed donkey dies before the redemption creature was given to the kohen the owner is not obligated to give anything to that kohen for the owner can say that maybe the redemption didn’t work and if after it was given to the kohen the redeemed donkey died then the kohen can keep the redemption animal since he is the assumed owner of the animal now. He is the(muchzak) since the owner himself gave it to the kohen.

C. The Shulchan Aruch and Rema in siman 315 says that if a kohen grabbed a safek firstborn sheep or even if the owner gave it to him by mistake he must return it to the owner (and we don’t consider him muchzak).

Answer:By the redemption of the donkey there is at least an obligation to give a proper redemption animal to the kohen but a mistake might have been made and the owner thought this would be a good redemption animal therefore the kohen has a right to keep it. But a sheep where there is a doubt whether it is a firstborn there is a doubt whether there is an obligation at all to begin with.

Torah Riddles Test #75

1.  Question: Why is there a difference whether you found excrement on your clothes or on the bottom of your shoe in terms of saying Holy matters like praying or learning Torah?


A. The Shulchan Aruch (Orach Chaim 76:2) says that one can place his shoe over a hole which has excrement inside it and recite the Shema as long as there is no smell emanating from there. But if the shoe is touching the excrement it is forbidden to say Shema.

B.  The Mishna Berura (5) differentiates between whether you are wearing the shoe or not. If you are not wearing the shoe and it touches the excrement while covering it you can say Shema but if you are wearing the shoe it is worse because now it is your clothing. However the Shulchan Aruch In si’if 4 indicates that if excrement is hidden on another part of the garment it is permissible to say Shema. The Magen Avraham says this is explicitly mentioned in the Shulchan Aruch siman 78 and He also says the difference between a shoe and other articles of clothing is because a shoe is nullified to the body where as other pieces of clothing aren’t.  Why? 

Answer: The Shulchan Aruch Harav 76:2 answers that the shoe is used by the foot to crush the excrement and the foot is what holding the shoe in place on the excrement therefore it’s as if the foot is touching the excrement. But by other articles of clothing they are not being used to touch the excrement therefore they are considered a covering. This would mean that a glove used on a hand to cover the excrement would be the same as a shoe.

Torah Riddles Test #74

2.  Question: In order to have completed a complete repentance so that one can testify again why is it more strict by an eid zomem (false witness) or a butcher that slaughtered and sold treifos blemished animals than one who gambles or sold shmita (sabbatical year) goods or loans with interest?


A. The Shulchan Aruch (Choshen Mishpat 34:30-35) gives ways to repent from sins which invalidate one from being a witness while staying in one’s own place of living when it comes to gambling or selling shmita goods or loans with interest but by slaughtering blemished animals and eidim zomemim the Shulchan Aruch says that part of the process of fixing his bad ways and proving he is honest is leaving his place of living. 

 Answer: The Be’er Heitiv (43)says we are more strict and make him be in a situation where he is outside of his comfort zone and still does the honest thing at times when he is going to be going back to his old status like being a butcher or an honest witness but when just proving that one dropped his bad ways like gambling, and charging interest all he needs to do is prove it in his own city to be allowed to testify again because he doesn’t have to prove he can earn the previous status he lost he just has to prove he is honest again so we are more lenient in the latter cases to prove his honesty in his place of living.

Torah Riddles Test #73

1.  Question: If a person is standing in water without any clothes and wants to make a blessing why is he allowed to put his arms around his waist to separate his heart from his bottom, isn’t he touching unclean normally covered places which also prevent him from making a blessing?


A. There are a number of conditions that have to be met in order to speak or do Holy matters like making blessings: 1. Private parts must be covered. 2. There must be a separation between private parts and one’s heart. 3. One must have clean hands that have not touched normally covered places on one’s body which tend to sweat.

 B. The Mishna Berura (74:3:14) gives a solution for one standing in water, for example a woman going to the Mikva who must make a blessing, that is that the water is considered covering her private parts and by clenching her arms around her waist which is not normal to do, that can be used as a separation between her heart and bottom, just like a girdle.

C. Question is why is this allowed if you are not allowed to touch covered areas and the waist is normally covered?

Answer: Rav Shlomo Zalman Auerbach (footnote 16 in Dirshu) says that the body can’t be dirty with sweat if you are inside the water so there is no problem of dirty hands if you touch your waste when making the blessing.

Torah Riddles Test #72

  1. Question: Why does the Be’er Heitiv say it is permissible to throw fruit at the children during hakafos, dancing on Simchas Torah?


A. The Bachye writes we should protest throwing fruit at the children. It could be for reasons that it was a frivolous and wasteful custom.

B. There is a medrish that says Haman told Achashverosh that the Jews had this custom.

Answer: It must be an ancient custom if it goes all the way back to the times of the Purim story therefore it is valid. Now a days people throw candy.

Torah Riddle Test #71

  1. Question: In terms of invalidating oneself for testimony as a witness what is the difference between saying “I made a mistake” verses saying “I did it by accident” or “I forgot”?


  1. The Shulchan Aruch (Choshen Mishpat 34:12) says: “If witnesses testify on a man who is assumed to be kosher (and honest) that he leant money with interest, he is not invalidated to be a witness because we assume it was leant in a fashion which would not be prohibitive or he can claim he was mistaken and thought there was no prohibition in charging interest in this manner.”
  2. The Rema earlier (34:5) says “If witnesses come and say he broke his oath, he cannot say it was an accident or I was forced to break it in order to make himself kosher to testify.”
  3. The prohibition of transgressing an oath is known to everyone.
  4. The Be’er Heitiv (14) says he wouldn’t invalidate himself to testify even if he broke Shabbos, for example if a person claimed “I did not know it is an av melacha to tie and untie a permanent knot on Shabbos.” Or he says he forgot it is even Shabbos, even though he was warned from Heaven (when we all received the Torah) about this prohibition.

Answer: Since the sin is well known then he should be more careful once he makes an oath and is not believed to say he forgot about the oath or he mistakenly made it, therefore he is invalid to be a witness about what he saw in order to testify. Whereas if one says he thought it wasn’t forbidden why would he think to be more careful, it came out of the blue, it wasn’t an issue on his radar screen so there is no reason to assume he is a dishonest and therefore invalid witness (see Be’er Heitiv 14 there).