Torah Riddles Test #131

2.    Question: What is the difference between a person who delays making a siyum or speeds up learning to make a siyum during the nine days which should not be done as opposed to one who finished a masechta and just left over a couple of lines for a more opportune time to make a siyum which happened to follow out during the nine days or someone ideally learns a masechta which he knows he’ll be finished by the nine days in order to make a siyum during that time?


A.    The Mishna Berura (551:10:73) says if one sees he’ll be making a siyum soon one shouldn’t hasten or delay it just to be able to eat meat, also if you don’t normally make a feast after a siyum you shouldn’t have one now. However if you are appropriately finishing something then you and even people who did not learn with you can partake in a festive meat meal, even if people are coming and going after you finished the siyum because it increases friendliness.

B.    Rav Chaim Kanievsky tells a story from his father, The Steipler, that during World War 1 they only had meat to eat and guys made a siyum for every meal and everyone in Yeshiva partook in eating meat.

C. The Aruch HaShulchan (Orach Chaim 551:28) said it’s ideal to learn in order to make siyums at this time of the year in order to increase Torah learning.

  Answer: The Dirshu Mishna Berura (footnote 89) brings the Responsa Minchas Yitzchak that explains when a person hastens or delays his completion of a masechta just to make a siyum during the nine days then he is showing his joy over eating meat not Torah learning which is not nice and not a seudas mitzvah because the main part of the mitzvah is concluding the masechta but when a person finishes something but leaves over a couple of lines for an opportune time to make the feast or if they are trying to make siyums during the nine days in order to increase Torah learning that shows they feel the Torah learning is more important and therefore it’s befitting to have a seudas mitzvah. [/exapnd]

Rabbi DS Milder

Torah Riddles Test #130

1.    Question: Why is a person who accidentally says a bracha on a new fruit, allowed to say shehecheyanu during the 3 weeks but a pregnant woman or sick person who has to eat a new fruit to feel better does not say a shehecheyanu during this time?


A. Since we diminish our joy during the 3 weeks between 17th of Tammuz and Tisha B’Av one should not put himself into a situation where he would have to say a shehecheyanu.

B. Shehecheyanu was enacted for the joy of eating a new fruit as per The Responsa Hisorirus Teshuva (347).

C. The Mishna Berura (551:17:99) says a pregnant woman and sick person should not say a shehecheyanu.

Answer: See Dirshu Mishna Berura (551:17:99:122) in the name of the Responsa Hisorirus Teshuva (347) that a sick person or pregnant woman is different than one who mistakenly said a blessing on a new fruit since the blessing of shehecheyanu was enacted on the joy of eating a new fruit and if one took a new fruit and said a blessing on it, the reality is he does have a sense of joy right now and therefore he must say a shehecheyanu. On the other hand a sick person or pregnant woman who are only permitted to eat the new fruit because of their sickness or state when everyone else in the world is not eating it, and they themselves don’t really want to eat the fruit now, therefore it must be they are really feeling despondence over the exile and not joy, and that is why they don’t say shehecheyanu.

Torah Riddles Test #129

2.    Question: The Minchas Chinuch (mitzvah 51) asks: What is the difference between selling an animal that gored before being found guilty and making it ownerless before it was found guilty?


A. The Tur says if one’s ox gores and then the owner declares it ownerless, he is exempt from paying damages even if he acquires it again before it is found guilty in court.

B. The Tur also says that if one’s ox gores and then he sells it he is liable. Which seemingly means you don’t need to have one owner of the ox in order to be liable (as Rashi holds) but that would mean there is a contradiction between selling and making ownerless.

 C. Even the Tur holds that you need ownership from the goring through the court case without any break.

Answer: By buying and selling there is always someone owning it even while changing hands so the obligation sticks. But when made ownerless even if picked back up by the sane person there is now a break in ownership which causes an exemption. [/exand]

Torah Riddles Test #128

1.    Question: If a bar mitzvah boy who turned 13 Friday night did not develop 2 hairs until Shabbos morning is still obligated to say the night time kiddush during the day then why is an onen, someone who is waiting to bury his dead relative, in this case over Shabbos, exempt from saying havdala after the burial on Sunday according to the Rosh?


 A: The Minchas Chinuch (mitzvah 31) says that if the bar mitzvah boy could not say Kiddush for himself on the Shabbos night he is obligated according to the Torah to say kiddush on Shabbos day because the kiddush during the day would not make up for what was skipped rather there is just a Torah level mitzvah to say the night time kiddush at some point during the whole entire Shabbos. (The daytime kiddush we say is rabbinic.)

B. The Rosh brought in the Tur Yoreh Deah 341 says that since an onen was not obligated to do havdala on motzei Shabbos at the beginning of his obligation to say havdala then he is exempt from saying havdala the next day after the burial, for since he was not obligated by the main time of obligation he is not obligated anymore (though havdala technically could be said until Tuesday normally.)

C. The obligation of kiddush comes because of the concept of Shabbos but the obligation of havdala comes because of the separation between Shabbos and weekday.

Answer: The obligation of kiddush is because of the day and the whole day is Shabbos so the bar mitzvah boy is still obligated once he produces his two hairs. But the obligation of havdala is the separation between Shabbos and weekday which is really a moment in time, once it passes and the onen was exempt at the time then he is not obligated any more or get a renewed obligation once he buries his relative. [/exapnd]

Torah Riddles Test #127

2. Question: Why does the Pri Megadim hold you should first make a blessing on the Tallis then say shehecheyanu but by a new fruit you first say shehecheyanu and then the blessing on the fruit?


A. The reason why the Tallis is considered important in your eyes to warrant a shehecheyanu is because of the mitzvah.

B. The fruit itself is what causes the need to say a blessing of Ha’etz and the blessing of shehecheyanu.

C. Saying the blessing of Haetz is for the benefit you get and shehecheyanu for the joy you get.

 Answer: Since the mitzvah causes the Tallis to need a shehecheyanu then it’s not fitting to say the blessing on the Tallis then the shehecheyanu but by the fruit since the reason for each blessing is different one for enjoyment and the other for joy and they are both caused by the fruit itself independently then it would be a separation /hefsek between the blessing and eating if shehecheyanu was said in the middle. (Also could say before and not after eating because really the joy starts from when the fruit is seen on the tree, so technically can say shehecheyanu then but we wait until we eat it when the joy intensifies.)

Torah Riddles Test #126

1. Question: Why can a kohen wear his priestly garments which has shaatnez in them even when not doing the holy service but the Raavad holds you can’t wear tzitzis which has shaatnez in them at night since there is no obligation at night?


A. These are examples of a positive mitzvah pushing off a negative mitzvah, in this case the mitzvah of tzitzis or priestly garments pushing off the prohibition of shaatnez/forbidden mixtures.

B. Really when it comes to the priestly garments the Torah didn’t just push off the prohibition of shaatnez but completely permitted it because that’s the only way to perform the service in the Beis hamikdash.

C. You don’t have to wear shaatnez by tzitzis but if you have a linen garment and the techeiles/blue string (when worn) was supposed to be wool then the positive mitzvah of tzitzis pushes off the negative mitzvah of shaatnez.

D. Why does the priestly garments permit the prohibition of shaatnez but the tzitzis only push off the prohibition if shaatnez.

Answer: The Kovetz Ha’aros (40 in new edition) answered that the Raavad holds that since there is no other way to wear the priestly garments while doing the Holy service then the prohibition became permitted even after the service was done and before it took place but by tzitzis you can always wear a linen garment with linen tzitzis so you wouldn’t need to mix wool and linen together. The Torah just permitted you to do so if you wish for the sake of the mitzvah so the mitzvah only pushes off the prohibition so when there is no mitzva, like at night then the prohibition won’t allow you to wear the garment.

Torah Riddle Test #125

Question: The Mishna Achrona (Oholos 1:8) asks why in the Michilta it is taught on the verse “when you open a pit or dig a pit” if on the opening you are liable all the more so for digging it, so why need the verse, rather the verse must be teaching us that we don’t exact capital punishment or lashes from logic, it needs a verse. And Tosfos in the first chapter of Bava Kama says that it is obvious that opening is included in digging and still you need a verse. In Gemara Makkos it asks if testimony works with two witnesses then why does the Torah also mention 3? But what’s the question, we hold ein onshin min hadin, you can’t punish based on logic, and we would not enact a death penalty if 3 witnesses testified, for example someone killed someone else but because it is impossible to have 3 without two then obviously they should be able to make someone guilty of a capital crime, so why isn’t this any different then digging and opening a pit where each one needs a verse though once we know one then obviously we know the other?


A. Digging a pit entails opening something which was not there before whereas opening a pit entails opening a hole that was already opened before but currently is covered.

B. 3 witnesses are all separate who just happened to come together to testify about the same thing.

 Answer: Since opening and digging really are two different actions then it makes more sense to say a kal vachomer so therefore a verse is needed to punish but two out of three witnesses are the same as two witnesses therefore it makes more sense to say they are the same thing as that is why the Gemara asked why a verse is needed.

Torah Riddles Test #124

1.    Question: Rav Elchanan Wasserman (Kovetz Ha’aros 77, 78) asked why you are punished for each child when shechting a cow with its calves but you are only punished once for wearing a piece of wool clothing with shaatnez that has multiple linen threads intertwined in it?


A. Even though there is an argument between the Rabbanan and Sumchus (See Chullin 82a) whether the shochet gets one set of lashes or multiple sets for each calf just as Sumchus would say if you eat two forbidden fats in one setting you are liable for two sets of lashes but the Rabbanan still hold according to the Rambam in his commentary on Mishnayos Nazir (Chapter Shlosha Minim) that though you might only get one set of lashes but you still are liable in heaven for each calf. Why is this if what triggers the sin is really just one action of slaughtering the mother?

B. Same should apply to wearing shaatnez clothes, even though it is one action of wearing but if there are multiple threads of interwoven wool and linen you should at least be liable in heaven for each thread?

  Answer: By the slaughtering there is really two different issues here shechting the mother and her first child and then her second child the sin was just done in one action once the mother was slaughtered so it’s doing two prohibitions at once. But by shaatnez the prohibition is wearing clothing that has shaatnez in it so really there is only one prohibition and multiple reason of why he is liable. But he is only punished once for the one prohibition.  

Torah Riddles Test #123

Question: What’s the difference between putting on Tefillin which the Yeshuos Yaakov holds there is a Torah level mitzvah to wear the entire day but taking the lulav an esrog is only a one moment mitzvah on a Torah level, not the entire day?


A. The mitzvah by the lulav and esrog is to take them into your hands.

B. The mitzvah of tefillin is to have them on you.

 Answer: An action only takes a moment to do so by tefillin it’s only a moment but having them on can be continuous so the mitzvah by tefillin is the entire day.

Torah Riddles Test #122

1.       Question: According to the opinion brought down in the Minchas Chinuch (mitzvah 423) that if you fix tzitzis at night on a day time garment which one corner broke, it is invalid and must be restrung in the day because the night isn’t a time of performing the mitzvah of wearing tzitzis but why then can you bake matzah before Pesach or build a Sukkah before Sukkos?


A. The issue for not working is the concept of “ta’aseh vilo min ha’asui” which means that there has to be an obligation to do the mitzvah ready to be when you set it up, not set it up beforehand then the obligation comes in. For example you can’t take a rounded garment, which doesn’t have an obligation of tzitzis and put tzitzis on four sides and then cut out four corners so that it would now be obligated in tzitzis after the tzitzis was tied on.

B. What obligates a garment in tzitzis is a four-corner garment but the obligation is only during the day according to most opinions.

C. There is a difference between a passive exemption and an active exemption.

                   Answer: By tzitzis the exemption of night time is actively exempting one from a potentially preexisting obligation, therefore the concept of taaseh vilo min ha’asuy kicks in because there is an obligation that can be fixed so it has to be fixed when the time is appropriate but by shofar and sukkah there isn’t an obligation before the Yom Tov so passively time just happened to not cause the obligation to kick in but since it is not actively stopping it then preparations can be made to prepare for the mitzvah to take place when the time comes for the obligation to kick in.