Torah Riddles Test #52

Question: Why aren’t raisins which the owner thought were not ready by twilight of Shabbos (bein hashmashos) muktzah just like a hammer or rock which one has no use for is muktzah as soon as Shabbos comes in?

Background:

A. The Shulchan Aruch (Orach Chaim 310:4) says that if dates or grapes are being dried and the owner puts them out of his mind as Shabbos comes in but by twilight (bein hashmashos) they were already fully dried and edible, even though the owner didn’t know at the time that it dried but after Shabbos started he was informed it was ready to be eaten at twilight. The Halacha is that it is permitted to be eaten and it is not muktzah though he seemingly mistakenly put them out of his mind as Shabbos came in.

B. Why not say a mistake is a mistake and it can’t be fixed just like any other muktzah item that you thought you had no use for as Shabbos came in and you might change your mind during Shabbos?

Answer: Look at Mishna Berura (17): Really he made no mistake in his mind, rather his mindset was that if as long as they are not ready they are out of his mind and once they are ready then he has them in mind to eat, he just wasn’t informed they were ready until after shabbos started but they were ready to be eaten as Shabbos started so they were never muktzah.

Torah Riddles Test #51

  1. Question: According to the view that you are allowed to say shehecheyanu on just seeing a new fruit why won’t the blessing work on any new fruit you have in mind that you will be seeing even after a few seconds (achar kdei dibur) just like the blessing on eating a fruit works for whatever you have in mind even if it comes out much later in the same meal?

Background:

A. The Ashel Avraham (siman 225) says that if the fruit was not in the house and you cannot see it when saying shehecheyanu, even if you had both fruits in mind only the one at the table is exempted but the one not within eyesight would not be exempted even if it came a few seconds later but after kdei dibur.

B. The Shulchan Aruch (Orach Chaim 206:5 and Yoreh Deah 19:7) says that the blessing made on one food or one shechting can exempt many others that come afterwards.

C. What obligates one to say a blessing on eating the fruit is the actual eating. So to what obligates the blessing by shechita is the mitzvah of shechita.

D. What obligates the blessing of shehecheyanu upon seeing a new fruit is the joy upon seeing it.

Answer: Since the obligation of the blessing on the food or shechita is in the food or animal itself then it is already ready and in existence even if it is not here yet but the joy over the fruit which sparks an obligation of shehecheyanu only comes when the person sees the fruit so if it is not here in front of him the obligation of the blessing has not started yet for the next fruit so the blessing doesn’t extend to the next one if it isn’t toch kdei dibur.

Torah Riddles Test #50

  1. Question: Why should the sheliach tzibur not say his silent devotion when a minor holding a sefer Torah makes up the tenth man of the minyan and he only recites the repetition out loud?

Background:

A. The Mishna Berura (55:4:24) Brings a view that in emergency purposes one can use one child below bar mitzvah to make a minyan for barchu, kaddish, and kedusha. But not Mourners Kaddish for after Aleinu. He brings down that now a days they used this leniency if the child is holding a sefer Torah but he says many later poskim are stringent even for emergency purposes.

B. Rav Moshe Feinstein zt”l (Igros Moshe, Orach Chaim volume 2, chapter 18) ruled that if one does use this leniency the one leading the service should not say the Shemone esray twice, once to himself and once out loud.

Answer: In order to avoid saying brachos levatala, unneeded blessings, according to the view that this leniency does not work. So he just says the shemone esray once which counts for his personal obligation as well.

Torah Riddles Test #49

  1. Question: Why does a condition work to not accept upon yourself Shabbos if you light candles early but if you daven maariv early a condition does not work?

Background:

  1. The Mishna Berura (263:11:50) says that even if the congregation did not daven maariv yet, if an individual davened maariv for Shabbos, while still day out, he has accepted upon himself Shabbos and is forbidden to do Melacha, even if he says he did not want to accept Shabbos upon himself yet. And though by candle lighting some say a condition does work, as seen in si’if 10, but davening shemone esray is different since you mentioned the sanctity of Shabbos.
  2. The bracha you make on lighting Shabbos candles is “Blessed are you…who commanded us to light the candle for Shabbos.”
  3. The blessing during the Shemone Esray of Shabbos is “Blessed are you…for sanctifying the Shabbos.”

Answer: . In davening you are proclaiming that Shabbos should start by saying that Shabbos is holy and not mundane whereas lighting candles is just a candle which just happens to be used for Shabbos sake but that can be when Shabbos starts at sundown, the blessing doesn’t have any innuendo triggering Shabbos to start.

Torah Riddles Test #48

  1. Question: Why is there a difference between the prohibitions of don’t steal and don’t covet in terms of land?

Background:

 A. Tosfos holds one cannot transgress the prohibition of don’t steal if he steals land (See Minchas Chinuch, mitzva 38).

 B. Everyone agrees one can transgress the prohibition of don’t covet by land as it says “Don’t covet the house of your friend.”

C. Haghos HaMaimoni (Rambam chapter 1, hilchos Gezel viAveida, halacha 11) says that the problem with the prohibition of don’t covet is not the action of taking from your friend but rather the exceeding effort of urging your friend until he gives it to you.

Answer: Since the prohibition of stealing is taking it, the Torah only limited the prohibition to movable objects. Whereas by “don’t covet” where the actual sin is the coveting, meaning the concerted effort put in is the real problem and taking what you want is only a condition or just revealing to what extent one desires it, then there is no difference between land or movable objects.

Torah Riddles Test #47

  1. Question:  Why does the litigant (lender) have to be in court in order to accept witnesses that a debt was paid in a case where the defender (borrower) says he paid a debt of his deceased father’s and there is a receipt that it was already paid?

Background:

  1. The Shulchan Aruch (Choshen Mishpat 28:18) says that the only time the rule that a litigant must be present when accepting witnesses in court applies is when he is the one claiming money, (meaning he is trying to extract money from the other party) but one can bring witnesses to court even if he isn’t there in order to exempt himself from needing to pay anything.
  2. The Shulchan Aruch (Choshen Mishpat 108:16) says that children who inherited a document of debt for a loan from their father and then a receipt was found after the father’s death that the borrower had paid the debt, one shouldn’t rip up the document of loan or try to collect the debt until the orphans grow up since this receipt might have been forged which is why the borrower did not reveal it until after the father died. Even if there are witnesses who can testify that they remember the payment, there testimony is not valid testimony because we don’t accept testimony if the litigants aren’t present (and as children they are not considered present even if they show up to court.)
  3. Aren’t the witnesses used to exempt the borrower from making the payment so the litigant does not have to be there?
  4. Once a debt is paid the loan document is usually ripped up.

Answer: Ripping up the loan document is considered taking away from the litigant so the children must be adults and present in court in order to do that.

Torah Riddles Test #46

  1. Question: If someone stole an esrog on Sukkos and returns a different one of lesser value during Sukkos why is that ok but if one stole a garment with tzitzis on it and he returns a garment with tzitzis on it of lesser value it is not good enough? Background:
  2. The Mishna LiMelech (Hilchos Maaseh Korbanos 16:7) questioned whether the owner can claim I want to perform the mitzvah in the best possible way which is why I bought this expensive esrog, or can the thief claim back that since you already fulfilled the mitzvah at least once, the first time being the Torah level mitzvah and the rest rabbinic then he isn’t obligated in giving him back the nicest esrog. The Mishna LiMelech brought down the Maharam Mintz who proved from the 7th chapter of Bava Metzia that the owner has no right to claim that he wanted to perform the mitzvah in the best possible way.

Answer: The esrog itself is really not worth anymore that a few dollars but because of the holiday it is worth a lot more so one cannot claim the full amount he bought it for since it is inflated he just is entitled to a kosher esrog that can be used on Sukkos. However the garment has an intrinsic value and the tzitzis tied onto it just adds to its intrinsic beauty and value so the full value has to be paid back.

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?

Background:

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?

Background:

 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?

Background:

 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.