Torah Riddles Test #92

2.       Question: Why does the Chesed Avraham hold you can use an electric machine to make tzitzis but not to shecht an animal?


A. The Har Tzvi brings those that are strict who say that both tzitzis making and shechting must be done by hand and not machine because the Torah says by shechting “and you shall slaughter” which sounds like “you,” it needs human power to kosherly slaughter an animal. By tzitzis the Torah instructs “you shall make for you” which also implies human power is needed to make tzitzis.

B. Why doesn’t the Chesed Avraham understand the verse by tzitzis in the same manner as he understands the verse by shechita?

C. By twirling and knotting the strings you are transforming them into tzitzis. Whereas by a live kosher animal all you are doing is killing it in a specific way the Torah tells you to do it.

A2. In terms of tzitzis the action is just the means of transforming strings into an object called tzitzis so you don’t necessarily need a person to do that as long as the transformation took place it is now a kosher pair of tzitzis. Whereas by shechita there is no transformation into a new entity taking place so the action of slaughtering isn’t just a means it is an act in of itself therefore it will require special halachos like a person’s own power doing the action as the Torah indicates and therefore a machine doing it, no matter how precise will not halachically be able to do the job.                Result vs. Process

Torah Riddles Test #91

1.       Question: If in terms of making a vow mushroom are included within things that grow from the ground then why don’t you make a “borei pri ha’adama”, the blessing you make over vegetables that grow from the ground?


A. The blessing you make on mushrooms is a “shehakol”.

B. Mushroom get nourishment from the air.

C. The understanding of a vow is based on how people talk.

 Answer: The Ra”n explaining the Gemara in Nedarim daf 55b explains that because one sees mushroom scatter about throughout the ground then when one says he vows to not get any benefit from anything that grows on the ground then mushrooms are included but since the main way a mushroom grows is through nourishment from the air then the blessing when eating it is Shehakol since anything which does not grow from the ground gets that blessing.

Torah Riddles Test #90

2.       Question: Why is one allowed to enter a bathroom or bathhouse without a halachic question fully answered but cannot start Shemone esray if he did not finalize an answer to the halachic question he was thinking about?


 A. In both cases one cannot think about the question, in the bathroom or bathhouse because it is forbidden to think Torah in dirty places and by shemone esray because it will ruin his concentration.

 Answer: The Shach says in Yoreh Deah 246:28 that the more one tries not to concentrate or to remove the question from him mind while davening then the more distracted he will be from davening. Meaning trying to distract oneself from the question so that you can Daven with more concentration will cause you to have less concentration on your davening and more concentration on distracting yourself so it is counterproductive. But when walking into a dirty place you just have to distract yourself and everything is fine. See Dirshu Mishna Berura 85:2:8:4.

Torah Riddles Test #89

1.       Question: What is the difference between a bathroom and a chicken pen or barn?


A. The Mishna Berura 84:3 says if you make a difference in the body of the bathroom to make it not a bathroom then it is permissible to place a mezuzah on the door and to make blessings inside it, as well as to learn and Daven inside it. But without a change in the body of the room, then its name is not uprooted, meaning it is still a bathroom even if not in use any more and cleaned out.

B. But a barn, the Be’ur Halacha (79:7 “Aval”) says, only needs a cleaning of all waste to be able to learn or pray inside it. The Levushei Mordechai says this is also true for a chicken pen.

C. The Torah requires “your camp to be holy” to do Holy matters like making blessings, learning and praying. The question is what’s the difference?

  Answer: Since the chicken pen or barn is not set aside specifically for excrement rather it is to guard the chickens and animals, it is just that they also take care of their needs in that place then all you need is to clean it out but as long as the room is considered a bathroom even if it’s not in use it is still not “holy” and a disgrace to do Holy matters in that area. See Dirshu Mishna Berura 83:1 footnote 4.   [/exapnd]

Torah Riddles Test #88

Question: Why is the Pischey Teshuva (Yoreh Deah 289:1) unsure if you have to say a blessing if you take off your mezuzah to check it having in mind to put it back on but if you take off your Tallis or tefillin within mind to put it back on you don’t have to say another blessing?


 A. You could answer that it’s possible one might not think he’s putting the mezuzah back on if when checking it, it’s found unkosher. But besides that there is another reason to be in doubt, based on where the mitzvah is done which even if he took it down for some other reason like repairing the door and would put it right back onto the doorpost, still there would be a doubt whether you still need to make another blessing.

 A2. Tefillin and Tallis are put onto one’s body so the need of the blessing is based on what the person has in mind so if he plans on putting it back on no other blessing is needed but the mezuzah is put onto the door of the house so it is as if there is nothing to have the mezuzah in mind when being put back on so it’s possible to say that you always need a blessing when putting the mezuzah on the door post in whatever circumstance. Or you can say that the mezuzah belongs to the person and the person is in charge of the mitzvah so if he has in mind to put it back up he does not need to make a new blessing and that is the doubt.

Torah Riddles Test #87

1.      Question: Why does the Shaagos Aryeh hold that saying Shema in the morning and night are two separate mitzvos but honoring your father and mother is one mitzvah but two parts to it?


A. The Maharatz Chiyos (Sanhedrin 56b) proves that honoring your parents is one mitzvah with two parts because there are only Ten Commandments not 11.

B. What is “michayev,” meaning what creates the obligation of each mitzvah?      

A1. By honoring one’s parents the obligation is because you are their child so the source of obligation is that you by yourself have to honor your mother and father. This is why it is one mitzvah with two parts to it. But what obligates one to say Shema is the time of day and night so it is two separate mitzvos.

Torah Riddles Test #84

2.      Question: Why are you allowed to add permissible wood to muktzah wood into an oven on Yom Tov as a permissible means of burning the wood and cooking with its heat but there is an opinion in the Shulchan Aruch (Orach Chaim 677:4) that if oil already used for the Chanukah menorah got mixed up less than 60 times its amount in regular oil you cannot add more oil to nullify it?


A. The Shulchan Aruch In Orach Chaim 507:2 says that one may add wood on top of muktza wood on Yom Tov to burn them in an oven because it is permissible to purposefully nullify a rabbinic prohibition which can be fixed as long as one does not get direct benefit from it when it is burning up.

B. The Chanukah oil is also rabbinic and some do permit purposefully adding more oil in order to nullify it and use it for whatever purpose you want like a light source.  (See Mishna Berura 677:4:20.) 

Answer: The Mishna Berura (507:2:8) says the reason why the other opinions don’t permit nullifying the oil is because in this circumstance you will be getting benefit from the light of the fire in the candle while the oil or wax is still in existence but by the wood the benefit of heating up the oven isn’t coming from the heat of the wood until after the fire burns it up.

Torah Riddles Test #83

Question: Why aren’t we strict by Shabbos candles to not light from one candle to another just as we are stringent to not light Chanukah candles from one candle to another?


A. The Rema in Orach Chaim 674:1 says we have a custom to be strict by Chanukah candles to not light them from one candle to another since the main mitzvah is with one candle and the rest aren’t totally for the mitzvah (rather only to glorify the mitzvah.)

B. Halachically one only needs one candle for Shabbos candles we light at least two as a reminder of Shamor vizachor, keeping and remembering the Shabbos which refers to the negative and positive mitzvos associated with Shabbos.

C. Shabbos candles were enacted for Shalom Bayis so it would be easy to see in the house and make Shabbos more enjoyable.

D. One can light from one candle to another if there is an equal level of mitzvah for example two roommates on the first night of Chanukah can each light from each other’s candle. 

Answer: Each Shabbos candle makes it brighter in the room and is more directly adding to the mitzvah of delighting in Shabbos so they each have equal Mitzvah status and can light one from the other even though it is enough with one. But by Chanukah there is nothing integrally being enhanced to the mitzvah by each extra candle it is just a way to beautify the mitzvah more by lighting an additional candle each day therefore one shouldn’t light from one candle to the other (See Dirshu footnote 7.)

Torah Riddles Test #82

Question: Why was it considered accepting Shabbos by mistake in a case of a congregation that didn’t get a shofar until a few minutes before sunset and they had davened maariv early and they can blow the minimal amount of shofar blasts but once one lit Shabbos candles before lighting Chanukah candles by accident it is not considered a mistake and he cannot light candles anymore by himself?


A. The scenario of the shofar could be if Rosh HaShana was Thursday/Friday and the shul did not have a shofar. They sent someone to retrieve a shofar from a few towns over and he got delayed and was not showing up. Late Friday afternoon they essentially gave up and davened Kabbalah Shabbos and maariv early sometime between plag hamincha and sunset. Then the guy came with the shofar. The Mishna Berura (600:7) says that if there is no expert shofar blower who has not taken on Shabbos to blow then one who already accepted Shabbos can blow the minimal amount without a blessing. The Taz there says this is because they accepted Shabbos by mistake.

 B. Accepting Shabbos early is essentially making a vow.

Answer: The answer is found in the Responsa Beis Shearim 3:93 in the name of his Rebbe, Rav Pearls who said that the difference is that the obligation for the mitzvah by shofar already existed when they brought in Shabbos and therefore accepting Shabbos was like a vow said by mistake which does not need to be disavowed. But there is no obligation of Chanukah candles until the night time so when she lit Shabbos candles she was not obligated in Chanukah candles yet, if so then even accepting Shabbos was like making a vow by mistake nevertheless it was a mistake that just materialized after the vow was made so it needs a special annulment with an excuse and regret in front of 3 or a sage therefore Rav Shlomo Zalman Auerbach adds that at that point it is better just to ask someone else to light for you. (See Dirshu footnote 5 here.)

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]