Torah Riddles Test #106

  1. Question: How does the Noda B’Yehuda differentiate between inheritance and a sale in regards to the mitzvah of not owning chometz?


A. Noda B’Yehuda (Mahadura Kamma Orach Chaim 20) writes that if one dies after the sixth hour and he did not sell or nullify his chometz, his inheritors don’t need to destroy it and it is permissible after Pesach since chometz is not property inherited by his children.

B. The Noda B’Yehuda (Mahadura Kamma 19) writes to answer for a Rambam in the first chapter of hilchos chometz and matzah that if it would not have been chometz it would belong to him therefore the pasuk of “bal yeraeh” should put it back into his possession on Pesach for the asking of attaining a prohibition, in a case of where a person buys chometz, which the halacha is he gets lashes, even though zechia, positive acquisition does not apply to object which are forbidden to get benefit from, but since the Torah reveals that it is his through the verse of “bal yeraeh” then it is considered money/property in regards to zechiah.

 C. Acquisitions work even when not yours like by stealing.

Answer: Chametz on Pesach is only yours in regards to prohibition so it cannot work to inherit because it’s not monetarily yours, and Hashem won’t automatically put it in your possession if you didn’t play any role to get it. But in regards to a sale since you can acquire things illegally like by stealing then you can acquire it in regards to only having a prohibition as well, since you actively tried getting it.

Torah Riddles Test #105

  1. Question: Why is getting rid of chometz more strict then performing a bris?


A. They both are punishments of kares if not done.

B. They both are considered transgressed every moment they aren’t fulfilled after the time to do the mitzvah has come, according to the Machatzis Hashekel.

C. There are two parts to every mitzvah (1) the mitzvah itself, (2) the obligation to fulfill the mitzvah itself. D. The mitzvah itself by chometz is to not have chometz in your possession. The mitzvah itself of milah is to perform the cut of the  milah just once.

Answer: By chometz, as long as you are not getting rid of your chometz you are transgressing the obligation of the mitzvah which is to get rid of the chometz and the mitzvah itself of not having chometz in your possession, but by milah you only transgress the mitzvah itself of not having the milah cut, but the obligation to actively cut the milah is not being transgressed it just has not been done yet.

Torah Riddles Test #104

  1. Question: According to the Ta”z what’s the difference between a slab of meat which you are unsure whether the unkosher fats and sinews were removed where we assume it was removed and a house before Pesach where you are unsure if it was checked and cleaned out of Chometz where we assume it was not checked?


  1. The Ta”z (Yoreh Deah 127:6) holds that if one is unsure whether a slab of meat had any unkosher fats and sinew taken from it or not we don’t assume it is forbidden because the meat itself wasn’t originally forbidden and the prohibition is just the unkosher fats and sinews, we are just worried that while eating the meat you might take a bite of the fat or sinew. Since what would be permissible after the removal was permissible the whole entire time just that it was mixed up with forbidden things therefore

 it is not considered to be assumed prohibition, ischazek isura.

B. The Shach in the Nekudas Hakesef argues there and holds that since originally it was forbidden to eat this piece of meat then its considered ischazek isura.

C. The Shev Shmaisa (6:5) explaining the view of the Shach says that he has to admit the meat is assumed permissible but it is also assumed to not have what’s forbidden removed. He brought a proof to this assumption from a Beis Yosef (Orach Chaim 437) that poskin by a house which we are unsure if it was checked from chometz is assumed to be unchecked. This means that granted the house itself is permissible but the chometz inside would be forbidden we still assume the house was unchecked.

D. The Rabbis enacted that the person living in the house has to check it for chometz.

E. People don’t have to eat meat.

Answer: The obligation is what triggers the assumption of being forbidden so because there is an obligation to check the house then we assume it is unchecked until we know it was checked but there is no obligation to eat meat so the assumption that the forbidden fats and sinews weren’t removed doesn’t kick in.

Torah Riddles Test #103

  1. This Question seems to be flawed, there is just an argument between the Har Tzvi and Rav Shlomo Zalman whether an animal can turn on a light for you on shabbos or shut it off, both speak about electric
  2. Question: Why can you teach a watch dog to turn on a light when intruders come even if he will do it on Shabbos but you cannot ask a dog to turn a light on for you on Shabbos?


A. The Har Tzvi (Ohr Hachaim 1:174) says that if one signals to a dog to light a fire or blow it out on Shabbos you are transgressing the mitzvah of resting your animal on Shabbos even if this is an indirect way of turning off the light it is considered a full-fledged melacha because any melacha an animal does is considered its normal way of doing things for them attributed to the owner.

 B.Rav Shlomo Zalman Auerbach (Shulchan Shlomo 266:1) poskins that if you teach a dog to turn on or off a light switch whenever an intruder comes you are allowed to have the dog outside to do this function on Shabbos because it’s only indirect melacha.

C. Turning on an electric light is indirectly doing a melacha because you are just completing or breaking a circuit to allow the light to go on or off.

D. Dogs don’t have cognitive thinking and melacha needs cognitive thinking for humans to be liable, I.e meleches machsheves.

Answer: It is an abnormal way for a human to use a dog to blow out or light a fire but the way the dog does it is normal for them therefore the owners will be liable for not resting the dog. But completing or breaking the circuit by itself is indirect and is only liable if you have a cognitive intent to perform the act to cause the melacha to be done but since an animal doesn’t have a cognitive thought process and by definition the completing of the circuit is indirect even if the animal’s action is direct the owner would still be exempt. (See Dirshu Mishna Berura 246:3:12:8)

Torah Riddles Test #102

Question: Why can you say Kiddush before nightfall if you made an early Shabbos but you have to at least have part of your Shabbos meal once it gets dark in order to fulfill the mitzvah of eating your first Shabbos meal?


A. There is actually an argument amongst the Achronim whether one can eat the meal before dark. The Machatzis Hashekel explains the view of why you have to wait till dark which is because we learn the mitzvah of having 3 meals on Shabbos from the three times it says “hayom “ in the verses that discuss Shabbos, and only Shabbos itself is called “Yom Hashabbos” but what’s rabbinically added onto Shabbos is not. Why doesn’t Kiddush have the same parameters?

 Answer: Saying Kiddush by itself signifies the sanctity of the day so it can be said before nightfall but it’s not apparent that you are eating the meal for Shabbos until the day comes about at night fall therefore at least part of the meal should be eaten at nightfall to recognize that the meal is being eaten for Shabbos.

Torah Riddles Test #101

1.       Question: According to the Rashash, why would you be liable for planting a mixture of seeds as soon as you put it into the ground but only liable for transgressing planting on Shabbos if you allow the seeds to take root?


A. Rashash holds that just as one is only liable for baking on Shabbos if it actually baked but not if one put a raw dish in the oven and took it right out so too if one planted a seed on Shabbos he is only liable if he let it takes root not if he took it right out after he planted it.

B. The Sefer HaChinuch (mitzvah 548) says you are liable for planting a mixture of seeds as soon as it goes into the ground even before it takes root. (Unlike Rashi in Pesachim 25a who says that as long as it has not taking root, it’s like just placing two seed into a cup.)

C. The Rashash who holds by planting on Shabbos that one is only liable if it takes root seems to hold that by a kilayim mixture just planting it is a problem according to everyone why would there be a difference between kilayim and Shabbos?

  Answer: To transgress Shabbos one has to do a meleches machsheves, an action which produces a creative result therefore one is only liable for planting once it takes root or has the ability to take root since it stays in the ground, whereas by kilayim, forbidden mixtures the very action of setting up a forbidden mixture is enough to make you liable.  

Torah Riddles Test #100

  Question: Why do we not wait for a Tallis to come if one only has tefillin but we do wait until Motzei Shabbos, Saturday night to say Kiddush Levana?


A.      The Shulchan Aruch and Rema (Orach Chaim 25:1) says that you should put your Tallis on before your tefillin in order to go up in levels of holiness in this way beautifying the mitzvah. However if one doesn’t have the Tallis with him at the time but knows its coming he should not wait to put it on but rather put the tefillin on first and then the Tallis later. The Magen Avraham (2) explains that though one is sacrificing the beautification of the mitzvah but one shouldn’t push off the mitzvah of tefillin lest he loses out on putting it on in a timely fashion, for a mitzvah done at the right time is more beloved by Hashem.

B.        The Rema (Orach Chaim 426:1) says we should push off the mitzvah of Kiddush Levana until Motzei Shabbos (as long as there is no prolonged concern of overcast) in order to beautify the mitzvah by doing it at a time when we are feeling more joyous, dressed in fancy clothing. (Truth is the Mishna Berura (20) brings many Achronim who say one shouldn’t delay the mitzvah of Kiddush Levana, but there seems to be a contradiction in the Rema that must be resolved!)

C.       What aspect of the mitzvah is being beautified in each case?

Answer: By kiddush levana the beautification is on the mitzvah itself to dress nicely when saying it but by tefillin and tallis it is only a side issue of what comes first to treat the holier one with more respect.

Torah Riddles Test #99

1.       Question: Why does Rebbe Akiva Aiger hold you would have to say a blessing on a mezuzah that is already on the doorpost when you move into a house you are newly renting but would not have to say a blessing on the fence that was put around the roof?

Background: A. Rabbi Akiva Aiger holds you have to say a blessing on the mezuzah when moving into the house because it is a new mitzvah for him in this house.

B. There is a mitzvah to put up a fence around the roof or porch if you are able to walk on it so that people won’t fall off.

C. The Birkay Yosef and others who argue on Rabbi Akiva Aiger say that you only make a blessing upon putting on the mezuzah just like upon building the fence.

D. According to Rabbi Akiva Aiger why don’t you say a blessing on the fence since it is a new mitzvah for him in his new house?

 E. Hint: What is the motor that sparks the obligation for each mitzvah?

Answer: By mezuzah what sparks the obligation is the person living in the house so when he moves to a new house he has a new mitzvah which prompts him to make another blessing but by the fence what prompts the obligation is the danger and the previous people living there took care of the obligation so there is no mitzvah taking place right now when he moves in.

Torah Riddles Test #98

Question: Why if you were about to eat a fruit and it fell from your hands and got ruined right after you made a blessing on it, do you have to make another blessing on another fruit that was in front of you at the time of the blessing, according to the Shulchan Aruch (Orach Chaim 206:6) but if you said a blessing upon shechting a cow and it is found to be a treifa and therefore inedible, the Kreisi Upleisi (19:6) is in doubt whether you have to make another blessing on the next one he was going to shecht?


A. Hint: What is the reason for each blessing?

 Answer: The blessing over the fruit was to eat it and now you can’t do the blessing was for not but the blessing over slaughtering the cow was to slaughter the cow and you did that, it just happened to be a treifa and inedible but he still did the mitzvah of shechting so it might be enough for the blessing to count for other cows you were planning on slaughtering.

Torah Riddles Test #97

1.       Question: Why is the blessing Kiddish Levana considered a time bound mitzvah which women are exempt from but the blessing of shehecheyanu on a new fruit is not (See Magen Avraham in the name of the Shelah Shulchan Aruch Orach Chaim 426:1)


A. The Chochmas Shlomo there actually argues and holds Kiddush Levana is not time bound because only mitzvos that could technically be done all year around, at all times like shofar, Sukkah, tefillin, tzitzis etc. but the Torah gives them a specific time to fulfill the mitzvos are considered time bound but kiddush Levana is dependent on the cycle of the moon, it can’t be said on the second half of the month because it is waning then and the Rabbis enacted it should only be said when it is waxing, so you can’t technically say it whenever you want like all other time bound mitzvos.

 B. Kiddush Levana which is based on the waning and waxing of the moon sounds like a similar concept as saying a shehecheyanu on a new fruit which is limited in time based on when the fruit is in bloom which means they can’t really be done all year around technically.

  Answer: Really kiddush Levana could be done the whole month but the rabbi enacted that it should be done on the first half of the month therefore it is time bound. Whereas the happiness you get out of seeing a new fruit could only be had once the fruit is in bloom therefore it is not halachically time bound.