Torah Riddles Test #35

  1. Question: Why can’t a woman ideally get married (though if she does she can stay married) if there is one witness who says her husband dies and another witness comes and says he did not die?


  1. The Gemara in Kesubos 22b concludes in the name of Rebbe Yochanan that if one witness says he is dead and another witness says he is not dead she should not get married but if she does she need not divorce the second guy. The gemara adds that this is based on a ruling by Ulla that whenever the Torah believes one witness he is treated as two witnesses. So the one who says he did not die is one witness verses two witnesses, (for only the one who says he did die is treated as two witnesses leniently.)
  2. Rashi says we treat him as two witnesses to say he died, as we say in the beginning of the tenth chapter of Yevamos, because we are so strict with her in the end, by punishing her very much if she does not cross check that her husband is really dead, as enumerated in the Mishna there, therefore we are lenient on her in the beginning to accept one witness.
  3. The Gemara then asks why she can’t ideally get remarried if one witness has the same status as two. The gemara concludes with a verse in Mishlei (Proverbs 4:24): “Take crooked speech away from yourself, and put devious lips far away from you.”

Answer: She wouldn’t be careful enough to checkout if her husband really is dead before getting remarried, if she would have been permitted to remarry ideally.

Torah Riddles Test #34

  1. Question: Why do two sets of witnesses combine to testify about what happened in the middle even if they saw it from opposite side windows and the public domain is in the middle but a group of people on either side of a public domain who can even see each other cannot combine for a zimun of Birkas hamazon?


 A. The testimony case is a Mishna in Makkos daf 6b and the question is asked by the Responsa Hilchos Ketanos volume 2 chapter 147 based on a Beis Yosef in Orah Chaim chapter 195 in the name of the R”I.

B. The answer is not like the Aruch Laner who said the case in Makkos is not dealing with a public domain in the middle.

C. What is the “combine” factor that is by testimony but is not there by a zimun?

Answer: By a zimun if the public domain is in between the group they are not considered together and there is nothing to combine them. However by testimony where they in fact come together in court to testify that is considered a form of combining, it is just that in order to be considered one group some of them have to see each other as well when they witness what they are testifying about.

Torah Riddles Test #33

  1. Question: How can you rely on a posek to poskin if we don’t rely on one witness?


 A. A single witness is not believed against a chazaka/ halachically presumed assumption to testify about something in reality. An example is a person saying a certain animal or bird is of the permitted species even though it has a chazaka of not being from the permitted species.

 B. The rabbi who is clarifying an issue (not one which is explicitly verifiable in sources) and using his own reasoning to resolve the issue might decide something which is going against the prevailing chazaka. How can he do that?

C. Why would one person deciding something in halacha against a chazaka be any different than one person testifying about the reality of something against the prevalent chazaka?

Answer: The witness is testifying head on directly against the chazaka therefore he isn’t believed against it. But the rabbi is clarifying an issue which might affect other things in Halacha but also affects this very chazaka so since he is not directly going up against the chazaka he is believed to clarify the Halacha which happens to contradict the chazaka. Or you can say that the witness is trying to make up something new which is against what was originally thought but the rabbi is just uncovering something that was unclear before.

Torah Riddles Test #32

Question: Why does the concept of “toch kidei dibur” work to correct oneself if he says the wrong day of the Omer but not if he mentions Shabbos instead of Yom Tov in his shemone esray?


 A. “Toch kidei dibur” is the concept of realizing one made a mistake and immediately correcting himself within a certain short amount of time which is the amount of time it takes for a student to greet his rebbe saying, “Shalom aleichem rebbe umoreh.”

B. The Mishna Berura (Orach Chaim 488:6:32) says “they further write that if one makes a mistake and says ‘today is the fourth day of the omer’ and toch kidei dibur remembers it is the fifth day, it is enough to just finish ‘fifth of the Omer’ and he fulfills the mitzvah even if he didn’t say ‘today is the fifth day’ since it was still within the allotted time of correction.

C. If one on Yom Tov says “mikadesh hashabbos” instead of “mikadesh Yisrael vihazmanim,” the Mishna Berura (487:3) says one must go back and say “mikadesh Yisrael vihazmanim” and it’s not enough just to correct oneself toch kidei dibur and say “Yisrael vihazmanim” after concluding “mikadesh hashabbos.”

D. When Yom Tov falls out on Shabbos we say in our shemone esray “mikadesh hashabbos Yisrael vihazmanim.”

Answer: Rav Shlomo Zalman Auerbach explains that it is not recognizable that you are correcting the mistake you made since that is just what you say on Shabbos Yom Tov but by the Omer it does look like he is correcting himself since one does not count twice in one day. (See Dirshu Mishna Berura there note 68.) [/exapnd]

Torah Riddles Test #27

  1. Question: Why does one make a blessing of “al biur chometz” at the time of burning when he found chometz on Yom Tov but before Pesach we say the blessing by the checking, bedikas chometz?


 A. The Magen HaAlef (2) poskins that if one realizes on Yom Tov that he did not check for chometz before Pesach then he should check for chometz and cover it if he finds any because it is muktzah on Yom Tov and then on chol hamoed he should burn it with a blessing.

B.Normally we say the blessing and check for chometz the night before the eve of Pesach, then burn it in the morning, which is the proper time to burn the chometz, before chatzos, noonish. By chatzos all chometz is forbidden and automatically made ownerless by the Torah if you have not done it yourself by then.

 C. In normal circumstances the checking at night is considered the beginning of the mitzvah of burning and that is why the blessing is said then.

D. In both cases the checking and burning are on different days so why is the blessing said at different times?

Answer: As long as the time for burning hadn’t come yet then the checking is considered the beginning of the process of burning but once the time of burning already past and you found chometz on Yom Tov but you can’t just burn it until chol hamoed then the checking isn’t considered the beginning of the mitzvah since the time you burn has already past, so finding it is just one action and burning it is another action which just couldn’t be done earlier since it was muktzah. (See footnote 4 in Dirshu Mishna Berura 435:1:3)

Torah Riddles Test #26

  1. Question: Why do we apply the rule of “Trei mashehu lo amrinan” that little bits don’t transfer twice when it comes to foods but not when it comes to vessels like a stirring spoon?


 A. The Mishna Berura (467:9:37) says, If a ladle stirred soup that had a cracked kernel of barley found inside it on Pesach while piping hot then you use the ladle to stir another boiling hot pot it ruins all the food in the pot and the pot because since it can prohibit with even a little bit then we assume even that little bit of taste went out of the spoon and into the next pot of soup.

B. The Shaar Hatzion (67) says this only applies by a spoon transferring from liquid to liquid but if that cracked barley kernel fell on a piece of hot meat and then that hot meat got mixed up with other hot solid foods like vegetables and there is a majority to nullify its taste, then as long as you can see and take out that solid piece of meat which had the chometz absorbed in it, then everything else is permitted at least to get benefit from and even to eat if not eating it would detract from the joy of Yom Tov.

C. The Taz (17) asks why the rule that little bits of taste don’t transfer twice apply to the spoon mixing two pots of soup just as it applies to the food.

D. Food has their own tastes absorbed in it but spoons don’t have their own tastes absorbed in them.

Answer: The Dirshu Mishna Berura note 41 quotes the Elya Rabba (447:1) saying that a little bit [of taste] absorbed in a spoon is different from a little bit absorbed in a solid food substance, for when it is absorbed in food the [foreign taste] clings to it and does not get spit out again from it and therefore we can apply the rule of “trei mashehu lo amrinan” but when absorbed in a spoon, since the spoon does not have its own taste, then the [chometz taste that was absorbed] does not cling to it so it then gets spit out into the other pot [the spoon was mixing.]

Torah Riddles Test #22

  1. Question: Why would you say both the paragraphs for Shabbos and Rosh Chodesh In benching at seuda shlishit if you bentched by night fall of a Shabbos where Rosh Chodesh starts that night but if Purim is on Friday and your Purim seuda runs into Shabbos then you only say the paragraph of Shabbos and not Purim in bentching?


 A. The Mishna Berura in 188:33 says the reason you say both by a Shabbos leading into Rosh Chodesh is because the paragraph for Shabbos is going on the beginning of the meal then we say the paragraph of Rosh Chodesh (or Yom Tov) afterwards which goes on the second half of the meal. However according to that logic you should say both paragraphs when Purim goes into Shabbos?

B. There is a rabbinic concept called Tosefes Shabbos, adding on to the Shabbos before and after.

Answer: On Shabbos going into Rosh Chodesh there is actually additional minutes going into Rosh Chodesh so can say that when bentching it was for one half of the meal and then for the other half because Shabbos could have been pushed off longer to when they were ready to bentch and then it leads into Rosh Chodesh but once nightfall comes Purim is done and over, even if the meal started during the day so when bentching it is only Shabbos therefore only the paragraph of Shabbos is said. (See Dirshu Mishna Berura note 32 in 695:3:15.)

Torah Riddles Test #21

  1. Question: Why isn’t a Megillah muktzah, according to the Pri Megadim and Elya Rabba, if Shushan Purim falls out on Shabbos just as a lulav and esrog on Shabbos Sukkos or a shofar on Shabbos Rosh HaShana?


A. The Mishna Berura (688:6:15) explains the reason why they don’t read Megillah on Shabbos of Purim mishulash is because the Rabbis decreed not to lest someone will go to a sage to learn how to read it and will walk four amos in the public domain.

B. The Pri Chodosh argues and says a Megillah is muktzah on the Shabbos of Shushan Purim (mishulash) because since one cannot fulfill the mitzvah of Megillah on that day then he takes his mind away from using it and makes it muktzah in his eyes.

Answer: It is a Sefer, or scroll which people can learn from, so just like any other time of the year one can use it even in Shabbos so to on this Shabbos as well it is not muktzah and could be used if you want to look something up or learn from it. But a shofar is an instrument and a lulav has no use besides for the mitzvah so they are muktzah on Shabbos.

Torah Riddles Test #20

  1. Question: What is the difference between kilayim (grafting or planting to fruits together of different species) and cooking meat and milk together?


  1. Tosfos in Yevamos 83a says that if one runs a grape vine over his friends wheat field, since one cannot forbid(ruin halachically) something which is not his then it is not considered kilayim and everything is permitted. The Talmud Yerushalmi holds his own grapes are forbidden but his friend’s wheat are permitted.
  2. Rav Elchanan Wasserman asks on this Yerushalmi in his Kovetz Haaros (piece 549) from a case of cooking a non-shechted properly animal (neveila) in milk, where the halacha is the milk is not forbidden for since cooking milk and meat does not apply to a neveila (non-kosher animal) because one prohibition can’t be stacked on a another prohibition, so so to the milk is also not forbidden, for since the prohibition of cooking milk and meat come from both sides combined and one side is not prohibited so the other side is also no prohibited.
  3. If that is the case that should be true by the forbidden mixture f kilayim, if one is not prohibited the other one should not become prohibited as well, question on the Yerushalmi?!
  4. Milk and meat create a new entity
  5. Or (a second answer) there is a difference between the concepts of “no prohibition can stack on another prohibition” vs. “a person can’t forbid something which is not his.”

Answer: . (1) Milk and meat when mixed prohibitively become a new entity so they are either both prohibited as a new entity or both permitted because they never really mixed. (2) Rav Elchanan’s answer was that the axiom “a person can’t forbid something which is not his” (ein adam oser davar she’eino shelo) only applies to his friend but that does not mean his own thing can’t be negatively affected. But the axiom “no prohibition can stack on another prohibition” (ein issur chal al issur) dictates that if the second prohibition can’t go into effect because of the first prohibition then it does go into effect at all, even to affect the milk.

Torah Riddles Test #19

  1. Question: If a person sells an ox to his friend and it is found to be a treifa why is it a faulty sale (mekach ta’us), maybe it will live, who cares if most of them will die, there is a halachic rule that we don’t go by the majority when it comes to monetary cases?


The answer is not like the Hafla’ah said in Kesubos 15b that once we rely on a majority to answer a prohibition question then we can use that majority to answer a monetary question, meaning because the majority will say whether it is kosher or not it can now poskin whether it is a mekach ta’us (faulty sale). The reason why this answer does not hold up is because many halachic authorities disagree with it.

The halacha of mekach ta’us (faulty sales) is dependent on the will or mindset of a person

Answer: We can assume that a person does not want or agree to buy an animal which is now a treifa since most of the time it will die and only the minority will stay alive.