Torah Riddles Test #166

1.    Question: According to the Levush what is the difference whether one corner of tzitzis broke and you only have to retie that corner, but if one corner was tied when the corners were rounded and then all four corners were made pointed and the rest of the corners were tied properly, you still have to redo all of them again?


A. There is a concept by tzitzis that they must be made in the right order, not that everything is done and automatically the mitzvah falls into place once it is all sorted.

B. Example of the wrong way is tying tzitzis on a three-corner garment then cutting a fourth corner and tying it.  You have to retie   all four corners because the four corners must be there first then tie them all.

 C. The Magen Avraham questioned why the 3-corner case was a problem since the other corners were tied properly why should all the tzitzis be invalid since one was? Furthermore, the Machatzis Hashekel asks why it is no different than one tzitzis breaking, why isn’t it that the tzitzis on the other 3 corners are also invalidated and they all would have to be retied?

D. The Levush does say that all the tzitzis strings were made in an invalid state and stayed invalid because it was automatically set not made right, from the start.

E. The tallis is part of the mitzvah of tzitzis because the tallis and tzitzis become one piece of clothing.

Answer:  Once one corner was made out of order then the whole garment is invalidated even if the other three tzitzis strings were tied after the fourth corner was cut out so all of them have to be redone but if all strings were tied properly on a kosher garment and then one string broke that does not mean all four have to be restrung because the garment is still valid, only the one string broke so only that one must be fixed.

Torah Riddles Test #165

2. Question: Why does the Beis Shmuel say that a kohen can live in the same house as his ex-wife who he found to be adulterous one day and divorced but can’t even live in the same courtyard as his ex-wife, without their children constantly with them, who was captured by non-Jews and he was forced to divorce?


A. The Shulchan Aruch (Even HaEzer 7:9) says that a wife of a kohen who became forbidden to him because she was captured, since the matter is really in question whether she was forced to have relations with one of her capturers he is permitted to live in the same courtyard as her as long as their children and household are always there to make sure they don’t do anything inappropriate.

Answer: The Beis Shmuel (16) says that since the husband is disgusted by his adulterous wife then we aren’t afraid he will go back to her but the wife of a kohen who was captured did nothing wrong, she just might have been forced to be with her captors which prohibits him to her because he has a special status of a kohen therefore we are worried that if they are alone together for a period of time they will be with each other because they still have feelings for each other and she is not disgusting in his eyes.

Torah Riddles Test #164

1.    Question: The Minchas Chinuch (mitzvah 32) asks why are partners liable for working their animal on Shabbos if the Torah says your (singular) animal shall not be worked on Shabbos?


 A. By Teruma it says your (singular) grain which the gemara in Chullin 135b says that one is only obligated in the mitzvah of teruma if you own the grain by yourself not with partners. So to by tzitzis it says your (singular) garment is obligated in tzitzis, only if it belongs to one person not if the garment belongs to two partners.

 B. The Sforno (Shemos 23:12) says the reason why the verse mentions resting your ox and donkey in the same verse as your maidservant and the convert is because when the animals rest then your maidservant and the convert will get to rest as well.

Answer: Even though the verse sounds like you have to own the whole animal but in logic it is not true because working your animal will come to people themselves working so all animals must rest including if co-owned with a Non-Jew. But this problem doesn’t apply to teruma, tzitzis, peach, or lulav therefore they can’t be owned by partners because the verse indicates they have to be owned by one person.

Torah Riddles Test #163

2.       Question: The Shulchan Aruch (Even HaEzer 6:1) says that if a kohen marries a safek chalutza he does not have to divorce her. Why is she any better than a woman who was only given a divorce paper as a chumra (acting strictly) though there was only a rumor that she was even married to a previous guy who she was arranged to marry, even though it is evident that she was not really married, she is still forbidden now to marry a kohen, one is an actual doubt where there might be rabbinic prohibition but still permitted and the other is totally permissible but is forbidden?!


a.       A safek chalutza is a woman who is in doubt whether she needs to perform the act of chalitza to her brother-in-law after her husband died and the child she gave birth to died within thirty days of birth so there is a doubt if he would have lived or not.

b.       A kohen cannot marry a divorced woman and is forbidden to a chalutza on a rabbinic level because it looks like a divorce, so when in doubt rabbinically we are lenient, however if nothing really happened and the divorce is just a chumra then certainly a kohen should be able to marry her?!

 Answer: It’s all based on rumors. People will say the kohen married a safek chalutza therefore it is permitted because we are lenient when in doubt. But by the get lichumra people will say she was really married previously and this is actually a real divorce so the kohen should not be marrying her in order not to look like he is doing something wrong. Similarly in the next si’if it says that a girl before the age of 12 who was married off by her mother or siblings because her father died and she annulled her marriage before she was 12, can still marry a kohen when she gets older because people will say she did mi’un not divorce even if he did divorce her and she did mi’un afterwards then people will say she did mi’un and the marriage and divorce never counted.

Torah Riddles Test #161

2.       Question: Whether it is on a Torah level or Rabbinic level why is it absolutely permitted to nullify a prohibition by accident though on purpose it is forbidden since either way it is inevitable (psik reisha) that it is nullified and a psik reisha is forbidden even if done without intent?


A.      The issue with nullifying a prohibition is not taking the prohibition seriously.

 Answer: If not taking the prohibition seriously is the problem then if you nullify it by accident then the problem doesn’t apply even if the results are inevitable since the intent was never to make light of the prohibition.

Torah Riddles Test #160

1.       Question: Why is it forbidden to stoke the coals under the fire of a pot of food that belongs to a non-Jew lest it might have meat and milk mixed in the walls of the pot which you would inadvertently be cooking but you are able to close a chest on Shabbos which might have flies in it and inadvertently trap them on Shabbos which is normally forbidden?


A.      Rebbe Akiva Aiger on the Rema in Yoreh Deah 87:6 says that though normally doing something without intent is permissible but that’s only if there is a doubt of whether something will go wrong in the future but in this case the doubt of whether there is meat and milk mixed in the walls of the pot is a question of what happened in the past so if the mixture of meat and milk is there then it is inevitable (psik reisha) that a prohibition of cooking meat and milk together would happen.

B.      However, the same holds true for the flies in the chest. If they are there, then it happened already, so it is inevitable that if you lock the chest on Shabbos you will be trapping them, though that is not your intent.

C.      Shabbos requires a meleches machsheves, and act of craftmanship, or thought put into it, in order for it to be prohibited.

Answer: If one does not know whether the flies are really in the chest or not then he is lacking meleches machsheves, so even if it is a psik reisha, inevitable, that if the flies would be there, they would be trapped but since you don’t know if they are there and all you are doing is locking the chest then you really aren’t trapping. But whether you intend to cook milk and meat or not by stoking the coals, it is a psik reisha that forbidden cooking would happen if the prohibition is therefore you can’t do it.

Torah Riddles Test #159

2.    Question: If the Shulchan Aruch (Orach Chaim 673:2) says that the lighting if the Chanukah lights is what does the mitzvah then why do you have to relight without a blessing if you blew it out on purpose though you don’t have to relight at all if you blew it out by accident and certainly if it went out itself?


A. The Mishna Berura (25) adds that if you lit it in a place which will automatically go out like in a windy area then you should relight it in a proper area (that can potentially allow it to stay lit for 30 minutes.)

B. The Mishna Berura (26) says that even on eve Shabbos if it blew out before sunset you technically still don’t have to relight because the rabbis enacted the mitzvah to be done with a blessing in a fashion that the mitzvah would start before sunset though on all other days it should be lit afterwards.

  Answer: The Avnei Nezer says that since he lit with proper intent then blowing it out by accident, without intent can’t nullify the lighting that was done with proper intent. But when blowing out on purpose and with intent then you are nullifying the act of lighting. Rav Moshe Feinstein explains that since you blew it out on purpose the one seeing that will say it was originally lit for his own personal need, why else would he blow it out. It’s the samething as lighting outside and the bringing the menorah inside where the Mishna Berura (675:1:5) says you don’t fulfill your mitzvah because people will say you lit for your own need, not for the sake if the mitzvah. (See Dirshu Mishna Berura 673:3 note 40)

Torah Riddles Test #158

1.    Question: Why can’t the shamash on a menorah which is less than ten tefachim which is about 35 inches from the ground be lower than the rest of the lights?


A. The shamash is used to light the Chanukah lights and is the extra candle to benefit from because you can’t get benefit from the Chanukah lights which are set aside to remind us of the miracle.

B. The shamash can be higher, lower, set apart or in front or in back of the rest, anything to show that it’s not part of the mitzvah lights.

 Answer: Below ten tefachim is so low that it’s not really usable as light so it can’t be used as a shamash. (See Dirshu Mishna Berura 673:1:20:25)

Torah Riddles Test #157

2.    Question: Why can you open and close the door on Shabbos even if the Chanukah menorah is mounted on it but if you lit your menorah on the table, the table is muktzah and cannot be moved the entire Shabbos?


A. The Mishna Berura (277:1:7) says the reason why the door isn’t muktzah is because it’s of great value since it is used for the house and is nullified to the house and not to the candles.

B. By Shabbos candles the Mishna Berura there (si’if katan 18) say that if Twilight (bein hashmashos) there is challahs or other things needed for shabbos on the table and the shabbos candles are also there the table is a base for permitted and forbidden things and can be carried with the candles to a different place if the table is needed elsewhere assuming you can’t push off the muktzah stuff, i.e. the candles.

 C. Rav Elyashiv poskined that even if there is something more valuable which is permissible on the table when the Chanukah candles were lit there going into Shabbos still the table cannot be moved even after the candles go out.

 D. On any night candles cannot be moved until after the mitzvah is done and on shabbos they can’t be moved until after shabbos.

 Answer: The difference between a door and a table is that the door is considered part of the house which is part of the ground which can’t become muktzah but a table is an object which can become muktzah if it was set aside before shabbos to be used for something forbidden so since the table is being used for chanukah candles from before shabbos and is forbidden to be moved because of the Chanukah light then that supersedes even any important permissible thing from permitting the table to be moved on shabbos since the state of muktzah started from before shabbos whereas normally it starts as shabbos comes in.

Torah Riddles Test #156

1.    Question: Why do we differentiate blessings between one vessel and more vessels when dipping them in the mikvah but when lighting Chanukah candles we say the same blessing whether for one candle or more?


A. The Pri Megadim says we say “lihadlik ner” in singular form for all nights of Chanukah so that we don’t differentiate between the first day and other days of Chanukah.

B. The Mishna Berura (263:22) quotes the Pri Megadim to say that for Shabbos candles we say “lihadlik ner shel Shabbos” no matter how many candles you light because the main obligation is one candle. Technically you only have to light one candle a night on Chanukah too.

C. For dipping vessels into the mikvah you say “al tevilas kli” for one and “al tevilas keilim” for more than one. (Dirshu Mishna Berura 676:1:1:1)

 Answer: By tevilas keilim each vessel is a separate obligation so one should say it in plural for to bless Hashem for each mitzvah you do but by Chanukah each added candle is only beautifying the mitzvah, though that becomes part of the mitzvah but since technically only one candle is needed per night then we stick to singular form for the blessing.