Torah Riddles Test #85

1.     Question: Why would a person be exempt for shooting an arrow at a guy holding a shield and the shield was taken away from him right before it reaches him and he is therefore hurt or even killed but in the same scenario if the arrow just happens to properly, halachically slaughter a bird it is kosher?


A. The Gemara in Sanhedrin 77b says in the name of Rava that because there was a shield in the way when the arrow was shot which would have prevented harm then the fact it was removed before the arrow reached the victim makes it indirect killing even if the shooter himself somehow removed the shield before the arrow reached its target.

B. There is a Gemara in Chullin 30b about a case of Rava checking Rebbe Yona bar Tachlifa’s arrows to make sure they were sharp enough before being used to shoot and shecht birds in midflight.

C. The Gemara in Chullin 15b-16a says that one who shechts using a knife powered by a water mill is not kosher because it is not your direct power, rather it is secondary power of your which is causing the slaughter to happen and therefore it is indirect and invalid.

D. By hurting or killing someone the sin is the act of killing or damaging.

E. The mitzvah of shechita does not need an act of shechita but that                                  shechita comes from his power. 

Answer: By the murder or injury we can say that it wasn’t his action of shooting that killed or hurt the person since the shield was in the way when the arrow was shot but by the slaughter, though the shechita would not have happened when the shield was there but it was taken away and it was because of the power of his shot that it was shechted properly therefore it is kosher.

Torah Riddles Test #64

  1. Question: Why can a half slave half free man get married misafek (at least in doubt, see Avnei Miluim 44:3) but he definitely can’t blow shofar for himself or anyone on Rosh HaShana (See Gemara Rosh HaShana 29a)


A. The Avnei Miluim gives a difference between a half maid servant half free woman and a half slave half free man in that she can definitely accept marriage  because she’s doing nothing, just nullifying her will and knowledge to her would be husband and he is doing the act of marriage. Whereas a half slave half free man since he is doing the action and his half slave side isn’t able to perform a Halachic marriage for his free man side therefore it is questionable whether he can get married.

B. By blowing a shofar since the half slave side isn’t obligated in blowing shofar it can’t help it’s free side blow shofar but if he heard someone else blow shofar then his free side can accept the blow he heard and fulfill the mitzvah.

C. A half slave half free man is one body with two sides or parts to him (or more like two men.)

Answer: Blowing the shofar is dependent on the body since the body is blowing. So since he is one body then both sides are blowing. But marriage doesn’t happen through the body but by the person with his knowledge to get married so now that we are saying they are like two guys inside one body and granted they are both doing the marriage but the slave side doesn’t take away from the free man’s side so the free man’s side might possibly work to create a marriage.

Torah Riddles Test #63

  1. Question: Why is Birkas HaTorah different than all other blessings according to the Shulchan Aruch in that even if you don’t fulfill the mitzvah of learning Torah immediately the blessing made on Torah learning will work for whenever you do learn later?


A: Normally one has to fulfill the mitzvah as soon as one says a blessing so that there will not be a hefsek/separation between the blessing and the mitzvah which causes a hesech hadaas (One’s mind to lose concentration connecting the mitzvah to the blessing). If he doesn’t then he must make the blessing again and immediately do the mitzvah. (Siman 206)

B. There is a mitzvah to learn Torah 24/7 as it says “vihigisa bo yomam valaila” (You shall toil in it day and night.)

Answer: Because only the mitzvah of Torah learning is 24/7 then there is no hesech hadaas/disconnect of the mind for the entire day, where as any other mitzvah which is not constant then as soon as a distraction happens he loses connection between the blessing and the mitzvah. (See Mishna Berura 47:9:19.)

Torah Riddles Test #61

  1. Question: If you aren’t sure if you recited the Birkas Hamazon why do you have to repeat the entire blessing but if you are unsure if you said Birkas HaTorah you should only say the second blessing of “Asher bachar banu”?


A. Both Birkas Hamazon and Birkas HaTorah are Torah level blessings and though the fifth paragraph of Birkas Hamazon is rabbinic it is said with the rest though by Birkas HaTorah only the second blessing is said to take care of the Torah level blessing because it is considered the better of the two blessings as the Mishna Berura 47:1:1 says.

B. Mishna Berura 184:13 says that the reason why you say the entire Birkas Hamazon including the last blessing paragraph is in order to not denigrate that last blessing and start to always skip it since it would not be taken seriously.

C. Birkas Hamazon is a blessing of praise and Birkas HaTorah is a blessing over a mitzvah.

Answer: Rav Moshe Feinstein (Igros Moshe Orach Chaim 2:3) says that a person would put the same weight of a blessing on a mitzvah as if it is a mitzvah and would never be lax in the matter and stop saying it but by bentching because it’s just a praise then the seemingly less important praises they would stop saying if skipped at times.

Torah Riddles Test #54

  1. Question: According to the Pri Megadim what is the difference between a half slave half free person who can’t blow shofar or read megilla himself but could have someone do it for him and he fulfills those mitzvahs through the messenger but the Pri Megadim does not understand why a person can light Chanukah candles for another person who took on Shabbos early and forgot to light Chanukah candles?


A. The Pri Megadim did not understand how you can have someone else light Chanukah candles for you if you accidentally first lit Shabbos candles because there is a rule that whatever you can’t do your messenger can’t do for you. This is because the messenger of a person is like himself so if you can’t do it he can’t do it either.

B. The Mahara”m Shick (chelek 1, Even HaEzer, teshuva 129) answers the Pri Megadim’s difficulty by saying this rule that a messenger can’t do something the sender can’t do only applies if the job and the problem is the same, (for example someone asking a messenger to marry him to a relative like his own daughter or mother.) But in this case there are two different factors, Chanukah and Shabbos. The fact that it is Shabbos for this person now is a technicality so the messenger can act on his behalf.

C. This technicality concept is exactly why a half slave half free person can fulfill the mitzvah through others according to the Mahara”m Shick, meaning the only reason why he can’t do the mitzvos himself is because he is a half slave otherwise there is nothing wrong with him doing the mitzvah therefore someone else can do it for him.

The Pri Megadim obviously does not hold of this technical logic so why could others be a messenger for the half slave half free person but it does not make sense in his eyes why a messenger can light Chanukah candles after the sender took on Shabbos?

Answer: By the Chanukah candles case, granted it is a technicality which doesn’t allow him to light but he still can’t light because it is Shabbos and a technicality is no excuse according to the Pri Megadim. But the half free person side really can fulfill any mitzvah it is just that the half slave side is stopping him so a messenger can do the mitzvah for the half free side.

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?


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?


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 #30

Question: Why can’t you say the blessing over challah for others at any Shabbos meal if you aren’t eating challah yourself but you could say the blessing for vegetables at the Seder on Pesach for karpas even if you aren’t participating in it, for others?


A. The Mishna Berura says in (167:92) that the reason why one can say a blessing for someone else even to do a mitzva even if he himself already fulfilled the mitzvah is because “kol Yisrael areivim ze la’ze” we are all responsible for each other to do mitzvos so if one didn’t do a mitzva it is as if you yourself didn’t do the mitzva yet. However when just eating to eat, though one is obligated to say a blessing in order to eat and one cannot get pleasure from the world without a blessing but one can always choose to not eat and not need a blessing so the one who is not eating but would say a blessing for you is not considered obligated to say the blessing.

 B. The Mishna Berura (273:19) says it’s not an obligation as a mitzva to eat challah at the 3 meals of Shabbos, rather if one wants to enjoy food on Shabbos he has an obligation to say a blessing on lechem mishna, two loaves of challah, but technically if he enjoys fasting he does not have to eat.

C. Karpas is only eaten to make the children ask questions and is not an obligation to be eaten.

Answer: The Dirshu Mishna Berura (484:1:4:4) quoting Rav Shlomo Zalman Auerbach says karpas is different because its main purpose is for a mitzva, of telling over the story of the Exodus and not for any enjoyment but lechem Mishna which is mainly for one to eat on Shabbos is considered for the sake of enjoying one’s food.

Torah Riddles Test #28

  1. Question: Rabbi Akiva Aiger asks and answers in his Responsa, first version, siman 30: Why do you make a blessing on separating Terumah even if done in one’s mind but a blessing is not said over bitul chometz, which can also be done in one’s mind?


A. The Mishna Berura 432:1:3 says that you don’t say the blessing of “al bitul chometz “ upon nullifying the chometz since the main part of the bitul is dependent on the heart and we don’t say blessings on matters that pertain to one’s heart or thoughts.

 B. After teruma is separated from fruit it is given to the kohen but in this case the teruma is separated in one’s mind and the blessing is goes on separating teruma, not the giving.

C. What is Rebbe Akiva Aiger’s answer?

Answer: The purpose of separating teruma is to give it to the kohen so even if it was separated in one’s thoughts it is as if he did something which has an action since in the end it will lead to an action, i.e. giving it to the kohen. But nullifying the chometz is completely done in one’s heart even if he verbally announces it to the world.

Torah Riddles Test #25

  1. Question: Why is taste of chometz absorbed in food more stringent than taste of chometz absorbed in a vessel on Pesach?


A. The Rema (467:10) holds that we have a custom to burn a chicken which has a cracked kernel of wheat found in it, and you can’t leave it until after Pesach even though the physical chometz was removed and only the taste is absorbed in the chicken.

B. The Shulchan Aruch (451:1) says that any earthen ware vessels that chometz like oatmeal, which one uses throughout the year should be washed off of all physical chometz and put away until after Pesach. The Mishna Berura (2) says this applies to any other type of vessel if you don’t want to kasher them.

C. The Chazon Ish (Orach Chaim 117:15) says that technically one does not have to sell any chometz which is absorbed in vessels though he does include them in the language of his document of selling chometz as a stringency to get rid of every last bit of chometz.

D. The Chazon Ish says that really absorbed taste of chometz cannot be sold because it has no physical substance to it but since the taste can come out of the wall of the vessel it can be considered physical so he stringently sold it but Rav Elyashiv and the Shulchan Aruch HaRav both say as long as there aren’t any physical chometz on vessels they don’t have to be sold before Pesach.

E. The Chazon Ish in note 12 said that absorbed taste in a vessel is like chometz which was left in rubble which isn’t edible.

Answer: The Dirshu Mishna Berura (451:1:2:2) quoting the Chazon Ish answers that taste of chometz absorbed in food is different from taste absorbed in vessels since it is still edible in food even though it is not physically there but when eating the chicken for example it is like you would eat the chometz absorbed inside it, with it, so it should be burned according to the Rema except in extenuating circumstances.