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 #70

  1. Question: If you are in doubt whether you said Shema or blew shofar or shook lulav on the first day of the respective Yom Tov, you should perform those mitzvos with their blessing according to some opinions, (See Mishna Berura 67:1:1), which means by Shema the blessings before and after should be said. Why then if a person was only able to hear shofar or shake lulav at bein hashmashos, twilight, or whether a tumtum wears tzitzis or an androgynous gets a bris, in those cases no blessing is made because when in doubt be lenient and don’t say a blessing in doubt?

Background: A. A tumtum is a person who does not have seeable genitalia because it is covered up by extra flesh so there is a doubt of whether the person is male or female. Women aren’t obligated in tzitzis. B. An androgynous is a person with both genitalia which there is also a doubt what gender it is or maybe even a third type of person. Women certainly don’t get a bris. C. Bein hashmashos, or twilight is a time when there is a question whether it is halachically day or night. One cannot fulfill the mitzvos of shofar or lulav at night.

Answer: In cases where we would say a blessing are scenarios where the person is obligated in the mitzvah but is just in doubt whether he did it or not therefore since there is a definite obligation he just isn’t sure whether he fulfilled it or not there is an original assumption that he did not do it yet and still is obligated. A mitzvah fulfilled in doubt does not remove a definite obligation one has. Whereas when a blessing should not be said are in cases where there is a doubt if there is even an obligation at all. (However there is an opinion that by any doubt one should not say a blessing when fulfilling the mitzvah, (See Mishna Berura here in its totality and Dirshu footnote 1.)

Torah Riddles Test #69

  1. Question:  Why is saying Shema with the congregation derech eretz, a cordial thing to do even if you are not praying with them but there is an obligation to say Kedusha with the congregation even if you are not praying with them?

 Background: A. The Shulchan Aruch (Orach Chaim 65:2 and Mishna Berura 9) says that if you already read the Shema and you enter the shul and find them reading the Shema you must read the first verse so that you don’t look like as if you don’t want to accept the yoke of Heaven with your friends. This applies to other things that the congregation says together, for example “Ashrei” or “Aleinu,” you should read with them because it is derech eretz, proper manners. B. The Rema (125:2) says there is an obligation to say kedusha with the congregation and Rav Moshe Feinstein (Igros Moshe Orach Chaim 3:89) says that this is a halachic obligation, not just proper manners. C. There is a set obligation to say the Shema twice a day, once in the morning and once at night. D. The concept of saying Kedusha is to sanctify the name of Hashem within a congregation.

Answer: Since the obligation is to say Shema twice at some point in the day and at night then to say it when everyone else is saying it and you already said it is only proper manners, derech eretz, to not look like you don’t want to accept the yoke of Heaven. But to sanctify Hashem’s name with the congregation potentially really could be even a hundred times a day, there is no limit, therefore every opportunity is a real obligation.