Torah Riddles Test #59

  1. Question: Why isn’t it an issue of being forced into a situation of making an unneeded blessing (bracha she’eino tzricha) in terms of washing in the morning or by tefillin but there is an issue of making an unneeded blessing by tzitzis?

Background:

  1. The Mishna Berura (4:13:30) says if one was up all night, for example on Shavuos, or even if he got up before alos hashachar (dawn) and washed his hands(see Mishna Berura 33), then there is a question whether he has to wash his hands in the morning and make a blessing, based on the question in halacha of why we wash, is it because of touching impure places while sleeping, sleeping itself, or just the nighttime which brings a bad spirit onto one’s hands. In any event the suggested practice is to go to the bathroom and then everyone agrees that he would be obligated to make a blessing after washing for washing his hands and going to the bathroom.
  2. The Beur Halacha (25:5 “vitov”) explains the reason why this is fine is because since one is forced to do this because of the doubt it is does not fall into the category of an unneeded blessing. Similarly by tefillin there is a question whether a blessing is needed by the tefillin shel rosh or whether it counts with the blessing over the tefillin shel yad. The Shulchan Aruch and the Vilna Gaon both agree like the view of Rashi that one only makes one blessing for both but the Rema says two blessings should be said like the view of the Rosh. Rebbe Akiva Aiger suggests that one should have in mind to not use the first blessing on the arm tefillin for the head tefillin in order so that he is forced to make the second blessing just in case the halacha is like Rashi that the blessing on the hand tefillin can also count for the head and this is not considered making an unneeded blessing because one is forced to do this to get out of the doubt of who we poskin like.
  3. However the Mishna Berura (8:16:42) says that if one slept in his tzitzis the entire night there is a question whether he can make a blessing on the tzitzis in the morning since there is a doubt whether there is a mitzvah of tzitzis at night or just that pajamas are exempt from tzitzis but day garments are still obligated even at night therefore the Mishna Berura says safek brachos lihakel (when in doubt by a blessing one should be lenient and not say it) however he can have in mind for the tzitzis when making a blessing on his tallis. He then says that this is as long as he doesn’t take it off but if he takes off the tzitzis with having no intention of putting it back on immediately then he would need a new blessing according to everyone but one shouldn’t do this on purpose to create a situation of an unneeded blessing.

Answer: . By washing one is just doing something which he would have to do at some point anyways so he isn’t doing anything extra to force himself to make an unneeded blessing and by tefillin too, the Beur Halacha says that having in mind to not use the blessing on the arm is like talking in the middles of doing the mitzvah which warrants a new blessing so there isn’t a superfluous step which forces a need of a new blessing. But by tzitzis, the garment is already on, and there is no need to take it off, it is totally extra and repetitive so going through the motions of taking it off just to put it on again is more like a loop hole which just creates an unneeded blessing.

Torah Riddles Test #38

  1. Question: Why should a majority be used to decide that a sheep already counted and then remixed into the pen can be ignored or nullified regarding taking tithes of animals but we can’t use a majority to nullify a string of wool which was not twirled for the sake of the mitzvah of tzitzis and got mixed up with other strings that were woven for the sake of the mitzvah?

Background:

A. The Oneg Yom Tov (siman 2) says that if strings twirled not for the sake of the mitzvah of tzitzis are mixed in a pile of strings that were twirled for the mitzvah one cannot use a majority to nullify the invalid ones because nullifying in a majority only works when stuff that are forbidden fall into stuff that are permissible where nullifying the majority removes the issue of prohibition but here the nullifying in majority is being used to make the strands of tzitzis kosher that were twirled not for the sake of the mitzvah and we don’t find anywhere a concept of nullifying like that.

 B. The Gemara in Bava Metzia 6b says that if one of the sheep that was already counted for tithes jumped back into the pen and got mixed up then all of them are exempt from tithing.Tosfos there asks and leaves the question unanswered, why not say that that sheep should be nullified in the majority and all then should be counted in the count of tithing? Problem is that means the majority is actually adding a new din of untithed to the animal that was already counted. It didn’t just nullify that animal because it will be part of the count again which is a question on the Oneg Yom Tov.

C. Chakira in tithing animals: (a) Does the obligation of tithing animals come off by itself once it is counted or (b) really each animal is obligated to be tithed but once they are counted they are exempted from animal tithing.

Answer: If you say like the second side that really each animal is obligated in tithing but is exempted after being counted then Tosfos question makes sense because the nullification through majority takes away the exemption of being counted already and automatically all that is left is the obligation of tithing an animal which by itself it is liable for. Just to clarify, by the tithing of the sheep the obligation of tithing is always on the animal but it is exempted one counted so the majority removes that exemption and the sheep is left with an obligation again which it always has but by the tzitzis, it started off not being made kosherly and the majority would be used to transform it into something kosher which it can’t do.

Torah Riddles Test #9

  1. Question: Why does the Shulchan Aruch (Yoreh Deah 285:1) say if you only have enough money to buy only one item one should by tefillin and not a mezuzah?

Background:

  • The Shulchan Aruch says that one who is careful with fulfilling the mitzvah of mezuzah will merit long life for himself and his family.
  •  Mezuzah is a mitzvah that can be fulfilled every day of the year whereas tefillin are not adorned on Shabbos or Yom Tov.
  • If a person is a nomad living in tents in the desert or a sailor at sea, the mitzvah of mezuzah might never pertain to him just as a person who does not own a four cornered garment will never be required to don tzitzis.
  • As soon as a boy turns 13 he has an obligation to put on tefillin everyday besides Shabbos and Yom Tov.

Answer: Rebbe Akiva Aiger on the Shulchan Aruch says tefillin is an obligatory mitzvah in all circumstances except for its few exemptions on different parts of the year but mezuzah is only obligatory if you have a house with doorposts so it is possible a person might never need to fulfill that mitzvah just like tzitzis, therefore it is more important to buy tefillin then mezuzah even if currently you do have a house which is obligated in mezuzah.

Torah Riddles Test #4

Question: Why isn’t it a problem to put tzitzis onto a garment which has shaatnez and then take out the shaatnez?

Background:

A. The problem is that there is a rule that one can only put tzitzis on a garment which already requires tzitzis. For example if a garment has rounded corners which are not obligated in tzitzis and he tied tzitzis on each round corner and then cut the corner so it would be square which now makes the garment obligated in tzitzis, he must now untie the tzitzis and retie them to be allowed to wear the garment.

B. The main problem is that you can’t perform a mitzvah through doing a sin.

C. The prohibition of meat and milk has to do with a mixture this is the same prohibition of shaatnez, a mixture of wool and linen.

Answer: The issue of shaatnez and tzitzis do not cross paths for the prohibition of shaatnez is in the mixture whereas the mitzvah of tzitzis could be performed within the measurement of wool by itself, assuming most of the garment is wool and there are just a few strands of linen mixed in.