Torah Riddles Test #11

  1. Question: What is the difference between needing to reheat water for a baby who got a bris on Shabbos and the hot water prepared for a bath before Shabbos spilled before the bris, where the R”an permits doing the bris but he says one cannot shecht an animal on Yom Tov if he doesn’t have dirt prepared from before YomTov to fulfill the mitzvah of covering blood?


  1. The Raza”h says it is not permitted to do the bris on Shabbos if you know you are going to have to break Shabbos to heat up water once the baby is in a dangerous state and needs the hot water. Meaning you can’t put yourself in a position to be forced to break Shabbos in order to save some one’s life just to fulfill a mitzvah.
  2. The Ra”n in the name of the Ramban holds that there is a mitzvah right now in front of us which has to get done so take care of it and we’ll have to deal with the ramifications later, even if it means breaking Shabbos and heating water for a bath in order so that the baby will not becomes too weak.  At that point it is permissible to break Shabbos for the sake of the baby in order to avoid the situation of the baby becoming in danger.  When the bris was being done there was no immediate need to break Shabbos so it was not an immediate cause and effect.
  3. Why doesn’t the Ra”n say the same by the shechting case, that right now there is a mitzvah of shechting meat in order to eat for the sake of simchas Yom Tov and honoring the holiday with delicacies and after the mitzvah is done we’ll deal with the ramifications of needing to bring in some dirt from outside, which is muktzah on a rabbinic level, since it was not set aside from before yom tov, in order to cover the blood? But the Ra”n says the mitzvah of simchas Yom Tov is different than the mitzvah bris milah, why?

Answer: By the slaughtering you are directly causing the need of getting dirt from outside if it was not prepared before Yom Tov because the need to fulfill the mitzvah of covering blood is like the second part of the slaughtering. But need to heat up water in order to give the baby a bath so that he won’t be in danger is not a direct result of the bris, meaning it is not like the next step of a bris is to give a baby a hot bath, rather this is just an offshoot of what happens when the baby is in such trauma after having surgery, therefore the need to heat up water is indirectly caused by the bris and therefore is permissible.

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