Torah Riddles Test #37

  1. Question: Why aren’t we concerned about many sins being transgressed when checking to see if the tzitzis on a Tallis is kosher before donning the tallis but we are concerned about many sins being transgressed when taking care of a sick person in danger on Shabbos, at least according to the Ra”n?


A. The Shulchan Aruch by the laws of tzitzis (8:9) says that before one makes a blessing upon donning a Tallis he should be sure the tzitzis strings have not torn so that he would not say a wasted blessing. The Mishna Berura there explains that granted there is a possibility of not wearing a kosher pair of tzitzis but one can rely on a chazaka/halachic assumption that nothing has changed since he wore them last. But for the stringent matter of saying Hashem’s name in vain we are extra strict to check that everything is kosher.

B. The Ra”n quoted in the Beis Yosef (Orach Chaim 328) says it is better to transgress the Shabbos prohibition of slaughtering a kosher animal for a dangerously ill person then to feed him non-kosher meat on Shabbos. The reason being is that it is better to do an act of a sin once even if that particular sin is normally more severe i.e. slaughtering on Shabbos, then many acts of sin, i.e. each time he eats a kazayis of non-kosher meat.

 C. The same should be the concern by the Tallis that every moment of wearing a non-kosher tallis is a sin which we should be more concerned about then one blessing that was made for naught. D. A chazaka deals with the present situation not the future.

Answer: When it comes to Shabbos what has to be weighed are the needs of the sick person and the amount of sins potentially transgressed to save him, what is the easiest way to heal him. The Ra”n holds that if feeding him non-kosher is the same as feeding him kosher meat which must be slaughtered on Shabbos then it is better to shecht one time on Shabbos then for him to eat numerous kazaysim of non-kosher meat. But by tzitzis what is really happening is that we are relying on a chazaka and a chazaka only takes care of the issue at present so when looking at each issue presently we’ll say that the chazaka takes care of the mitzvah of tzitzis to be sure it is kosher but we are more stringent by saying G-D’s name in vain so we don’t rely on the chazaka for that matter.

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