Thursday, July 27, 2006

The Power of a Beis Din to Create a Halachic Metzius

The shul in which I daven in the morning has a copy of the "banned" sefer of R' Chaim Kanievski's often one word answers to the many questions some fellow directed at him - it's called "Doleh u'Mashkeh." One of the very interesting responses was to the question of the status of a person condemned by a Beis Din to death who himself knows that he did not commit the crime in question. Is this person allowed to turn around and kill the Shaliach Beis Din who comes to execute him? R' Chaim responded that in Sanhedrin 82a we only see that in the case of Zimri (Bo'el Aramis) would he have been justified in killing Pinchas - the inference being that all other Chayavei Misos Beis Din are not allowed to kill their executioners. In response to a follow-up question, R' Chaim acknowledged two sevaros at work here: "Chiyuv mechudash," and "Rodef b'ones" (the author questioned the second sevara on the basis of the case of a fetus that is being rodef the mother, ach yesh l'yashev). The first pshat is very much in line with my contention in the question of the permissibility of killing lice on Shabbos: Chazal are kovei'a the Halachic Metzius.


  1. I know these might sound like ignorant questions, but indulge me.

    1) Why was the sefer "banned"?
    2) Who "banned" the sefer?

  2. It was "banned" - or, more accurately, recalled - because some of the questions were downright silly and made RCK look bad (although, personally, assuming that the Mechaber is just one of numerous nudges nudging RCK with inane questions, I think the sefer is a testament to RCK's extraordinary patience).

    For example, one the questions is whether when one goes to the bathroom in a shul or yeshiva, must he limit his use of toilet paper as much as possible because it is mammon hekedesh? (IIRC, RCK gave one of his classic one word answers "Karagil.")

  3. I did not know that it was banned. That is great news! (not the ban itself, but the fact that it was deligitimized - i am not a fan of bans.)
    I saw it at my brother's house, and after leafing threw it, i was so turned off by the inanity and the total lack of mooring in reality that i considered trading in my velvet kippa :)
    How do you know it was banned?

  4. I don't recall the source, but I heard it was pulled off the shelves - you can't find it in a seforim store today.

    L'ma'aseh, if you are very good at meleches borrer, there is some interesting stuff in there, amidst all the pesoles (perhaps it is assur to read on Shabbos, as some Mekubal said about learning b'iyun). I am going to post things if and when I find them.

  5. RYBG:
    There was some question in there, and I can't recall it, but maybe you can find it, which read basically like "why don't we just kill all the Goyim" to avoid some particular halachik issue. I know that i am butchering (pardon the pun) the question - maybe you can post it here so that the 'pesoles' can be viewed by all.
    I would say that on Yom Tov, it would be very difficult to read, as on Yom Tov you had to be borer the miyut from the Meruba, and it that 'sefer' (sic) the good was very much the miyut.