Wednesday, July 21, 2021
Jüdischer Friedhof Bechhofen - Steine, die Geschichten erzählen
Sunday, July 18, 2021
More tidbits from Rabbi Zev Leff's 5781 Tisha B'Av Presentation
1. Rabbeinu Yonah, Sha'arei Teshuvah 2:5
ויש על הבוטח בשם להוחיל במעוף צוקתו כי יהיה החשך סבת האורה. כמו שכתוב (מיכה ז׳:ח׳) אל תשמחי אויבתי לי כי נפלתי קמתי כי אשב בחשך ה' אור לי. ואמרו רבותינו זכרונם לברכה אלמלא נפלתי לא קמתי אלמלא ישבתי בחשך לא היה אור לי. וכל איש ואיש ביום צר לו יתן לבו להבין ולהתענות עם התשובה והתפלה. כמו שהצבור חייבים לצום ולהתענות בעת צרתם כאשר תקנו חז"ל וזה צום נבחר ויום רצון. וכאשר יבא מוסר הש"י על האיש אשר הוא זך וישר יהיה לנסיון ולהגדיל שכרו לעולם הבא כמו שנאמר (דברים ח׳:ט״ז) למען ענותך ולמען נסותך להטיבך באחריתך. ואמרו רבותינו זכרונם לברכה פשפש במעשיו בעת צרתו וחפש וחקר ולא מצא חטא בידו הן הן יסורין של אהבה
And one who trusts God should hold on during the vision of his distress; for the darkness will be the cause for the light - as it is written (Micah 7:8), "Do not rejoice over me, O my enemy; since I have fallen, I rise again; since I sit in darkness, the Lord is my light." And our Rabbis, may their memory be blessed, said (Midrash Tehillim 22), "If I had not fallen, I would not have risen; If I had not sat in darkness, the Lord would not have been my light." And every single person on the day of his trouble should put into his heart to understand and afflict himself, [together] with the repentance and prayer - just like the community is obligated to fast and afflict themselves at the time of their trouble, as the Sages, may their memory be blessed, ordained. And that fast day is chosen and is a day of acceptance. And when the rebuke of God, may He be blessed, comes to a man that is pure and straight, it becomes a test, and enhances his reward in the world to come - as it is stated (Deuteronomy 8:16), "in order to test you by hardships only to benefit you in the end." And our Rabbis, may their memory be blessed, said (Berakhot 5a), "[If] one searched his deeds at the time of his trouble, sought out and investigated, but did not find a sin - these are certainly afflictions of love."
2. Every year one must find a new aspect to mourn on Tisha B'Av
על חורבן בית המקדש כי הורס וכי הודש אספוד בכל שנה ושנה מספד חדש על הקודש ועל המקדש. (קינה כ"ה)
3. Bittul Torah
Bittul Torah also means l'battel es haTorah - to negate the significance of Torah.
4. Yefashfesh b'Ma'asav
Yefashfesh b'Ma'asav means what is says: "Examine your deeds," not "their deeds."
5. Sefer Chassidim 545
בכל מקום דעה את בוראך. פירוש במקום שאסור להרהר בדבר תורה כיצד דעהו בצניעות
Know your Creator everywhere. Meaning, in a place where it is forbidden to think words of Torah how can you know Him? With tzeniyus.
בכל מקום דעה את בוראך פי' כו'. ר"ל דכתיב בכל דרכיך דעהו דהיינו בכל מקום דעה את בוראך דמשמע אפילו במקום שאסור להרהר בדברי תורה וכיצד דעהו שם וקאמר פי' במקום כו' דעהו בצניעות
6. To be מקבל בשמחה means not to be happy, but to believe that it has meaning.
(very Viktor Frankl!)
Rabbi Zev Leff on Esav Sonei L'Yaakov
We have perused this topic many times. Most recently:
Among many other topics, he addressed the topic of Sinah, which is a focal topic of the day (as in Sinas Chinam).
He suggested that we misunderstand the definition of sinah.
As evidence he cited Yaakov's relationship with Leah.
The Torah (Bereishis 29:30) says that Yaakov loved Rachel more than Leah - clearly indicating that both were loved, but that Rachel was loved more.
Yet immediately afterwards (29:31) the Torah says that Hashem saw that Leah was senu'ah. In context, it does not make sense to say this means that she was hated.
Rather, contended Rav Leff, sinah means not hatred but any form of pirud, of separation. It is thus that we understand the command of Lo tisnah es achicha b'lvavecha (Vayikra 19:17): There should not be a separation between you and your brother.
Accordingly, when the Gemara (Shabbos 89a) states that at Har Sinai there came down sinah to the nations, it connotes not hatred, but an inevitable separation.
Rav Leff thus explained the Esav sonei l'Yaakov does relate to the nations of the world and the Jews, but that it does not connote the non-Jews hate Jews intrinsically and universally. He noted that many non-Jews are friends, supporters and advocates of Jews individually and collectively. Nonetheless, there will always exist an inevitable separation that can never be fully (and should not ever be fully) obliterated or ignored.
Rischa D'Araisa Season 3 Episode 15: Dismissing the Olympic Torch may cause us to consign the Kedoshei Munich to oblivion
Rischa D'Araisa Season 3 Episode 15
Monday, July 12, 2021
Rischa D'Araisa Season 3 Episode 14: Amon-Moav-Amalek-Shivah Amim Do The Torah and Chazal Sanction and Support CRT?
Friday, July 02, 2021
Rischa D'Araisa Season 3 Episode 13 Accepting Reality: The Danger of Encouraging Prayers for Miracles Kashering to Death: Using Halachic Restraint
Rischa D'Araisa Season 3 Episode 13
Another Chiddush from a Yeshiva Visit, Kerisus in a Get in the Husband's Own Handwriting
As I mentioned in my previous post, one of my jobs entails going from top level yeshiva to top level yeshiva faherring groups of talmidim, talking to them in learning. As noted, it is a supremely "fun" job, and I am grateful to have it, BH.
This week I was at another of these top-level yeshivos, and we were talking about this Ritva:
ריטב"א על יבמות דף ל/ב
כיצד ספק גירושין כתב בכתב ידו ואין עליו עדים וכו'. פי' ג' גיטין הללו כשרים מן התורה ופסולין מדרבנן כדתנן ג' גיטין פסולים ואם נשאת הולד כשר וכבר פירשתיה במקומה במסכת גיטין, והא דכשר מדאורייתא כתב בכתב ידו פר"י התם דהא אתיא אפילו לר' מאיר דבעי עדי חתימה דהא מדסיפא ר' אלעזר רישא רבי מאיר וטעמא דמילתא משום דכיון דכתיב וכתב לה הרי חתם ידו כעדים גמורים וכדפרש"י ז"ל התם הילכך כתב ידו נמי עביד כריתות, אבל ליכא לאכשורי מטעמא דכתב ז"ל בכאן דתנן הוציא עליו כתב ידו שהוא חייב לו גובה מנכסים בני חורין, דלא דמו כלל דהתם ראייה בלחוד בעינן והא איכא דהודאת בעל דין כמאה עדים דמי, אבל גבי גט כריתות בעינן
You see, Rashi there is Yevamos asserts that a get written by the husband himself but that has no witnesses signed on it, is kosher even according to Rabbi Meir who holds that the witnesses who sign the get validate it (edei chasimah kartei), because this get is no different than a document written by a person himself that pertains to monetary law, such as an IOU.
The Ritva rejects this linkage, because the documents are of altogether different kinds, and his own handwriting without eidim may suffice for a document that serves as a proof, but not for document that must effect a transaction. But the last line, in which he asserts the difference, is highly cryptic, "in the case of a get we require kerisus."
So we were discussing how they wanted to explain the line. I raised the point that normally a shortcoming in kerisus is along the lines of get b'yada u'meshicha b'yado - that he is somehow somehow holding on to strings attached to the get (either literally or figuratively) so the severance is incomplete.
I suggested a "Poilishe" pshat, that since the get is in his handwriting, she must rely on him, in the form of his handwriting, for her divorce to be valid even after the delivery of the get.
A flaw in that is that the pashut pshat of V'Kasa Lah is that he himself can be the one writing the get.
When rethinking the issue later, I thought of a variation on this, which is that normally the validity of the get is accomplished by the witnesses, but here it is accomplished by his handwriting, as any kiyum of the get will entail verifying his handwriting.
But still later I searched out other Ritvas on the topic and thought it through again, and I realized that it was far simpler, and that I had missed an important point through all these many years and many learnings of Gittin - viz., that when we say edei mesirah or chasimah kartei, it does not mean just that they validate the get, but that they effect the kerisus. They are the ones who make this document an effective bill of severance (in their roles of eidei kiyum). The machlokes between R' Meir an R' Eliezer is which eidim make this a bill of severance. The Ritva is therefore very appropriately asking on Rashi: In the case of a regular document there is no need for kerisus - for eidim to create a bill of severance, or more generally, a bill that is transactional, as opposed to evidentiary - so hodo'as ba'al din suffices for the necessary evidence and validation. But that would not suffice for a get. We need the gezeiras ha'kasuv of V'Kasav Lah to teach us that the husband himself can create a transactional document that embodies kerisus.
I think this is the true pshat in the Ritva. And after almost 60 years of life I finally have a true understanding of kartei!