July 18, 2024
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Weekly Roundup: Kiddushin 23-25

This week we learned Kiddushin 23-25. Here are some highlights from the topics discussed. May the learning serve as a merit le’iluy nishmat Menachem Mendel Ben Harav Yoel David Balk a”h.

Tefillin on a Paralyzed Man

Kiddushin 23

The Gemara mentioned the law of Rav Huna about Kohanim. Rav Huna taught that Kohanim who perform the service in the holy Temple are serving as agents sent by the Almighty to bring His offerings. They do not serve as agents of those who are donating the sacrifices. The person bringing the sacrifice might be a non Kohen who cannot perform the service of the Temple himself. One who could not perform the service himself cannot appoint an agent to perform the service as his representative. This principle, that what one cannot do himself he cannot create an agent to do on his behalf, led to a painful question. Daf Digest records that Rav Vozner was asked by a paralyzed man if he could have others put his Tefillin on his arm for him. Perhaps, since there is a rule that what one cannot do himself he cannot appoint others to do for him, as the paralyzed man cannot personally fulfill the mitzvah of Ukeshartem le’ot al yadecha (and you shall bind [the Tefillin] on your arm), due to his paralysis, he cannot appoint others to do it for him either?

Rav Vozner responded that the Maharam Shik dealt with this very issue. He taught that a paralyzed man differs from a non Kohen. A Yisrael is not obligated at all to offer Korbanot in the Mikdash. As a result, he cannot appoint a representative to offer Korbanot for him. Every Jewish man is obligated to wrap Tefillin on his arm. The paralyzed man is obligated to put on Tefillin. His paralysis is an external force preventing him from discharging his task. As a result, he may appoint someone to act on his behalf who will tie the Tefillin on his arm and he will thereby fulfill his obligation.

A Ring Into a Gloved Hand

Kiddushin 24

The Gemara mentioned that an Eved Kena’ani goes free if his adon permanently disabled one of his primary visible limbs. If the master were to cut off a finger or blind an eye the Eved goes free. Rav Yitzchok Zilberstein pointed out that this discussion can remind us of a law in regards to marriage.

Otzar Haposkim (Siman Chaf Zayin Os Daled) records that many authorities ruled that if a bride was wearing gloves, to receive her marriage ring, she should remove the gloves and let the ring get placed directly on her finger. One reason is Kabbalistic. The Hebrew word for ring, taba’at combined with the word for finger, etzba, represents the union of names of Hashem. If she would wear gloves and the ring would be placed in a glove, then the Kabbalistic unification would not occur. Furthermore, a ring on the hand is a sign of blessing. A ring on the hand makes the mitzvah of marriage more aesthetically appealing and thus fulfills the mandate of Hiddur Mitzvah. Ben Ish Chai writes that in his city of Baghdad there was a custom for the bride to wear gloves and receive the valuable Kiddushin item in the palm of her gloved hand. The reason for this was twofold. Just as there is a custom to put a tablecloth on the Shabbat table to show honor to the Shabbat meal, a gloved hand makes the wedding more honorable. Secondly, through wearing a glove it is clear that the woman is not receiving charity. Were she to merely put out her hand and receive an item of gold and silver in her palm and thereby become married, some onlookers might mistakenly think that the husband was giving charity into her palm. However, a pauper would not be wearing dress gloves. Once she wears gloves it is apparent that she is not merely receiving charity. Rav Zilberstein offered a riddle; when would all legal authorities encourage a woman to adopt the custom of Baghdad Jewry and to get married while wearing gloves?

Answer: If the bride was missing her fingers then we too would adopt the custom of the Ben Ish Chai. In such a case, the bride would not have the ring placed on her finger so the Kabbalistic symbolism would be unattainable. The fear that an item placed into her palm would appear to be charity would also be relevant. As a result, halacha would dictate that she wear a glove to make her hand like a Shabbat table and the husband should drop the ring into her gloved hand to demonstrate that he is marrying her and not merely giving alms (Chashukei Chemed).

Show Respect for a Great Sage

Kiddushin 25

A great scholar once came to visit Bnei Brak. Posters went up throughout the city announcing a special lecture that the Gadol Hador was going to deliver. There was a scholar in Bnei Brak who did not want to invest the time to attend the shiur. He asked Rav Zilberstein, “May I continue with my regular studies instead of attending the special class given by the great giant of Torah who will be visiting our city?”

Rav Zilberstein answered that Kiddushin 25 teaches that he had to stop his usual studies and attend the guest’s lecture. The Gemara related that the sages of Nezunya did not attend the derashah given by Rav Chisda. Rav Chisda noticed their absence. He told Rav Himnuna, “Go and place those sages in excommunication due to their insolence in not attending the class. “ From this story we can learn a lesson, if a great Torah luminary arrives in a town, all should attend his class to give honor to his Torah knowledge. Scholars who choose not to attend his class are wrong and deserving of excommunication. Ben Yehoyada added that when the scholars of Nezunya did not attend the laymen also did not attend, thus, the behavior of the scholars caused communal bittul Torah.

Rav Zilberstein related that when Yeshiva students would ask Rav Moshe Feinstein what they should do during bein hazmanim, holiday breaks, he would tell them to attend the Mishnah classes given by the local Rabbi. They might be able to learn at a more intense level, yet their attendance would honor Torah and encourage others to study with the Rabbi. (Chashukei Chemed)

By Rabbi Zev Reichman

Rabbi Zev Reichman teaches Daf Yomi in his shul, East Hill Synagogue, 255 Walnut Street in Englewood, NJ, at 5:35 a.m. Monday and Thursday, at 5:45 a.m. Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday, and at 7:45 on Sunday mornings.

 

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