Makos 8b  Shiur 10/28/14

Thanks to Eli Chitrik

Makos 8b

  1. Although we were used to the train of thought that a person no matter what he does he can never lose his status as a Jew, in Halacha it is not so simple:

For example if a Jew became apostate can one eat from his Shchitah?

Are you allowed to lend him money with interest etc.?

(It is interesting to note that according to all all opinions a Jew who became an apostate, if one day he does Teshuvah, he does not have to go through the process of conversion. He can just wake up one morning, and become a full Jew once more, meaning he was never really an apostate.)

We noted an interesting story regarding this question.

If a man dies without having any children, Halacha says that the woman must marry his brother- Yibum. If he  refuses he must get Chalitza from the widow.


What happens if the brother is a meshumad (apostate/concerted to another religion)?

There are two opinions,

According to the Geonim, because the brother is an apostate it is as if the there is no brother and the woman is permitted to marry anyone without even doing the Chalitzah process.

However, according to R”ashi even though the brother is a apostate, he is still a Jew and the woman is obligated to to marry him. Therefore,  without doing Chlitzah she is not permitted to marry another man.

The Shluchan Aruch halachically rules like Rashi,  however the B”Y and the Rama both dictate that you also have to take into consideration the opinion of the Geonim and therefore if there are two brothers you should only get Chalitzah from the Kosher one.

Getting Chlitzah from the apostate brother does not permit you to marry out.


  1. Around 80 years ago there was a man in Germany who died without children and he had two brothers. One brother was an apostate lived locally in Germany, the other brother who was “Kosher”  lived in Russia after the Bolshevik Revolution and it was very difficult to get in touch with him.


According the the ruling of the Shluchan Aruch  even though it may have been hard, the correct thing would have been to get in touch with the “Kosher” brother because according to the Geonim the brother in Germany is deemed “worthless” and would not free the woman to marry.


This story happened to have occurred with the Rogatchover Gaon’s son in law and daughter  Rochel. His son-in-law lived in Petach tikah and passed away as a young man.



The Rogatchover wrote the the Beis Din of Berlin telling them that they can go directly to the Apostate brother and ask him to do the Chalitzah and that they have to take into account that he has another “Kosher” brother. In other words, totally disregarding what the Shluchan Aruch  says that you must take into consideration the opinion of the Geonim.


One of the members of the Beis Din in Berlin at the time was Yechiel Yaakov Weinberg (The Seridei Aish (see here in English Hebrew)  he tried to argue with Rogatchover but to no avail. The Rogatchover  was adamant that he go directly to the apostate brother and not to take into the consideration the opinion of the Geonim.


Being that they had the Psak of the Rogatchover, they went directly to the apostate brother to ask him to give Chalitzah to the woman. The apostate brother upon hearing the story was very stubborn and refused to give the woman Chalitzah thereby leaving the woman an Agunah.


It is said that the Rogatchover considered the fact that the the apostate brother refused to give Chalitzah as a sign that he should have not been so lenient with the opinion of the Geonim!


Tragically, Rochel was killed by the Germans YM”S. It is thanks to her that many of the Ragatchover’s manuscripts survived the war.


See here.


An interesting piece of Gemore

(As we learned in Sanhedrin:)


We spoke about a defendant that has two capital punishments hanging over him that is given the harsher penalty.


#1- Skila

#2- Sreifa

#3- Hereg –Sayef

#4- Chenek


Thus a son who fatally attacks his parents has two punishments coming his way. One for wounding his parents – for which the punishment is Chenek, (which #4 on the list). The other one is for the killing – for which the punishment is Hereg, (#3 on the list).


This son therefore he gets the harsher one – Hereg.


Reb Shimon however, who has a different order:

#1- Sreifa

#2 – Skila

#3 – Chenek

#4- Hereg –Sayef


According to Reb Shimon the son would receive #3, Chenek.


Now all of this is only if the action of the son were done b’maizid. If he did it b’shogeg then it becomes interesting:

According Reb Shimon the son would get #3 – Chenek – but if he did it be’shogeg then he does not go to Golus!

The reason being that the concept of Golus is only for simple murder which carries the punishment of Hereg not Chenek. Think.


So the consequence of this logic brings us to a weird scenario. Someone who kills on Shabbos is chayev Skila for Shabbos and Hereg for the murder. He thus would get Skila. But he did the above be’shogeg then he would not be obligated to go to Golus since there is no Golus for Skila!


Also discussed the obligation of a father to teach his child Torah, a profession and how to swim. Teaching him a second profession is not considered a Mitzvah.

Makos 8a (2) .Shiur 10/13/14

Makos 8a (2) 

Shogeg – Hechsher Mitzvah


1-      We spoke about the narrative in the Chumash describing a case of ‘shogeg’ – causing an unintentional death that results in Golus. Devorim 19.

And this is the case of the killer who will flee there, so that he may live: Whoever strikes his fellow [to death] unintentionally, whom he did not hate in times past.

As when a man goes with his fellow into the forest to chop wood, and his hand swings the ax to cut down the tree, and the iron flies off the handle, and it reaches his fellow, and he dies he shall flee to one of these cities, and live.”


It begins with two points:

1- walking into a forest.

2- while chopping wood the axe malfunctions and results in an accidental killing.





The Mishnah and Rava derive from one of these points – walking into a forest and chopping wood – both mundane actions, that a ‘shogeg’ is only when not doing a Mitzvah.

The Gemora discusses if there is a possibility of chopping wood for Mitzva, such as for a Sukah or for firewood for the Mizbeach. It concludes that the chopping for these two Mitzvas is considered only a ‘hechsher Mitzvah’ i.e. preparation for the Mitzvah and not the Mitzvah itself.

Yisrolik Motchkin pointed out that in addition the what we wrote last week (Shiur Points 10/07/14 #3) there is more from the Rebbe on this topic in Likutei Sichos vol 29 page 496.


Kaporah for a Shliach

2- Repeated the story of the maid that fainted and inadvertently was given poison that caused her to die and the ruling of the Chasam Soifer that no ‘Kaporah’ is needed.

Story of the Shliach who was on a panel discussing Zionism. While the Shliach presented the Chabad view on this touchy subject an agitated old man (ardent Zionist) began to argue and R”L died of a heart attack!

The Shliach wrote to the Rebbe what transpired in detail, describing the points he presented as to the Chabad position etc. and asked if he needs a Kaporah.  The Rebbe told him (while adding some points to his presentation!) that he should ‘do something’ for his causing this tragic incident. What exactly I don’t know.

Incidentally, the family of the deceased told the Shliach during Shiva, that he should not blame himself as the old man had a very weak heart to begin with. (Perhaps he was a diehard Zionist…)

Obligation to work

3-      Spoke about the obligation to “work” as it says in the Posuk “Shai’shes Yomin Ta’avod, Ubashvi Tishbos”.


It’s not counted as one the 613 – Taryag Mitzvos perhaps because it is a Mitzvah K’lolis ……

One or two Shabossim for Moshiach to come?

4- Famous contradiction between two Medroshim: One states that “if Jews would keep just one Shabbos they would be redeemed”, whereas another states the need for two Shabossim to be observed.

The Alter Rebbe answers according to Chassidus that it means the two levels of Shabbos that need to be experienced every Shabbos.

See here :

Suggested that perhaps it means as follows: In order to keep a Shabbos properly one must work only six days before the Shabbos arrives. Shabbos needs to be “the seventh day”.

If one becomes a Ba’al Teshuva on a Tuesday, for example, and decides to keep the next Shabbos then this next Shabbos will not be “the seventh day” for him. Since he has not kept Shabbos prior to this one, then the Shabbos he decides to observe comes after (not six days of work, but) perhaps hundreds of days of work.

He therefore needs to keep one Shabbos, work for six days, and only then will the second Shabbos be for him a real “seventh day”.

Thus the two Medroshim do not contradict. For Moshiach to come we need everybody to “keep one Shabbos” but that will be realized only after they observe “two Shabossim”.



Makos 8a Shiur 10/07/14

Makos 8a

Thanks to Eli Chitrik

  1. The Mishna states the following:

The Torah gives an example of killing someone inadvertently as “chopping wood in the forest and the axe slips and kills a bystander”. The example is to teach that just as chopping wood is voluntary, not a Mitzvah, so too any act causing death in order for the law of exile to apply must be an non-Mitzvah action. This excludes for example a Shliach Beis Din (agent of the court) who inadvertently kills someone, since they killed while engaged in a Mitzvah.

What is the definition of the “Shliach Beis Din” who killed someone?  It cannot mean giving extra lashes (39 plus)   because on Daf 22b it states that if extra lashes are given and the person dies it is a case of Golus if given unintentional or Mayzid if done intentionally.

Rashi here learns that it is someone who was assigned the Task of giving Malkus to someone and inadvertently killed him. Meaning within the amount of lashes he was appraised to be able to receive.

The Raava”d however objects, being that before the court administers Malkus, it medically evaluates the offender and determines how may lashes he can sustain without dying, thus if the agent killed the offender by applying this precise number of Lashes, he should be exempt from exile because the death was not his fault (it was an Ones). Thus, there is no need for the Posuk to exclude him from Golus.

To resolve this problem, the Raava”d explains that the agent inadvertently killed the victim by mistakenly losing count and applying an extra lash.


Therefore it is would be a true Shogeg and without the exemption of the Torah he would be be exiled.

The Ramaba”m explains the Mishnah totally different. According to him the agent mentioned here was serving as a marshal, which entitles him to use force to compel people summoned by the court to appear.

  1. ​In light of this Machlokes the Chasam Sofer has a very interesting Teshuvah.

He was asked the following question:

A Jewish cleaning lady was prank’d on, and because of the shock of the prank she passed out. Her employer, the wife of the house, reached for some alcohol (A kapitchke) to give her in order to wake her up. Those were the days….

Accidentally she reached for the petrol, which she gave to the Jewish cleaning lady, resulting in her immediate death r”l.

The Chasam Soifer was asked if the poor housewife would need Kaparah and be obligated to go to Galus?

​Very methodically he goes through all 3 Shitos and concludes that we must say the right interpretation is the Raava”d’s.

​And he makes a Kal Vochemer to our case:

In the case of the Mishna, the Shliach Beis Din finished administrating all the necessary Malkus and the Mitzvah was finished. Nevertheless if he gave him one extra hit he is not obligated to exile because it was ‘part of the Mitzvah’. How much more so in our case where the Jewish lady was involved in the Mitzvah of bringing someone back to life, of course she does not need Kapara and would not be be Chayav Galus.

​And he goes a step further:

Even according to those opinions that any time your actions causes death, (see Shiur Points of 9/10/14. Item #3) despite it being indirect (Like the Story with Dovid and Doeg) you need Kaparah,

in our case since this lady was employing poor Jewish workers which is a great Mitzvah, even that small Kaparah is not necessary for her.

Interesting to note his opinion on the importance of hiring Jewish workers-  especially needy ones!

See here the Teshuvah at length.

  1. The Gemora discusses the possibility of chopping wood for a mitzvah and offers two examples. 1- Wood for the Mizbeach  .2 Wood to build a Sukkah. It then states that chopping wood for the above examples is not a Mitzvah for itself but rather a Hechsher Mitzvah as opposed to the actual building of the Sukkah which is a Mitzvah in itself.

In Tanya IGH”K 20 the Alter  Rebbe explains the importance of Mitzvos and how it is the ultimate purpose of creation. He adds quoting the Yerushalmi that even Reb Shimon bar Yochai, who due to his intense Torah study, would not interrupt his studies for prayer, nevertheless he would most ‘definitely stop for Lulov’.



What is the meaning ‘stopping for Lulav’? Binding the Lulav together or shaking it?

See here the Rebbe’s comments.

Makos 7b (2). Shiur 9/30/14

Makos 7b (2).

Thanks to Eli Chitrik

1- We discussed payments for monetary damages caused to others. Generally, in Halocho there are no loopholes or excuses not to pay. “I was sleeping or I was drunk” gets one nowhere. “Shogeg or  oi’nes” are treated the same way – chayev.  Even totally unintentional or accidental harm caused by you to the assets of others must be paid.

Humorous story of the S. Francisco drunk who woke up the morning after the great earthquake and asked “how in the world will I pay for this…”

uh oh…


There is Yerushalmi that states that “if one while sleeping turned over and broke crystals dishes that were placed next to him after he fell asleep then he is not obligated to pay”. Did the Yerushalmi mean to say that there is a level of oi’nes that does not obligate one to pay. Is there a  “pure and totally unintentional” harm?

Tosfos takes the Yerushalmi  to mean that cases where one is totally not at fault – oi’nes- one is potur to pay. The Ramban argues. He says that all cases of oi’nes is chayev. The case of the Yerushalmi, says the Ramban, is not an oi’nes. The sleeper did nothing! The one who placed the crystal dishes is completely at fault.

2- Speaking of the meaning of the word “Min Ha’etz” we mentioned the Vort from the Baal Haturim (See here in EnglishHebrew) from Parshas Bereishis.

Hashem asks Adam why he ate from the Eitz haddas? Adam Replied  “The woman whom You gave [to be] with me she gave me “Min Haetz” (of the tree) so I ate.

The Baal Haturim explains that “Min Haetz” means Chava physically hit him with a stick from the “tree” until he ate.

Berel pointed out that this phenomena started from day one!

Aber amol farkert……

3-We mentioned the concept of Koach Kocho – an action that is twice removed from the person.

It is a wide ranging topic.

Laws of:

‘momunos’ – Smashing into a car and cause the car to smash into another.

‘nefoshos’  – Someone killed by a ball –on the rebound!

Shabbos’ – Can one bowl on Shabbos? The force of the ball is transferred to the pin that in turn starts the score mechanism and clear the alley etc. etc.

Here is a question I found on the Internet:

“In the movie the Big Lebowski, Walter explains that he is shomer shabbos and that he can’t “roll” (meaning bowl) on shabbos. My question is, if he were able to get to the alley without violating shabbos and if he were allowed to bowl for free, other than possibly uv’din d’chol, is there any reason he can’t bowl on shabbos?

The rolling ball is the “koach” of the original person, analogous to a thrown rock. When the ball then hits the pins/sensors/etc that action is “koach kocho” of the original person, meaning it is twice removed from the person himself (for the definition see the Rambam Hilchos Rotzeach 6:15). “

You have to see this site: