Makos 21b (2) Shiur 07/28/15

Makos 21b (2)

1- Continuing on the case of our Mishna concerning a person who plows a field  and thereby transgressing eight Lavin and is liable for Malkus. A Kohen who is also a Nazir plowing with two different species (see last week’s shiur) that were property of Hek’desh while causing  the planting of Kil’ayim on Shmita on Yom Tov inside a cemetery .

The Gemara attempts to add a ninth transgression:  Planting on Yom Tov.

2- The Gemara brings another scenario where one cooks some items and transgressing 5 Lavin and is liable for Malkus. How?

Image result for sciatic nerve, gid hanasheh

He use the following 2 ingredients to create a dish on Yom Tov and then eats it: The sciatic nerve of an animal – Gid Hanasheh, together with milk.

So here are the five Lavin:

1-  Eating the Gid Hanasheh.

2- Cooking on Yom Tov for no purpose.

3-Cooking meat and milk.

4- Eating meat and milk.

5- Igniting a fire for no purpose.

Much has been written, analyzed and discussed about the above cases.

We mentioned one interesting idea, perhaps one can call this a “progressive thought”.

The Minchas Chinuch writes the he once heard a question in the name of   Reb Yonason Eibishyts of Prague on the above case # 1.

Starting at the bottom of the page.

When one plants Kilayim on Yom Tov he is spoiling (mikalkel) because the produce will be prohibited. Now a basic rule of  the 39 Melachos prohibited on Shabbos and Yom Tov is that the act needs to create something useful and not to spoil or destroy. So this chap’s planting is useless and destroying good seed.

The same can  asked on case #2 as well.

When someone cooks a dish on Yom Tov that will become treif and inedible (meat and milk) then he is basically spoiling good raw food!  So why would he chayav for Mevashel?

Pesach Kitchen

The Minchas Chinuch answer that building, cooking etc  is defined not by what Halacha says! Rather by what is accepted universally, in the world at large.

So the fact that one planted on Shmita causing the products to be inedible by Jews or if he cooks milk and meat together although a Jew is prohibited from eating it is is still considered ‘useful cooking’.

Similarly when one cooks milk and meat, although a Jew cannot eat it it is still categorized as an act of cooking which is prohibited on Shabbos and Yom Tov.

Indeed an interesting and novel idea.

4- We spoke about a letter from the Rebbe written in 1972 to Reb Sholmo Goren then the  Chief Rabbi of Israel pertaining to the Heter Mechira on Shmita. See here for a brief synopsis.

Rabbi Shlomo Goren


Inspector Closeau

The Rebbe’s letter discusses the issue of  the Jewish farmers selling their land to Arabs in 1972 to avoid the Shmita issue. The point made there is the seemingly blatant contradiction of such a sale bearing in mind the dangerous and volatile situation in Israel at the time.

In other words- what Jew would even think of selling his land  to an Arab when having an Arab owner in our midst is dangerous and unthinkable? For a sale to be valid it needs to be irreversible; The Arab must become the real owner forever. When Shmita is over he can or cannot sell the land back to the Jewish seller.

Just as the Goy who purchases the Chometz on Pesach. He has no obligation to sell it back after Pesach. If such an obligation exists then the sale is a sham.

So that being the situation in 1972 the  Rebbe suggests that the Jewish farmer should sell it and then be ‘maf’kir’. We tried to explain how this is something that constitutes a real sale and/or a disassociation (mechira and then hefker) of the farmer from owning his field.

What we didn’t understand is the last sentence in this paragraph where the Rebbe writes “The IDF (Tzaha”l) in specific places are like the “Shomrei Sefichin for the Omer”.

Background: Being that on Shmita all fields become Hefker, in order to insure that some wheat is put aside for the Omer sacrifice, Bais Din would employ guards to keep an eye out on particular fields. These watchmen are the Shomrei Sefichin.

So what did the Rebbe mean with the IDF being present out there?

That since the IDF is out there keeping an eye on the fields there is no fear of the Arab not selling back the field? Or perhaps that the IDF’s presence does not negate the Hefker? Or that the Shomrim by looking at the fields becoming owners? etc etc.

Mendel Nemanov writes:

I checked in the משניות and תויײט and it seems like that is exactly what he is saying.

He mentions the question of תוספות that you can’t use something which is שמור (it has to be from הפקר) and תוספות answers that it is not really שמור

because they are only keeping animals away and telling people to stay away.

Makos 21b Shiur 07/21/2015

Makos 21b

Thanks to Eli Chitrik

  1. An interesting thought from the Sochotchover – in his book Iglei Tal.

Capturing an animal – Tzei’da- is one of the 39 Melachos of Shabbos. Now the Rambam writes that if if one goes on a hunt with a pack of dogs and the dogs close in on their prey the hunter transgresses the Melacha of Tzei’da.

Where does the Rambam take this from? Isn’t the hunter assisted in the capture by the hounding dogs, thereby not essential capturing the animal on his own?

The Sochotchover writes that our Gemara is the source of the “dog rule”.


Our Mishna mentions the ‘Melacha’ of ‘Choresh‘ – plowing. Now plowing can be done by hand or with an animal.

or, by hand, by animal…?

Now let’s think about it. When a person plows by hand, unaided by anyone else, then he is performing the Melacha all on his own. Conversely, when he is aided by an animal he is a sense only doing half the work! So why is one chayav?

Perhaps the Melacha of Choresh in only when a person plows on his own?

Our Gemara is the only place that actually mentions plowing with a human and an ox together and being chayav! Therefore, concludes the Sochotchover, we see that a Melacha that is performed by a combination of human and animal, if the human is the one that directs and leads the animal the Gemara considers that ‘this is the way it is done’. It is considered that the human performed the Melacha unaided.

2. We mentioned in our Mishnah regarding one who plows with an ox and a donkey yoked together. This prohibition applies not only to an ox and a donkey, but to any two species.

Interestingly, the Rambam is of the opinion that this Lav is limited to pairing  a Tamei and Tahor animal together. If one plows with two animals that were either both Tamei or both Tahor it is only prohibited Miderabanan.

It is also forbidden to lead an animal from dry land together with a sea-animal.


cow dolphin plowing

As Berel mentioned we had this case previously in Sanhedrin 59b (Thanks to Moshe Rosenfeld for finding it)

Sanhedrin 59B cropped

However if one did so he is not liable for Malkos.

The reason for that is because the Gemara raises the question whether one is liable for Malkos for such an action or not, for the two cannot function as a team in the ordinary sense, since the fish cannot leave the water and the goat will not enter it. Since the question is left unresolved, the Rambam maintains that the person is not liable.


If one drops seeds on Shabbos on the ground and not does not cover it is that enough to consider it Zo’rea – planting?

The famous Rav of Moravia, Reb Mordechai Benet in his book Magen Avos on the 39 melachos writes that it is not considered planting until covered with soil.

We discussed the proof he brings from our Gemara he brings and the opposing opinions.

4- We mentioned the famous opinion of the Ra’avad that today the prohibition on Kohanim to become ‘tomei’ may not be Min Hatorah since bizman hazeh when we are all t’mei’im anyway.



Makos 20b -21a – Shiur 7/14/15 – Continuation

Makos 20b -21a

1. In continuation to the Munkatcher’s words about shaving and the Tzemach Tzedek we spoke about clapping on Shabbos.

Tosfos Beitza 30b  writes that despite the Mishna explicitly prohibiting the clapping and dancing on Shabbos we can be lenient today because the reason given  for the prohibition is that it can lead to repairing  a broken musical instrument.


Nowadays when very few people are experts in repairing musical instruments clapping etc. can be permitted.

[always wondered about that whenever I see guitarist repairing and tying broken strings..]

And in Shulchan Oruch 339  it says that one should not clap or dance on Shabbos. The Ra”mo quotes the leniency of Tosfos. See here the Alter Rebbe’s words and accompanying footnotes.

The Rebbe when he wrote (246 לקו”ש ח”א) and spoke about this mentioned the Minchas Elazor in the footnote (או”ח כ”ט – Orach Chayim, vol. 1, Responsa 29)​ who takes issue with this leniency. He mentions the reform movement that allowed the playing on Shabbos of their church-like organs in their temples because of this Tosfos!

(as if they needed a solid ‘heter’….)

Also in 1992 the Rebbe spoke about the minhag of the big “oivdim‘ who would snap their  fingers in middle of davening even on Shabbos.

2. Also spoke about the book Tikun Olam by Munkatcher’s chosid before WWII  where he explains the battle against the Zionists- religious or not- and the letters of the Rebbe Rashab and Rayatz that are prominently featured there.

We learned the Mishna about the prohibition to tatoos.

body.Opinions whether or not the order of the tattooing process- first applying the ink and then puncturing of the skin or vice versa –   is relevant to the prohibition.


Is this Lav limited to tattooing letters or any mark or picture is also prohibited?

We mentioned the Gemara in Gittin that discusses the weird case of a man that tattooed an entire ‘Get’ on the hand of his slave and then gifted the slave to his wife…….

Tosfos there mentions our Gemara that explicitly prohibits one to do this. We discussed how the Get is Kosher if the Sofer (scribe) did something that is forbidden m’De’oraisa. Similarly, the witnesses by tattooing their signature on the slave’s hand are transgressing this Lav and simultaneously disqualifying themselves. See Beis Shmuel #15. 

The Minchas Chinuch writes that any writing on the skin is prohibited.

Interestingly, in Shulchan Aruch  we find that if one tattoos his slave “in order that he should not escape” he is ‘potur’. The Rama adds that one should do this le’chatchila. Commentaries note that this Halacha is referring to a non-Jewish slave who has not converted yet.

I wonder if any of the Jewish slave owners of the South were aware of this…..

(Did they use White Out?- that’s racist)

Makos 20a (2). Shiur 07 07 15

Makos 20a (2)

1- We spoke about the two separate (but often mistakenly combined) Halachos pertaining to ‘payos‘ and a beard.

Beard– Concerning the beard the Torah uses the term “shaving”  and ” destroying”. Thus our Gemara states that only when uses a razor (thereby shaving and destroying the hair roots) one is Chayev Malkus.

Cutting or shaving with other instruments has been a point of contention for generations. Many say that there is no Malkus but still prohibited M’Deoraisa. Others say only M’Derabanan while others permit it.


All agree that according to the Zohar no method is permitted.

See below on the opinion of the Rebbe the Tzemach Tzedek.

Payos– sideburns- (unlike the beard) there is no mention of shaving at all. The word used in the Torah is “circling”. Meaning to make a complete circle around the skull with no hair which would entail the removal of the Payos.


We discussed the Rambam who writes that one needs to leave a minimum of 40 hair strands.

We mentioned the question asked by Rabbi Akiva Eiger as to why one is even allowed to comb (! ) the Payos. A Nazir who is instructed to grow his hair is prohibited from combing it!

The Chasam Sofer (who eventually would become his son-in-law) has a lengthy answer on this.

Of course we all know the opinion of the Tzemach Tzedek who strongly and firmly writes that one should not remove facial hair by any means and method.

Image result for chainsaw

he famously posits that in addition to all the above one who shaves transgresses the prohibition of ‘lo sil’bosh gever’ – one should not dress like a woman (cross dressing).

We went on to discuss the Munkatcher dynasty starting with the illustrious Minchas Elazar, to his controversial son-in-law

Baruch Yehoshua Yerachmiel Rabinowicz father of the current  Munkatcher Rebbe.

In a first class irony, the Minchas Elazar, who was prior to WWII, the leading opponent against Zionism had a single daughter who married Reb Baruch Yehoshua Yerachmiel Rabinowicz who to everyone’s surprise became an ardent religious Zionist!
(Thus the humorous saying that there are three Munkatcher Rebbes…)

Moshe Rosenfeld has suggested these valuable links:

 and a fascinating article from 1934:

Our discussion of the above pertains to a particular letter written by the Minchas Elazar in regard to a beard.  In short- a Torah periodical published multiple articles on this topic. The Minchas Elazar wrote to the journal stating his opinion of a strict prohibition to shaving with any any type of shave; adding the opinion of the Tzemach Tzedek.

וילקט יוסף - ט - יוסף בן נפתלי הכהן שווארץ

Some smart-aleck submitted a response in which he writes with total disrespect about the Tzemach Tzedek.

The Minchas Elazar strongly rebukes the writer (as the Rebbe once wrote that the method of the Minchas Elazar was “storm and hurricane”) and urges him to ask forgiveness from the Tzemach Tzedek. Open the link– bottom of the first column- it’s a good read with story of the Tzemach Tzedek about his mesiras nefesh for the mitzvah of wearing a beard.

He continues that the writer is apparently angry at Rabonim in general as we see this opposition to the Rabbis opinion in regard to the Status Quo Ante story.

Thanks to Mendel Nemenov for the link. Hebrew.