Three points from last week.
1- We spoke about the miraculous occurrences of Bas Kol and prophecies and how they cannot be used to prove or sway a Halachik decision.
Humorously, we related the story of Boaz as it throws some light on the above.
Not this Boaz…
To start – some sources say he lived to the ripe old age of 400!
Just pior to his passing he married Rus (Ruth). Now, marrying this convert was very controversial at the time since her pedigree was from the nation of Moav.
The Torah explicitly prohibits a Jewish woman from marrying a male Moavi.
Ruth Meets Boaz, Poussin, Nicolas 1594-1665, France – (also known in Brooklyn as Nicky the Fish)
Now as to whether a Jewish man may marry a Moavi woman convert was a point of fierce argument for many generations.
Boaz was of the opinion that one is indeed permitted to marry a Moavit. And he did exactly so! He married Rus.
Many at the time objected since in their opinion that the Halacha forbids such a marriage. Others voiced their opinion that the Halacha was not yet settled at that time so why get involved in a unsettled issue.
Factually, even a hundred years after this famous marriage, no less that Dovid Hamelech – a descendant of Boaz and Rus, had to counter those who considered him a “posul” Jew because of his ‘tainted’ linage to the ‘illegitimate’ marriage of Boaz and Rus.
See Yevamos 76a how David Hamelech suffered from this issue.
Eventually the Sanhedrin decided once and for all that a male Jew may marry a Moavi or Amoni woman convert.
Back to Boaz: The story goes that this great 400-year-old Tzadik passed away the day after his controversial marriage.
Would not common logic come to the conclusion that Boaz erred in marrying a Moavit? A great Tzadik who had the zechus to outlive many others dies immediately following his taking a particular side in an ongoing Machlokes? Doesn’t the timing seem odd?
Is that not proof enough that the Halacha is that one is not permitted to marry a Moavit as he did?
The answer is…no. Despite this peculiar phenomenon, it was not a ‘sign from Heaven’ trying to sway the Halacha.
In conclusion – despite the eerie timing of his death the Halocho is that Boaz did nothing wrong.
So proof from ‘happenings’, even if they blatantly ‘prove’ and ‘decide’ the issue bear no weight in Halachik decisions.
We mentioned that an analogy to this would be if on the first Shabbos after the completion of the contentious Eiruv in Boro Park, one of the ‘lechis’ (poles) would come crashing down on the Rov that initiated the Eiruv……..
2- Also mentioned last week is the Gemara (BB 75a) relating the ‘argument’ between the two angels
as to what type of precious stone the 3rd Bais Hamikdosh will be built from. G-D hears both sides and declares: It will be made of both types stones.
Yoshfe and Shoham – Hashem said let it be both, which is written להוי
כדין וכדין, so that became כדכד, Kadkod. See here a very interesting Mamor from the Alter Rebbe explaining this wondrous Machlokes and the ‘halacha’.
3- Regarding as to why the rule established by Ezra to use G-d’s name when greeting people is not mentioned in the Shulchan Aruch or elsewhere. The Chido writes that it got out of hand so it was abolished, just as the Minhag to use G-D’s name when sanctifying an animal was misused and abolished.
Now to this week’s Gemara.
4- Makos 23b. The 3 times a ‘Ru’ach Hakodesh made an appearance in a Beis Din’:
1- Yehuda. (story with Tamar confirming that he was the father)
2 -Shmuel Hanavi. (To prove his honesty)
3 -Shlomo Hamelech. (confirming his decision in the case of the two women fighting for the surviving baby).
About case #3 we mentioned:
The Medrash that explains the story in a fascinating way. The two women were a mother-in-law and her daughter-in-law. The rest is history…
The joke of the ‘chosen‘, having been promised to two different families by his absent minded Rosh Yeshiva, arrives in the city to meet his future ‘kalah’ and is met by two warring ‘shvigers’……. He is is mine. No, he is mine……
The Rov rules that the ‘chosen‘ should be cut in half and divided between the two.
When one of the ‘shvigers‘ screams out: “Yes! cut him in half….” The Rav proclaims that she is indeed the true shviger……
5- We spoke about the popular English edition of the Talmud and their ‘misnagdish’ bent on things.
Our Mishna states “Rabbi Chananya ben Akashia says that Hashem wanted to give Israel merit therefore He gave them Torah and Mitzvos in abundance as it is written ….”
The word merit here is translated from the Hebrew work ‘Le’zakos‘.
In this popular translation they note : ‘A novel explanation by the Meshech Chochma that Lezakos means to purify ‘. (please check actual wording there). See here his bio. He was the Misnagdishe Rov in Dvinsk.
It happens to be that this explanation of “Lezakos” to mean purify or to refine (In Yiddish: ois edelen) was already mentioned by the Mezritcher Magid! See here footnote 35.
[One can understand their deficiency of Chassidic works (or perhaps intentional omission…) but one is amazed by their lack of knowledge of Misnagdishe sources. For this explanation of “Lezakos” to mean purify is mentioned in the most classical of Misnagdishe book- the – the Nefesh Chaim (Thanks to Peretz Mochkin – Montreal – ed.) printed 100 years prior to the Meshech Chochma!]
6- Our Gemara: “Said Rabi Simlo’yee – There are 613 mitzvos . 248 positive corresponding to the 248 “eivorim’ and 365 negative corresponding to the 365 days of the lunar calendar.”
Mentioned the various ‘613 Mitzvah counters’ such as the Beha”g, Reb Sa’adia Gaon, Rambam etc. See here. The Ramban writes that the number 613 was universally accepted.
7-We spoke about the 248 ‘eivorim’, enumerated in the Mishnah in Oholos 1,8. Much has been written about this number and how to reconcile it with modern day pathology. See Tiferes Yisroel there. And here.
In any case, these 248 ‘eivorim’ are only of parts of the human body that contain a bone. So it excludes the heart, lungs and kidneys. Et al.
So why when we make a Mi Sheberach for someone that is ill we limit it to only 248 ‘eivorim’ and not ‘to all his ‘eivorim’ that would include everything?
After a bit of searching one finds that this question has already been raised . See here footnote 73. and here footnote 5.
8- We are looking for a source that enumerates the 365 ‘gidin’. Translated nowadays as: veins, sinews and.or muscles. (if it does include muscles then the question above #6 is answered).
9- Our Gemara: From these 613 we heard 2 directly from G-D the 611 from Moshe Rabeinu.
We discussed the argument between the Rambam and the Ramban. The Rambam’s opinion is that the second one (You shall not believe in another god, do not make an image, do not bow to them and do not worship them) is actually 4 distinct negative commandants. The Ramban takes issue with this as our Gemore seems to say that the first two commandments correspond to only two Mitzvos.
10- We spoke about the the opinion of the Beha”g who does not count the belief in G-D as one of the 613.
His reasoning is that it is the basis for all other Mitzvos.
Mentioned the thorough explanation on this topic by the Rebbe the Tzemach Tzedek.