Shiur 02/21/2017 – Beitzah 18a-b.

Beitzah 18a-b.

1- This week we continued with the reasons as to why one may not immerse Kelim in a Mikvah on Shabbos and Yom Tov.


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2- The Gemara states four different reasons for the prohibition:

  • a) One might carrythe Kelim four Amos in Reshus ha’Rabim on Shabbos (Rabah – famous גזירה דרבה – below);

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  • b)-One might squeeze (Sechitah)the water out of clothing that required immersion (Rav Yosef);
  • c) one might delay (Shema Yeshaheh) immersing his Kelim until Yom Tov and then forget and use them for Terumah (Rav Bivi);
  • d) It appears that he is repairinga utensil (Nir’eh k’Metaken Kli  נראה כמתקן)  when he immerses it (Rava)

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3- The Gemara tackles reason ‘D’. If toivling keilim is Nir’eh k’Metaken Kli – נראה כמתקן  כלי  then a person should also not be allowed to use a mikva for the same reason?

The Gemara explains that when a person uses a mikvah it can viewed that he is not going for the purposes of tevila but to cool off.

It continues to explain this even if the water is cold, not clean and in the winter!

We discussed if the above can be understood even in a modern society.

4- We discussed the wide ranging opinions about using a hot mikvah on Shabbos and Yom Tov.

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5- We read the text of the Alter Rebbe regarding the toivling of keilim  where he brings down the machlokes if tevilas keilim is min haTorah or mide’Rabonon – טבילת כלים מן התורה, או מדרבנן.

The bottom line is that one should not toivel keilim on Shabbos. He suggests ways on how to get around this prohibition. One is use the kelim by gifting it first to a goy and then borrowing it back.

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On Yom Tov it is permitted if he could not do it before Yom Tov.

6- We mentioned the פרי מגדים – Pri Megadim’s opinion that if one has only one becher for the arba koisos on Pesach but has not toilveled it (assuming he was able to do so before Yom Tov) he may not use it even it it means that he will not drink the wine.

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Shiur 02/14/2017 Beitza 18a

Beitzah 18a.

1- The Mishnah (17b) states that both Beis Shammai and Beis Hillel agree that one may not immerse Kelim in a Mikvah on Yom Tov.

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The Gemara records four different reasons for the prohibition:

  • a) One might carry the Kelim four Amos in Reshus ha’Rabim on Shabbos (Rabah – famous גזירה דרבה – below);
  • b)-One might squeeze (Sechitah) the water out of clothing that required immersion (Rav Yosef);

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  • c) one might delay (Shema Yeshaheh) immersing his Kelim until Yom Tov and then forget and use them for Terumah (Rav Bivi);
  • d) It appears that he is repairing a utensil (Nir’eh k’Metaken Kli  נראה כמתקן)  when he immerses it (Rava).

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We covered this week the Gemara’s questions to Rabah’s reason from a number of Beraisos

Rabah’s reason is a gezeira. This is the famed gezeira d’Rabbah that applies to Shofar, Lulav and Megillah. Namely, allowing these things on Shabbos may lead to one carrying the item four amos in a reshus  harabim on Shabbos –  שמא יעבירנו ד״א ברה״ר

So this gezeira applies also on tevilas keilim on Shabbos. We do not allow to toivel keilim on Shabbos least one carry them in a reshus horabim. 

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2- Rabah’s student Abaye repeatedly questioned Rabah’s reasoning.

Why can’t we toivel keilim on Yom Tov when carrying in a reshus horabim is permissible? Rabah’s response: it is because of a gezeira for Yom Tov because of Shabbos.

We discussed as to why this is not a gezeira lig’zeira.

2- The Gemara continues with more questions on Rabbah’s reasoning. One is from the Beraisa that states that a woman that has only one set of clothing and wants to purify herself and her garments; being that toivling garments is prohibited on Yom Tov , as above,  she can immerse herself while wearing the garments. The tevila will be effective for herself and her clothing.

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The Gemara’s question is why is this allowed? The gezeira of not toivling keilim should be universal lest – אטו – one may toivel the garments independently.

3- We discussed the famous query as to when does one becomes tahor when toiveling in a Mikva. While under water or only once he  exits?

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The Kesef Mishna’s opinion is that it occurs only upon exiting the water.

4- Let’s consider  the case of a person toivling in a Mikvah that has exactly 40 seah –  מ’ סאה – (the absolute minimum amount for a kosher Mikvah). When he exits the Mikvah he is considered tahor despite the fact that the few drops of water on him reduces the 40 seah and so the Mikvah is no longer Kosher.

But he is tahor nevertheless. Why?  Upon his exit, the Mikva was no longer Kosher. According to the Kesef Mishna, one becomes tohor only upon exiting – then this fellow exited a posul Mikva!

It is repeated that Reb Chaim of Brisk once explained that exiting a Mikva occurs not only when one actually exist the water but also when the Mikva exits him!

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5- Last week we spoke whether guests need to make their own eiruv tavshilin. If they eat on their own then they surely need to in order to cook and light candles.

The question is if they will be eating at the table of their hosts.

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See here an article by Rabbi Berel Levin on the opinion of the Alter Rebbe.

6- Another addition to last week. A grandson of Reb Akiva Eiger was a renowned mathematician and chess player by the name of Jakob Rosanes. See here and here.

Jacob Rosanes.jpeg



Shiur 02/07/17 – Beitza 17b-18a

Beitza 17b – 18a.

1- Our Gemara concludes the halachos of Eiruv Tavshilin.

Bottom line: Is a cooked item (Tavshil) sufficient, or does one need to have a baked item as well?

Custom Eruv Tavshilin reminder eggs Trademarked by AC  – כל הזכויות שמורות

We learned the Tosfos discussing the different opinions regarding this topic.

Rabbeinu Tam  writes that even Beis Hillel agrees that setting aside a cooked food permits one only to cook, fry, and boil (that is, to heat a food through the medium of a liquid – bishul) on Yom Tov for Shabbos. It does not permit one to bake (with dry heat) on Yom Tov for Shabbos. If one wants to bake on Yom Tov for Shabbos, he must set aside a baked item before Yom Tov.

His nephew Rabeinu Yitzchok (The “RI”) disagrees and maintains that a single cooked dish certainly suffices to permit both cooking and baking. He adds that the simple reading of the Mishna – “tavshilin” denotes that a cooked item (tavshil) is sufficient to do all work pertaining to food.

He nevertheless concludes that “my heart does not allow me to rule against my uncle and one needs to make an Eiruv Tavshilin with two items (cooked and baked) and that is the common Minhog”.

The Alter Rebbe rules like Rabeinu Yitzchok. See here #3 and further on #24.

See here Rashi’s family.







2- The next Mishna discusses the topic of using a Mikva on Shabbos and Yom Tov. The opinion of both Beis Shamai and Beis Hillel is that on Shabbos one may not immerse keilim in the mikvah to purify them.


They do argue about a person using the mikvah on Shabbos and Yom Tov.

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We spoke about the lone opinion of Tosfos in Chulln that a person (not only a Kohen) has the obligation not to become tamei. Most opinions argue but all agree that before Yom Tov approaches, Min Hatorah one needs to make sure that he is tahor since he can enter the Beis Hamikdosh.

3- We mentioned the opinion of the Tzlach that it seems from the Rambam that even if one lives overseas (when there is a functional Beis Hamikdosh) he needs to become tahor!

רב יחזקאל לנדא

4- The first reason mentioned in the Gemara for the prohibition against tovling keilim is the famed ‘gezeira D’Rabbah’   גזירה דרבה שמא יעבירנו ד״א ברה״ר  – that one may carry the keli 4 amos in a reshus ha’rabim.

5- We related the story of Reb Leible Eiger – grandson of Rabbi Akiva Eiger-  as it relates to this Gemara.

See here and an interesting story here.

Found online one version of the story.

When Horav Shlomo Eigar’s son, Rav Leibele, left for the chassidic court of Kotzk and its Rebbe, his father was about to place an injunction of Kibbud av – binding him by the mitzvah of honoring one’s father – against his going. Rav Shlomo had strongly negative feelings against the Chassidus movement. When word of this parental injunction reached the Kotzker Rebbe, zl, the Rebbe remarked, “What a ‘partner’ does is done. Hashem is also a partner, and He facilitated R’Leibele’s arrival in Kotzk. The “other partner” cannot alter this.”

Rav Shlomo was despondent over his son’s decision, considering it a tragedy of epic proportion. He decided to travel to his father, Horav Akiva Eiger, who was the gadol ha’dor, pre-eminent leader of the generation, and solicit his advice. He described the terrible “tragedy” to his father, explaining that his son must have snapped. The Chassidic sect was not religious, and the chassidim were guilty of spreading a false culture, antithetical to traditional Judaism.

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R’ Akiva Eiger

Rav Akiva Eiger was disturbed by his son’s blanket statements. Rav Shlomo was an outstanding Torah scholar and pious Jew. He was troubled by such statements emanating from him. He told his son that it is prohibited to accept lashon hora, slander, about an individual Jew, and certainly about a group of Jews. Since he saw how much the entire debacle bothered his son, however, he would travel to Poland to speak with his grandson. He would then determine whether there was a problem. Travel was not easy, and Rav Akiva Eiger was no longer a young man. Such a trip would take its toll on him, but he felt that he had to determine for himself the veracity of his son’s statements. He had to see for himself whether his grandson had gone off the derech, left the Torah way of life.

Rav Leibele was shocked to greet his distinguished guest. What could his revered grandfather want that he would put his health in danger by making such a trip? Rav Akiva Eiger embraced his grandson, kissed him and said, “When I meet one of my descendants, my custom is first to speak with him in learning. Only afterwards do we make time for pleasantries. He began, “The halachah is that one does not blow Shofar on Shabbos, because of Gezeirah d’Rabbah, the decree of Rabbah, who feared that one might forget and carry the Shofar four cubits in the reshus ha’rabim, public domain. A similar idea applies to Lulav. What troubles me is the following: In their commentary to the Talmud Shabbos 5b, Tosfos cite a question quoted in the Yerushalmi. According to Ben Azzai who opines that mehaleich k’omed dami, “One who is in the process of walking, who takes, say, two steps, is considered by Ben Azzai to have started and stopped a few times. Each time he places his foot down, he is considered to have placed his body down and come to a halt; and each time he has lifted his foot, he is considered to have lifted his body. According to this, how can Ben Azzai hold a person liable for transporting four cubits in a public domain on Shabbos? Each stride is considered a separate akirah and hanachah, lifting and placing, which is the primary criteria for liability for carrying on Shabbos. One must lift the object in one domain and place it in another. Ben Azzai separates each step, so there never occurs an akirah followed by a hanachah four cubits later. The Yerushalmi answers that, according to Ben Azzai, it must occur through the medium of jumping. One hops four amos in one stride.”

Rav Akiva Eiger looked at his grandson and asked, “We know that our sages do not issue a gezeirah, decree, in the event that the possibility of a prohibited occurrence is lo shechiach, unusual. Why would they prohibit blowing the Shofar on Shabbos or shaking the Lulav on Shabbos, because someone might carry it four cubits, when according to Ben Azzai this is only possible by jumping? Since the prohibition can only be realized in an atypical manner, Chazal will not prohibit it.”

Rav Leibele listened respectfully to the question, but was very passionate in his response. “Zaide, we are talking about Tekias Shofar, whose sound pierces the Heavens and creates a stir in the Heavenly spheres. It frustrates Satan, as it mixes him up. Lulav is not much different. How one toils to find a perfect Esrog, so that he can carry out the mitzvah of taking a beautiful fruit to serve Hashem! When a person seeks to understand the halachos concerning this mitzvah, he will do anything to locate a Torah scholar from whom he can learn. Is there a question regarding jumping? Who would not ‘jump’ to perform any of these mitzvos? I would not consider this an unusual act. After all, it is for a mitzvah!”

Rav Akiva Eiger stared deeply into the eyes of his grandson and replied, “I have another explanation, but – from your reply – I see that the approach taken by the chassidim to mitzvah performance is quite in sync with the Torah. They seek to add life, passion, feeling, emotion and joy to mitzvah performance. I will tell your father that he will have much nachas from you!”

Shiur 01/31/17 – Beitza 17a, b

Beitza 17 a-b

1- Our Gemara discusses the case of an individual that forgot to make an Eiruv Tavshilin and cannot rely on the Rov.

What is the consequence of not making an Eruv Tavshilin? There are two options:

  1. He is forbidden to cook for Shabbos, and his flour may also not be baked for Shabbos; or,
  2. He is forbidden but his flour is permitted.

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If we assume option 1 then his flour can be used by others.

If we assume option 2 then his flour is prohibited for him to use but it can be given as a gift to another person in order to be prepared.

We discussed the Tosfos that have another take on this. They quote this from the Be”hag, one of the few books written by the Geonim which we posses.

The Be”hag was the first one to itemize the exact 613 Mitzvos. The Rambam had many issues with the Ba”hag’s enumeration and listed them differently.

2- The next topic in our Gemara deals with someone that did not make an Eiruv Tavshilin but intentionally cooked or baked anyway. The question is, would he be allowed to eat the cooked food on Shabbos.


The Gemara quotes a Bereisa that allows a person who mistakenly ate his  Eiruv Tavshilin prior to cooking for Shabbos to add food for Shabbos into the pot of food being cooked for Yom Tov. But it concludes that one may not ‘cheat‘   בלבד שלא יערים – and cook a fresh pot (after the Yom Tov meal is cooked)  just for Shabbos.  The Gemara wants to compare the prohibition of ‘cheating’ and cooking intentionally without an Eiruv .

We discussed the difference between ‘cheating’ versus doing something intentionally.

3- The next topic were the seforim written by Reb Baruch Epstein. Son of the famous Reb Yechiel Michel Epstein  who authored the Aruch Hashulchan.

No…not this one.


Reb Baruch Epstein

We discussed Reb Baruch’s ‘history’ book ‘Mokur Baruch’ which contains many embellishments on the truth – primarily concerning his father’s visit to the Tzemach Tzedek. See here a critical review by the late Reb Yehoshua Mundshein.

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We read the text of his Chumash – Torah Temima- where he comes up with a unique take of the plague of darkness – Choshech. Trying to reconcile the saying of Chazal that the thickness of the ‘dark’ was the thickness of a Dinar coin, he suggests that a ‘skin’ (the thickness of a coin) was miraculously placed on the eyes of the Mitzriyim.

See here and next page.