Tuesday, February 16, 2010

shabbas 36b: Shehiya on raw food

The Rashba raises an interesting peshat question that has great ramifications in Hilchos Shehiya.
Obviously, in the first explanation of the Mishna, based on Chananya's shita, the Mishna speaks about chazara, and shehiya is allowed according to Chananya even when not garuf and katum when the food is maachal ben derusai. What about according to the other reading -- according to Chachamim, who say that the mishna speaks about shehiya, i.e. that one can only do shehiya when the oven is garuf vekatum. So in this case, can it even cooked less than מאכל בן דרוסאי?
The Rashba suggests that one problem with this suggestion is our sugya on 18b that discusses the case of the יורה cooking the dye and the gemara's אוקימתא is to remove it from the fire (עקורה וטוחה) rather than leave it on the fire and make it garuf vekatum. Thus, the Rashba suggest that ink is like food prior to מאכל בן דרוסאי. Ultimately, the Rashba decides (as do most rishonim) that according to Chachamim one may do shehiya on an item that is not even maachal ben derusai and the Shulchan Aruch seems to say this as well, though Beur Halacha quotes Rabbi Akiva Eiger to be machmir.
Based on the Gemara we previously learned at the end of the first perek, Beis Hillel allow melacha to be done on shabbas, so what would be the problem? After all, the melacha is happening by itself and by making the item garuf and katum you have removed the possibility of stoking the fire? More specifically why is the raw meat allowed while shehiya is not. For an exhaustive discussion of this, see here. But just to address this one question, in this article, Rav Gigi suggests that when the item is in mid process of cooking (even prior to מאכל בן דרוסאי) then this active accompaniment is called מיחזי כמבשל. The heter of קדירה חייתא is based on the fact after adding this raw meat, you are not watching or accompanying the cooking anymore.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Shabbas 34a – Rav Ashi knew מסברא that he should speak softly

What is the chiddush that Rav Ashi tells us that he did not hear the teaching of Rabba Bar Rav Huna yet he intuitively also knew that he should say the three reminders בניחותא?

Maharsha (in the parallel sugya in Gittin 7a) explains that there are potentially two reasons one would speak softly. One is that he has a better chance of convincing others to listen to him than by screaming, and the second is that there is an inherent value to speak this way. Rabba Bar Rav Huna instructed us to talk to this way to prevent kilkul in these three items (i.e. to convince others to listen) but Rav Ashi was saying that even when your purpose is not convincing, one should be talking this way, and that is what he meant when said that מסברא he would speak this way.

Cute Vort on this idea is said by the Ben Yehoyada, on the pasuk דברי חכמים בנחת נשמעים that נחת stands for נר and חלה (the question of עשרתם) and תחומין.

Shabbas 33b- Rashbi decides to be מתקן מילתא

What is the connection between being saved and doing something for the nearby city as Yaakov and subsequently Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai decided to do?

The Ben Yehoyada answers as follows. (you can see it here continued on the next page here). He says that when HKBH performs a miracle for someone, their merit gets reduced (as we learned on daf 32a). However, this is not always true as we see that with some tzadikim HKBH performs miracles for them as a tzedaka. The ability to have the miracles performed for you as a tzedaka is based on the person doing a חסד חינם for others. i.e. some chesed that he gets no benefit from., then מדה כנגד מדה HKBH will do the same for you. This was Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai’s intent in doing something for the the city. And since he is not a kohen and does not even live there, this purifying of the area from being tamei was purely for their benefit and not his. The Ben Yehoyada shows this is the reason for the derasha about Yaakov being shalem in all these ways that therefore his various takkanos have no benefit for him.

One interesting thing he relates is about the opinion that מטבע תיקן להם. Ben Yehoyada says in the name of the Noda Biyehuda that the people of Shechem had a coin but he convinced them to make it round instead of square. The reason for this was that they should learn that money is a גלגל חוזר בעולם and therefore people should not get too caught up in their money. He says that this is why one of our coins are זוזים since they are זז from person to person.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Shabbas 30b – answering a mamzerus insult

We learned that both Rebbi and Rabbi Chiya were a proof to the statement that when it comes to non Torah statements, אלתען כסיל כאולתו, i.e. – don’t answer and debate him. The Ben Ish Chai in his sefer Ben Yehoyada says he found a worn piece of paper with a question asked by his grandfather, from the gemara in bava metzia that we learned – where Rabbi Shimon Ben Elazar was suspected as not having fathered his own children, due to his girth. But over there, he did answer – why?

Ben Yehoyada answers that there it was not a real accusation, it was just השערת שכל and therefore, since Rabbi Shimon Ben Elazar had a concrete answer to her suggestion, it was appropriate to disprove her. But in this case, the guy was making a lying accusation  and there is no way to really prove him, therefore it was best to not answer and get him punished min hashamayim.