1) THE ABILITY OF AN "APOTROPOS" TO SEPARATE TERUMAH FOR "YESOMIM"
QUESTION: The Mishnah teaches that an Apotropos appointed to oversee the property of Yesomim is obligated to separate Ma'aser from their produce. The Gemara questions the Mishnah's ruling from a Beraisa which states that the verse which discusses Terumah says "Atem" ("you") (Bamidbar 18:28). This verse teaches that only the owner of the field may separate Terumah, excluding an Apotropos from separating Terumah for Yesomim. Rav Chisda answers that when the Mishnah permits an Apotropos to separate Terumah, it permits him only to separate it for the purpose of feeding the fruit to the Yesomim now but not to store the fruit away for use later or to use for making a profit.
The question remains, however, that if the verse says that an Apotropos may not separate Terumah from the produce of the Yesomim because he is not the owner, what difference does it make whether he separates the Terumah to enable the Yesomim to eat the fruit now or for another purpose? In either case, he should not be allowed to separate Terumah.
(a) The TOSFOS RID and the RITVA explain that the Apotropos indeed has no right to separate Terumah from the produce of the Yesomim. The reason why he may separate Terumah is "Tikun ha'Olam." The Rabanan, through their power of "Hefker Beis Din Hefker," removed the fruit of the Yesomim from their possession and gave it to the Apotropos in order for him to separate Terumah from the fruit. They made this enactment for the sake of "Tikun ha'Olam," so that Yesomim will have food available to eat.
(b) The RAMBAN explains that when it is clearly beneficial for the Yesomim (such as in order to enable them to eat), the Apotropos may separate Terumah through the principle of Zechiyah ("Zachin l'Adam she'Lo b'Fanav"). That is, since it is a benefit to the Yesomim to have Terumah separated from their fruit in order to be able to eat it, the Apotropos may provide them with this benefit. However, the Apotropos may not separate Terumah for the Yesomim in order to store away the fruits, because doing so provides no clear Zechus for the Yesomim (and the Apotropos was not appointed as the Yesomim's Shali'ach to do so because the Yesomim are Ketanim and are unable to appoint a Shali'ach).
The Ramban clearly understands that Zechiyah does not work through Shelichus. (That is, the fact that the act benefits the recipient shows clearly that the person who performs the act does so in the capacity of a Shali'ach on behalf of the recipient, as Rashi explains earlier (9b).) Rather, the Ramban maintains that the reason Zechiyah works is through a different mechanism altogether, as the RAN in Kidushin (42a) and others explain. Zechiyah is a unique mechanism by which one can make something take effect for somebody else, without utilizing the mechanism of Shelichus. The principle of Zechiyah states that if this act is beneficial for someone, the Torah allows another person to make the benefit take effect without asking the recipient and without having to be his Shali'ach. Hence, when the Torah says "Atem" and excludes an Apotropos, it does not mean "you" and not one who is Zocheh on behalf of the Yesomim, but rather one can be Zocheh (when it is a real Zechiyah, such as in order to provide them with food to eat) on behalf of Yesomim who are unable to appoint a Shali'ach.
This approach, however, seems to conflict with the principle set forth by the KETZOS HA'CHOSHEN, who writes that one cannot sell another Jew's Chametz before Pesach using the concept of Zechiyah, saying that it is beneficial for the Jew not to own Chametz during Pesach and to avoid transgressing the Aveirah of owning Chametz during Pesach, because Zechiyah works only to give something to someone and not to remove something from his possession. According to this principle, why does the Ramban write that an Apotropos may separate Terumah from the produce of Yesomim through Zechiyah, when that Zechiyah involves taking the Terumah fruits out of the possession of the Yesomim?
The answer is that the separation of Terumah does not involve giving something away. Rather, there was always some portion of fruits owned by Kohanim (i.e. Terumah) mixed in with the fruits (Tevel) of the Yesomim. By separating Terumah from the fruits, one merely shows that these fruits are (and always were) the property of the Kohanim while the rest are the fruits of the Yesomim. Hence, one is not taking away anything from the Yesomim that belonged to them until now (see RAN in Nedarim 12a).
(c) The RASHBA writes that mid'Oraisa an Apotropos is really much more than a stranger appointed to oversee the Yesomim's property. He is actually a Shali'ach for the Yesomim. Although the Yesomim cannot appoint a Shali'ach, the Apotropos is appointed by Beis Din to take care of the Yesomim and thus he is empowered like a hand of the Yesomim themselves. Therefore, whatever he does is fully binding, whether it is beneficial or detrimental for them. Although the Yesomim cannot appoint a Shali'ach themselves, they can have an Apotropos who acts in the capacity of an extension of them.
The Rashba explains that the Beraisa which says that an Apotropos cannot separate Terumah for Yesomim is only an Asmachta. It is an Asmachta mid'Rabanan for the Halachah that the Rabanan instituted when they said that an Apotropos cannot separate Terumah in order to store away the remaining fruits.
The SHACH cited by the Ketzos ha'Choshen (CM 243:7), the PNEI YEHOSHUA, and the CHASAM SOFER here understand the Rashba's intention differently. They understand that the Rashba means to explain like the Ramban, who says that an Apotropos may separate Terumah for the Yesomim through the mechanism of Zechiyah. Consequently, they ask strong questions on the Rashba's explanation. However, the CHIDUSHEI REBBI SHMUEL (Bava Basra 131b) points out that the intention of the Rashba is not that the Apotropos is able to separate Terumah through the principle of Zechiyah, but, as explained above, the Apotropos is like a hand of the Yesomim, and thus he can effect a Zechus or a Chovah for them. He cites an example for this from the words of RABEINU CHANANEL (cited by the ROSH to Bava Metzia 10a) who explains that an Apotropos is not considered to be "Tofes l'Ba'al Chov" when he takes money on behalf of the Yesomim from someone who owes a debt to the Yesomim, but rather he is like a hand of the Yesomim themselves.
2) AGADAH: "MY WIFE, MY HOME"
Rebbi Yosi teaches that a wife is called "Bayis." In numerous places metaphors of "building" are used with regard to marriage. What is the meaning behind this metaphor?
(a) When Boaz married Ruth, the people who witnessed the wedding blessed Boaz that Hash-m should make Ruth "like Rachel and like Leah, who together built the house of Yisrael..." (Ruth 4:11).
Similarly, the Gemara in Kesuvos (8a) lists the Birchos Chasanim, the special blessings recited for seven days after a wedding. In the blessing of "Asher Yatzar," we say that Hash-m "formed Adam in His image... and He established for him from his own flesh an everlasting structure," a reference to Chavah. Rashi explains that Chavah is called a "Binyan," structure, based on the verse, "va'Yiven... Es ha'Tzela" (Bereishis 2:22). The Gemara in Berachos (61a) teaches that the Torah calls Chavah a "structure" because of the unique physiological composition of a woman's body which enables her to carry a child. (See also Rashi to Shemos 19:3, who writes that "'*Beis* Yakov' -- the house of Yakov* -- refers to the woman.")
(b) The nature of a woman as a "Binyan" manifests itself only after she is married, when the man has the opportunity to serve as the "builder" and the woman has the opportunity to become "built."
HA'RAV DOVID COHEN shlit'a points out that these "constructive" roles of man and woman are alluded to in their Hebrew titles.
A male child is called a "Ben," and a female child is called a "Bas." An adult male is called an "Ish," and an adult female is called an "Ishah." The Chachamim point out that what differentiates "Ish" from "Ishah" is that the word "Ish" contains the letter Yud and "Ishah" contains the letter Heh (Sotah 17a). When the male child, the "Ben," marries a woman, he acquires the Heh of the "Ishah," which makes him a "Boneh" (spelled Beis-Nun-Heh). He is involved in building the Binyan. When the female child, the "Bas," marries a man, she acquires the Yud of the "Ish," and she becomes the Binyan or "Bayis" (Beis-Yud-Tav), the foundation of the home.
Accordingly, Rebbi Yosi may have called his wife "Bayis" in order to remind himself of his responsibility towards her. It is only through his bond to her that his wife becomes "built" into a proper "Bayis."
In a certain sense, the same may be said to explain why Rebbi Yosi called his ox his "field." The ox's potential to bring a person his livelihood must be developed by its owner, who invests his time and resources into plowing with it and caring for it. To remind himself of this, Rebbi Yosi called his ox his "field."
(c) The house that is built by a man and his wife is not just a physical one. It is a dwelling place for the Shechinah, for the Divine Presence of Hash-m. The Gemara in Sotah (ibid.) teaches that when there is peace between a man and his wife, the Shechinah dwells in their midst. The letter Yud of the word "Ish" and the letter Heh of the word "Ishah" come together and form the name of Hash-m to symbolize that the Divine Presence rests upon them (see Rashi to Bereishis 30:16). Their home becomes a "Mikdash Me'at," a miniature reproduction of the Beis ha'Mikdash.
The Gemara in Sotah continues that if there is no peace between a man and his wife, Chas v'Shalom, the letters of the name of Hash-m -- the Yud and Heh -- depart from the "Ish" and "Ishah," leaving two flames -- "Esh" -- which destroy each other. It seems that even when there is peace between them, fire also plays an important role. Hash-m's presence is compared to an "all-consuming fire" (Devarim 4:24; see Sotah 14a). For this reason, smoke and fire always mark the place upon which the Divine Presence rests, as on Mount Sinai and in the pillar of flame that escorted the Jewish people out of Mitzrayim. Zecharyah (2:9) relates that when Hash-m will return to Zion, He will be "as a protective wall of fire surrounding it," when He will rest His Divine Presence inside it.
The peaceful union of man and wife creates a dwelling place for the protective fire that denotes Hash-m's Presence. This, in turn, alludes to the fire of the Torah, which leads a person along the way of Hash-m and protects Him from all harm (see Sotah 21a). "One who is without a wife is without Torah" (Yevamos 63a), and one who is with a wife is equipped to construct a house built on the foundations of Torah study and observance. (M. KORNFELD)