MOED KATAN 19 (4 Elul) - dedicated l'Iluy Nishmas Chaim Yissachar (ben Yaakov) Smulewitz of Cleveland on his Yahrzeit, by his daughter and son in law, Jeri & Eli Turkel of Raanana, Israel.

1) WHEN DOES THE FESTIVAL ANNUL THE SEVEN DAYS OF AVEILUS
QUESTION: The Mishnah states that if a person becomes an Avel before a festival, the festival annuls ("Regalim Mafsikin") the seven days of Aveilus. In addition, the festival does not count ("Einan Olin") towards the days of Aveilus.
RASHI (DH v'Ein Olin) questions why the Mishnah says that the festival does not count towards the days of Aveilus. Since the festival annuls the Aveilus, the festival obviously does not count as part of the Aveilus! In what way could the festival count towards the days of Aveilus?
(The answer cannot be that the Mishnah mentions "Einan Olin" simply because the first part of the Mishnah, which discusses Shabbos, says that Shabbos does count ("Olah") towards the days of Aveilus, because the Gemara later (23b) explains that the Mishnah says "Olah" in the first part of the Mishnah with regard to Shabbos only because the second part of the Mishnah says "Einan Olin" with regard to festivals!)
Rashi explains that when the Mishnah says that the festivals are "Einan Olin," it refers to a case in which the burial occurred less than three days before the festival. In such a case the seven days of Aveilus are not annulled; rather, they continue after the festival, while the festival itself does not count towards those seven days. (This explanation is given by the PERUSH RABEINU GERSHOM ME'OR HA'GOLAH (Mechon ha'Talmud ha'Yisraeli). This commentary seems to be based on the same manuscript as the commentary attributed to Rashi on Moed Katan.)
A supplementary note on Rashi's explanation here was inserted into the text of Rashi's commentary as it is printed in our edition. This note was written by a Talmid of the author of the commentary attributed to Rashi. The Talmid criticizes the explanation of Rashi and claims that it is based on a mistaken assumption. The Talmid asserts that when the Mishnah says that the festival annuls the seven days of Aveilus when the Aveilus began three days before the festival, it is "Lav Davka" and it means that the festival annuls the Aveilus even when the Aveilus began just one minute before the festival. What does the Mishnah mean when it says that the festival "does not count" towards the Aveilus, if the festival itself entirely annuls the Aveilus? It means that if the Aveilus began during the festival itself, then the days of the festival do not count as part of the seven days of Aveilus; one must observe the seven days of Aveilus after the festival because none of the Aveilus was observed before the festival. (RASHI on the Rif writes both explanations for the words "Ein Olin.")
Many Acharonim ask that the comment of the Talmid here appears to be a blatant error. The Beraisa later (20a) says that Rebbi Eliezer and the Chachamim (as well as Beis Shamai and Beis Hillel) argue whether the festival annuls the seven days of Aveilus when the Aveilus begins immediately before the festival, or only when it begins three days before the festival. How can the Talmid suggest that the Mishnah is "Lav Davka" when the Beraisa explicitly says that such an opinion (that the Aveilus must be observed for at least three days before the festival in order for the festival to annul it) does exist? Since the Mishnah clearly says that three days must be observed before the festival, it is not "Lav Davka" but rather it expresses the opinion of Beis Shamai and Rebbi Eliezer! (GILYON HA'SHAS, HAGAHOS HA'BACH, and others)
How are the words of the supplementary note to be understood?
ANSWERS:
(a) RAV BETZALEL RENSBURG (20a) explains that the words of the Mishnah, "festivals annul the Aveilus" ("Regalim Mafsikin"), imply that festivals annul the Aveilus regardless of how many days have already been observed before the festival (see Insights to Moed Katan 20:2:a).
(b) The Talmid does not mean that the Mishnah maintains that the festival annuls the Aveilus even when three days of Aveilus were not observed before the festival. Rather, the Talmid's intention is as follows:
When the Beraisa says that Beis Shamai and Beis Hillel argue about how many days of Aveilus must have been observed already before the festival in order for the festival to annul the Aveilus, it refers back to the Mishnah. Beis Hillel in the Beraisa says that the Halachah of the Mishnah -- that "Regalim Mafsikin" -- applies when any period of Aveilus was observed before the festival. Accordingly, Beis Hillel agrees with all of the Halachos mentioned in the Mishnah except for the Halachah that the festival annuls the Aveilus only when three days of Aveilus were observed before the festival. Since Beis Hillel agrees with everything the Mishnah says, it must be that he also agrees that "Regalim Mafsikim" -- the festivals annul Aveilus, and "Einan Olin" -- they do not count towards the seven days of Aveilus. Indeed, the Tosefta (2:5) which records the opinion of Beis Hillel (that even one minute of Aveilus before the festival suffices) begins by saying that the festival does not count for the seven days of Aveilus ("Eino Oleh"). How can Beis Hillel agree with those words if he maintains that even after one minute of Aveilus, the arrival of the festival annuls the entire Aveilus? According to Beis Hillel it is meaningless to say that the festival "does not count" towards the seven days, since the seven days were annulled! It must be that Beis Hillel understands that the Mishnah refers to a case in which the Aveilus occurs during the festival itself.
This is the intention of the Talmid when he says that the three days mentioned in the Mishnah are "Lav Davka." He means that in practice one does not have to observe Aveilus for three days before the festival, as Beis Hillel says, in order for the festival to annul the Aveilus. Nevertheless, Beis Hillel agrees with the Mishnah when it says that the festival "does not count" towards the seven days. The Mishnah must mean that when the Aveilus begins during the festival, the festival does not count towards the seven days.
The Talmid would agree with Rashi on the Rif who writes that there are two possible scenarios in which the festival does not count towards the seven days of Aveilus: when the Aveilus started only two days before the festival (according to Beis Shamai), or when the Aveilus started during the festival (according to Beis Hillel).
If this is the question of the Talmid on Rashi's explanation, then perhaps the following answer may be suggested. According to the explanation of Rashi (20a, DH Tana Didan, see Insights there), even Beis Hillel agrees that only when three days of Aveilus were observed before the festival does the festival annul all of the laws of Aveilus -- except for the law of "Kefiyas ha'Mitah." That is, Beis Shamai and Beis Hillel (and Rebbi Eliezer and the Chachamim) argue only with regard to how many days of Aveilus must be observed before the festival in order for the obligation of "Kefiyas ha'Mitah" to be annulled. Everyone agrees, however, that in order for the festival to annul all of the laws of Aveilus, the Aveilus must have been observed for at least three days prior to the festival. Accordingly, Rashi here is consistent with his opinion there, and the wording of the Tosefta poses no problem (because when the Tosefta says that the festival "does not count" towards the seven days of Aveilus, it refers to a case in which the Aveilus began only two days before the festival, and when it says that the festival annuls the Aveilus when the Aveilus was observed for only one minute before the festival, it refers only to the specific Halachah of "Kefiyas ha'Mitah"). (M. KORNFELD)

19b----------------------------------------19b

2) WHEN DOES "MIKTZAS HA'YOM K'KULO" APPLY TO THE SEVENTH DAY OF AVEILUS?
QUESTION: The Gemara cites a Beraisa in which the Chachamim and Aba Shaul argue whether the principle of "Miktzas ha'Yom k'Kulo" applies to the seventh day of Aveilus. According to Aba Shaul, when the seventh day of Aveilus occurs on Erev Yom Tov, one is considered to have completed his seven days of Aveilus when he observes Aveilus during just a part of that day, and the rest of the day is considered part of the Sheloshim. When Yom Tov arrives, it completely annuls the rest of the Sheloshim (and the Avel is permitted to shave before Yom Tov). According to the Chachamim, when the seventh day of Aveilus occurs on Erev Yom Tov, the seven days of Aveilus do not end until that night, and thus none of the Sheloshim is observed before the festival. Consequently, the festival cannot annul the Sheloshim (and the Avel is not permitted to shave before Yom Tov).
There is one case, however, in which the Chachamim agree that the principle of "Miktzas ha'Yom k'Kulo" applies to the seventh day of Aveilus: when Erev Yom Tov occurs on Shabbos and is the eighth day from the beginning of the Aveilus, the principle of "Miktzas ha'Yom k'Kulo" applies. Had that day not been Shabbos, the Avel would have been permitted to shave since it would have been the beginning of the Sheloshim (which the festival would have annulled). However, when Erev Yom Tov occurs on Shabbos, a day on which one is prohibited to shave, the Chachamim permit the Avel to shave on the previous day even though it is the seventh day of Aveilus, because they apply the principle of "Miktzas ha'Yom k'Kulo" so that the Aveilus is considered to have ended in the morning and the rest of Erev Shabbos is part of the Sheloshim and not part of the Shiv'ah.
What is the Chachamim's logic? Since they maintain that one may not shave when the seventh day of his Aveilus occurs on Erev Yom Tov, they evidently maintain that the principle of "Miktzas ha'Yom k'Kulo" does not apply even to enable one to honor Yom Tov (by shaving prior to its entry). Why, then, do they apply "Miktzas ha'Yom k'Kulo" when the eighth day after the beginning of the Aveilus occurs on Shabbos-Erev Yom Tov and permit the Avel to shave on Erev Shabbos, the seventh day of Aveilus?
ANSWERS:
(a) Perhaps the Chachamim chose to lift the restrictions of Aveilus (to some degree) in order to enable the Avel to prepare properly for the Yom Tov. For this purpose, it sufficed to remove "one level" of the Aveilus -- the level which the Avel is observing immediately before the Yom Tov arrives. Thus, for an Avel who is still observing the seven days of Shiv'ah, the Chachamim removed the restrictions of Shiv'ah but not those of Sheloshim. The removal of one level is enough to enable the Avel to show respect for the Yom Tov. For an Avel who is observing the Sheloshim, the Chachamim removed the Sheloshim and permitted him to shave.
When the seventh day of Aveilus is Erev Yom Tov, the Chachamim eased the restrictions of Aveilus in order to enable the Avel to give honor to the festival. They removed the laws of Shiv'ah on the seventh day (and permitted him to wash), although they did not remove the Sheloshim in such a case because he has not yet observed any part of the Sheloshim. However, when the eighth day from the beginning of the Aveilus occurs on Shabbos which is also Erev Yom Tov, the removal of the laws of Sheloshim will not help the Avel because he still cannot shave or iron his clothes to honor the Yom Tov (since the day on which his Sheloshim is annulled is Shabbos). The removal of the laws of Shiv'ah also will not enable him to honor the Yom Tov, because the Shiv'ah already ended by itself before Shabbos (since an Avel is permitted to prepare for Shabbos during the Shiv'ah). Since there is no other way to enable him to honor the Yom Tov, the Chachamim removed the laws of Sheloshim before Shabbos on the seventh day of Aveilus by invoking the principle of "Miktzas ha'Yom k'Kulo." In contrast, when the seventh (and not the eighth) day occurs on Shabbos-Erev Yom Tov, the Chachamim did not remove the laws of Sheloshim before Shabbos in order to enable the Avel to honor the Yom Tov, because they could not apply "Miktzas ha'Yom k'Kulo" to allow for leniency in that case.
(b) Alternatively, perhaps when the Avel cannot shave before Yom Tov due to the laws of Shabbos alone (such as when the eighth day of Aveilus is Shabbos-Erev Yom Tov, and the Yom Tov has removed the laws of Sheloshim), he is equated with a person who returns from a journey on Chol ha'Mo'ed who is permitted to shave. The Mishnah earlier (13b) permits one who was prevented from shaving prior to Yom Tov due to extenuating circumstances to shave during Chol ha'Mo'ed. An Avel who could not shave on Erev Yom Tov because it was Shabbos should be no different. Since the prohibition against shaving during Aveilus is less severe than the prohibition against shaving during Chol ha'Mo'ed (according to most Rishonim; see ROSH 3:3, Gemara 11b), and the prohibition against shaving on the seventh day after "Miktzas ha'Yom k'Kulo" is certainly less severe than the prohibition against shaving during Chol ha'Mo'ed, the Chachamim preferred to allow the Avel to shave on the seventh day of his Aveilus (Erev Shabbos) by relying on "Miktzas ha'Yom k'Kulo," rather than to allow him to shave during the Mo'ed.
One may ask that according to this approach, even if the seventh day of Aveilus (which is not Shabbos) falls on Erev Yom Tov, the Chachamim should permit the Avel to shave on Yom Tov since he did not shave prior to Yom Tov due to circumstances beyond his control -- the Aveilus! Since it is preferable to permit him to shave on the last day of Aveilus than to permit him to shave on Chol ha'Mo'ed, they should agree with Aba Shaul that such an Avel may shave on the seventh day of his Aveilus which is Erev Yom Tov, relying on "Miktzas ha'Yom k'Kulo"!
In truth, however, such a question is erroneous. There is no doubt that the Chachamim did not permit a person to shave on Chol ha'Mo'ed due to the fact that he was an Avel prior to Yom Tov. This is clear from the Gemara here and on 17b. The Acharonim (NODA B'YEHUDAH in Mahadura Kama, RASHASH to 17b, CHIDUSHIM U'VI'URIM ibid.) suggest two reasons for why the Chachamim were not lenient in this regard. The Chachamim did not permit one to shave in such a situation because the laws of Aveilus still prohibit the Avel from shaving during Chol ha'Mo'ed (since the festival does not remove the laws of Sheloshim in this situation, according to the RAMBAN (Toras ha'Adam) who rules that all of the laws of Sheloshim apply during Chol ha'Mo'ed). Alternatively, according to the TUR (YD 399 in the name of the ROSH) who rules that the laws of Sheloshim do not apply during the Mo'ed (as the Gemara implies at the end of 19b; see also Insights to Moed Katan 24:2), the reason why an Avel may not shave on Chol ha'Mo'ed is not because of his Aveilus, but because the laws of Chol ha'Mo'ed prohibit him from shaving. Although he was not able to shave prior to Yom Tov because of his Aveilus, the state of Aveilus is not considered an Ones (circumstances beyond one's control) and does not put him in the same category as a person who returns from a journey on Chol ha'Mo'ed. (See also Insights to Moed Katan 14:2:b. This is also clear from the words of Rashi to 17b, DH Savar k'Rabanan.) (M. KORNFELD)

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