PESACHIM 51 (4 Elul) - Dedicated l'Iluy Nishmas Chaim Yisachar (ben Yaakov) Smulewitz of Cleveland on his Yahrzeit, by his daughter and son in law, Jeri & Eli Turkel of Raanana, Israel.
12TH CYCLE DEDICATIONS:
PESACHIM 51 - Dedicated by Dr. Alain Bitton of Geneva, Switzerland, towards a Refu'ah Sheleimah for his mother, Rina bat Fibi, and in memory of his aunt, Mazal bat Freha, who passed away on 7 Adar.
1) ONE MAY NOT BATHE WITH HIS FATHER
QUESTION: The Beraisa states that when one visits a place where the practice of the residents is to forbid something that is really permitted, he may not conduct himself differently in their presence. Rav Chisda asserts that this rule applies only to one's conduct in front of Kusim, who will misinterpret his conduct and permit things that really are forbidden.
The Gemara questions Rav Chisda's assertion from a different Beraisa which records three occasions on which Tana'im refrained from permitting a certain practice in a place where the people conducted themselves stringently, even though there were no Kusim in those places. On one of those occasions, the sons of Raban Gamliel, Yehudah and Hillel, went to a place called Kabul where the residents prohibited entering a bathhouse with one's brother.
The Gemara quotes another Beraisa in order to explain the logic behind that prohibition. The other Beraisa teaches that "one is forbidden to bathe with his father, father-in-law, step-father, and sister's husband. Rebbi Yehudah permits one to bathe with his father, because of the honor of his father." The people of Kabul extended the decree to prohibit bathing with one's brother in order to prevent people from mistakenly thinking that one is permitted to bathe with his brother-in-law (his sister's husband).
The Gemara continues the topic of bathing with relatives. It cites another Beraisa which states that one may not bathe with one's Rebbi, unless his Rebbi needs his assistance.
When RASHI (DH me'Aviv) explains the first Beraisa, he says that the reason why one may not bathe with his father is because he might have immoral thoughts when he sees the place from which he originated.
However, when Rashi (DH Talmid) explains the second Beraisa, he says that the reason why one may not bathe with his Rebbi is because one is obligated to honor and revere his Rebbi, and it is not respectful for one to see his Rebbi unclothed. Why does Rashi not mention this reasoning when he explains why one may not bathe with his father?
ANSWER: It is clear from the words of the first Beraisa that the reason why the Tana Kama prohibits one from bathing with his father is not because of his obligation to honor his father. In the first Beraisa, Rebbi Yehudah argues with the Tana Kama and permits one to bath with his father when his father needs his assistance. This implies that, according to Rebbi Yehudah, the reason why one normally may not bath his father is because of his father's honor, but when one is able to honor his father by bathing with him, he may do so. The Tana Kama prohibits one from bathing with his father even when he thereby will be able to honor his father by helping him. It must be that the Tana Kama prohibits one from bathing with his father for a reason other than his honor. (See the ME'IRI, who quotes only the opinion of Rebbi Yehudah and writes that Rebbi Yehudah's reason to prohibit bathing with one's father is because of the father's honor.)
HALACHAH: What is the Halachah in practice with regard to bathing with one's brother or with one's father?
1. One is permitted to bathe with his brother, because the Halachah does not follow the practice of the people of Kabul who prohibited it.
2. With regard to bathing with one's father, the ME'IRI rules like Rebbi Yehudah, who permits one to bathe with his father when his father needs his assistance. However, the REMA (EH 23:6) rules like the Tana Kama and writes that one may not bathe with his father. The Rema adds that in his days, a son was permitted to bathe with his father, because the common practice was to bathe with a covering over the private parts.
3. It seems that the prohibition against bathing with one's father applies only when the son has reached the age at which he is capable of having immoral thoughts, or the age at which he is obligated to honor his father. A young child should be permitted to go with his father to the bathhouse or Mikvah. However, the ARUCH HA'SHULCHAN is in doubt about this point.
4. The MAHARAM CHALAVAH writes that if the bathhouse is a dry bathhouse (with no water, but with steam or the like), then one may not enter with his father. He permits one to bathe in a body of water with his father, because they will be covered by water. Even though they will be uncovered for a moment as they descend into the water, a person is able to refrain from looking for such a small amount of time.
The PISCHEI TESHUVAH (EH 23:5) cites the TOLDOS ADAM who records an incident involving RAV ZALMAN of Volozhen (the brother of Rav Chaim of Volozhen). Rav Zalman once went to the bathhouse and, as he approached the entrance, he saw his father-in-law there, "and he fled as one flees from a lion." The Pischei Teshuvah writes that he does not know why people are lenient nowadays in this regard. The ARUCH HA'SHULCHAN is also unsure why people are lenient. It could be that people rely on the ruling of the Maharam Chalavah, who permits a son to bathe with his father provided that they are covered until they enter the water.
2) GIVING "KURDAKISIN" TO THE SERVANTS
QUESTION: The Beraisa relates that when Yehudah and Hillel, the sons of Raban Gamliel, went to a place called Biri, they walked on Shabbos in wide shoes ("Kurdakisin"). The people of Biri strongly objected to their conduct, because it was the practice in Biri to forbid such shoes on Shabbos, lest the shoe fall off and the wearer carry it in Reshus ha'Rabim. Yehudah and Hillel, in deference to the Minhag of that place, removed their shoes and gave them to their servants.
Why were they permitted to give their shoes to their servants to carry in Reshus ha'Rabim? One is required to make sure that his servant also rests from Melachah on Shabbos (Shemos 20:10)!
(a) The MITZPEH SHMUEL writes that their servants were not Avadim Kena'ani'im, who may not do Melachah on Shabbos. Rather, they were simply hired Nochrim who may do Melachah on Shabbos.
(b) The YEFEH EINAYIM writes that their servants indeed were Avadim Kena'ani'im. However, Yehudah and Hillel gave them their shoes to wear and not to carry. Since the practice to forbid wearing such shoes on Shabbos in Biri was only a Minhag, the Minhag did not extend to servants and was not included in the obligation to ensure that servants do not perform Melachah on Shabbos.
3) ONE DAY OF YOM TOV IN A PLACE WHERE THE PRACTICE IS TO OBSERVE TWO DAYS
QUESTION: Rav Safra said that even though he was an expert in the calculation of the new month ("Kevi'a d'Yarcha"), when he would go to a place where the practice was to observe two days of Yom Tov, he would follow the practice of that place in order to avoid discord. He asked Rebbi Aba how many days of Yom Tov should he keep when he goes to an uninhabited place. Rebbi Aba answered in the name of Rav Ami that one does not need to observe the second day of Yom Tov in such a place.
TOSFOS (DH Kegon) writes that when Rav Safra said that "we are experts in Kevi'a d'Yarcha," he did mean that because he knew how to calculate the new month, he was entitled to observe only one day of Yom Tov. Everyone in Bavel knew how to calculate the new month, but a Gezeirah required them to observe two days (Beitzah 4b). Tosfos explains instead that Rav Safra meant that when he departed from a city where the practice was to observe only one day of Yom Tov, and he arrived in a city where the practice was to observe two days of Yom Tov, he followed the practice of the host city.
The explanation of Tosfos is difficult to understand. If, in the city in which Rav Safra arrived, the residents observed two days of Yom Tov, then that city must have been beyond the range of the Sheluchei Beis Din (the messengers of Beis Din who would bring word of the new month to all of the outlying areas). However, if Rav Safra came from a city that observed one day of Yom Tov, then his city must have been within the range of the Sheluchei Beis Din. How, then, was it possible for Rav Safra to arrive in a city that observed two days, if he came from a city that observed one day? If the second city was close enough to his city that he could leave his city and arrive in the second city before Yom Tov, then certainly the Sheluchei Beis Din could also travel to the second city before Yom Tov. Consequently, the second city should also observe one day of Yom Tov!
It cannot be that he left his city before the Sheluchei Beis Din arrived there, because if that were the case, he should have been obligated to observe two days of Yom Tov in the second city. Had he left his city before the Sheluchei Beis Din arrived there, he would not have known when Beis Din had established the new month (and he was not permitted to rely on his own knowledge of how to calculate the new month, because the Rabanan decreed that outside of the range of the Sheluchei Beis Din, one must observe two days regardless of whether one knows how to calculate the new month). (MAHARSHA)
(a) TOSFOS in Sukah (43a) answers that in Rav Safra's case, the second city is a city which the Sheluchei Beis Din can reach during Nisan, but not during Tishrei. They can reach the second city during Nisan, because they have fifteen days after the establishment of the new month during which they can travel, before the arrival of Pesach. They cannot reach that city during Tishrei before Sukos, because there are fewer days on which they may travel (due to the occurrence of Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, days on which they may not travel). The Rabanan decreed that such a city must observe two days of Yom Tov even in Nisan, and not only in Tishrei. Rav Safra came from a city which the Sheluchei Beis Din were able to reach during both Nisan and Tishrei, and he wanted to visit a city during Nisan which Sheluchei Beis Din could reach only in Nisan. We might have thought that the decree to observe two days of Yom Tov in such a place did not apply to him. Therefore, the Gemara teaches that he was obligated to observe two days of Yom Tov in that city, even during Nisan when the Sheluchei Beis Din did reach that place, just as Rav Safra himself was able to reach that place. (This is also the approach suggested by the GILYON HA'SHAS and PNEI YEHOSHUA.)
(b) The PNEI YEHOSHUA suggests another answer. Perhaps Rav Safra left his town, which was in the range of the Sheluchei Beis Din, and went to the second town before the Sheluchei Beis Din reached his town. He had an extra few days to travel to the second town, which the Sheluchei Beis Din did not have.
If he arrived in the second town before the Sheluchei Beis Din arrived in his hometown, how did he know the day on which the new month was established? He knew when the new month was established because, as Tosfos says, the people of Bavel were experts in the calculation of the new month. Since he came from a city that observed only one day, we might have thought that he did not have to observe a second day in the other city, because he was an expert and knew when the new month was, and, moreover, he came from a city that observed one day of Yom Tov.
(The difference between this answer and the answer of Tosfos is whether the decree to observe two days of Yom Tov despite the fact that one knows the day of the Kevi'a d'Yarcha applies to everyone, or only to people who live outside the range of Sheluchin. According to Tosfos, the decree of "Nisan Atu Tishrei" (to observe two days of Yom Tov during Nisan because of the requirement to do so during Tishrei) applies only when one goes to a city that is within the range of the Sheluchei Beis Din of Nisan, but not within the range of the Sheluchei Beis Din of Tishrei. If, however, one goes to a desert, the decree does not apply at all. In contrast, the other decree -- that one must disregard his knowledge of the Kevi'a d'Yarcha -- applies even in the desert. According to the Pnei Yehoshua, only one who lives outside the range of the Sheluchei Beis Din is bound by the second decree (to discount his knowledge of the Kevi'a d'Yarcha). However, one who comes from within the range of the Sheluchei Beis Din who goes to a desert is required to observe only one day of Yom Tov. Since there is no Minhag in the desert, one observes the Minhag of the place from which he came.)
(c) The DEVAR SHMUEL answers that Rav Safra traveled to the second city for the second Yom Tov, after Chol ha'Mo'ed. The Sheluchei Beis Din do not continue to travel after the first Yom Tov (because if they would continue to travel, some cities would observe two days of Yom Tov for the first Yom Tov, and only one day for the second Yom Tov). Rav Safra observed two days of Yom Tov in the second city in order to prevent discord. Had he traveled to a desert, however, he would have been permitted to observe only one day, because the Sheluchei Beis Din do not go there.
(d) RABEINU CHANANEL gives an entirely different explanation for Rav Safra's conduct. He explains that Rav Safra lived in Bavel and would travel to Eretz Yisrael. When he said that he did not do Melachah on the second day of Yom Tov while in the city, he was referring to his city in Bavel. When he asked what he should do when he goes to the "Midbar," he meant the Midbar of Eretz Yisrael -- that is, the uninhabited area that one traverses before he reaches the settled area. In that part of Eretz Yisrael, does one conduct himself with the Minhag of those who live in Eretz Yisrael or not?
Rabeinu Chananel's explanation entirely avoids the difficulty of Tosfos. (See also the BA'AL HA'ME'OR who gives a similar explanation.)