INSIGHTS TO THE DAF
The Obligation Of Women To Read The Megillah
Rabbi Yehoshua ben Levi ruled: It is obligatory for women to hear the reading of the Megillah, because they benefited also by the same miracle (Haman’s decree to kill all the Jewish people included the women).
The Rishonim dispute whether a woman can read the Megillah and discharge the obligation for a man. Rashi maintains that she could and Tosfos cites a Behag that she cannot. There are those that explain the Behag that he holds that a woman is only obligated to hear the Megillah but not to read it. Rashi’s viewpoint is easily understood by the fact that the Gemora explicitly states that women are obligated in the reading of the Megillah. The Beis Yosef (O”C 689) writes that according to the Behag, the correct version in the Gemora is that women are obligated to hear the Megillah.
Mishna Berura (689:13) writes that the reason a woman cannot read the Megillah on behalf of a man is because it is similar to Kerias HaTorah, where a woman is disqualified because of public dignity.
The Eshkol offers a different explanation and states that a woman cannot read the Megillah for a man because of the prohibition of “kol b’isha ervoh.”
The Imrei Baruch explains the viewpoint of the Behag why women will only be obligated to hear the Megillah and not to read it. The Gemora below (14a) states that the prophets offered a kal vachomer argument in creating an obligation to read the Megillah. If the Jews, who were liberated from slavery in Mitzrayim and brought to freedom, sang praises to Hashem when they saw the Egyptians drowning; certainly we should commemorate our deliverance from death to life. That is why we read the Megillah publicly, where we are thanking Hashem for saving us from Haman’s decree. There is a distinction, however, between the way the men sang praise and the way the women sang. Moshe recited each phrase and all the male Jews repeated after him. The women did not sing; Miriam said each phrase and they responded with musical instruments, not with singing. According to this, we can say that the same distinction should apply by Megillah. The men, who sang songs of praise by the sea, have an obligation to read the Megillah; the women who only heard the songs of praise have an obligation to hear the Megillah, but not to read it.
Putting Tefillin on a Hat
By: Meoros HaDaf HaYomi
Our sugya treats the prohibition of any chatzitzah – interruption, separating between the bigdei kehunah and a Kohen’s flesh, as we are told – “…and trousers of cloth he shall wear on his flesh,” interpreted by Chazal in our sugya as meaning, “nothing should interfere between it and his flesh.”
Shulchan ‘Aruch (O.C. 27:4) rules a similar halachah about tefillin: “Nothing should interfere between the tefillin and his flesh.” However, in the following paragraph Rabbi Yosef Kairo writes that for an ill person who must always cover his head, “we should allow him to place the head tefillin on the thin hat closest to his head; and he should cover it lest people see it.” Must tefillin be put on one’s skin or is it allowed to put them on a hat? It turns out that these two halachos are a sort of compromise in a difference of opinions among the Rishonim.
Our Gemora explains that the Kohanim did not don arm tefillin during their service in the Temple. They could not put the tefillin on their sleeves as the sleeve would be a chatzitzah between the tefillin and their flesh and they could not put them on under the sleeve as nothing must interrupt between the bigdei kehunah and their skin. The Rosh (Responsa, kelal 3, §4) proves therefrom that tefillin should not be put on a hat.
However, the Rashba inclines to believe that chatzitzah is not pertinent to head tefillin. In his opinion, the arm tefillin should not be put on a garment because of Chazal’s interpretation “a sign to you and not to others.” In other words, the arm tefillin should be under the garment and not on it. On the other hand, this interpretation does not apply to the head tefillin and therefore they may be put on a hat (Magen Avraham adds that if so, the arm tefillin may also be put on a garment if another garment covers them as, according to the Rashba, there is no chatzitzah in tefillin but the arm tefillin must be covered).
The two apparently contradictory paragraphs in Shulchan ‘Aruch are a compromise between the Rosh’s strict opinion and the Rashba’s lenient opinion. Therefore, Shulchan ‘Aruch rules according to the Rosh, that “nothing should interfere between the tefillin and his flesh.” But a person who cannot put on tefillin without chatzitzah may rely on the Rashba, on condition that people do not see him and learn from his custom (and he should also not pronounce a berachah on the head tefillin).
It is still not clear as to why a sick person may put tefillin only on a thin hat. Is a thin hat less of a chatzitzah than a thick one? Mishnah Berurah (S.K. 19) explains that the difference does not stem from chatzitzah but because a thick hat would interfere with the person’s putting the tefillin in their exact position on the head.
STORY FROM THE DAF
An amazing story is told about the exact observation of mitzvos heeded by HaGaon Rav Y.Y. Weiss zt”l, av beis din of the Eidah Chareidis in Yerushalayim and author of Minchas Yitzchak. Because of his heart ailment, the doctors left an opening in a vein in his left arm with a small pipe, such that in time of need they could inject him immediately. Rav Weiss did not agree to this chatzitzah, though he was bedridden, and every morning he removed the pipe, though this involved loss of blood and excruciating pain. During a senior doctor’s visit, Rav Weiss remarked that the injections could be performed in a different way, not involving chatzitzah. The doctor agreed and for a long while told everyone about the “rabbi professor.”
Yearning to Return to Zion
It is written [Tehillim 87:5]: And to Zion it shall be said: “this man, this man, was born in her,” and He will establish her on high. (This verse is describing the future time when all the nations of the world will bring the Jews back to Zion. They will say regarding each Jew: He is a son of Zion, he was born there, let us bring him back to her.)
Rabbi Meyasha the grandson of Rabbi Yehoshua ben Levi said (Kesuvos 75a): This verse is applicable to any Jew that was born in Zion and one who yearns to see her. Even Jews who were born elsewhere will be considered children of Zion, provided that they learn to return there.
I began writing the following incident when I was shown that it was already printed in Daf Digest link, so I am writing their version (with a comment or two of my own).
During World War I, Palestine was under Turkish jurisdiction and the Ottomans made life very difficult for the citizens. Press gangs would roam the streets arbitrarily drafting anyone in their wake. The conditions of these forcibly drafted soldiers were exceedingly difficult. They were subjected to hard labor, and since food was exceedingly scarce they were severely underfed. These circumstances could all be circumvented by paying bribes to officials. However, there was one decree that was exceedingly difficult to avert. The Turks declared that anyone not born in Palestine would be deported. This was more difficult to deal with than forcible conscription, since the only way someone born out of the country could get around this was to lie on the government forms.
Since everyone knew that Rav Yosef Chaim Sonnenfeld, zt”l,(where I saw this story brought down, it was with Rav Yosef Rogotchovi from Petach Tikva, but see below)was very careful to avoid falsehood in any form no matter what it might cost, people were afraid that he would forbid people to lie on the forms. During those difficult times, simple honesty would result in the sundering of many homes. When someone ventured to ask the Rav’s opinion about this issue, he surprised everyone in the Old Yishuv. “It is certainly permitted!”
“But why is this different from any other falsehood which the Rav prohibits?” the questioner asked.
Rav Sonnenfeld explained, “This is explicit in Kesuvos 75 on the verse, ‘And of Tzion it shall be said, each and every man is born therein.’ The Gemora learns from the redundancy of the word “man, each and every man” that one who yearns for Tzion is as one who was born there. We see clearly that any Jew who yearns for Tzion is actually considered as one who was born in Tzion! So to write of those who came up to Tzion out of longing for her holiness that they were native citizens is no lie at all: it is a declaration of the absolute truth!”
I saw this ruling from Rav Sonnenfeld in a slightly different context. It was a question regarding people who were not born in Eretz Yisroel and they were seeking permission from the courts to emigrate to Eretz Yisroel. The courts were only granting visas to those who were born in Eretz Yisroel. Rav Sonnenfeld ruled, based on our Gemora that not only is it permitted to testify that you were born in Eretz Yisroel, but one is obligated to do so. It is not regarded as a lie at all, since one who yearns to return to Eretz Yisroel is regarded as if he was born there.
The Kloizenberger Rebbe zt”l added the following: It is written that the lifespan of a person is seventy years. The Gemora in Shabbos (89b) states that the Heavenly courts do not administer punishment for the first twenty years of one’s life. Consequently, it can be said that the seventy years do not begin until one is twenty years old. So too, it can be said regarding one who emigrated to Eretz Yisroel. The seventy years of his life begins only after he lives in Eretz Yisroel.
This can be proven from Rashi’s commentary on the following verse [Breishis 16:3]: So Sarai, Avram’s wife, took Hagar the Egyptian, her handmaid, at the end of ten years of Avram’s dwelling in the land of Canaan, and she gave her to Avram her husband for a wife. Rashi writes: This tells us that the time they dwelled outside of Eretz Yisroel does not count in the calculation.