ANSWERS TO REVIEW QUESTIONS
prepared by Rabbi Eliezer Chrysler of Kollel Iyun Hadaf
Rosh Kollel: Rabbi Mordecai Kornfeld
(a) When Shmuel went to pay Pinchas his brother a Shiv'ah visit - he noticed that Pinchas' fingernails were long and asked him why he did not cut them.
(b) Pinchas replied by asking him whether he would be so callous as to cut his nails if he was an Avel - something that he ought not to have said, because of the principle 'Bris Kerusah im ha'Sefasayim' (One must be careful what one says).
(c) When Pinchas, as a result of his thoughtlessness, had to pay a return visit - Shmuel, who was cutting his nails when he entered, took them, in his anger, and threw them at him.
(d) In spite of the prohibition of throwing ones nails on the floor (as we shall see shortly), we can justify what Shmuel did - in view of the fact that he subsequently swept them up.
(a) Rebbi Yochanan learns that 'a covenant is made with one's lips'from the Akeidah - when Avraham Avinu said to Yishmael and Eliezer that he and Yitzchak would bow down and return to them (even though he believed that Yitzchak was going to be Shechted), and in the end, they did (see Agados Maharsha).
(a) We initially confine Shmuel's Heter to cutting one's nails during the Avelus-period to finger-nails (which are disgusting when they grow long) but not to toe-nails, which are not visible.
(b) Rav Anan bar Tachlifa said however - that he heard from Shmuel himself, that there is no difference between them, and that both are permitted.
(c) Rav Chiya bar Ashi Amar Rav qualifies the concession of cutting one's nails during Avelus - by confining it to biting them off, but forbids cutting them with scissors.
(a) Rav Sheman bar Aba found Rebbi Yochanan in the Beis-ha'Midrash on Chol ha'Mo'ed cutting his nails with his teeth. Besides the obvious Heter to cut one's nails (with a Shinuy) on Chol ha'Mo'ed - we also learn from him that it is not considered disgusting to have long nails (otherwise he would have cut them with scissors), and that one is permitted to throw them on the floor of the Beis-ha'Midrash.
(b) Someone who ...
1. ... throws his nails on the floor - is called a Rasha.
2. ... buries them - is called a Tzadik.
3. ... who burns them - a Chasid.
(c) The reason for all this is - because we are afraid that a pregnant woman may walk over the nails and lose her baby (due to witchcraft).
(d) Throwing one's nails on the floor of the Beis ha'Midrash is nevertheless permitted due to the fact that women do not generally frequent the Beis ha'Midrash. We are not worried that they may be swept up and thrown outside, to a location where women do go - because once the nails have changed their location, they are harmless.
(a) Rebbi permitted a pair who came from Chamsan to cut their nails. Had they asked him, Rav (or the Tana of a Beraisa) assessed - he would even have allowed them to cut their mustaches (according to Shmuel, they actually did ask Rebbi that, and he permitted it).
(b) Any part of the mustache is permitted - provided it interferes with one's eating.
(c) Rav Nachman bar Yitzchak ruled - that as far as he was concerned, any part of the mustache was permitted (period), because he was finicky in this regard.
(a) Paroh is described in Daniel as "Shefal Anashim" - because he was only one Amah tall and so was his beard, whilst the size of his penis was one and a half Amos.
(b) We learn from the Pasuk "Hinei Yotzei ha'Maymah" - that Paroh was a magician.
(c) Our Mishnah permits specific people to wash their clothes on Chol ha'Mo'ed, and specific clothes to be washed. We answer ...
1. ... Rebbi Yakov answer Rebbi Yirmeyahu's Kashya on Rav Asi Amar Rebbi Yochanan permitting someone who has only one shirt to wash his clothes too (even though he is not one of those listed in our Mishnah) - by establishing our Mishnah by people who have two shirts which are both dirty (and who would not be permitted to wash them were it not for those circumstances presented by the Tana).
2. ... Rebbi Yakov answer Rava's Kashya on another statement quoted in Rebbi Yochanan's name, where he permits the washing of linen clothes on Chol ha'Mo'ed (even though they are not listed in our Mishnah among the clothes that are permitted) - by establishing our Mishnah by other materials.
(d) Rav Heidaya tried to support Rebbi Yochanan's second statement with first-hand evidence that he had seen with his own eyes (the Sea of Teverya teeming with linen clothes being washed on Chol ha'Mo'ed). Abaye refutes Rav Heidaya's proof however - on the grounds that, we cannot say with certainty that those people were washing them with the Chachamim's approval.
(a) Our Mishnah permits writing a variety of documents on Chol ha'Mo'ed: documents of betrothal and divorce, receipts, wills and gifts.
1. A Pruzbul - is a document in which the creditor transfers his debt to Beis-Din. This renders the debt as if it was already claimed (in which case there is no prohibition in then claiming it from the debtor on behalf of the Beis-Din [Tiferes Yisrael]).
2. An Igeres Shum - is a document in which the Beis-Din assesses the property of the debtor and transfers it to the creditor (Bartenura).
3. An Igeres Mazon - is a document in which a man undertakes to feed his wife's daughter (from a previous marriage) - see also Bartenura.
(b) A document of Chalitzah too, is permitted, and so are decrees of Beis-Din.
1. A Shtar Miy'un is - a document which states that a girl under Bas-Mitzvah (who was married off by her mother or brother) walked out on her husband, thereby negating their marriage.
2. A Shtar Birurin - is a document in which Beis-Din distribute the different parts of the field to the various partners (see also Bartenura).
3. An Igeres shel Reshus - is a document containing commands and decrees of the ruler.
(c) Chazal permit all of these on Chol ha'Mo'ed - because we are afraid that perhaps one of the key players will die or go overseas by the time Yom Tov is out, making it a 'Davar ha'Aved' (Tosfos DH 've'Eilu').
(a) Shmuel permits betrothal on Chol ha'Mo'ed in case someone else betroths the woman first. There is no proof for this from ...
1. ... our Mishnah, which permits the writing of Shtarei Kidushin - because our Mishnah may well be referring, not to the actual Shtarei Kidushin, but to Shtarei Pesikta (the document which contains the various monetary obligations undertaken by the parents of the Chasan and the Kalah.
2. ... the Mishnah in the first Perek 'Ein Nos'in Nashim b'Mo'ed' - because far from implying that betrothal is permitted, the Tana may mean that even marriage (which is part of the Mitzvah of having children) is forbidden, not to mention betrothal, which is not a Mitzvah at all.
(b) There is however, a Tana d'Bei Shmuel that bears out Shmuel's ruling, explicitly forbidding marriage, but permitting betrothal. The Tana does however, qualify the concession of betrothal - forbidding an engagement party on Chol ha'Mo'ed.
(c) The same Beraisa - forbids Yibum on Chol ha'Mo'ed.
(a) Shmuel says that each day, a Bas-Kol makes two announcements - a. so-and-so's daughter is destined for so-and-so, and b. such and such a field is destined for so-and-so.
(b) When Shmuel permits betrothal on Chol ha'Mo'ed in case someone else 'gets her first', he does not mean that the other person betroths her first (since that is indeed impossible). What he means is that someone else might cause her death by praying that she should die (so that he not have to see her become engaged to her destined spouse - see Agados Maharsha.)
(c) Rava told that man whom he overheard Davening for a certain woman - that this was not the right way of praying, because, if she was destined for him, then he would get her anyway, and if not then, seeing as Hash-m would not answer his prayers, they were bound to be in vain, and ultimately, weaken his faith, when he saw that his prayers were not being answered.
(d) The man subsequently changed the wording of his prayer.
1. He then begin praying - that either he or she should die before her destined spouse betroths her (see Agados Maharsha).
2. Rava then told him - that he should not Daven in that manner.
(a) Rav (or a Beraisa) quoting Rebbi Reuven ben Itzrubli learns from Lavan and Besuel's reaction to Eliezer's amazing success in finding the right Shiduch for Yitzchak, in spite of their efforts to the contrary - that the teaching that 'a woman is designated for a man' is contained in the Torah.
(b) Their reaction is expressed in three remarkable words: "me'Hashem Yatza ha'Davar"!
(c) We learn the same thing from a Pasuk ...
1. ... in Nevi'im regarding Shimshon's parents - about whom the Navi writes "And they did not know that it (the choosing of Shimshon's Pelishti wife) was from Hash-m".
2. ... in Kesuvim (Mishlei) - where Shlomo writes "A house and wealth may be an inheritance from one's fathers, but a wise woman is from Hash-m".
(a) Rav (or a Beraisa) quoting Rebbi Reuven ben Itzrubli, also says that someone who is suspected of having done something when he really did not do it, either whole or even in part, nor did he even consider doing it - must have at least seen someone else do it, and been pleased with what he saw (otherwise it would be impossible to suspect him).
(b) When Yisrael accused Hash-m (kiv'Yachol) of having done wicked things - they did so in order to anger Hash-m; and, when on another occasion, they suspected Moshe of having committed adultery - it was out of hatred. Neither was a genuine suspicion.
(c) When Rebbi Yosi expressed the wish that his lot should be with those who were suspected of having done things of which they were innocent (and Rav Papa stated that this had actually happened to him) - they were referring to a lasting suspicion that did not pass quickly (which we are about to explain); whereas we are referring to a brief, passing one.
(a) One only contends with a rumor, if the person concerned has no enemies. For a rumor to be classified as 'Kala d'Lo Pasik' - it must persist (as a wide-spread rumor) for thirty-six hours.
(b) If the rumor stopped for a short while during that day and a half period, then it is considered a 'Kala d'Pasik' - unless it was stopped out of fear of the suspect.
(c) A broken rumor will be considered a 'Kala d'Lo Pasik' even if it stopped in the middle of the thirty-six hours (not out of fear) - if it breaks out again afterwards (see Hagahos me'Rav Renshburg).