THOUGHTS ON THE DAILY DAF
brought to you by Kollel Iyun Hadaf of Har Nof
Rosh Kollel: Rav Mordecai Kornfeld
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1) HALACHAH: WHEN IS THE PROPER TIME FOR MINCHAH?
OPINIONS: In the Mishnah, Rebbi Yehudah and the Rabanan argue concerning
the proper time for Davening Minchah. The Rabanan maintain that one may
Daven Minchah until the end of the day. Rebbi Yehudah says that one may
Daven Minchah only until Pelag ha'Minchah. The Gemara concludes that
"d'Avad k'Mar Avad, d'Avad k'Mar Avad;" one may choose either opinion and
abide by it. There are three opinions as to what this means.
(a) The RAMBAM, ROSH in the name of RAV HAI GA'ON, PISKEI HA'ROSH of the
TUR, and TALMIDEI RABEINU YONAH write that the Gemara means that a person
should choose a way to practice, and he should act in accordance with that
opinion consistently for his entire life. He should not switch between
opinions and pray one day like the Rabanan and another day like Rebbi
Yehudah. This ruling is based on a Gemara in Eruvin (7a) which says that a
person should choose a Halachic authority to follow and he should not
switch from one authority to another.
HALACHAH: The SHULCHAN ARUCH (OC 233:1) rules like (a), that a person
should choose to follow one opinion and follow it for the rest of his life.
In case of necessity, however, one is permitted to switch and follow the
other opinion on a different day, like (b) (ibid.). The DERECH HA'CHAIM
says that some people are lenient and Daven Minchah after Pelag and Ma'ariv
before sunset (like (c)) when doing otherwise would cause undue
inconvenience to the Tzibur. The MISHNAH BERURAH (OC 267:3) writes that one
should not rely on this opinion in practice.
(b) RABEINU TAM (as cited by the ROSH 1:1), the ME'IRI, and the RE'AH
understand that a person may on some days say Ma'ariv between Pelag
ha'Minchah and sunset, and on other days say Minchah during that same
period. However, he may not Daven both Minchah and Ma'ariv after Pelag
ha'Minchah and before sunset *on the same day*. They explain that while
normally it is prohibited to act in accordance with two varying opinions,
Tefilah is an exception because it is only mid'Rabanan. Therefore, the
Rabanan permitted one to choose to follow different (and contradicting)
opinions on different days.
(c) RABEINU TAM as cited by TOSFOS (2a, DH Me'eimasai) maintains that even
on the *same* day one may recite Minchah after Pelag ha'Minchah and Ma'ariv
before sunset. The Me'iri also mentions some authorities who rule this way,
explaining that the time period between Pelag and sunset "serves both day
and night" ("Meshamesh Yom v'Laylah"). According to these opinions, the
Rabanan were lenient with regard to Tefilah even to the extent that they
permit one to perform a self-contradicting act.
With regard to Friday night, the Shulchan Aruch (OC 267:2) writes that the
custom is to Daven Ma'ariv earlier than on the weekdays (that is, to Daven
earlier than usual, but not necessarily to Daven Ma'ariv before sunset),
and the Magen Avraham adds that one may even Daven Ma'ariv before sunset on
Shabbos even if he normally does not Daven Ma'ariv before sunset.
Apparently, the Rabanan were lenient to permit following a different
opinion (that is, on Shabbos one may follow the opinion of (b)) in order to
fulfill the Mitzvah of Tosefes Shabbos (adding to Shabbos). The Mishnah
Berurah 267:3 adds that when one Davens Ma'ariv early on Friday night, he
should be careful to Daven Minchah *before* Pelag ha'Minchah in order to
avoid acting simultaneously in accordance with two contradicting opinions
(thus, we see that in practice, the third opinion (c) is never followed).
2) REBBI ELAZAR BEN AZARYAH ASKED HIS WIFE
QUESTION: Why did Rebbi Elazar Ben Azaryah refuse to accept leadership
until he asked his wife? What were his doubts?
ANSWER: RAV YONASAN EIBSHITZ in YA'AROS DEVASH (cited in MAHARATZ CHAYUS)
explains that the Gemara in Kesuvos (61b) states that a man who works as a
donkey driver (whose conjugal obligation to his wife is once a week) who
wants to become a camel driver (whose conjugal obligation is once every
thirty days) must ask his wife for permission because of the decreased
frequency of her conjugal rights (Onah) that his career-change will cause.
The Gemara there states that a Talmid Chacham's conjugal obligation is once
a week, "from Shabbos to Shabbos." A Nasi's conjugal obligation is once a
month (as is stated in Avos d'Rebbi Nasan). Since becoming a Nasi would
affect his wife, Rebbi Elazar Ben Azaryah needed to ask her for permission!