THOUGHTS ON THE DAILY DAF
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KIDUSHIN 36-40 - sponsored by a generous grant from an anonymous donor. Kollel Iyun Hadaf is indebted to him for his encouragement and support and prays that Hashem will repay him in kind.
1) THE MITZVOS THAT BEAR FRUIT IN THIS WORLD
QUESTION: The Gemara quotes a Mishnah in Peah (1:1) which lists five Mitzvos
for which one receives reward ("Peros") in this world. However, when we say
Birkos ha'Torah each morning, we list many more Mitzvos that have "Peros" in
2) REWARD FOR MITZVOS IN THIS WORLD
(a) What is the source for the other Mitzvos that we list?
(b) Why does the Gemara omit those Mitzvos?
(a) We find, actually, two sources for the lists of the Mitzvos that have
"Peros" in this world. First, the Mishnah in Peah (1:1) cited by our Gemara
lists: Kibud Av v'Em, Gemilus Chasadim, Hava'as Shalom, and Talmud Torah
(even though the Gemara, when it cites this Mishnah earlier (39b), mentions
"Hachnasas Orchim" as well, that does not seem to be the correct Girsa in
the Mishnah). Second, Rebbi Yochanan (in Shabbos 127a) lists: Hachnasas
Orchim, Bikur Cholim, Iyun Tefilah, and Hashkamas Beis ha'Midrash.
In contrast, we list ten Mitzvos in the paragraph we say after Birkos
ha'Torah every morning. Our list after Birkos ha'Torah is a combination of
the Mishnah in Peah with the list of Rebbi Yochanan.
(However, this still gives us a list of only eight. The two that are missing
are Hachnasas Kalah and Halvayas ha'Mes. Indeed, in the version that appears
in the Rambam's Nusach of Tefilah and in the Sefardic Sidurim, Hachnasas
Kalah, Halvayas ha'Mes, and Iyun Tefilah are *omitted*. For this reason the
MAHARSHAL (Teshuvos) writes that Hachnasas Kalah and Halvayas ha'Mes should
indeed be deleted. The LIKUTEI MAHARICH points out that Hachnasas Kalah and
Halvayas ha'Mes are subcategories of Gemilus Chasadim, as these Mitzvos are
often associated with Gemilus Chasadim in the Midrash (see Makos 24a, and
the Midrash cited by Rashi, Bereishis 47:29). Therefore, we specify them in
our Tefilah-version of the Beraisa.)
(b) The Mishnah in Peah includes all of the Mitzvos that involve performing
a kindness to someone else in the Mitzvah of "Gemilus Chasadim" (Gemara,
This does not seem to explain why the Tana leaves out Iyun Tefilah and
Hashkamas Beis ha'Midrash, which Rebbi Yochanan also mentions. Rashi
(Shabbos ibid.), however, explains that Iyun Tefilah also involves Gemilus
Chasadim. Tefilah. Citing a verse (Mishlei 11:17) that connects Chesed
("Gomel") to Tefilah ("Nafsho"), implying that prayer is also a form of
Chesed. Hashkamas Beis ha'Midrash, according to Rashi, is included in the
category of Talmud Torah.
Another reason the Mishnah left out Iyun Tefilah and Hashkamas Beis
ha'Midrash might be as follows. These two Mitzvos are in a different
category than those mentioned in the Mishnah. The Mitzvos mentioned in the
Mishnah bear Peros by arousing others to reciprocate acts of kindness with
each other, thereby benefiting the person who initiated the kindness, as the
RAMBAM explains (in Perush ha'Mishnayos). (This applies to Talmud Torah as
well, as the Rambam explains. The Mitzvah of Talmud Torah receives the same
benefit because learning Torah brings about the performance of good deeds.)
In contrast, the benefit that accrues to a person because of Iyun Tefilah
comes about in a entirely different manner. When a person prays with
concentration, Hashem answers his specific prayer. Even though Rebbi
Yochanan calls this "Peros," the Tana of the Mishnah is not listing benefits
that come because a person directly requested them in his Tefilos, but
rather indirect benefits that come as a result of the performance of good
Hashkamas Beis ha'Midrash also refers to praying to Hashem with a specific
request, as we find in the Gemara in Gitin (7a, "Hashkem v'ha'Arev Aleihem
l'Veis ha'Midrash..."). Through Hashkamah, a person's prayers are answered
because of his Zerizus, his diligence, in coming to the Beis ha'Midrash, as
opposed to Iyun Tefilah, in which his prayers are answered due to his depth
of concentration. The Tana of the Mishnah does not include this Mitzvah in
his list of Mitzvos that have Peros in this world, because this Mitzvah does
not bear Peros as a secondary consequence of his action like the other
Mitzvos that the Tana lists.
QUESTION: The Gemara asks why the Mishnah in Peah (1:1) -- which mentions
which Mitzvos a person receives reward ("Peros") for in this world -- omits
the Mitzvah of Shilu'ach ha'Ken. The Torah says with regard to Shilu'ach
ha'Ken, "... in order that goodness be done to you, and that your days be
lengthened" (Devarim 22:7), implying that a person does receive reward in
this world for the Mitzvah of Shilu'ach ha'Ken.
3) GOOD INTENTIONS
The MAHARSHA asks that the Gemara (39b) posed this Mishnah as a
contradiction to our Mishnah which says that a person receives good in this
world for *every* Mitzvah that he does. The Gemara answered that the Mishnah
in Peah that lists only four Mitzvos is referring to the Mitzvos that
provide a person with favorable treatment in this world even if he has an
equal number of Mitzvos as Aveiros. Why, then, does the Gemara ask that
Shilu'ach ha'Ken should be included in the list? Perhaps it does not have
this quality that it can provide a person with blessing in this world even
if he has an equal amount of Mitzvos and Aveiros!
ANSWER: The MAHARSHA explains that the way we know that these four Mitzvos
provide a person with blessing in this world even when he has an equal
amount of Mitzvos as Aveiros is because the Torah writes a *double*
expression of reward that a person receives in this world for these Mitzvos
(such as "Lema'an Ya'arichun Yamecha, u'Lema'an Yitav Lach," Devarim 5:16).
Since the Torah specifies a double expression of reward in this world for
one who performs Shilu'ach ha'Ken, it should also be included in the list in
AGADAH: The Gemara says that Hashem rewards a person even for thinking about
doing a Mitzvah, but He does not punish a person for thinking about doing an
Aveirah. Hashem punishes a person only for actually doing an Aveirah. The
only exception to this is the Aveirah of Avodah Zarah, for which a person is
punished even for a having a thought of Avodah Zarah.
The IYUN YAKOV finds an allusion to this in the verse, "Rabos Machshavos
b'Lev Ish, va'Atzas Hashem Hi Sakum" -- "Many thoughts are in the heart of
man, but the counsel of Hashem is what will be upheld" (Mishlei 19:21). This
means that a person has many thoughts, but since they are only thoughts he
will not be punished for them. But when a man's thought is "Atzas Hashem" --
a thought to do a Mitzvah for the sake of Hashem, then "Hi Sakum" -- his
thought is upheld and rewarded as if he actually did the Mitzvah.
The CHIDA (in Nachal Kedumim) brings another allusion to this from Parshas
Tetzaveh where the verse (Shemos 28:8) describes the Efod worn by the Kohen
wore. The verse says, "v'Cheshev Afudaso Asher Alav, k'Ma'asehu Mimenu
Yiheyeh" (literally, "And the belt of the Efod which is on it, will be made
in the same way as it"). The Chida explains that it means that the thought
of wearing the Efod ("v'Cheshev Afudaso") is considered like doing an action
of wearing it, because, as our Gemara says, when a person has a thought to
do a Mitzvah, it is as if he actually did it.
Why, though, does the Torah hint to this principle with regard to the
Mitzvah of wearing the Efod in particular? The Acharonim explain as follows.
The Gemara (Zevachim 88b) teaches that the Efod provides Kaparah for the sin
of Avodah Zarah. With regard to the sin of Avodah Zarah, we learned that
Hashem punishes even for a thought of Avodah Zarah. Therefore, every sin of
Avodah Zarah has two parts: the sin that occurs at the moment the person
thinks about sinning, and the sin that occurs when he actually transgresses
the prohibition of serving Avodah Zarah. In order to provide a proper
Kaparah, atonement, the Efod must also atone for both aspects of the sin.
Therefore, when the Kohen thinks about donning the Efod, he atones for the
sin of thinking about worshipping Avodah Zarah, and when he actually dons
it, he atones for the sin of those people who actually served Avodah Zarah.
The Chida adds that the continuation of the verse might be providing
explanation for why the sin of Avodah Zarah is dealt with differently than
any other Aveirah. The simple explanation is that included in the
prohibition against serving Avodah Zarah is not only a prohibition against
doing an action, but also against thinking about serving Avodah Zarah. It is
prohibited to accept in one's mind an idol as a divine power (see Sanhedrin
65a, Rashi DH Ho'il v'Yeshno ba'Lev).
In Agadic terms, the Chida explains that the reason a person is not punished
for thinking about sinning in the case of all other Aveiros is because a
verdict of guilt is passed on a person only through a ruling of the Heavenly
court. The verse says "Hashem Nasan va'Hashem Lakach" (Iyov 1:21). Rashi
(Bereishis 19:24, "va'Hashem Himtir Al Sedom") tells us that whenever the
verse says "va'Hashem" (with a "Vav") it means "Hu u'Veis Dino" -- "Hashem
together with His Heavenly court." Therefore, this verse can be read as
follows: Hashem gives reward to people by Himself, but when Hashem takes
away from a person (i.e. He punishes him), it is only with the decree of the
Heavenly court (see also Eichah 3:38) ("*va"Hashem* Lakach"). The Heavenly
court is comprised of angels, and angels do not know the thoughts of people
(see Insights to Shabbos 12b). Therefore, a person cannot be punished for
having thoughts of sinning, since the Heavenly court, comprised of angels,
do not know a person's thoughts. However, with regard to the sin of Avodah
Zarah, the verse (Vayikra 20:5) says that Hashem himself metes out judgement
to one who serves Avodah Zarah. Therefore, with regard to Avodah Zarah, a
person can be punished for evil thoughts. This is what the verse in Tetzaveh
means when it says, "v'Cheshev Afudaso Asher Alav, k'Ma'asehu Mimenu
Yiheyeh" -- the though regarding the Efod ("v'Cheshev Afudaso") is like an
action ("k'Ma'asehu") which, as we explained, means that the Efod atones for
Avodah Zarah, because when a person thinks about sinning with Avodah Zarah
he is punished as though he actually performed the act. The verse goes on to
explain why one is punished for a thought of Avodah Zarah -- because "Mimenu
Yiheyeh" -- it (the punishment for Avodah Zarah) comes directly from Hashem!
4) ONE WHO REGRETS HIS GOOD DEEDS
QUESTION: The Gemara says that if a person dies a sinner and regrets all of
the good deeds that he performed in his life, then he does not receive any
reward for the good deeds that he performed. The MESILAS YESHARIM (ch. 4,
Zehirus, DH v'Im Tomar) asks what place there is for Hashem to have mercy
and to do kindness if a person must receive punishment for his sins.
He answers that there are two places where the mercy of Hashem is manifest.
With His trait of "Erech Apayim," Hashem does not punish immediately, but
rather He gives to a person a chance to do Teshuvah. Second, when a person
does Teshuvah, according to Midas ha'Din it should not have an effect
because the Aveirah was done and the act cannot be revoked. With the trait
of Midas ha'Chesed, Hashem considers the removal of the thoughts of doing an
Aveirah as the removal of the Aveirah itself that was done. It seems clear
from this that without this special Chesed of Hashem, regret alone cannot
remove an Aveirah. If so, how can a person's regret remove a *Mitzvah* that
he performed? (RAV ELCHANAN WASSERMAN, Bi'urei Agados Al Derech ha'Peshat
(a) RAV ELCHANAN WASSERMAN asked this question to the CHAFETZ CHAIM who
answered that even according to Midas ha'Din, regret for a sin uproots the
sin. The Chesed inherent in Teshuvah serves a different role, and it is not
to uproot the sin. He explained that we know that there are two types of
Teshuvah -- Teshuvah m'Ahavah (repentance out of love for Hashem) and
Teshuvah m'Yir'ah (repentance out of fear for Hashem). When a person does
Teshuvah m'Ahavah, not only does Hashem uproot the sins that the person did,
but he considers the sins to be Zechuyos, merits (Yoma 86a).
When a person does Teshuvah m'Yir'ah, on the other hand, he does not really
regret the actions that he did. He only regrets that he will be punished for
doing them. In such a case, it is only the Chesed of Hashem that uproots the
deeds that the person did and allows the person to achieve atonement.
(b) RAV ELCHANAN argues that the words of the Mesilas Yesharim seem to imply
that every form of Teshuvah, even Teshuvah m'Ahavah, involves some form of
He suggests, therefore, that there are two parts to every Aveirah. The first
is the fact that the person rebelled against Hashem Who commanded him not to
act in that way. The second part is that Hashem commanded a person not to
act that way for a reason -- because by acting in such a manner, he will
bring about undesirable consequences on himself and on the world, the
negative repercussions that result from his act, either in this world or in
the World to Come.
He explains that when a person regrets having done Aveiros, logically his
regret should be able to uproot only the aspect of rebellion, since by
wishing that he had not sinned he is now subjecting himself to Hashem's will
and remedying his past rebellion. His regret should *not* be able to uproot
whatever harm was done as a consequence of his Aveirah. The Chesed of
Hashem's acceptance of Teshuvah is that Hashem even removes the consequences
brought about by the act.
A Mitzvah, too, has two parts -- the subjugation of oneself to Hashem's
will, and the positive consequences that occur to a person and to the world
as a result of his act of performing a Mitzvah. When the Gemara says that if
a person regrets doing good deeds then he does not receive reward for them,
it only means that he does not receive reward for subjecting himself to
Hashem's will, because, indeed, he countered that acceptance of Hashem's
will with a rebellion against His will. However, he does receive reward for
whatever benefit his act brought about. For example, if he raised Talmidim
and his Talmidim are still learning Torah, then he will receive benefit for
that Mitzvah, even though he will not receive reward for subjecting himself
to Hashem's will since he regretted it in the end.