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Kidushin, 71

KIDUSHIN 71 - Sponsored by Rabbi Dr. Eli Turkel and his wife, Jeri Turkel. May Hashem bless them with many years of Simcha, health and fulfillment, and may they see all of their children and grandchildren follow them in the ways of Torah and Yir'as Shamayim!


QUESTION: Rebbi Chama bar Chanina says that when Hashem will purify the Shevatim and filter out all of the impure elements of their lineage, He will begin with the tribe of Levi. He derives this from the verse, "He will sit, smelting (Metzaref) and purifying (u'Metaher) silver, and He will purify the children of Levi and refine them like gold and like silver, and they will be to Hashem like those who present an offering in righteousness" (Malachi 3:3).

Rebbi Yehoshua ben Levi understands the verse differently. He says that it means that Hashem will purify the Mamzerim, allowing them entry into the Jewish people. RASHI explains that Rebbi Yehoshua understands that when the verse says that Hashem will be "Metaher," purify, the Jewish people, it does not mean that Hashem will filter out the impure elements. Rather, it means that Hashem will make the impure elements pure, enabling them to legitimately join the Jewish people.

This only explains how Rebbi Yehoshua ben Levi understands the word "Metaher" in the verse. How, though, does he explain the word "Metzaref" ("smelting")? "Metaher," purifying, can be done to something that is Tamei and make it Tahor. The definition of "Metzaref," though, is to remove impurities! How does Rebbi Yehoshua ben Levi explain that part of the verse?

ANSWER: The RAMBAM (Hilchos Melachim 12:3) writes that when the Gemara says that Hashem will "purify" the Shevatim, beginning with Shevet Levi, it means that it will become clarified who indeed is a Kohen and who is a Levi. Those who, until now, were considered Kohanim and Levi'im but who are revealed not to be members of Shevet Levi will join the ranks of the rest of Yisrael. The "purification" of those who are not from Shevet Levi means that it will become clarified from which Shevet each person comes. It does not mean that it will become clarified who is a Mamzer and who is an Eved, but rather "once they (the impure elements) have become mixed in, they have become mixed in."

The Mefarshim point out that the words of the Rambam imply that there is a difference between the members of Shevet Levi (Kohanim and Levi'im) and the rest of Yisrael. The Rambam emphasizes that the members of Yisrael will only be clarified and "Meyuchas" according to their respective Shevatim, but they will *not* be clarified with regard to their Kashrus; that is, there will be no clarification as to who is a Mazmer and who is an Eved. Rather, "once they have become mixed in, they have become mixed in."

It seems, according to the Rambam, that the clarification of Kohanim is different, and they must become totally Meyuchas. Why is this?

The RIDVAZ explains that this is a special requirement in the Halachos of Avodah, of serving in the Beis ha'Mikdash. Although with regard to prohibitions of marriage, we apply the principle of "once they have become mixed in, they have become mixed in," but with regard to the Avodah in the Beis ha'Mikdash, a full Yichus is necessary.

The Ridvaz and others explain the verse quoted in our Gemara according to this approach. "Metzaref" refers to the process that will be done with Shevet Levi -- the Kohanim and Levi'im, who have to be cleansed of all Pesulim in order to perform the Avodah in the Beis ha'Mikdash. "Metaher" refers to the process that will be done with the rest of Yisrael for the sake of permitting marriages with Pesulim, to whom we apply the principle of "once they have become mixed in, they have become mixed in."

QUESTION: Rebbi Yitzchak states that in the future, "Mishpachah she'Nitme'ah, Nitme'ah" -- a family with a Pesul (such as Mamzerus) that became mixed (and unidentifiable) with the rest of the Jewish people will "remain mixed" and be considered part of the Jewish people. Abaye cites a Beraisa that also states this principle. RASHI (DH Tanina) explains that the families of impure lineage "will not be separated or distanced [from the Jewish people], and the doubt about their status will not be clarified..., but rather they will be left in their state of Safek, and, in the future, they will be Kesherim."

The time at which the families of doubtful status will be considered Kesherim will be in the future, "l'Asid la'Vo," when Eliyahu ha'Navi will come and be Metaher all of the families that have a Pesul who intermingled with them. Until that time, they remain in a state of doubt, a state of Safek Kesherim. How, then, can we permit someone to marry into such a family prior to the arrival of Eliyahu ha'Navi? We should be prohibit such a marriage out of doubt, and only once the family has actually become Kosher should one be allowed to marry into it.

ANSWER: The RAN in the name of the RAMBAN answers with a basic rule in Halachah: Halachah does not change. The Gemara (Berachos 34b) says that all Mitzvos and Halachos that apply nowadays will apply in the times of Mashi'ach as well. The only change will be that the subjugation to foreign nations will come to an end.

The same principle applies inversely, too. If we find a Halachah that exists in the times of Mashi'ach, then it must also apply nowadays. There will be no addition, or elimination, or any Halachos. Therefore, if -- in the times of Mashi'ach -- it will be permitted to marry into a family that is Safek Kosher, that Halachah must also apply nowadays as well. (Even though the "Taharah" that Eliyahu ha'Navi will effect does not exist at present, nevertheless the "Taharah" means that he will permit them, and thus that Heter must exist now as well.) (A. Kronengold)

HALACHAH: The Gemara gives examples of families that, in the future, Eliyahu ha'Navi will clarify to be Tahor or Tamei. The Gemara adds that there was another family of impure lineage, and the Chachamim did not want to reveal the identity of the family. Rather, they revealed the identity of the family only to their sons and to their students once every seven years (and some say twice every seven years).

Even though the Halachah is that "once they have become mixed in, they have become mixed in," there are three conditions that apply to this Halachah:

(1) We allow, b'Di'eved, a family whose status is in doubt ("Mishpachah she'Nitme'ah") to remain as part of (and to marry into) the Jewish people only when its original Pesul was not known. If, however, the Pesul was known, and they married into the Jewish people anyway (as in the case of Ben Tzion who brought in a family of Pesulim by force), that family will be expelled by Eliyahu ha'Navi in the future.

(2) Even though we are not supposed to reveal a "Mishpachah she'Nitme'ah," it is still permitted -- and it is even proper ("Kasher ha'Davar," as the REMA writes) -- to give over such information to "Tzenu'in" (for the purpose of knowing which families to refrain from marrying into). This can be learned from the fact that the Chachamim used to reveal the identities of these families to their students at certain intervals, in order for the "Tzenu'in" to be able to refrain from marrying into such families. This was not done in public, though, in order to start rumors about the family being Pasul, since, in practice, it is permitted to marry them (the reason given by the RAN, that "the Shechinah does not dwell" among such families, still applies).

(3) The only time we do not reveal a Pesul is only after the family in question has married into Kosher families. If, however, they have not yet married into Kosher families, then even though their Pesul is not known to all, whoever does have the information about the family's Pesul is required to reveal this Pesul to others. This can be derived from the Heter of "once they have become mixed in, they have become mixed in," which implies that the family may remain married to a Kosher family only b'Di'eved, when they have already married, but l'Chatchilah such a family is not permitted to marry into a Kosher family. (See REMA EH 2:5.)


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