THOUGHTS ON THE DAILY DAF
brought to you by Kollel Iyun Hadaf of Har Nof
Rosh Kollel: Rav Mordecai Kornfeld
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KIDUSHIN 81 (7 Av) - has been dedicated to the memory of Dr. Simcha
Bekelnitzky (Simcha Gedalya ben Shraga Feibush) of Queens N.Y., by his wife
and daughters. G-dfearing and knowledgeable, Simcha was well known in the
community for his Chesed and Tzedakah. He will long be remembered.
1) HALACHAH: "YICHUD" WHEN THE WOMAN'S HUSBAND IS IN TOWN
OPINIONS: Rabah rules that when a woman's husband is present in the city,
"we are not concerned for Yichud." The Gemara earlier says that in when a
man and a woman seclude themselves, they not only transgress the Isur of
Yichud, but they are also Chayav lashes mid'Rabanan (Makas Mardus). When
Rabah says that "we are not concerned for Yichud" when the woman's husband
is in town, does he mean that there is no Isur whatsoever, or does he mean
that there is an Isur, but there is no punishment of lashes?
2) A DOOR OPEN TO "RESHUS HA'RABIM"
(a) RASHI (DH Ba'alah ba'Ir) says that no lashes are administered, implying
that there *is* still an Isur of Yichud. He understands that the Isur of
Yichud is not so severe when the woman's husband is in town, and thus it
does not warrant Makas Mardus, but the Isur nevertheless remains.
HALACHAH: The SHULCHAN ARUCH (EH 22:8) rules like Tosfos and says that it is
permitted to be alone with a woman when her husband is in town.
(b) TOSFOS (DH Ba'alah ba'Ir) argues with Rashi and says that when the
woman's husband is in town, there is no Isur of Yichud whatsoever.
The PISCHEI TESHUVAH mentions a number of cases in which the Heter of
"Ba'alah ba'Ir" does not apply. One case is when the husband does not know
where his wife is (i.e. she is not at home and she did not tell her husband
where she was going). When the Yichud occurs in the husband's house, or in
any other place where the husband knows that his wife is located, we may
assume that the husband might enter at any moment, and thus the man and
woman will be afraid to do anything inappropriate lest her husband enter, as
Rashi says. If the husband does not know where she is, though, then this
deterrent does not exist, and Yichud is Asur, even though the husband is in
Another case in which "Ba'alah ba'Ir" does not permit Yichud to be done is
when the woman goes to another man's home. Although a man might walk into
his own home (or into a public place or office) unexpectedly, he will not
walk into someone else's private home, and thus the Isur of Yichud applies.
OPINIONS: Rav Yosef rules that when an opening in the house is open to
Reshus ha'Rabim ("Pesach Pasu'ach"), we are not concerned for the Isur of
3) THE POWER OF TORAH
How open does the "Pesach Pasu'ach" need to be in order to permit a man and
woman to be alone together in the house?
(a) REBBI AKIVA EIGER takes the words of the Gemara literally and explains
that "Pesach Pasu'ach" means that the door of the house must be totally
open. If the door is closed but unlocked, the Isur of Yichud still applies.
(b) The EZER MI'KODESH (the Butchatcher Rav) argues and says that the door
does not need to be fully open. He explains that the reason why "Pesach
Pasu'ach" permits Yichud is *not* because it will prevent the man and woman
from acting with impropriety by making a situation such that everyone
outside the house can see inside the house. If that were the case, then even
when the door is fully open, we should still be afraid that the man will act
inappropriately, and that he will be on the lookout for people nearing the
house from far away and when he sees someone approaching he will separate
from the woman. Rather, the reason why "Pesach Pasu'ach" works is because it
creates a chance that -- if the man and woman do something wrong -- they
will be caught. That is enough of a preventative measure to permit the
Yichud. Since the same fear that one will be caught exists when the door is
closed but unlocked, an unlocked-door also suffices to permit Yichud.
With regard to how one should act in practice, a competent rabbinical
authority should be consulted.
QUESTION: The Gemara relates two incidents in which the Yetzer ha'Ra left
Rebbi Meir and Rebbi Akiva alone because it was declared in Heaven, "Be
careful with [the honor of] Rebbi Meir and his Torah... be careful with [the
honor of] Rebbi Akiva and his Torah."
Chazal teach us that, "Whoever is greater than his friend, his Yetzer
[ha'Ra] is greater than his [friend's]" (Sukah 52a). By telling the Yetzer
ha'Ra that Rebbi Meir and Rebbi Akiva were Torah sages, the declaration in
Heaven was pointing out their greatness. This should not have been a reason
for the Yetzer ha'Ra to leave them, but rather to increase his battle with
ANSWER: The MAHARSHA explains that the proclamation was not to inform us of
the greatness of these two Torah sages. Rather, the purpose of the
proclamation was to declare the greatness of the Torah itself. Torah has a
special quality to watch and guard those who study it (21a). While the Torah
created two great Torah sages, it also has the power to watch over them in
times of need