THOUGHTS ON THE DAILY DAF
brought to you by Kollel Iyun Hadaf of Har Nof
Rosh Kollel: Rav Mordecai Kornfeld
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Moed Katan, 26
MOED KATAN 26 & 27 - dedicated by Mr. Avi Berger of Queens, N.Y. in memory of
his parents, Pinchas ben Reb Avraham Yitzchak, and Leah bas Michal Mordechai.
1) "BUT I AM STILL THE KING!"
AGADAH: The Gemara describes Yehoyakim's initial response to the prophecy of
the destruction of Yerushalayim that Yirmeyahu wrote. When the king's
attendant read to him, "Alas -- she (the city) sits in isolation" (Eichah
1:1), he responded, "But I will still be king!" When the attendant read, "She
weeps bitterly in the night" (Eichah 1:2), the king responded again, "But I
will still be king!" The king responded the same way to the next two verses
of the prophecy that were read to him. Then, when the fifth verse was read to
him, "Her enemies have become her leaders " (Eichah 1:5) -- clearly stating
that the king would be deposed -- Yehoyakim reacted angrily and tore apart
the scroll, cutting out the names of Hashem and throwing them into a fire.
Yehoyakim was not upset even when he heard that the whole city would be
destroyed. Only when he heard his kingship being challenged did he become
upset. Apparently, he did not care what was going to happen to everyone else,
as long as he would remain the king. What consolation did his kingship offer
him though -- "there is no king without a nation!" (See BEN YEHOYADA)
ANSWER: RAV YONASAN EIBESHITZ (in YA'AROS DEVASH 1:13) offers an original
explanation. For each prophecy relating that Hashem would punish the people,
Yehoyakim said that he was not worried. The reason he was not worried was
because he knew that a prophecy foretelling a bad occurrence can be revoked
(through Teshuvah), as the RAMBAM writes in his Introduction to the Mishnah
(based on Bereishis Raba).
However, when he heard, "Her enemies have become her leaders" he became
upset, because that was a prophecy foretelling a *good* occurrence -- from
the perspective of the nations that would rule -- and a prophecy foretelling
good is never revoked (Rambam, ibid.)!
2) WHY? BECAUSE.
QUESTION: The Beraisa quotes Rebbi Yehudah ben Beseirah who states that if
one hears that a number of his close relatives passed away, including one or
both of his parents, he must tear two separate Keri'os -- one for his
parents, and one for his other relatives. He adds that "one may not add to
the Keri'ah made for his parents," extending a pre-existing Keri'ah that was
made for his parents in order to tear for a different relative.
3) ADDING TO A PRE-EXISTING TEAR FOR A SECOND OBLIGATION OF KERI'AH
The Gemara asks, "What is the reason [for Rebbi Yehudah ben Beseirah's ruling
that one may not add to the Keri'ah for a parent]?" The Gemara answers,
quoting Rav Nachman bar Yitzchak, "Because additional Keri'os may not be
added to them (to the Keri'os made for parents)."
What is the Gemara's question when it asks "what is the reason" for Rebbi
Yehudah ben Beseirah? The Beraisa itself gives a reason! (TOSFOS cites
Rishonim who delete these words from the Beraisa because of this problem.)
Second, if the Gemara is asking because it does not understand what the
Beraisa means, then how does Rav Nachman bar Yitzchak's answer help to
(a) RASHI here explains that when Rav Nachman bar Yitzchak answers that
Keri'os may not be added to Keri'os made for the parents "because additional
Keri'os may not be added to them (to the Keri'os made for parents)," he means
that it is *inappropriate* to do so because it is a lack of respect for one's
parents. Thus, the Gemara was asking why Rebbi Yehudah ben Beseirah says that
one may not add to the Keri'ah for a parent, and it answers that doing so is
It seems that Rashi understood the Gemara's question and answer to be similar
to the Gemara in Shabbos (21a). The Gemara there says that one is not allowed
to light the Shabbos candles with certain types of oil, even if one adds
olive oil to them. The Gemara asks why we may not light with those oils, and
it answers, "Because we may not light with them!"
REBBI AKIVA EIGER there (in GILYON HA'SHAS) points out that Rashi in Vayikra
(21:18) explains a verse that makes a similar statement. The verse says, "Any
man... who has a blemish may not offer a Korban" (v. 17), and then it gives
the reason, "Because any man who has a blemish may not offer a Korban" (v.
18)! Rashi there explains that the verse is saying that it is *inappropriate*
for a person with a blemish to bring a Korban. Similarly, that is what the
Gemara in Shabbos is saying, as well as our Gemara here -- it is not proper
respect to add to the tear made for one's parent. (The GILYON HA'SHAS there
refers to our Gemara as an example of this style of expression.)
(b) The RA'AVAD cited by the ROSH (3:71) and the RITVA explain that the
Gemara's question is that the Beraisa only explains why one cannot add a
Keri'ah for other relatives to the Keri'ah for one's parent (the reason being
that it is disrespectful to add to the parent's Keri'ah). That does not
explain, though, why one cannot tear Keri'ah the other way -- lengthening the
Keri'ah that one made for a relative in order to tear Keri'ah for one's
parent. This should be permitted, because since one is not adding to a
parent's Keri'ah, it is not disrespectful. The Gemara answers that "they
(Keri'os for one's parents) may not be added to [other Keri'os]," meaning
that it is improper to make the Keri'ah for one's parent a *secondary
addition* ("Tosefes") to a pre-existing Keri'ah. It should not be an addition
to a Keri'ah, but it should have its own tear, and it should precede other
tears. This also appears to be the intention of RASHI on the Rif.
The RAMBAN (Toras ha'Adam) understands the Gemara's question in a similar
manner, but he adds a slight nuance to the answer of the Gemara. The Gemara
is saying that not only is it improper for the Keri'ah for a parent to be
secondary to another Keri'ah, but one does not fulfill the obligation of
Keri'ah for one's parents at all by adding to a pre-existing tear. The reason
is because -- when tearing for a parent -- one must rip through the stitching
at the head of the garment (i.e. neckline) and not just tear the garment
below the stitching like one does for other relatives (see Insights to 22b).
The Acharonim argue about the Ramban's intention. The BACH, cited by the
SHACH (YD 340:35), explains that the Ramban means that since the Keri'ah for
the other relatives did not tear through the stitching, by adding to it one
does not make the proper Keri'ah for a parent. However, if one happened to
tear through the stitching when making the Keri'ah for the relatives, then
the Ramban would agree that one may add to that Keri'ah in order to tear for
The SHACH (340:36) argues with the Bach and says that the Ramban means
something else. Since one must rip through the stitching for one's parent, it
must be that one must make a significant act of tearing (one which takes
considerable effort and totally destroys the garment). Certainly, then,
merely making an addition to a pre-existing tear will not suffice, even if
that pre-existing tear went through the stitching. In such a case, the
addition to the pre-existing tear would be a small act that does not require
much effort, and such a tear does not suffice for one's parents.
(c) The RAMBAM (Hilchos Avel 8:9-10) seems to understand the Gemara
differently. He learns that the Gemara is asking why should there be anything
wrong with adding to a tear made for one's parents. Such an addition does
*not* take away from their honor, the Rambam asserts.
The Gemara answers that Rebbi Yehudah ben Beseirah actually means to say the
opposite: one *is* permitted to add to the Keri'ah made for one's parents,
but one is not permitted to tear Keri'ah for one's parents by making an
addition to a pre-existing tear that was made for another relative (for the
reasons mentioned earlier in (b)). The Gemara concludes that it is only Asur
to make a tear for one's parents as an addition to a tear made for one's
relative, but not vice versa.
QUESTION: The Beraisa records an argument between the Tana Kama and Rebbi
Yehudah ben Beseirah regarding making two Keri'os for two different sets of
relatives who died.
The Tana Kama makes two statements. First, if one tore Keri'ah for his father
and then heard that his son died, he may add to the first tear, but he may
not sew up the part of the tear made for his father. Likewise, if one tore
Keri'ah for his son, and then heard that his father died, he may add to the
first tear, but he may not sew up the part of the tear made for his father
(that is, the lower part). Second, if a person hears at one time that his
parents and other relatives died, one tear suffices for all of them.
Rebbi Yehudah ben Beseirah argues and says that one must make a separate
Keri'ah for one's parents and a separate Keri'ah for his other relatives,
"because one may not add to the Keri'ah made for his parents," extending a
pre-existing Keri'ah that was made for his parents in order to tear for a
different relative. Rather, one must tear an entirely new Keri'ah.
Later on the Daf, though, the Gemara cites a Beraisa which states that if a
person tore Keri'ah for one relative and then heard about the death of
another relative within seven days (or thirty according to another opinion),
he may not add to the Keri'ah made for the first relative (but he must tear a
separate, new Keri'ah). If he hears about the second death after seven (or
thirty) days, though, he may add to the first Keri'ah. The Gemara points out
that even if the first relative is a parent, one is permitted to add to the
Keri'ah after seven days.
This contradicts Rebbi Yehudah ben Beseirah's statement! Rebbi Yehudah ben
Beseirah says that one may not add a second Keri'ah to the first Keri'ah when
one hears of a number of deaths (of parents and other relatives together) at
the same time, because it is improper to add to a Keri'ah made for a parent.
But this Beraisa states that one *may* add to the Keri'ah after seven days,
no matter what relative he tore for first -- even if the first Keri'ah was
for a parent, he may add to it! This contradicts the Halachic ruling (which
follows Rebbi Yehudah ben Beseirah)!
Second, why does Rebbi Yehudah ben Beseirah have to find a reason to explain
why one may not add to the tear for another relative instead of tearing a
*separate* tear for his parents. The case under discussion is when one hears
of both deaths at once (the father/mother, and the other relative), and tears
for both relatives one after the other. If so, the second tear is being torn
within seven days of the first (in fact, immediately afterwards). We learn
from the Beraisa later on the page that one may not add to a tear for *any*
relative within seven (or thirty) days after it is torn! This has nothing to
do with being disrespectful to one's parents!
(a) RASHI on the Rif explains that when Rebbi Yehudah ben Beseirah says
"because one may not add to the Keri'ah made for his parents," he is not
giving a reason why one cannot add within the first seven days, but rather he
is referring to the first statement of the Tana Kama, in the beginning of the
Beraisa. The Tana Kama said that if one tore Keri'ah for his father, he may
add to that Keri'ah afterwards for his son. That part of the Beraisa, though,
was referring to when the Avel hears about his son's passing *after* seven
days have passed from the time he became an Avel for his father. That is
where Rebbi Yehudah ben Beseirah argues and says that one may only add to a
pre-existing tear when the first tear was made for other relatives (not a
parent), and the second tear is needed for other relatives (not a parent),
but from a parent to other relatives or from other relatives to a parent, one
may not add to a Keri'ah even after seven days.
HALACHAH: The SHULCHAN ARUCH (YD 340:22-23) rules that if one hears of the
death of a parent and other relatives at one time, he must tear twice (he
does not have to tear separate Keri'os for the deaths of both parents, but
may tear one Keri'ah for both of them). He must tear for the parent first,
like the logic proposed by the Raavad and Ritva (above, 2:b), and then
afterwards tear for the other relatives.
How does that conform with the words of Rebbi Yehudah ben Beseirah? As he is
quoted in the Beraisa, he seems clearly to be continuing his previous
sentence, explaining why one tears two separate Keri'os if he hears of two
deaths simultaneously. The RAMBAN in TORAS HA'ADAM suggests that since we
find that after seven days, one may not add the Keri'ah for a parent to
another Keri'ah or add that of another relative to the Keri'ah of a parent,
it is logical that when one hears at one time of many deaths, one should
afford the Keri'ah for the parents a special status, and tear twice, and not
just once. Since one must make two Keri'os, he cannot make them by just
adding to an earlier Keri'ah. (Rebbi Yehudah ben Beseirah is saying that when
one hears about many deaths at one time, he must tear two Keri'os, because
when one hears about the death of a relative and tears Keri'ah, and then
hears about the death of a parent seven days later, we know that he cannot
add to the pre-existing Keri'ah, but he must make a new Keri'ah for his
According to Rashi, how can the Gemara say later that one is allowed to add
to the Keri'ah made for a parent after seven (or thirty) days? Perhaps that
Sugya is according to the opinion of the Tana Kama, an opinion which is not
accepted l'Halachah (RITVA). Alternatively, perhaps it means that if one
wants to add a tear for the mother after tearing for the father, then one
does not have to make a separate tear (but it is not referring to adding to
the parent's Keri'ah a tear for any *other* relatives).
The RAMBAM (Hilchos Avel 8:10) seems to learn the Beraisa similarly. However,
he maintains that one is *permitted* to add to a tear made for a parent when
one hears about another death after seven days. One is not permitted to do
the opposite -- to add to the Keri'ah made for another relative in order to
tear for one's parent.
According to this approach, it is clear why the Gemara says later that it is
permitted to add to a parent's rip after seven days, and it does not
contradict the Gemara's ruling that the Halachah follows Rebbi Yehudah ben
Beseirah, because he agrees with that detail.
(b) The RITVA and the RA'AVAD (cited by the TOSFOS HA'ROSH) explain that the
statement of Rebbi Yehudah ben Beseirah in the first Beraisa has nothing to
do with the second Beraisa that discusses making a second tear within seven
days or after seven days.
The first Beraisa is teaching that if a person is tearing Keri'ah for two
different calamities (for other relatives, and for parents) *which he heard
about "Toch Kedei Dibur"*, he may tear one Keri'ah for both because then "the
first Keri'ah will not be designated entirely for the first death" (Ritva),
and he may add to it for the second death. If he hears about the second death
*after* "Kidei Dibur," then he may not add to the first Keri'ah, for it was
designated for the first death. However, if he hears about the second death
only after seven days, he may once again add to the first Keri'ah (as the
second Beraisa says).
When Rebbi Yehudah ben Beseirah says that one may not add to the Keri'ah made
for a parent, he is referring to adding a Keri'ah for the death of a relative
which he hears about "Toch Kedei Dibur" of hearing about the death of his
parent. In such a case, Rebbi Yehudah ben Beseirah prohibits adding to the
first Keri'ah (it is in this case that he argues with the Tana Kama).
Rebbi Yehudah agrees with the Tana Kama that after that first moment, after
"Toch Kidei Dibur" but within seven days of hearing about the first death,
one may not add to the first Keri'ah, while one *may* add to it when he hears
about the second death after seven days (he may even add to a relative's
Keri'ah in order to tear for a parent or v.v.).
If he hears of one death and then within seven days he hears of a second
death, he *may not* add to the first Keri'ah, but must tear a separate
Keri'ah for the second death. If he hears about the second death after seven
days have passed, he *may* add to the first Keri'ah. However, if the second
death is that of a parent, he may not add to a tear made for another
relative, like Rebbi Yehudah ben Beseirah states. The Shulchan Aruch, though,
rules like the Rambam that if one tears *first* for a parent, and then after
seven days another relative dies, he *is* allowed to add to the first Keri'ah
and tear for the other relative.