ANSWERS TO REVIEW QUESTIONS
prepared by Rabbi Eliezer Chrysler
Kollel Iyun Hadaf, Jerusalem
Previous daf Moed Katan 21
MOED KATAN 21 - sponsored by Harav Ari Bergmann of Lawrence, N.Y., out of
love for Torah and those who study it.
(a) We just learned the obligation to tear Keri'ah standing from the Pasuk
"va'Yakam Iyov va'Yikra es Me'ilo". However, we are forced to retract from
that source - seeing as the Pasuk there also writes "va'Yagaz es Rosho", and
there is certainly no obligation to cut off all one's hair (though it is
unclear how, as an Aveil, he was even permitted to do that). So we are
forced to say that Iyov went beyond the letter of the law, in which case, we
can say the same about tearing Keri'ah standing.
(b) We ultimately learn Keri'ah standing from a Pasuk in Shmuel 2
"*va'Yakam* ha'Melech va'Yikra es Begadav" - where David ha'Melech tore
Keri'ah following his son Amnon's murder at the hand of another of his sons,
(c) We are almost forced to retract from that source too, due to the Pasuk
there "va'Yishkav Artzah" - because an Aveil is not obligated to lie on the
floor (on the contrary, he is obligated to turn over his bed and sleep on
it). Consequently, David, too, must have been going beyond the letter of the
law, in which case the same can be said about his having torn Keri'ah
(d) We answer that, in fact - "va'Yishkav Artzah" means that he lay on an
overturned bed (and it was considered as if he was lying on the floor), so
our proof from "*va'Yakam* ha'Melech va'Yikra es Begadav" remains intact.
(a) An Aveil is forbidden to work, bathe, anoint himself, indulge in
Tashmish ha'Mitah or wear shoes. He is also forbidden to learn Torah. With
the sole exception of Hilchos Aveilus (which are not mentioned here), there
is no area of Torah that is permitted to him.
(b) The reason that Torah-study is forbidden more than other Mitzvos is -
because Torah-learning makes a person happy (as the Pasuk in Tehilim writes
"Pikudei Hashem Yesharim, Mesamchei Leiv"), and is therefore the antithesis
(c) A leader of the community is permitted to teach Torah if the community
needs him (e.g. to say the communal Derashah) though he is forbidden to
employ the services of a Meturgeman (a translator).
(d) That is precisely what happened to Rabah bar bar Chanah when he became
an Aveil. First they permitted him to go and give the Derashah, then they
forbade him to use a Meturgeman. Rebbi Yehudah b'Rebbi Ila'i, who gave the
Derashah when he was an Aveil, using a Meturgemean - did so indirectly
(first telling the piece to Rebbi Chananya ben Akavya, who passed it on to
the Meturgeman), which is permitted.
(a) Rebbi Eliezer in a Beraisa forbids an Aveil to wear Tefilin for the
first three days of his Aveilus. This does not clash with the fact that he
is also permitted to wear them from the third day and onwards (third day
included) - Rebbi Eliezer holds 'Miktzas ha'Yom ke'Kulo', in which case part
of the third day is forbidden, and the rest is permitted.
(b) When he adds that if new visitors come to see him, he need not remove
his Tefilin - he means that if, on the third day, after he has begun to put
on Tefilin, visitors came, he is not obligated to take them off again.
(c) This is the opinion of Rebbi Eliezer. According to Rebbi Yehoshua ...
1. ... the number of days that an Aveil may not wear Tefilin is two - and
2. ... the Aveil is obligated to remove his Tefilin if new visitors come to
see him on the second day after he has already put them on - because we are
afraid that, otherwise, the visitors will suspect him of not having worn
Tefilin that day.
1. Rebbi Eliezer learns from the Pasuk "va'Yit'mu *Yemei* Ve'chi Eivel
Moshe" - that the main Aveilus period is *two* days (the third day is only
mi'de'Rabanan - Tosfos DH 'mi'Shelishi').
2. Rebbi Yehoshua learns from the Pasuk "ve'Acharisah *ke'Yom* Mar" - that
the main Aveilus is only *one* day (and the second day is only mi'de'Rabanan
1. Rebbi Yehoshua explains - that the Pasuk "va'Yit'mu *Yemei* Ve'chi Eivel
Moshe" pertains specifically to Moshe, whose demise was a greater loss to
Yisrael than that of other people.
(c) Ula rules like Rebbi Eliezer, that, on the *third* day, the Aveil does
not need to remove his Tefilin when visitors arrive. With regard to with
regard to an Aveil ...
2. Rebbi Eliezer explains that the Pasuk "ve'Acharisah *ke'Yom* Mar" -
refers to the bitterness of the mourning, which is strongest on the first
day, but does not have any Halachic ramifications.
1. ... wearing Tefilin on the second day - he rules that he may, like Rebbi
2. ... removing them once he has already put them on - that he is obligated
to remove them (even a hundred times if necessary), which is precisely what
Rebbi Yehudah ben Teimah said in a Beraisa.
(a) Rava disagrees with Ula with regard to an Aveil removing his Tefilin on
the *second* day once he has already put them on. In his opinion - once the
Aveil has begun to put on his Tefilin, he is no longer obligated to remove
them when fresh visitors arrive.
(b) Despite the fact that Rava himself ruled above like the Tana of our
Mishnah, who requires *three* days of Aveilus, he nevertheless permits
Tefilin already on the *second* day - because it is a Mitzvah.
(a) During the first three days of Aveilus - even a poor man who is fed from
Tzedakah is forbidden to work.
(b) Between then and the end of the Shiv'ah however - he is permitted to do
work discreetly in his house.
(c) The Tana permits a woman to knit during that period.
(a) One Aveil is forbidden to visit another Aveil - for the first three
(b) From then until the end of the Shiv'ah - he *may*, but he sits with the
Aveilim, and not with the comforters.
(a) During the first three days, an Aveil is not allowed to greet at all.
1. Between the third and the seventh days - he is permitted to reply to
someone who greets him, but not to greet first.
(b) We just learned that all types of greeting are prohibited to an Aveil.
Rebbi Akiva gave Shalom to the visitors who came to eulogize his sons who
had just died - because it was many people who came to visit him, and
greeting them was permitted because of 'Kavod Tzibur'.
2. From the seventh day and onwards - he may even greet as well.
(c) We point out a discrepancy between a Beraisa which prohibits greeting an
Aveil up to *thirty* days, with what we just learned, that an Aveil is
permitted to greet others after *seven* days - and if greeting an Aveil is
prohibited, then (we initially contend) an Aveil may certainly not greet
(d) The 'Kal va'Chomer' that we just learned is a fallacy - because, even
though others are forbidden to greet an Aveil, this since he is *not* in a
state of peace. Nevertheless, he may greet others, since they *are*.
(a) One comforts an Aveil but does greet him - *during* the Sh'loshim, and
one greets him but does not comfort him - *after* the Sh'loshim.
(b) The Beraisa says that if one meets an Aveil whose wife died and who has
already married again - one may ...
1. ... not enter his house to comfort him.
2. ... however, one may comfort him in the street in a quiet undertone, in a
(a) As we just explained, one is not permitted to greet an Aveil until
thirty days. Nevertheless, the Beraisa permits him to reply to the greetings
of others - in a case where people who were not aware that he was an Aveil,
(b) If someone inadvertently greeted an Aveil *during* the first three
days - he must inform him that he is an Aveil, and decline to respond;
whereas *after* the first three days - he just responds in a quiet
(c) One may not greet someone who is an Aveil for his father or mother -
even *after* thirty days.
(d) According to the Tana Kama of the Beraisa, if someone meets an Aveil
after twelve months, he comforts him without mentioning the deceased. in
the opinion of Rebbi Meir - someone who comforts an Aveil after twelve
months can be compared to someone who broke his leg, and, after it became
cured, a doctor invites him to come and have it broken again and he will
treat him, so that everyone should know what a capable doctor he is.
(a) Based on the Tana Kama in the previous Beraisa, when the Tana of the
second Beraisa says that after thirty days, one does not comfort an Aveil
(implying 'at all') - he means that one comforts him, but without mentioning
the name of the deceased.
(b) There is no difference in this regard - between a father and mother
after one year, and other relatives after thirty days.
(a) If, during the first three days of Aveilus, one Aveil joins the other
1. ... from close by - he observes the remaining days of Aveilus that are
left together with them.
(b) If, in the former case - he arrives during the Shiv'ah *after* the third
2. ... from far away - he must count the seven days from scratch.
1. ... then, according to the Tana Kama - even if he has come from a from
close by, he counts the seven days from scratch.
(c) Rebbi Chiya bar Aba Amar Rebbi Yochanan restricts the Din in 1. a. (that
the Aveil joins the other Aveilim only for the days that remain) - to where
the brother in question is not the oldest sibling; if he is, then he always
begins from scratch.
2. ... according to Rebbi Shimon - he observes the remaining time together
with the Aveilim, even if he arrives on the seventh day (i.e. he counts just
the short time in the morning and gets-up together with them).