Sunday, February 24, 2013

Purim 5773/2013. Matanos L'Evyonim, -wiches, Selling Olam Haba, and Ipecac

It's Shushan Purim, and my mind is clearer.  I'm not going to go back and fix the original post (other than one update), despite some flaws in tone and content.  Instead, here is a condensed version.  
Section I: Does Matanos Le'Evyonim have the dinim of Tzedaka or is it a mitzvah of the day that is fulfilled by an action that is similar to Tzedaka.
Answer: Although the Magen Avraham brings from the Shlah and the Maharil that you can't use Maaser money to pay for Matanos L'evyonim, which indicates that it's not tzedaka, it appears that this is a machlokes rishonim.  Reb Chaim Brisker is quoted as saying, in the Rambam at least, that ML'E is tzedaka with distinct halachos regarding time and manner; according to this Reb Chaim, I think, the Shlah/Maharil's rule would not be true.
Section II:  There are some towns in England that end in -wich, and in Slavic countries that end in -wich or -vich.  Like Bloxwich, Droitwich, Dunwich, Fordwich, Harwich, Horwich, Ipswich, Middlewich, Nantwich, Northwich, Norwich, Prestwich, Sandwich, and West Bromwich in England, and Rugewicz, Baranovich, Ponevezh, Skiernewicz, and Lechowitz in Europe.  Are they etymologically related?
Answer: No.  The -wich in England and the -wich in Poland, used in the names of towns, are totally unrelated.  The English -wich means fortified market town, often associated with the production of salt, while the Polish -wich is just the suffix of the name of the town's owner or founder, and -wich means "son of."
Section III:Can you buy or sell your reward for doing Mitzvos.
Answer: No, you can't.   Putting aside the Davar shelo ba le'olam thing, Hashem doesn't owe you anything.  Schar Mitzvos is a gift by the grace of G-d, and when someone who loves you says he's going to give you a gift, you can't sell the anticipated gift.  Also, it's not schar in the sense of payment.  It is the consequence of doing Hashem's will.  A thrown ball can't sell its trajectory to an inert object.

          Section IV:  Reading the Gemara (Shabbos 123b) that says that on Shabbos one who desires to eat more but is unable to because he is full is not allowed to take an emetic; which seems, to our sensibilities, to be repugnant and wasteful, I made a comment that I think deserves preservation.  What was that comment?
Answer:  Ipecac: the Glutton's Viagra.

What follows was written on Purim, other than one update in middle.

First, let me make it clear that I am not responsible for the tone and content of what I'm writing now.  I can guarantee that it will be clever, but beyond that, no guarantees.

1.  The annoying Maharil in 694.  

The Magen AVraham in  OC (no kidding) 694 brings the Maharil that you can't pay for Matonos l'evyonim from Maaser ksafim.  This is because of hte rule that a dovor she'bichova has to come from chulin, and since matonos l'evyonim is obligatory, you can't pay for it from maaser ksofim. Nobody argues, everybody's happy, its a halacha psuka.  Finishned
Wrong.  I think that we don't hold like th maaharil.

The Rambam in 2 chagiga 8 says that you can't pay for your olas riya or shelmei chagiga from maser sheini money, because of the rule that chova can't come from here's hte Rambam, let him speak for hismlef.

עולת ראייה אינה באה אלא מן החולין כשאר הקרבנות שאדם חייב בהן. אבל שלמי חגיגה באות ממעות מעשר שני המעורבות עם מעות חולין לוקח מן התערובת בהמה ומקריבה שלמי חגיגה. והוא שיהיה שיעור אכילה ראשונה מן החולין. מפני ששלמי חגיגה חובה וכל שהוא חובה אינו בא אלא מן החולין:

Very simple.  riyah and chagiga, pay out of discretionary funds.  Shelmei simcha, you can use maser sheini money.  The rambam explains the differencetwo halachos later:

יוצאין ישראל ידי חובת שלמי שמחה בנדרים ונדבות ובמעשר בהמה. והכהנים בחטאת ובאשם ובבכור ובחזה ושוק. שמצוה זו היא לשמוח באכילת בשר לפני ה' והרי אכלו. אבל אין יוצאין ידי חובתן לא בעופות ולא במנחות שאינן בשר המשמח. כבר ביארנו בפסחים שחגיגת ארבעה עשר רשות. לפיכך אין אדם יוצא בה ידי חובת חגיגה אלא יוצא בה חובת שמחה:

so it's very simple.  For chiyuvim, you have to use pocket money.  but even though you're chayav to bring shelmei simcha, since hte tachlis is to have a good time, and the point of maser sheini money is to have a good time, so what's the problem.

It should be obvious to any straight thinking person that on the basis of the this Rambam, you can use maser sheini money for matanos le'evyoinim.  The purpose is to make sure that the evyonim have a good time, that that have what to eat and rejoice, so who the uheck cares what you used to pay for it with.  The tachlis is fulfilled.

tThe Roish koilel, harav yoisef Rajchenbach, whanted to be mechaleik.  Whent tachlis is your simcha, no problem. When the tachlis is yenems' simcah, not the same.

We are not impressed.

anyway, The maharil knew the Rambam very well, and he wasn't nispoeil.  so what's the pshat?

Very simple The maharil holds that matonos le'evyonim is a mitzva of a maaseh nesina,.  that you need to fulfill the mitzva by the act of giving.  so the tachlis of the mitzva is not the simcha of the poor guy, who cares about tehpoor guy, my mitzva is to do the maiseh nesinah, and the heck with the poor guy, he's just a cheftza shel mitzva, like kthe beis halevi says in the end of parshas truma. Fine.  Let the Maharil hold like that.  It's not weirder than the Tosfos Rid inKiddushin that says thatt milah is not zman grama because the father's mitzva is the hishtadlus that the bris shouild be done, and that's not zman gromo.  It's a free country, you can say what you want.

But my problem is that if the Maharil holds that the ikker mitzva of Matonos le'evyonim is the maaseh nesina, not the hano'oh of the oni, then you can't be mekayeim the mitzva if you give the money before purim.  You can't fulfil the arba kosos if you have a headache on Pesachy, can you?  NO.  Retorical quesiton.  But the fact is that we all give matonos le'evyonim before purim "to be distributed on purim."  if it's a din of maaseh nesina, what good is that?  Your nesina needs to be on purim.  Ahh, but you answer, we insist that the nesina should be done on Purim.  But there are many poskim that say that you can fulfill the mitzva by giving it to  the oni before purim IF YOU'RE SURE HE WON'T EAT IT UP BEFORE PURIM.  Like by kiddushin.  If the mitzva was the nesina, that WOULDN'T MAKE ANY SENSE ATALL.  It must be that we hold that hte ikker is the hana'ah of the oni, not the neshina.

If so, we obviously don't hold like th emaharil.

So don't drei a kop and tell me that oh, the maharil is a halacha psuka, you can't pay for ml'e from maiser money.  OUr minhag, in my cnsidered opinion, is not to fir zach like th emaharil.

I'm writing on Shushan Purim, and so it should be more legible.  I just saw a tshuva in the Chasam Sofer on another teshuva from the Maharil, in which he clarifies the svara.   The Teshuva is in the Chasam Sofer YD 231, here.
More importantly:  Eli pointed out that this is most likely a machlokes Rishonim, to wit:  (Language credit to R Tzvi Reizman from Los Angeles, from an article in Kovetz He'oros U'Biurim.  Although I'm not taking achrayus for the words attributed to Harav Soloveichik in the Harerei Kedem, it makes sense to me.)

ובספר הררי קדם (סימן רו) הביא הגרי"ד סולובייצ'יק בשם זקנו הגר"ח מבריסק שאמר כי "מתנות לאביונים הוא חיוב מסויים ליתן צדקה ביום הפורים". והוסיף והסתפק: "וצ"ע דאם יש בזה קיום מצות צדקה, בודאי כל המוסיף מקיים בכל פרוטה ממצות צדקה נוספת. ומדברי הרמב"ם (הלכות מגילה פ"ב הי"ז) "מוטב לאדם להרבות במתנות אביונים מלהרבות בסעודתו ובשלוח מנות לרעיו", נראה שאין בזה קיום מצוה בפני עצמה, אלא שהוא רק משובח". 
On the other hand, you have Rishonim that indicate that it is not exactly a din of Tzedaka:
הב"ח דייק מלשון הטור (שם) "חייב כל אדם ליתן מתנות לעניים, כלומר, כל אדם, אפילו עני המקבל צדקה חייב לתת ממה שנתנו לו לשאר אביונים בפורים". וכתב הב"ח בטעם הדבר: "דאין דין מתנות לאביונים בפורים כדין שאר צדקה, דהכשר מצות פורים הוא לתת מתנות לאביונים, וכדין ארבע כוסות בפסח [שגם עני המחזר על הפתחים חייב], ואפילו משלוח מנות חייבים בו העניים, אע"פ שלא יספיק להם בסעודתם לאכול עצמם ולשלוח גם לאחרים, וכדמשמע מרב חנינא ואביי. אם כן הוא הדין למתנות לאביונים בפורים, אבל שאר צדקה דכל השנה אין עני המקבל צדקה חייב בה, אלא פעם אחת בשנה יתן דבר מועט לצדקה, כדי לקיים מצות צדקה". וכן נקט להלכה הט"ז (סי' תרצד ס"ק א) כדבריו: "כתב מו"ח ז"ל, אפילו אני המתפרנס מהצדקה, כמו בד' כוסות של פסח. מה שאין כן בשאר צדקה שאינו חייב רק פעם אחת בשנה כדי לקיים מצות צדקה". ביאור דבריהם, דהנה יש לדון בגדר מצות מתנות לאביונים, האם החיוב הוא מהלכות צדקה, שתיקנו לקיים ביום הפורים את מצות הצדקה, כדי שיהיו כל צרכי הפורים מצויים לעניים. או שהחיוב אינו קשור כלל להלכות צדקה, אלא הוא נובע מכלל החיוב להרבות בשמחה בפורים, לתת מתנות לאביונים, כדי לשמחם ביום הפורים. ונראה כי נחלקו בזה רבותינו הראשונים. הרמב"ם (הלכות מגילה פ"ב הי"ז) כתב: "מוטב לאדם להרבות במתנות אביונים מלהרבות בסעודתו ובשלוח מנות לרעיו, שאין שם שמחה גדולה ומפוארה אלא לשמח לב עניים ויתומים ואלמנות וגרים, שהמשמח לב האומללים האלו דומה לשכינה". ומשמע מדבריו, שטעם הענין להרבות במתנות לאביונים נובע מחיוב השמחה בפורים, המפורש בדברי המגילה (אסתר ט, כב) "לַעֲשׂוֹת אוֹתָם יְמֵי מִשְׁתֶּה וְשִׂמְחָה וּמִשְׁלוֹחַ מָנוֹת אִישׁ לְרֵעֵהוּ וּמַתָּנוֹת לָאֶבְיוֹנִים". וכדי שגם האביונים יהיו בשמחה בימי הפורים, חייבו לתת להם מתנות. והדברים מפורשים בביאורו של הריטב"א (מגילה ז, ב) לדברי הירושלמי (מגילה פ"א ה"ד) "כל הפושט יד נותנים לו", שהסיבה לכך היא לפי "שאין נתינה זו מדין צדקה גרידתא, אלא מדין שמחה, שהרי אף לעשירים יש לשלוח מנות, ולפיכך נהגו ליתן מעות פורים לגויים ואפילו עשירים". ומפורש בדבריהם, כי גדר מצות מתנות לאביונים אינו מדין צדקה, אלא מדין השמחה בפורים. 
The important mussar haskeil today is that it's not wise to just state an opinion based on a seat of the pants sense of what makes sense or doesn't make sense to you at the moment.  I was annoyed by the idea that matanos l'evyonim is like shaking a lulav; it seemed to me that it's obviously a din of tzedaka, albeit tzdaka with extra dinim both in manner and time.  But whether I like it or not, the fact is that it's clear, and not just from the Maharil and the Shlah, that this is debatable, and both sides have standing.

  II.  This is copied from a post I didn't know where to put.  Here it is.  The difference between Northwich and Baranovich.  

In Anglo-Saxon England the "-wich towns" designated by the suffix -wic identified coastal trading settlements, equivalents of emporia, provisioned from outside the protected community and characterised by extensive artisanal activity and imports, which have left material traces in excavations.[1] The Anglo-Saxon wic signifies a dwelling place[2] or fortified place.[3] The wic form appears to give two endings, wichand wick[4] (for example Papplewick in Nottinghamshire). Four are known through archaeological excavation, two on waterfront sites outside London (see Lundenwic) and York (see Jorvik) the others at Hamwic(Southampton), occupied from the end of the seventh century to the mid-ninth century, and Ipswich.[5] By the mid-ninth century there is a hiatus in seaport occupation at many sites, in consequence of Vikingdepredations.
Wich and wych are names also used to denote brine springs or wells. By the eleventh century use of the 'wich' suffix was extended to town placenames associated with salt production; at least nine English towns/cities carry the suffix, although only five are commonly connected to salt, Droitwich in Worcestershire and the four Cheshire 'wiches' of Middlewich, Nantwich, Northwich and Leftwich.


Patronymic & Matronymic Surnames - Based on an ancestor's first name, this category of surnames is usually derived from a father's first name, although occasionally from the first name of a wealthy or well-respected female ancestor. Such surnames can often be identified through the use certain endings including -icz, -wicz, -owicz, -ewicz, and -ycz which usually mean "son of." As a rule, Polish surnames which include a suffix with -k- (-czak, -czyk, -iak, -ak, -ik, and -yk) also mean something like "little" or "son of." More commonly found in eastern Poland, the suffixes -yc and -ic also mean "son of." There are also cases of patronymic surnames where the ending has been dropped and only the original root word remains. (Pawel Adamicz - Paul son of Adam).

Geographical Surnames (Place Names) - The most common type of Polish surname, these Polish last names are derived from the location of the homestead from which the first bearer and his family lived. In the case of nobility, the surnames were often taken from the names of their estates. Other place names which were adapted into surnames include towns, countries, and even geographical features. While you might think that such surnames could lead you to your ancestral village, that isn't often the case with Polish surnames because so many places in Poland had the same name, changed names or disappeared in the centuries since the surnames developed, or were subdivisions of a local village or estate too small to be found on a gazetteer or map. Surnames ending in -owski usually derive from place names ending in -y, -ow, -owo, -owa, and so on. (Cyrek Gryzbowski - Cyrek from the town of Gryzbow).



III  Another post I didn't finish, but that's worht knowing, about selling your schar mitzvos, selling your oilom habo.

Basically, the mekoros I have say that it's delusional to think you can buy or sell schar or olom habo.   

Netziv in teshuvos, Cheilkek 3 14, here

Eikev, matanah, Rav Hai, Reb Yehuda Hachasid, Margoliyos, but what about Tzedakah, maybe even tzedaka is only a kinyan peiros. But at least you can sell the kinyan peiros. What about schar going with yerusha; obviously, it doesn't, because abba lo mezakeh bra, but that it not true in olam hazeh, abba is mezakeh bra in olam hazeh; so maybe you can indeed sell whatever schar you're entitled to in olam hazeh.


  1. The chiyuv of Ma'aser Sheini is only to bring the Korban, no chiyuv to eat the meat. One can distribute it to whoever he wishes. Similarly, no specific Kohen has a chiyuv to eat Asham etc. In addition, Shalmey Simcha are only a chiyuv to eat and not to bring a Korban as such. These two, *together*, are the reason there is no issue of Davar Sh'bechova, as the two Chovos do not coincide.

    On the other hand, if you borrow from someone 100$ and then another 100$, you can't use the same 100$ bill for paying the two debts, even though the Tachlis is that he should get the money and not maase nessina. The point is that this Tachlis should be achieved twice. Similarly, in both Tzedaka money and Ml"E the purpose is to make sure that the evyonim get the money, but you can't use the same money and count it twice. (If you wish, the money of ma'aser is already Meshu'abad to Aniyim, and its not really yours, so you can't use it for Ml"E. This latter nusach is similar to what the Maharil himself says )

  2. Good explanation, that it's meshubad already. But my problem is that it seems to me that the mitzva of MLE is just tzedaka with extra dinim, tzedaka in a different malbush, that you should give davka on Purim. But to say that it goes outside the cheshbon of Maaser ksafim, that, to me, was difficult to understand.

  3. I just found a Chasam Sofer that lechora holds like me, at least to the extent that since to me it's pashut not like the Maharil, I can do not like the Maharil. I'm putting it into the post.

  4. The issue of whether MlE is a specific kind of Tzedaka or something else was discussed extensively by many contemporaries. Nafka Mina, e.g. is עני הפטור מן הצדקה, האם חייב במל"א (see Bach and Taz OC 694). See also Ritva Megila 7b "שאיןנתינה זו מדין צדקה גרידתא אלא מדין שמחה"

    However, הררי קדם brings from Reb Chayim like you, that it's chiyuv Tzedaka on Purim.

  5. The issue appears to be not significant practically, since you can give a few dollars for matanos l'evyonim, then much more from ma'os ma'aser as tzdoko which just so happens to be mesamayach evyonim on Purim.

    Had to withhold commenting until I could read the words in the captcha straight.

  6. I apologize for those letters, but without them I was getting endless spam comments, some in Chinese, usually recommending various lifestyle drugs. If any of you would like, I would be happy to give you my password to the dashboard, which would eliminate the captcha nonsense for you.