Thursday, May 11, 2017

Emor. A Halacha Riddle

קטן שנולד בששי ומילתו דוחה שבת.

Give me a case where a child is born on Friday and his Bris Milah is docheh Shabbos.  


I am NOT looking for Kav Hata'arich or Shkiyah Shniyah or Pikuach Nefesh answers.

When I say "born on Friday," I mean Friday before Shkiyah, not secular Friday that ends at midnight. He was born on Yom HaShishi. He was born כחצות היום בעצם היום הזה on Friday.

The answer is simple, and despite that, I'm pretty confident that n o b o d y will figure it out. I would offer a prize, but I'm not quite confident enough to risk postage to the other side of the world.

Here is the only hint you're getting:
The answer is derived from, or at least closely related to, something in this week's parsha, Emor.



This is the kind of question my son, Rav Mordechai, asks on his bechinos at the Kollel in Marlboro, Kollel Hora'ah of America. The particular question, however, was invented by Harav Shimon Kalman Goldstein of Chicago. Rabbi Goldstein learned for many years with Reb Boruch Sorotzkin, and is a mechaber of more than fifty sefarim, none of which has been printed.

I'm enjoying this. This is my wife, Malkie, who has a real Gemara kop, after saying that it can't be, giving me a look of frustrated annoyance, and repeating that it just can not be.
But it can. To her credit, she refuses to give up.









WE HAVE A WINNER!!


From the comments - Rabbi Yehuda Oppenheimer of Toronto.


AnonymousMay 12, 2017 at 8:17 AM
If on the Friday which is the 8th day the father was mekabel shabbos early and then wants to do the bris it would seem from the taz that he can still do the bris despite the fact that he is being doche (tosfos) shabbos. YO

Eliezer EisenbergMay 12, 2017 at 8:45 AM
WE HAVE A WINNER!!!!!!
I was not expecting anyone to get it, at least not till they were on their way to early mincha today! 
The connection to the Parsha is the makor for Tosfos Shabbos, in Yuma 81b, is in 23:32, ועניתם את נפשותיכם בתשעה לחודש.
Why do you say "the father" davka? What if the Mohel was in Shul for the early kabbalas Shabbos, and they rushed in and said the doctor cleared the baby for a bris right now?
It doesn't matter if you hold Tosfos Shabbos is derabanan except for Yom Kippur, because there are plenty of Rishonim that hold it's deoraysa even by Shabbos, like the Rif and Bahag, and anyway everyone would agree that the teretz applies by Yom Kippur, which, as rj pointed out, is called Shabbos as well.


I told my wife that Rabbi Oppenheimer got the answer, and she still doesn't want to hear it - she wants to figure it out herself!  Amazing. I'll bet she wakes me up at three a.m. and tells me the answer.

Rabbi Oppenheimer later wrote that his reference to the father is lav davka. I don't think that you need a Taz, though.  I think it's pashut. The child has a chiyuv milah, it's the eighth day for him. Milah on the eighth day is docheh Shabbos. So who cares if the Mohel was mekabel Shabbos? He has an eighth day child that needs a bris.  To say that the specific Gzeiras Hakasuv that says that Milah is docheh never did and can not apply to a Friday baby, is, I think, false. Milah bizmano is docheh, I don't care if it's a Friday baby or a Shabbos baby. The maaseh Milah bizmano is docheh Shabbos. 

True, there was an אפשר לקיים שניהם option earlier in the day, but I don't think that is relevant by the Dechiyah of Milah, and certainly not now when there no longer is an alternative. 

Would I have to try to find a mohel that wasn't mekabel Shabbos? Yes, because the Mechaber and the Gaon say that Milah is dechuya on Shabbos, not hutra like the Ran (128b) and the Rema there say.

Should a Mohel that knows that he might have to do a bris refrain from being Mekabel Shabbos early (according to the rishonim that asser by ishtapuch chamimei)? I'm arguing about this with a friend now, but probably yes, he should refrain from being mekabel Shabbos early.


UPDATE:
I've learned that answering this question involves a specific type of problem solving skill, which is not simply a matter of IQ power. Twice this Shabbos I saw gifted talmidei chachamim unable to figure it out, and the answer comes sailing in from a corner you did not expect to hear from.

UPDATE:
My son in Givat Zev said he has a problem with the Gemara in Pesachim 72a-b, by ta'ah bidvar mitzvah, where a Friday baby is called "לא ניתנה שבת לידחות אצלו" This is not shver at all. It means that come Saturday, the Friday baby is not in the parsha of dichui.

34 comments:

  1. I am guessing that you must be referring to friday 3 Tishrei, in which case the bris will take place the following friday, thus being doche yom kippur, which is referred to as shabbos in parshas emor

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    1. Brilliant. That is not my solution, but wonderful.

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  2. How about this: Someone gets lost on a desert island, and doesn't know which day is shabbos. So he must count six days and make kiddush and havdallah on the seventh. But since the other six are not definitely weekday, regarding melacha he must treat all seven days as "shabbos", and may work only enough to allow for survival. So a child born into such a circumstance would be circumcised on the eighth day, even though that day is considered safek shabbos. And the connection to emor - it says regarding yom tov asher tikr'u osam mikra'ei kodesh, from which we learn that the timing of yom tov is fixed by beis din establishing rosh chodesh every month, and even if they are in error. Shabbos, on the other hand, is set and established by haShem, and hence the scenario above....

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    1. ......... ah, um, your first answer was excellent.
      I have a solution that is simple and pleasing.

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  3. Ok, this is my final attempt, but it's a good one because it explains why the riddle specifies Friday davka (in contrast to my first two attempts). When a baby is born on Friday, the bris milah takes place the following Friday, and the participants partake of a (even a large) seudah - which would ordinarily not be allowed, out of consideration for the Friday night seudah. Even if partaking of the seudas bris will mean that he won't be able to eat the Friday night seudah at all, he may still do so (and eat 3 seudos on Shabbos day instead.) Thus, this is a case that the [seudah of the] bris is docheh (quite literally, "pushes off") the [1st seudah of] Shabbos.

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    1. Also very good and creative! But mot what I'm looking for. I'm looking for real chillul, milah on Shabbos.

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  4. If on the Friday which is the 8th day the father was mekabel shabbos early and then wants to do the bris it would seem from the taz that he can still do the bris despite the fact that he is being doche (tosfos) shabbos. YO

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    1. WE HAVE A WINNER!!!!!!

      I was not expecting anyone to get it, at least not till they were on their way to early mincha today!

      The connection to the Parsha is the makor for Tosfos Shabbos, in Yuma 81b, is in 23:32, ועניתם את נפשותיכם בתשעה לחודש.
      Why the father davka? What if the Mohel was in Shul for the early kabbalas Shabbos, and they rushed in and said the doctor cleared the baby for a bris right now?

      It doesn't matter if you hold Tosfos Shabbos is derabanan except for Yom Kippur, because there are plenty of Rishonim that hold it's deoraysa even by Shabbos, like the Rif and Bahag, and anyway everyone would agree that the teretz applies by Yom Kippur, which, as rj pointed out, is called Shabbos as well.

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    2. But appointing the mohel to do the beris is at worst a shevus, so that aspect would make it derabbanan anyway.

      (Or is a shevus a deOraisa whose limits are defined derabbanan?)

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    3. For that matter, IFF one holds like the Rambam, that sefeiq sefeiqa is mutar because safeiq de'oraisa lechmera is itself derabbanan, and therefore the 2nd safeiq is safeiq derabbanan lequlah, then doing the beris bein hashemashos would be derabbanan too.

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    4. True, according to the Rambam every safek deoraysa is only assur miderabanan, but it's interesting to say that a safek chiyuv milah deoraysa would be docheh a safek issur deoraysa. That I need to think about.

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  5. Wow, I never would have thought of that!

    What about a case where the baby was removed from the womb via Ceaserean section on Friday, then replaced and born normally on shabbos?

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    1. Ok, so you would never have thought of Reb Yehuda's answer, but Rava's case did occur to you????
      I say Rava because of his iboyo in Chulin 70a regarding the din of bechor -
      בלעתהו חולדה והוציאתו מהו הוציאתו הא אפיקתיה אלא בלעתו והוציאתו והכניסתו והקיאתו ויצא מאליו מהו

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    2. Your comment reminds me of my piano teacher who asked me why I insist on climbing through the window when the door is open. I was eight or nine years old at the time, and her personality analysis was true then and, to my chagrin, remains true now.

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    3. Indeed, I have often been accused of such.... This time, though, my excuse is that I not only learned Chullin recently, but I was also reading about a case where a surgery was performed on a fetus which was removed from the womb and then replaced.

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  6. The chiyuv of bedavqa 8th day is on the father. So, if r"l the father is no longer alive (died during the mother's pregnancy or during the first week), or if the mother intermarried and the non-Jewish father has no chiyuv, milah is not dokheh Shabbos.

    Azoi pasqned R' Dovid Cohen of Flatbush, halakhah lemaaseh, in the early 1990s. I was trying to find a mohel willing to go out to Nowheresville, IN to do a beris and asked how much money I am mechuyav to spend to make sure someone else's kid's beris can be done bizmano, on Shabbos. Since the couple was intermarried, I was afraid that if I told them to pay for a mohel's entire Shabbos away from home, they might choose a surgeon or something. The rav of a Chabad House about 2-1/2 hours a way was a mohel (hopefully still is), and would do it lesheim mitzvah, but one of his own regulars had a beris that same Shabbos! Turned out it was supposed to be done on Sunday anyway.)

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    1. WHAT??????? I trust you, but this is something I would need to either hear from him or see in print in his own sefer. Otherwise, it falls under the rubric of lashon hara.

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    2. Why? To call it "leshon hara" would be to assume there is something negative about reaching this conclusion. I fail to see your implied value judgment. What's so horrible about this pesaq that it would have been slanderous if not true?

      I got the teshuvah second-hand via my then-LOR (R' Menachem Zupnick), and I do not recall meqoros and sevara. However, looking at the posuq in context, it's unsurprising. Pasuq 2 talks about taharas hamishpachah after birth; it is so surprising that "uvayom hashemini" is talking to the same people, and is therefore only docheh Shabbos for the father?

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    3. I'm not anywhere near Reb Dovid's madreiga, but from what I do know, such a psak is indefensible. To attribute an indefensible psak to a posek is another way of saying that he is not fit to pasken.
      Rabbi Zupnick is a friend, and I believe he's at a family bar mitzva this week. I'll get a hold of him. If Reb Dovid paskened like that, it would be so very interesting!

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    4. I am giving up on trying to get you to explain WHY you think this pesaq is surprising and apparently indefensible.


      We'll "talk" after you speak to RMZ.

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    5. So, did RMZ remember any more detail than I did?

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    6. No, I'm still waiting. Maybe I'll call again.

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    7. Sorry, I thought you were saying you would see him at a family bar mitzvah. In any case, a huge tree in his backyard fell on the power and phone lines yesterday. I am wondering if he has service.

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  7. 1. Please tell Rebbitzen Eisenberg that I only came up with the answer after a night of similarly frustrated annoyance - although I don't have a photo to prove it.
    2. Ein Huchi Nami, the father is lav davka.
    3. Without the taz one might say that it is no longer the yom hasemini since he was already mekabel the yom hateshii.
    YO

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    1. re 3, the chochma is that we don't care what day it is for the father or the mohel. All that matters is that the child was not mekabel shabbos yet, so for him, whether you hold like the Taz or the Maharshal, it is the eighth day, and his mitzva of milah is docheh.
      My Rebbitzen, and a friend/Rov in Israel who just two weeks ago had to suture a child's scalp after he was already mekabel Shabbos and STILL didn't guess the answer, are happy to know that you didn't just shake the answer out of your sleeve.

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    2. Don't get it, if you don't care what day it is for the father or the mohel, and if the child was not mekabel shabbos, then his bris is not being docheh shabbos.

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    3. The MOHEL was mekabel Shabbos. If he does the bris, he is being docheh Shabbos. It is being docheh the din issur melacha of Shabbos that was into effect when the Mohel was mekabel Shabbos.

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    4. Aha, so we do care if the Mohel has been mekabel shabbos for your question to be valid.

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  8. International date line. Shabbos on one side but eighth day on the other.

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    1. I agree, and it's a good answer, but the rules of the riddle were "I am NOT looking for Kav Hata'arich (i.e., international date line)or Shkiyah Shniyah or Pikuach Nefesh answers." That plot device was used already by Jules Verne in "Around the World in Eighty Days" back in 1873.

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  9. Great answer! Seems though that you don't need to bring the Taz, since the Mechaber says explicitly in Yoreh Deah 262 that the establishment of what day it is with regard to a bris is not affected by davening maariv early, neither lehakel nor lehachamir.

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    1. Because that Mechaber means that determining the date of the birth and the milah depend on astronomy irrespective of kabbalas Shabbos and so forth, but our problem was that for the mohel, it's Shabbos, and this child does not have a din of being docheh Shabbos, since he's a Friday baby, and a Friday baby is not docheh Shabbos. The chiddush is that it doesn't matter that he's a Friday baby - any bris bizmano is Docheh Shabbos. The fact that by other dechiyos it depends on whether it could have been done without dechiyah does not apply here. Milah is docheh Shabbos based on the etzem din of Milah Bizmano.

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  10. From the possuk "uvayom hashemini yimol etc" we learn that the milah is done on the 8th day, regardless of whether that day happens to be subject to the laws of shabbos, yom tov or yom kippur. 2) Add to that the fact that the mechaber tells us that the time paramaters of that 8th day is based on astronomy and is not affected by a person davening maariv early. These two pieces of information are all we need it seems to me, without needing to enter into the Taz's discussion regarding eating early on the eve of shemini atzeres.

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