Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Shalos Regalim- The Mitzva to Present Yourself to Your Rebbi on Yomtov להקביל פני רבו ברגל

The basics are well known. I'm posting this because of several good he'aros.

1. The Gemara (RH 16b) derives from the story of the Ishah HaShunamis
מדוע [את] [הלכת] אליו היום לא־חדש ולא שבת
 that one is obligated to present himself to his Rebbi on Regalim.
  אמר רבי יצחק: חייב אדם להקביל פני רבו ברגל

2. This is brought lehalacha in the Rambam, but not in Hilchos Yomtov, where it would seem to belong. It is in Hilchos Talmud Torah 5:7
וחייב לעמוד מפני רבו משיראנו מרחוק מלא עיניו עד שיתכסה ממנו ולא יראה קומתו ואח"כ ישב. וחייב אדם להקביל פני רבו ברגל

3. Reb Yonasan Eibshutz in Yaaros Devash ( 1:12) explains that going to the Beis HaMikdash on Yomtov had two benefits - the experience of seeing a tzadik provides spiritual elevation, and being seen by him imbues you with kedusha. Yes, that's not really two different benefits. It's one benefit, achieved actively and passively. (He is addressing the issue of how the Gemara proves a chiyuv on Regalim from a passuk that says Shabbos and Rosh Chodesh. He answers that when there was a Bayis, there was no need to go on Regalim, because you went to the Shechina. So the chiyuv was only on Shabbos or Rosh Chodesh.)


ידוע דענין קבלת פני חכמים יש בו שתי תועליות, אחד, הרואה אותו מקבל ממנו ברכת שפע וטוב, כמו שהרואה פני רשע פוגם בנפשו ומשיב רעה לעצמו, כן הרואה פני צדיק משיב לנפשו שפע טוב וברכה, כי עליו חל ושורה אור שכינה. ולכך אמרו [עירובין יג ע"ב] האי דמחדדנא מחבריא דחזיתא לר' מאיר מאחוריה, ואילו חזיתיה מקמיה הוה מחדדנא טפי. ויש עוד תועלת בזה, במה שהצדיק ותלמיד חכם רואה אותו, כאמרם ראיה של צדיק לברכה, כי כמו מן בעל ארס, קוי אור היוצאים מן העין מזיקים לאדם, ולכן יש אנשים אשר מזיקים בראות, ויוצא מתוך עיניהם ארס, וכן בלעם הרשע, קוי עין שלו היו מזיקין. כן קוי עין היוצאים מן צדיק לברכה, וראייה שלהם לטובה. וא"כ יש בצדיק שתי תועליות, אחת שאנו רואים אותו, והשנית שהוא רואה אותנו

4. The Noda Biyehuda (II OC 94, while explaining why this halacha is not brought in the Tur and Mechaber,) says, similar to the Yaaros Devash, that the benefit of appearing before a Rebbi on Yomtov is that doing so influences the talmid in a positive spiritual manner. (He is also addressing the issue of how the passuk supports a chiyuv to go on the Regalim. He answers basically the opposite of the Yaaros Devash - that really, one should go every Shabbos, but you can't obligate Kavod for a Rebbi greater than the obligation of Kavod for the Shechina. When there was a Bayis, it was nice to go every week, but the obligation could not be greater than three times a year.)


בשבת וחודש שיש בו תוספת קדושה שהרי יש בו קרבן מוסף יש מקום לקבל פני רבו שגם על הרב ניתוסף אז שפע להשפיע על תלמידו, והוא הדין ברגלים.

5. According to the Noda Beyehuda and the Yaaros Devash, the reason one ought to visit his Rebbi on Yomtov is because it is a day that is spiritually auspicious and will provide spiritual elevation, similar to appearing in the Beis HaMikdash. Simply being in the presence of the Rebbi imbues you with kedusha and revitalizes your neshama.

6.  The Pnei Yehoshua in RH asks, why would a woman be chayav to go to a Rebbi, if it's zman gramma and an aspect of Talmud Torah in which women are peturos anyway. He answers that because of the special relationship and spiritual resonance she had with Elisha, it was a svara that she should go to him. (He also addresses the Shabbos+Rosh Chodesh ≠ Regalim, and explains that since women don't work on Rosh Chodesh, they're free to go, while men are busy working. He doesn't talk about Shabbos for some reason. ) What matters to us here is that he says that the yesod of this chiyuv is to go and hear divrei Torah, or at least some aspect of Talmud Torah.
ואמר ר"י חייב אדם להקביל פני רבו ברגל כו', מכלל דבחודש ושבת בעי למיזל.  ולכאורה יש לתמוה כיון דמהאי קרא יליף ר"י, הו"ל למימר חייב להקביל פני רבו בר"ח כדמסיים מכלל דבר"ח בעי למיזל, וכה"ג קשה על הרמב"ם ז"ל שפסק כר"י דדווקא ברגל. 
ונ"ל ליישב משום דבלא"ה קשה אלישנא דקרא דבעלה של שונמית אמר לאשתו מדוע את הולכת וגו', ובעי ר"י לדייק מינה דבחודש ושבת בעי למיזל, האיך אפשר לומר כן דהא נשים פטורות ממ"ע שהזמ"ג אפילו מצוה דאורייתא, מכ"ש מחיוב דדברי קבלה, אלא ע"כ צ"ל דבכה"ג לא מיקרי מצות עשה שהז"ג, שמצד הסברא היה חייב להקביל פני רבו בכל שעה, אלא א"א משום ביטול מלאכה כדילפינן מאפס לא יהיה בך אביון, אבידתו ואבידת רבו אבידה שלו קודמת, ודבר ידוע בתוספות ובפוסקים שאין לנשים לעשות מלאכה בר"ח כדאיתא בירושלמי ובפרקי ר"א, הובא בטור א"ח סי' תי"ז, נמצא דלפ"ז אתי שפיר דבנשים השוו ר"ח לשבת ומועד, דר"ח נמי מקרי מועד, משא"כ אנשים פטורים בר"ח משום ביטול מלאכה. ונהי דמעיקר הדין אף בנשים לא שייך כלל דין זה, כיון דנשים אינם חייבים בת"ת, מיהו כיון דקרא בשונמית כתיב שהלכה לגבי אלישע שהיה נביא, והיתה תדיר אצלו, והכירה במעשיו שהיה איש קדוש, מש"ה הצריכה לילך להקביל פניו כנ"ל,

7. The Ramban in Yisro (20:8) says that the mitzva is because of the spiritual benefit one derives from being in the presence of kedusha and hearing words of Torah.
וטעם לקדשו שיהא זכרוננו בו להיות קדוש בעינינו, כמו שאמר וקראת לשבת עונג לקדוש ה' מכובד (ישעיה נח יג). והטעם, שתהא השביתה בעינינו בעבור שהוא יום קדוש, להפנות בו מעסקי המחשבות והבלי הזמנים, ולתת בו עונג לנפשינו בדרכי ה', וללכת אל החכמים ואל הנביאים לשמוע דברי ה', כמו שנאמר (מ''ב ד כג) מדוע את הולכת אליו היום לא חדש ולא שבת, שהיה דרכם כן, וכך אמרו רז''ל (ר''ה טז.) מכלל דבחדש ושבת בעי למיזל.

8. According to the Ramban and Pnei Yehoshua, Shabbos and Yomtov offer special opportunities for growth in Ruchniyus, and the purpose of this halacha is to take advantage of  that kedusha to learn Torah from your Rebbi.

8. Many mefarshim are surprised that the Rambam brings this halacha in Hilchos Talmud Torah in the context of showing honor to your Rebbi, because this is not how any of the four we quoted above understand it.

     a. According to the Yaaros Devash and the Noda Beyehuda, it would appear to be an aspect of Hilchos Yomtov: just as the Rambam says that Yomtov is mechayeiv you to present yourself in the Beis HaMikdash (with the Korban Chagiga - according to the Sfas Emes in the beginning of Chagiga, or in order to bring the Korban Chagiga- according to Reb Meir Simcha there, Hilchos Chagiga 1:1,) he should say that Chazal said that Yomtov is mechayeiv you to present yourself to your Rebbi.

     b. According to the Ramban and the Pnei Yehoshua it is bechlal not a din of Kevod Rabbo, it is simply a din that on Yomtov, there is an enhanced opportunity for spiritual growth, and learning Torah from a Rebbi is the best way to actuate that potential. So for the Rambam to put it in Hilchos Talmud Torah as an aspect of kevod Rabbo is difficult.

9. Additionally, one should ask, that since according to both the Yaaros Devash and the Noda Beyehuda, the purpose of this halacha is to gain from being in the presence of a tzadik, why davka go to your rebbi? Go to the biggest tzadik that is available. According to the Ramban and Pnei Yehoshua, find out who's in town, and go to him, if he's a greater talmid chacham.

10. The answer to all these questions is the same (and this is really pretty clear in the Noda Beyehuda,) Yes, the purpose is to gain the benefit of being in the presence of a tzadik, to experience and be elevated by his or her kedusha, to hear Torah on Yomtov. But which Adam Gadol do you go to? The din of Kevod Rabbo tells us that in choosing which tzadik to visit, choose your Rebbi. More than that - going to someone else is a zilzul of your rebbi. He may deserve to be mezulzal, but that's not your job. An aspect of the Rebbi/Talmid relationship is that you need to be mechabeid him. In particular on Yomtov, the Torah is mechayeiv that you present yourself and bring a korban to the Ribono shel Olam, lir'os v'leira'os, so, too, on Yomtov Chazal were mechayev you to present yourself to your Rebbi,  li'ros v'leira'os, and show him honor. 
.
11. The Pnei Yehoshua makes much more sense now. He is saying that the chiyuv to be mechabeid a Rebbi is applicable primarily to one who is chayav to learn Torah.  Since when does a woman have a chiyuv of Kevod Rabbah? But since the Shunamis was especially influenced by Elisha, the chiyuv of kevod rabbo/rabbah applied to her as well.
The Rambam, too, can agree with the Ramban, that the purpose is to benefit from the Rebbi's Torah and Kedusha. But who to go to? Go to the one you have a chiyuv to honor.

12. This may seem elementary. As is the case with many good teirutzim, it is only elementary after you read it. In fact, many achronim have misunderstood the Rambam and other mefarshim because they didn't realize this.

13. This mehalach in the Rambam is VERY MEDUYAK in Reb Meir Simcha in Hilchos Chagiga 1. Reb Meir Simcha says that the mitzva of R'iyah in the Mikdash has two inseparable parts; re'iyah and the korban. It's not pshat that the mitzva is Re'iyah and the Re'iyah is mechayeiv a korban. Pshat is that the mitzva is to bring a Korban, and it is done with Re'iyah. You can't send a shaliach.
Rambam:
ב  הראייה האמורה בתורה--הוא שייראה פניו בעזרה ביום טוב הראשון של חג, ויביא עימו קרבן עולה בין מן העוף בין מן הבהמה.  ומי שבא לעזרה ביום ראשון, ולא הביא עולה--לא דייו שלא עשה מצות עשה, אלא שעבר על מצות לא תעשה:  שנאמר "לא ייראו פניי, ריקם" (שמות כג,טו; שמות לד,כ).  ואינו לוקה על לאו זה, שהרי לא עשה מעשה.
Reb Meir Simcha:
 ומה שכתב רבינו לא די שלא עשה מצות עשה כו׳  הנה כן משמע מתו״כ ריש פ׳ אחרי דמדמה לביאת כה״ג ביוהכיפ דשם שלא עם הקרבן אין שום מצוה בביאתו כלל כן בישראל ברגל בלא קרבן לא קיים מ״ע כלל
If Reb Meir Simcha says that the Rambam holds that the ikkar of Re'iyah in the Mikdash is the Korban, and the heichi timtzah is by going in person and bringing it, so, too, he must hold, that when Chazal required that you see your Rebbi on Yomtov, it is a dual din as well. It involves giving your Rebbi Kavod for the Torah he taught you, and r'iyas panim. 

Just as by R'iyah in the mikdash, the Rambam puts it in Chagiga, not Yomtov, because the yesod, the ikkar, is the hakrava of the Korban and the heichi timtzah is the R'iyah, so too here, he puts it in Talmud Torah, because the ikkar is the Kavod HaTorah, and the circumstance of the mitzva is is by presenting yourself before your Rebbi on Yomtov.
Whatever else results is not as important. The Rambam holds that the concept of R'iyah is to honor the RBSO (by bringing a korban,) and in the application to a Rebbi, to honor the Rebbi. Sure, by Yomtov there are brachos, such as all the brachos the Torah gives for those that make aliyah laregel, and for sure there are benefits from presenting yourself to your rebbi. But the Ikkar is the kavod.

(By the way, RMS is not like the Sfas Emes in Chagiga, who holds that the Rambam's שלא עשה מצות עשה is because he was over on the lav, and the lav was mevatel the mitzvah. This is very different than RMS.)

14. So, bottom line: two very similar mehalchim in the Rambam's placement of this halacha in Talmud Torah.
a. The obligation is based on limud haTorah, but who do you go to? The din of Kevod Rabbo obligates you to choose your rebbi.
b. With Reb Meir Simcha - the ikker of the mitzva of re'iyah is the korban, and the heichi timtza is with Re'iyah, personally. The derabanan of Rabbo is the same. The ikker is kevod rabbo, and the heichi timtza is by going personally and giving him kavod.



15. This is a very good pshat, and I don't need a nafka minah. But I guess a nafka minah would be if your Rebbi is saying a shiur on Yomtov, and a more choshuveh talmid chacham is saying a shiur at the same time, the Rambam would say you should go to hear your Rebbi. But the truth is that you don't need the Rambam for that. The lashon of the Gemara is להקביל פני רבו, not להקביל פני צדיק או חכם.

4 comments:

  1. From the context of the Rambam, it is clear that קבלת פני רבו is a דין in מורא רבו. I am not convinced that מורא רבו is inextricably connected to the חיוב of תלמוד תורה, so it is conceivable that a woman would be חייב in קבלת פני רבה even though she isn't חייב in תלמוד תורה.

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    Replies
    1. Is that how you're learning the Pnei Yehoshua's answer, that since she had a shaichus to Elisha, she was in the parsha of Morah Rabbo?

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    2. That wasn't my intent. The פני יהושע is bothered, how can women be חייב if it's a מצות עשה שהזמן גרמא. According to my understanding of the Rambam the question is a non-starter - the חיוב is מדין מורא רבו, so of course it's not זמן גרמא.
      One could argue that even if they are חייב in מורא רבו, they wouldn't be חייב in the קבלת פני רב part because that aspect is זמן גרמא, if not for the מצד הסברא of the פני יהושע, but that's not how I was learning in Rambam. I assumed that because the underlying חיוב is מדין מורא רבו, women should be חייב all the way, ויש לעיין.
      Also, פני יהושע is saying that the אלישע was an איש קדוש, so in meta-physical terms she need to be מקבל פניו to achieve some level of spirituality. I was putting it in purely halachic terms - there is a דין of יראת חכמים so she was חייב.

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    3. And this not called answering the Pnei Yehoshua?
      In any case, you're probably right, מורא is a din of את השם , and shouldn't be tied to לימוד, although it does פני רבו. As you say, יש לעיין.

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