Sunday, April 11, 2010

Metzora, Vayikra 14:46-7. Tefillin Wearer and Tefillin Carrier: Who Goes First?

I've been writing more Hashkafa-oriented things for the last couple of months. The Dvar Torah this week is definitely not in the Hashkafa column.

An accepted rule: If two people come to a doorway, and one of them is a Kohen, the Kohen should enter first, because we must show respect and honor for the high kedusha of Kohanim, and precedence shows respect.  Similarly, if one is a talmid chacham, the chacham enters first.  If two people come to a doorway, and one of them is carrying tefillin, the person carrying the tefillin enters first, because in this way we honor the kedusha of the tefillin.  What if one person is carrying tefillin, and one man is wearing tefillin?  Who should enter first? Simple logic would tell you there should be no difference between the two, or if there is a difference, we should show honor to the tefillin that are being worn, since not only are they holy, but they are being used to fulfill a mitzva, they are engaged in the specific function for which they were written, which ought to increase their holiness.

If that were true, would I be writing this?

The Beis HaLeivi and Reb Yaakov Kaminetzky are quoted as saying that the person carrying tefillin goes in front of the person wearing tefillin.  They prove this from this week's parsha, Parshas Metzora.

Passuk 14:46:
וְהַבָּא אֶל הַבַּיִת כָּל יְמֵי הִסְגִּיר אֹתוֹ יִטְמָא עַד הָעָרֶב.
From here we learn that anything susceptible to Tumah, whether it is a person or a utensil or clothing, which enters a house that had been declared tamei under the law of Tzaraas, becomes tamei immediately.

Passuk 14:47:
  וְהַשֹּׁכֵב בַּבַּיִת יְכַבֵּס אֶת בְּגָדָיו וְהָאֹכֵל בַּבַּיִת יְכַבֵּס אֶת בְּגָדָיו.
From here Chazal learn that clothing that enters the house while worn by a person is tamei only after it remained in the house long enough for a person to eat four beitzim of bread- kdei achilas pras, at least three minutes.

So the rule, as stated here in the Toras Kohanim, and the Mishna in Nega'im 13:9, is as follows:
If one enters a house that has Tzaraas while carrying a hat in his hand, he and the hat are immediately tamei.  If, however, one enters the house wearing the hat, he is tamei immediately, but his hat is only tamei if he and it remain in the house for three minutes.

Rashi in Eiruvin 4a explains that in the latter case, the clothing is considered tafeil, secondary, to its wearer, and so we cannot view them as having "come" into the house.  The man came into the house; his clothing is there only because he is there.  Tosfos in Chulin 71b explains that the clothing becoming tamei a few minutes later is a secondary and delayed effect of the tumah of the wearer.  As Tosfos says, the Tumah comes to the clothing only through the tumah of the wearer; evidently, the clothing are not really in the house at all, they are not called בָּא אֶל הַבַּיִת; and their tumah is only because a man who is in a Tumah house is wearing them for an extended period.

On the basis of this Rashi and Tosfos, say the Beis HaLeivi and Reb Yaakov, we must say that if one carries tefillin, the tefillin are entering the room, and they should enter the room first.  Where one is wearing the tefillin, the tefillin are not viewed as entering the room, they are not בָּא אֶל הַבַּיִת; the person enters the room, and the tefillin happen to be there.  An item that is secondary to its wearer is not viewed independently, and therefore we cannot say that the tefillin entered the room.  Since they are not "entering the room", they are not in the equation of "who should enter first."

The problem I have with this rule is that the Toras Kohanim here says that the rule that the tumah of the worn clothing is delayed is a kula, a leniency, based on passuk 47, not a din in tafel.  Secondly, the Toras Kohanim, and the Rambam in 16 Tumas Tzaraas 6-7 says that this rule is only true where a Jew, who is susceptible to tuma, wears the clothing.  If a gentile or an animal in clothing would walk into this  house, they, of course, would remain non-tamei, but the clothing they are wearing would be tamei immediately. More importantly, the Rambam characterizes this din as a din that the person is "matzil" his beged, not a din of bittul.
מי שנכנס לבית מנוגע וכליו על כתפיו וסנדלו וטבעתו בכפיו הוא והן טמאין מיד שאינו מציל מלטמא מיד אלא כלים שהוא לבוש בהן

Tosfos in Chulin does ask the second question, but he doesn't really answer it.  He also asks, it says in the Toras Kohanim that if one would put his ringed finger into the window of the house, the ring would become tamei after kdei achilas pras.  He asks, if the tumah comes to the worn object only through the man's tumah, in this case, where the man is not tamei at all, the ring should never become tamei.  Tosfos says that maybe this tumah is only derabanan.

So, it appears that the Tosfos, which is the basis of the Griz and Reb Yaakov, is very difficult, and resorts to dochek answers to explain bigdei akum and posheit yado lechalon.

And more importantly, even according to Tosfos, the concept of Tafel only applies where the person can become tamei.  The becomes a factor where a person that cannot become tamei walks into the house while wearing clothes- a gentile. Only in a case where the wearer can become tamei, the tumah only effects his clothing through him.  Where he cannot become tamei, the clothing immediately become tamei as well.  This is not at all a proof that clothing is secondary to a person, or that the clothing is not considered to have entered the house, it's a din that as far as tumah is concerned a person who can become tamei renders his clothing tafel.  This is also clear in the Rash in Nega'im 13:9.  This has nothing to do with tefillin.  The din of the tefillin going in first has nothing to do with the person, and a person in a shul is no different than an akum or an animal in a house of Tumah.  Also, it seems that according to them, it would be muttar to wear tefillin into a bathroom, so long as  you don't stay there for more than k'dei achlas pras.

Furthermore, according to them, the Gemara in Makkos 22b is difficult:
אמר רבא כמה טפשאי שאר אינשי דקיימי מקמי ספר תורה ולא קיימי מקמי גברא רבה
On the basis of their svara, the behavior of those people is not tipshus, it is an excellent lomdus.

I find the connection to tefillin extremely hard to understand.

(In order to avoid false starts on teirutzim it is important to know that keilim that were in the house before it was declared tamei, that remained there, are tamei immediately.  There is no requirement of "coming into the house" for becoming tamei.  Simply being there is enough to make them tamei without delay.  See Shavuos 17b.)

In the same Toras Kohanim, there is a machlokes Reb Yehuda and the Rabanan (mentioned briefly in Tosfos in Chulin.)  If a person stood outside the house and put his hand into the house through a window, and he has a ring on his hand, the man does not become tamei at all.  When does the ring become tamei?  The Rabanan say it only becomes tamei after KAPras.  Rav Yehuda says it is tamei immediately.  The Rabanan asked Reb Yehuda, why should it become tamei right away? Even if the man walked into the house wearing the ring, where he himself becomes tamei, the tumah of the ring is delayed: certainly, kal vachomer, the tumah of the ring should be delayed when the wearer is not tamei at all?  Reb Yehuda answered that this is clearly false, because when a gentile wears a ring into the house, and the gentile cannot become tamei, the ring is tamei immediately.  We see, says Reb Yehuda, that it is the fact that the wearer becomes tamei that delays the tumah of his ring.

Everyone agrees that keilim sitting in a house are tamei immediately; and that keilim that independently come into a house are tamei immediately. Everyone agrees that keilim worn into a house by a Jew have a delayed tumah, whereas if worn by a gentile they are tamei immediately. The machlokes is where you stuck your gloved or ringed hand into the house; Reb Yehuda, immediate. Rabbanan, delayed.

We pasken, as seen in the Rambam, like the Rabanan.  But what is the machlokes about?  Obviously, they are arguing about the nature of the delay of tumah where a garment in worn into a house.  But what is the machlokes?

It seems to me that the machlokes is related to the Gemara in Shabbos 5a, אגוז בכלי וכלי צף ע״ג מים.  See Tosfos there d'h Egoz and Shabbos 11a d'h Lo.

The pshat is this:
The din tumah by nigei batim is not ohel.  If it were ohel, everything would become tamei immediately.  The din tumah is that a bayis hamenugah is metamei things whose kviyus makom is in the house.  An object whose makom is on a person, even if they are in the house, don't become tamei immediately, they only become tamei because they're on a person whose makom is in the house.  This is only true by a Yisrael, because his chashivus as an equal to us means that he is the ikkar, and the clothing are seen as batel to him, not having an independent kviyus in the house.  But by Akum and Be'heima, it is irrelevant to us that the beged is being used by someone or something.  As far as we're concerned, the same way the person's makom is in the house, the beged's makom is in the house as well. This is what Rashi and Tosfos mean by "Tafel."

Rebbi Yehuda, on the other hand, holds that it is the fact that the wearer is susceptible to Tumah that causes the delay of tumah of what he is wearing.  We don't pasken like Rebbi Yehuda.

In any case, this is a unique halacha involving tzaraas which is only metamei something whose makom is in the house.  We find no such halacha by other tumos, such as Tumas Ohel; in the case of Tumas Ohel, it doesn't make a difference whether a glove is carried or worn into the house.  Therefore, this unique halacha by nigei batim has Z  E  R  O shaichus to being mechabed by tefillin.

The Beis HaLeivi and Reb  Yakov, on the other hand, hold that the special din by nigei batim of  בָּא אֶל הַבַּיִת is what causes the distinction between wearing and carrying.  Therefore, in any case where there's a din of בָּא אֶל הַבַּיִת, the corollaries will apply.  By kavod when entering a room, the idea is also בָּא אֶל הַבַּיִת, and therefore the same idea will apply.  My tzad is that it's not a din directly in בָּא אֶל הַבַּיִת; it's just that בָּא אֶל הַבַּיִת creates a rule of kvius makom.  Kvius makom is not relevant to kibud.

Having posted this, I learned several things.  1. There is Set A, people who read long and complicated divrei Torah in Torah Journals.  2. There is Set B, people who read divrei Torah on the web.  3.  Intersection(A,B)  is miniscule. 4. If I want a shakla vetarya with chaveirim who read the posts, I better stick to either hashkafa or short divrei Torah.

Additionally, I'm sticking in something from Rav Sternbuch in Titzaveh 28:38, whose connection should be obvious.

והיה על מצחו תמיד כ"ח ל"ח 
במסכת יומא ז' ע"ב למדו מפסוק זה כי הכהן הלובש את הצפן אסור לו להסיח דעתו ממנו והוסיפו עוד ללמוד בק"ו מצען לתפילין מה צקו שאין בו אלא אזכרה אחת אמרה תורה על מצחו תמיד שלא יסיח דעתו ממנו תפלין שיש בהן אזכרות הרבה שהציץ אין בו אלא שם אחד ואלו יש בהם אחד ועשרים שם של יו"ד ה"א בשל ראש וכמותן בשל יד רמב"ם על אחת כמה וכמה ובתוס' שם הקשו דהא הק"ו הוא ק"ו פריכא דמה לציץ שכן השם בגלוי מה שאין כן תפלין שהאזכרות מתופין בעור ומכח קושיא זו הסיקו התוספות שאין הק"ו ק"ו גמור מדאורייתא אלא סברא היא לחכמים לתקן שאסור להסיח דעת מתפלין מכח ק"ו זה.

ולדעת הראשונים הסוברים שאיסור היסח הדעת בתפלין הוא מדאורייתא , נראה לבאר דפליגי על התוס' בסברת איסור היסח הדעת , ומשום הכי לא קשיא להו קושית התוס ' . דמהתוס' מוכח דפירשו דאיסור היסח הדעת הוא שמסיח את דעתו ממה שהוא כעת נושא עליו את האזכרות , דמי שנושא עליו אזכרה , מחמת קדושתה של האזכרה חייב הוא שלא להסיח דעתו ממנה . ולכן הקשו התוס' שפיר , דיש לחלק בין אזכרה מגולה לאזכרה מחופה . אולם הראשונים דפליגי יש לפרש בדעתם שאין האיסור מחמת נשיאת הציץ , אלא דע"י שלבוש בציץ חלה בו בעצמו קדושה , והאיסור הוא שלא להסיח דעתו מקדושתו שלו עצמו . ולהכי לא קשיא לדידהו כלל קושיית התוס' , דאיזה סברא היא לחלק בין אזכרה מגולה לאזכרה מחופה , דגם כשהאזכרות מחופות שפיר מקדשות את האדם הלובשן.

ויש להביא ראיה לדעת הראשונים דפליגי על התוס' , דהא איסור היסח הדעת בציץ ובתפלין אינו אלא כשלובשם כדינם , הציץ על מצחו והתפלין בזרועו ובראשו , אבל אם אוחזם בידו , בודאי אין איסור היסח הדעת כלל . ואי יסוד איסור היסח הדעת הוא מחמת נשיאת האזכרות , וכמו שביארנו דהכי מוכח מקושיית התוס' , מאי נפ"מ איכא בין נושאן כמצותן או כידו . אמנם כדעת הראשונים החולקים על התוס' , יתבאר היטב , וכנ"ל.

והנה דעת רבנו יונה (עי' בשאג" א סי ' ל"ט) שאיסור היסח הדעת מתפלין הוא בשחוק וקלות ראש דוקא , אבל אם אינו עוסק בשחוק וקלות ראש , אע "פ שאין בתפלין בדעתו ומחשבתו , אינו עוכר כאיסור . וצ "ל שדעת רבנו יונה הוא כדעת התוס' דהק"ו אינו אלא מדרבנן , והם לא החמירו לאסור רק בשחוק וקלות ראש . אבל לשטות הראשונים רס "ל דהק "ו הוא מדאורייתא , אסור לו להסיח דעתו מהתפלין כלל (עיי"ש בשאג" א שהביא שכן דעת הרמב"ם והרמב"ן)


  1. who conect's it to Tefillin and shouldn't Tefillin be Different than the din for clothing???

  2. Barzilai was comparing the way the din is applied.
    Interesting, missed your posts, thanks!

  3. but how does it help clarify it?

  4. It's not my connection. The Brisker Rov and Reb Yaakov say that the rule by Nig'ei Batim teaches us that clothing that is being worn is not viewed as an independent thing; it disappears. So they say that the person wearing the tefillin would not have precedence to enter the room before the person carrying the tefillin. On the contrary, the person carrying them must enter first. This is odd and counterintiuitive. That, alone, is no big deal. Plenty of dinim are. But here, I don't understand their basis for saying so, which is what the post is about.

  5. Naftali, I understand what you're saying. Even if clothing were bateil to the wearer, Tefillin might not be. Tefillin are more chashuv, and we wear them not to serve us, but instead because of our obligation to serve Hashem.

    Still, the din by Metzora seems to apply to all begadim, and tefillin are technically called begadim, as seen in Hamotzei Tefillin.

  6. more acronyms for an older post:
    1) sifrei EMES (aleph, mem, saf) for the 3 seforim of tanach (Iyov, Mishlei, and Tehillim) that have their own set of trup
    2) If i remember correctly, the beginning of each sefer of chumash has an acronym for a mitzvah. for example, breishis stands for bechor rechem emo shloshim yom tifdeh. and shemos stands for shnayim mikreh v'echad targum. I dont know what the other 3 stand for...
    3) (a dikduk one) the letters yahu are the 4 letters (yud, heh, vav, aleph) that don't have an invisible shva nach when they end a word, and therefore the first letter of the word following them does not get a dagesh kal, if it is one of the letters of beged capos (which someone else mentioned)
    4) if we are making up our own, (i dont think i heard these, just threw them together now) yesh shem for the niviyim rishonim, kra aish, for the 5 megillos

  7. Thank you, lesser. I'm putting your comment where it belongs, and putting the acronyms in the post.

  8. A. you probably meant intersection(A,B) and not AuB.

    B. One may suggest an alternative approach: a worn garment has a dual status - it's both in the house and it's also worn by the person. Now, if not for Pasuk 47, we wouldn't have cared that it's worn, since it's in the house it's Tamey. Now that the Torah tells us that a person entering the house is מטמא בגדים after KAP, we learn from this that for a worn garment we suspend the rule about טומאה *even though* it is in the house. For a Goy etc. where there is no reason for such suspension, we follow the general rule. For someone who could have entered the house in a way Pasuk 47 would be applicable, but did not - machloket R. Yehuda and chachmim.

    What we learn from that is that Tefillin that are considered both indepepndently to the wearer *and* also Tafel to him. When we need to choose, we prefer the other Tefillin that are totally independent of the person carrying them.

  9. Thank you, Eli. I was relying on ancient memories of set theory and
    I changed the post to reflect the correction.

    As for your mehalach, I just don't see in the Toras Kohanim that the tumah of the begadim stems from the man being metamei begadim. And, as I said, if it's not true by tumas ohel of a meis, you can't derive anything from a halacha unique to nigei batim.

  10. I don't understand what you don't agree with, so I'll try to rephrase. I agree the Halacha is unique to Batim, but not because of a different definition of והבא אל הבית which is unique to Nig'ey Batim [(a) by Ohel it also says כל הבא אל האהל (b) as you mentioned, here too whatever was in the Bayit before is also Tame]. I rather prefer to say that the basic rule for being "in the house" is just the same. However, there is a Mi'ut "האכל בבית יכבס בגדיו" telling us that Tuma for worn Bgadim is delayed *even though* they are in the house. I suggest that this is not because they are not considered "in the house". In fact, they are "in the house" as we see in Goy (and I don't like to distinct between Bgadim worn by Goy or Jew). However, they are *also* considered "worn" at the same time.

    Now, I agree that the rule of delayed Tuma in unique to Nig'ey Batim. Had there been no Miut of Pasuk 47 we have just said they are in the house, period, like in Ohel. However, but we can learn from it that a worn Beged is perceived *both* independently and as being secondary to the person wearing it [otherwise, how does the mi'ut work? if the Beged is there, it's there]. This concept may be used in other areas of Halacha too.

  11. נא לזכור שכל מקום שנאמר השקפה אינו אלא לרעה חוץ מוודוי מעשר

    maybe you should write hashkofo about maaser

  12. I just received an email from a wonderful young Rav at the Kollel at Yeshiva University. After subtracting the honorifics and bimchilas kvodos etc (replaced with tildis and stars,) this is what he wrote. There's a lot to digest here, and before even beginning, I wanted to post his letter, as follows:

    1) My understanding is that the Psak is Mi'Yuchas to the Beis HaLevi, not Brisker Rov. See Teshuvos V'Hanhagos vol. 4 pg. 426, and I believe it can also be found in the Beis HaLevi's biography, ראשון לשלשלת בית בריסק. Apparently, it was recorded in the name of the Maharal Diskin, as well, but not exclusively, see Teshuvos V'Hanhagos vol. 1 siman 535. If you have concrete evidence that this originated with Brisker Rov, please enlighten me. Maybe I am wrong. Where is Rav Yaakov quoted?

    2) I would like to ~~~~~~~ and ******** address your assertion that Bayis HaMenuga depends on K'vias Makom (~~~~~~~ ********, because I am sure that you put more thought into this than I). My understanding is that the Tumah is, indeed a Din of ביאה לבית, and it depends on the מעשה ביאה. I once wrote about this, and I don't have everything off the top of my head, but in short, see Hilchos Tumas Tzara'as 16:5, as well as Reb Chaim there. Moreover, see Reb Chaim in Hilchos Bias Mikdash Perek 3 [cf. with Reb Chaim in Hilchos Bias Mikdash 1:15, as well]. Basically, the Din Biah is a Din in כל התורה כולה, and so הנכנס דרך אחורנית is not Tameh until he is entirely inside. Likewise, many Achronim (see Reb Chaim there and Minchas Chinuch 184) assume in Rambam that one is פטור for ביאת מקדש if he comes in שלא כדרכו - and likewise ביאה שלא כדרכה to בית המנוגע has a מיעוט. This, of course, all begins with גמ' שבועות יז.

    I had heard the attribution to the Brisker Rov many times in the past, and I most recently heard both that attribution and the attribution to Reb Yaakov Kaminetzky from Reb Yaakov's talmid, Rabbi Dovid Zucker, Rosh Kollel of Kollel Zichron Shneur (Teh Lakewood Kollel) in Chicago. Not concrete, but on the level of סןגיא דעלמא in Sanhedrin 33a. I haven't seen the Teshuvos Ve'Hanhagos; I will try to do so.

    As for paragraph II, Thank you for the marei mekomos: I'll need time.

  13. thank you! for reasons that are obvious to those that know me, I enjoy divrei Torah and insights related to tefillin.

  14. " lesser unknown said...
    more acronyms for an older post:

    2) If i remember correctly, the beginning of each sefer of chumash has an acronym for a mitzvah. for example, breishis stands for bechor rechem emo shloshim yom tifdeh. and shemos stands for shnayim mikreh v'echad targum. I dont know what the other 3 stand for...

    another acronym for בראשית is בן ראשון אחרי שלושים תיפדה...

    and i was just wondering Rabbi Y Askotsky why the Rabbi "divrei Torah and insights related to tefillin."? b/c i really do too just wondering what the rabbi's reasons were?....

  15. Naftali, you can find more about Rabbi Askotsky here:

  16. Ok, I was mevarer that it's the Beis HaLevi. This is heard from Rav Moshe Soloveichik of Chicago, Reb Ahron's son. I'm going to edit the post. Thank you.
    Secondly, I saw a very nice vort from Rav Sternbuch in Titzveh 28:38 about the Tzitz, that the issur hesech hadaas is only when he's wearing it and being mekayeim the mitzvah, because then it becomes a cheilek of him, as opposed to stam if he's carrying it, because then his daas is irrelevant. The connection to this discussion is obvious.