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Beitzah 25


QUESTION: The Gemara says that the dog is the most brazen of all wild animals. The Mishnah in Avos (5:20) says that a person should be as brazen as a *leopard* to do the will of Hashem. If the Mishnah wants to emphasize how brazen one must be, why did it use the example of a leopard, and not a dog? Or, conversely, if the leopard is the most brazen of animals, why did our Gemara not mention it? (BEN YEHOYADA)

ANSWER: The BEN YEHOYADA answers, based on the BARTENURA in Avos, that the reason a leopard ("Namer") is so brazen is because it is the product of mating a lioness with a wild boor. Because it is a Mamzer, a product of inappropriate mating, it is particularly brazen, as is common among Mamzerim (see Bava Basra 58a, Maseches Kalah ch. 1). Any animal that is a Mamzer has that trait, but since all leopards are Mamzerim they all have that trait and that is why the Mishnah mentioned the leopard as an example of how brazen one should be in serving Hashem. Our Gemara, though, is discussing animals are naturally gifted with the characteristic of being brazen, and not animals that are brazen as a result of their pedigree.

QUESTION: The Gemara tells us that the Jewish people are the most brazen of the nations. The attribute of brazenness is the opposite of that of Bushah, being chaste and unassuming. The Gemara in Yevamos (79a) teaches that David ha'Melech decided that the Nesinim were not fit to marry into the Jewish people because they did not demonstrate the three signs characteristic of the Jews, who are "Rachmanim, Baishanim, v'Gomlei Chasadim" (merciful, chaste, and doers of kindness).

The MAHARAL (Nesiv ha'Bushah 1) explains that these are natural characteristics of the Jews which they inherited from the Avos (see also Beitzah 32b). They inherited mercifulness from Yakov Avinu (Bereishis 43:14) and Bushah from Yitzchak Avinu, whose unique trait was Yir'ah, fear (Bereishis 31:42), from which Bushah derives (Yevamos 79a). Their attribute of being Gomlei Chasadim comes from Avraham Avinu, who was exceptional in is Chesed (Bereishis 18:19).

How, then, can our Gemara say that the natural tendency of the Jewish people is the attribute of brazenness, while the Gemara in Yevamos says that the natural tendency of the Jewish people is Bushah? (MAHARAL loc. cit.)

ANSWER: The MAHARAL explains that there are two types of Bushah. One type comes from a person's lack of motivation. This type of Bushah manifests itself in one who is easily discouraged from taking any initiative because of his shame. There is another type of Bushah which one experiences when one realizes that someone else is greater than he, and therefore he submits himself to that person, making himself submissive to him out of his feeling of shame before one who is greater than he.

The Jewish people are brazen with regard to the first type of Bushah, which they lack totally. They have a lot of initiative. They are always creative and moving. With regard to the other type of Bushah, the Jewish people excel, for they submit to those who are greater than they. It is in that sense that they are Baishanim (the positive type of Bushah). The Nesinim lacked this positive Bushah and therefore David ha'Melech rejected them. (In NETZACH YISRAEL ch. 14, the Maharal seems to contradict this approach; his words there need further elucidation.)

OPINIONS: The Gemara says that a blind man may not carry a walking stick outside on Yom Tov. Rashi explains that by carrying out a walking stick, he is doing an act which is not fit for Yom Tov, because it looks like he is acting as he does on a weekday (i.e. going for a lengthy walking trip). To what extent does this apply today? This Gemara is recorded as Halachah, and the Mishnah Berurah adds that it also applies to any person who needs to walk with a cane. Does this mean that someone who needs to walk with a cane cannot go outside on Yom Tov?

(a) The ROSH (3:5) says that the stick that is prohibited is only one that helps one walk straight, but without which one is still able to walk. If it is impossible to walk without it one may carry it out, as we learned in Shabbos (66a; see Insights to Shabbos 66:1).

(b) The YAM SHEL SHLOMO writes that it is permitted to go out with a walking stick on Yom Tov in Reshus ha'Yachid, or even in a semi-private Karmelis (such as a Chatzer she'Einah Me'ureves), as long as one does not walk in a Reshus ha'Rabim or any public thoroughfare (even though carrying other objects in those places is permitted on Yom Tov).

HALACHAH: RAV MOSHE FEINSTEIN (Igros Moshe OC 5:19) writes that although many people have the practice to walk out with a walking stick on Yom Tov (when they can walk without it, in public areas), there does not seem to be any clear reason to permit it (regardless of whether or not there is an Eruv). He writes that it is so commonplace that it will not help to protest, and therefore "it is better to let them do something inadvertently than to do it purposefully." He concludes that in practice, it is difficult to find grounds to permit it.
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