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Chagigah, 4

CHAGIGAH 4 & 5 - anonymously dedicated by an Ohev Torah and Marbitz Torah in Ramat Beit Shemesh, Israel.


QUESTION: The Gemara (3b) cites a Beraisa which says that there are three signs that show that a person is a Shoteh: he goes out alone at night, sleeps in a graveyard, and tears his clothing indiscriminately. Rav Huna and Rebbi Yochanan argue how many of these signs must a person display in order to be classified as a Shoteh. Rav Huna says that one is a Shoteh only if he performs all three strange actions. Rebbi Yochanan argues and says that a person will have the status of a Shoteh even if he does only one of these actions.

The Gemara concludes that even *one* strange action will prove a person to be a Shoteh. This is based on a Beraisa which states that a definite sign of a Shoteh is one who loses everything that is given to him. The Gemara asks whether this Beraisa proves that *any* one strange action is enough to prove that the person is a Shoteh (and three different actions are not necessary), or only a strange action similar to losing everything is enough to make him a Shoteh, so that only a strange action that involves a loss of money, such as ripping one's clothing, is a definite sign that he is a Shoteh (while the other signs, going out alone at night and sleeping in a graveyard, when done alone are not enough to show that he is a Shoteh).

How can the Gemara suggest the possibility that ripping one's clothing alone proves that a person is a Shoteh, while the other two signs must be combined in order to prove that one is a Shoteh? The first Beraisa states clearly that one is considered a Shoteh when he does these *three* actions. If ripping one's clothing alone makes him a Shoteh, then why would the Beraisa say that one has to do *all three* actions? Once he has ripped his clothing, he is a Shoteh, regardless of whether or not he does the other two actions. If he has *only* slept in a graveyard and walked outside alone at night, and has not ripped his clothing, it does not show that he is a Shoteh. Why, then, does the Beraisa mention the other two signs? It must mean that if a person does *either one* of the three actions, he is a Shoteh (like the first option of the Gemara, that any single strange action will make a person a Shoteh)!

Moreover, how can it be that ripping one's clothing alone makes a person a Shoteh, and the other two must be done in combination with other acts? The Beraisa seems to equate them, and it does not differentiate between the degree of proof that each action provides! (TUREI EVEN)


(a) The TUREI EVEN answers as follows. We see from TOSFOS (3b, DH Kivan) that according to Rav Huna -- who says that one must do a combination of all three of these strange actions -- even if one does *one* of these acts *three times*, it still does not make him a Shoteh; he must do *each one* of them at least one time in order to be a Shoteh.

If that is what Rav Huna holds, then what does Rebbi Yochanan hold? Does he hold that doing even a single act *one time* makes a person into a Shoteh, or does he hold that doing a single act *three times* makes him a Shoteh?

The Turei Even says that Rebbi Yochanan holds that only if one does one act *three times* is he considered a Shoteh, and he does not become a Shoteh by doing one act only one time. Therefore, when the Beraisa says that one must do three acts to become a Shoteh, it means that even though one rips his clothing, he is still not a Shoteh until he does the other two things, because the only time we say that ripping one's clothing makes him a Shoteh (without doing any other strange act) is when he does it *three times* (whereas doing one of the other two things three times does not make him a Shoteh; only if he does all three things one time each does he become a Shoteh).

That also explains why the Beraisa equates all of the acts with each other. When each one is done only once, they are indeed equal (for one is *not* considered a Shoteh for doing any one of these acts a single time).

(b) The CHIDUSHIM U'VI'URIM explains that Rav Huna requires that the person do all three acts only when the person does each one in a manner which is does not necessarily prove that he is a Shoteh -- that is, there might have been another reason why he did the act (as the Gemara mentions on 3b). However, when he does an act in such a way that it is absolutely clear that he did it because he was a Shoteh and for no other reason, then it is not necessary to have all three acts in order to be considered a Shoteh.

According to the conclusion of the Gemara, that the Beraisa means that ripping one's clothing alone is enough to make a person a Shoteh, the other two acts mentioned in the Beraisa (going out alone at night, and sleeping in a graveyard) will also make him a Shoteh when done alone *in a case when there is no alternative explanation for his act*. In such a case, all three of these acts are equal. In contrast, when the acts are done in a way that is doubtful and there could be a valid reason why he acted in such a way, then the only sign that still certifies him as a Shoteh is ripping his clothing; the other two are not considered signs of a Shoteh when there is a viable alibi.

QUESTION: The Gemara says that a slave should be exempt from Re'iyah because of a Gezeirah Shavah from a verse that discusses a woman (Devarim 24:1) to a verse that discusses a servant (Vayikra 19:20). The verse in Vayikra discusses a Shifchah, a maid-servant, "whose freedom was not yet given to her (Lah)."

However, the verse there is discussing a maid-servant and not a male slave! How then, can we learn from the comparison between a woman and a maid-servant that a *male slave* is exempt from Mitzvos? We see from there only that a female slave is exempt from Mitzvos like a woman. A male slave, though, might differ from a female slave, just like a Jewish man differs from a Jewish woman with regard to Mitzvah-observance!

We cannot answer that the phrase "Lah" in the verse discussing a maid-servant is extra, and we would have known that a maid-servant's obligation in Mitzvos is like that of a woman without the Gezeirah Shavah, and therefore the Gezeirah Shavah must be teaching us the male servant's obligation. That is incorrect, because the Gemara (Kidushin 23a) derives from the Gezeirah Shavah many of the Halachos of writing the slave's contract of release from the laws of writing a woman's Get. Consequently, even if we did not need the Gezeirah Shavah to teach us the obligation of a maid-servant in Mitzvos, we would not know to use it to teach the obligation of a male slave, since it is already being used to teach something else! (TUREI EVEN, TOSFOS REBBI AKIVA EIGER in Mishnayos Berachos 3:3)

ANSWER: There is a basic question regarding how to understand the slave's obligation in Mitzvos. If not for the Gezeirah Shavah of "Lah-Lah," would the slave be obligated in *all* Mitzvos (like a full-fledged Jew), and it is the Gezeirah Shavah that limits his obligation to that of a woman's, or without the Gezeirah Shavah, the slave would be *completely exempt* from Mitzvos (like a non-Jew), and the Gezeirah Shavah obligates him in the Mitzvos which a woman is obligated to observe?

The TUREI EVEN and REBBI AKIVA EIGER suggest that a slave would have been exempt from Mitzvos completely, and the Gezeirah Shavah obligates him in those of a woman. Therefore, we have no source to obligate a male slave in any Mitzvos other than those of a woman, because without the verse he is like a non-Jew, and the verse obligates him only in the Mitzvos of a woman. There is no source other than this verse to obligate him in more Mitzvos. (This logic is expressed clearly by TOSFOS in Bava Kama 88a, DH Yehei, who says that the Gezeirah Shavah comes to obligate the slave in Mitzvos, and not to exempt him from them. See also SHITAH MEKUBETZES in Kerisus 7b:17.)

This, in fact, is the implication of the Gemara's wording, "Any Mitzvah which a woman is obligated to do, a slave is obligated to do, and any Mitzvah which she is not obligated to do, a slave is not obligated." The Gemara is assuming that the verse is *adding* obligations, since it does not say, "Any Mitzvah from which a woman *is exempt*, a slave *is also *exempt*." By phrasing the comparison in terms of obligations, and not exemptions, the Gemara implies that the slave is completely exempt without the Gezeirah Shavah, and the Gezeirah Shavah gives him obligations like a woman.

Rebbi Akiva Eiger, however, questions this approach. The RAMBAM rules that it is prohibited for a slave to shave his beard, even though women do not have this Mitzvah, because the only reason the Mitzvah does not apply to women is that their physical nature is such that they do not grow beards naturally. How can this Mitzvah apply to slaves, if it does not apply to women? I would seem that a slave indeed is obligated in all the Mitzvos and the Gezeirah Shavah *reduces* his obligations to those of a woman. Otherwise, if the only source for his obligation in Mitzvos is the obligation of women in Mitzvos, why would he be obligated to observe the prohibition against shaving? There is no source that obligates him in that Mitzvah!

RAV ELCHANAN WASSERMAN (Kovetz He'aros 11:3), however, does not consider this to be a valid question. Since the woman is exempt only because she does not grow a beard, in truth she is obligated to observe this Mitzvah, but it cannot apply to her because of her physical nature. In such a case, it is as if the Torah did command her to observe the Mitzvah, but her physical nature exempts her from it. Therefore, since in theory she is obligated, a slave is also obligated, and since his physical nature is such that he does grow a beard, he has no exemption like a woman has.

Hagaon RAV YISRAEL ZEV GUSTMAN zt'l pointed out that this approach might be the subject of a dispute among the Rishonim. A slave must immerse himself in a Mikvah twice -- once when he becomes a slave, and once when he is freed. The RAMBAM (Hilchos Isurei Bi'ah 13:12) writes that it is only after the second Tevilah that "his conversion is completed" and he becomes a full-fledged Jew. This implies that, according to the Rambam, before the second Tevilah, the slave is *not* a full-fledged Jew (like the approach of Rebbi Akiva Eiger). The same might be derived from RASHI in Yevamos (47b, DH Aval Eved), who writes that when a slave immerses for the first time to become a slave, at that moment he becomes "Shayach b'Mitzvos." Rashi calls him only "Shayach b'Mitzvos" (literally, "related" to Mitzvah performance). Why does Rashi not write simply that he becomes "Chayav b'Mitzvos" (fully obligated to do Mitzvos)? It seems that Rashi holds that a slave is *not* Chayav in Mitzvos, but only "Shayach," which means that the Mitzvos apply to him but not in the same way as they apply to a normal Jew.

However, the NIMUKEI YOSEF in Yevamos (ibid.) cites the RAMBAN who writes that the second Tevilah of the slave is only mid'Rabanan. This implies that the first Tevilah is what makes him a full-fledged Jew, mid'Oraisa.

(How will the Ramban answer the question of the Turei Even, that only a maid-servant should be obligated in Mitzvos like a woman, but not a male slave? The Ramban perhaps would agree that before the Gezeirah Shavah, we would have thought that a slave is not considered a Jew and does not have any Mitzvos. However, now that the Torah teaches the Gezeirah Shavah of "Lah-Lah," and we learn from there that a slave is obligated in Mitzvos like a woman, we assume that there is a logical reason for this comparison. Just like the Torah exempted a woman from Mitzvos because she is Meshubedes to someone else and is not always free to perform some Mitzvos (as the AVUDRAHAM explains), so, too, the slave is subordinate to his master's will, and therefore the Torah exempts him from some of the Mitzvos. Once we see that the slave is obligated in some of the Mitzvos like a woman, it must be because he is a full-fledged Jew, and only his Shibud to a master exempts him from many of the Mitzvos. When he is freed, he is automatically obligated in all of the remaining Mitzvos.)

We find other examples of this dispute among the Rishonim. The Rishonim argue whether the body of a dead slave is Asur b'Hana'ah like the body of a Jew, or it is Mutar b'Hana'ah like the body of a Nochri (TOSFOS and RASHBA Bava Kama 10a DH she'ha'Shor). Similarly, TOSFOS (Sotah 61b) implies that a live slave is like a Nochri in that he cannot become Tamei. Rebbi Akiva Eiger asks why should he not become Tamei? The Gezeirah Shavah compares him to a woman, and thus he should become Tamei just like a woman can become Tamei! The same question applies to those opinions that say that the corpse of a slave is Mutar b'Hana'ah. It should be Asur b'Hana'ah, just like the body of a woman!

The answer to this question is that TOSFOS (Zevachim 103a, DH Ein) says that the Gezeirah Shavah comparing a slave to a woman applies only insofar as the obligation in Mitzvos is concerned; the Gezeirah Shavah teaches nothing about the Halachic *nature* of the slave. As such, since a slave is essentially a Nochri (since the Gezeirah Shavah does not serve to compare his nature to that of a woman), he cannot become Tamei and his corpse is Mutar b'Hana'ah. (This answer is based on the approach of Rebbi Akiva Eiger mentioned above, that a slave is *not* obligated in any Muses..)

The Rishonim who argue and say that he becomes Tamei and his corpse is Asur b'Hana'ah hold either that the Gezeirah Shavah applies also to the Halachic nature of the slave as well as to the degree of his obligation in Mitzvos, or they hold like the Ramban that a slave has the status of a Jew after the first Tevilah.


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