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Rosh Kollel: Rabbi Mordecai Kornfeld

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Moed Katan 14

MOED KATAN 14, 15 - anonymously dedicated my an Ohev Torah and Marbitz Torah in Ramat Beit Shemesh, Israel.

*****Perek #3 V'ELU MEGALCHIN*****


(a) Exceptions to the rule that shaving is forbidden on C.H.
1. One who arrives from a trip abroad during C.H.
2. One who is released from imprisonment (or captivity) during C.H.
3. One who is released from a Cherem during C.H.
4. One who has a vow (not to shave) annulled during C.H.
5. A Nazir who must perform the shaving ritual of Bamidbar 6:18
6. A healed Metzora who must perform the shaving ritual of Vayikra 14:8.
(b) Exceptions to the rule that laundering is forbidden on C.H.
1-3. Identical to 1-3 of section (a)
4. One who has a vow (not to launder) annulled during C.H.
5. Napkins (Rashi/Rif).
6. Cloths used for haircuts (alternate explanation: for covering Sifrei Kodesh. Tos. 18b).
7. Towels.
8. Tamei people (whose clothes are also Tamei) who have become Tahor.
(a) Question: Why are shaving and laundering on C.H. forbidden in the first place? (It should have been permitted because it is one of the needs of the holiday - Tosafos.)
(b) Answer: It is so that people should be extra careful not to neglect doing these things, making themselves clean and tidy, before the holiday begins.
(a) The Mishnah mentioned a list of several extenuating circumstances of people who could not possibly have shaved or laundered before the holiday. Question (by R. Zeira): What about a different extenuating circumstance: Someone lost an object and spent the entire Erev Yom Tov looking for it?
(b) Answer: This case is certainly forbidden, because people who see him cutting his hair or laundering during C.H. will not necessary know he has a good excuse. (Whereas the cases in the Mishnah are more known to the public.)
(c) Question: R. Yochanan said that if someone has only one robe he may wash it on C.H. Here, too, people might not know he has a good excuse.
(d) Answer: They can tell by the way the man is dressed that he doesn't have another robe.
(e) Alternate version of R. Zeira's question: If the town barber loses an object on Erev Yom Tov and, since everyone goes to the barber on Erev Yom Tov, everyone in town knows about his situation, can he shave and launder during C.H.? No answer is given.
(a) A Beraisa states the opinion of R. Yehudah that disagrees with the Mishnah's (1:a:1) leniency for someone who has just returned from a trip abroad. He says that since the trip was undertaken voluntarily it is not a good excuse.
(b) Rava's clarification of the issues: It it was a pleasure trip that he went on, all agree that it is forbidden to shave and launder upon his return. If it was an absolutely necessary business trip (to make a living) all agree it is permitted to shave and launder. The argument is when the trip was for an unnecessary business trip (to make more money than one needs for a living) - the Mishnah permits it and R. Yehudah forbids it.
(c) A Beraisa is quoted which seems to say that all three cases described by Rava (pleasure, necessary business, extra business) are subjects of argument between R. Yehudah and Chachamim.
(d) The Beraisa is reinterpreted to say the same thing that Rava said.
(a) Shmuel's statement: It is permitted to give a haircut to a baby born on C.H., because it comes under "One who is released from imprisonment during C.H." (1:a:2).
(b) Implication: If the baby was born before Yom Tov the haircut is forbidden.
(c) Question: A Beraisa makes the following equation: All the exceptions our Mishnah lists for C.H. apply to a mourner as well. The Gemara assumes that the converse is also true: Anyone who is NOT permitted to shave during C.H. is not permitted to shave during mourning. Applying this converse principle to 5:b, we come out with the law that a newborn who is in mourning may not have his hair cut. This contradicts a Beraisa that states that mourning rituals are not observed by small children (except the ripping of the clothing).

(d) Answer: Our assumption (in 5:c) that the converse of the Beraisa's statement is also true was a mistake. In other words, there are people who are not permitted to shave during C.H., but may shave during mourning.
(e) Alternate version of Shmuel's statement: A newborn may be given a haircut on C.H., whether he was born before or during the holiday. According to this version the Question of 5:c turns into a proof, and the Answer of 5:d turns into a refutation of the proof.
(a) Mourning is not observed during a holiday, because the general requirement of joyfulness overrides the individual's requirement of mourning.
(b) Are the laws of Menudeh observed on the holiday?
1. A proof is brought from a Beraisa that they are observed. The Beraisa says that on C.H. Beis Din may judge cases involving monetary matters, Malkos and capital punishment. This must include not only the discussion and decision of the cases, but also the implementation of punishment (in the case of monetary matters the punishment is Niduy), for in the case of capital punishment it is forbidden to leave a condemned criminal unpunished for even one day.
i. Question: How is it possible to execute someone on C.H.? There is a Beraisa that requires the judges to fast on a day when they condemn someone to execution, and fasting is forbidden on C.H.
ii. Answer: The condemnation can be left until the end of the day, and only the last few moments of the day need be spent in fasting.
(c) Are the laws of Metzora observed on the holiday?
1. Attempted proof: The Mishnah permits shaving and laundering for a Metzora who has become purified during C.H. The implication is that if he did not become purified he may not shave or launder.
2. Rejection: The Mishnah could mean that EVEN a Metzora who has become purified during C.H. may shave and launder (although one might have thought that it might lead to the Metzora purposely delaying his purification ritual until the holiday) - and it goes without saying that a Metzora who is not purified may also shave and launder.
3. Proof: A Kohen Gadol must observe the rules of Metzora, and every day is a Moed for a Kohen Gadol. Hence, a Metzora must observe his rules on C.H.
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