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Rosh Kollel: Rabbi Mordecai Kornfeld

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Moed Katan 17

MOED KATAN 17 (October 24) - In honor of the birthday of Simcha Klein of Yonkers, NY, from the Leichmans of Teaneck, NJ. Ad Meah V'Esrim!


(a) R. Tanchum (or someone else) repeats the inference derived above, 16a, 3:d:1.
(b) R. Yosef: A rabbinical student may take the law into his own hands, if he is sure he's right.
(c) Story:
1. R. Yehudah put a rabbinical student in Niduy, although the student was a teacher and his own students needed him to teach them. This is because a teacher of Torah is compared to an angel, and if his behavior is questionable he should not be a teacher of Torah.
2. R. Yehudah died before the Niduy was over, and the other rabbis wouldn't annul it for him, because a Niduy must not be taken lightly, as seen from Rebbi's maid, as follows:
3. Rebbi's maid once put someone in Niduy for hitting his son who was already grown up. This can lead to the son rebelling against his father and dishonoring him. The rabbis heeded her Niduy for three years.
(d) Story:
1. Resh Lakish once put someone in Niduy for eating dates from a field he was guarding. The man responded by putting Resh Lakish in Niduy for declaring a Niduy for insufficient grounds.
2. Since Resh Lakish didn't know the identity of the man who put him in Niduy, he had to go to the Nasi, who is empowered to annul Niduy in such cases.
(e) Putting a Rosh Beis Din into Niduy
1. R. Huna: An enactment was made in Usha (the seat of the Sanhedrin at one point) that the head of a Beis Din is not to be put into Niduy. Rather, we say to him politely, "Stay at home." For a repeat offense, however, he is put into Niduy.
2. Reish Lakish: Even for the second offense there is no Niduy. A Tamid Chacham is never put into public Niduy.
(f) Mar Zutra Chasida, before putting a rabbinical student into Niduy, used to first put himself into Niduy (because he felt so bad about what he was about to do - Rashi). When he went home at night, he would annul his own Niduy and then the student's.
(g) R. Gidel: A Talmid Chacham can put himself in Niduy and release himself from Niduy (as Mar Zutra did above).
(h) R. Papa: "I deserve great reward, for I never put a rabbinical student into Niduy. When one required disciplining, he would be physically punished instead."
(a) What does the word Shamta (Niduy) mean?
1. Rav: It is an acronym for "Death is there."
2. Shmuel: It is an acronym for "He shall be desolation."
(b) Does Niduy have a lasting effect?
1. Shmuel: Yes, it sticks to one permanently like grease smeared in an oven.
2. Resh Lakish: No; when a Niduy or Cherem is annulled, it is completely erased, leaving no effect.
(c) Next there are two stories, one about a Niduy against a dog and the other about a Niduy against a gangster, issued in absentia, out of fear.


(a) Question: Is special permission granted to the Nazir and Metzora to shave because they did not have time to do so before the holiday (their time was not up yet then)? Or are they allowed to shave even if they did have time but neglected to do so, so that they should not delay the sacrifices that come in conjunction with the shaving?
(b) Answer: A Beraisa explicitly permits it even in the latter case.
(a) A Beraisa states: A mourner and a Kohen may shave on C.H.
(b) Question: What kind of mourner are we dealing with?
1. If the Shloshim began before the holiday he should have shaved then (see below, 19a, 2:b). Why does he deserve special permission?
2. If the Shloshim hadn't started yet before the holiday, he is still in Shloshim now, and he can't shave for that reason!
3. If the day when Shloshim started (i.e., the eighth day of mourning according to the Chachamim, who argue with Aba Shaul, who says Shiv'ah finishes on the seventh day in the morning, and Shloshim begins that same day - see below, 19b, 3:b:1-2) was the day before Yom Tov, and it happened to be a Shabbos, so he couldn't shave on that day - the Halachah allows (see below, 19b, 4:b) for shaving on Friday (the seventh day of mourning) in that case, so again he should have shaved before the holiday.
(c) Answer: The Beraisa holds like Aba Shaul, that Shloshim starts on the seventh day, and the case is that the seventh day was Shabbos, so he could not shave then. (Nor could he have shaved on Friday, the sixth day of mourning.)
(d) The Mishnah didn't mention the case of "mourner" on its list, because it holds like Chachamim (not Aba Shaul), and the only possible case or a mourner being allowed to shave during C.H. works out only according to Aba Shaul, as discussed above in (b) and (c).
(e) Question: What is the case of "Kohen" in the Beraisa (4:a)? (Background information, supplied by Rashi: 1. A Kohen, during the week of his Mishmar, may not shave. 2. A Mishmar always ends on Shabbos. 3. A Kohen may shave on the Thursday of his Mishmar, in honor of Shabbos.)
1. If the holiday begins on Sunday (the day after his Mishmar), he should have shaved on Thursday. Why give him special permission? (The same question applies if the holiday begins on Friday or Shabbos of his Mishmar.)
(f) Answer: The holiday began on Thursday (or Monday - Wednesday, for that matter), so he could not shave then (because of Yom Tov) or before then (because of his Mishmar). That's why he can shave now.
(g) The Mishnah didn't mention the case of "Kohen" on its list, because it holds that, since all Kohanim participate in the sacrifices on a holiday, the holiday is like a Mishmar for them. Thus, they may not shave during the holiday just like they may not shave during their regular Mishmar.
(a) One Beraisa (#1) says that all the exceptions listed in the Mishnah (on 14a, 1:a) concerning C.H. apply to a mourner as well.
(b) Question: Another Beraisa (#2) says that the exceptions do NOT apply to mourners.
(c) Answer: The first Beraisa is talking about someone who had a second mourning period begin before the first was finished.
(d) Question: Another Beraisa (#3) states that someone who has one mourning period right after another may shave and launder - even without the extenuating circumstances of the Mishnah!
(e) Answer: This Beraisa (#3) permits only thinning the beard with a razor (not touching the skin, of course) and laundering without detergent. The extenuating circumstances are necessary to permit regular shaving and laundering, and this is what Beraisa #1 was talking about.
(f) Conclusion from Beraisa #3: A mourner is normally forbidden to launder his clothes.
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