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prepared by Rabbi Eliezer Chrysler
Kollel Iyun Hadaf, Jerusalem

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Moed Katan 18



(a) When Shmuel went to pay Pinchas his brother a Shiv'ah visit - he noticed that Pinchas' fingernails were long and asked him why he did not cut them.

(b) Pinchas replied by asking him whether he would be so callous as to cut his nails if *he* was an Aveil - something that he ought not to have said, because of the principle 'B'ris Kerusah im ha'S'fasayim' (One must careful what one says).

(c) When Pinchas, as a result of his thoughtlessness, had to pay a return visit - Shmuel, who was cutting his nails when he entered, took them, in his anger, and threw them at him.

(d) He later swept them together - because, as we will see shortly, one is not permitted to leave one's nails on the floor.

2) We learn the concept that a covenant is made with one's lips from a number of sources - Rebbi Yochanan in our Sugya derives it from Avraham Avinu, who said to Yishmael and Eliezer that he and Yitzchak would bow down and return to them (even though officially, Yitzchak was going to be Shechted), and in the end, they did (see Agados Maharsha).


(a) There is no difference between the finger-nails and the toe-nails in this regard - both are permitted according to Shmuel.

(b) We might have thought otherwise - because the fingernails are visible, and therefore disgusting when they grow too long, whereas the toenails are not.

(c) Rav Chiya bar Ashi Amar Rav qualifies the concession of cutting one's nails during Aveilus - by confining it to biting them, but forbids cutting them with scissors.

(a) Rav Sh'man bar Aba found Rebbi Yochanan in the Beis-Hamedrash on Chol ha'Mo'ed cutting his nails with his teeth. Besides the obvious Heter to cut one's nails (with a Shinuy) on Chol ha'Mo'ed - we also learn from him that it is not considered disgusting to have long nails (otherwise he would have cut them with scissors), and that one is permitted to throw them on the floor of the Beis-Hamedrash.

(b) Someone who ...

1. ... throws his nails on the floor - is called a Rasha.
2. ... buries them - is called a Tzadik.
3. ... who burns them - a Chasid.
(c) The reason for all this is - because we are afraid that a pregnant woman may walk over the nails and lose her baby (due to witchcraft).

(d) Throwing one's nails on the floor of the Beis Hamedrash is nevertheless permitted due to the fact that women do not generally frequent the Beis Hamedrash. We are not afraid that the nails might be swept up and thrown outside, to a location where women *do* go - because once the nails have changed their location, they are harmless.

(a) Rebbi permitted a pair who came from Chamsan to cut their nails. Had they asked him, Rav (or the Tana of a Beraisa) assessed - he would have even allowed them to cut their mustaches (according to Shmuel, they actually did ask Rebbi that, and he permitted it).

(b) Any part of the mustache is permitted - provided it interferes with one's eating.

(c) Rav Nachman bar Yitzchak ruled - that as far as he was concerned, any part of the mustache was permitted (period), because he was finicky in this regard.

(a) Par'oh is described in Daniel as "Sh'fal Anashim" - because he was only one Amah tall and so was his beard, whilst the size of his penis was one and a half Amos.

(b) We learn from the Pasuk "Hinei Yotz'ei ha'Maymah" - that Par'oh was a magician.

(c) Our Mishnah permits specific people to wash their clothes on Chol ha'Mo'ed, and specific clothes to be washed. We justify ...

1. ... Rav Asi Amar Rebbi Yochanan permitting someone who has only one shirt to wash his clothes too (even though he is not one of those listed in our Mishnah) - by establishing our Mishnah by people who have *two* shirts which are both dirty (and who would not be permitted to wash them were it not for those circumstances presented by the Tana).
2. ... Rebbi Yochanan's permitting the washing of *linen* clothes on Chol ha'Mo'ed (even though they are not listed in our Mishnah either) - by establishing our Mishnah by *other materials*.
(d) Rav Heidaya tried to support Rebbi Yochanan's second statement with first-hand evidence that he had seen with his own eyes (the Sea of Teverya teeming with linen clothes being washed on Chol ha'Mo'ed). Abaye refutes Rav Heidaya's proof however - on the grounds that, we cannot say with certainty that those people were washing them with the Chachamim's approval.



(a) Our Mishnah permits writing a variety of documents on Chol ha'Mo'ed: documents of betrothal and divorce, receipts, wills and gifts.
1. A P'ruzbul - is a document in which the creditor transfers his debt to Beis-Din. This renders the debt as if it was already claimed (in which case there is no prohibition in then claiming it from the debtor on behalf of the Beis-Din) - Tiferes Yisrael.
2. An Igeres Shum - is a document in which the Beis-Din assesses the property of the debtor and transfers it to the creditor (Bartenura).
3. An Igeres Mazon - is a document in which a man undertakes to feed his wife's daughter (from a previous marriage) - see also Bartenura.
(b) A document of Chalitzah too, is permitted, and so are decrees of Beis-Din.
1. A Sh'tar Miy'un - a document which states that a girl under Bas-Mitzvah (who was married off by her mother or brother) walked out on her husband, thereby negating their marriage.
2. A Sh'tar Birurin - is a document in which Beis-Din designate the different parts of the field to the various partners (see also Bartenura).
3. An Igeres shel Reshus - is a document containing commands and decrees of the ruler.
(c) Chazal permit all of these on Chol ha'Mo'ed - because we are afraid that perhaps one of the key players will die or go overseas by the time Yom-Tov is out, making it a 'Davar ha'Aveid'.
(a) Shmuel permits betrothal on Chol ha'Mo'ed in case someone else betroths the woman first. There is no proof for this from ...
1. ... our Mishnah, which permits the writing of Sh'tarei Kidushin - because our Mishnah may well be referring, not to the actual Sh'tarei Kidushin, but to Sh'tarei P'sikta (the document which contains the various monetary obligations undertaken by the parents of the Chasan and the Kalah.
2. ... the Mishnah on 8b., 'Ein Nos'in Nashim be'Mo'ed', implying that betrothal is permitted - because this implication is a mistake. Maybe the Tana is teaching us that *even* marriage is forbidden, in spite of the fact that it is a Mitzvah (part of the act of having children), unlike betrothal, which is not a Mitzvah, and which the Tana therefore takes for granted.
(b) There *is* however, a Tana de'Bei Shmuel that bears out Shmuel, explicitly forbidding marriage, but permitting betrothal. The Tana does however, qualify the concession of betrothal - forbidding an engagement party on Chol ha'Mo'ed.

(c) The same Beraisa - forbids a Yavam to make Yibum on Chol ha'Mo'ed.

(a) Shmuel says that each day, a Bas-Kol makes two announcements - so-and-so's daughter is destined for so-and-so, and such and such a field is destined for so-and-so.

(b) When Shmuel permits betrothal on Chol ha'Mo'ed in case someone else 'gets her first', he does not mean that the other person betroths her first (since this is impossible). What he means is in case someone else causes her death by praying that she should die (rather than him seeing her become engaged to her 'barsherte' - see Agados Maharsha.

(c) Rava told that man whom he overheard Davening for a certain woman - that this was not the right way of praying, because, if she was destined for him, then he would get her anyway, and if not then, seeing as Hashem would not answer his prayers, they were bound to be in vain, and ultimately, weaken his faith, when he saw that his prayers were not being answered.

(d) The man subsequently changed the wording of his prayer.

1. He then begin praying - that either *he* should die before she became betrothed, or that *she* should (see Agados Maharsha).
2. Rava then told him - that he should not Daven in that manner.
(a) Rav (or a Beraisa) quoting Rebbi Reuven ben Itzrubli learns from Lavan and Besuel's reaction to Eliezer's amazing success in finding the right Shiduch for Yitzchak, in spite of their efforts to the contrary - that the teaching that 'a woman is designated for a man' is contained in the Torah. Their reaction is expressed in three remarkable words: "me'Hashem Yatza ha'Davar"!

(b) We learn the same thing from a Pasuk ...

1. ... in Nevi'im regarding Shimshon's parents - about whom the Navi writes "And they did not know that it (the choosing of Shimshon's P'lishti wife) was from Hashem".
2. ... in Kesuvim (Mishlei) - where Shlomoh writes "A house and wealth may be an inheritance from one's fathers, but a wise woman is from Hashem".
(a) Rav (or a Beraisa) quoting Rebbi Reuven ben Itzrubli, also says that someone who is suspected of having done something when he really did not do it, either whole or even in part, nor did he even consider doing it - must have at least seen someone else do it, and been pleased with what he saw (otherwise he would be above suspicion).

(b) When Yisrael accused Hashem (Kevayachol) of having done wicked things - they did so in order to anger Hashem; and, when on another occasion, they suspected Moshe of having committed adultery - it was out of hatred. Neither was a genuine suspicion.

(c) When Rebbi Yossi expressed the wish that his lot should be with those who were suspected of having done things of which they were innocent (and Rav Papa stated that this had actually happened to him) - they were referring to a lasting suspicion that did not pass quickly (which we are about to explain); whereas *we* are referring to a brief, passing one.

(a) One only contends with a rumor, if the person concerned has no enemies. For a rumor to be classified as 'Kala de'Lo Pasik' - it must persist (as a wide-spread rumor) for thirty-six hours.

(b) If the rumor stopped for a short while during that day and a half period, then it is considered a 'Kala de'Pasik' - unless it was stopped out of fear of the suspect.

(c) A broken rumor will be considered a 'Kala de'Lo Pasik' even if it stopped in the middle of the thirty-six hours (not out of fear) - if it breaks out again afterwards (see Hagahos me'Rav Renshburg).

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