ANSWERS TO REVIEW QUESTIONS
prepared by Rabbi Eliezer Chrysler
Kollel Iyun Hadaf, Jerusalem
Previous daf Moed Katan 26
MOED KATAN 26 & 27 - dedicated by Mr. Avi Berger of Queens, N.Y. in memory
of his parents, Pinchas ben Reb Avraham Yitzchak, and Leah bas Michal
(a) The list of occasions that one tears Keri'ah and is forbidden to re-sew
professionally - ever, comprises five people, three events and three
1. The three people (besides one's father and mother) - are his Rebbe, the
Nasi and the Av Beis-Din.
(b) We learn from Elisha, who, as Eliyahu was being carried away in a
fire-chariot, cried out (before renting his garments) ...
2. The two events (besides hearing bad news) - are the cursing of Hashem's
Name and the burning of a Seifer-Torah.
3. The two locations that one must see (besides that of the Beis
Hamikdash) - are the cities of Yehudah and Yerushalayim.
1. ... "Avi Avi" - that one is obligated to tear Keri'ah for one's deceased
father and mother.
(c) And we learn from the continuation of the Pasuk "va'Yechazek bi'Vegadav
va'Yikra'em *li'Sh'nayim Kera'im*" - that one is never permitted to re-sew
2. ... "Rechev Yisrael u'Farashav" - that one must tear for a Rebbe from
whom one learnt Torah.
(d) We learn the Dinim of Keri'ah for a Meis from Eliyahu, despite the fact
that he did not die - because the Navi adds "ve'Lo Ra'ahu Od" (so, to all
intents and purposes, he was dead).
(a) We learn from David, who, upon hearing of Yisrael's defeat at the hands
of the P'lishtim and the death of Shaul and Yehonasan, rent his clothes for
1. ... "Shaul" - that one tears Keri'ah for a King.
(b) We know that all three are not required in order to tear Keri'ah -
because the Pasuk writes "*al* Shaul, ve'*al* Yehonasan ve'*al* Am Hashem
... ", separating each case from the others.
2. ... "Yehonasan" - that one tears Keri'ah for the Av Beis-Din.
3. ... "and the people of Yisrael ... who had fallen by the sword" - that
one tears Keri'ah upon hearing bad news.
(c) Besides eulogizing and crying over the tragedy - David and the people
who were with him also fasted until the evening.
(d) Shavur Malka (King of Persia) killed twelve thousand Jews.
1. Shmuel did not tear Keri'ah when he heard the news - because one only
tears Keri'ah for a calamity which involves the majority of the community.
2. When Shavur Malka himself boasted to Shmuel that he had never killed a
Jew - he meant unjustly, whereas in this case, the Jews had rebelled, and
brought recrimination on themselves.
(a) We learn from the Pasuk in Melachim, where, following the blasphemy of
Ravshakei (Sancheiriv's emissary), the Navi describes how Elyakim ben
Chilkiyah who was in charge of the Beis ha'Mikdash, Shevna the Sofer and
Yo'ach ben Asaf clerk of the court, came to Chizkiyahu with their clothes
torn - that one is obligated to tear Keri'ah upon hearing blasphemy.
(b) There is no difference in this regard, between the person who initially
hears the blasphemy and those who hear it repeated from him (as he testifies
in court) - all of them are obligated to tear Keri'ah.
(c) We know that the witnesses do not need to tear K'ri'ah again, when they
themselves repeat what they heard (because they already tore when they heard
it) - from the Pasuk there, which stresses that Chizkiyahu ha'Melech rent
his clothes, implying that the witnesses are not obligated to rent their
clothes a second time.
(d) We learn from a 'Gezeirah-Shavah' "Keri'ah" "Keri'ah" from Elisha - that
here too, it is forbidden to sew the torn garment professionally.
(a) When they read out to King Yehoyakim the first four Pesukim of Yirmiyah
ha'Navi's new Seifer 'Megilas Eichah': "Eichah Yashvah Badad ... ", "Bachoh
Sivkeh ba'Laylah ... ", "Galsah Yehudah me'Oni ... " and "Darchei Tziyon
Aveilos ... ", he was unperturbed - because, he thought, he was king, and
what would happen to the people would not necessarily affect him.
(b) When they ...
1. ... read the fifth Pasuk "Hayu Tzareha le'Rosh ... " - he wanted to know
who was responsible for the enemy's vanquishing Yisrael.
(c) We learn from the following words in Yirmiyah "ve'Lo Pachadu ve'Lo Kar'u
es Bigdeihem" - that one is also obligated to tear Keri'ah when witnessing
the burning of a Seifer-Torah (which also contains Names of Hashem).
2. ... informed him that this was Hashem's punishment for Yisrael's many
sins - he cut-out all the Names of Hashem from the Megilah and threw them
into the fire.
(d) When Rav Papa asked Abaye how we know that this Pasuk is not referring
to bad news - he replied that, at that time, there was no bad news.
(a) Rav Huna says that someone who witnesses the tearing of a Sefer-Torah,
is obligated to tear two Keri'os - one for the parchment and one for the
(b) When Rebbi Aba once removed his Tefilin and put them down on a sheet -
an ostrich wanted to swallow them.
(c) When Rebbi Aba declared that had it succeeded, he would have had to
tear two Keri'os, Rebbi Huna bar Chiya objected on the grounds that he had
heard from Rav Yehudah - that one only needs to fast if the incident was
similar to the original one, where Yehoyakim threw the Names of Hashem into
the fire by force, in a deliberate act of defiance. In our case, where, had
the ostrich swallowed the Tefilin, it would have been no more than an
accident, it is not necessary to tear Keri'ah.
(a) We learn from the Pasuk in Yirmiyah, where eighty men came from Sh'chem,
Shilo and Shomron with shaven beards, *torn clothes*, and cut-up, carrying a
Minchah and Levonah to the Beis-Hamikdash - that someone who sees the cities
of Yehudah in a state of desolation, is obligated to tear Keri'ah.
With reference to all of the cases mentioned on this Amud, the Beraisa says
've'Chulan Resha'in le'Sholelan, u'le'Molelan, u'le'Loktan ve'La'asosan
(b) One quotes the Pasuk in Yeshayah ...
1. ... "Arei Kodshecha Hayu Midbar" - upon seeing the cities of Yehudah in a
state of desolation (before tearing Keri'ah).
(c) We learned in the Beraisa that one tears Keri'ah upon seeing the Beis
Hamikdash and just adds to the tear when one then sees Yerushalayim). The
Beraisa, which requires an independent tear for the Beis ha'Mikdash - speaks
when he first saw Yerushalayim, tore Keri'ah and then saw the
2. ... "Tziyon Midbar Haysah, Yerushalayim Shemamah" - upon seeing
Yerushalayim in a state of desolation (before tearing Keri'ah).
3. ... "Beis Kodsheinu ve'Sif'arteinu Asher Hilelucha Avoseinu Haysah
li'S'reifas Eish ... " - upon seeing the Makom ha'Mikdash in a state of
(d) It is possible to see the Beis-Hamikdash before Yerushalayim - by
entering close to the Makom ha'Mikdash via a wagon (without having seen
1. 'Le'Sholelan' - means basting.
2. 'Le'Molelan - to roll the two ends of the tear together and pin them
3. 'Le'Loktan' - to repair the entire tear using pins (and not actually
4. 'La'asosan ke'Min Sulamos' - to sew the tear together, but leaving slight
gaps between the stitches.
5. 'Ichuy Aleksandri' - means to sew them together professionally, in such a
way that the tear is no longer visible.
(a) Someone who tears Keri'ah on a garment from a spot that has been sewn in
one of the four ways that are permitted, has *not* fulfilled his obligation
(since, what he is in effect doing, is re-tearing the existing tear again) -
whereas someone who tears from a spot that was sewn professionally (by means
of Ichuy Alexandri), *has*.
(b) According to the Tana Kama of Rebbi Shimon ben Elazar - turning the
garment upside-down will enable the rent garment to be sewn together
(c) Someone who purchases a garment on which Keri'ah has been made, may not
repair it professionally. Seeing as the purchaser is not permitted to repair
it either - it is incumbent upon the seller to inform him that the tear in
the garment is one of Keri'ah.
(d) Rebbi Meir requires a Keri'ah of one Tefach, and a Tosefes of three
Tefachim, Rebbi Yehudah, a Keri'ah of three Etzba'os, whereas a Tosefes of
anything will do. Ula rules - one Tefach with regard to the Keri'ah (like
Rebbi Meir), and any amount for the Tosefes (like Rebbi Yehudah) (a ruling
which is corroborated by Rebbi Yossi in the Beraisa - see Tosfos DH
(a) With regard to re-sewing the tear professionally, if a person tore
initially for ...
1. ... his father and then for his son - he may re-sew the bottom tear but
not the top one.
(b) The Tana Kama holds that, if someone's father died, then his mother,
then his brother and then his sister, he tears one K'ri'ah for all of them -
according to Rebbi Yehudah ben Beseirah, he may tear one tear for all his
relatives, but for his parents, he must tear separately, because it is not
correct to add on to the Keri'ah that he made for his parents.
2. ... his son and then for his father - he may re-sew the top one but not
the bottom one.
(c) Shmuel rules like the strict opinion of Rebbi Yehudah ben Beseirah, in
spite of his other ruling (that we always follow the more lenient opinion
when it comes to Aveilus) - because that ruling is confined to Aveilus, and
does not extend to Keri'ah.
(a) The limit for tearing Keri'ah is as far as the navel. Others who hold
that it may reach no further that the heart - cite a hint for their opinion
from the Pasuk in Yoel "ve'Kir'u Levavchem ve'Al Bigdeichem".
(b) As soon as ...
1. ... the tear reaches one's navel - one begins a fresh tear at a distance
of at least three Etzba'os from the original one, and repeats the sequence.
(c) The Beraisa says - that tearing at the bottom of the garment or at the
sides is not a valid Keri'ah.
2. ... the entire front of one's garment down to the navel is full of
rents - one turns it round until the back of the garment is now at the
front, and begins tearing again what has now become the untorn front of the
3. ... the front and back of the garment are torn - one turns the garment
upside-down and begins all over again.
(d) Only a Kohen Gadol tears at the bottom of his clothes (see Tosfos DH
(a) Rav Masna and Mar Ukva argue in the name of Sh'muel's father and Levi:
one of them says that one may only add to an initial tear after the
*Shiv'ah* - the other one says only after the *Sh'loshim*.
(b) The reason for the first opinion is because during the Shiv'ah, even
sewing the tear inexpertly is forbidden. This does not mean that a woman who
is sitting Shiv'ah (who *is* permitted to inexpertly sew her torn garment
immediately), is permitted to add to the initial tear (for another deceased
relative), even during the Shiv'ah - because, strictly speaking, she is not
permitted to sew her torn garment during the Shiv'ah, and it is only for
Tz'ni'us purposes that Chazal permitted her to do so.
(c) By the same token, the reason that the second opinion forbids adding to
the tear during the Sh'loshim is because, during that time, one is forbidden
to sew the garment professionally. This does not mean that, seeing as one is
never permitted to sew professionally a garment that he tore for his father
and mother, one may never add to the tear of such a garment (even *after*
the Sh'loshim) - because there too, strictly speaking, sewing the tear for
one's parents is permitted, like for any other relative; and it is only out
of respect for one's parents that Chazal forbade sewing it professionally
(a) The Beraisa says - that someone who walks in front of a dead person with
a garment that was torn previously is guilty of stealing both from the
living ('Geneivas Da'as') and from the dead (the rent that he ought to tear
for them, and that is theirs by right).
(b) A person who borrowed a coat ...
1. ... expressly to go and visit his sick father, but when he arrived, he
found that his father had died - should tear Keri'ah and then sew it
professionally. Later, when he returns the garment, he pays the owner for
(c) Besides not informing a sick man that his relative has died (in case
this causes his condition to seriously deteriorate) - one may also not tear
Keri'ah in his presence (even if he knows about the death of the deceased).
One also asks weeping women to control their weeping in his presence.
2. ... without mentioning the fact that his father was sick - then he is not
permitted to tear Keri'ah on it.
(d) One tears Keri'ah ...
1. ... on a Katan whose relative died (in spite of the fact that a Katan is
not obligated to mourn) - in order to increase the atmosphere of grief.
2. ... for one's father-in-law or mother-in-law - in deference to one's
(a) The Tana in Eivel Rabasi says - that an Aveil should desist from holding
a baby on his lap, in case this leads him to laughter, causing people to
look at him with disgust.
(b) We learned in our Mishnah that, on Chol ha'Mo'ed, one serves the
Se'udas Havra'ah on beds that have not been over-turned. During the rest of
the year, a guest who is very close to the Aveil, serves him and eats with
him on an overturned bed - whereas ordinary guests (who are not particularly
close to the Aveil) serve him and eat with him on beds that have not been
overturned (in honor of the guests).
(c) When Aba bar Marsa (who was not particularly close to Rava) kept on
overturning the bed in order to serve Rava (who was sitting Shiv'ah), after
Rava had righted it - Rava remarked how that Talmid-Chacham cannot take a
(d) An Aveil who is traveling is obligated to minimise his urgent business
dealings if possible (see Tosfos DH 'Im'). Should this prove impossible -
then he must combine his business with someone else, but not continue on his
own (for the duration of the Shiv'ah) under any circumstances.