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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 Mordechai.



(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 locations.
1. The three people (besides one's father and mother) - are his Rebbe, the Nasi and the Av Beis-Din.
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.
(b) We learn from Elisha, who, as Eliyahu was being carried away in a fire-chariot, cried out (before renting his garments) ...
1. ... "Avi Avi" - that one is obligated to tear Keri'ah for one's deceased father and mother.
2. ... "Rechev Yisrael u'Farashav" - that one must tear for a Rebbe from whom one learnt Torah.
(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 them professionally.

(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.
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.
(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.

(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.
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.
(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).

(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 letters.

(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.

(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).
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 desolation.
(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 Beis-Hamikdash.

(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 Yerushalayim first).

7) 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 ke'Min Sulamos'.
1. 'Le'Sholelan' - means basting.
2. 'Le'Molelan - to roll the two ends of the tear together and pin them together.
3. 'Le'Loktan' - to repair the entire tear using pins (and not actually sewing it).
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 professionally.

(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 'Tanya').

(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.
2. ... his son and then for his father - he may re-sew the top one but not the bottom 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.

(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.
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 garment.
3. ... the front and back of the garment are torn - one turns the garment upside-down and begins all over again.
(c) The Beraisa says - that tearing at the bottom of the garment or at the sides is not a valid Keri'ah.

(d) Only a Kohen Gadol tears at the bottom of his clothes (see Tosfos DH 'Porem').

(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 ever.

(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 the damage.
2. ... without mentioning the fact that his father was sick - then he is not permitted to tear Keri'ah on it.
(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.

(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 wife.
(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 hint.

(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.

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