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Yoma 74

YOMA 59-88 have been dedicated to the memory of the late Dr. Simcha Bekelnitzky (Simcha Gedalya ben Shraga Feibush) of Queens N.Y. by his wife and daughters. Well known in the community for his Chesed and Tzedakah, he will long be remembered.


QUESTION: The Mishnah (73b) lists the five Isurim of Inuy on Yom Kipur -- Achilah Shetiyah, Rechitzah, Sichah, Ne'ilas ha'Sandal, and Tashmish ha'Mitah. The Beraisa says that even though all of these acts are Asur on Yom Kipur, only Achilah and Shetiyah are punishable with Kares. The rest are Asur, but without Kares.

The Beraisa implies that all of the Inuyim are Asur mid'Oraisa, but they are just not punishable with Kares. If so, why does the Mishnah state that it is permitted for a king and a Kalah to wash their faces, and for a woman who just gave birth ("Chayah") to wear shoes, on Yom Kipur? If these acts are Asur mid'Oraisa, how can the Rabanan make exceptions?


(a) RABEINU TAM in TOSFOS (77a, DH d'Tenan) says that the other Inuyim, besides Achilah and Shetiyah, are only Asur mid'Rabanan and not mid'Oraisa. When the Rabanan prohibited them, they only prohibited them when they give a person pleasure. When they do not provide pleasure but they serve a basic necessity as in the case of a king, Kalah and Chayah, the Rabanan did not prohibit them.

(b) RASHI (DH Shabason, and in Shabbos 114b, DH Talmud Lomar Shabason) seems to say that the other Inuyim, in addition to Achilah and Shetiyah, are also Asur mid'Oraisa. This is also the opinion of the RAMBAM (Hilchos Shevisas Asor 1:4-5). If so, why are they permitted in the case of a king, Kalah, and Chayah?

The SEFER YERE'IM explains that it is permitted for a king and Kalah to wash their faces, because washing one's face alone is not an Isur d'Oraisa. The Isur d'Oraisa of Rechitzah involves washing one's *entire body*. Washing part of the body is only Asur mid'Rabanan, and in the case of a king and Kalah, the Rabanan permitted it.

Why, though, is a Chayah permitted to wear shoes?

The TOSFOS YESHANIM suggests that perhaps according to those who hold that the Inuyim are d'Oraisa, the Isur to wear shoes applies only to a "Min'al" (a shoe that covers the entire foot). A "Sandal," though, is Mutar mid'Oraisa.

(c) The RAN explains that the Inuyim may in fact be d'Oraisa, but the Torah gave the power to the Chachamim to interpret what is prohibited as an Inuy. The Chachamim determined (based on their understanding of the concept of Inuy) that only an act which is considered pleasurable is Asur as an Inuy. Consequently, it is permitted for a king and Kalah to wash their faces, and for a Chayah to wear shoes, because those acts are not acts of pleasure, but acts of necessity.

The Ran asks, though, that the Mishnah (82a) tells us that children are not required to observe the other Isurim of Inuy. The Mishnah implies that an adult is permitted to wash a child. We know, however, that it is forbidden for an adult to feed an Isur d'Oraisa to a child or to help the child perform what the Torah prohibits for adults. How, then, can an adult wash a child on Yom Kipur? The child is certainly being washed for pleasure! (Rashi actually makes this very point on 78b DH Inshi Avdu Lei.)

The Ran does not answer this question, but it could be suggested that the Isurim of Rechitzah, Sichah, and Ne'ilas ha'Sandal are all secondary Isurim, which are derived from the Torah's commandment to observe the primary Isurim of Achilah and Shetiyah (which are punishable with Kares). Since it is permitted for an adult to feed a child on Yom Kipur because of Piku'ach Nefesh (it is dangerous for a child to fast), then it is also permitted for an adult to give the child the secondary Isurim which are derived from Achilah and Shetiyah. (See also KESEF MISHNAH, Hilchos Shevisas Asor 1:5 - however, the Gemara on Daf 78b will have to be re-learned according to this assumption, see Insights there.)

OPINIONS: Rebbi Yochanan and Reish Lakish argue concerning the Isur of "Chatzi Shi'ur." Rebbi Yochanan says that the Torah forbids Chatzi Shi'ur, and Reish Lakish says that the Torah permits it (and only the Rabanan prohibit it). The Gemara explains that Rebbi Yochanan derives that Chatzi Shi'ur is Asur mid'Oraisa from the verse, "Kol Chelev" (Vayikra 7:23). He gives a logical explanation as well. Since a partial Shi'ur of Isur is able to join another partial Shi'ur to make a complete Shi'ur which is certainly Asur mid'Oraisa ("Chazi l'Itztarufei"), a partial Shi'ur is also Asur. This logic would also explain why Chatzi Shi'ur is forbidden for all Isurim in the Torah, and not just for those that involve eating (see Rashi, Shabbos 74a).

The Acharonim suggest a number of ways to understand the logic of "Chazi l'Itztarufei."

(a) The most simple understanding is as follows. If one eats a Chatzi Shi'ur and then eats another Chatzi Shi'ur, he will then transgress the Isur d'Oraisa of eating a complete Shi'ur. The Torah therefore prohibits eating the first Chatzi Shi'ur as a safeguard, lest one eat a second Chatzi Shi'ur and transgress by eating a full Shi'ur.

According to this explanation, there would be reason to suggest that if a person eats a Chatzi Shi'ur at the very last moment of the day on Yom Kipur, that Chatzi Shi'ur will *not* be Asur mid'Oraisa. Since there is not enough time to eat another Chatzi Shi'ur to add to the first Chatzi Shi'ur that he ate, the logic of "Chazi l'Itztarufei" does not apply, as a number of Acharonim point out (ACHIEZER 2:21 and others).

(b) The CHACHAM TZVI asserts that even according to Rebbi Yochanan, Chatzi Shi'ur is only forbidden by the Torah for prohibitions against *eating*. When one eats something, he gives it value and importance through the act of eating it ("Achshevei"), and therefore it becomes forbidden by the Torah. (That is, the amount of Isur that the Torah forbids is based on the amount that is considered "significant.") The Isur d'Oraisa of Chatzi Shi'ur does not apply to other types of Isurim, such as the Isurim of "Bal Yera'eh and Bal Yimatzei" (not owning Chametz on Pesach), in which case a person does not do any act to give the Isur significance.

The Rishonim, however, do apply the Isur of Chatzi Shi'ur to all types of Isurim (see, for example, Rashi Shabbos 74a; Rambam, Perush ha'Mishnayos, Shabbos, end of ch. 12).

(c) The SHA'AGAS ARYEH explains that the logic of "Chazi l'Itztarufei" means that the prohibition of Chatzi Shi'ur is more than a safeguard against eating a full Shi'ur. The reason for the prohibition is not just because it brings a person closer to doing an Isur d'Oraisa. Rather, the act of eating a *Chatzi Shi'ur itself* may end up becoming an act that was Asur mid'Oraisa. That is, if one eats more of the Isur, then the first Chatzi Shi'ur that he ate retroactively becomes a part of a full Shi'ur, which is prohibited mid'Oraisa. At the time that he eats the Chatzi Shi'ur, it is like eating a Safek Isur d'Oraisa (because he might eat more later), and therefore it is Asur..

According to this explanation, in an Isur such as Bal Yera'eh and Bal Yimatzei it is not possible for Chatzi Shi'ur to be forbidden, because in order to transgress that Isur, the full Shi'ur of k'Zayis must be in one's house all at one time (since that Isur does not involve doing an action with the Isur). An Isur of Achilah can involve two acts done at two different times (within Kedei Achilas Pras) with two partial Shi'urim which join together to make one full Shi'ur, but when no action is involved, there is no temporal element to join two partial Shi'urim. Therefore, Chatzi Shi'ur should be Mutar d'Oraisa in the case of owning Chametz on Pesach, for the Chatzi Shi'ur cannot turn into an Isur itself. (If another Chatzi Shi'ur of Chametz is brought into the house at a later point, only then from that point on has the first Chatzi Shi'ur become part of an Isur.) In that case, it is certainly Mutar since and there is no question that the original act of Chatzi Shiur may retroactively be an act that was prohibited. (See Insights to Pesachim 45:1:e.)

The MINCHAS CHINUCH uses this explanation to answer a question on the Rambam. The RAMBAM (Hilchos Chametz u'Matzah 1:7) rules that eating a Chatzi Shi'ur of Chametz on Pesach is forbidden mid'Oraisa because of a separate verse, "Lo Ye'achel." Why does he need to say that it is Asur because of that verse? We know that Chatzi Shi'ur is Asur for *all* Isurim! (See Kesef Mishnah there.)

The Minchas Chinuch explains that perhaps the Rambam understood that the normal Isur of Chatzi Shi'ur does not apply to the Isur of owning Chametz, as the Sha'agas Aryeh says, because that partial Shi'ur will never be Asur as a partial Shi'ur. For this reason the Rambam needs to cite a verse to show that a Chatzi Shi'ur of Chametz is Asur to eat *in and of itself*, and not just because of "Chazi l'Itztarufei." The prohibitions of Bal Yera'eh and Bal Yimatzei were meant to keep a person from transgressing the prohibition of eating Chametz (Avos d'Rebbi Nasan ch 1), and if it is prohibited to eat even half a Shi'ur of Chametz then the prohibitions of Bal Yera'eh and Bal Yimatzei should also apply to half a Shi'ur of Chametz -- even without resorting to the logic of "Chazi l'Itztarufei." (Had the prohibition of *eating* half a Shi'ur of Chametz been because of "Chazi l'Itztarufei," which is a preventative measure but not an Isur in its own right, than the prohibitions of Bal Yera'eh and Bal Yimatzei should not apply, since they would be a preventative measure to prevent the transgression of what is itself only a preventative measure.)

(d) The MESHECH CHOCHMAH (Vayikra 7:23) and others explain that perhaps "Chazi l'Itztarufei" means something entirely different. It does not mean that perhaps one will eat a little more later and thereby transgress the full Shi'ur of an Isur d'Oraisa. Rather, the logic of "Chazi l'Itztarufei" means as follows.

When the Torah forbids eating a certain item, such as a non-kosher animal, and the Isur depends on eating a minimal Shi'ur, it is not logical to assume that if one eats less than that Shi'ur he is eating a permissible item. The Torah would not permit the meat of a non-kosher animal if one eats less than a k'Zayis, while forbidding the same meat if one eats a little bit more (and making it punishable with Malkus!). If each bite until the Shi'ur of k'Zayis was permitted, what changed at the last bite, at the point that he ate a k'Zayis? Why should the last bite of meat be more Asur than the others?

Rather, says Rebbi Yochanan, Chatzi Shi'ur is also Asur mid'Oraisa, but one is not liable for Malkus until he repeats the Isur many times by eating a k'Zayis. "Chazi l'Itztarufei" means that if the Torah forbids a k'Zayis, it must be that any amount of the item is also Asur, but a person is not punished for it until he eats a Shi'ur of a k'Zayis. (We could say that the Meshech Chochmah understands that the logic of "Chazi l'Itztarufei" provides a *sign* that Chatzi Shi'ur is forbidden, and not a *reason* to forbid it.)

Until now, it was simple to understand how Reish Lakish refutes Rebbi Yochanan's logic of "Chazi l'Itztarufei." He simple says that if eating less than a k'Zayis is not considered an act of Achilah, who is to say that a preventative measure should be taken and it should be prohibited. In addition, since there is no reason to suspect that the person will eat more of the prohibited food, thereby transgressing an Isur Torah, why should we suspect that the first half-Shi'ur will retroactively become Asur? However, according to the Meshech Chochmah's explanation, how does Reish Lakish refute the logical argument of Rebbi Yochanan by saying that Chatzi Shi'ur is not called Achilah? True, it is not Achilah, but an Achilah is necessary only to be punished with Malkus, not to prohibit the food!

Reish Lakish apparently holds that the food itself is not inherently Asur. Rather, the Torah prohibits *person* from performing an "action of Achilah" with the food, and an action of Achilah is defined as consuming a k'Zayis through the normal manner of consumption. Until that point, he has not done a "Ma'aseh Achilah," and thus everything he ate until now was *Mutar*. Only at the point when he eats a full k'Zayis has he done an action of Achilah, and transgressed the Isur. (Rebbi Yochanan, on the other hand, holds that eating a k'Zayis is no different from an act of eating than eating less than a k'Zayis. The difference between the two is in the quantity of the Isur that was consumed.) (M. Kornfeld)


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