Sunday, April 09, 2006

Forced eating with respect to matzah and brachos

The Rama (siman 204) paskens that if one is forced (ones) to eat a bracha is not recited on the food. The Magen Avraham (s"k 20) asks two very strong questions: (1) The Rama in hil Yom Kippur paskens that one who is forced to eat must say a bracha on the food. Why should there be any difference between being forced by a person, where the Rama paskens no bracha is said, and being forced by circumstance (b'ydei shamayim) where Rama paskens a bracha is recited? (2) M'inyana d'yoma, the halacha is "bala matzah yatzah", if one is forced to eat matzah against one's will, the mitzva of achilas matzah is fulfilled. The Magid Mishne explains in the name of Ran that even though the Rambam elsewhere paskens that mitzvos tzrichos kavanah, here, by virtue of having enjoyment (han'ah) from the food, one is automatically considered a mitkavein, just as there is no ptur if mitasek by eating cheilev or by issurei arayos because one gets han'ah. If so, why in the Rama's case do we not say that even though the eating was against one's will, there is still an inevitable enjoyment of the food and a bracha should be recited? The Magen Avraham leaves this with a tzarich iyun. Something to think about as you continue the cleaning, speaking of which....back to work!


  1. Anonymous9:12 AM

    Ain zeh mivarech elah mina'etz. I can't accept the fact that an esteemed scholar such as yourself has never encountered this concept.

    The Rama you quoted is talking about birchas ha'ne'nin. The "bala matza yotza" gemara is talking about being mikayeim the mitzva of matza.

  2. I'm no "esteemed scholar", but the MG"A certainly was and he left this b'tzarich iyun! How does your distinction answer the question? True, "bala matzah" is speaking about being mekayeim a mitzvah, but the point is that the reason the mitzvah is fulfilled is by virtue of the significance of the hana'ah which comes under duress. So if that hana'ah is significant enough to define your act of eating as intentional for purposes of kiyum mitzvah, why is it not sufficient to define your act of eating as intentional for purposes to reciting a birchas hanahenin? IOW, if you eat an apple under duress, by virtue of the hana'ah it is the same as willfully eating the same apple - so why no bracha? (I agree it is possible perhaps to answer up the MG"A, but its not a klutz kashe).

  3. Anonymous10:26 AM

    Just like if someone is mafrish stolen challah, he doesn't make a bracha, but is yotzei the mitzva (at least on a d'oraysa level - see Tosafos in Sukka 9a and 30a) also, one can be yotzei the mitzva of matza (because he was ne'hene) but doesn't make a bracha (because he was forced).

    In other words, there are different requirements for being yotzei a mitzva and for making a bracha.

    I don't think it's a klutz kasha, but I do think that it's easily answerable.

  4. I like it! But let me just clarify that I understand it: By being mafrish stolen challah, the hafrasha has nothing to do with the issur gezel - just there is a seperate din not to say a bracha on a cheftza shel issur. You want to apply the same argument here: an act of han'ah under duress is still a ma'aseh, but there is a seperate din that one cannot say a bracha on an achila done bal korcho. Did I get what you mean? I ask because I had a different approach to answer the kashe. I think there can be multiple approaches on this one!

  5. Anonymous12:22 PM

    Nachon. That is what I meant.