Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Standing for birchas hamitzva and the bracha for hafrashas challah

There is an interesting machlokes whether the bracha on hafrashas challah is l’hafrish challah, l’hafrish terumah, or l’hafrish terumas challah. Part of the issue revolves around the different terms for the mitzvah: the Torah calls the separation terumah, yet the Mishna uses the term challah. The Aruch haShulchan paskens to say l’hafrish challah based on the BH”G’s use of this expression. My wife follows the custom of saying l’hafrish challah min haisa, but you should only use this nusach if you are separating challah from dough and not after baking.
The Shulchan Aruch in hil tzitzis (siman 8) writes that a birchas hamitzva should be recited while standing. The Magen Avraham asks how is it that women were mafrish challah while sitting (as is clear from a number of mishnayos in perek 2 of challah) – weren’t they required to stand for the recitation of the birchas hamitzva? The MG”A answers that the rule of standing for birchas hamitzva does not apply to mitzvos like challah or shechita. What is the sevara to distinguish? I would have said that these mitzvos are different because there is no requirement to make dough for challah or to eat meat – if one chooses to do so there is a kiyum mitzvah, but there is no chiyuv. However, why then should one have to stand for the bracha on tzitzis when m’ikkar hadin one is not obligated to wear a four cornered garment? The Pri Megadim offers a different sevara: the MG”A means that challah and shechita are not true mitzvos aseh, but are issurei aseh – meaning, the mitzvah of challah functions like an issur of eating dough without hafrasha, and the mitzvah of shechita functions like an issur of eating meat without proper shechita. Apparently the nature of mitzvas tzitzis is not an issur aseh of donning a 4 cornered garment without tzitzis, but a positive mitzvah to fix tzitzis to the garment (see Tosfos Yevamos 90b).
Maybe more on this later...

17 comments:

  1. Bill Selliger10:55 AM

    What does the Pri Migadim hold about tvilas keilim?

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  2. I did not think to look - good question!

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  3. Isn't there a question whether shechita is just a matir (Rosh in Kesuvos). Could one say the same by challah? Isn't there a machlokes Rambam and Ra'avad if there is a mitzvah on the hafrasha and nesina of teruma or just a mitzva on the nesina. Is that shayach here?

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  4. The 'maybe more later' at the end of the post was because I was thinking of addressing this issue further. It's Rambam and Ramban, and I have a bookmark on the place, but have yet to write it up. Sefer haMitzvos shoresh 12 (page 157 in the standard edition) if you want a head start (or maybe you want to write it up : ) ?

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  5. anon14:30 PM

    See also the Keren Orah to the tosfos in Yevamos for a very important hearah on whether something is considered kum va-asey or shev ve-al taaseh.

    I'm not sure I get the Pri Megadim's sevara. If shechitah and chalah are only issurei asey then perhaps we shouldnt make a bracha at all. Which other issurei asey do we make a bracha before performing? (Don't answer tashbisu on erev pesach because whether that is a kiyum or issur asey is an involved question). See also the Torah Temimah's comment in the beginning of Parshas Shoftim - al pi ha-Torah asher yorucha and whether we make a bracha on a lav or only asey (which could arguably apply to an issur asey). If you look at your classic lav ha-ba michlal asey, those are passive mitzvos (and clearly no bracha would be made). But for active mitzvos which are not lav ha-ba michlal asey, to then say that the action is only an issur asey and yet we still make a bracha?

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  6. Maybe hafrashas tru"m is an example - stay tuned. As I wrote to C.M., I have to get to it bli neder. To really answer the question you need a comprehensive list of which mitzvos are issurei aseh and which are not. I think the real answer is that the bracha is on the active ma'aseh miztvah even though the kiyum is avoiding an issur aseh. What about mezuzah - is it an issur aseh of living in a house without one, or a mitzvah to put one up?

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  7. anon18:40 AM

    I would think that mezuzah is for certain a kiyum asey. If you are living in a house without a mezuzah you are being mevatel an asey and it is therefore assur but the mitzvah itself is still a kiyun asey. I would think that hafrashas tru"m would be the same (without getting into the complexity of the machlokes Rambam and Ramban). Remember the gemara doesn't really use the concept of issur asey (it does have lav ha-ba michlal asey but that is different as I said before). Even the classic issurei asey that are suggested by the achronim -- for example, the issur asey by sukka suggested by the Minchas Chinuch -- is only a "second din" as there clearly is a kiyum asey of sukkah as well. I would think it would be hard to find an active mitzvah which we may a bracha on but is fundamentally an issur asey.

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  8. anon18:40 AM

    I would think that mezuzah is for certain a kiyum asey. If you are living in a house without a mezuzah you are being mevatel an asey and it is therefore assur but the mitzvah itself is still a kiyun asey. I would think that hafrashas tru"m would be the same (without getting into the complexity of the machlokes Rambam and Ramban). Remember the gemara doesn't really use the concept of issur asey (it does have lav ha-ba michlal asey but that is different as I said before). Even the classic issurei asey that are suggested by the achronim -- for example, the issur asey by sukka suggested by the Minchas Chinuch -- is only a "second din" as there clearly is a kiyum asey of sukkah as well. I would think it would be hard to find an active mitzvah which we may a bracha on but is fundamentally an issur asey.

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  9. See Esvan D'Oraysa #12 regarding sukkah and regarding the issue of bracha

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  10. Don't have it handy - what does he say?

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  11. Too much to write!!!! Maybe eventually I will have a chance to get to it.

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  12. anon13:02 PM

    I will try to take a look. Meanwhile write a post on it and convince me that you have brachos on issurei asey. Thanks.

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  13. anon13:02 PM

    I will try to take a look. Meanwhile write a post on it and convince me that you have brachos on issurei asey. Thanks.

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  14. Aderabba - post a ra'aya there there are no brachos on issurei aseh! The pro examples are challah, hafrashas terumah, tevilas kelim, tzitzis, shechita, sukkah except for the first night, mezuzah - maybe others. On each case you are going to debate me as to whether the example is a real issur aseh or something else. Too many cases and too many mareh mekomos to really consider fully at this point.

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  15. anon13:09 PM

    Chaim,

    I agree. I would argue each one of those is a kiyum assey. You are mekayem the mitzvah by being tovel the keli. If you use it without tevilah you are over an asey but that doesnt make it an issur asey. The reason you make a bracha on sukka other the first night to be mekayem the imperative of the Torah Ba-Sukos teshvu shivas yamim.
    Etc. Etc. If I have time bli neder I will try to post more.

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  16. Anonymous10:36 AM

    Best regards from NY! »

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