Tuesday, August 01, 2006

seudah hamafseket before 9 Av

The gemara (Ta'anis 30) quotes a braysa: 'kol she'hu machmas 9 Av asur l'echol basar, lishtos yayin, v'asur lirchotz' - In a meal due to 9 Av one cannot eat meat, dring wine, or bathe [afterwards], but in a meal not due to 9 Av these would be permitted. R' Yishmael b"r Yosi in the name of his father holds as long as one may eat, one may wash.
The Rosh (4:38) cites the Ramban who interprets the tana kamma of the braysa to mean that once one eats the seudah hamafseket before 9 Av, one is also prohibited from washing. Even though the seudah is eaten before dark and the laws of 9 Av are not yet in effect, since one has accepted some of the practices of aveilus (i.e. not eating meat or drinking wine), the prohibition of washing applies as well. This applies only to washing, where the enjoyment of feeling refreshed and clean from bathing before the fast would give one pleasure on the actual day of 9 Av itself, but not to wearing leather shoes or other aveilus practices.
The Rosh writes that this interpretation is a 'davar teima', a baffeling idea. How can it be that even after finishing the seudah hamafseket one is permitted to eat and drink right up until the very moment it gets dark and 9 Av begins, yet by eating the seudah hamafseket it becomes prohibited to wash? Clearly the aveilus practices of not eating meat or drinking wine during seudah hamafseket do not trigger the 9 Av prohibitions on eating and drinking to apply, so why should the aveilus practice trigger the prohibition of washing to apply?
Bli neder to be continued - comments welcome.

5 comments:

  1. Bill Selliger1:34 PM

    How can it be that even after finishing the seudah hamafseket one is permitted to eat and drink right up until the very moment it gets dark and 9 Av begins, yet by eating the seudah hamafseket it becomes prohibited to wash?

    You're conflating two ideas:

    1) Not eating meat or drinking wine

    2) Not eating or drinking anything

    1) stems from aveilus, 2) does not

    It is possible that after the seuda, the dinei aveilus are chal (hence the prohibition on washing), but the dinei ta'anis are not.

    It would also be prohibited to eat meat and drink wine after the seuda.

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  2. Let me rephrase the Rosh's question: how can it be that with respect to the achila we assume that until nighfall of 9 Av there is no issur, even though one has eaten a 'seudah hamafseket', yet with respect to nihugei aveilus (as you define rechitza), the seudah hamafseket serves as a starting point for the issur? M'ma nafshach - if the seudah is a kabbalah of the ta'anis, then all the issurim of the day should apply, and if it is not a kabbalas ta'anis, then why does the issur rechitza kick in?

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  3. Perhaps an answer to the question depends on the purpose of the seuda hamefsekes.

    If the whole geder of the seudah is a seudas aveilus then it can only act as triggering aveilus related issurim. For the issurim related to the ta'anis one would need another kabbala which could happen at shkiah/tzeis.

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  4. That is pretty much is the approach of the Brisker Rav - will amplify if I get a chance.

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