Tuesday, May 22, 2007

bikurim - zman gerama? (part 1)

The Mishna lists women among those who are m’vi’im v’ainam korin, obligated to bring bikurim, but exempt from reading the parsha of viduy bikurim because they cannot refer to “adama asher na’sata li”, the land which they received, as the land of Eretz Yisrael was apportioned to men and not women. The Turei Even asks why women should be obligated to bring bikurim – isn’t it a mitzvas aseh she’hazman gerama, a time bound mitzvah? Bikurim require tenufah, being waved like a korban, and the act of tenufah could only be done during the day and not at night, and bikurim could only be brought from Shavuos up until Chanukah, but not throughout the year.

The Turei Even answers the first point by suggesting that a mitzvah which is done daily, even if it cannot be done at certain times of the day, is not called zman gerama. For example, milah is not a zman gerama mitzvah because even though it cannot be done at night, the obligation is in effect every day to insure a milah is done. This chiddush is open to challenge. I would suggest an alternate approach. The Mishna (Kiddushin 36a) lists tenufah among a long list of preparatory acts to bringing a korban which women are exempt from performing, all of which are derived from pesukim. The Rishonim ask why specific limudim are required to exclude women – every act of bringing a korban should be zman gerama because korbanos can only be brought during the day. The Ritv”a answers by distinguishing between a mitzvah and a machshirzman gerama exempts women from having to perform a mitzvos, meaning unavoidable obligations, but acts which are just preparatory toward some goal, machshirim, are not covered by that blanket dispensation. Tenufah is therefore not necessarily included in the exemption of zman gerama, and where bikurim themselves are not subject to a time constraint, perhaps women should not be excluded on the basis of zman gerama.

As for the second point, stay tuned…

1 comment:

  1. Anonymous9:51 AM

    I saw the Turei Even a while ago but dont remember if he addresses why then women are peturos from kriyas shma -- chiyuv every day, only during certain portions of the day. Does he talk about that?