Tuesday, January 20, 2015

hil talmud torah

The main topic of chapter 4 of Hil Talmud Torah in the Rambam can be summed up in the first two words of halacha 2: "Keitzad melamdim?"  The Rambam discusses how a teacher should teach, questions he is responsible for answering, etc.  So it's interesting that he ends the perek with this halacha: 

 אין ישנים בבית המדרש.  וכל המתנמנם בבית המדרש, חכמתו נעשית קרעים קרעים

I would have put that halacha in the dinim of kedushas beis hamedrash/beis haknesses, but it seems from the Rambam that not sleeping in a beis medrash is not a din in the kedusha of the place, but is rather a din in talmud Torah.  You can't learn (to say the least!) if you are asleep!

There is another example of a chidush from the placement of a halacha in the next perek. Had you asked me, I would have placed the chiyuv to visit a rebbe on Yom Tov somewhere in hilchos Yom Tov.  Chapter 5 of Hil Talmud Torah deals with the chiyuv of showing respect to a rebbe, and there the Rambam writes:

 וחייב לעמוד מפני רבו, משיראנו מרחוק מלוא עיניו, עד שיתכסה ממנו ולא יראה קומתו; ואחר כך יישב.  וחייב אדם להקביל את פני רבו, ברגל.

The Rambam doesn't see it as a din in Yom Tov, but as a din in talmud Torah.


  1. Tur and Shulchan Aruch also include this with hilchos Talmud Torah, presumably following Rambam.
    שולחן ערוך יורה דעה הלכות תלמוד תורה סימן רמו

    But all 3 codes also say that the rule demonstrates kedushas beis hamidrash versus beis ha-knesses:
    וקדושת בית המדרש חמורה מקדושת בית הכנסת

    Are you saying "kedushas beis hamidrash" -- unlike kedushas beis ha-knesses -- is itself (at least partly) a din in talmud torah?

    1. I thought the difference between a beis knesset and beis medrash is based on function: one is a place primarily used for davening, the other primarily used for learning. That creates 2 different types of kedushas makom. But I thought here the din is not related to the kedushas makom per se.
      I need to work on how to formulate it better, because if the issur is not dependent on the kedusha of the place (and this is essentially the same point you are making in your diyuk) then the issur should apply in all locations.

    2. The kedusha of a bais midrash derives from being a makom of learning => learning has a kedusha and a koach to be mekadaish the makom => learning has to be done appropriately to its kedusha [b'aima, b'yir'a, b'reses, ub'ziya] => the kedusha of a bais midrash is a din in talmud torah. Or as R' Hutner was wont to quote the gemara in Berachot: לימודה כנתינתה.

      However, addressing the second point, this is only if it a makom kavu'ah for learning. Otherwise, the kedusha lapses together with the learning.

      Note that the kedusha of Har Sinai lapsed with the end of the "learning", as the original k'vius was done with a tnai [bimshoch hayovel...]. The kedusha of the Har was not to facilitate learning; rather, the learning created the kedusha.

      [Apropos of sishim yom lifnei hachag: Har Sinai is still a place from whence issues daily the bas kol, "Oy lahem li'briyos mai'elbona shel Torah." However, that's only mussar, not real torah.]

  2. Re: Chayav adam lehakbil pnei rabo baregel in hil. TT and not hilchos YT - I heard Rav Lipa Geldwerth of Brooklyn make this diyuk, that it's a din in kavod harav, not a din in hiolchos yom tov. With that he was then meyashev the kashya of the Acharonim who ask how do we learn chayav adam lehakbil etc. from the Isha Shunamis, isn't it a Mitzvas Aseh Shehazman Grama that she would be exempt from anyway? So his answer was that since it's a din in kavod harav and not from the hilchos hayom tov, it's not considered a MASZG.