Tuesday, March 01, 2016

why is there a special limud to obligate geirim to observe Purim; ishto k'gufo by matanos l'evyonim

1) “Kiymu v’kiblu… v’al kol hanilvim aleihem” (9:27) Rashi explains “kol ha’nilvim aleihem” is a special ribuy to include geirim.

Geirim are obligated in all mitzvos. You don’t need, for example, a special din to tell you a ger is chayav to observe Chanukah. Why is a special ribuy needed to include geirim in the chiyuv of Purim?

The Brisker Rav (quoted in R’ Turtzin’s Kuntres Chanukah u’Megillah siman 9) explains that the mitzvah of Purim is different because it was only by virtue of a kabbalah – “kiymu v’kiblu” -- that Klal Yisrael accepted the mitzvah.  Since even we needed a special kabbalah to become obligated in the mitzvah, geirim also need their own kabbalah.

R’ Chaim Kanievsky in
Ta’ama d’Kra (p 220) compares the chiyuv to celebrate Purim to the din of birchas hoda’ah on a miracle. Not only can the individual who experienced the miracle recite birchas hoda’ah, but one’s descendants can recite the bracha as well (O.C. 218). Since future geirim are not descendants of those who experienced the miracle, a special din is needed to be mechayeiv them.

2) The Aruch haShulchan writes in 694:2 with respect to giving matanos l’evyonim:

ויראה לי דאיש ואשתו – שניהם יוצאים בשני מתנות, דכגוף אחד הם.

However you understand it, he applies an ishto k'gufu type sevara to say that a husband and wife can fulfill matanos l'evyonim with one joint gift.

Yet he writes in 695:18

וכל הנשים חייבות בשילוח מנות ובמתנות לאביונים, ואפילו יש לה בעל – אינה נפטרת בשל בעל, דזהו מצוה דרמי עליה

Here he says women must independently fulfill their obligation.

I don’t understand how to resolve the contradiction.


  1. re the contradiction.
    1. 694 is where they have the traditional usufruct relationship. 695 is where she has money she can use at her own discretion. It seems to me that Chazal would not create an obligation on a person who is under normal circumstances unable to fulfill that mitzva autonomously. Thus, when the ARUHSH says גוף אחד הם he refers to a case where the wife is financially appurtenant to her husband and there cannot be a separate obligation on her to give money.
    2. Along the same lines, one can say that 694 applies in cases of JTWROS, i.e., when their finances are indivisible, and they share one account, so that the expenditures of A accrue to B, for good and for bad. 695 refers to spouses with separate bank accounts.

    3. 694 and 695 depend on intent. One can avail themselves of 694, but if the spouse states that the mitzva is being done for one's self exclusively, then the nesinah will not patter the other.

    1. In 694:2, RYME writes "שניהם יוצאים בשני מתנות" lekhat-chilah, a couple who plan their matanos le'evyonim as a unit.

      In 695:18, he writes, "וכל הנשים חייבות בשילוח מנות ובמתנות לאביונים, ואפילו יש לה בעל – אינה נפטרת בשל בעל, דזהו מצוה דרמי עליה", where the husband already performed mishloach manos or matanos le'evyonim, and she wants to join in after the fact.

      (This seems to me to be a variant of REE's #3.)

      But the truth is, it would be the only time when the AhS gives a "nir'eh li" but expects the readership to continue following the unstated shitah he is implicitly critiquing. The fact that he doesn't treat too many answers as final is both one of the more frustrating parts of learning AhS (which I've been doing daily for almost 2 years) and also one of the more valuable. You get a better sense of how halakhah is a range of right answers, and that different situations may call for different ones.

    2. This comment has been removed by the author.

    3. I'll try that again. I agree with you. There are many such cases. Another that comes to mind is regarding davening along with the baal tefilla and saying ledor vador. In general, He expects
      תן לחכם ויחכם עוד.
      There were go.

  2. I read "guf echad heim" as similar to the sevara of ishto k'gufo in other places, not describing the financial relationship unique to this case.
    I also read "aina nifteres" as meaning it is not an option open to her, even if the husband has not given yet.
    In any case, you shouldn't have to read an Ah"S like a stirah in Rambam and say sevaros to be machaleik. It seems very muddled here.

    1. What he means is unknowable. But it's Kedai to come up with a coherent mehalach for yourself, not for him

    2. What he means is unknowable. But it's Kedai to come up with a coherent mehalach for yourself, not for him

    3. You mean authorial intent plays no role in how you read a 20th century acharon? You are not out to discover what he meant, only to find some possible interpretation that would give coherence to the words?

    4. I just mean that my guess is that he put in the addition when he was machedeish it without remembering that he had written the opposite elsewhere. Both are valid lehalacha, and the interesting thing is to find your own way that uses both sevaros. I am not holding by being machria psak, but I feel good using a creative input that would latch on the the Aruch Hashulchan, kind of a hybrid of a safe harbor and some excitement.

  3. I agree that the AhS seems muddled, and I would assert that it is real poor writing. My point was not that RYME intentionally used different language for its implications. Rather, we can use the language to guess at author's intent.

    (Also, I should note that while we've come to read the Yad that way, it does contradict how the Rambam himself told Chakhmei Luneil to read the work.)

    BTW, the AhS in a number of places holds like what the SA or Rama wrote over what he knew from their other sefarim they probably meant. He believes the SA was written with that much siyata diShmaya that the authors were often more right than they realized. Reading the AhS without author's intent would be midah keneged midah. <grin>