Monday, March 16, 2009

haseiba and the mitzvah of 4 kosos

We ended the week with a kashe of the Mishne laMelech comparing krias hamegillah and the mitzvah of haseibah. To briefly summarize: Why in a case of safeik mukfaf / safeik not mukaf do we read the megillah only on the 14th and rely on sfeika derabbanan l'kula as an exemption for the 15th, but with respect to safeik of which set of kosos require haseiba we do not say that haseiba on the first set of kosos exempts haseiba on the last set based on sfeika derabbanan l'kula.

The Emek Bracha offers the following answer: with respect to the mitzvah of krias hemegillah, since one must read on at least one of the two days, either the 14th or the 15th, the 14th takes precedence based on rov or zerizus. Once there is at least a safeik that the mitzvah of krias hamegillah has been fulfilled, no further obligation exists (since sfeika derabbanan l'kula). The same cannot be said with respect to haseiba. Haseiba is not an independent mitzvah with a safeik whether it should be fulfilled using the first 2 or last 2 kosos -- rather, haseiba is a condition in the mitzvah of the kosos. Since each kos might be a kos that requires the condition of haseiba as part of its fulfillment, the fact that the first kosos were drunk with haseiba has no effect on the obligation to meet the same condition for the last kosos.

The issue the Emek Bracha's answer raises, namely, whether haseiba in an independent mitzvah or a detail in the mitzvah of drinking 4 kosos, may be at the crux of another debate among Rishonim, as we shall bl"n see.


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  2. The way I understand the Ran is that you don't say safek derabanan lekula where the kula will result in the elimination of the entire act of the hamitzvah. Reading it on the 14th may not be mekayem the mitzvah, but at least you did the ma'aseh hamitzvah, and that allows application of Safek lekula.

    So, I don't see how the EB helps at all. You did the act of heseiba. Could be you weren't mekayem the mitzvah, but at least you did the act of the mitzvah. So who cares about heseiba by the other kosos? They are no different than the fifteenth of Adar after reading on the fourteenth.

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  4. What good is doing an act of haseiba which is not a kiyum mitzvah? If I do haseiba this afternoon is that good enough to count as a ma'aseh mitzvah?
    A simpler approach than the E.B. would be to say that b'dieved a kri'ah done on the 14th is sufficient even for a ben krach (see R' Shach in Avi Ezri for another approach as well).

  5. Anonymous2:12 PM

    I assumed that kriah on the 14th is like heseibah this afternoon. I know that this is contrary to the Yerushalmi in the beginning of Shekalim, but I thought we held not like that, and that it was meaningless on the 14th, because if you're yotzei bedieved, who needs the Ran's chiddush?

  6. Anonymous2:16 PM

    I mean, who needs the Ran's vort that safek lekula patters you on the fifteenth after the reading on the fourteenth; if you were yotzei bedieved, you're not pattering him on the fifteenth because safek lekula, you're pattering him because he was yotzei already.