Thursday, June 30, 2011

[KollelH blog] Chukas - Why A Dead Person Is Mitamai

In this week's parsha we learn that when a person dies he is mitamai. There is a machlokes regarding the reason for this tumah. The Ramban in the beginning of this week's parsha explains that when a person dies by means of the malach hamaves (angel of death) he is mitamai. However if one dies by means of nishika (a form of death performed by Hashem and not the malach hamaves) he will not be mitamai. It is for this reason that chazal said that tzadikim do not become tamai in their death, since presumably they died by means of nisheka. The Avnai Nezer (yorah deah 466) adds that Reb Chaim Vital says that the malach hamaves sprinkles three 'bitter drops' on a person when he comes to kill him, and those 'drops' are what create the tumah.

The Or Hachaim has a different understanding of why a dead person becomes tamai. He explains that since we accepted the Torah every Jew is on a high level of kidusha. All of the forces of tumah are constantly anticipating and eagerly awaiting a chance to cling to the kidusha. As soon as a person dies the forces of tumah are able to enter the body and thus the person is tamai. He explains that it is for this reason that goy does not become tamai when he dies; since in his life he was desolate of kidusha the forces of tumah are not interested in entering the body. The Or Hachaim explains that with this understanding we can answer the question of the wording of the passuk "Zos chukkas haTorah", why does the Torah refer to the mitzvah of tumah as the chok of the Torah. Since tumah only sets in as a result of being on a high spiritual level and the Torah is the means by which b'nai yisroel were elevated to the higher level of kidusha, the Torah refers to this mitzvah as the chok of the Torah. The Avnai Nezer cites a Zohar that seems to be in accordance with the reason given by the Or Hachaim.

The Avnai Nezer, cited above, says that there is a halachic difference between the opinion of the Ramban and Reb Chaim Vital, and the opinion of the Or Hachaim. The Zohar says that only one who dies naturally is killed by the malach hamaves, all those who are killed by others are not killed by the malach hamaves. Based on this, according to the Ramban who said that tumah only sets in when the malach hamaves kills, when one is killed by another he should not be tamai.

It is unclear if kivrai tzadikim (graves of tzadikim) are mitamai or not and whether a kohen can visit such places. According to the opinion of the Ramban who said that a dead person is only mitamai when the malach hamaves kills him, tzadikim may be mitamai when they die. Since the Gimorah in Moed Katan says that there were many tzadikim who died by means of the malach hamaves and not nisheka.

On the other hand according to the Or Hachaim who said that a dead person is mitamai as a result of the forces of tumah attempting to attach to the kidusha, perhaps when a tzadik dies he will not be mitamai. While a person is alive the forces of tumah cannot set in because the kiddusha is present and does not allow the tumah in. after he dies the tumah can now enter. However regarding a tzadik even his body becomes kaddosh and remains kadosh even after his death. Therefore the forces of tumah cannot enter even after he dies, for kisusha still remains.

Tosafos in Baba Mitzeya 114b cites a Medrash Yalkut in Mishlei that says that Eliyahu Hanavi and Reb Yehoshua (a talmid of Rebi Akiva) were burying Rebi Akiva. Reb Yihoshua asked Eliyahu Hanavi how is it that you can burry a dead person when you are indeed a kohen? Eliyahu Hanavi answered that talmidai chachamim and their talmidim are not mitamai. Tosafos says that Eliyahu Hanavi only answered what he said out of respect for Rebi Akiva, because the actual reason that Eliyahu Hanavi was allowed to burry Rebi Akiva was since Rebi Akiva was put to death by the malchus, no one would dare bury him. Therefore he had the status of a mais mitzvah for which a kohen is allowed to be mitamai. Apparently Tosafos holds that we paskin that tzadikim are mitamai.

The Gemarah in Baba Basra 58a says that Reb Binuh was setting markings of graves so no one would be mitamai. The Gemarah says that he went to miaras hamachpela to mark where the graves actually were. Some want to use this as a source that tzadikim are mitamai, since their graves had to be marked. However the Minchas Elazar (3:64) says that we cannot deduce anything from this Gemarah. Because the Gemarah in Sota 13 says that Chushim the son of Dun decapitated Esav and his head rolled into Miaras Hamachpela and was buried there. Since Esav was a Jew as the Gemoarah in Kiddushin 18a says, therefore he would be mitamai and it was for him that Reb Binuh felt necessary to mark Miaras Hamachpela.


Posted By KH to KollelH blog at 7/01/2011 01:15:00 AM

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

[Tinsights.....Torah insights] 6/28/2011 11:32:00 PM

The spiritual level of the world at large responds to the level of its spiritual leaders. What a responsibility!

Posted By Ploni to Tinsights.....Torah insights at 6/28/2011 11:32:00 PM

Friday, June 24, 2011

[KollelH blog] Korach

In this week's parsha we learn of the rebellion of Korach. At the end of the first pasuk Rashi tells us that Korach and his assembly, in an effort to undermine Moshe Rabainu's authority, came before Moshe Rabbenu wearing garments that were comprised completely of t'cheiles and asked "Is a talis that is made completely of t'cheiles obligated to have t'cheiles in the tzitzis as well or not?" Moshe answered them that it is indeed obligated. The assembly started laughing at Moshe, and argued that if a talis of a different material only requires one string of t'cheiles for it to be exempt from its obligation of t'cheiles, certainly a garment that is made of t'cheiles should exempt itself. The Medrash Hagadol informs us of the rest of the dialog between Moshe and Korach and his assembly. The Medrash says that Moshe answered Korach with the following question: is a house full of seforim obligated in the mitzvah of mezuzah or not?" Korach answered that it is obligated. To which Moshe responded that just as a house full of seforim is obligated in the mitzvah of mezuzah so too a garment comprised only of t'cheiles is still obligated in the mitzvah of t'cheiles in the tzitis.

There are several points in the exchange between Moshe and Korach that are perplexing. Why did Korach only ask that a garment which is completely comprised of t'cheiles should be exempt from its obligation of t'cheiles? Why didn't he ask that a garment that is completely white should exempt itself from the obligation to put white strings on the garment? Another question is, the mitzvah of t'cheiles is to attatch a string of t'cheiles to a garment, how can Korach suggest that one fulfill his obligation in any other fashion? Also why did Korach use the terminology of a garment becoming exempt from its obligation, the focus should have been on the person- has he fulfilled the mitzvah with such a garment or not.

The Kesef Mishnah in hilchos Teffilin (1:11) cites a Rambam in teshuvos that explains that with regard to the mitzvah of mezuzah the mezuzah is not the mitzvah, rather the house is obligated to have a mezuzah on it. When there is no house there is no obligation of mezuzah. Obviously there is no obligation on the house for it is inanimate; however the Rambam means the person is obligated to ensure that his house has a mezuzah. Therefore the house is what obligates one to put up the mezuzah.

When one puts a mezuzah on his house he has exempt his house from obligating him in the mitzvah of mezuzah. Similarly, a four cornered garment obligates anyone who wears it to put on a string of t'cheiles. When one attaches a string of ticheles to the garment he has exempt the garment from obligating him in t'cheiles, hence the terminology of exempt applies to a garment and a house.

Reb Moshe Shmuel Shapiro zt"l explains that it appears from the Rambam (hilchos tzitis 1:3) that there is a difference between the mitzvah of white strings and the t'cheiles string.

The Rambam writes that there are two parts to the mitzvah of tzitis, the corners should have white strings coming out of them and that you should attach a string of t'cheiles to the corner. Seemingly the mitzvah of the white strings is that the garment should have white stings coming out of its corners. The mitzvah of the white strings is a mitzvah in the garment. We could say the mitzvah of the white strings is to wear a talis mitzuyetzes "a garment with white strings". On the other hand the mitzvah of t'cheiles is not to wear a "garment with a string of ticheles"; rather the mitzvah is to attach a string of t'cheiles to the garment. The garment is not part of the mitzvah of t'cheiles.

Obviously Korach would not ask that one should be able to perform a mitzvah not in its proper maner. However he understood that the nature of the obligation to attach a t'cheiles string was different than that of the white strings. Korach never thought to exempt a white garment from the obligation to attach white strings to it because the garment itself requires white strings to come out of its corners. Therefore even with an all white garment there still is a requirement of the garment to have white strings come out of it. He only thought that a garment of ticheles could exempt one from his obligation to attach a string of ticheles since the mitzvah of t'cheiles is separate from the mitzvah of the garment. Korach understood that the nature of the mitzvah of t'cheiles was merely to attach a string of t'cheiles and not an integral part of the garment, as were the white strings. Therefore Korach reasoned that if the garment already contains t'cheiles it should not require any other t'cheiles attachments.


Posted By KH to KollelH blog at 6/24/2011 08:57:00 AM

Friday, June 17, 2011

[KollelH blog] Shlach - Tzitzis and Shatnez

At the conclusion of this week's parsha the Torah commands us in the mitzvah of tzitzis. The Gimorah in Yivamos 4a learns from a drasha that one may wear shatnez (wool and linen) in his tzitzis, and that this is the source in the Torah that asay is doche losasay- the asay of tzitzis allows one to transgress the losasay of shatnez.

The Bris Avraham asks a question on the Gimorah based on the following two notions: first the Gimorah in Yivamos 4b says the Torah only prohibited shatnez when the one wearing the shatnez derives a physical benefit from the garment. Second, the opinion of the Rashba in Niddarim 15a is that the rule of mitzvos lav lihanos nitnu (mitzvos were not given for pleasure purposes) dictates that any physical benefit derived from the performance of a mitzvah is not considered pleasure. Based on these premises the Bris Avraham suggests that while wearing tzitzis one will not be deriving benefit from the garment. Therefore even if the garment contains shatnez one would not be prohibited from wearing it since one is only prohibited to wear shatnez when he derives benefit from the garment. How can the Gimorah learn that asay is doche a losasay from the fact that tzitzis can be worn with shatnez, if when one wears tzitzis with shatnez there is no prohibition of shatnez at all?

The Bris Avraham answers that we only apply the rule of mitzvos lav lihanos nitnu if one could not perform the mitzvah in any other manner other than by trangresing the avaira. In the case of tzitzis one is not required to wear a linen garment creating a situation of shatnez. Therefore when the Torah says that we may wear linen garments with wool strings, it is not as a result of the general rule of mitzvos lav lihanos nitnu since there is a way to perform the mitzvah without transgressing any prohibitions- a wool garment with wool strings.

The Imrai Bina (hilchos tzitzis 3) offers another answer to the question of the Bris Avraham. Mitzvos can be categorized in two groups: mitzvos in which physical pleasure is an integral part of the mitzvah for example eating, and mitzvos whose essence is unrelated to receiving any pleasure for example Tiffilin. The Rashba that we cited earlier that is of the opinion that any pleasure derived while performing a mitzvah is allowed even if it would otherwise be forbidden, only applies to the mitzvos that the pleasure is not an integral part of the mitzvah. If one derives pleasure from such a mitzvah we say he is not doing the action for the sake of the pleasure rather for the sake of the mitzvah and is therefore permitted. Whereas if the mitzvah itself requires one to receive pleasure we will not allow one to receive that pleasure from a forbidden source for he is in fact acting for the sake of the pleasure. Therefore we cannot apply the rule of mitzvos lav lihanos nitnu to the mitzvah of tzitzis for it is a mitzvah that requires one to receive pleasure, namely the warmth of the garment.

We find this concept from the Rishon Reb Avraham Min Hahar in Niddarim 48. The Mishna says that one can prohibit one to learn Torah from his sefer by making a nedder. Reb Avraham Min Hahar asks how can one forbid one to learn Torah? Since learning Torah is a mitzvah we should apply the rule of mitzvos lav lihanos nitnu. He answers that we only say mitzvos lav lihanos nitnu regarding mitzvos that are primarily action based, therefore when there is any pleasure derived we can disqualify it since that is not the reason for the action. However the mitzvah of learning Torah is primarily and essentially for the sake of pleasure and enjoyment. It for that reason that an uvel (morner) is forbidden to learn Torah, as the passuk states pikudai Hashem yisharim misamchai lev. Therefore we cannot apply the rule of mitzvos lav lihanos nitnu to the mitzvah of learning Torah since we cannot say that one is not acting for the sake of pleasure, for by this mitzvah one indeed is seeking the pleasure that accompanies the mitzvah.

I want to suggest another answer to the question of the Bris Avraham of how can we learn from the allowance of shatnez in tzitzis that asay is doche a losasay if by tzitzis there is no prohibition of shatnez since one is not deriving benefit from the garment according to the Rashba. I think that when the Rashba said that any pleasure derived from a mitzvah is not considered pleasure it was only to say that the forbidden pleasure would be permitted if derived from a mitzvah. However the Rashba would agree that there is a physical pleasure that is derived, only that it is not forbidden under theses circumstances. Therefore with regards to shatnez we only require one to derive benefit from the garment in order for it to be considered that he is wearing the garment containing shatnez. If one is not deriving benefit from a garment he is not considered wearing it. The actual pleasure is not prohibited; rather it is a precondition in wearing the garment. Although the pleasure derived while performing the mitzvah of tzitzis will be permitted it is nonetheless a pleasure and should be sufficient to consider the garment worn. Therefore even if we apply the rule of mitzvos lav lihanos nitnu to the mitzvah of tzitzis there would still be a necessity for asay doche losasay.


Posted By KH to KollelH blog at 6/17/2011 02:14:00 PM

[Tinsights.....Torah insights] 6/17/2011 06:15:00 AM

Only supernatural intervention has the capacity to thwart the awesome influence of..... Bad Friends.

Posted By Ploni to Tinsights.....Torah insights at 6/17/2011 06:15:00 AM

Thursday, June 16, 2011

[Tinsights.....Torah insights] 6/17/2011 02:57:00 AM

Challenges given to us by G-D have the perfect risk/gain ratio for our growth in life. However any risk one takes on for himself is bound for failure.

Posted By Ploni to Tinsights.....Torah insights at 6/17/2011 02:57:00 AM

Monday, June 6, 2011

[KollelH blog] The Geirus Of Mattan Torah

The Rama (Orach Chaim 490:9) says that we are accustomed to reading Megillas
Rus on Shavuos. The Vilna Gaon suggests that the reason for this custom is that since our
fathers accepted the Torah on Shavuos, and thereby were nisga'er (converted), we read
the megillah that discusses Rus, who similarly was nisgarah.

The Gemaras, in Yevamos 46a and Krisus 9a, say that at Mattan Torah Klal
Yisrael entered into a bris through geirus. We learn several halachos of geirus for future
generations from the geirus of Mattan Torah. One halacha that we learn is that just as
our fathers required milah, tevilah and korban to convert, future converts require the

The Gemara in Shabbos 130a explains the pasuk in Bamidbar 11:10, "Vayishma
Moshe es ha'um boche l'mishpichosam," as follows: The Bnei Yisrael were crying over the fact
that they became forbidden to marry their relatives after Mattan Torah. The Maharal (in
Gur Aryeh Parshas Vayigash,) asks about the Gemara in Yevamos 22a that says that a
ger can marry his biological sister because ger she'nisgaer k'katan she'nolad dami – a
convert is considered as if he was just born; therefore he is not considered related to his
biological family, even if they too subsequently convert. Since, as stated earlier, Bnei
Yisrael became converts at Mattan Torah, why then were Bnei Yisrael in that generation
crying over the prohibition of marrying relatives? Since they were converts, they had no
relatives that were forbidden to them!

The Maharal answers that the rule of ger she'nisgaer k'katan she'nolad dami can
only be applied to someone who converts willingly, by his own volition. Since at Mattan
Torah, Hashem forced Bnei Yisrael to accept the Torah, we cannot apply the rule and they
became forbidden to marry their relatives.

The sefer, Harirai Kedem, explains that the geirus of Mattan Torah was not
that each individual converted on an individual level all at once; rather it was a geirus
of the tzibur (communal conversion). By Mattan Torah the entire nation converted as
one; when all of Klal Yisrael proclaimed "na'aseh v'nishma" - k'ish echad b'lev echad, it
was an acceptance of the yoke of the Torah and mitzvos as a whole nation. The Rambam
(Hilchos Isssurei Biah 13:3) writes that the korban at Mattan Torah was brought al
yidai kol Yisrael. The Rambam seems to say that the korban was a korban tzibur. We
can understand that since there was a conversion of the tzibur, the tzibur had to bring a
korban tzibur.

Based on this we can answer the Maharal's question mentioned earlier of why
the Bnei Yisrael of that generation cried over their newly forbidden relatives. We only
say that a convert is considered to be newborn and unrelated to his biological family –
even if they later convert, when a ger first converts alone. As explained earlier, at Mattan
Torah the geirus was not an individual conversion, but rather it was one geirus which
incorporated the entire nation. Perhaps as one geirus, everyone's biological relatives remain their relatives. Therefore Bnei Yisrael of the generation of Mattan Torah cried over the prohibition to marry relatives.

The Gemara in Kisubos 11a quotes Rav Huna that bais din can convert a ger
kattan (a minor who his mother had brought to convert). The Gemara seeks a possible
source for Rav Huna's halacha from various mishnayos – but to no avail. The Ritvah
asks why the Gemara doesn't suggest that the source for Rav Huna'a halacha is from
Mattan Torah. After all, there were k'tanim present at Mattan Torah. And if the geirus
of Mattan Torah was not similar to that of Rav Huna's halacha, then how did the geirus
of Mattan Torah work on k'tanim?

Based on the aforementioned explanation that the geirus of Mattan Torah was a
geirus of the tzibur, we can answer the Ritvah's question. The Gemara cannot cite Mattan
Torah as a source for Rav Huna's halacha because the geirus of Mattan Torah was a
geirus of the tzibur. Therefore, as members of the tzibur, the k'tanim were included in
the geirus. However a private geirus performed by beis din may arguably not be done on behalf of a kattan.


For questions or comments regarding this dvar torah, e-mail

Posted By KH to KollelH blog at 6/07/2011 12:55:00 AM

[KollelH blog] Kabalas HaTorah

"Moshe brought the people forth from the camp toward Hashem, and they stood under the mountain." (Yisro 19:17)

The Gemara brings a statement in Maseches Shabbos (88a) that Hashem, during Kabalas HaTorah, held Har Sinai over the Jews and forced acceptance of the Torah. One familiar with the basic storyline is struck with a glaring question: The Jews had already declared their commitment to Hashem with the utterance "Na'aseh v'Nishmah," ("we will do and we will hear"). Why should Hashem "force" the Jewish people into a situation after the Jewish people had already confirmed their relationship with Hashem and the Torah in no uncertain terms? Further, framing acceptance of the Torah in this context would only seem to take away from the Jews independent kabalah!

No ink has been spared on this question. One answer generally brought by chazal is that of Tosafos, that Hashem was concerned that that the Jews would change their minds out of fear upon experiencing the awesome spectacle at Har Sinai. Another oft cited opinion is found in Medrash Tanchuma (Parshas Noach) that the declaration of Na'aseh v'Nishmah was made only in connection Torah She'Biksav. The Jews, however, at that time, were not willing to accept upon themselves Torah She'Ba'al Peh and had to be coerced. The Medrash concludes that the ameilus necessary to engage in the limud of Torah She'Ba'al Peh can come about only through ahavas Hashem. Notably, the Gemara says that the Jews lovingly 're-accepted' the Torah after the events of Purim.

I would like to propose another approach to answer why the Torah was given with the "mountain over our heads" that is perhaps more relevant to our generation than ever before:

The Rambam enumerates 13 ikkarim - known as 'the 13 ani ma'amins' - that one must fully believe and accept in order to be considered a religious Jew. Rabbi Yaakov Weinberg, in his discussion of the 1st of the ikkarim, explains that one must believe and internalize the absoluteness of Hashem. (article available at The Rambam (explained by Rabbi Weinberg) maintains that the truth of the Torah itself depends upon its being derivative from an absolute source.
Without an objective source for Torah ideals, any ethical system can be judged in terms of modern day  thinking. One could not otherwise explain seeming inconsistencies such as why it is one of the "big 3 aveiros" to murder, and yet a Torah commandment to kill Amalek. After all, one may argue, it is unfair to hold Amalek's descendants accountable for their ancestor's actions at the time of Yetzias Mitrayim. The absolute objectivity of the Source of our religion explains why we calibrate ourselves to the Torah rather than judge the Torah by modern day standards.

I would like to introduce a thought based on something I once heard from R' Yitzchak Berkowitz. Throughout history, there were generally accepted societal ideals despite rationalizations that may have been employed to justify contrary modes of conduct; As is often said, one does not have to be a triangle to teach geometry.

By contrast, one does not have to look very far into the headlines of today to see that the average person growing up has no way to distinguish right from wrong, good from bad, appropriate from inappropriate or even what values one should prioritize. (See articles "UN Document Would Give 'Mother Earth' Same Rights as Humans .)
Therefore, the Torah had to be given with the mountain "over our heads" (whether midrashim are meant to be taken literally is beyond the scope of this dvar torah); it had to be muchrach. Indeed, the Jewish people had already committed themselves. However, if our acceptance of the Torah was based solely on our kabalah, the introduction of Torah to the world, and to the Jewish people, would have historically been tied to the acknowledgement of a nation at a given point in time. There would be room for the argument that their acceptance was appropriate for the time, but, after all, times have changed!

Accordingly, the introduction of the Torah into creation had to indicate that Torah is intrinsically 'absolute'. Not originating or dependant upon the approval of mankind. Rather the Torah is an objective source of truth from Hashem, to be referred to by all people of all origins in any generation, independent of the Jews' acceptance at that time.

May we be zocheh to once again to adjust ourselves and our mindsets to the priorities and ideals of the Torah and be Mekabel the Torah b'ahavah this Shavuos!

Gut Yom Tov! {M.R.}

To comment on this dvar torah email or

Posted By KH to KollelH blog at 6/07/2011 12:41:00 AM

Thursday, June 2, 2011

[KollelH blog] Naso - Birchas Kohanim - Shome'ah K'oneh

In this week's parshah the Torah commands the Kohanim to bless Bnei Yisrael (birchas kohanim). The kohanim recite the three p'sukim of blessing, mentioned in the parshah, in front of the congregation. There is an interesting machlokes regarding this mitzvah. The Bais Halevi, in his sefer on Chumash (at the end of Sefer Bereishis), quotes a certain chacham who held that one kohen can recite the pisukim, and the other kohanim who are present can be yotzei (fulfilling of) their obligation of blessing the congregation by means of shomei'a k'oneh (hearing is like answering). Through shome'ah k'oneh it would be considered as if all the kohanim, including those that were silent, recited the p'sukim of blessing to the congregation.

The Bais Halevi disagrees with this opinion, saying that we cannot apply the rule of shome'ah k'oneh to the mitzvah of birchas kohanim. He explains that shome'ah k'oneh can only be applied to mitzvos which are fulfilled only through speech. Birchas kohanim requires more than mere speech. The Gemara in Sota 38 derives from the pasuk, "Amor lahem," that birchas kohanim must be said in a kol rom (loud voice). The Bais Halevi says that although one can be considered to have spoken through shome'ah k'oneh, one cannot attain the kol rom required for birchas kohanim via shome'ah k'oneh.

Many achronim (the Netziv in Maishiv Davar Teshuvah 47, and the Chazon Ish in Orach Chaim 29:2) ask on the p'sak of the Bais Halevi, from various other mitzvos, where there are other requirements besides speech that we apply the rule of shome'ah k'oneh. Why then can the requirement of kol rom not be achieved?

Regarding the mitzvah of Kiddush, we find that one is required to recite Kiddush over a cup. As the one listening to the Kiddush does not have a cup, how then can he fulfill his obligation of Kiddush? Similarly, we apply the rule of shomei'a k'oneh to the mitzvos of krias Parshas Zachor and the reading of Megillas Esther, even though both are required to be read from a sefer and not by heart. How then is one who merely hears them without a sefer in his hands able to fulfill his obligation?

Based on these questions, they argue with the Bais Halevi and explain that whenever the rule of shome'ah k'oneh is applied, we focus on the person actually speaking. If he has met all of the requirements necessary for the particular mitzvah, all who hear him are considered as having said what he said – including all of the requirements. For example, by the mitzvah of Kiddush, when one makes Kiddush on a cup all who hear him are considered as if they also made Kiddush on a cup. Therefore, by birchas kohanim, the kohanim who heard the kohen recite the p'sukim of blessing in a loud voice are considered as having recited the p'sukim in a loud voice as well.

The Brisker Rav (the Bais Halevi's grandson) answered the questions of the achronim on the Bais Halevi with the following explanation: The Bais Halevi agrees that although the one who is hearing Kiddush does not hold a cup and the one hearing the reading of the Torah does not have a sefer, we would be able to apply the rule of shome'ah k'oneh. This is because the rule of shome'ah k'oneh can supply the listener with the same spoken words that he heard – namely the Kiddush over a cup or the reading from a sefer.

However, the din that birchas kohanim is required to be said in a loud voice is different than other requirements of other mitzvos. The din that the kohanim must recite birchas kohanim b'kol rom applies in order to enable the congregation to hear them. Even if we were to apply the rule of shome'ah k'oneh to the mitzvah of birchas kohanim, and thereby consider the silent kohanim to have had recited the actual p'sukim themselves, the congregation would not be able to hear the voice of those silent kohanim. By applying shome'ah k'oneh, we are only able to consider it as if one had spoken himself; however it cannot supply him with an audible voice that can actually be heard. Therefore we cannot apply the rule of shome'ah k'oneh to birchas kohanim, since they are not only required to do the recitation but also required to ensure that they are heard. Whereas by Kiddush and by reading from the Torah or Megillah, shome'ah k'oneh can supply the listener with the recitation as it was done by the reader.


For questions or comments, e-mail

Posted By Dovi milstein to KollelH blog at 6/03/2011 12:18:00 AM