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Monday, September 30, 2013

בין איך משוגע

My father zatzal used to tell stories about Reb Aizekel (Eizel) Charif.  One of the stories was that one night, he woke his rebbetzin up, and asked her, in profound agitation, בין איך קלאר אדער בין איך משוגע?  Am I sane, or am I crazy?

She was shocked and afraid, and she said, Reb Aizek, what do you mean?  He insisted, and repeated, בין איך קלאר אדער בין איך משוגע?  I am gozeir on you as your husband that you have to tell me what you really believe!  She answered, with worry and dismay, Reb Aizek, I promise that you are the most sane man in the world, you are 100% sane.

Reb Aizek said, Baruch Hashem!  Baruch Hashem!  Someone gave me this sefer that he just published, and I was reading it, and I came to realize that there are only two possibilities.  Either I am crazy, or he is crazy.  Baruch Hashem!  If I am not crazy, Iz ehr meshuga, then he is crazy.

I was talking to a friend recently, and we began to talk about the sugya of לקבעא קמא הדר- that sometimes, walking out and returning is called a hefsek and if you return it is a new beginning, but sometimes it is not considered an interruption, and so when you return you are continuing the same meal  He asked me the following question.

We know that if a person ate a kezayis of mezonos and left the room, he does not have to make another bracha when he returns.  Because mezonos obligates a person to return to the place where he ate, his leaving is not called a hefsek.  לקבעא קמא הדר

What if a person was eating mezonos and shehakol, and he left the room, and he returned.  Would he have to repeat the shehakol?

The natural answer is that no, he would not have to repeat the shehakol.  If he doesn't have to repeat the mezonos because his obligation to return renders his having left insignificant, then he shouldn't have to repeat any bracha.  It seems obvious to me that the din that you don't repeat mezonos is not because mezonos requires that you go back to where  you ate.  It is because mezonos creates a reality of kvius.  Because of that kevius, you have to make the bracha achrona where you ate.  If there were no brachos in the world, the concept of kevius would still apply.  The din of going back is a siman, not a siba.  If so, if there's a reality of kvius, the kvius is applicable to all your brachos.

So my friend told me that he saw a certain great posek, a man that was well known to have shas and poskim and rishonim in his pocket, said that he does have to repeat the shehakol.

I asked him, but why is this different that one who was eating a shehakol food and left the room, but he left his friends there, and he intends to return because of his friends.  He told me it's a good question, but if that posek said farkert, it's my problem to be meyasheiv the sugya.

I haven't looked at any of the mareh mekomos.  I'm afraid it will say what he says.  If it does, then the only choice I will have is to accept the unfortunate reality of the title of this post.  As the Mahari Viel said, פסקי בעלי בתים ופסקי לומדים שני הפכים הם.
(שו"ת מהר"י ווייל סוף סימן קמ"ו, הובא בסמ"ע סימן ג' ס"ק י"ג)

Marei mekomos, thank you Eli.
Badei Hashulchan here and also here
Teshuvos Maharim Padua  (Not the famous Maharam Padua, who lived three hundred years earlier, but he was the Rov of Brisk a generation before the Maharil Diskin, so read it carefully.)

Also on the issue of לקבעא קמא הדר:

What if a person heard kiddush in his Sukkah, but he didn't drink a reviis of wine.  Let's say he wasn't the one that made kiddush, or even if he made kiddush, he drank rov kos but not a revi'is.  Then he walked out to wash netilas yadayim for Hamotzi.  Is he yotzei Kiddush bimkom seuda?  Or does his walking out mean there's a hefsek and his kiddush was not bimkom seuda, since it is not related to the seuda he will eat after washing?

I would think that his obligation and intent to return to eat bread means that he never "left" the sukkah.  It's not worse than leaving friends and intending to come back- which is another example of לקבעא קמא הדר.  Indeed, that is what Reb Yosef Peimer from Slutzk, a talmid of Reb Chaim Volozhiner says in his teshuvos (here's more about him.)  Rav Chaim Volozhiner is saying a big chiddush:  he is the only one who connects the halacha of leaving a friend behind, which is usually related to the din of making new brachos, to the din of Kiddush Bimkom Seuda.  But they tell me that the Chazon Ish argues.  Can you believe it?  All of Klal Yisrael does this.  You make kiddush in the Sukkah, you go out to wash, and then you make hamotzi.  This is a hefsek, and it's not the same seuda, so it's a problem of not making kiddush bimkom seudah?

And once again, I have a very big problem understanding this.  We all know that talking between bracha and achila is a hefsek, but not where the talking is for the purpose of the Achila, like "Bring salt."  So we ought to learn a general svara that a hefsek for the needs of the seuda is not a hefsek.  If so, going out to wash in order to eat is not in the parsha of hefsek at all.  Not only is it not a hefsek, it's exactly the opposite of a hefsek- it's a "Not Hefsek," it's a chibbur.  In fact, I believe that if you sat down to eat, and you realized you hadn’t fed your animals, and you go outside to feed them so you can eat, it is not a hefsek either.  To me, this is a poshuteh svara.  So why don’t any of these gedolim say this simple, baalebatische svara?  Is there something wrong with me?  Has my brain gotten dim with age?  Has my almost exclusive focus on the Daf Yomi for twenty five years made me simplistic?  Very possible.

After thinking about this for a while, I've come to realize that the problem with being a baal habayis is the tendency to form an immediate opinion and to close one's mind, instead of delving into the sugya to see what other ways there are to learn it.  It's a matter of being outside the milieu of shakla vetarya, and also simple laziness and inertia.  So, yes.  Unfortunately, it's true.

By the way, Reb Yosef (Yosalleh) Peimer was like a father to Reb Elya Pruzhiner, Reb Moshe Feinstein's uncle, who was born in Slutsk.


Reb Chaim HaQoton said...

I love Rav Eizel Charif stories. You might interested in this book which contains a whole bunch of such stories.

I hear the שאלה, but I don't have what to say about it.

Eli said...

See Badey Hashulchan #5 and the addendum in p.214

Eli said...

However, see also who explains both sides (p.112 d"h Ve'da)

Barzilai/Eliezer Eisenberg said...

Reb Chaim, thank you- I would very much enjoy reading those stories. I'm trying to find out if I can get it through Google Books, or I have to buy it from Tuvia's.

Eli- I heard about the Badei Hashulchan. But the Teshuva is a real find. For a moment, I thought it was the Maharam Padua. Then I realized that this one lived three hundred years later. I don't know much about him, but the fact that he was the Rov of Brisk twenty years before the Maharil Diskin lends weight to his opinion.

I didn't understand what the BH wanted, but I do understand the machlokes Rashba and Rosh in the Teshuva, and I have to think about it, but it's hard to get myself to accept the possibility. It just feels very wrong.

Eli said...

The BH makes your connection to הניח חברים, but then makes the following point: if a person who ate mezonos and fruit decides to continue eating mezonos in his new place, he does not have to go back for Brach Achrona, so his connection to the original place is weaker than in the case of chaveirim. Still he seems to side with the first option.

More on RYMP -

Barzilai/Eliezer Eisenberg said...

I added your link about Rav Peimerto the post. I can't find his teshuva online. I'm sure it'll get there soon, but not just yet.

What bothers me most is that they seem to be confusing the סיבה and the מסובב. Mezonos mandates a bracha bimkomah, because by its nature it is koveia makom, not the other way around.

Eli said...

The link I gave is about the Maharim Padwa, not Rav Peimer.

What do you mean exactly by koveia makom? Is this consistent with the fact one can go elsewhere and continue eating without having to go back? Acccording to the Rosh, who says that eating in the new place is כאילו הוא במקומו הראשון I can hear your argument, but otherwise I think one can may claim to the contrary that it is only the chiyuv bracha bimkomah that connects one to the original location (and thus once he continues eating elsewhere, this connection terminates).

Baal Habayit said...

I heard another thing in relation to the sukkah, kiddush and hefsek. The Rav wanted to say that after one makes kiddush and makes the beracha of leishev, one should not talk until one has washed hamotzi as talking would be a hefsek between leishev and eating the kazayit of bread which is what the ikkar of the beracha of leishev is going on. Any thoughts?

Barzilai/Eliezer Eisenberg said...

Eli, I have a hard time believing that the din of kvius makom comes from the halacha of having to return to where you ate, when to me, the only reason you have to return is because of the nature of what types of food you're kovei'a makom on. Doesn't it make more sense that it is the character of the meal that establishes the din, instead of the other way around?

Barzilai/Eliezer Eisenberg said...

Baal Habayit, here are my thoughts. The Tur in תרמ"ג brings that the Maharam Rttnbrg held that you should make the leishev before sitting down to eat bread, while the Rosh held that you make the hamotzi and then leishev. The Beis Yosef there explains that the Maharam held that the ikkar bracha is on the yeshiva, so you should make the bracha immediately upon being seated. The Rosh holds that since we're noheig to limit the bracha to times when we eat, the bracha became tied to the eating, and so is more appropriately said immediately before eating. So, I assume the Rav held that in deference to the Rosh's shitta that the bracha became tied to kvius achila, you should minimize hefsek between the bracha and the hamotzi. But I have to say that this seems to be a chumra yeseira. Even the Rosh will agree that by kiddush, the kvius begins at kiddush, and the minhag to make the bracha on bread will no longer pertain. Remember, the Rosh essentially agrees with the Maharam, but says that our minhag to limit the bracha creates an association with hamotzi. Where our minhag is to establish kvius seuda at kiddush, of course the bracha is perfectly appropriate and fully realized at that moment.

Baal Habayit said...

Thanks for that Rav Barzilai. I really enjoy your blog and without being machnif, your knowledge is very impressive. Its also nice to see someone being intellectually honest but not latching on to every chumra that comes out today. I should also thank you for your blog about eruv tavshilin - it took a lot of pressure off preparing for Yom Tov while trying to keep up with work and looking after family.

Maybe you could one time do a blog on how to research a halachic question in a methodical manner. How you start to find sources etc.

Also, in terms of psak of a baal habayit, I used to have a chavrusa who was an absolute genius (MIT graduate), and he told me that it is strange but whenever he reads a teshuva, he follows the whole argument except that when he gets to the conclusion, he always comes out with the opposite conclusion to that which the teshuva does :)

Barzilai/Eliezer Eisenberg said...

Speaking of Reb Eizel Charif, I just made contact with a descendant of his, and apparently there are several. I find it fascinating to talk to Reb Eizik's grandchild. I've also met a man, Joel Sprayregen, that says he's a direct descendant of the Gaon, but the gaon was a long time ago, and he's the famous and celebrated heritage of all of Klal Yisrael, so it doesn't mean much to me.

Reb Chaim HaQoton said...

I've also met a man, Joel Sprayregen, that says he's a direct descendant of the Gaon, but the gaon was a long time ago, and he's the famous and celebrated heritage of all of Klal Yisrael, so it doesn't mean much to me.
It's not a kuntz! All descendants of the Gra are direct descendants.

Barzilai/Eliezer Eisenberg said...

Ever look at a sefer yuchsin? In the small print, there are sometimes the letters כ"י, that stands for k'ilu yelado- it was a rebbi, not a father. Or you have a brother's descendant. Like my mother, whose maiden name is Berlin, says we come from the Netziv, and that can't be true, so it must be a brother/cousin/something of the Netziv that we come from.

But I get your point. Descendant means direct.

Barzilai/Eliezer Eisenberg said...

To the anonymous commenter of 11:34, thank you for your beautiful story. I'm sorry I had to delete it; it was out of place here. I have a copy. If I find a good place for it I will post it.