THOUGHTS ON THE DAILY DAF
brought to you by Kollel Iyun Hadaf of Har Nof
Rosh Kollel: Rav Mordecai Kornfeld
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MENACHOS 41 - This Daf has been generously dedicated by Sandy and Les
Wiesel, in honor of a Refu'ah Shelemah for Mrs. G. Kornfeld.
1) TZITZIS ON A FOLDED TALIS
OPINIONS: The Gemara quotes a Beraisa which discusses the Halachah regarding
a large, folded Talis. The Tana Kama says that such a Talis must have
Tzitzis on its four corners, while Rebbi Shimon says that such a Talis is
exempt from Tzitzis.
Which four corners is the Beraisa discussing -- the four original corners of
the long Talis that are visible when the Talis is spread out, or the new
four corners that are formed when the Talis is folded? Why would Rebbi
Shimon exempt such a Talis from Tzitzis?
(a) The NIMUKEI YOSEF explains that the Beraisa is referring to the original
four corners of the Talis. Since it is a four-cornered garment, the Tana
Kama maintains that it still requires Tzitzis. Rebbi Shimon argues and
maintains that since the Talis is such a long garment (twice as long as an
ordinary garment), it is not considered a "Beged" as far as the Mitzvah of
Tzitzis is concerned, because it is not fit for a person to wear. The Tana
Kama apparently holds that since the long Talis could be folded over and
worn in that manner, it retains the status of a "Beged."
HALACHAH: Although the Rambam, as mentioned above, and the SHULCHAN ARUCH
(OC 10:6) rule like Rebbi Shimon, many Rishonim seem to rule like the Tana
Kama. The RIF and ROSH do not mention whom the Halachah follows, implying
that the Halachah follows the view of the Tana Kama, as is usually the case
in such arguments. The Beis Yosef explains that this why the TUR rules that
a folded Talis must have Tzitzis.
The REMA (OC 10:6) takes these opinions into account and writes that
although one should place Tzitzis on such a Talis, he should not recite a
Berachah upon donning this garment. The MISHNAH BERURAH has difficulty with
the ruling of the Rema, and he concludes that one should avoid wearing such
a garment. However, the Mishnah Berurah in SHA'AR HA'TZIYON (#27) says in
the name of many Acharonim that the Halachah follows the Shulchan Aruch, and
one may place Tzitzis on the real corners of such a Beged and even recite a
Berachah. (Y. Montrose)
(b) RASHI (DH v'Rebbi Shimon) explains that Rebbi Shimon exempts the
newly-formed four corners from Tzitzis, because when the Talis is folded
over, the middle of the Talis becomes a corner of the Talis, and one cannot
place Tzitzis on what would be the middle of the Talis when the Talis is
spread out (since Tzitzis must be placed only on the corners of a garment).
This implies that, according to Rashi, the Tana Kama maintains that one
should place Tzitzis on what is now the visible corners of the Talis, even
though, when spread out, those parts of the Talis would no longer be the
1. The BEIS YOSEF (OC 10:6) explains that Rebbi Shimon does not mean that
the Talis is totally exempt from Tzitzis. Rather, Rebbi Shimon merely argues
that one cannot put Tzitzis on a part of the Talis which is still considered
the middle of the Talis. However, Rebbi Shimon agrees that one should put
Tzitzis on the *real* corners of this Talis. He supports this assertion from
the wording of the RAMBAM (Hilchos Tzitzis 1:17), who says that "one should
not fold a Talis in half and put Tzitzis on the corners *when it is
folded*." This implies that one should not put Tzitzis only on the new
corners of the Talis in its folded state, but one should put Tzitzis on the
real corners of the Talis.
It seems that the Beis Yosef understands the Beraisa like Rashi and not like
the Nimukei Yosef. According to the Nimukei Yosef, one should not put
Tzitzis on any part of the garment, since it is not considered a "Beged"
that is fit to wear.
The TAZ (OC 10:7) suggests that the Beis Yosef is not necessarily siding
with Rashi's explanation, but he could also agree with the explanation of
the Nimukei Yosef. The Nimukei Yosef understands that in the Beraisa's case,
the Talis was folded over because it is too long to be worn without being
folded. The Beis Yosef agrees that in such a case the Talis would not need
Tzitzis at all according to Rebbi Shimon, as it is not called a "Beged."
Rashi learns that the Beraisa is discussing a case in which the garment is
folded over *by choice*, even though it is fit to be worn when fully spread.
In the case of such a Talis, the Beis Yosef maintains that Rebbi Shimon
would agree that Tzitzis are required on the real corners of the Talis. (See
MISHNAH BERURAH OC 10:16.)
2. The DARCHEI MOSHE (OC 10) argues with the Beis Yosef. He points out that
Rebbi Shimon says that the Talis is "Patur," exempt, from Tzitzis. This
wording implies that Rebbi Shimon totally exempts such a Talis from Tzitzis.
If, as the Beis Yosef asserts, the argument in the Beraisa involved *where*
to put the Tzitzis (on the original corners or on the new corners of the
folded Talis), then the Beraisa should have quoted the Tana Kama as saying
that the Tzitzis must be placed on the folded corners, and Rebbi Shimon as
saying that the Tzitzis must be placed ont he original corners! (See KEHILOS
YAKOV #24 for further discussion of the Darchei Moshe's opinion.)
2) MAKING THE STRINGS OF TZITZIS THE SAME COLOR AS THE GARMENT
OPINIONS: The Gemara quotes a Beraisa that states that the obligation to
place Tzitzis on a garment is discharged only when the Tzitzis are "of the
same type" as the garment. The Beraisa continues and says that if one's
garment is made entirely out of Techeles, then one should place on it
strings of Techeles and another type.
What exactly is the Beraisa teaching us?
(a) RASHI (DH Meisivei) explains that the first part of the Beraisa is
teaching what color the strings of Lavan (the non-Techeles strings) must be.
For example, if one's garment is dyed red, then it requires red strings as
its non-Techeles strings (to fulfill the obligation of "Lavan"). However, if
the garment is made out of Techeles (that is, the entire woolen garment is
dyed with Techeles), then one should not make all of the strings of the
Tzitzis out of Techeles, because the Torah requires two types of strings,
Techeles and Lavan (non-Techeles). However, since the garment is entirely
Techeles, the Lavan strings are not going to be of the same type as the
garment! Therefore, the Beraisa says that one may place strings of any color
other than Techeles to fulfill the requirement of "Lavan."
TOSFOS (DH Ein) is perplexed by Rashi's explanation. The Gemara earlier
(38b) quotes Rava as exclaiming, "Is the color [of the garment] the
determining factor [of the color of the garment's Tzitzis]?" According to
Rashi's explanation, the Beraisa is clearly contradicting Rava's statement.
How can Rava make such an exclamation against an explicit Beraisa?
HALACHAH: The SHULCHAN ARUCH (OC 9:5) writes that "there are those (Rashi
and the Rambam) who say that the Tzitzis should be the same color as one's
garment, and those who are meticulous are accustomed to do so." According to
this stringency, one would specifically make red Tzitzis on a four-cornered,
red garment. However, the REMA states that "Ashkenazim have a custom to make
only white strings even on colored clothing, and one should not change from
1. Tosfos suggests an answer for Rashi. Perhaps the Beraisa's Halachah is
only a Mitzvah d'Rabanan. The Beraisa is teaching that one should beautify
the Mitzvah of Tzitzis, in accordance with the verse, "Zeh Keli v'Anvehu" --
"This is my G-d and I will glorify Him" (Shemos 15:2), as the Gemara in
Sukah (11b) teaches. The Mitzvah of Tzitzis is beautified when the color of
the Lavan strings is the same as the color of the garment. However, one
would still fulfill the Mitzvah of Tzitzis with Lavan strings of any color.
Rava's rhetorical question was that it is not reasonable to suggest that the
Torah requires that the strings be the same color as the garment in order to
fulfill the Mitzvah of Tzitzis altogether.
2. The RA'AVAD (Hilchos Tzitzis 2:8) gives a different explanation. When
Rava (38b) said that the color of the garment does not dictate the color of
the Tzitzis, he was addressing the view of Rami bar Chama. Rami bar Chama
said that when placing Tzitzis on a garment made of Techeles, one should
place the Techeles strings on the garment first, before the Lavan strings,
even though the Lavan strings are usually placed on the garment first. Rava
responded, "Does the color of the garment dictate *changing the order* of
the placement of the Techeles and the Lavan?" The Lavan is always first,
Rava asserted, as the Torah states, "They shall place on the Tzitzis of each
corner a thread of Techeles" (Bamidbar 15:38), implying that the Tzitzis of
Lavan have already been placed on the garment. Rava was not saying that the
color of the garment does not affect what color the strings should be. This
might also be the intention of Rashi.
The TUR (OC 9) understands that this is also the opinion of the RAMBAM.
However, the BEIS YOSEF (OC 9) quotes the MAHARAN CHAVIV who understands
that the RAMBAM (Hilchos Tzitzis 2:8) argues with Rashi. The words of the
Rambam imply that he does not *require* the strings of Lavan to be the same
color as the garment. Rather, the Rambam is saying that one should not tie
black strings, or Techeles strings, in place of the Lavan strings, but one
may tie other color strings in their place. The Beis Yosef, however, agrees
with the Tur's understanding of the Rambam.
(b) According to the Maharan Chaviv's understanding of the Ramam, how does
the Rambam understand the Beraisa quoted by the Gemara here? The Rambam
evidently learns the Beraisa the same way that TOSFOS (ibid.) learns it.
Tosfos explains that the Beraisa is expressing the Halachah that the Gemara
earlier (39b) teaches: the Tzitzis must be made out of the same *material*
(and not necessarily the same color) as the garment (with the exception of
wool and linen strings, which may be used for any type of garment).
The MISHNAH BERURAH, taking into account all of these opinions, concludes
that one who is meticulous about Mitzvos should have only a *white*
four-cornered garment, so that he fulfills all of these opinions (by having
only white Lavan strings, and by having Lavan strings that are the same
color as the garment). The Mishnah Berurah gives another reason, in the name
of the BACH (OC 24), for why one should have a white garment and white
Tzitzis. The verse says, "Levushei ki'Slag Chivar" -- "His garment is like
white snow" (Daniel 7:9). The Gemara in Rosh Hashana (17b) teaches that this
garment refers to the Talis of Hashem, as it were. The Bach quotes a source
that says that we learn from this verse that a person's garment should be
white as well.
It is interesting to note that RAV YOSEF SHALOM ELYASHIV shlit'a is quoted
(in Kovetz Teshuvos, p. 11) as saying that both of these opinions -- the
view of the Shulchan Aruch that one's Tzitzis should be the same color as
the garment, and the view of the Bach that one's Talis (and Tzitzis) should
be white like the garment of Hashem -- would be neglected by putting on what
only *might* be Techeles. If the Techeles is not actually Techeles, then,
according to the Shulchan Aruch, the strings are not the same color as the
garment, and, according to the Bach, the string are not all white (see also
Insights to Menachos 41:1). (Y. Montrose)