POINT BY POINT SUMMARY
Prepared by R. Yakov Blinder
of Kollel Iyun Hadaf, Yerushalayim
Rosh Kollel: Rabbi Mordecai Kornfeld
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Previous daf Moed Katan 21
MOED KATAN 21 - sponsored by Harav Ari Bergmann of Lawrence, N.Y., out of
love for Torah and those who study it.
1) STANDING UP FOR KERI'AH
(a) Story: Ameimar's grandson died, and he did Keri'ah, not
in his son's presence. Then his son come by and he did
Keri'ah again, in his presence (see Tosafos for why).
Then he remembered that he did the Keri'ah while seated,
so he did it again standing.
2) A LIST OF THINGS FORBIDDEN TO A MOURNER.
(b) Question: How do we know Keri'ah must be done standing?
(c) Answer: We learn it from Iyov, who stood before he did
(d) Question: Perhaps although Iyov did this it is not a
requirement, just as he pulled out his hair, which is not
(e) New answer: It is learned from David, who stood for
(f) Question: Perhaps although David did this it is not a
requirement, just as he lay down on the floor, which is
not a requirement for mourning, because lying on the
floor does not fulfill the requirement of "turning over
(g) Answer: He didn't literally lie on the floor (that's only
a figure of speech); he lay on an upside-down bed, in
fulfillment of "turning over the bed." Hence, since we
don't find that he did anything extra, we assume that his
standing for Keri'ah was required.
(a) A Beraisa lists all the things mourners are forbidden to
3) PUTTING ON TEFILIN FOR A MOURNER
(b) The Beraisa makes an exception to 2:a:6 for a rabbi whose
services are required by the public. He may teach Torah.
3. Anoint the skin with oil
4. Engage in marital relations
5. Wear shoes
6. Learn Torah
1. Another Beraisa limits this exception somewhat. The
rabbi may not directly use the services of a
Meturgeman (spokesman) when delivering a Shiur.
(a) A Beraisa lists two opinions concerning the putting on of
Tefilin for a mourner.
1. According to R. Eliezer, Tefilin may not be put on
for the first two days of mourning. Another point he
makes is that after this the mourner may keep his
Tefilin on even if a new visitor comes to see him.
(b) The Gemara discusses the Biblical sources for both of the
above opinions, whether the most intense period of
mourning lasts for two days (like R. Eliezer) or one day
(like R. Yehoshua).
2. R. Yehoshua argues with both points. According to
him the prohibition to put on Tefilin is only for
the first day of mourning. And if a new visitor
comes to see the mourner after this he must take off
(c) The Halachah: Ula says the Halachah is like R. Eliezer in
regard to how many days the mourner may not put on
Tefilin (i.e., one day), but like R. Yehoshua in regard
to the issue about removing the Tefilin for new visitors
(i.e., he need not remove them).
(d) Question: What does Ula hold about removing the Tefilin
for new visitors on the second day? (He ruled like R.
Yehoshua concerning the removal of Tefilin, and R.
Yehoshua only dealt with the third day and on, for on the
second day the Tefilin are not put on at all according
to R. Yehoshua.)
(e) Answer: Ula holds that the Tefilin must be removed for
new visitors on the second day, even if he has to remove
them and replace them a hundred times (for a hundred new
visitors). A Beraisa supports this view also.
(f) Rava, however, says that once the mourner begins to put
on Tefilin (on the second day), he never has to take
(g) Question: Above (20a, 1:b:2) Rava ruled that the first
three days of Shiv'ah are especially intense, so he
should also say that Tefilin are not put on for three
(h) Answer: Rava did not apply this idea when it would end up
canceling a mitzvah (putting on Tefilin).
4) DIFFERENCES BETWEEN THE FIRST 3 DAYS OF SHIV'AH AND THE REST
(a) Three Beraisos list the following contrasts between the
first three days of Shiv'ah and the rest of Shiv'ah:
5) WHEN DIFFERENT MOURNERS (OF THE SAME DEATH) START AT DIFFERENT TIMES
1. The first three days the mourner may not do any
work, even if he is poor and is sustained by
charity. After this he (the poor mourner - Tosafos)
may do work privately, in his house, and a woman may
spin thread at home.
(b) Question: There is a Beraisa that tells how R. Akiva got
up and said words of greeting to those who came to
console him. This contradicts the Beraisa in 4:a:3, that
says that a mourner may not give a greeting.
2. The first three days a mourner may not go to another
mourner's house (for a consolation visit); after
this he may go there, and he sits among the
mourners, not the consolers.
3. The first three days a mourner may not give a
greeting (or answer one). After that he may answer a
greeting but not give one. After the Shiv'ah is over
he may give and answer greetings normally.
(c) Answer: Out of respect for a large group of people it is
permitted to give a greeting.
(d) Question: The Beraisa (4:a:3) said that after Shiv'ah the
mourner may answer or give a greeting - even during the
Shloshim. This is contradicted by another Beraisa. This
second Beraisa makes several points:
1. When encountering a mourner during his Shloshim, one
should say words of comfort.
(e) Answer: The assumption made in 4:d:2 is incorrect.
Although a mourner should not be greeted by others (in
Hebrew a greeting is wishing someone peace - Shalom, and
the mourner is not in peace), the mourner may greet
others (for they are in peace).
i. An exception is when the mourner is in mourning
for his wife, and he has already married
another woman. In that case, no one should
enter his house to comfort him at all, and if
someone encounters him in the street he should
comfort him only with short, curt words. (This
is all out of consideration for the feelings of
the new wife.)
2. When encountering a mourner during his Shloshim, one
may not greet the mourner. The Gemara assumes that
this implies that the mourner may not greet others
during his Shloshim either. This contradicts the
Beraisa in 4:a:3.
3. After Shloshim is over, one should not say any words
of comfort; it is inappropriate. And at that time
the mourner may be greeted by others.
(f) Question: The Beraisa in 4:a:3 said that the mourner
after Shiv'ah (even during Shloshim) "may give and answer
greetings normally." If he is answering a greeting, then
obviously someone has given him a greeting! But giving a
greeting to a mourner is explicitly forbidden according
to the Beraisa in 4:d:2!
(g) Answer: The greeting was given by someone who didn't
realize the mourner was in mourning.
(h) Question: This kind of mistake could happen even during
the first three days of Shiv'ah. Why does the Beraisa
(4:a:3) say that a mourner may not return a greeting
(i) Answer: During the first three days he should not return
the greeting but simply say, "I am in mourning." After
that time he may respond to the greeting in the normal
(j) Question: The Beraisa (4:d:3) said that after Shloshim
the mourner should not be comforted, and may be greeted
by others. This is contradicted by another Beraisa that
states that the mourner should be comforted, and may not
be greeted, for the entire year after the death of his
relative. (When the year is over, however, it is
considered inappropriate to comfort the mourner -
although he may be comforted obliquely (Rashi: without
mentioning the identity of the deceased) - and the
mourner may again be greeted by others).
(k) Answer: The Beraisa (4:j) that speaks in terms of a
year-long mourning period is dealing with one who is
mourning a parent; the other Beraisa, which speaks of
Shloshim (4:d:3) is dealing with one who is mourning
(l) Question: The Beraisa about parents (4:j), with its
year-long period of mourning, allows "oblique comforting"
after the year is over. But the other Beraisa, about
other relatives (4:d:3), with its Shloshim period, does
not mention this option; it implies that after the
Shloshim no comforting should be offered at all.
(m) Answer: Although the Beraisa doesn't mention it
explicitly, oblique comforting is permitted after
(a) A Beraisa describes what happens if a mourner first comes
in the middle of a Shiv'ah that his family has already
started to observe:
1. If he came from nearby during the first three days
he finishes Shiv'ah along with the others. If he
came from afar, or if he came during the last four
days, he begins seven days of Shiv'ah from the day
(b) R. Yochanan placed a limitation on the law in the
Beraisa (5:a:1), that said that if a mourner came from
nearby in the first three days he finishes along with the
others: This only applies when the central figure of the
family (e.g., the oldest son) is there with the original
group. Otherwise the newcomer must begin seven days of
Shiv'ah when he comes.
2. R. Shimon disagrees, and says that if one comes from
nearby, no matter when he comes (even on the seventh
day) he finishes with the others.