THOUGHTS ON THE DAILY DAF
brought to you by Kollel Iyun Hadaf of Har Nof
Rosh Kollel: Rav Mordecai Kornfeld
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1) OPENING THE FRONT DOOR DURING THE SEDER
AGADAH: There is a widespread custom to open the door of one's house during
the Seder when reciting the verse, "Shefoch Chamascha Al ha'Goyim...," after
Birchas ha'Mazon. Why is this done?
2) TAKING "KISHUF" INTO ACCOUNT
(a) The Gemara discusses the problems of drinking in pairs ("Zugos;" see
Insights to 109b). The Gemara says that if one "sees the public marketplace"
between pairs of cups of wine, then the cups do not join together and it is
not considered as if he drank pairs. Some Acharonim suggest that this
qualification to the concern of Zugos explains the custom of opening the
door. Drinking four cups of wine on the Seder night could, theory, pose a
problem of Zugos. Therefore, we open the door in order to "see the public
area" in order to avoid Zugos. (Even though the Gemara says that there is no
problem of Zugos when one is in his home, the Gemara says that if one is
going to sleep, then there is a problem of Zugos. Since most people go to
sleep after drinking the four cups of wine, there is a concern of Zugos.
Even though the Gemara said that there is no problem of Zugos when drinking
the Arba Kosos, nevertheless we open the door as a precautionary measure.)
(HAGADAH of the ZECHER YEHOSEF)
(b) The BEIS HA'LEVI suggests another reason for why we open the door, using
the exact opposite logic. The REMA (OC 480) says that we open the door to
show that we are not afraid of an damaging agents on this night, for it is
"Leil Shimurim," the night when we are privileged to receive special Divine
protection, as the Gemara tells us (109b). Why do we show this now, near the
end of the Seder, and not at the beginning of the night?
The answer is that at this point in the night we are about to end the Seder
by drinking Zugos. We show that we are not afraid of the potentially harmful
effects of drinking Zugos, for this night is Leil Shimurim.
(c) The BE'ER YOSEF (Rav Yosef Salant, of Yerushalayim), suggests another
reason for opening the door. It seems from the Gemara that the houses in
Yerushalayim in which the Korban Pesach were eaten were very crowded, and
people couldn't wait to finish their Pesach meat and leave. One is not
allowed to eat some of the Pesach in one house and some in another house
(85b). Therefore, to prevent people from leaving the house before they have
finished eating the Pesach, the practice may have been to lock the doors of
the house until after Birchas ha'Mazon. Afterwards, the doors were flung
open and they would leave the house for the airy and roomy rooftops to
recite the Hallel (86a). To remind ourselves of this practice, we, too, open
the doors after Birchas ha'Mazon!
QUESTION: The Gemara says that Rava would escort his Talmidim out of his
home by giving them four cups of wine, because he held than anything more
than two posed no problem of Zugos. The RASHBAM asks that Rava earlier
implied that there *is* a problem of Zugos with more than two, when he
asserted that the only reason why the Arba Kosos do not constitute Zugos
because "a Kos Shel Berachah can only join for good, and not for bad." If
not for that reason, though, they *would* constitute Zugos!
The RASHBAM answers that Rava was not concerned for Zugos with the Arba
Kosos, but he was concerned for Kishuf (as the Gemara says on 110b).
Therefore, the Rabanan would not have enacted the Arba Kosos if there would
have been a concern for Kishuf. Rava explains that since these cups are each
a Kos Shel Berachah, there is no problem of Kishuf.
Why, then, did Rava escort the Talmidim out by giving them four cups, if the
powers of Kishuf affects pairs in even number more than two? (CHAVAS YA'IR
#25, 26; RASHASH)
In addition, the Gemara proves that since the Rabanan enacted ten cups of
wine to be consumed in a Beis ha'Avel (house of mourning), it must be that
*ten* does not pose a problem of Zugos. However, there should still be a
problem of *Kishuf* with ten! How could the Rabanan make an enactment to do
something which might lead to a danger of Kishuf? (CHAVAS YA'IR #26, cited
by the DEVAR SHMUEL)
(a) The CHAVAS YA'IR answers that Rava gave four cups only occasionally,
when a Talmid would leave. Something done only on occasion is not a cause to
worry about Kishuf, since it is unlikely that a Mechashef will meet up with
that person at random. Similarly, then cups of wine at a house of mourning
is an infrequent occurrence, and therefore there is no fear of Kishuf. Only
for something which would become an established practice of Zugos for
*everyone*, such as the Arba Kosos, must the Rabanan be concerned for
(b) The RASHASH answers the first question by citing RABEINU YONAH (quoted
by the ROSH 10:25). One of the reasons given for dipping the Maror into
Charoses is because eating un-dipped Maror can be dangerous to one's health
(114b). Nevertheless, we find that if one eats Chazares, a type of Maror, as
Karpas, the Mishnah does not mention that he needs to dip it in Charoses!
Only when he eats the Maror the second time, to fulfill the Mitzvah of
Maror, does it say that he must dip it. Why is there a difference between
the two times that one eats Maror? If it is dangerous to eat it un-dipped,
then the Rabanan should require that it be dipped both times!
Rabeinu Yonah answers that, as the Gemara tells us, the first tasting of
Maror is not to fulfill the Mitzvah but only to serve as a catalyst to get
the children to ask questions. Even though eating Maror without dipping it
poses a danger to one's health, people nevertheless often eat it without
dipping, and it was not the Rabanan who told us to eat Chazeres at this
point in the meal, the Rabanan left us to eat it however we want and did not
make it obligatory to dip the first Maror. The second Maror, though, is
obligatory and is used to fulfill the Mitzvah. Therefore, the Rabanan
decreed that one fulfill the Mitzvah in a way that there is no threat of
danger. When enacting the proper way to fulfill a Mitzvah d'Rabanan, the
Rabanan were concerned for our well-being.
The same might apply to the Mitzvah d'Rabanan of Arba Kosos. Kishuf is not a
common problem, and people are normally not concerned with it. Rava did not
worry about protecting his students from a fear of Kishuf when he escorted
them out with four cups, because those four cups were not an item of a
Mitzvah -- if they wanted, they could drink only three cups. It was not
Rava's responsibility, then, to be concerned for Kishuf. The Arba Kosos, on
the other hand, is a Mitzvah which the Rabanan enacted, and therefore they
had to be concerned for our well-being. Consequently, they would only enact
the Mitzvah if there was no concern for Kishuf.