Parshas Teruma 5778
Candle Lighting Time: 5:20 pm
February 16, 2018
Volume 14 Issue 7
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Dvar Torah

Torah Im Derech Eretz
By Rabbi Sruli Schwartz  
The Keruvim that the Jews made in the desert faced each other, as it states: "The keruvim shall [have] their faces toward one another," (Shemos 25:20). The keruvim that Shlomo made for the Beis Hamikdash, however, were different. They faced the walls of the Beis Hamikdash, as it states: "With their faces toward the house," (Chronicles II 3:13). There is a dispute in the gemorah, Bava Basra 99b, how to reconcile these two pesukim. One opinion maintains that initially the keruvim were facing each other, representing a positive connection between Klal Yisroel and Hashem. Later, if the Jews sinned, the keruvim turned towards the walls, showing Hashem's anger with the Jews. The other opinion states that Shlomo initially placed the keruvim slanted, partially facing each other and partially facing the wall, fulfilling both pesukim.
Rav Chaim of Volozhin, in his sefer, Nefesh Hachaim, explains the difference between the keruvim constructed at Moshe's time and the keruvim of Shlomo. He cites the gemorah in Berachos 35b that brings an argument between Rebbi Yishmael and Rebbi Shimon Bar Yochai regarding two contradictory pesukim. The Navi says, "The book of the Torah shall not depart from your mouth" (Yehoshua 1:8), implying that we have to constantly learn Torah with no break. Yet, the Torah writes, "You shall gather your grains" (Devarim 11:14), saying that we should stop Torah study and work to support ourselves. Rebbi Yishmael says that both pesukim are valid. We are supposed to do both; we have to learn and work. When we are not working, we are supposed to learn with great intensity, with no other thought on our mind. When we do work, we are still supposed to think about Torah, even if we can only do so to a lesser degree than if we were not working. This way of living fulfills the ideas mentioned in the pesukim. Rebbi Shimon Bar Yochai argues with Rebbi Yishmael. He says that it is impossible to work and still learn Torah properly at the same time. Rather, Rebbi Shimon Bar Yochai says that the two pesukim are talking about two different scenarios. When we do Hashem's will, then we won't have to work to support ourselves and we could dedicate our entire lives to Torah study. Hashem will provide everything that we need through other means. When we sin, however, then the onus of support is on ourselves and our families. Then, we will have no choice but to stop learning and work to put food on our table.
The gemorah concludes that many people conducted their lives like Rebbi Yishmael's interpretation and were successful, while many conducted their lives like Rebbi Shimon Bar Yochai's interpretation and were not successful. Rav Chaim of Volozhin writes that for the masses it is better to live their lives like Rebbi Yishmael's understanding, working and learning together, while unique individuals can conduct themselves like Rebbi Shimon Bar Yochai's understanding and dedicate their entire life to Torah study.
Based on this explanation, Rav Chaim explains why Moshe's keruvim were facing each other while Shlomo's were slanted, partially facing each other and partially facing the wall. During Moshe's era, Bnei Yisroel had a utopian situation. All their food was prepared for them and they never needed new clothes. They had no need to support themselves. They had no distractions and were able to dedicate their entire lives to Torah study. Therefore, Moshe established the keruvim facing each other. This signified that Klal Yisroel was constantly immersed in Torah study, with no other responsibilities. During Shlomo's time, however, the Jews had to fend for themselves. They had the burden of supporting themselves and providing for their families. They were not afforded the opportunity to totally dedicate themselves to Torah study. They had to juggle work and Torah study. They had to learn while they were working. To represent their life situation, Shlomo made the keruvim slanted, half towards each other and half towards the wall, signifying their dual responsibilities. Hashem is good to the Jewish people, bestowing upon us many successful businessmen and entrepreneurs. If these people dedicate part of their day to Torah study, not only will they lead successful businesses, but they will also lead successful lives.

Dvar Halacha
Bishul Akum, Restaurants & Wedding Halls
Laws of Bishul Akum 
part 6
Based on the  Sunday Morning Halacha Shiur given 
by Rabbi Y. Biberfeld, Rosh Kollel

Written by: Ovadia Gowar

The Gemara in Avodah Zara 38a brings an interesting case. A Jew puts a piece of meat on some hot coals. A non-Jew comes and turns the meat over. The ruling is that the meat is permissible. The Gemara asks a difficulty: This is obvious, the meat was already on the way to being cooked by the Jew, so the non-Jew's involvement doesn't change the situation. What is the chiddush (i.e. the new thing we learn from this case)? The Gemara concludes that the case is where the meat would have cooked in 2 hours if it had been left in its original place, but now that the non-Jew has moved it, it will cook in 1 hour. You might have thought that kiruvei bishul (speeding up the cooking) would be considered bishul akum. The Gemara tells us that it isn't.

The Shulchan Aruch in Y.D. 113:6 brings the Gemara almost verbatim. The Rema then says something controversial. He says that even if the food would never have cooked in its original place, it is still permissible. This is a big leniency. More than that, the Rema seems to be directly contradicting the Gemara, which said that the food would have ultimately been fully cooked.

There are a few attempts at making sense of the Rema. The Taz says that the Rema means that in its original place, the food would've cooked to maachal ben drusai (edible under difficulty). With the non-Jew's involvement, the food became fully cooked. So getting the food to maachal ben drusai is the minimum hurdle to create bishul yisroel.

The Taz has a second suggestion. In Y.D. 113:7, the Rema will quote the opinion of those who hold that even the Jew's mere lighting of the fire or stirring of the coals removes the prohibition of bishul akum from the food. The Rema might be applying this ruling in our case above. The Shach says the same thing and says the Rema above is talking about a case where the Jew lit the fire.

The Taz brings a third suggestion. On the next page of the Gemara above, on 38b, there will be another case where the conclusion is that bishul akum is only created when both the beginning and the end of the cooking process are done by the non-Jew. This is a different ruling from the one we brought above. The Rema could be understanding that the Gemara retracted its original ruling on 38a and now adopts the more lenient ruling on 38b instead.

Since there are many who argue with this lenient ruling of the Rema, the Taz says that one should only rely on it b'beis yisroel (in a Jew's house). We combine the weaker leniencies of the Rema (that all we need is for the Jew to light the fire) and R' Avraham in Tosfos (who holds that there is no prohibition of bishul akum b'beis yisroel) to create one stronger leniency.

So for Ashkenazim, there is only a problem if the fire was not turned on by a Jew. In the case of a Jewish-owned restaurant or wedding hall, the Jew turns on the fire and thus even if the non-Jew places the food in the oven - according to the Rema it is fine and Ashkenazim can rely on this. But Sephardim cannot, because the Shulchan Aruch requires the Jew to put the food in the oven as well. Rav Ovadia Yosef, z"l writes that there is room for leniency in this halacha even for Sefardim, so long as it was in a Jewish-owned establishment.

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