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Parshas Vayakel 5774
Candle Lighting Time: 5:25 pm
February 21, 2014
Volume 10 Issue 19
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Dvar Torah

The Odd One Out 


By Rabbi Shmuel Sussman



"Vayitzav Moshe Vayavero Kol Bamachne", the Torah tells us that Moshe commanded the Jews to stop bringing donations for the mishkan. The Gemara (Shabbos 96b) explains that Moshe was telling them not to bring donations on Shabbos because it is forbidden to carry on Shabbos. The Gemara goes on to say that this is the source for the prohibition of carrying on Shabbos.  


The Mishna in Shabbos (73a) lists all the melochos forbidden on Shabbos. The last one the Mishna lists is the melocho of carrying. Yet, the first Mishna in Meseches Shabbos discusses the laws of carrying. Many commentaries ask, why start with carrying if it is the last melocho in the list brought in the Mishna? The Or Zarua (d.1250) explains that carrying is fundamentally different than all other melochos. By all other melochos you are making a change in an item and creating something new. By carrying, the item remains the same, only its location changes. Therefore, since this melocho is different, the Mishna discusses it first.


The question is, why is carrying forbidden even though nothing is created? Why should it be included in the 39 melochos of Shabbos? R' Shimon Schwab brings a beautiful explanation from R' Shamshon Refael Hirsch. He explains that there are differences in the wording of the Ten Commandments on the two sets of tablets that Hashem gave to Moshe. Regarding the first tablets, the ones that Moshe ultimately shattered, the Torah (Shemos 20:11) writes that the reason for Shabbos is because Hashem created the world in six days and rested on the seventh. But with regard to the second tablets, the Torah (Devorim 5:15) writes that the reason is that we are Hashem's special nation who he took out of Egypt. R' Hirsch explains that the two different types of melochos address the two reasons stated in the Torah. Most melochos are forbidden because they create, just as Hashem rested on the seventh day from creating. Carrying, however, is forbidden because of a different reason. Shabbos is a gift that Hashem gave to the Jews only. The Gemara (Sanhedrin 58b) states that a gentile who keeps Shabbos is guilty of a crime punishable by death (by Hashem). We see from here that the gift of Shabbos is exclusively for Jews. There are two basic actions that are forbidden by the melocho of carrying, 1. Taking an item from a private domain to a public domain (or vice versa), and 2. Carrying an item four amos (cubits) in a public domain. R' Hirsch explains that Hashem wants us to be separate, and therefore enacted laws that hinder 1. Free movement between domains, and 2. Lingering in the public domain which is open to all. With the commandment not carry, Hashem is implying the necessity and the importance of our in our private domain, where we are not influenced negatively by the other nations.


Wemust appreciate the gift of Shabbos. But, more than that, we must understand that we are Hashem's chosen people. As such, we must elevate ourselves in all that we do, especially with regard to the laws and sanctity of Shabbos.






Dvar Halacha

 Halachos of Basar B'Cholov      Part 5



By Rabbi Yochanan Eskenazi



We mentioned last week, from the pure letter of the law, one does not need to wait any amount of time after eating dairy, before eating meat.  There is one notable exception.  The Rama [89:2] writes that the minhag is to wait by gaveenah kasheh (hard cheese).  Many Poskim understand this to mean, one is required to wait the full amount of time one would wait after eating fleishigs [e.g. 6 hours] (Taz 89:4, Pri Megadim SD 89:16, Chochmas Adom 40:13, Mishneh Berurah 494:16).


Although the implication of the Shulchan Aruch that this chumrah does not apply, and therefore the custom for Sefardim is not to wait, Harav Ovadia Yosef, zt"l, quoting the Ben Ish Chai, writes that the minhag in Bagdad was to wait, as opposed to in Yerushalayim the minhag is not to wait.  Reb Ovadia, concludes, if someone wants to take on this stringency "ta'vo a'luv brachah" (he should be blessed), however it is not an obligation to wait (Shu"T Yechaveh Daas 3:58).


There are different explanations within the Poskim as to why specifically by hard cheese one would be required to wait:  Hard cheese leaves a fatty residue (Aruch Hashulchan 89:11) and therefore the taste lingers in the mouth for a long time (Taz YD 89:4).  Other Poskim explain that hard cheese can get stuck in between one's teeth (Darkei Moshe 89:2, Pri Chadash 89:16, Pri Megadim MZ 89:4).  These are the two reasons brought in the Rishonim as to why Chazal decreed why someone has to wait after eating meat.


There are different opinions in the Poskim as to what constitutes hard cheese.  Typically, any cheese that was aged for 6 months is considered hard cheese (Shach YD 89:15).  The Taz [YD 89:4] holds that any cheese which is wormy is also considered hard.  Other opinions hold that if a cheese is hard enough that it cannot be sliced and must be shredded with a grater is also included (Harav Aharon Kotler, zt"l, and ybl"c Rabbi Moshe Heinemann, shlit"a, quoted in Halachically Speaking).  If cheese that was not aged for 6 months remained in its packaging [e,g. in the refrigerator] for 6 months, is not considered hard cheese (Harav Yisroel Belsky, shlit"a, quoted in Halachically Speaking)


Practical examples of hard cheeses include; Swiss cheese [which was made in Switzerland, as opposed to made in USA], Parmesan cheese, Regginano cheese, Asigo cheese, Romano cheese, Emantal cheese, and aged Cheddar cheese (The Kosher Kitchen pg. 140).


There is a machlokes haposkim if gaveena tze'huvah (yellow cheese) [the Israeli equivalent of American cheese] is considered hard cheese or not.  Harav Eliyashuv, zt"l, holds one should wait after eating it (Shu"T Koveitz Teshuvos 1:58).  However, most Poskim disagree (Harav Moshe Feinstein zt"l, Harav Aharon Kotler, zt"l [Sefer V'shuv V'rapay 2:26], Harav S. Z. Auerbach, zt"l, [Halichos Shlomo Moadim 1:pg. 383], Dayan Fisher, zt"l, [Shu"T Even Yisroel 9:65] and ybl"c Harav Asher Weiss, shlit"a [Minchas Asher Shemos 61]).


There is an opinion that hard cheese that has been melted loses its status of hard cheese (Yad Yehuda 89:30k).  Seemingly the heter of the Yad Yehuda is only in a case where the [hard] cheese was melted into the food and therefore it is not visible (Laws of Kashrus pg. 201 ftnt. 95).  Many Poskim do not want to rely on this heter (Shu"T V'deebarta Bum [Harav Dovid Feinstein, shlit"a] 212, Harav Yisroel Belsky, shlit"a, quoted in Halachically Speaking).


If one ate a hard cheese on erev Shabbos or Yom Tov within 6 hours of the Shabbos or Yom Tov seudah [or in any other pressing situation], one may be lenient and eat fleishigs within 6 hours.  However, one may not purposely rely on this leniency. As an aside, in this situation one should wash his hands and mouth out before partaking in any fleishigs (Matamei Hashulchan pg. 58:11 quoted in Halachically Speaking).




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