Menachos 43 - CHECKING
1) CHECKING "TECHEILES"
(a) (Beraisa): This is no way to check Techeiles, we must buy it from an expert (who knows that Kala Ilan is invalid);
(b) Tefilin can be checked (for missing or extra letters), still, we must buy them from an expert (who knows that the hide must be tanned Lishmah);
(c) Seforim and Mezuzos can be checked, we may buy them from anyone (the hide need not be tanned Lishmah).
(d) Question: There are ways to check Techeiles!
1. R. Yitzchak brei d'Rav Yehudah would bring alum, fenugreek juice and urine of a baby 40 days old (alternatively - that was emitted 40 days ago) and soak the Techeiles in the mixture overnight; if the color was ruined, it is Kala Ilan; if not, it is Techeiles.
2. Rav Ada taught, one bakes it in a potent sourdough of barley; if the color improves, it is Techeiles; if not, it is Kala Ilan.
(e) Answer: This is no way to check if Techeiles was dyed Lishmah (perhaps it was a sample, therefore we must buy it from an expert).
(f) Mar (a Chacham) bought Techeiles; it failed the test of R. Yitzchak, but passed the test of Rav Ada. He thought that it was invalid.
(g) Rav Achai: Will you say that it is neither Techeiles nor Kala Ilan?!
1. Rather, we must say that the two tests complement each other - if it passes the test of R. Yitzchak, it is Techeiles; if not, we apply the test of Rav Ada;
2. If it passes, it is Techeiles; if not, it is Kala Ilan.
(h) (Chachamim of Eretz Yisrael): The two tests complement each other.
(i) Rav Mani (bought and sold Techeiles - he) was careful only to buy from experts (R. Gershom - and to perform the tests), like the stringencies of the Beraisa.
(j) An elder: Techeiles merchants before you did so, and their business prospered.
(k) (Beraisa): If one buys a garment with Techeiles from a Yisrael, it is Muchzak to be Kosher;
(l) If he bought from a regular Nochri, it is Pasul (we are concerned that he dyed it himself Lo Lishmah.)
1. If he bought from an (R. Gershom - established) Nochri merchant, it is Muchzak to be Kosher (surely he bought it from a Yisrael, he is afraid to lose his reputation), even though Yisraelim are forbidden to sell garments with Tzitzis to Nochrim.
2. Question: Why is it forbidden to sell to a Nochri?
3. Answer #1 (Chachamim of Bavel): Perhaps a harlot will assume that the wearer is a Yisrael, and agree to have relations with him. (Alternatively - perhaps the Nochri will give it to a Nochris harlot for her services, and she will say that a certain Yisrael gave it to her, and people will suspect him.)
4. Answer #2 (Rav Yehudah): Someone who sees the Nochri wearing Tzitzis will assume he is a Yisrael and might accompany him, and the Nochri will kill him.
2) TO WHOM DOES THE MITZVAH APPLY?I
(a) Rav Yehudah put Tzitzis on his wife's garment, and he would bless on it (R. Gershom; Rashi - his garment) every morning 'Lehisatef b'Tzitzis'.
(b) Question: Since he holds that women are obligated, he must hold that the Mitzvah is not Zman Grama (rather, it applies at all times) - if so, why did he bless every morning?
(c) Answer: He holds like Rebbi (and equates Tzitzis and Tefilin).
1. (Beraisa - Rebbi): Every time one puts on Tefilin, he blesses on them.
(d) Question: If so, he should have blessed every time he put on Tzitzis!
(e) Answer: He dressed modestly, he would not take off his garment the entire day.
(f) Question: (Surely, he sometimes rose before morning to learn -) he should have blessed when he put on the garment, even if this was before morning!
(g) Answer: When morning came (R. Gershom - and he would be among people), he would put on the garment he would wear all day.
(h) (Beraisa): All are commanded about Tzitzis - Kohanim, Leviyim and Yisraelim, converts, women and slaves;
(i) R. Shimon exempts women (and slaves), for Tzitzis is Zman Grama, they are exempt from all such Mitzvos.
(j) Question: Obviously, the Mitzvah applies to Kohanim, Leviyim and Yisraelim - who else should it apply to?!
(k) Answer: One might have thought, Kohanim are exempt;
1. The Torah writes the Mitzvah of Tzitzis right after the prohibition of Kilayim - this teaches that the Mitzvah only applies to those forbidden to wear Kilayim;
2. Suggestion: Since Kilayim is permitted to Kohanim (in Bigdei Kehunah), they should be exempt from Tzitzis!
3. Rejection: Kilayim is permitted to Kohanim only for the sake of Avodah, otherwise (e.g. outside the Mikdash) they are forbidden (therefore, they are commanded about Tzitzis).
(l) Question: Why does R. Shimon exempt women?
(m) Answer (Beraisa): "U'R'isim Oso" - this excludes a garment normally worn (Tosfos; Rashi, Rambam - all garments) at night;
1. Suggestion: Perhaps it rather excludes the garment of a blind person!
2. Rejection: "Asher Techaseh Bah" includes the garment of a blind person, therefore "U'R'isim Oso" excludes a night garment.
3. Question: (The verses do not specify which to include or exclude) - why don't we include a night garment and exclude that of a blind person?
4. Answer: It is more reasonable to include the garment of a blind person, for others see (the Techeiles on) it, whereas no one sees a night garment.
(n) Question: How do Chachamim expound "Asher Techaseh Bah"?
(o) Answer: They expound like the following Beraisa:
1. (Beraisa): "Al Arba Kanfos Kesusecha Asher Techaseh Bah" - a four cornered garment is obligated, not a three cornered garment;
2. Suggestion: Perhaps we exclude a five cornered garment!
3. Rejection: "Asher Techaseh Bah" includes a five cornered garment.
4. Question: (The verse does not specify which to include) - perhaps we should include a three cornered garment and exclude a five cornered garment!
5. We exclude a three cornered garment, for it does not have four corners; we include a five cornered garment, for it has four corners.
(p) R. Shimon used "Asher *Techaseh Bah*" to include a blind person's garment - he uses "Asher" to include a five cornered garment.
3) BENEFITS OF THE MITZVAH OF "TZITZIS"
(a) Question: How do Chachamim expound "U'R'isim Oso"?
(b) Answer: They expound like the one of the following Beraisos:
1. (Beraisa #1): "U'R'isim Oso u'Zchartem" - you should see it (the Techeiles) and remember a Mitzvah that depends on Techeiles, i.e. Kri'as Shma;
i. (Mishnah): The time to read Kri'as Shma is when it is light enough to distinguish between (Tzitzis of) Lavan and Techeiles.
2. (Beraisa #2): "U'R'isim Oso u'Zchartem" - you should see it and remember another Mitzvah written next to it, i.e. Kilayim.
3. Version #1 (Beraisa #3): "U'R'isim Oso u'Zchartem Es Kol Mitzvosai" - once a person is obligated in the Mitzvah of Tzitzis (i.e., when he becomes Bar Mitzvah) he is obligated in all the Mitzvos;
4. Version #2 (Beraisa #3): "U'R'isim Oso u'Zchartem Es Kol Mitzvosai" - once a person is obligated in the Mitzvah of Tzitzis (i.e., when it is light enough to distinguish between the Lavan and Techeiles) he is obligated in all the Mitzvos (that apply only during the day); (end of Version #2)
i. This is like R. Shimon (who exempts women - according to Chachamim, women are obligated in Tzitzis but not in all the Mitzvos).
5. (Beraisa #4): "U'R'isim Oso u'Zchartem Es Kol Mitzvosai" - Tzitzis is equivalent to all the Mitzvos.
6. (Beraisa #5): "U'R'isim Oso u'Zchartem...va'Asisem" - seeing (Techeiles) brings to remembering (the Mitzvos), which brings to doing (them);
7. R. Shimon says, anyone who is zealous to fulfill this Mitzvah merits to receive the Shechinah - it says "U'R'isim Oso", and it says "Es Hash-m Elokecha Tira v'Oso Sa'avod" (in both, 'Oso' refers to the Shechinah; alternatively, we expound 'Tira' (you will fear) as if it said 'Tireh' (you will see).)
(c) (Beraisa): Yisrael are dear to Hash-m, He surrounded us with Mitzvos - Tefilin on the head and arm, Tzitzis on the garment and Mezuzah on the doorway;
1. "Sheva ba'Yom Hilalticha" (for these seven Mitzvos, i.e. two Tefilin, four Tzitziyos and one Mezuzah);
2. When David entered the bathhouse, he was dismayed that he was bare of Mitzvos - he remembered his circumcision and was comforted;
i. When he left he composed "Lamnatze'ach Al ha'Sheminis" - out of appreciation of circumcision, which was given on the eighth day.
(d) R. Eliezer ben Yakov says, anyone who has Tefilin on his head and arm, Tzitzis on the garment and Mezuzah on the doorway, he is firm that he will not sin - "Veha'Chut ha'Meshulash Lo vi'Mherah Yinasek".
1. It also says "Choneh Mal'ach Hash-m Soviv li'Re'av".
(e) (Beraisa - R. Meir): Techeiles was chosen to put on Tzitzis, because its color resembles the sea (to remind Yisrael of Hash-m's miracles at the sea), which resembles the sky, which resembles the Kisei ha'Kavod;
1. It says "...Livnas ha'Sapir uch'Etzem ha'Shamayim la'Tohar", and it says "K'Mar'e Even Sapir Demus Kisei".
(f) (Beraisa - R. Meir): The punishment for one who does not fulfill Lavan is greater than that for one who does not fulfill Techeiles (for the latter is more expensive);
1. A parable - a king asked one servant to bring a Chosam (identification bracelet) made of mud, and another servant to bring one made of gold; they were negligent and did not do so;
i. The former will be punished more.
4) BLESSINGS ONE SHOULD MAKE EVERY DAY
(a) (Beraisa - R. Meir): A person must make 100 blessings every day - "Mah Hash-m Elokecha Sho'el me'Imach..." (Rashi - we read "Mah" as if it said 'Me'ah (100)'; R. Tam - there are 100 letters in this verse.)
(b) (On a weekday, the Tefilos and two meals comprise 100 blessings;) on Shabbos and Yom Tov (there are fewer blessings in Tefilah) R. Chiya brei d'Rav Avya would bless on fragrances and delicacies to fulfill 100 blessings.
(c) (Beraisa - R. Meir): A person must make the following three blessings every day - 'That You made me a Yisrael', 'That You did not make me a woman (who is exempt from Mitzvas Ase sheha'Zman Grama), 'That You did not make me a Bor (unlearned, undisciplined person).'
(d) The son of Rav Acha bar Yakov blessed 'That You did not make me a Bor'; his father rebuked him (for considering himself learned; alternatively, because a Bor is obligated in the Mitzvos).
1. His son: What should I bless in place of it?
2. Rav Acha: Bless 'That You did not make me a slave'.
3. Question: That is the same as 'That You did not make me a woman' (both are commanded in the same Mitzvos; alternatively, her husband receives her earnings!)
4. Answer: It is more disgraceful to be a slave. (Alternatively - in any case, make a third blessing, even though there is no Chidush in it.)