Tuesday, 20 May 2014

Shlichut Ledavar Aveira

I couldn't find an appropriate
picture for this post, so this will have to do
I’d like to take a break now from שיעורים לזכר אבא מרי ז"ל, so let’s move on to a more recent book, Rav Danny Wolf’s מנחה לאהרון.

The two books are similar in some respects. Both contain short essays detailing Brisker approaches to various sugiot in the gemara, explained in clear, modern Hebrew. And while שיעורים focuses mainly on topics from every day Halacha in Orach Chaim, מנחה לאהרון is specifically on topics from Seder Nashim.

That said, the two books have a different methodological focus with regards to novelty. While שיעורים’s chapters each come to painstakingly prove some chiddush, מנחה’s goal is to help a new student by presenting an overview, in each chapter, of the general approaches to a topic. On one hand, this makes the latter a lighter read. On the other hand, it's brevity can mean a lack of clarity at times, while the former’s detailed explanations really flesh-out the topic. Also, מנחה is forced to deviate from the standard Brisker format of presenting a duality of options, which presents a certain challenge for the reader.

שליחות לדבר עבירה

Take, for instance, the chapter on .שליחות לדבר עבירה  Rav Wolf presents four understandings of how אין שליחות לדבר עבירה  works:
  1. פגם בכוונת המשלח
  2. אשמת השליח
  3. הפקעת מוסד השליחות במעשי עבירות
  4. הדגש בביצוע עבירות הוא על גופו של אדם

So far so good. But when the discussion moved on to Nafka Minot, it took some considerable mental gymnastics on my part to follow how the four different concepts play out with regard to a concrete example. For instance, there is the gemara’s drasha that מעילה does allow for shlichot, and the fact that a korban מעילה only applies if the transgression was unintentional. The four understandings relate to this gemara as follows:

  1. The meshalayach doesn’t know he’s doing an aveirah so his kavana must be complete, Therefore, shlichut applies and the gemara shouldn’t need to bring a separate drasha to prove it. As such, we need to rely on the Tosafos’(קידודין מב ב ד"ה אמאי) answer that the drasha is for the case where the shaliyach transgresses intentionally and that even in such a case the unintentional sender is held responsible.
  2. Similarly to the previous explanation, if the shaliyach transgressed unintentionally, then he can’t be held at fault and the shlichut is valid and the drasha unnecessary. So again, we need Tosafos’ explanation that the shaliyach had intent and the drasha comes to say that, nevertheless, the shlichut stands.
  3. Since shlichut simply doesn’t exist in the case of aveirot, the gemara’s drasha to prove this exception makes sense.
  4. Since the shaliyach is always held responsible due to his having performed the aveira with his own body, again the gemara’s drasha is needed.

So, ultimately, I find I need to read both book quite carefully to really understand their content. The summaries I write on this blog are my touchstone, my chevruta even, to make sure I understood well enough that I can write a coherent summary.

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