Friday, August 20, 2010

Shaatnez

Shaatnez
The possuk says in this week’s sedrah:
לא תלבש שעטנז צמר ופשתים יחדו. גדלים תעשה לך על ארבע כנפות כסותך אשר תכסה בה    
“You should not wear shaatnez, a mixture of wool and linen together. You should make fringes on the four corners of your clothes which you cover yourself with.”

Aseh docheh lo saaseh
The gemara in Yevamos (daf gimmel amud beis) learns from the fact that these two pessukim are stated next to each other that you are allowed to wear tzitzis even if the threads are shaatnez when combined with the garment. The gemara says that this is a principle that applies to the entire Torah - aseh docheh lo saaseh - A positive mitzva overrides an issur:
לא תעשה גרידא מנלן דדחי דכתיב  (דברים כב, יא) לא תלבש שעטנז גדילים תעשה לך
“How do you know that a positive mitzvah (a mitzvas aseh) overrides a negative mitzvah (a mitzas lo saaseh)? The passuk says לא תלבש שעטנז גדילים תעשה לך – ‘You should not wear shaatnez – and then the passuk says – you should make fringes for yourself.’ [From this you see that the mitzva of tzitzis overrides the issur of shaatnez.]”

For example it would be mutar to have wool tzitzis on a linen beged.

Tosafos’s question
Tosafos (yevamos 5b, d”h kulah mishaatnez) asks, how can you learn that aseh docheh lo saaseh from shaatenz? The bigdei kehunah (clothes of the cohanim) contain shaatnez but nevetheless the cohanim are allowed to wear them. So you see that there is a circumstance where the issur of shaatnez does not apply. Seeing as shaatnez is mutar in one place (hutar miklolo) it is not as strict as a lav that is never mutar. Therefore you cannot learn from tzitzis and shaatnez that an aseh is docheh a lo saaseh with all other lavin.

Tosafos answers that the reason that it is mutar for cohanim to wear bigdei kehunah that contain shaatnez is exactly because aseh dochech lo saaseh. The mitzva for cohanim to wear bigdei kehunah which are shaatnez is just another example of aseh docheh lo saaseh – so you can still learn the general rule of aseh dochech lo saaseh from tzitzis to the rest of the Torah.

Aseh docheh lo saaseh specified in the Torah
It seems that tosafos is of the opinion that even where the Torah specifies a case where you have to be over an issur in order to do a mitzva, this is still because of the rule that aseh docheh lo saaseh – the mitzva overrides the issur. However it seems that Rashi argues on this understanding:
A cohen is allowed to become tame for a mes mitzva (someone who has no-one to bury them.) Rashi in Berachos (daf chof) explains that the Torah never prohibited a cohen from becoming tameh in this case. In other words, Rashi is of the opinion that when the Torah itself refers to a case that there is a conflict between a mitzva and a lo saaseh and says that you should do the mitzva, then the reason that you ignore the lo saaseh is not because of aseh docheh lo saaseh –it is because the Torah never prohibited the issur in that case in the first place.
If so, asks the Kehillos Yaakov (Yevamos, siman daled), we have difficulty with the question of Tosafos: How can the  gemara derive the rule that aseh docheh lo saaseh from the halacha that tzitzis overrides kilayim?

The cohanim are allowed to wear shaatnez in their bigdei kehunah in the beis hamikdash – according to Rashi this is because the Torah never prohibited shaatnez in this circumstance in the first place. Therefore shaatnez is a weak issur (it is hutar miklolo) and you cannot learn from the aseh docheh lo saaseh of shaatnez to all other lavin.

The Kehillos Yaakov answers with an explanation from the Beis Halevi concerning the issur of kilayim:

What is the issur of shaatnez?
The Beis Halevi explains:
The mishna says in kilayim (perek tes halacha heh)
מוכרי כסות מוכרין כדרכן, ובלבד שלא יתכונו בחמה מפני החמה, ובגשמים מפני הגשמים
“Clothes vendors are allowed to wear clothes containing shaatnez in order to show people what the clothes look like, as long as they do not intend to benefit from the clothes to protect them from the sun in the summer and from the rain in the winter.”

The gemara in Shabbos (29b) explains that this heter is because of davar sheeino miskaven – they do not intend to benefit from the shaatnez – they only intend to display the clothes.

The Beis Halevi asks as follows:
Is the issur of shaatnez to put the clothes on, or is the issur of shaatnez to derive benefit from the clothes while wearing them? He proves from the mishna that the issur is to derive benefit while wearing them.

If the issur was to put the clothes on, you could not possibly say that the clothes vendors are eino miskaven – that they do not intend to do the issur of shaatnez. They definitely do, because they intend to put the clothes on. Only if you say that the issur is to derive benefit from them can you understand the gemara that this is a davar sheeino miskaven – because they do not intend to derive benefit.

You see from here that the issur of shaatnez is to derive pleasure from wearing the clothes.

Why can kohanim wear shaatnez in the beis hamikdosh?
The gemara says in Eruchin (daf gimmel amud beis)
הכל חייבין בציצית כהנים לוים וישראלים -  פשיטא כהנים איצטריך לי' סד"א הואיל וכתיב  (דברים כב, יא) לא תלבש שעטנז גדילים תעשה לך מאן דלא אישתרי כלאים לגביה בלבישה הוא דמחייב במצות ציצית והני כהנים הואיל ואשתרי כלאים לגבייהו לא לחייבו קמ"ל נהי דאישתרי בעידן עבודה בלא עידן עבודה לא אישתרי
“The mishna says – everyone is obligated to wear tzitzis, cohanim, leviim and yisroelim. The gemara asks, obviously these people have to wear tzitzis, who else should?
The gemara answers that you may have thought that kohanim do not need to wear tzitzis. We know that cohanim may wear shaatnez in the bigdei kehuna in the beis hamikdash. The passuk says “לא תלבש שעטנז ... גדלים תעשה לך” – the issur of shaatnez is stated next to the mitzva of tzitzis – this tells you that only people who cannot wear shaatnez need to wear tzitzis but cohanim who can wear shaatnez do not have to wear tzitzis.\

Therefore we need the mishna to state that cohanim are obligated to wear tzitzis.

The gemara asks, perhaps this is right, maybe cohanim should not have to wear tzitzis?

The gemara answers that although cohanim are allowed to wear shaatnez when they do the avodah, they are not allowed to wear shaatnez when they are not doing the avodah.”

The beis halevi says that you see from this gemara that we need a heter for the cohanim to wear shaatnez in the beis hamikdash – the gemara uses the words “ואשתרי כלאים לגבייהו” – kilayim is allowed for them. You see that there is an issur which is overriden.

However, asks the beis halevi;
·         We know that the issur of wearing kilayim is not to have benefit from kilayim – as proven from the mishna in kilayim.
·         We also have a principle that mitzvos lav lehanos nitnu – mitzvos are not given to gain benefit from. (For example, if someone made a neder not to listen to a shofar and they wanted to hear the shofar on Rosh Hashana, they are still allowed to do so because the pleasure that they get from the mitzva is irrelevant to the performance of the mitzva. The mitzva is not given as something to derive benefit from, it is a royal decree (Rashi).) If so, why does the gemara have to say that the issur of shaatnez is overriden for the kohanim in the beis hamikdash? It should be obvious that it is mutar for the cohanim to wear begdei kehunah because mitzvos lav lehonos nitnu and they should not need a special heter?

Two issurim
The beis halevi answers that  there are twp pessukim in the Torah that prohibit wearing shaatnez;
ובגד כלאים שעטנז לא יעלה עליך (ויקרא י�ט י�ט)
“A garment of shaatnez should not be on you.”

לא תלבש שעטנז צמר ופשתים יחדו (דברים כ�ב י�א)
“You should not cloth yourself with shaatnez, wool and linen together.”

·         The Beis Halevi explains that the first passuk - "ובגד כלאים שעטנז לא יעלה עליך" – means that you should not wear shaatnez clothes and thus derive benefit from them.
·         The second passuk – “לא תלבש שעטנז צמר ופשתים יחדו” – means that you should not put the clothes on.

Subsequently:
·         Regarding the issur of לא יעלה עליך – where the issur is to derive benefit from the clothes – you can say mitzvos lav lehanos nitnu – if you have incidental benefit from doing a mitzva there is no issur.
·         However, regarding the issur of לא תלבש שעטנז – where the issur is to put the clothes on, you cannot say mitzvos lav lehonos nitnu because there is no beenfit gained from the act of putting clothes on.

The gemara in eruchin which says that there is an issur for the cohanim to wear shaatnez which is overridden by the mitzva to wear bigdei kehunah is referring to the second issur - לא תלבש שעטנז – the issur of putting the clothes on.

Rashi
According to Rashi, that when the Torah prescribes a mitzva which overrides an issur then we say that the Torah never included the issur in this case in the first place, we had difficulty understanding how the gemara can prove aseh docheh lo saaseh from the tzitzis which are kilayim. Shaatnez is more lenient that other lavin because it is hutar miklolo?

The Kehillos Yaakov answers:
If someone wears tzitzis which are shaatnez – he has been over two issurim:
·         putting on the garment and
·         wearing the garment.
However, with regards to shaatnez in begdei kehunah – there can never be an issur of wearing the clothes – because mitzvos lav lehinos nitnu. The only issur is putting the clothes on. Here the Torah is matir the issur and says that the cohanim may wear bigdei kehunahy that are shaatnez.

Therefore, when the Torah says that with tzitzis – aseh docheh lo saaseh – this means that the mitzva of tzitzis overrides both the issur of putting the shaatnes tzitzis on and also the issur of wearing the tzitzis. Although the issur of putting on shaatnez is hutar miklolo with bigdei kehunah, the issur of wearing shaatnez was never hutar miklolo because the cohanim did not need this heter - as mitzvos lav lehanos nitnu. Therefore you can learn from tzitzis to the rest of the Torah that aseh docheh lo saaseh.

2 comments:

Chaim B. said...

>>>Therefore shaatnez is a weak issur (it is hutar miklolo) and you cannot learn from the aseh docheh lo saaseh of shaatnez to all other lavin.

Rashi will learn that any time you are push off a lav with a ma'aseh this is how it works. Proof: Rashi there gives more examples than just sha'atnez and lumps them all under this same header.

pc said...

Have a look at the Steipler, he brings the Ramban who addresses your question and explains that Rashi is only referring to cases where ee ephshar belav hochi - i.e. the Torah refers to a case where there is a dechiya.
Rashi says in the continuation: avol hashavas avedah upesach lekol yisroel ne'emar ve'etzel kovod habriyos nitnu lidochos - in other words in the case of mes mitzva we say the Torah was never mazhir on tuma in the first place becuase the Torah refers to mes mitzva - lo yitame baal be'amav - whereas in the other cases it is nitztaveh becuase it is not explicitly referred to

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