Sunday, September 03, 2006

Do you need to do teshuva for violating an issur d'rabbanan b'shogeg?

The answer to this question can be found in a Meshech Chochma in Parshas Shoftim.

There is a well known machlokes between the Rambam and the Ramban (Sefer Hamitzvos Shoresh 1) about the nature of dinim d'rabbanan. The Rambam holds that all dinim d'rabbanan are based on lo tasur. In other words there is a chiyuv d'oraysa to listen to them. The Ramban asks an obvious question, if so why do we say safek d'rabbanan lekula? After all, if you violate a d'rabbanan you are violating the issur d'oraysa of lo tasur?

The Meshech Chochma (Devarim 17:11) explains the Rambam as follows. He says that every din d'rabbanan is not necessarily a fulfillment of the will of Hashem. The proof is that the Rambam paskens based on the Gemara that a later greater Beis Din can be mevatel a takana of an earlier Beis Din. If every takana was the will of Hashem how could that be? Therefore, he explains that by dinim d'rabbanan what is not important is the actual mitzva act, but the fact that you listened to the Chachamim and did not rebel against their words. The issur of lo tasur is an issur to rebel against the Chahamim, to not listen to them. Given that, we understand why sefeka d'rabbanan lekula because the act of doing the mitzva is not the main point, the point is listening to the chachamim, once it is a safek, there is no need to do the act because it is not so important (contrast that to a mitzva d'oraysa where the act is clearly an unequivocally the ratzon hashem).

Based on the above, it is clear that there is no need for teshuva on an issur d'rabbanan b'shogeg. If the whole idea of dinim d'rabbanan is to listen the chachamim and not rebel against them as the Meshech Chocham explains, then by definition an aveira d'rabbanan b'shogeg is not a problem, you did not rebel, you did not know that you were doing an issur and therefore there is no need for teshuva.


Chaim B. said...

Another nafka minah of this discussion is whether issurei derabbanan are issurei gavra (just to not rebel against the chachamim) or issurei cheftza, see Isvan D'Oraysa #10 (I discussed it on my blog recently).

madaral said...
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madaral said...

Good D'var Torah, good commentaries.

Regarding what Chaim B. writes, it is interesting to see what happens when there is a conflict, i.e., when listening to the chachamim means violating some Torah law. That is, what happens when the chachamim are wrong? Clearly, if the chachamim are Sanhedrin, one has to listen, but only if one tried to convince them and failed (this assumes one is knowledgeable). That is because the Mitzva to listen to Sanhedrin in Yerushalayim is Torah law also, a clear D'Oraita. However, if the chachamim are not Sanhedrin, the Mitzva to listen is itself D'Rabbanan.

Conclusion (unfortunately) L'Maaseh: If a Gadol HaDor comes with a psak that is wrong, the least one should do is argue with him, because that you should even do in the case of Sanhedrin. And in case he does not change the psak, one should not listen if the issue is a D'Oraita. The Mitzva to listen is D'Rabbanan, and so we go L'Kulah.

bluke said...

The Nesivos סימן רלד סעיף ג also holds that an aveira b'shogeg doesn't need כפרה

Chaim B. said...

There are really two issues here: 1) is a violation of a derabbanan b'shogeg a ma'seh aveira 2) does it require kaparah. The Meshech Chochma clearly holds there is no ma'aseh aveira; it is not clear if the Nesivos agrees with that or just holds there is no need for kaprah (I think r' elchanan writes this somewhere). Nafka minah: if someone is about to violate a derabban b'shogeg, do you have to stop them? If it is not a ma'aseh aveira, the answer is no, but if it is a ma'aseh aveira just does not require kapara, the answer would be yes.

bluke said...

It makes a lot of sense to put the 2 together, if there is no maaseh aveira there is clearly no need for kappara. Likewise, it makes a lot of sense to assume that the reason why there is no need for kappara is that there is no masseh aveira.