Thursday, March 15, 2007

Important information for all Daf Yomi Learners - Updated

The following ad was printed in yesterday's Yated Neeman (Wednesday כ"ד אדר).

Below is my translation of the ad:

Important announcement for all Daf Yomi learners

With the starting of tractate Moed Katan, R' Chaim Kanievsky said that it is known in the name of the Chasam Sofer that there is a concern in learning Moed Katan because of the fact they you are learning the halachos of mourning. Therefore the Chasam Sofer said that a person should give charity before learning this tractate.

R' Kanievsky added that certainly someone who gives charity to "Kupat Hair" will be saved from any pain and anguish and has nothing to worry about.

As always, the names of all donors will be passed on to R' Kanievsky for a blessing

The mesora that I got from my Rabbeim (RMW, RHS, from RYBS) was diametrically opposed to this approach. They said as follows. Moed Katan and Hilchos Aveilus are just as much Torah as Bava Kama, Zevachim, etc. You are מקיים the same mitzva of talmud torah. There is a chiyuv to know all of Torah and Moed Katan and Hilchos Aveilus are part of that. Therefore, it is inconceivable that a person would come to harm by learning Moed Katan and Hilchos Aveilus when by doing so he is fulfilling his chiyuv to learn Torah.

I remember that in the Morasha Kollel one summer R' Willig learned Moed Katan , half the summer learning Hilchos Chol Hamoed and half the summer learning Hilchos Aveilus with us when we were all between the ages of 18-25. He was not all concerned with this based on what I wrote above.


Here is what the Chafetz Chaim had to say about not learning Moed Katan.

Reb Moshe Bik used to say over the following incident: It once happened in Radin that there were several men that passed away one after the other in a very short span of time. They called a gathering to contemplate as to what was the message that Hashem was sending them.

The Chafetz Chaim arose and proclaimed that the Mesechta Moed Katan is complaining to the Ribino shel Olam that it is a Mesechta that the Yeshivos do not learn. Only mourners learn this Mesechta and that is why many people were passing away.

(Sefer Meir Einei Yisroel 2: P. 239)

Exactly the opposite of the Chasam Sofer, Sefer Chasidim etc.


Rafi G. said...

was that really in the yated? why should learnign moed katan cause death?
does learning makkos cause flaggelation? does learning sanhedrin cause you to receive sekilla? does learning gittin make people get divorced? it seems ridiculous to me

bluke said...

Yes, it was on the front page, I scanned this in.

I guess the idea is that learning Moed Katan is an ayin hara that you will become a mourner.

Anonymous said...

Hey, it could be. I learned a lot of Babba Kammah in my time, and many people would say I'm a bor birshus harrabim!

(Sorry for the lame joke.)

SFH said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
SFH said...

I'm more concerned about the fact that, of all the many people who will be studying this, someone is bound to lose a loved one, and all they are going to do is beat themselves up over the fact that they didn't give enough tzedaqa, or pray with enough passion.

Orthonomics said...

I'll file this as yet another abuse in the name of tzedakah. Personally I'm getting fed up by the marketing campaigns employed by certain agencies, this one included.

Hope we aren't going to see more threats (!) in our mailbox. The promises of yeshous are enough already.

Orthonomics said...

BTW, even if there is a valid mesorah for giving before learning the tractate, I still find the marketing distasteful.

Baruch Horowitz said...

Leaving aside everyone's concerns about this particular advertisement, if some one wants more information on this issue, the Nitie Gavriel in the preface to Hilchos Aveilus discusses the issue of learning hilchos Aveilos at length.

If recall correctly, there is a disagreement between the Chasam Sofer and R. Akivah Eiger about this based on the gemera in pesachim about someone who is not makpid on zugos, but people can check this out for themselves.

Baruch Horowitz

Charlie Hall said...

Is this the same Yated that had the awful piece about Yeshivat Chovevei Torah, or the other one?

Lori said...

R' Kanievsky added that certainly someone who gives charity to "Kupat Hair" will be saved from any pain and anguish and has nothing to worry about.

Just how certain is he?

Lori said...

In fact, his claim goes against the experience of most of us, I think - which is, no good deed goes unpunished.

Baruch Horowitz said...

I think people should put the ad in perspective as well. Kupat Hair is the local community charity in Bnei Brak, and they were targeting their intended audience by mentioning the hilchos aveilus issue. I agree that when Kupat Hair solicits tzedakah from Jews in Scarsdale through mailings, they indeed need to adopt a different style, but this ad campaign wasn't aimed at that audience.

Avromi said...

It is written in Sefer Chassidim to daven extra before learning Meseches Moed Katan. He says not to learn it in public places. It is said that the malach hamoves is close by when someone is learning Moed Katan and therefore he should learn it without any kalus rosh at all. In Shiyorei Knesses Hagedola it is said not to learn this Mesechta in Yeshivos but rather by yourself. Sefer Naharei Afarsemon says that we should not be concerned for the Sefer Chassidim because the Torah will protect. Kaf Hachaim brings from the Shalah that it should be learned during Chol Hamoed (not sure if he means only then).

bluke said...

The fact that Moed Katan is included in the Daf Yomi seder is a clear and unequivocal proof that we don't pasken like this Sefer Chasidim and are not choshesh for this.

Nice Jewish Guy said...

I think Kupat Hair is a scam.

Avromi said...

Yes, it is clear that we dont pasken like that, but we should (and there are many that do on this blog and others) respect a different opinion. Many of these poskim are our poskim in regards to other matters. We should not ridicule them. I am not saying that everyone should demand tzedaka for their cause because of it either.

ggggg said...

This ad was placed by "Kupat Hair" seeking to raise more funds for their activities. They routinely misconstrue the words of Rav Kanievsky as well as many other Gedolim. I would not take this at face value as something Rav Kanievsky has said. if he said it at all, it was probably taken out of context!