Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Tuesday's Thoughts on the Daf - Kiddushin 34

Kiddushin 34 contains the classic discussion of whether women are obligated in time-bound mitzvos (aka Mitzovos Aseh SheHazman Grama). I would like to focus on two interesting Tosafos from the daf.

On 34a, the gemara asks hypothetically -- why we can't make a hekesh between mezuzah and talmud torah. The implication would be that since women are not obligated in talmud torah on a biblical level, they would also not be obligated to affix a mezuzah on their doors. The gemara rejects this argument because the mitzvah of mezuzah carries with it a promise of longer life ("l'maan yirbu yemeichem") and women would obviously also have a need for this reward just like men.

Tosafos (d'h Gavra) asks - but by talmud torah there is also a promise of a reward of extended life, since it states (in Devarim 30:20) "Ki He Chayecha..." If women are in need of the extended life by mezuzah, shouldn't they have the same need for the reward of talmud torah (and thus be obligated in this mitzvah as well)? Tosafos answers that the pasuk in Devarim refers to the reward for doing mitzvos in general and not specifically talmud torah - thus women can obtain the benefit of the reward without shouldering the burden of additional mitzvos.

The second point which I would like to touch on occurs on 34b. The gemara discussed the mitzvah of simchas yom tov, which although it is a time bound mitzvah, is applicable to both men and women. Abaye asserts that women do not actually have a mitzvah of simchas yom tov as it falls on the man to do things which will make his family happy for yom tov. The gemara in Pesachim (109a) learns from this that a man must buy his wife new clothes or jewelry for yom tov to make her happy (hence my semiannual trips to Fortunoff).

Tosafos (d'h Isha) wonders how this could be the meaning of the pasuk as the obligation to provide fine food and new clothes is a modern day obligation. Tosafos answers (in the name of Rabbeinu Tam) that prior to the destruction of the Beis Hamikdash, the man fulfilled this obligation to his family by bringing home the shalmei chagigah offerings.

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1 comment:

Megian said...

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