Pesach questions

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    1) Four questions correspond to four kids. I saw some unattributed connections, would appreciate y your insights on that

    2) We answer differently to different ones. Can we see it in the agada beyond the “4 sons”? For example, 2 beginnings of Haggadah – do they answer different questions, where are another 2?

    3) Pesachim goes into a lot of things hat cause mazikin, such as pairs of drinks, then allows some. Is the 5th cup connected with the idea of not having even number of cups? How much is that response to Persian ideas? Do we have as many mazikin in Yerushalmi?

    4) Is it sufficient for kids to tell stories, or should they davka be asking questions. In Gemora, when a kid asked any question related to the seder, the father says – “now, we can start”. Would this work, if the kid _tells_ a story?

    Reb Eliezer

    Them Maasei Hahem ties the four questiions to the four children. There are four categories. something more or extra, something less or somerhing different found by the kashrus of the lung. The chacham asks on ostentatiousness over doing, like the dunking twice, the rasha on the lack of chametz and the tam on something being different than usual like the morar. The sheaino yodea lishol might also wonder about and recognize, maybe, the emphasis on haughtiness, gaiva as reclining which we avoid the whole year.

    ☕ DaasYochid ☕

    3) :עיין גמ’ פסחים קט

    Reb Eliezer

    The fifth cup according to the GRA. is based on the safek of the four expressions of redemption which are permanent but vehevesi was only temporary which Eliyahu Hanovi will resolve, therefore being called the kos of Eliyahu.


    DY: Gemora gives multiple answers: R Nachman – lail shemura, Rav – first cup is separate, Ravina – each cup by itself. I am suggesting that fifth cup could help also!

    Fifth cup seems to be first mentioned in alternative versions in 118a instead of רביעי – גומר עליו את ההלל:
    Rambam had it, some other rishonim, also Munich and Columbia MSs. For those with this girsa, it seems that the Gemora on 109 would be a question – there is no problem drinking four cups if we are drinking 5! Rav’s answer is even worse – you separate first cup, and here you have 2 zugim with remaining ones. Unless you read the girsa as requiring pouring and not drinking.

    PS Had a discussion this year – maybe the point of Kos Eliahu is to ponder whether he’s gonna come or not based on your seder and overall behavior inviting poor people (cf. Bava Basra hasid who build a gatehouse)

    PPS Are we OK inviting anyone to come and eat regardless their COVID status?!

    Reb Eliezer

    We weaken the tooth of the rasha. The Taamei Haminhagim says that Kiddush Levanah helps for tooth ache. What is the connection? Maybe, when we remove shinov (366) from rasha (570) we are left with tzadik (204). It says in Kiddush Levanah, לא יוכלו אובי לנגוע בי לרעה my enemies including the yetzer hara should not able to cause harm towards me. We are saying, let the zechus of Kiddush Levanah resist the above operation of weakening the teeth to become a tzadik. The rasha is questioning milah for korban pesach as he was not born with it, so we tell him that you weren’t born with your teeth either.

    Reb Eliezer

    I am on my own as my wife passed away around eleven years ago and my children are married away from home. I am happy to be invited after more than ten days after my J & J vaccination. In ho lachmo anyo we invite people in our house but the door is closed. The Binah Leitim explains that we want to make our guests feel good by telling them that we were in the same boat like you are. We also came from poverty as our guest. It says ויסב אלקים דרך המדבר ים סוף Hashem sent us in a round about way through the desert, so the midrash says מכאן שאפילו עני שבישראל לא יאכל עד שיסב, we see from here that even a poor person from among the Jews should not eat until reclining. The question is that yasev is used with two different meaning? They answer that when Hashem led the Jews, they had nothing and had to completely rely on Him. Similarly, the poor person can trust Hashem that he will be helped and sit reclined.

    ☕ DaasYochid ☕

    Rav – first cup is separate

    I don’t have that in my gemara

    ☕ DaasYochid ☕

    Rambam had it

    He says it’s not a chov like the first 4, and he doesn’t say to drink it.


    DY: sorry, I misquoted – 3rd cup should not be combined “for bad”
    רָבָא אָמַר: כּוֹס שֶׁל בְּרָכָה מִצְטָרֵף לְטוֹבָה, וְאֵינוֹ מִצְטָרֵף לְרָעָה

    Btw, interesting motivation for the discussion: after we say that we give poor people 4 cups, the question – for sure, Rabbis would not establish a law that puts people in danger, thus we need to find an explanation: הֵיכִי מְתַקְּנִי רַבָּנַן מִידֵּי דְּאָתֵי בֵּהּ לִידֵי סַכָּנָה

    contrary to some CR residents, Gemorah is not ending it with “well, surely Tannaim knew daas Torah, so let’s not ask the question”

    another possibility: Tannaim did not care about the pairs, but Amoraim did in part through their contact with Persians. A lot of following discussion of mazikim relates to Persian customs – either interacting or arguing with them. I started reading one fascinating dissertation comparing Persian culture with Talmudic, then almost started reading the second but stopped, realizing that I should not read them in pairs …


    RebE, surely next year, you will be zoche eating with all your children and grandchildren, and you will be able to share your Torah with them. Iam telling kids: like a Depression or WW2 generations were defined by those events, kids who grow up now will be jumping up every time someone sneezes decades from now and they’ll be telling stories about either “life during Corona” or “life before Corona” depending on how it all turns out .. so they better behave now to have good stories for their grandchildren!


    Also, what about chacham and tam? they are both clearly together against the other two. but we always seem to value Chacham and treat Tam is secondary.

    Note that chacham gets instructions on how to behave, but not on the meaning of Pesach. Tam gets the best answer about the meaning of Pesach and it includes him “us” .. Nobody up to Betzalel is called Chacham in Humash, right? Yaakov Avinu is Tam.

    Maybe Tam is not so “simple”?
    He is not distracted by myriad of details like chacham, but asks directly “Ma Zot”, pointing directly at the most important part – Korban? Or generally about the unusual situation? It is not why we recline, or dip twice, he sees already that there is one reason behind all details (like Yosef – two dreams are one, a way of thinking he got from Yaakov). Maybe he graduated from Halakha of Chacham to the higher class of Agadda? And this is after all the goal as the book is called “Hagada”?

    ☕ DaasYochid ☕

    contrary to some CR residents, Gemorah is not ending it with “well, surely Tannaim knew daas Torah, so let’s not ask the question”

    Contrary to some cr residents, the gemara doesn’t contemplate that maybe the Tannaim made a mistake.

    ☕ DaasYochid ☕

    another possibility: Tannaim did not care about the pairs, but Amoraim did in part through their contact with Persians.

    The Amoraim obviously didn’t feel that way or they wouldn’t have asked the kashya.

    Pretty sure that comment of yours is kefirah. It’s definitely really stupid.

    Or maybe you’re way past your fourth cup…


    DY> the gemara doesn’t contemplate that maybe the Tannaim made a mistake.

    of course. the power of Bavli is developing a method of working with uncertain information – Amoraim start with incomplete and possibly corrupted Tannaic statements and develop a system of reconstructing full information, avoiding personal biases and simplistic conclusions. That makes Bavli more popular later on than Yerushalmi. Yerushalmi may be closer to the source, so it does not develop similar rules. So, Bavli gives us a method to solve new problems – and a reason to learn it.
    This is Maharal, not kefira, to save you on typing.

    So, when there are contradictions between Tannaim or between Tannaim and important principles and svorahs, we need to understand the difference. In some cases, they’ll limit Tannaic principle to fit other info, or even change or discard, especially if the statement certainty is not high (baraita v Mishna, etc). I am sure you know more examples than I do. For sure, we have examples where “we follow X” and “you follow Y” but this is not always so. In the particular covid case, we have Rabonim on multiple sides of the issue and there are principles of sakanah, hillul hashem, etc involved, and I consistently asked here for the citation and explanations of other opinions and di not hear any specific teshuvot. Again, in my shtetl, all Rabonim are careful personally. that some Jewishly dressed people are not does not create any confusion in my mind. Are they following poskim from other cities? is it proper? I hoped CR will be a “safe space” (literally) to find out, but nobody brought anything except rants about unspecified “daas Torah” that seem to propagate invisibly between unmasked individuals.

    ☕ DaasYochid ☕

    Which Maharal, the fifth cup mentioned in the hagadah put out by a forger?


    DY: The Amoraim obviously didn’t feel that way or they wouldn’t have asked the kashya.
    Pretty sure that comment of yours is kefirah. It’s definitely really stupid.

    I am not complete sure about pairs – they do quote a couple of baraitot.. do we have any other earlier sources? Gemora mentions later that Israelis did not care much: בְּמַעְרְבָא לָא קָפְדִי אַזּוּגֵי confirming that somehow Babylonians were more into it. .. Were the western chachamim also kefirim? Btw, Babylonians were more likely to drink Persian kefir drink …

    I don’t think it is a question whether Bavli knew about some Persian culture, same way Chafetz Chaim uses Czar in his parabolas, or American Rabbis are influenced by some of the values of democracy existing in USA.

    Question is what they do with those values. From simple reading, it seems that Bavli tries on one hand to minimize worries (they go thru a lot of exceptions of what pairs are not a problem), but still acknowledge that those who care are affected more, but others still might:
    כׇּל דְּקָפֵיד — קָפְדִי בַּהֲדֵיהּ, וּדְלָא קָפֵיד — לָא קָפְדִי בַּהֲדֵיהּ, וּמִיהוּ לְמֵיחַשׁ מִיבְּעֵי


    DY, so you do insist that Maharal is a kofer .. see nteivot olam, netiv Torah 13 re: Pesachim

    פסחים (קיג:), שלשה שונאים זה את זה; הכלבים, והתרנגולים, והחברים. ויש אומרים, אף הזונות. ויש אומרים, אף תלמידי חכמים שבבבל (hope this Gemora passes Daas Torah test)
    ויש לך לדעת כי אלו שתי מדות, לפי מדת ארץ ישראל ומדת בבל …

    “כי בלל”, שהוא עירוב ואין כאן אחדות. ולכך שם נמצא ביותר הפלפול, שהפלפול הוא שמקשה כנגדו, והרי הוא כנגדו. ואל תחשוב כי הדבר זה הוא חסרון מעלה לתלמוד בבלי, אדרבא, הוא מעלה על כל המעלות. כי הפלפול הוא השכל, והוא ממדריגה עליונה על כל

    bottom line – those who truly learn Bavli method, they can resolve new questions, those who did not, only learned to argue like other groups in this Gemorah or this coffee room

    Reb Eliezer

    Pairs, zugos, violates the uniqueness and truth of Hashem not to have a beis din shakel and applies to anything which refers to creation, eaten unprocessed. Adam Harishan sacrificed a unicorn, unique horn, to demonstrate that Hashem is Unique.

    Reb Eliezer

    The Midrash Shmuel says that the Beis Shamai by its arguments helped the Beis Hilel to see the truth and not having tunnel vision seeing only one side, so they are also praise worthy. This can be the meaning that the Beis Hilel, because of their humility, allowed the Beis Shamai to come first, by hearing their view first.

    ☕ DaasYochid ☕

    DY, so you do insist that Maharal is a kofer

    Chas v’shalom. Don’t hide your kefirah behind made up Maharals like you tried to disparage Rav by making up a gemara.


    >> made up Maharals?

    I gave you a source in netivos olam. Did I misconstrued his words? It was a while when I was learning this

    Reb Eliezer

    AAQ, thanks for the Maharal. Rebbi Yochanan questioned Rebbi Elozor for bringing proof to his words whereas Resh Lokish would question his words. He said, if I say it, I know I am right, so it will not expand our knowledge whereas a give take by questioning makes us more knowledgeable. The Taz in SA O’CH Siman 47 explains on birchas hatorah to be a business transaction, laasok bedivrei torah. Maybe, the Yerushalmi questions less because it relies more on deeds as the Ramban on Edim Zomimim where we don’t apply it when the witnesses got killed. Hashem would not have allowed the beis din to make a mistake like that and therefore the first witnesses must be correct. The air in EY makes us smarter, therefore our actions are more important to rely on.


    Reb E, R Yohanan/Resh Lakish is a good example .. interestingly, they could not find another person to argue w/ R Yohanan to keep him from depression. Did you need Resh Lakish history to be brave to contradict R Y? Were other T’Ch trained to be more respectful and could not change the style even to save their teacher?

    Zooming thru Yerushalmi Shekalim, I see another difference: Yerushalmi looks more at functional society – people do not cheat when buying karbonos, fair payments to businesses, looking at these issues from a bigger picture, not just personal fairness

    Reb Eliezer

    As a robber, Resh Lakish had to stand up to people. Maybe, similarly, he stood up towards Rebbi Yochanan when he believed he was right. Rebbi Elozor could not contradict Rebbi Yochanan being his rebbi but Resh Lakish saw him as his friend.


    RebE, yes (hard for me, I would rather disagree :).
    They contradicted each other at their first encounter in the river, so maybe that’s where they felt they are compatible. The new question I am seeing from this discussion – R Y clearly explained what he needs, and they could not find anyone in his generation to save him … My Teacher made similar conclusion about students in college, graduates of Jewish schools, 20+ years ago.

    With some people, you see this quality for discussion quickly, like R Y ands Resh L did. First time I met R Steinsaltz Z’L he asked me a funny, somewhat linguistically witty and denigrating, question about my name (not AAQ). I was able to recover, albeit not that witty. Next time, I somehow blurped an innocent phrase that had a literary connotation making an extremely offensive comparison of him with a non-kosher creature . I have no idea how I said it, but he understood the connotation before I did and laughed wholeheartedly without taking an offense, and then consoled me in my rudeness. I wished he was not so well read in secular literature …

    Reb Eliezer

    AAQ, the way I unterstand it that R Steinzaltz published some questionable books before he became a baal teshuva. How did he undo that? Ksov shenichtav bashem hamelech ein lehashiv.


    RebE, he started learning as a teenager, I doubt he published much before that. I think that he was criticized for his early book “biblical images” and for the Talmud translation.

    I just read R Aharon Feldman’s 1991 review of first volumes in Tradition 25, 4, pp.48-64 and 1992 response from Steinsaltz team. Criticism is mostly very technical, beyond my expertise. If accepting all of it, I would definitely not use Steinsaltz translation when doing mehira of a cow from you. Team responds that R Feldman points to 14 errors, they accept 3 and find 9 unfounded.

    I can relate to the comments that go beyond the detailed halakhic analysis.

    1) R Feldman is somewhat puzzled by modernishe extensions: Steinsaltz mentions that considering a moving boat stationary for the purposes of mehirah previews modern theory of the relativity of motion – anyone can be a stationary observer. R Feldman slips somewhat in the area outside of his expertise saying that S refers to “theory of relativity”, as if Steinsaltz sees Einstein in this Gemorah. He does not.

    2) As R Feldman finds some of the S. text confusing he is trying to see how beginners would see it and he thinks beginners will view Gemorah as a confused text. Tradition published a letter by a maggid shiur who was using s. and testified that it is not a case. I did not learn much with S. text, but I can testify that this is not an impression I got from the Rav directly. So, I think we have here a mismatch between types of students R Feldman and R Steinsaltz were addressing, despite an attempt to relate.

    3) some of the direct and implied criticism is Rav S’ search for psychological perspective on various Tanach and Talmudic personalities. Like you just did when you ascribed Resh Lakish style to his experiences. Well, R Yohanan did the same reference when they broke up (when does the sword become Tameh, Resh Lakish knew that it has to be cooled at the end).

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