By Rabbi Yair Hoffman for 5tjt.com
A new sefer containing the shiurim of HaGaon HaRav Pinchas Wachsman shlita, from Beis Midrash Heichal Dovid at Yeshiva Darchei Torah, and mechuten of Rav Malkiel Kotler shlita is quickly selling out. It contains his chiddushim on some twelve shiurim that he has given on inyanim of Pesach.
Rav Wachsman shlita is an extraordinary Talmid Chochom who sets up the sugya beautifully including all of the shitos rishonim, and presents brilliant solutions to fascinating problems.
- Bdikah and BitulAs an example, in his first shiur he presents the different understandings of the term – “the Bitul of the Chometz.”1] the declaration of Bitul is essentially declaring it ownerless – or hefker. This, in fact, is the opinion of Tosfos (Psachim 2a “Mide’oraisah) and the Rosh (1:9).2] The Ramban challenges the view of Tosfos on several grounds:If it is a mere declaration of ownerlessness (not sure if that is a word), then why did Chazal use the particular term bitul – negation and not use the term ownerlessness? (The Hebrew is less bulky – hefker).
Whatever happened to the idea that ownerlessness declarations have to be done before three people? These declarations are done by oneself, alone and at home.
Where ever do we ever find that the terminology of “shall be considered like the dust of the earth” is ever effective to declare something ownerless?
Don’t we say that “Dvarim sh’b’laiv ainam dvarim – things left unsaid by mouth but said internally are invalid?
The Gemorah (Psachim 7a) says that you can do it on Shabbos – and making something hefker on Shabbos is forbidden!
The Ramban (basing himself on the Sifrei – lo yira-eh lecha – to you) concludes that the Bitul is a revelation,a gilui daas, that he does not care about the Chometz he had owned previously. “It is nothing in my eyes – I don’t care about it!” This, in essence, undoes the “the Torah made it as if it is back in his possession.”
3] The Ran’s view appears to be some sort of synthesis of the two aforementioned views. He writes that the revelation that he cares not for the Chometz– leads to an automatic reassessment of the ownership status and now places the said item of Chometz in a legal status of hefker – ownerlessness.
Rav Wachsman gives to ways to understand the Ran and how Tosfos would respond to these questions.
4] And then there is the fourth view. Both Rashi (Psachim 2a “b’bitul”) and the Rambam (Hilchos Chometz uMatzah 2:2) indicate that this negation is a form of destruction – tashbisu.
There is, of course, much more to explore here. How do the Baalei Tosfos defend themselves against the Ran? Wherein does the Machlokes lie? Rabbi Wachsman suggests that Tosfos holds like Rabbi Akiva Eiger’s position that Bitul in teh heart is ineffective.
- The aftermath ashes of Chometz
Here, Rav Wachsman deals with Rav Chaim Soloveitchik’s answer to teh question of Rabbi Akiva Eiger and the Avnei Miluim and the alternate method of understanding the sugya according to Rav SHlomo Heiman zt”l/
3. The prohibition of benefitting from Chometz
In this shiur Rabbi Wachsman discusses the question of why we need a special pasuk to prohibit a chatzi shiur of Chometz on Pesach. He suggests the possibility that there are qualitative distinctions in the concept of Chatzi shiur assur min haTorah. He discusses the alternative method of resolving the underlying problems of Rav Chaim Shmulevitz zt’l as well.
The other topics in the sefer are:
4. An Ahrel and the Korban Pesach
5. The exemption for doing a Mitzvah when one is involved in another
6. The 4 Cups of Wine
7. The First Bracha on the 4 cups
8. The Mitzvah of Sippur Yetzias Mitzrayim
9. Positive Time Bound Mitzvos
10. “For they too were in the Nais.”
11. The Leniencies of Ho’il and Mitoch regarding malachos on Yom Tov
12. Adding a Month for a Leap year.
The sefer has haskamos from HaGaon HaRav Elya Brudy Shlita, HaGaon HaRav Malkiel Kotler, and the two illustrious Roshei Yeshiva of Yeshiva Darchei Torah, Rav Yaakov Bender shlita and Rav Shlomo Avigdor Altusky shlita. The project was spearheaded by Rabbi Moshe Bender and other students of Rav Wachsman. Teh Sefer can be obtained by contacting 848-223-3059.
The reviewer can be reached at [email protected]