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The Making of A Gadol

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Jun 26, 2019
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לזכות נסיה תמר בת אלישבע טובה לבריאות השלימה!!


Tosfos in Ksubos [11b D.H. Matbilin] asks according to their opinion that גר קטן מטבילין אותו על דעת בית דין is only מדרבנן, there is a question from the Gemara in Perek Ben Sorer:


דאמר רבה קטן אינו מוליד שנא' (במדבר ה, ח) אם אין לאיש גואל וכי יש לך אדם בישראל שאין לו גואל


 




 




 


The Gemara comments: And Rav Chisda’s statement disagrees with the opinion of Rabba, as Rabba says in connection with one who returns stolen property after having taken a false oath that he did not steal it: A minor cannot father a child, as it is stated: “But if the man has no relative to whom restitution may be made, let the trespass that is recompensed to Hashem be the Kohen’s” (Numbers 5:8). And is there any man in the Jewish people who does not have a relative? All members of the Jewish people are related, as they all descend from the patriarch Jacob, and therefore every person has a relative who is fit to inherit from him.


 




 


אלא בגזל הגר הכתוב מדבר


 




 


Rather, the verse is speaking of the robbery of a convert, who is treated like a newborn child and considered to have no ties to his natural parents or relatives. If he did not father any children after his conversion, he is a man with no relatives at all, and therefore if he dies, property that had been stolen from him must be returned to a priest.


 




 


ואמר רחמנא איש איש אתה צריך לחזור עליו אם יש לו גואלין ואם לאו קטן אי אתה צריך לחזור עליו בידוע שאין לו גואלין


 




 


And the Merciful One states: “But if the man has no relative,” teaching that it is only in the case of a convert who is a man that you must go around seeking whether or not he has relatives, i.e., children who were born to him after his conversion. But in the case of a convert who is a minor, you do not have to go around searching for relatives; it is known that he has no relative, since a minor cannot father a child.


 


 


 


So we see that there is a concept of גר קטן even מדאורייתא because as we see, the concept is based on a pasuk?!


 


 


 


Ha-Gaon Rav Aharon Kotler ztz"l answered that גויים don't have an objective shiur [amount or age] that determines gadlus [as we do at 13] and they are considered adults when they have דעת. So it could be that he converted when he was a בר דעת but under 13 where his geirus is effective מדאורייתא and now he is a Jew but is considered a קטן because he is under 13. So we have a גר קטן מדאורייתא. But when the גוי has no דעת and we convert him [like the גר קטן שמטבילין אותו על דעת בית דין that can apply even to a baby], that is only מדרבנן. 


 


 


 


Said Ha-Gaon Rav Shimon Moshe Diskin ztz"l: It is not so simple! The reason there is no set, objective שיעור גדלות for a גוי is because, as the Rosh [כלל ט"ז] explains, that בני נח weren't given shiurim - only Jews received shiurim. The explanation is NOT that בעצמותו, inherently, existentially, they have no objective shiurim. That would mean [if it were true] that even as far as what applies to Jews he is a gadol when he reaches the age of דעת. But rather the correct understanding is that בעצמותו, as far as the גוי himself is concerned, there ARE shiurim. Just the practical laws that pertain to him do not have shiurim. He has no תורת ודיני שיעורים. So when is the גוי objectively a gadol? At 13. When do the laws of a gadol apply to him? When he has דעת. So we the Jews [for our purposes] view him as a gadol at 13 and not when he has דעת. So if he converted as an 11 year old with דעת, he would NOT be a גר קטן מדאורייתא [as Rav Aharon said] because we only consider him a gadol at 13 and his דעת doesn't change his status as far as דיני ישראל go. 


 


 


 


This would mean that if a בן נח with דעת kills when he was a קטן and then converted, he will not be executed because he killed as a קטן. He was, בעצמותו, a קטן. Now he has the status of a Jew who is not killed for what he does as a קטן. But if we say like the first possibility that we negated [that he is a gadol for all purposes when he reaches the age of דעת], then he will be punished because he sinned as a gadol and now he is Jewish and Jews are executed for what they do as gedolim.  


 


 


 


Similarly with regard to the din that before the age of 9 his ביאה is not a ביאה, which also applies to משכב זכור, it would depend on the two approaches. According to the first approach that בעצמותו a גוי has no shiurim, if a Jew has משכב זכור with a גוי less than 9 years old, the Jew will be punished because his ביאה is considered a ביאה. It is as if he had ביאה with an underage בהמה to whom shiurim don't apply and he is חייב regardless of the age of the בהמה. So too, if we say that גויים are precluded from shiurim in their very essence, then it doesn't matter how old the גוי is and the Jew is חייב. 


 


 


 


But if we adopt the second approach, that בעצמותם Goyim have shiurim, that would create a significance to the fact that the גוי is below the requisite age and the Jew would be פטור because as far as we are concerned the גוי is underage, making the ביאה a non-issue [because ביאה for an underage person is not ביאה]. 


 


 


 


So too, if an עכו"ם sodomizes a Jew under 9 [or a girl under 3] he will be חייב. This is because despite the fact that the victim is not of age, as far as the עכו"ם is concerned these dinim of shiurim do not apply [because as we said - תורת ודיני שיעורים don't apply to an עכו"ם]. So wrote the Minchas Chinuch. 


 


  The Chasam Sofer [Yo"d 317] brings the question of the Tshuva Mei-Ahava that the Gemara excludes [at the end of Nazir] a גוי from the din of מופלא הסמוך לאיש [which would make his Nedarim and Erchin count even before he reaches actual adulthood]. From this it would seem that objective shiurim DO apply to Bnei Noach - thus necessitating the exclusion?! [Because if their shiur depends on דעת then there is no מופלא הסמוך לאיש which implies an age - not דעת].


 


 


והלום ראיתי בס' תשובה מאהבה ח"ג בקונטרס פ' התערובת סי' תל"ב שהקש' לו הרב מו"ה ליב גלוגא סג"ל מסוף מס' נזיר דממעט גוי מופלא סמוך לאיש מעירוכין ונדרים הרי יש שיעורים הללו בב"נ ולא תי' כלום. 




He answers that we say דון מינה ומינה - not only do we learn the general din of Nedarim for בני נח from the law as it applies to Jews, but we learn the details from the Jews as well. So normally they don't have a set shiur of gadlus but for the purposes of Nedarim they do.  


 



ולק"מ בודאי בכל דיני' הנוהגים בב"נ ובכל עניניהם אין מקום לשיעורים דהל"מ הם ולישראל נאמרו ולא לב"נ אך הא נדרי' ועירוכי' איננו ממצות ב"נ אלא התורה חדשה איש איש לרבות ב"נ שנודרים נדרים ונדבות כישראל, א"כ מסתיין כישראל. לא מיבעי' למ"ד דון מינה ומינה דון נדר מישראל ומינה מה להלן בזמנו ובשתי שערות הכא נמי כן אלא אפילו אי בעלמא דון מינה ואוקי באתרי' היינו אי הוה כתיב בחד קרא ישראל ונכרי והוה מקשי' נכרי לישראל אבל נכרי לא כתיב ומאן דכר שמי' אלא איש כתיב ואוקמי' מרבוי' עוד איש אחר היינו נכרי כמו האיש הישראל ודוקא כשהבי' ב' שערות בזמנו וממעטי' התם מופלא סמוך לאיש וכל זה לענין נדרים ועירוכי' אבל לכל דיניהם וקניניהם לא ניתן להם שיעורים ומשבאו לכלל דעת דמסברו לי' ומיסבר הרי הוא גדול. 




Now if a גוי becomes an objective gadol when he attains דעת then how can we say דון מינה ומינה? Even for a Jew the דיני נדרים all depend on whether he is a gadol or a year before he becomes a gadol [מופלא הסמוך לאיש]. So we should say the same for a גוי, that a year before he becomes a gadol, his Nedarim take effect - just like for a Jew?! 


 


 


 


But if we say [the second approach we suggested] that the גוי is objectively a gadol at 13, just regarding his dinim he is already obligated when he attains דעת, we can say that Nedarim are an exception [because of דון מינה ומינה] and there the determining factor is being a gadol as by a Jew. 


 


 


 


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The Gemara says as follows:


 


 


אמר רב יוסף הגדילו יכולין למחות איתיביה אביי הגיורת והשבויה והשפחה שנפדו ושנתגיירו ושנשתחררו פחותות מבנות שלש שנים ויום אחד כתובתן מאתים ואי ס"ד הגדילו יכולין למחות יהבינן לה כתובה דאזלה ואכלה בגיותה


Rav Yosef said: In any case where minors convert, when they reach majority they can protest and annul their conversion. Abaye raised an objection to his opinion from the mishna: With regard to a female convert, or a captive woman, or a maidservant who were ransomed, or who converted, or who were freed when they were less than three years and one day old, their marriage contract is two hundred dinars. And if it enters your mind to say that when they reach majority they can protest and annul their conversion, do we give her the payment of the marriage contract that she will go and consume in her gentile state?


 



לכי גדלה לכי גדלה נמי ממחייא ונפקא כיון שהגדילה שעה אחת ולא מיחתה שוב אינה יכולה למחות


The Gemara answers: She receives payment of her marriage contract once she has reached majority and does not protest, but not while still a minor. The Gemara asks: When she reaches majority too, is there not the same concern that she will protest and abandon Judaism? The Gemara answers: Once she reached majority for even one moment and did not protest, she may no longer protest. This mishna poses no difficulty to the opinion of Rav Yosef.


 


 


 


The Shittah Mekubetzes says that "הגדילו" means that she is בר עונשין [i.e. 12 for a girl, 13 for a boy]. The Tosfos Ri"d says that "הגדילו" means that they have דעת. But this is not a contradiction to what we are saying that for קבלת גירות we require that he reach the age of עונשין [i.e. 13 and therefore in order for a קטן to convert he needs דעת בית דין - not like Rav Aharon who said that once reaching the age of דעת he can convert מדאורייתא]. Just as far as מחאה is concerned it is sufficient that he reach the age of דעת because in order for a 13 year old to convert he also needs a desire to convert [as the Tos' Ri"d writes] and if he lacks that desire he is not a ger. So if he protests after achieving דעת and shows a desire not to be Jewish, he reverts back.   


 


 


 


However when the Gemara says "כיון שהגדילו שעה אחת ולא מיחו שוב אין יכולים למחות" - that means that from the time they become בר עונשים they can no longer protest because what [revents the מחאה is that they reached the age of gadlus and עונשים [i.e. 13]. So that means that they have the right to protest their conversion from the age of דעת until 13. 


 


 


 


That would solve a big problem. Tosfos Yeshanim wonders when the מחאה takes place. As long as she is a קטנה the מחאה is ineffective and the when she becomes a גדולה it is again ineffective. So when is that magical moment/s when she can protest? Tos' Yeshanim answer that she can protest from when she is at the end of her קטנה period through her transition into גדלות. But our explanation solves the problem because it enables her to protest from the time she attains דעת until she reaches the age of עונשים. [In the glosses on the Tos' Ri"d he says that with the explanation of the Tosfos Ri"d, we can answer the question of the Tosfos Yeshanim. That would work based on our understanding of the Tos' Ri"d. 


 


 


 


Rashi [ד"ה הגדילו] writes "אם קידש אשה משמיחה אין צריכה גט" that if he was מקדש an אשה, after the מחאה she doesn't require a get. This means that first he was מקדש the אשה and then protested, she doesn't require a get. How can this be? When he was מקדש her after he became a גדול, that is an expression of his acceptance of Judaism, so his מחאה is AFTER THE BUZZER. Too late!!?


 


 


 


But based on what we said, the scenario would be that he attained the דעת of a Ben Noach a number of years after reaching the age of the gadlus of a Jew [13]. So his Kiddushin is valid as a full fledged Jew but he reserves the right to protest until he reaches the level of דעת for a בן נח, for as we explained, in order to be a willing convert, one needs דעת of a בן נח. Such a protest would indeed uproot the Kiddushin obviating the need for a get. 


 


 


 


[עפ"י תורת הג"ר שמעון משה דיסקין זצ"ל]          


 

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