[Avodah] Chumros - Justifications and Hediotim

Micha Berger micha at aishdas.org
Tue Aug 6 12:16:36 PDT 2019

Two thoughts about chumeros, both from learning hilkhos tefillin in
the AhS.

1- AhS OC 29:3 -- not sure about "Brisker Chumeros"
And now on to another topic... While keeping the above in my iPad
collecting research, my chazarah brought me back to AhS OC 29:3.

The Benei Maaravah hold that it is outright issur to wearing tefillin
at night, based on "venishmartem me'od lemishmarti". The Rambam holds
like them, but most rishonim -- and thus all but Teimanim -- hold that
mideOraisa it's okay to wear tefillin at night. Miderabbanan, there is
a gezeira because maybe the wearer will fall asleep.

(Ashkenazim don't HAVE to hold like EY over Bavel...)

In 29:3 RYME mentions a minhag to take the retzu'ah of one's finger
durin UVa leTetzion, at "Yehi Ratzon shenishmor chuqekha", lezeikher
this shitah.

He opened "ve'eini yodeia' im kedai laasos kein", since we don't hold
like the gemara's Benei Maaravah.

Besides, the Benei Maaravah themselves only made a berakhah "lishmor
chuqav" when taking off tefillin at nightfall.

I'm not sure if the AhS sees this in real Brisker chumerah terms:

OT1H, he tells us he doesn't see value in a minhag to cover bases for
a rejected shitah.

OTOH, he appears to be talking about the berakhah, that it's in
commemoration of a berakahh we don't make.

On the third hand, he doesn't raise the concept itself that venishmartem
links shemirah to taking off tefillin as justification.

And on the 4th hand, that linkage wouldn't be making a chumerah to do
what the Benei Maaravah hold must be done anyway. So is any of this that
related to Brisker chumaros?

What do you think?

2- AhS OC 32:17: Chumeros need justification
Tefillin do not require shirtut after the first line, according to the
SA the full frame, and according to the Rambam, no shirtut at all.

You could consider having the lines anyway a nice chumerah, because it
will make the lines of text neater. Or, we could follow the Y-mi Shabbos
1:2 7a, in which Chizqiyah says "Whoever is patur from something but does
it [anyway], is called 'hedyot'." Totally different context (finishing
a meal when Shabbos starts) but Tosafos (Menachos 32b "ha moridin")
apply it here.

The AhS then lets you know that the MA asks (which I thought would be
obvious) but what about all the chumeros we do do with no fear of being a

So my next stop was MA sq 8, who tacked something on: "... is called
'hedyot' unless if he does it bederekh chumera". But here, it is a valid
chumera, as the kesav will be neater.

The MA invokes the Peri Megadim, who brings us to sitting in the Sukkah
in the rain.

Jumping ahead to AhS OC 639:20, he quotes the same Y-mi and says nir'eh li
that a person can be machmir on himself, lefi ha'inyan. But for Sukkah,
where the Torah says "teishvu" -- ke'ein taduru, violating ke'ein taduru
like sitting in the Sukkah in the rain or freezing cold is not sekhar
worthy, it's the act of a hedyot.

There seems to be some gray area here. By shirtut, the chumerah has to
be justifiable in order to qualify as valuable. By Sukkah in the rain,
the requirement be far less -- it had to not violate existing guidelines.

And, these two seem linked, as both involve the question of what kind
of motive properly justifies a chumerah.

If just not running counter to "ke'ein taduru" is enough for a chumerah
to be valid, wouldn't acknowledging a rejected shitah be enough too?


Micha Berger                 Zion will be redeemed through justice,
http://www.aishdas.org/asp   and her returnees, through righteousness.
Author: Widen Your Tent
- https://amzn.to/2JRxnDF

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