Pri Megadim

Deaf Mutes in Halachah, a First Look

by R. Gidon Rothstein Part Two of Peri Megadim’s Petihah Kollelet: The People of Halachah After laying out the levels and types of law in halachah, Peri Megadim moves to the people of the system, ten types of them. He starts with a heresh, who is unable to hear or speak. Halachah groups such a person with a shoteh, someone not in his/her right mind, and a katan, a minor, all three ...

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Beyond Biblical: The Petihah Kollelet On Rabbinic Law

by R. Gidon Rothstein Biblical Fences Although I claimed to have finished my short-version re-summary of Peri Megadim’s discussion of laws with roots in Scripture last time, one of the first points he makes about Rabbinic law also takes us back to the Biblical. Hazal point to Vayikra 18;30, u-shmartem et mishmarti, guard My charge (English translations have “keep”) as what empowers them to legislate; if so, there ...

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The Hierarchy of Halachah

by R. Gidon Rothstein The Hierarchy of Halachah in the First Part of Peri Megadim’s Petihah Kollelet Peri Megadim gives us so many legal technicalities as he makes his various points, we might lose sight of the bigger picture: he spent the first part of this Petihah showing a range of levels of obligation in halachah, with important ramifications in the differences. It is a vital point I find ...

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Minhag and Derech Eretz

by R. Gidon Rothstein Minhag and Derech Eretz, the Last Two Categories of Religious Obligation for Peri Megadim Prescribed Customs The seventh level of obligation consists of minhag, for example waving aravot on Sukkot (what we today call hoshanot, where we walk around the bima as representative of the mizbe’ah, the altar, in the Temple, and on then on the seventh day of Sukkot, we walk around seven times and then bang ...

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Finishing Bal Tosif, Finishing De-Rabbanan

by R. Gidon Rothstein Petihah Kollelet: Finishing Bal Tosif, Finishing De-Rabbanan In this week’s installment, Peri Megadim continues to struggle with Rambam’s view of bal tosif, and the prohibition generally. To How Many Mitzvot Does It Apply? He briefly wonders why Rambam did not prescribe lashes for violating bal tosif. The reason cannot be bal tosif’s counting as a lav she-bichlalut, a general prohibition relevant to many issues, and therefore without ...

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A First Look at Bal Tosif

by R. Gidon Rothstein Petihah Kollelet: A First Look at Bal Tosif The Torah twice prohibits adding to its laws (Devarim 4;2 and 13;1), at first glance a simple idea. Peri Megadim does not tell us why he placed this discussion here, in the middle of a list of the types of rules and regulations in the Torah. From his start with Rambam’s version ...

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Is Performing a Mitzvah a Benefit?

by R. Gidon Rothstein Petihah Kollelet: Is Performing a Mitzvah a Benefit? In paragraph 29, Peri Megadim announces he is taking a pause from listing the types of mitzvot (we might be confused, because he has been talking about makkat mardut recently; for him, that’s part of his exposition of de-rabanan, rabbinic obligations). He will return to it in a bit, after some digressions, a first one ...

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Petihah Kollelet: More Kinds of Makkat Mardut

by R. Gidon Rothstein Rabbinic Lashes for Actionless Sins, Biblical and Rabbinic We are in the process of figuring out what kinds of violations can receive makkat mardut. For Biblical sins without actions, Rambam in Laws of Hametz and Matzah 1;3 prescribes such lashes for someone who leaves leavened grains in his/her possession (where no action occurs). Peri Megadim takes it to be an example ...

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Rabbinic Lashes

by R. Gidon Rothstein Starting at paragraph twenty-three of the first part of the Petihah Kollelet, Peri Megadim takes up makkat mardut, rabbinic lashes. Deliberate violations of rabbinic laws could have incurred Biblical lashes according to Rambam, who says every violation of a rabbinic law inherently also violates the Torah’s prohibition of lo tasur. Nonetheless, Hazal chose to distinguish their laws from other Biblical ones, and this was one way, by ...

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Rabbinic Laws with Some Connection to Scripture

by R. Gidon Rothstein Petihah Kollelet: Rabbinic Laws with Some Connection to Scripture We all know the category of rabbinic law, in prohibitions and obligations. For prohibitions, Peri Megadim gives the examples of Hazal’s including fowl in the prohibition of basar be-halav, cooking, eating, or gaining benefit from meat cooked in milk, as well as their adding more types of relationships to those the ...

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