For the week ending 3 August 2013 / 26 Av 5773

Pesachim 44 - 50

by Rabbi Mendel Weinbach zt'l
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  • When forbidden matter is combined with permitted matter or absorbed in it
  • When chametz in the cracks of a vessel must be eliminated
  • Dough in those cracks in regard to spiritual contamination
  • Determining whether dough has become chametz by comparison and by time
  • Taking chalah on Pesach from dough which became spiritually impure
  • Cooking on Yom Tov for tomorrow when it is a weekday or when it is Shabbat
  • The concepts of ho’il and eiruv tavshillin
  • How one can be guilty of eight violations with one act of plowing
  • How the matzah baking team should operate
  • The stage of leavening that constitutes chametz
  • When Shabbat is the day before Pesach
  • Remembering that he possessed chametz at home when it is difficult to return and destroy it
  • What qualifies as a seudat mitzvah
  • Choosing a marriage partner
  • The problem of the am ha’aretz (ignoramus)
  • Leaving Yerushalayim with sacrificial flesh
  • Yerushalayim and the world of the future
  • Restriction on work the day before Pesach
  • Some advice on the occupations of men and women

Choosing a Son-in-Law

Some important pieces of advice for choosing a marriage partner are offered in our gemara. One of these is that a man should be prepared to sell everything he owns in order to have his daughter marry a Torah scholar.

The first reason for this given in the gemara is one of compatibility. Since this advice seems to be directed principally to a father who is himself a Torah scholar, such a union is compared to the successful blend of grafting one grapevine with another, while taking a son-in-law who is an ignoramus is like making a distasteful grafting of a grapevine with a thorn bush.

The gemara does, however, mention a motivation for seeking a Torah scholar as a husband for his daughter which is relevant to any father. This is the lack of consideration for his wife’s dignity and feelings to which an ignoramus is susceptible. Rambam (Laws of Forbidden Relations 21:32) adds another dimension to the benefits of every Jew acquiring a Torah scholar as a husband for his daughter that makes it worth investing all he possesses:

“In the homes of Torah scholars,” he writes, “there is nothing of an undignified nature and no discord.”

What the Sages Say

“What is the meaning of the prophetic passage: “And G-d shall be King of the entire universe, and on that day G-d shall be One and His Name shall be One” (Zacharia 14:9)? Is He not One today?

This world is different from the World to Come. In this world one makes a blessing on good tidings — Blessed is the One Who is good and does good to others — while on sad tidings he says ‘Blessed is the true Judge’. In the hereafter there will be only one sort of blessing — the one for good tidings — for there will be no sad tidings.”

  • Rabbi Acha bar Chanina
    Pesachim 50a

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