Tuesday, Feb 7, 2023

Taanis 6: Forbidden from Forgetting

On this daf, we find a halacha regarding shikcha.

Rav Naftoli of Ropshitz once found that the Chozeh of Lublin was troubled by something and asked him what it was. The Chozeh answered, “The verse states, ‘Guard yourself lest you forget Hashem, your G-d.’ Our sages write that this wording teaches that what is being discussed is a negative commandment. It emerges that one who forgets Hashem even for an instant violates a negative commandment. How is it that so many Jews forget Hashem throughout the day? Must we say that they violate a negative commandment every time they forget?”

The Ropshitzer replied that, thankfully, there is a way around this harsh judgment: “The Mishnah teaches that a special olive that tends to drip oil but only does so in some years is special and therefore not in the category of shikcha. Chazal explain that this mitzvah only applies to an ordinary tree, which one tends to forget, but regarding a tree that one is sure to remember eventually, shikcha does not apply. This tree is important, and the owners will surely come back for it. The same is true regarding one who forgets Hashem, chalilah. If it is important in the eyes of the one who forgot and he plans to get back to it as soon as he is able, this is not considered halachic shikcha, and he therefore does not transgress a negative commandment” (Imrei Yehuda, Parshas Pinchos).

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