Thursday, Nov 30, 2023

Yevamos 12: Quiet Time

On this daf, we find an application of the halachic principle that “Hashem protects fools.”

The Chida makes a fascinating observation: “Our sages say that it is forbidden to speak during a meal. This is also the halacha in Orach Chaim 170:1. Yet, I have not found a single chochom or chossid who is careful to refrain from speaking during his repast. This question perpetually burned in my heart: What justification was there for ignoring a clear directive of our sages due to danger?

“I was only able to assuage my concern when I saw the opinion of the Prisha, brought in the Eliyahu Rabbah. He explains that this prohibition only applied when they used to lean during their meals. Nowadays, we sit upright when eating, so this no longer applies.

“Nevertheless, there is an exception when this halacha must be fulfilled to the letter. On the leil haSeder, when one eats while leaning, it is forbidden to speak while eating.”

The Shaarei Teshuvah also discusses this point: “The explanation of the Drisha is difficult to understand. The only way to explain this is that nowadays, the masses are lenient and ‘Hashem protects fools.’ According to this reasoning, one can even be lenient on the Seder night, when we eat b’heseibah.”

The Mishnah Berurah brings the conclusion of the Eliyahu Rabbah: “This prohibition is only while one is eating. In between courses, when one is not eating, one should make time to learn at his table. At the very least, he should say one mizmor of Tehillim” (Orach Chaim 170:1).





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