Wednesday, Feb 1, 2023

Yevamos 8: Atoning for Kares

On this daf, we find a sacrifice brought when people erred regarding a sin punishable by kareis.

In Sanhedrin 104, we find that the Jewish people were struck with the terrible things for which we say Eicha since we transgressed prohibitions punishable by kareis. Rashi explains that the numerical value of the word Eicha, spelled alef, yud, chof, hey is thirty-six, the precise number of transgressions for which one can incur kareis. The Medrash writes similarly that the Jewish people were not exiled until they ignored and repudiated that certain sins can cause kareis.

Rav Aharon Leib Shteinman shared a well-known segulah reported to rectify kareis: “Rav Meir Paparush said in the name of the Arizal that Maseches Krisos atones for issurei kareis. For this reason, some learn this masechta during the Aseres Yemei Teshuvah, but I am dubious about this, since kareis is a very serious thing…”

Shu”t Yehudah Ya’aleh teaches a somewhat harder way to fix kareis: “Our sages composed thirty-six tractates of Talmud Bavli, since learning Shas atones even for the thirty-six sins that incur kareis” (Tzaddik Katomor Yifroch; Shu”t Yehudah Ya’aleh, Orach Chaim).

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