THOUGHTS ON THE DAILY DAF
brought to you by Kollel Iyun Hadaf of Har Nof
Rosh Kollel: Rav Mordecai Kornfeld
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YOMA 11 (27 Teves) - dedicated to the memory of Chana Elka Krieger, Z"L,
wife of Hagaon Rav Yisrael Avraham Abba Krieger (author of Yad Yisrael on
Rambam and other Sefarim), by their son, Benayahu Krieger.
1) THE "MITZVAH" OF PLACING A MEZUZAH ON CITY GATES
QUESTION: The Gemara says that the word "bi'She'arecha" (Devarim 6:9)
teaches that a Mezuzah must be placed even on the gates of provinces
(Medinos) and cities (Ayaros). The Beraisa, when it says that these gates
require a Mezuzah, says, "Yesh ba'Hem Chovas Mitzvah la'Makom" -- "they have
the obligation of the Mitzvah for the Omnipresent." It is odd that the
Beraisa expresses this in such flowery terms. Why does the Beraisa not say
simply that these gates are "Chayavin b'Mezuzah?"
ANSWER: The SI'ACH YITZCHAK answers that we know that the Mezuzah brings
Divine protection of Jewish homes and their inhabitants from harm, as the
Gemara (11b) states, that observing the Mitzvah of Mezuzah brings long life,
and as the Gemara says in Avodah Zarah (11a). (Tosfos, Menachos 44a, says
that for this reason even a rented home requires a Mezuzah, see Insights to
Since the Mezuzah affords Divine protection, we might have thought that one
needs a Mezuzah only on the door of one's residence, but not on the gates of
the city, since one already has protection in his home. Therefore, the
Gemara implies that it is true that the city gates do not need a Mezuzah for
protection, but they still need a Mezuzah because of Hashem's Mitzvah --
"Chovas Mitzvah la'Makom!"
2) A MEZUZAH ON PLACES WHICH ARE "KADOSH"
QUESTION: The Gemara cites a verse that teaches that only a "Bayis she'Hu
Chol," a non-sanctified house, requires a Mezuzah, but not a place that is
sanctified, such as Har ha'Bayis, the Lishkos, or the Azaros. Similarly, the
Gemara later (12a) brings a Beraisa in which Rebbi Yehudah implies that a
place which has Kedushah does not require a Mezuzah.
3) PUTTING A MEZUZAH ON A RENTED HOUSE
Earlier in the Gemara (10a), the Rabanan and Rebbi Yehudah argue whether the
Lishkas Parhedrin needs a Mezuzah. The Gemara there said that it depends on
other factors, such as whether an involuntary dwelling place ("Dirah Ba'al
Korcho") requires a Mezuzah or not, and whether a temporary dwelling place
("Diras Arai") requires a Mezuzah. However, the Gemara never suggested,
according to either of the opinions there, that the Lishkas Parhedrin should
be exempt from a Mezuzah because it is Kadosh. Why not? The Beraisa here
says that places which are Kadosh are exempt from having Mezuzos!
(a) The TOSFOS HA'ROSH explains that both Rebbi Yehudah and the Rabanan (on
10a) indeed exempt the Lishkas Parhedrin from having a Mezuzah because it is
a Makom Kadosh, as the Beraisa here says. This exemption, though, is only
mid'Oraisa. Even though it is exempt from a Mezuzah mid'Oraisa, nevertheless
it might be required to have a Mezuzah mid'Rabanan. The argument between the
Rabanan and Rebbi Yehudah is whether the Lishkas Parhedrin requires a
Mezuzah mid'Rabanan. Rebbi Yehudah says that is an involuntary dwelling
place, and thus there is no requirement for a Mezuzah at all, even
mid'Rabanan (because even if it was not Kadosh, it would not require a
(b) The RITVA suggests that the Rabanan and Rebbi Yehudah both argue with
this Beraisa and assert that a Makom Kadosh *requires* a Mezuzah mid'Oraisa.
The Beraisa (12a) in which Rebbi Yehudah himself states that a Makom Kadosh
is exempt, is not discussing the Mitzvah of Mezuzah at all, but it is
discussing Nega'im! A Makom Kadosh *does* require a Mezuzah.
(c) The ME'IRI explains that when this Beraisa exempts a Makom Kadosh from a
Mezuzah, it means to exempt a place that is *used* for purposes of Kodesh,
and not necessarily all places that are sanctified. The Lishkas Parhedrin,
though, is not being used for a holy purpose when the Kohen Gadol lives
there, and therefore it requires a Mezuzah even though it is inherently
(d) The ME'IRI further suggests that even if an area that is inherently
sanctified, no matter what it is used for, does *not* require a Mezuzah, it
could be that the Lishkas Parhedrin was not considered Kodesh. Rashi (6a, DH
mi'Beiso) writes that the Lishkas Parhedrin did not have Kedushah and
therefore it was permitted for the Kohen Gadol to sit there (and the Gemara
had a valid Havah Amina that the Kohen Gadol's wife should be able to stay
with him there), as we explained there (see Insights). It did not even have
the Kedushah of Har ha'Bayis.
QUESTION: The Gemara asks why the verse regarding the Mitzvah of Mezuzah
says "Beisecha" ("your houses"), implying that a woman's house does not
require a Mezuzah, when a woman's house actually does require a Mezuzah. The
Gemara answers that the word "Beisecha" is teaching something else; it is
teaching that the Mezuzah must be placed on the side of the door to the
right of a person entering the house ("Bi'ascha").
Why doesn't the Gemara answer that Beisecha is teaching a Halachah recorded
in the Gemara in Menachos (44a): that a rented house does not require a
Mezuzah before 30 days passes, presumably because it is not "your house".
(If one rents it for more than thirty days, he must put up a Mezuzah only
because of Mar'is Ayin.)
(a) TOSFOS in Menachos (44a) explains that our Gemara holds that even a
rented house requires a Mezuzah mid'Oraisa, because it needs protection (in
contrast to what the Gilyon ha'Shas says here). The only reason one is
exempt until after thirty days is because it is not considered a dwelling
place until one has dwelled there for thirty days.
RASHI (Bava Metzia 101b, Avodah Zarah 21a DH Chovas ha'Dar), also explains
that a rented apartment is obligated in a Mezuzah mid'Oraisa. In fact, he
learns the *obligation* of Mezuzah (as opposed to the *exemption* from
Mezuzah) in such a case from "Beisecha -- Derech Bi'asecha": anyone who
*uses* an apartment, whether it is his or just rented, has the obligation to
affix a Mezuzah. Before thirty days, he is exempt from Mezuzah only because
it is not yet clear that he will be living (in a permanent fashion) in that
house (Rashi, Menachos 44a DH veha'Socher).
(b) The RASHBA in Shabbos (131b, DH Ho'il) writes that it is obvious that a
rented or borrowed house does not require a Mezuzah mid'Oraisa. The Gemara
could have given that answer here, but it simply chose to teach another
Halachah which can be learned from the word "Beisecha."
TOSFOS in Menachos (ibid.) also sides that a rented house is not obligated
in Mezuzah mid'Oraisa in his second answer. He explains that it says
"Beisecha" twice in the verse; our Gemara is explaining the *second*
Beisecha, but the first indeed teaches an exemption from Mezuzah for a