הקטנים מתי יתחילו להתענות. ובו ב' סעיפים:
התינוקו' מותרים בכל אלו חוץ מנעילת הסנדל שאין חוששים כל כך אם לא ינעלו: הגה ומותר לומר לעכו"ם לרחצן ולסוכן אבל להאכילם אפי' בידים שרי. (טור): “(Concerning the) children, when should they begin to fast” - Containing two paragraphs.
Little children are permitted concerning all these things114"All these things" means that little children are permitted all that it is not permitted to or for adults on Yom Kippur. Prohibitions on Yom Kippur therefore do not apply to little children. except for the wearing of shoes since they do not care so much if they do not wear shoes.
Hagah: It is permissible to say to a non-Jew114aThe following comment is given by Magen Avraham, (see footnote 33.): 616:1 - "To say to a Gentile": But a Jew is forbidden to wash them and annoint them (children) since he will find pleasure in the washing and in the annointing of his hands (Beit Yosef, ב״י, see footnote 20). And it is necessary to say that which is said in the Gemara "that this is permissible" means a priori, that is, a grown person pours water for them (the children) into a container, and they wash themselves. And the Bayit Ḥadash, ב״ח, (see footnote 20b.) wrote that it is permissible for a Jew to wash them in hot water that was warmed the day before, but by a Gentile, it is permissible for them to heat the water, and so it is the understanding in Mordekhai, מרדכי, (see footnote 24), chapter two of Beẓah. to wash and to annoint them (the children), but to feed them even by hand (directly by oneself) is permitted, (i.e., even a Jew can feed them), (טור).115Tur, טור; see footnote 23.
קטן (הבריא) בן תשע שנים שלימו' ובן עשר שנים שלימו' מחנכין אותו לשעו' כיצד היה רגיל לאכול בב' שעו' ביום מאכילין אותו בשלש היה רגיל לאכול בג' מאכילין אותו בד' לפי כח הבן מוסיפין לענו' אותו בשעו' (וה"ה לקטנה הבריאה) (טור) בן י"א בין זכר בין נקבה מתענים ומשלימי' מדברי סופרים כדי לחנכן במצו': הגה וי"א שאינן צריכים להשלים מדרבנן כלל (ר"ן וא"ז ובהגהות מיימוני בשם ה"ג ורוקח ורא"ם) ויש לסמוך עלייהו בנער שהוא כחוש ואינו חזק להתענות (תרומת הדשן סימן קנ"ה) וכל מקום שמחנכין אותו באכילה מחנכין אותו ברחיצה וסיכה. (טור) בת י"ב ויום אחד ובן י"ג ויום אחד שהביאו שתי שערו' הרי הם כגדולים לכל מצו' ומשלימים מן התורה אבל אם לא הביאו שתי שערו' עדיין קטנים הם ואין משלימין אלא מדברי סופרים: הגה ואפי' הוא רך וכחוש צריך להשלים דחיישי' שמא נשרו השערות (תרומת הדשן סי' קנ"ה) קטן שהוא פחות מבן תשע אין מענין אותו ביום כפור כדי שלא יבא לידי סכנה הגה אפי' אם רוצה להחמיר על עצמו מוחין בידו (כל בו): A young, strong boy a full nine years old as well as a full ten year old boy, we train him to do it (fast) for a few hours. How is this; if he used to eat at the two o’clock hour (8:00 A.M. in our time period), we feed him at the three o’clock hour (9:00 A.M.). If he used to eat at the three o’clock hour, we feed him at the four o’clock hour, and according to the strength of the boy we increase his fasting by hours, (and this is also the law for a healthy young girl), (טור).116ibid.; see footnote 23. An eleven year old child, whether a boy or a girl fasts for the complete day, as we learn from the words of the Soferim117Divrei Soferim, דברי סופרים, literally means "the words of the scribes", but the word Soferim during the time of the Second Temple took on the meaning of denoting a specific class of scholars. There is not total agreement on what the exact time demarkation is for the Soferim, but some say that the era of the soferim of the Talmud began with the time of Ezra and continued until the time of Simeon the Just who was the last of the men of the Great Synagogue. The names of all these scribes are not known but they were active during the Persian rule and they laid the foundations for the Oral Law. They placed restrictions on the people socially and religiously. They also interpreted the Torah and explained it to the people. They taught halakhot and established new ones through their study of and interpretation of the Bible. Through the teachings of the Soferim, the Torah was no longer just the book of the priests and levites, but scholars could arise then from any class.
The words divrei soferim come from the Talmud, Sanhedrin 88b where these scribes were considered scholars of the Torah for they would count (sofer from the same root as scribe) all the letters in the Torah and were therefore meticulous with the text of the Bible and its transmission.
Other scholars (Kaufmann, Toledot ha-Emunah ha-Yisre'elit volume 4, part 1, 276ff. and 481 ff.) argue that there is no evidence in the Talmud for an era of soferim, and there is no talmudic tradition which attributes any halakhot to this period. The Talmud does mention regulations by Ezra and the men of the Great Synagogue, but it does not attribute any decrees or halakhot to scribes between Ezra and the tannaitic period. The word sofer in various eras meant Torah scholars and those who copied Torah scrolls. The meaning of the term sofer has varied over the years. Sometimes it meant scholars and other times simply a scribe. Occasionally soferim was a term applied to those who taught the Bible.
In talmudic sources the expression "divrei soferim", "the words of the scribes" always refers to statements of earlier scholars of the Oral Law and it can just as easily apply to Moses as it does to those of the generation immediately preceding the compilation of the Mishna. There is no way of being sure of who or to what age the expression "divrei soferim" directly refers.
Yitzhak Dov Gilat, E. J., v. 15, pp. 79-81. See cf., Alexander Guttmann. Rabbinic Judaism in the Making. Detroit, Wayne State University Press, 1970, pp. 3-13. to train them in the commandments.
Hagah: There are those who say that (for children) according to the rabbis’ rulings, it is not necessary to complete the fast at all, (ר״ן וא״ז ובהגהות מיימוני בשם ה״ג דרוקח ורא״ם).118Rabbenu Nissim and Or Zaru'a and in the Hagahot Maimuniyyot in the name of Halakhot Gedolot and the Roke'aḥ and Rabbi Elijah Mizraḥi, ורוקח ורא״ם ר״ן א״ז ובהגהות מיימוני בשם ה״ג.
For Rabbenu Nissim, ר״ן; see footnote 47.
Or Zaru'a, א״ז, is an important halakhic work by Isaac ben Moses of Vienna who was also known, because of his work, as Isaac Or Zaru'a. He lived from around 1180 until approximately 1250. He was born in Bohemia and in his wanderings he came into contact with many German and French scholars. He studied under some of the greatest men of his age and was highly influenced by such men as Simḥah b. Samuel of Speryer, Eliezar b. Joel ha-Levi, and Judah b. Isaac Sir Leon of Paris.
The Or Zaru'a is a most extensive work and because of its size it was not extensively copied nor circulated. The first two parts of the work were not published until 1862 before which it remained in manuscript form. The first part of the Or Zaru'a deals with blessings, the laws connected with the land of Israel, niddah (the laws of menstruation), mikva'ot (see footnote 30), laws of marriage, and finally a collection of responsa. The second part of the Or Zaru'a basically covers the material covered in the Oraḥ Ḥayyim section of the Shulḥan Arukh. Other sections published later (1887-90) contain halakhic rulings derived from the talmudic tractates Bava Kamma, Bava Meẓia, Bava Batra, Sanhedrin, Avodah Zarah, and Shevu'ot.
An abridgment of the work was written by Isaac's son, Ḥayyim b. Isaac Or Zaru'a called Simanei Or Zaru'a and it received wide circulation. Many of the decisions of Isaac Or Zaru'a came from comments made on them from secondary sources which had used his decisions such as Mordekhai (see footnote 24) and Hagahot Maimuniyyot (see footnote 27).
Or Zaru'a gives a good picture of what life was like for the Jews of Europe at this time as well as being a valuable collection of the halakhic decisions of those German and French scholars. Much of the Or Zaru'a comes from the Ravyah by Eliezar b. Joel ha-Levi, a teacher of Isaac.
Shlomoh Zalman Havlin, E. J., v. 9, pp. 25-6.
For Hagahot Maimuniyyot, הגהות מיימוני; see footnote 27.
Halakhot Gedolot, הלכות גדולות, is an halakhic code from the geonic period (see footnote 19). The work gives a systematic and comprehensive summary of all the laws in the Talmud. It basically follows the order of the tractates except it will group several halakhot having to do with the same subject even though they are scattered throughout the books. Halakhot Gedolot works the opposite way of the Talmud. It first states the general principle and then it gives the details. Halakhot Gedolot gave new names to laws no longer in existence because of the destruction of the Temple. It based its decisions on those found in the Talmud and on principles laid down by the sages. Most of the book is based on the Babylonian Talmud but reference is made to the "Talmud of the West", that is the Jerusalem Talmud. There are many responsa of Babylonian geonim and the book was widely known.
The book has an introduction which was a totally new feature at that time. It stated that the work was against the Karaites and others who rejected the Oral Law. It is in two parts. The first part has aggadic statements which praise the Torah and its students, and the second part enumerates the 613 commandments mentioned in the Talmud (Mak 23b) for the first time. They are listed according to the degree of punishment one receives for violating them which is their common character.
There is no agreement on who wrote Halakhot Gedolot. It has been attributed to Sherira Gaon, Simeon Kayyara (Spain and Provence), and Yehudai Gaon (northern France and Germany). Some scholars say that it was originally two parts which later were combined. The original Halakhot Gedolot they say was written by Simeon Kayyara and the extra was written by Yehudai Gaon in his Halakhot Pesukot. Yehudai Gaon used Aramaic and used the word for a legal decision, pesak, in his sections.
Other scholars say the whole work was written by Simeon Kayyara who lived at the beginning of the tenth century, one hundred and fifty years after Yehudai Gaon and that the Halakhot Pesukot was used as a source as was Aḥa of Shabḥa'a She'eltot for the Halakhot Gedolot. The second recension then supposedly came out in 900, seventy-five years after the first one.
Simeon Kayyara came from Boziah in Babylonia according to Hai Gaon. The city is mentioned twice in the work, and the city was under the influence of the Gaonate in Sura.
Yehoshua Horowitz, E. J., v. 7, pp. 1167-70.
Sefer ha-Roke'aḥ, ספר הרוקח, was written by Eleazar ben Judah of Worms who lived from approximately 1165 until around 1230. He was a scholar in the fields of halakhah, theology and biblical exegesis in medieval Germany. He was the last great scholar of the movement known as Ḥasidei Ashkenaz. He was born in Mainz but traveled and studied all over Germany and northern France until he settled and spent most of his life in Worms. Eleazar studied halakhah with R. Moses ha-Kohen, R. Eliezar of Metz, and his father Judah b. Kalonymus. He studied esoteric theology with his father and with Judah b. Samuel, he-Ḥasid. Eleazar witnessed much persecution of Jews at the hands of the Crusades at the end of the twelfth and the beginning of the thirteenth century. His wife, daughter and son were killed in one of these persecutions and he was badly injured. He wrote a book, Sefer ha-Ḥokhmah, the "Book of Wisdom" in 1217 where he felt compelled to put his knowledge into writing since he felt that oral tradition was dieing out in Germany as the situation of Jews there got worse and worse.
Eleazar wrote five types of works: halakhic, piyyutim (liturgical poems), theology, ethics, and exegesis. Sefer ha-Roke'aḥ, published in Fano in 1505, is his halakhic work that follows the pattern of the tosofists of Germany and northern France. The book was to educate the common reader in the details of Jewish law. He explained the law and its talmudic basis. Unlike the tosofists, Eleazar included recommended minhagim, customs, in his work. They were not strictly halakhic but were practices followed. He relied a good deal on German scholars who preceded him, and he quoted more than forty of them.
He wrote many piyyutim. They expressed devotion to God but also protested to God about Israel's suffering. His theological work is called Sodei Razayya, "Secrets of Secrets". It is about creation based on the alphabet, angels, revelation, and prophesy. Eleazar wrote on psychology, Ḥokhmat ha-Nefesh analyzing the connection of the soul and the divine world, dreams, and life after death. Eleazar's work on ethics is found in the first two chapters of the Roke'aḥ. He discussed the central values of Ḥasidism, love and fear of God, prayer, humility, and he detailed the way of repentance. Eleazar wrote many exegetical works. He commented on the Torah, on the Passover Haggadah as well as prayers from the liturgy. He explained the content, interpreted the theology and tried to find the hidden harmony in the gematriot, the numerical equivalents of the letters. Over the years, Eleazar became a Ḥasidic legendary hero.
Joseph Dan, E. J., v. 6, pp. 592-94.
Rabbi Elijah Mizraḥi, רא״ם, who lived from around 1450 until 1526 was one of the greatest rabbis of the Ottoman Empire in his time. He was of Turkish origin and was born in Constantinople. He studied under Elijah ha-Levi in rabbinic studies and Mordecai Comitiano in general studies. Mizraḥi taught publically until 1475 when he became the most famous religious authority in the entire Ottoman Empire and questions on halakhah were addressed to him from all over. He was well respected as an halakhic decision maker, posek, in Turkey by his contemporaries and those who came after him.
In addition to teaching and heading the yeshivah he also wrote commentaries to religious as well as scientific works. He collected money to help absorb the exiles of Spain and Portugal. He respected the knowledge of the exiles, but he refused to allow them to bring in their customs foreign to Turkey. He helped teach the Karaites secular subjects as well as Oral Law, but he refused to allow Karaites to marry Rabbanites.
Mizraḥi had a very clear halakhic style. He presented the fundamental principles and then he raised possible objections to them and then he examined and clarified each one. His responsa were thus considered authoritative even by those who opposed his views.
He is known to have had a very sad, poor life, with much family misfortune, but that did not hamper his work. His most famous halakhic accomplishment was his super-commentary to Rashi published in Venice in 1527. He discussed every word of Rashi and often disagreed with him, yet he defended Rashi against Naḥmanides. The combined works were studied by most biblical rabbinical commentators from the sixteenth century onward.
Jacob Haberman, E. J., v. 12, pp. 182-84 You may rely upon this (lenient decision of the Yeish Omrim119Yeish Omrim, יש אומרים; When this expression was used in the Shulḥan Arukh it referred to a source which was transmitted anonymously. The name of the authority was not transmitted along with the source. But in tractate Horayot, הוריות, of the Babylonian Talmud which is concerned with what is to be done in cases of an erroneous decision by the court, the reference Yeish Omrim did refer to a specific person. In Horayot 13b, an incident was related where Rabbi Meir and Rabbi Natan tried to embarrass Rabbi Judah ha-Nasi to the extent that he would be deposed. Rabbi Judah ha-Nasi found out about the conspiracy and the decision was made that Rabbi Meir was to be punished by referring to him from that point on as Aḥeirim, אחרים, "others", and not using his name. Rabbi Natan's name was also to be concealed and his sayings were thereafter introduced by the expression Yeish Omrim, יש אומרים, "there are those who say".
This is not the reference, though, made in the Shulḥan Arukh, (Alexander Guttmann).) with respect to a youth who is thin and is not strong enough to fast, (תרומת הדשן סימן קנ״ה).120Terumat ha-Deshen, chapter 155; ־־־־; see footnote 96. And in every instance that we train him (the child) in the restriction of the laws of eating we (also) train him with respect to the restriction of washing and annointing, (טור).121Tur, טור; see footnote 23.
A twelve year and one day old girl and a thirteen year and one day old boy who show the signs of puberty (two hairs), behold they are considered adults for every commandment and they complete the fast according to the Torah. But if they do not show the signs of puberty they are still considered children and they do not complete the fast except because of the ruling of the rabbis.
Hagah: Even if he (the child) is tender and thin (meaning, he is of age but does not show the signs of puberty), he has to complete the fast because the hairs of puberty might have fallen off,122This is one of the few instances where Isserles, in his disagreement with Caro's decision, was more strict. He usually tended toward leniency but here Isserles had decided that a twelve year and one day old girl and a thirteen year and one day old boy must fast regardless of whether or not they have started to grow pubic hairs. Puberty along with age in Judaism indicated adulthood and the religious responsibilities that it brought. Isserles changed this ruling and made it more strict deciding that age alone would mark adulthood and its religious obligations even for one who reaches puberty later than most normally do. The reason Isserles gave is that the person might actually have grown some pubic hairs but, because of their fragility, they might have fallen off before they could be noticed. Therefore, age determined when one was obligated to begin a full fast on Yom Kippur. (תרומת הדשן סי‘ קנ״ה).123Terumat ha-Deshen, תרומת הדשן, chapter 155; see footnote 96.
A boy who is less than nine years old, one does not make him fast on Yom Kippur so he would not be endangered.
Hagah : Even if he wants to be strict on himself (and fast), we prevent him (from doing so), (כל בו).124Kol Bo, כל בר; see footnote 34.