Monday, December 26, 2005

Like Whom Does the Rif Pasken – like Rav Yehudah or the Chachamim?

Some claim that the Bais Ephraim is incorrect when he states that the Rif could pasken like the Chachamim since some Rishonim (whose manuscripts have only been published in the last 150 years) clearly state the Rif paskens like Rav Yehudah (who paskens asu rabbim u’mevatlei mechitzta). However, the reason that some Rishonim (Rashba, Ramban, and Rivash) maintain that the Rif paskens like Rav Yehudah, is not because the Rif quotes Rav Yochanan and therefore he must pasken like Rav Yehudah. These Rishonim maintain as such because they are of the opinion that according to the Chachamim a tzuras hapesach is considered shem daled mechitzos and therefore they uphold that the sugya in Eruvin, 6a can’t be according to the Chachamim, but only like Rav Yehudah. Since when the Rif quotes the sugya he states that a tzuras hapesach isn’t sufficient for a reshus harabbim, these Rishonim state that he paskens like Rav Yehudah. However the overwhelming majority of Rishonim whom pasken like the Chachamim maintain that a tzuras hapesach is not considered shem daled mechitzos (see Tosfas, Eruvin 6a; see The Overwhelming Majority of Rishonim Maintain Lo Asu Rabbim U’Mevatlei Mechitzta). Hence, the sugya according to the Rif can be in agreement with the Chachamim – as the Bais Ephraim elucidates – even though he quotes Rav Yochanan. Both the Ravyah (p. 270, 276) and HaEshkol (siman 64-65) quote Rav Yochanan and pasken like the Chachamim, which buttresses what the Bais Ephraim states is the p’shat in the Rif. [Regarding the first opinion of the Shulchan Aruch, the Rif, see The Shulchan Aruch Explained.]

More so, the Raved, Rabeinu Yonasan, Meiri (Eruvin 20, 22a) and even Rishonim like the Rashba (who quotes the Raved), Ran and Ramban (see Gaon Yaakov, Eruvin 6), who state that the Rif paskens like Rav Yehudah, maintain that if we have mechitzos that are omed merubeh al ha’parutz, even Rav Yehudah would agree that we pasken lo asu rabbim. (From this we see that the Bais Ephraim and the Chazon Ish were guided min hashomayim. They stated that only the Ritva explicitly states Yerushalyim was omed merubeh al ha’parutz and we pasken asu rabbim like Rav Yehudah which is not contadicted by any of the Rishonim discovered recently.)