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Retroactive Clarification

Yoma Daf 56 

Today’s Daf takes us into the complex Halachic construct of ברירה – retroactive clarification. The dispute regarding  ברירה relates to the mechanism of how it works as well as when it applies. How do we look at the mechanism? Is there an asynchronous relationship between when the Halachic reality takes effect and the physical act occurs? Does naming an item such as Terumah without separating it out, change the status of the item or not? Is time elastic and therefore the future can change the past? Tosafot on the Daf presents cases discussed throughout Shas and there is extensive literature regarding ברירה.

Rebbi Yehudah along with Rebbi Yossi and Rebbi Shimon do not permit  ברירה – retroactive clarification. The case which exemplifies Rebbi Yehudah’s position is that of  one who sets up two Eruv Techumin prior to Shabbat. He does so in order to choose on Shabbat which of the two Rabbanim he wants to learn from.  Each Rav is more than 2000 Ama from his home and they are located in opposite directions. Rebbi Yehudah will not allow him to decide on Shabbat which eruv he will be using as that decision needed to be made prior to sunset on Friday. Stipulating conditions about two matters at once does not work for Rebbi Yehudah as  there is no retroactive clarification. For him the Halachic reality takes effect simultaneously with the physical act.

By Susan Suna

Shiur by Dena Rock

Alon Shvut Women's Daf Yomi

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