Monday, July 19, 2004

Berachos 13b Sugya d'Prakdan Lo Yikra Kriyas Shema - Part II

Continued from previous post...
This question is actually asked by Tosafos in Niddah 14a. He doesn't answer the question on Rashi, but he says alternate explanations of the gemara. Interestingly, Rashi himself, in Niddah, says another explanation of the gemara, on which we do not have a question. He says, that if one sleeps on his back, his yadayim will touch his milah, and he will get nischamem. Tosafos over there brings in the name of the Rashbam, that his clothing will touch the milah and he will get nischamem. Tosafos Yeshanim and the Tosafos HaRosh say that his lower back will get get heated up, and because of this his eiver will become b'kishuy, and he will come to keri. (These four explanations were generously paraphrased.  For the exact quote check Niddah 14a.)
The aforementioned explanations all only make sense if the word "prakdan" means one who is lying on his back. The Tosafos in Niddah points out that according to this the word "APaRKiD" is a contraction of the words "APuRyei KaDal," literally, "The back of his neck is on the bed." In other words, lying on his back.
However, Tosafos brings the Aruch, who held that a prakdan is one who lies on his face. (The Rabbeinu Chananel - recently printed on Berachos - brings this down as a "Yesh omrim.") Tosafos asks a strong question on this from a gemara in Kesuvos. Also, Tosafos in Pesachim 108a asks a question from the gemara over there to this Aruch.  Tosafos in Niddah asks another question - according to the Aruch, the word "AParKiD" would be a contraction for "APoy KiD," literally, "Bowing on his face." In other words, lying on his face. If so, why is there a Reish (R) in the word aparkid? In the original expansion there is no Reish! (By the way, the Rashash answers this question.)
To sum up: It seems pretty clear that the majority of Rishonim we have discussed, thought that prakdan means one who sleeps or lies on his back. And the problem with this by reciting Shema is a lack of respect for kabbolas malchus shamyim; and the problem with sleeping this way is that it may bring to inadvertant hotza'as zerah l'vatalah.
Now, let's take a look at the Rambam, and the contradiction in his shitah. Interesting - just about no Acharon talks about it!
To be continued...


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