Sunday, October 2, 2011

Ze Keili VeAnveihu זה אלי ואנוהו

This is an addendum to one of my earlier posts which discussed Ze Keili Veanveihu.

Just a quick briefing:
"זה אלי ואנוהו" - התנאה לפניו במצוות 
(מסכת שבת קלג/ב)

In that post I mentioned that according to some rabbanim, there's no concept of Ze Keili Veanveihu in something which is concealed from the eye (i.e. Tefillin). Yesterday I saw that the Keset HaSofer explicitly disagrees and even brings a proof from the Aron HaKodesh, which was gold coated not only externally but internally as well. That is because, says the Keset Hasofer, of Ze Keili Veanveihu. See below (here is the original):

 ג) ל כ ת ח ל ה  יכ ת ו ב  כ ת י ב ה  גס ה  ק צ ת  של א  יהיו נמ ח ק י ם  מ ה ר ה  וכ ן
 מצו ר ,  לי פ ו ת ן  מ ב פ נ י ם  שה ר י  בי ה מ ״ ק  הי ה  מצ ו פ ה  זה ב  מ ב פ נ י ם ,

 ה) הס ו פ ר י ם  הז ר י ז ים עו ש י ם  ג׳  מי נ י  קל פ י ם  לש ל  רא ש  ה ע ב  י ו ת ר
 ל כ ת ו ב  בו  פ׳  שמ ע  שה י א  ק ט נ ה ,  ו ה ד ק  ממ נ ו  לפ י  וה י ה  כי
 י ב י א ך  שה י א  יו ת ר  ג ד ו ל ה ,  ול פ י  קד ש  ול פ י  וה י ה  א ם  שס ו ע  שה ן
 א ר ו כ ו ת  עו ש י ם  קל ף  דק  מ א ד  וב ז ה  י ת מ ל א ו  ה ב ת י ם  בש ו ה  וזהו  נו י
 ה פ י ל י ן 
Just delving a bit more in this subject, I think we can use the classical yeshivish distinction of Gavra (גברא) and Cheftza (חפצא) to explain the two sides of this discussion; if the concept of Ze Keili is upon the person (גברא) so he knows what's hidden and if there's something nice in it like a well-written parsha or in the case of the Aron Kodesh, gold coated wood, the person will think he is exalting the Mitzva and it will count as Ze Keili Veanveihu.

However, if Ze Keili relates exclusively to the item (חפצא), then when you look at the item there's nothing special about the hidden gold coat or the special parshiot. The item just looks the same as any other and therefore only an external embelishment will make it special. Hence the wording ZE keili, the word ZE ("this") is usually referred to something you can point at i.e. not hidden.

What option do you think is more correct? If you think nobody would spend money on a hidden embellishment and that therefore the first opinion doesn't make sense, here's a famous story that illustrates the psychology behind the first opinion, although is not Torah related. Here it is - Lehavdil!
Steve Jobs has a many enviable qualities. His attention to detail, his ability to grasp what people actually want, his management style and presentation skills are all things that many CEO's envy.

(...)That scenario almost repeated itself with the original Mac. Upon seeing the mother board Steve deemed it ugly. When designers pointed out that the only service technicians would actually see the motherboard, Steve shot back famously "I'll see it." (source)

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