Thursday, November 17, 2016

Hamapil After Chatzos

In my humble opinion, Rav Ovadiah was one of the most amazing Jews in history. His command of Torah was beyond breathtaking. His literary accomplishments exceed in quantity and quality that of just about everyone else - and at the same time he led a REVOLUTION for Sefardi Jewry in Eretz Yisrael. On the side he raised a large family, was a dayan, Chief Rabbi of Tel Aviv, Cairo and Eretz Yisrael, received people, gave brachos, wrote thousands of haskamos etc. etc. etc. [and he never learned during chazaras hashatz. When he was davening - he davened, he didn't learn]. All of this on about 2 hours of sleep a night [give or take]. The only thing I have energy for after two hours of sleep is  to go back to sleep... And he changed the world.

His son Rav Dahveed Yosef, wrote two sefarim "אורחות מרן" about his daily practices. One fascinating gem: In the Yabia Omer, Yechave Daat and Halichot Olam, Maran writes that one who goes to bed after chatzos doesn't say the bracha Hampil anymore based on the opinoin of the mekubalim. This is despite the fact that this doesn't seem to square with the opinion of the Gemara, Rishonim and Shulchan Aruch that Hamapil must be said all night [the discussion of the poskim regards saying Hamapil when one sleeps during the day]. Since it is a machlokes about a bracha, we say ספק ברכות להקל.

In the year תשע"א [six years ago], Maran asked Rav Dahveed to publicize that he changed his mind and that one SHOULD say Hamapil after chatzos. Now - everyone has the right to change his mind. What I am wondering is - what made him changed his mind?? It wasn't that he unconvered new sources because he covered all of the sources previously. So why did he change his mind?

I am asking a more basic question: How does the mind of a posek work?? What makes them decide one way instead of another when both sides seem equally compelling? Why do they attribute more weight to one source over another or one proof over another [if both seem equally convincing].

This is a huuuge discussion. Just wanted to present it to my beloved friends to give it some thought.