We are continuing in siman 21, regarding the concept of ma’alin bakodesh. Today, we will discuss situations of misusing tashmishei kedusha. The issur of ma’alin bakodesh does not only refer to changing an item’s designation, but to using the item in a less kadosh manner. For example, using an aron kodesh to store other items does not change the designation of the aron kodesh, but is using it for a less kadosh purpose, so it is assur as well.
In siman 154:8 the Shulchan Aruch says that one can make a tenai on a tashmish kedusha before beginning to use it, so that it can be used for non kadosh purposes. It is important to note that this tenai is different than lev bais din. This tenai needs to be spoken out explicitly beforehand. Lev bais din works without explicitly stating the tenai, but rather when something is so common, bais din makes a built in tenai on our behalf without us saying anything.
The Rema adds that the minhag has become to allow use of all tashmishei kedusha for non-kedusha purposes. He writes that the poskim that allow this usage explain that since it has become so common to use these items for non-kedusha purposes, lev bais din takes effect to ensure people do not misuse these items.
The Biur Halacha holds that the Rema’s leniency only applies when it is difficult to avoid the misuse. In such a situation, lev bais din applies, but otherwise it is still assur unless one makes an explicit tenai beforehand.
An interesting question comes up regarding the bimah. In siman 151, the Mishnah Berurah writes that since the purpose of the bimah is for kriyas hatorah, it is assur to use it for any other purpose, including to lean on it. Many people lean on the bimah for various reasons, but the Mishnah Berurah paskens it is assur. Many poskim are meikil on it because since it is so common, they apply lev bais din; however, we saw that the Biur Halacha is only meikil with lev bais din when it is difficult to avoid the misuse. However, since one can simply refrain from leaning on the bimah, the Biur Halacha is not meikil on it. On the other hand, there are poskim who are meikil based on lev bais din, so it is hard to say a person is doing an issur, but one should try to avoid it.
Another question comes up regarding banging on the bimah to make an announcement. The chazan’s amud does not have any kedusha, as the siddur has some level of kedusha, the siddur cover is a tashmish of kedusha, and the amud itself is a tashmish d’tashmish, so it has no kedusha. However, the bimah does have kedusha, so unless one argues that there is a lev bais din regarding announcements for the tzibbur, one should avoid banging on the bimah.
Some poskim raise the question that it appears to be a bizayon to use the bimah as a “banging station”, so one may want to avoid using the bimah either way. However, it appears that those who do use the bimah for the purpose of announcements benefitting the tzibbur have what to rely on.
In siman 158, the Mishnah Berurah discusses leaning on a sefer, and concludes it should be a problem to lean on a sefer similar to the problem of leaning on a bimah. One should try to avoid it, but if it is difficult, one can apply a lev bais din argument that it has become so widespread it is muttar.
The issur of ma’alin bakodesh does not only refer to changing an item’s designation, but to using the item in a less kadosh manner.
Lev bais din refers to when something is so common, bais din makes a built in tenai on our behalf without us saying anything. If it is not a common usage, one may still use the object for non-kedusha purposes if they make an explicit tenai.
One should avoid leaning on a bimah or sefer; however, if one does, there is what to rely on that it is muttar.
Similarly, one should try to avoid banging on a bimah to make announcements. One may use a chazan’s amud for banging because it does not have kedusha.