Saturday, October 28, 2006

Daf Yomi - Beitza 2 - Two Types of Muktza

If an egg was laid on Yom Tov, Bais Shammai rules that one is permitted to eat it on Yom Tov and Bais Hillel disagrees. Tosfos wonders why the Mishna states tochal, that one is permitted to eat it, and lo tochal, that one is prohibited to eat it. Why did the Mishna not state matirin, it is permitted, and osrin, prohibited? Tosfos answers that one might have erroneously assumed that it is permitted for one to handle the egg but it is forbidden to eat it.

Reb Menachem Kohn zt”l in his Sefer Ateres Avi explains the answer of Tosfos according to the Chasam Sofer who writes that there are two types of muktzeh. One type of muktzeh is derived from the verse regarding the manna where it is said vehayah bayom hashishi veheichinu eis asher yaviu, and it shall be that on the sixth day when they prepare what they bring, which means that one should prepare the Shabbos and Yom Tov meals beforehand and if one does not, one is forbidden to eat from that food. A second type of muktzeh is the muktzeh instituted by Nechemiah that one cannot handle certain objects on Shabbos as there is a concern that he might carry them into a public domain.

There are differences between the two types of muktzeh. One who did not prepare a food item prior to Shabbos or Yom Tov is prohibited from eating the food, whereas an object that is muktzeh because of the decree of Nechemiah cannot be handled on Shabbos or on Yom Tov. A further distinction between the two categories of muktzeh is that the decree of Nechemiah was only instituted with regard to utensils, whereas food cannot become muktzeh unless it was not prepared prior to Shabbos or Yom Tov.

Based on the words of the Chasam Sofer, we can now understand the answer of Tosfos. Given the fact that the decree of Nechemiah was not instituted regarding food items, the egg would only be muktzeh because it was not prepared prior to Yom Tov and one may have assumed that there would be a prohibition from eating the egg. Therefore, Bais Shammai teaches that one is permitted to eat the egg. Bais Hillel, however, who maintains that the egg is muktzeh and cannot be eaten, maintains that the egg forfeits its status as a food item and subsequently the egg also cannot be handled.

The Bircas Avrohom qualifies this novel approach and writes that a food can only forfeit its status as a food item if the food was definitely muktzeh. A food item that is only possibly muktzeh does not forfeit its status as a food and subsequently one would be permitted to handle the food.

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Anonymous said...

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