Sunday, November 12, 2006

Daf Yomi - Beitza 17 - Ploys and Ruses

The Gemora cites a Braisa where someone established an eruv tavshilin and subsequently ate from it before he was able to cook for Shabbos. He is not permitted to cook for Shabbos but he is allowed to cook for Yom Tov and the leftovers will be for Shabbos. It is considered a ploy to cook directly for Shabbos and claim that he is expecting guests for Yom Tov. This ruse is not allowed and if he would do that, the food is prohibited. The Chachamim were concerned that if the food would be permitted, people would tend to be less meticulous in making an Eruv other times.

Rashi and Tosfos both ask from a Gemora on 11b that does allow for a certain ruse to be performed on Yom Tov. One is not permitted to salt meat which he will not be eating on Yom Tov since it is considered unnecessary exertion. Rav Ada rules that one may salt one piece of meat and then change his mind on this piece and decide that he would rather eat another. He can salt the second piece and then do the same with the third and continue in this manner until all of his meat is salted. Why is this ploy allowed?

Rashi and Tosfos both answer that regarding the salting, there is no melacho being perfomed since tanning is not applicable by foods. The fact that there will be unnecessary exertion with the salting is negated by the flip-side of not slaughtering on Yom Tov out of fear that the meat will spoil. This will cause a detraction in the simchas Yom Tov. Our Gemora is concerned about cooking which is a melocha and therefore we do not allow the ruse of cooking and claiming that there are guests coming.

It is noteworthy that not all ploys are judged the same. Sheorim Mitzuyanim B'halacha cites a Gemora in Shabbos 139b that permits a talmid chocham to perform a certain ruse. Rav Huna was allowed to put a clove of garlic in a barrel of wine to seal the opening thereby stopping the wine from coming out. His claim was that he did this in order to store the garlic away. This is actually a melocha of fixing the barrel and nonetheless we allow a talmid chocham to do this.

Rav Huna also went to sleep in a Gentile's ferry in order to guard his fruit on the other side even though he knew that the ferry will be crossing the river. He was allowed to claim that he was just going to sleep.

The Gemora there states that since the concern is regarding Rabbinical melochos, we allow a talmid chocham to perform such ploys for he will not transgress this prohibition outright.

There is another Gemora in Shabbos 95a which allows a wife or daughter of a talmid chocham to wash various utensils in different parts of the house. This is permitted even though her intent is to wash the floor which is normally prohibited.

We have one Gemora that prohibits anyone from performing a ruse, one Gemora that permita a talmis chocham, one that permits a wife of a talmid chocham and one that allows anyone.

Obviously, not all ploys and ruses are treated the same - what the rule is, we are not sure.

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