Sunday, December 03, 2006

Daf Yomi - Beitza 37 - Highlights

The Gemora explains the reasons for the prohibitions listed in the Mishna. One cannot perform the mitzvah of yibum or chalitza on Yom Tov because there is a concern that it will lead to writing. Rashi states that the worry is that the Beis din (Jewish court of law) will write the contract or documents.

One may not generate any form of consecration on Yom Tov since it resembles a business transaction. Rashi offers two reasons why it is forbidden to conduct business on Yom Tov. Firstly, he cites a verse in Yeshaye which states that it is forbidden to talk about business matters on Yom Tov. A second reason is because business transaction can lead to writing which is Biblically forbidden. (37a)
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The Mishna had ruled that one cannot separate terumah and maasros on Yom Tov. Additionally, one cannot bring the terumos to the kohen. The Gemora qualifies this ruling to be referring to terumah which was separated prior to Yom Tov; however chalah may be separated and given to the kohen from dough that is baked on Yom Tov. (37a)

The Gemora cites the last ruling of the Mishna that the only difference in halacha between Shabbos and Yom Tov is regarding the preparation of food for Yom Tov. This statement is questioned from the previous Mishna which ruled that one may lower the fruits through the skylight in order to prevent a financial loss on Yom Tov but not on Shabbos.

The Gemora attempts to resolve this contradiction by stating that Mishna which rules that certain activities are permitted on Yom Tov to prevent financial loss is in accordance with Rabbi Yehoshua. The Mishna that equates Shabbos and Yom Tov is in accordance with Rabbi Eliezer.

The Gemora presents a dispute regarding an animal and its offspring that fall into a pit on Yom Tov. One is allowed to lug an animal out of a pit providing that it will be slaughtered and used on Yom Tov. It is Biblically prohibited to slaughter an animal and its offspring on the same day and therefore it should be permitted to pull only one of the animals out. Rabbi Eliezer rules that one can pull one of the animals out and provide food for the other in the pit in order to sustain it and ensure that it doesn’t die. Rabbi Yehoshua maintains that one is permitted to pull out one of the animals with the intent of slaughtering it on Yom Tov and afterwards he can decide against slaughtering it. Subsequently, he can haul the second one out and decide which of the animals he wants to slaughter.

It is evident that Rabbi Yehoshua permits certain activities to be done on Yom Tov in order to prevent a financial loss and Rabbi Eliezer maintains that this is forbidden.

Abaye rejects this analogy and makes a distinction between the two cases. Perhaps Rabbi Eliezer does not allow the second animal to be hauled up because it is possible to sustain it where it is presently but he will permit the lowering of the fruits since otherwise they will spoil. Perhaps Rabbi Yehoshua permitted both animals to be pulled up since it is possible to accomplish that through the ploy that he mentioned; however he will prohibit the fruits from being lowered.

The Gemora concludes that the two Mishnayos can represent the opinions of Beis Shamai and Beis Hillel. The Mishna on daf 12 cites a dispute between Beis Shamai and Beis Hillel regarding transferring objects that are not food related from one domain to another on Yom Tov. Beis Shamai maintains that one cannot carry a child, a lulav, or a Sefer Torah into a public domain and Beis Hillel permits it.

It can be said that Beis Shamai forbids the carrying or handling of objects that are not for the direct purpose of Yom Tov and Beis Hillel allows this. The Gemora questions this comparison by saying that perhaps there is a distinction between carrying and handling. The Gemora answers that the analogy is correct because handling objects on Yom Tov is forbidden as a decree that it will bring about carrying. (37a)

One is limited to walk on Shabbos or Yom Tov more than 2,000 amos beyond the place that is considered his residence. This law applies to objects as well. The Mishna discusses the halachos pertaining to different items and their specific laws.

A person’s animal and his utensils have the same boundary as the person himself. If one gives his animal to his son or a shepherd, the animal has the same boundary as the owner.

The next case the Mishna discusses is where brothers inherited a house and everything in it but have not yet divided them and they presently share the utensils. If a utensil is designated for one brother, this utensil has the same boundary as that specific brother. If it is not designated for any brother, the utensil can only be taken to a place where all the brothers can go. (37a)

The Mishna ruled that one who gives his animal to his son or a shepherd, the animal has the same boundary as the owner.

The Gemora states that this is inconsistent with the viewpoint of Rabbi Dosa who rules that if one gives his animal over to a shepherd, the animal has the same boundary as the shepherd. This is the halacha even if the animal was not given over until after Yom Tov started.

The Gemora answers that Rabbi Dosa is referring to a case where there is only one shepherd in the city and therefore it is evident that the owner will assign the animal to the shepherd. Since they are both aware of this prior to the commencement of Yom Tov, the animal is established in the boundary of the shepherd. (37a – 37b)

The Gemora cites a braisa that rules regarding two people that borrowed a garment in partnership. One intended to wear it in the morning to go the Beis Medrash and the other intended to wear it in the evening to go to a party. One of them made an eruv techumin to the north and the other made one to the south. An eruv techumin is a mechanism where a person can extend the techum in one direction. This is done by placing food before Yom Tov at a place that is within 2,000 amos. This determines that his legal dwelling is at the location of the food. The braisa rules that the garment must remain in an area that is mutual to both people.

The Gemora presents a dispute regarding two people that purchased a barrel and an animal in partnership prior to Yom Tov and they divided it on Yom Tov. Rav rules that they each can take their portion of the wine from the barrel in their complete boundary but the animal must remain in an area which is mutual to both of them. Shmuel maintains that the barrel also must remain in area which is mutual to both of them.

Shmuel’s reasoning is because he does not hold of the principle of bereira and therefore we cannot say that it has been retroactively clarified as to whose portion was whose. Since each person’s portion has some of the others portion included in his, he cannot take the barrel unless it is an area mutual to both of them.

Rav subscribes to the principle of bereira and therefore the portion of wine they received was always considered exclusively theirs and therefore each one can take the wine to his complete boundary. The animal must remain in an area which is mutual to both of them since each portion of the animal comprises nutrients drawn from the others portion.

Rav Kahana and Rav Assi asked Rav as to the reason why he is not concerned about the element of muktza. Since it was clearly their intent to divide the animal, it should be considered as if they each put the other one’s portion out of his mind and therefore each portion should be regarded as muktza. Rav kept quiet and did not answer this question. (37b)