Friday, August 24, 2007

Carrying a Siddur on Shabbos - Yevamos 114 - Daf Yomi

The following is a discussion from Meorot HaDaf HaYomi: In places without a kosher eiruv, it is forbidden to carry outside on Shabbos. Today, most shuls are well stocked with siddurim. However, in generations gone by, people had to bring their own siddurim from home. It was then a common question how to daven in shul on Shabbos, if one could not carry his siddur from home. R’ Akiva Eiger was once asked if a child could be given a siddur to carry to shul for his parents. For their own benefit: As we learn in our sugya, children may not be fed forbidden foods. Similarly, they may not be encouraged to transgress other prohibitions. However, the Rashba rules that this applies only to Torah prohibitions. Children may be encouraged to transgress a Rabbinic prohibition. As a proof, the Rashba cites the Gemara (Shabbos 139a), that forbids encouraging a child to sow kilayim (mixed seeds) even outside of Israel, where the prohibition is only Rabbinic. The Gemara explains that he might get accustomed to this habit, and continue even after he grows up. From here it seems that only because of this fear, do we forbid encouraging a young child to sow Rabbinically forbidden kilayim. The general prohibition against encouraging children to sin, seems not to apply. The Rashba adds that the fear of him getting accustomed to sin applies only when we ask him to sin for our sake. When we ask him to do something for his own benefit, this does not apply. (For this reason, we encourage children to eat on Yom Kippur). Our streets are not reshus harabim: Accordingly, R’ Akiva Eiger rules that although many Poskim hold that our streets are generally not reshus harabim by Torah standards (since they are not regularly traveled by 600,000 people), it is still forbidden to ask a child to carry a siddur for an adult to use. We may only ask him to carry a siddur for himself, and then look along inside with him (Teshuvos R’ Akiva Eiger 15, cited in Biur Halacha 343). It will not lead to a Torah prohibition: In his public lectures, the Maharam Shick warned against asking children to carry outside where there is no eiruv. However, in his writings he finds some room to be lenient. He explains, based on the Rashba, that the general prohibition against encouraging children to sin does not apply to Rabbinic prohibitions. Furthermore, the concern that he might get accustomed to sin applies only to Rabbinic sins whose Torah counterparts are common. For example, kilayim is forbidden by Rabbinic law in the Diaspora, and forbidden by Torah law in Eretz Yisroel.

However, the Torah prohibition of carrying was almost inapplicable in the Maharam Shick’s time, since there were no roads commonly traveled by 600,000 people. Therefore, perhaps small children may be asked to carry for their parents (Teshuvos Maharam Shik, 173).

The Shulchan Aruch’s ruling: This question is relevant only according to the Rashba, who rules that there is no general prohibition against encouraging young children to transgress Rabbinic prohibitions. However, the Shulchan Aruch (O.C. 343) follows the opinion that even this is forbidden. Therefore, there is certainly no room to permit asking a child to carry for an adult, even in a Rabbinically forbidden area.

Chinuch: Furthermore, this discussion concerns only children who are too young to be educated in mitzva observance. Nevertheless, our sugya forbids feeding them Torah prohibited foods. Here, the Rashba rules that Rabbinically prohibited foods may be fed to them. However, the Rashba certainly agrees that once a child has reached the age to be educated in mitzva observance, his father must teach him to observe all the mitzvos – both Torah and Rabbinic. Therefore, he may not carry a siddur even for himself (see Mishna Berura 343 s.k. 3). R’ Akiva Eiger seems to apply that the obligation of chinuch in mitzva observance begins at age nine. The Maharam Shick suggests that perhaps asking a child to carry a siddur to shul is also considered good chinuch, even if there is no eiruv, since one is educating him to daven.


Michael Sedley said...

I see that you are a few day's behind (who isn't in the wold of Daf Yomi).
Yesterday's daf looked at the case of a Woman who's husband is lost at Sea - I posted a link to the famous "Titanic Psak" on my blog, thought that your readers might be interested.

Kol tov,