Thursday, October 05, 2006

Daf Yomi - Sukkah 33 - Letters on the Side of a Book on Shabbos

The Mishna ruled that if there are more berries than leaves on the hadas, it is invalid. One can remove the berries before the festival but one is forbidden to remove the berries on the festival. The reason for this ruling is because removing the berries is deemed to be repairing the hadas, and one is prohibited from repairing a utensil on the festival. Rabbi Eliezer maintains that it would be permitted to remove the berries on the festival. The Gemara qualifies this ruling to be referring to a case where he plucked the berries with the intention of eating them. Rabbi Eliezer permits this because he rules in accordance with the opinion of his father Rabbi Shimon who maintains that one is permitted to perform a permitted act although he may unintentionally perform a forbidden act in the process. An example of this is when one drags a chair across the dirt on Shabbos where he may make a furrow in the ground. His intention is to move the chair and not to cerate the furrow, so even though he is aware that he may cerate a furrow, Rabbi Shimon maintains that this is permitted. The Gemara questions this because even Rabbi Shimon agrees that if the prohibition will inevitably occur, it is forbidden to perform the permitted act. The Gemara answers that we are referring to a case where the person has another hadas and when he plucks the berries from this hadas, he does not care whether the hadas is valid. Thus, we do not deem the plucking of the berries to be a repair and he has not committed a prohibited act at all.Tosfos explains that the answer of the Gemara is predicated on the principle of melacha sheaina tzricha legufa, an act that was not performed for a defined purpose. Normally we say that it is rabbinically prohibited to perform an act where one does not desire the forbidden outcome. However, when there is a mitzvah involved, one is permitted to perform the act outright. [Tosfos seems to maintain that the person plucking the berries has intention for the mitzvah.] Teshuvos Imrei Yosher rules based on the words of Tosfos that one would be permitted to study on Shabbos from a sefer that has letters and words on the side of the pages. This would be permitted even though when he turns the pages he is in effect forming or erasing words. The reason for this ruling is because when one is preoccupied with a mitzvah, the Chachamim were not concerned with the prohibited act that will result if the result is unintended and undesired. The Mishna Berura rules that one can even read from a book with letters on the side even if he is not engaged in Torah study. The reason for this ruling is because one is not deemed to be writing or erasing as the pages of the book are meant to be turned. This would be analogous to opening and closing a door which would not be deemed building or destruction because a door is meant to be opened and closed.


Anonymous said...

What is the distinction between dovor sheaino miskaven and a mlocha sheaino tzricha legufa? Please

Avromi said...

In explanation of the sugya, I could not do it better than the daf yomi kollel here

QUESTION: Rebbi Eliezer b'Rebbi Shimon maintains that one may pick the berries off of a Hadas branch on Yom Tov, and the act is not considered "Tikun Kli" (the formation of a new, usable vessel), even though he makes the Hadas branch valid for use for the Mitzvah.

RASHI explains that one may pick the berries because his intention is not to fix the Kli, but to eat the berries. The Tikun Kli that results is a Davar she'Eino Miskaven, since he had no intention to make a usable Kli.

The Gemara asks that even though the act is a Davar she'Eino Miskaven, it is a Pesik Reishei -- even though he had no intention to make a usable Kli, his action definitely will result in the formation of a usable Kli. In the case of a Pesik Reishei, everyone agrees that the act is forbidden.

The Gemara answers that he has another valid Hadas branch, and thus he does not need the branch from which he removes the berries.

How does the Gemara's answer resolve the problem that his act is a Pesik Reishei? Even though he has another Hadas branch, when he picks the berries from the first one he turns it into a usable Hadas. His act is still a Pesik Reishei.

(a) TOSFOS (DH Modeh) explains that since the person has another Hadas and he does not need this one, his act (that makes this one fit for use) is considered a Melachah she'Einah Tzerichah l'Gufah, for which one is exempt according to Rebbi Shimon.

However, Rebbi Shimon agrees that a Melachah she'Einah Tzerichah l'Gufah is prohibited mid'Rabanan. Why is it permitted in this case?

1. Tosfos here explains that Rebbi Eliezer (the son of Rebbi Shimon) permits the act l'Chatchilah when it will enable a Mitzvah to be fulfilled (the Mitzvah of Arba'as ha'Minim). (Even though the person picks the berries from the Hadas in order to eat them and does not intend to use this Hadas for the Mitzvah, since it is possible that someone else will need this Hadas for the Mitzvah, the Rabanan permitted a Melachah she'Einah Tzerichah l'Gufah in this case.)

2. TOSFOS in Shabbos (103a) suggests another reason for why this Melachah she'Einah Tzerichah l'Gufah is permitted l'Chatchilah. Removal of the berries is not a complete Tikun Kli. He does not actually form a new item when he removes the berries from the branch; he merely makes the branch fit for use for the Mitzvah. His act is considered a "Tikun Kal," a "light" Tikun, since it merely gives the item a new Halachic status and makes it valid for the Mitzvah. The Rabanan did not prohibit such a Tikun when it is a Melachah she'Einah Tzerichah l'Gufah.

3. TOSFOS in Kesuvos (6a) suggests another reason for why Rebbi Eliezer b'Rebbi Shimon permits one to perform a Melachah she'Einah Tzerichah l'Gufah in this case. If the person picks the berries from the Hadas and never uses the Hadas for the Mitzvah, it will not be considered a Kli at all. It attains the status of a Kli only retroactively, when the person decides to use it as a Hadas on Yom Tov. Since he has another Hadas, and he may never need this Hadas for the Mitzvah, his act of picking the berries is only a Safek Melachah she'Einah Tzerichah l'Gufah, and not a definite Melachah she'Einah Tzerichah l'Gufah, and thus the act is permitted.

(b) The ARUCH (Erech "Pasak," "Savar") cited by Tosfos in Shabbos (103a) explains that a Pesik Reishei is forbidden only when one benefits from the act. When one derives no benefit from the result of the Pesik Reishei, it remains a permitted Davar she'Eino Miskaven (according to Rebbi Shimon).

(Rashi in Shabbos (75a, DH Tefei) seems to express an opinion similar to that of the Aruch, but Rashi adds that a Pesik Reishei is permitted only when the result of the Melachah is detrimental to the person who did it, and not if he is merely indifferent to it.)

(c) RASHI appears to have an entirely different approach to the Gemara. Rashi explains that a Tikun Kli depends on one's personal preferences. That is, a Kli is not an item which has an objective definition. Rather, if a person does not want to use the item which he makes (such as the valid Hadas that he makes when he picks the berries from it), it will not be a Kli; it will be called a "berryless Hadas," but not a Hadas which can be used for the Mitzvah. Even if it is later used for the Mitzvah, the act of picking its berries is not considered (retroactively) an act of Tikun Kli, because the one who picked the berries did not intend to use it for the Mitzvah.

Rashi is consistent with his opinion elsewhere. In Shabbos (103a, DH b'Ar'a d'Chavrei), Rashi writes that if a person picks weeds from someone else's garden on Shabbos because he wants to eat the weeds and not because he wants to improve the quality of the garden (since it is not his garden), he is exempt from punishment for desecrating Shabbos, because he did not intend to improve the garden by weeding it. Since it was not his intention to beautify the garden, it is not considered as though he beautified it. It is clear from the words of Rashi that beautifying a garden is subjective; the definition of his act depends upon his intention. This opinion is expressed by the MAGID MISHNEH (Hilchos Shabbos 10:17, 12:2) as well.

(Tosfos in Shabbos rejects this explanation, because it asserts that the reason why Rebbi Eliezer b'Rebbi Shimon permits one to pick the berries is not because the formation of the new Kli is a Davar she'Eino Miskaven which is permitted, but because one does not make a new Kli at all. The Gemara should have prefaced this answer with the word "Ela" ("rather"), since it is an entirely new answer for why one is permitted to pick the berries.)

Avromi said...

Barry: as far as your question, here again from the Kollel Iyun Hadaf are a few explanations in the definition of a milocha sheaino tzricha lgufa.


OPINIONS: A fundamental argument concerning the liability for performing Melachah on Shabbos concerns a "Melachah she'Einah Tzerichah l'Gufah," a Melachah "that is not needed for itself." Rebbi Yehudah and Rebbi Shimon argue whether one is Chayav for performing such a Melachah that is "not needed for itself." Rebbi Yehudah says that one is Chayav, and Rebbi Shimon says that one is Patur. What exactly defines a Melachah "that is not needed for itself?"

(a) TOSFOS (10b, DH Meleches; see also TOSFOS in Shabbos 94a, DH Rebbi Shimon Poter) understands Rashi to be saying that a Melachah she'Einah Tzerichah l'Gufah is any Melachah that one did in order to *prevent* something else from happening, or in order to *rectify* something that was already done wrong. For example, a person who carries a dead body out of a house is interested in correcting an uncomfortable situation (the dead body being in his house), and would have preferred that the dead body never have been brought *into* the house in the first place.

However, Tosfos refutes this explanation. When a curtain has a wormhole and one tears some more above and below the hole in order to mend it neatly, he is Chayav (this is the classic example of Meleches Kore'a Al Menas Litfor, Shabbos 75a). Similarly, if one destroys a building in order to build another structure in its place, one is Chayav for "Soser Al Menas Livnos." Rashi, asks Tosfos, should maintain that one is Patur in these cases. The person tore the curtain only in order to fix the damage done by the wormhole, and destroyed the building only in order to make room for another. He would have preferred that the wormhole or building not be there in the first place!

(b) TOSFOS himself (10b, DH Meleches, and Shabbos 94a, DH Rebbi Shimon) defines a Melachah she'Einah Tzerichah l'Gufah as any Melachah not performed for the same reason that that Melachah was performed *in the Mishkan*.

(c) The RAMBAN (94b) and BA'AL HA'ME'OR (106a) write that a Melachah must be performed with the objective for which that activity is *normally performed*. If one is doing the Melachah for a purpose other than its normal objective, it is a Melachah she'Einah Tzerichah l'Gufah.

For example, digging a pit in order to use the dirt is a Melachah she'Einah Tzerichah l'Gufah because, normally, the objective of digging is in order to have a pit, and not to use the dirt. The pile of dirt produced is a secondary outcome of the digging. Similarly, a Melachah performed in order to prevent damage from happening, such as capturing a snake, is considered a Melachah that is not needed for itself, because the normal objective of capturing is to use the animal. The same is true for carrying an object to Reshus ha'Rabim in order to keep oneself from becoming soiled (or Tamei) from the object.

This might be RASHI's opinion as well, unlike TOSFOS' understanding of Rashi (see (a)). This is why ripping the garment to repair a wormhole is considered a true Melachah. The person ripping the garment is interested in having the garment ripped apart (the primary effect of the Melachah) and is not trying to accomplish a secondary outcome of the ripping. The same applies to demolishing a building in order to build in its place. The demolisher is interesting in the removal of the building, and that is the primary outcome of the Melachah.

Avromi said...

In short by eina tzricha lgufa, there can be intention.

Acc to Rashi, he wanted to prevent something from happening, but that was his intention.

Acc to Tosfos, it was not done for the same purpose as was done in the mishkan.

Acc to Ramban, it was not done for its normal purpose.