Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Shabbas 117b – Bahul al mamono

Rava explains the limit of how much we are allowed to remove from the house that is burning to be based on מתוך שאדם בהול על ממונו אי שרית ליה  אתי לכבויי.

This is contrast to 43b where R’ Yehuda Ben Lakish says מתוך שאדם בהול על מתו אי לא שרית ליה אתי לכבויי. Tosfos there (44a) explains that a person has more concern over a dead body than his money so he will put it out on purpose if we dont allow him a way to save the body. The concern over money however is more of when he is allowed to save, he may get so involved that he will forget its shabbas and then put out the fire.

However, the sugya on 65b still needs to be resolved with our sugya. The gemara, when raising the issue of saving clothes from a fire (הערמה), says that according to Rabbi Meir  on 120a we need to allow all clothes for if not,  דאי לא שרית ליה אתי לכבויי, which is like the death case and not monetary case above!

The Aruch Hashulchan in Siman 334 explains the difference between the sugyos as follows. He says that Rashi in 117b writes “ואי שרית ליה לאתחולי בהצלה”. This word is the key to understand, as it is based on human psychology. When a person is heavily involved in the act of saving things due to the fire he may forget its shabbas and chazal need to consider that and therefore use behala to expand the heter and allow him as much as possible so he does not resort to putting out the fire. Once he has been given enough leeway to act, he is calm and focused and we are no longer concerned about him putting it out, but if we limit him partially, then he may have more confusion and forget its shabbas. On the other hand, sometimes we may limit him from getting involved in kibuy, as in saving three meals which is a small act and not even a “start” in Rashi’s words, then the person understands that Chazal limited what he can do and he accepts it as a gezeira mishamayim and the worry is not that he will put it out, and instead we need to keep him away from getting involved in the acts that would make him forget its shabbas.

Therefore, according to Rabbi Meir we must allow all clothes and not limit to 18 as we are allowing him to act, and similarly on 120b, Chachamim allow all vessels including kelei cheres that will explode immediately since once he is allowed to build the mechitza we need to allow him to finish, for if not, this may cause behala and putting out of the fire.

The Aruch Hashulchan does not address Rabbi Yossi on 120b who says the opposite sevara – that by mechitza, he says that “אי שרית ליה אתי לכבויי”- which would seem to indicate that Rabbi Yossi and Chachamim are arguing about the Aruch Hashulchan’s explanation. Perhaps Rabbi Yossi has a different point of argument and is arguing on how sharp the lines have to be drawn between gerama and kibuy and his concern is that we cannot allow gerama because it looks too much like kibuy and this is unrelated to the question above.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Shabbas 120a - saving multiple items in one tallis

The Gemara, based on Rava’s statement that Rav Shizbi misled Rav Chisda, concludes that putting everything into one tallis and taking out is considered hatazala and thus mutar according to everyone.

If we turn back to 19b, we see that there were two talmidim who disagreed  -- one saved with one kli and one saved with many. The Gemara says this is the machlokes in our sugya of Rabba bar Zavda and Rav Huna. The simple interpretation would seem to be as Tosfos explains there that the talmid that saved many keilim was saving to the same chatzer (Rabba bar Zavda) and the one saving only one, was following Rav Huna that even to same chatzer you can only save one.

Based on this, Tosfos on 19b challenges Rashi’s interpretation of the sugya there as Rashi says that the talmid who carried many keilim did it by folding them up together and carrying out all in one shot. But as we said above, this is what our gemara said everyone calls matzil! The Ramban (and Maggid Mishne says Rambam learned this way as well in 23:23), explains that according to Rashi there is a difference between a real mixture where everything is poured together and mixed, as opposed to where all the keilim are put in one tallis and carried out but not really mixed. This latter case is not considered Matzil and only allowed according to Rabba Bar Zavda.