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Beitzah 14

BEITZAH 11-15 - Ari Kornfeld has generously sponsored the Dafyomi publications for these Dafim, for the benefit of Klal Yisrael


QUESTION: The Gemara cites a Beraisa which states that although the Torah only forbids putting Kil'ayim upon one's body, the Rabanan prohibited even lying down or sitting on top of Kil'ayim, out of fear that perhaps a thread of Kil'ayim will wrap up onto the person. The Gemara asks that perhaps that Isur d'Rabanan applies only when the Kil'ayim is directly underneath the person, but if there is an intervening object between him and the Kil'ayim it is permissible. The Gemara responds with a quote from the Tana'im that even if there are ten sheets spread one on top of the other and there is Kil'ayim underneath them, it is forbidden to lie upon the top sheet. Why does the Beraisa say that the reason for the prohibition of lying on Kil'ayim is because perhaps a thread of Kil'ayim will wrap up onto the person? If it is forbidden to lie even on sheets which are on top of Kil'ayim, the prohibition is obviously *not* due to the fear that a thread might wrap up onto one's body, because there are many sheets separating his body from the Kil'ayim! Rather, it is a Gezeirah to prevent one from taking the Kil'ayim that is underneath him and wearing it. Why, then, does the Beraisa give the reason of a thread wrapping up onto his body?


(a) The RITVA here says that the Gezeirah prohibiting lying on top of ten sheets that are on top of Kil'ayim is actually a "Gezeirah l'Gezeirah," a rabbinical decree made to safeguard another decree. The original Gezeirah of the Rabanan was to prohibit lying directly on a garment of Kil'ayim, lest a thread of Kil'ayim wrap up onto his skin. The Gezeirah prohibiting lying on ten sheets which are on top of Kil'ayim was enacted in order to prevent one from lying directly on Kil'ayim, which would then be Asur because a thread might wrap onto his skin. (Both Gezeiros are considered to be one Gezeirah - - "Kula Chada Gezeirah" -- since they were both enacted at one time.)

(b) The RAMBAM (Hilchos Kil'ayim 10:12) appears to have learned that even if a garment of Kil'ayim is beneath ten sheets, we are still afraid that a thread from the garment of Kil'ayim might somehow get on top of the sheets and reach one's skin. It is all the same Gezeirah. This also appears to be the opinion of TOSFOS (DH Kashim).

The Rambam and Tosfos are consistent with their own opinions. They hold that even if a garment is very hard, it is prohibited to lie directly on top of it. It is only permitted if there is something separating between his skin and the hard garment of Kil'ayim. They consider sitting on Kil'ayim to be a form of "Ha'ala'ah," placing the garment on one's body, because what difference does it make if the garment is on top of his body, or his body is on top of the garment? As long as one's flesh is touching the garment, it is considered Ha'ala'ah. According to this view, it is not necessary to have a Gezeirah to prohibit sitting on Kil'ayim because of the reason that a thread might wrap up onto one's body. Why, then, was such a Gezeirah made? It must be that the Gezeirah that a thread might wrap up onto his body was made to prohibit a garment of Kil'ayim underneath several sheets.

(c) The RAN here infers from RASHI (DH Shema Tikarev) that the prohibition against lying on Kil'ayim lest a thread wrap itself up onto his body is an Isur d'Oraisa and not d'Rabanan. When the Beraisa says that "the Chachamim said that it is forbidden [to lie on Kil'ayim]," it means that it is forbidden because it is a Safek of an Isur d'Oraisa. In the case of the Kil'ayim underneath ten sheets, there is no Isur d'Oraisa, but only a Gezeirah so that one not come to sit on the garment of Kil'ayim itself.

(d) The RAN himself, though, suggests that the Gezeirah of lying on top of sheets which are on top of a garment of Kil'ayim is a Gezeirah to prevent Ha'ala'ah -- to ensure that one does not pick up the garment and wear it. It has nothing to do with the fear that a thread will wrap onto one's body; we are not afraid of that, since the Kil'ayim is below other sheets.

This Gezeirah that one might wear the Kil'ayim, however, applies only to the type of garment that is normally worn, but not to sheets. If the Kil'ayim on bottom is a sheet, it is only prohibited to sit directly on top of it, because there is no fear that one might pick it up and wear it. Rather, there is only a fear that since he is sitting directly on the Kil'ayim, a thread might wrap up onto him. An item of clothing, on the other hand, is prohibited even if it is under ten sheets, because then the Gezeirah that he might wear it applies.

This explanation is supported by the text of the Beraisa which says, "Even ten sheets, one on top of the other, and Kil'ayim *beneath them* [is prohibited]." This implies the prohibited item itself is not a sheet, but is a different garment made of Kil'ayim.

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