THOUGHTS ON THE DAILY DAF
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ERUVIN 22 - sponsored by a generous grant from an anonymous donor. Kollel Iyun Hadaf is indebted to him for his encouragement and support and prays that Hashem will repay him in kind.
1) NATURAL PARTITIONS AROUND COUNTRIES
QUESTION: The Gemara asks that if the cliffs of Tzur and the banks of Gader
are considered Mechitzos enclosing Eretz Yisrael, then Bavel should also be
considered a Reshus ha'Yachid because of the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers
that surround it. The Gemara concludes that Eretz Yisrael and Bavel are
certainly not considered Reshuyos ha'Yachid, because if so, the whole world
should be considered a Reshus ha'Yachid, since every land mass is surrounded
by natural Mechitzos (such as the sea).
2) "SHEVILEI BEIS GILGUL"
Why, though, are entire countries not considered Reshuyos ha'Yachid? Since
they do have cliffs and other natural partitions around them, they should be
considered Reshuyos ha'Yachid! (TOSFOS, DH Dilma)
According to Rebbi Yehudah, this is not a question, because Rebbi Yehudah
holds "Asi Rabim u'Mevatel Mechitzah" -- the public traffic that travels
through the area of the natural partitions nullifies the Mechitzos. However,
we rule in accordance with the Rabanan that public traffic does *not*
invalidate Mechitzos. According to the Rabanan, why do these natural
partitions not serve as Mechitzos making Eretz Yisrael and Bavel into
Reshuyos ha'Yachid? (Even though the cliffs were not originally created for
the sake of serving as Mechitzos around residential areas, nevertheless
mid'Oraisa even a Karpaf that is greater than Beis Se'asayim that was not
Hukaf l'Dirah is a Reshus ha'Yachid!)
(a) TOSFOS (DH Dilma) answers that even the Rabanan agree that public
traffic can invalidate Mechitzos if those Mechitzos were not man-made but
were made by Hashem. Only man-made Mechitzos are not invalidated by people
walking through them. Mechitzos made by Hashem are not considered Mechitzos
if people walk through them.
(b) The RITVA and RASHBA explain that if an area is so large that when one
stands in the middle of the area he cannot see the partitions that surround
the area, the partitions that surround that area cannot make it a Reshus
ha'Yachid (see also Sha'ar ha'Tzion 363:94).
(c) The RAMBAN also says that the area inside Mechitzos that are very far
apart is not considered to be a Reshus ha'Yachid. However, the MISHNAH
BERURAH (OC 345:48 and BI'UR HALACHAH 346:3) points out that the Ramban said
this only regarding Mechitzos that were both made by Hashem *and* which are
so distant that they cannot be seen from the middle of the enclosed area.
QUESTION: The Gemara says that Shevilei Beis Gilgul, the area of winding
roads going up a tall mountain, is considered Reshus ha'Yachid if it is so
steep that a servant cannot carry a bundle of wheat and run in front of his
master with it.
Why must it be hard to climb in order to be a Reshus ha'Yachid? Since the
mountain itself area reaches a height of at least ten Tefachim within a
distance of four Amos, the sides of the mountain should be considered
Mechitzos and the top of the mountain should be considered Reshus ha'Yachid,
even if the roads are very winding such that it is not so difficult to
traverse. (Even though people travel through those roads, the Rabanan
maintain that public traffic does not invalidate Mechitzos.) Why, then, does
the Gemara make it dependent on whether a servant can run up with a bundle
(a) TOSFOS HA'ROSH answers that in the conclusion of the Gemara, even Rebbi
Yehudah (who normally maintains that public traffic nullifies the
effectiveness of Mechitzos) agrees that such a hilly area is Reshus
ha'Yachid even when many people walk through it. Yehoshua gave all the hilly
areas of Eretz Yisrael to individuals, and property owned by individuals
cannot become a Reshus ha'Rabim.
The Tosfos ha'Rosh explains that Yehoshua only gave to individuals the areas
which are extremely hilly, which a person would not be able to ascend
without becoming exhausted. Therefore, the Beraisa stipulates that only such
areas that a servant can run up while carrying a bundle is considered Reshus
ha'Rabim. If he cannot run up so easily, then that is as indication that the
area was given to individuals. An area that is not so steep was given to the
public (and the presence of public traffic invalidates any Mechitzos that
might be there, making it a Reshus ha'Yachid despite its Mechitzos).
However, this would only seem to explain the Beraisa if it follows the
opinion of Rebbi Yehudah. How could the Gemara have thought at first that it
follows the opinion of the Rabanan?
(b) TOSFOS (DH v'Eizehu) explains as follows. The Gemara later (89b) teaches
the Halachah of a "Mechitzah Nidreses." Even though Mechitzos ten Tefachim
high are viewed to continue upward until the sky (via "Gud Asik") and the
entire area above those Mechitzos is Reshus ha'Yachid, nevertheless if it is
a Mechitzah which people *step over*, the presence of people stepping over
it prevents "Gud Asik" from working.
Even though the mountain of Beis Gilgul is considered a Reshus ha'Yachid
since it has Mechitzos all around it (that is, the sides of the mountain
reach a height of ten Tefachim within four Amos, and therefore the sides are
considered Mechitzos), nevertheless in order for the area on *top* of the
mountain to be considered Reshus ha'Yachid, we must apply "Gud Asik" (in
order to view the sides of the mountain as extending upwards above the
mountain top and enclosing that area). If that area would be trampled by
public traffic, "Gud Asik" would not be able to work. Therefore, says
Tosfos, if it is not such a steep hill and the public can climb it easily,
it is not considered a Reshus ha'Yachid because its Mechitzos are "trampled
over." It is as if it does not have Mechitzos above the top of the mountain.
But if it is very steep and not easy to traverse, then the Mechitzos are not
being trampled over and they remain intact. "Gud Asik" makes the Mechitzos
go up to the sky and enclose the top of the mountain, making it a Reshus