THOUGHTS ON THE DAILY DAF
brought to you by Kollel Iyun Hadaf of Har Nof
Rosh Kollel: Rav Mordecai Kornfeld
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ERUVIN 45 - Dedicated in memory of Meir Menachem (Max) Turkel, whose
Yahrzeit is the 5th of Teves, by his wife, Jean, and his sons, Eddie and
1) DESECRATING SHABBOS TO DEFEND A JEWISH CITY
QUESTION: The Gemara cites a Beraisa which states that if gentiles
attacked a Jewish city in order to loot and rob it, we may not desecrate
Shabbos to defend it, since there is no concern of Piku'ach Nefesh.
However, if that city was on the border of a larger Jewish area, then it
is permitted to desecrate Shabbos to protect the city, even if the
gentiles attacked it only to rob it. Even though their objective is to
steal the Jews' money, we fear that they might conquer the entire city and
obtain a stronghold from which to conquer further Jewish towns (thus
creating a concern for Piku'ach Nefesh). Rav Nachman adds that in Bavel,
Neharda'a is considered a border city. RASHI explains that Neharda'a was
on the border between Jewish towns and gentile towns.
What new teaching is Rav Nachman telling us when he says that Neharda'a is
"considered like" a border town. It *is* a border town! Why does Rav
Nachman single out Neharda'a?
ANSWER: The TORAS CHAIM suggests a different explanation that Rashi's. The
Hagahos Ashiri says that outside of Israel, it is permitted to desecrate
Shabbos in order to defend *any* city attacked by gentiles, even if they
come only for money, and even if the city is not on the border of a larger
Jewish area. The reason is because since the Jews outside of Israel live
among the gentiles, every Jewish town is like a city next to a border, and
being conquered by the gentiles will pose a significant threat to the
Jewish populace. The Toras Chaim explains that this is what the Gemara
here is teaching. Since Neharda'a was situated among the gentiles the same
Halachah applied to it which applies to border towns, even though it is in
the middle of a country.
Perhaps this is also Rashi's intent as well. Rashi means to say that one
might have thought that only if the Jewish city is on the border of a
*country* do we fear that if the gentiles overtake that city that they
will attempt to conquer the entire land -- in order to become a more
powerful nation -- and therefore Piku'ach Nefesh is involved. Rav Nachman
adds that even if the city is in the *middle* of a country, but it is
bordering on a Jewish section of the country, we fear that the gentiles
will, instead of just taking money, decide to try to torment the
neighboring Jews -- just for the sake of persecuting the Jews -- and
therefore the Jews must defend themselves.
2) THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN OBJECTS THAT HAVE NO "MAKOM SHEVISAH" AND A MAN
WHO HAS NO "MAKOM SHEVISAH"
QUESTION: The Chachamim maintain that ownerless objects are not Koneh
Shevisah. The Gemara explains that if a person is not Koneh Shevisah, then
he may not walk at all beyond his place (four Amos). If an ownerless
object is not Koneh Shevisah, it may be moved as far as the person who
picks it up may go. Why is it that a man who was not Koneh Shevisah is
severely restricted in how far he may walk, while objects that are not
Koneh Shevisah have an unlimited Techum?
ANSWER: Since objects do not have any Techum, they become subordinate to
the person who picks them up and they acquire that person's Techum. A
person, however, is subordinate to no one but himself, and he himself has