THOUGHTS ON THE DAILY DAF
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Rosh Kollel: Rav Mordecai Kornfeld
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ERUVIN 51 - was generously dedicated by an anonymous donor in Los Angeles.
1) SQUARING CIRCLES
OPINIONS: The Gemara derives from the dimensions of the non-settled area
surrounding the cities of the Leviyim that the 2,000 Amah Techum for Shabbos
is in the form of a *square*.
How exactly do we draw the Techum Shabbos? And how do we draw the four Amos
in which one may carry in Reshus ha'Rabim, and the four Tefachim minimum
width of a Reshus ha'Yachid? Are those distances measured by making simple
lines, or are they "squared?"
(a) RASHI says that the area of one's Shabbos Techum is drawn in the shape
of a square, with the northern side drawn parallel with the north of the
earth. Concerning carrying in Reshus ha'Rabim, one is Chayav only if he
carries more than four Amos, which is drawn as a circle around the person
with a radius that is equal to the *diagonal of a square* of 4 X 4 Amos
(i.e. 5 3/5 Amos). Thus, one is not Chayav until one carries a distance of 5
3/5 Amos in Reshus ha'Rabim. Regarding the width of a pillar, in order to be
considered a Reshus ha'Yachid it must contain at least two diagonals of 5
3/5 Amos (that is, if it is square 4x4 will suffice; if it is circular, it
must have a diameter of 5 3/5 Amos).
(b) RABEINU TAM says that *all* of the measures are drawn as circles. That
is, even for Techum Shabbos the Techum is *not* drawn as a square, but as a
circle with a 2000-Amah radius. Similarly, it is prohibited to carry in
Reshus ha'Rabim a length of 5 3/5 Amos (like Rashi). The width of a pillar,
though, *must* be able to contain a circle with a diameter 5 3/5 Amos. A
square of 4x4 is not enough (not like Rashi).
(c) The RASHBAM says exactly the opposite. *All* of the measures are drawn
as a square, with one side of the square parallel with the north of the
earth. For carrying in Reshus ha'Rabim and for determining whether the top
of a pillar is a Reshus ha'Yachid, the measurements must be square areas of
4 x 4 Amos. (See graphic)
2) TWO EXPLANATIONS COMBINED IN RASHI
QUESTION: Rav Ashi cites the forthcoming Mishnah (52a) as a support for Rav
Nachman, who said that Rebbi Yehudah agrees with Rebbi Meir that an Ashir
cannot establish his Makom Shevisah from a distance. The Gemara cites that
Mishnah and the explanation behind it.
RASHI (51b, DH Ihu) explains first that the argument between Rebbi Yehudah
and Rebbi Meir involves -- according to some Amora'im -- one who expressly
stated that he wanted to be Koneh Shevisah in the given place ("Shevisasi
b'Makom Ploni"). Rashi continues and says that it must be that Rebbi Yehudah
and Rebbi Meir are arguing in a case where the person did *not* state his
intention. Rashi then brings two proofs that the argument is in a case where
the person did not state his intention:
(a) the Mishnah does not say that he stated his intention;
How are we to understand Rashi? First, Rashi says that there is an argument
among the Amora'im whether the person *stated* his intention verbally and
said, "Shevisasi b'Makom Ploni." And then, in the same paragraph, Rashi
proves that it *cannot* be that the person stated his intention! Is Rashi's
intention to prove one Amora wrong? What does Rashi mean here? (MAHARSHA)
(b) the Mishnah says that Rebbi Meir maintains that the person is a "Chamar
Gamal." If he actually stated that he wanted to be Koneh Shevisah in a given
place (and our question is whether that works or not), he should be either
be worse than a "Chamar Gamal" and lose his Techum entirely, or he should
retain his original Techum (see Insights to 49b).
ANSWER: It is clear that our Girsa in Rashi reflects a combination of two
different explanations. (We have seen in a number of places in Maseches
Eruvin that a later version of Rashi's commentary was occasionally printed
together with an earlier version, with no words to differentiate the two,
such as "Lishna Acharina" -- see Introduction to Eruvin, section on Rashi,
see also Rashi 43a DH Halachah.) Here, also, two versions of Rashi's
commentary have been put together. This becomes even more clear after seeing
Rashi's comments on Daf 52a.
Later (52a), Rashi writes two ways of explaining the argument between the
Amora'im how to understand the Mishnah. According to Rashi's first
explanation, everyone agrees that the person did not state his intention and
say, "Shevisasi b'Makom Ploni." The *second* half of Rashi here (51b)
conforms with that explanation.
Then, Rashi (on 52a) cites a second explanation ("Lishna Acharina") which he
says that he prefers. According to the second explanation, most of the
Amora'im agree that the case of the Mishnah is a case where the person
stated, "Shevisasi b'Makom Ploni." One Amora, though, does hold that there
exists one Tana who is of the opinion that one does *not* have to say,
"Shevisasi b'Makom Ploni" (Rebbi Yosi b'Rebbi Yehudah, in a Beraisa). This
second explanation is what Rashi is referring to in the beginning of his
words here. (DIKDUKEI SOFRIM points out that in the Pizarro edition of the
Shas, the words, "u'Plugta" until "Ika l'Man d'Amar d' " did not appear in
the text of Rashi, but were in a marginal note which re-explained the Sugya
according to the *second* explanation of Rashi on 52a. In addition, in the
Saloniki printing of the Shas, there actually appears an emendation to Rashi
which states that Rashi later changed his mind and re-explained the Gemara
in the manner that he rejects here.)
Regarding the questions that Rashi here raises on the second explanation,
Rashi himself suggests answers on 52a:
(a) The Mishnah does not say that the person said, "Shevisasi b'Makom
Ploni," because it is no more than a continuation of the earlier Mishnah
(49b), which *does* state that he said it.
(b) Rebbi Meir, who says that the person is a "Chamar Gamal," argues with
the previous Sugyos that say when there is a doubt about a person's Makom
Shevisah, he either loses everything or retains the Techum of his city.
Rebbi Meir holds that when there is a doubt, the person loses only part of
the Techum -- that part which is not shared by both the place where he
intended to be Koneh Shevisah and the place where he is presently located.