BACKGROUND ON THE DAILY DAF
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Previous daf MENACHOS 40
1) [line 1] SADIN B'TZITZIS - Is one required to attach Tzitzis (the Techeles threads of which (at least) are wool) to a linen cloak?
2) [line 3] KOL HA'MATIL TECHELES [B'SADINO] - anyone who attaches Techeles to his linen cloak
3) [line 4] EINO ELA MIN HA'MASMIHIN - is one of those who make others wonder [at their strange behavior]
4) [line 5] LEFI SHE'EIN BEKI'IN - since they are not well-versed [enough to learn "Semuchin" (see Daf 39b), which is the source that permits attaching woolen strings to linen garments to fulfill the Mitzvah of Tzitzis. These people will mistakenly think that attaching woolen strings to linen garments is permitted in any instance]
5) [line 6] V'LIRMU BEI ASARAH - Let ten [Talmidei Chachamim] attach [woolen Tzitzis to their linen garments]
6) [line 6] V'NAFKEI L'SHUKA - and go out to the marketplace
7) [line 7] U'MEFARSEMA L'MILSA - and publicize the matter
8) [line 7] KOL SHE'KEN D'MASMEHEI ILAVAN - all the more so will people wonder [at the behavior of the Talmidei Chachamim, and they will surely permit wearing Sha'atnez]
9) [line 8] V'LIDRESHA B'FIRKA - Teach it in the Derashah [given on Yomim Tovim, when all of the people will gather]
10) [line 8] GEZEIRAH MISHUM KALA ILAN - indigo dye (a cheap Techeles imitation produced from the indigo plant)
11) [line 9] V'LO YEHEI ELA LAVAN - and let it be [considered as] white! (in which the Gemara stated earlier (Daf 38b) that if a person does not have Techeles strings, he may attach all white strings; i.e. why should we be concerned it someone were to use Kala Ilan?)
12) [line 9] B'MINAN - with [strings of] their own fabric (i.e. linen)
13) [line] YAVO ASEH V'YIDCHES ES LO SA'ASEH (ASEH DOCHEH LO SA'ASEH)
(a) When an Isur Lo Sa'aseh prohibits a certain action that prevents a person from performing a Mitzvas Aseh, the Torah states that the Aseh is able to "push aside" the Lo Sa'aseh. For example, when a person wants to wear a four-cornered linen garment, the Isur of Sha'atnez prohibits attaching woolen threads to it. However, the Mitzvah of Tzitzis requires attaching threads of Techeles (that are made of wool) to this garment. The Torah commands that in this case the Mitzvas Aseh overrides the Lo Sa'aseh.
(b) The Tana'im argue as to the source of this Halachah. Some learn it from the fact that the Torah specifically wrote the Mitzvah of Tzitzis and the Isur of Sha'atnez as adjacent verses (Semuchin), an indication that the Mitzvah of Tzitzis overrides the Isur of Sha'atnez (Yevamos 4a). Others learn it from different sources (Yevamos 5a, Nazir 41a, 58a).
(c) Even though an Aseh normally overrides a Lo Sa'aseh, this is not the rule in every case. The Gemara explains that in certain instances, the Aseh does not have the power to override the Lo Sa'aseh. Some examples are:
1. A Lo Sa'aseh that is punishable by Kares is not pushed aside by an Aseh (Yevamos 3b).
2. An action that is prohibited by both a Lo Sa'aseh and an Aseh is not pushed aside by a different Mitzvas Aseh (Chulin 141a).
3. Only in a case where the performance of the Aseh coincides with the transgression of the Lo Sa'aseh did the Torah command that the Aseh takes precedence. If performance of the Aseh is only accomplished after the transgression of the Lo Sa'aseh, the Lo Sa'aseh is not pushed aside (Shabbos 133a). (There are those who write that if a person begins to perform a Mitzvas Aseh while transgressing a Lo Sa'aseh, even though the Aseh is not yet completed by the time the Lo Sa'aseh is transgressed, it pushes aside the Lo Sa'aseh -- NIMUKEI YOSEF to Bava Metzi'a 33a).
4. If it is possible to perform the Aseh, in the case under discussion, without transgressing the Lo Sa'aseh (by performing the Aseh in a different way or at a different time), the Aseh does not push aside the Lo Sa'aseh (Yevamos 20b -- see TOSFOS YESHANIM to Shabbos 25a). (The Rishonim argue as to whether an Aseh pushes aside a Lo Sa'aseh when it is possible to perform the Aseh without transgressing the Lo Sa'aseh, through the use of a certain item that the person does not currently have the means to obtain (RASHBA to Yevamos 4b).
(d) The Rishonim explored the possibility that an Aseh also does not push aside a Lo Sa'aseh in other cases:
1. When one person performs a Mitzvas Aseh by doing a certain action in which two people transgress the Lo Sa'aseh.
2. When the action is prohibited by two Mitzvos Lo Sa'aseh, and not only one (TOSFOS to Yevamos 3b DH Lo Sa'aseh).
3. When the action is prohibited in another instance by a Lo Sa'aseh and an Aseh, even though in the case at hand there is only a Lo Sa'aseh that prevents it (TOSFOS to Kidushin 34a DH Ma'akeh).
14) [line 13] V'LIVDEKUHA - it should be tested [by the buyers]
15) [line 14] TE'IMAH - a test: (a) a test that can determine if a vat of dye contains Techeles or Kala Ilan (returning the test material to the vat invalidates the entire vat of Techeles dye -- Daf 42b); (b) strings that were dyed as a test to demonstrate the color of the dye (these strings may be sold as valid Techeles strings when they were actually not dyed of the sake of the Mitzvah)
16) [line 14] V'LICHTEVAH A'DISKEI - and let the Rabanan write letters to the dyers of Techeles that returning the Te'imah to the vat invalidates the entire vat of Techeles dye
17) [last line] A'DISKEI LEIKUM V'LISMOCH?! - Do we rely on letters?
18) [line 3] HA MILSA AMRI - I stated this reason [for prohibiting attaching Tzitzis to a linen cloak]
19) [line 3] V'ITMAR B'MA'ARAVA MISHUM D'REBBI ZEIRA KAVASI - and it was stated in Eretz Yisrael (lit. in the west) in the name of Rebbi Zeira exactly like my [words]
20) [line 4] SHEMA YIKARA SADINO B'SOCH SHALOSH - lest his linen cloak tear within three [Etzba'os] of the edge of the garment
21) [line 5] V'YISPERENU - and he sew it up [and leave hanging two linen sewing threads that he will use as Tzitzis]
22) [line 5] TA'ASEH V'LO MIN HE'ASUY
There are certain Mitzvos for which a positive action must be done in order to prepare the object for the Mitzvah; the object cannot be prepared by default. One of these Mitzvos is Tzitzis, where our Gemara illustrates that one may not use strings that were used to sew a garment as the strings for the Mitzvah of Tzitzis.
23) [line 6] SHARA REBBI ZEIRA L'SADINEI - Rebbi Zeira untied [the strings of Tzitzis from] his linen cloak
24) [line 7] KESUS LAILAH - a [four-cornered] garment only worn at night
25a) [line 9] HI SHEL BEGED - the garment is made of fabric (usually linen or wool)
b) [line 9] U'CHENAFEHA SHEL OR - and its corners were replaced with pieces of leather
26) [line 11] IKAR BEGED BA'INAN - we need the majority of the garment [to be of a material that requires Tzitzis]
27) [line 12] AZIL BASAR KANAF - goes after the corner [when he rules whether a garment needs Tzitzis]
28a) [line 13] HITIL L'VA'ALAS SHALOSH - he attached Tzitzis to a garment with three corners
b) [line 14] V'HISHLIMAH L'ARBA - and then cut one of the corners to create another, fourth corner, onto which he attached a fourth fringe of Tzitzis
29) [line 15] CHASIDIM HA'RISHONIM - the early pious ones
30) [line 16] SHE'ARGU BAH SHALOSH - who wove three Etzba'os [of a garment]
31) [line 17] (SHE'PATZ'U) [SHE'BATZ'U] - who wove the entire garment and came within the last three Etzba'os of the end of the garment
32) [line 19] HITIL L'MUTELES - he attached Tzitzis to a garment that already had Tzitzis
33) [line 20] B'VAL TOSIF KAI - he transgresses the prohibition of Bal Tosif, adding to a Mitzvah
34) [line 20] MA'ASEH LO HAVI - his action is not considered an action (RASHI)
35) [line 21] D'GAVRA L'OSOFEI KA MICHAVEIN - that the person wanted to add to the Tzitzis of the garment
36) [line 22] LI'VETULEI - to annul the Tzitzis that were already on the garment
37) [line 23] U'VAL TOSIF LEIKA, MA'ASEH IKA - where he does not transgress the prohibition of Bal Tosif, and his action is considered an action