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prepared by Rabbi Eliezer Chrysler
Kollel Iyun Hadaf, Jerusalem

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Moed Katan 10



(a) 'A non-expert is permitted to sew normally'. According to Tana de'Bei Rebbi Yanai, a non-expert constitutes someone who cannot stitch many stitches simultaneously. Rebbi Yossi b'Rebbi Chanina explains it to mean - someone who cannot stitch a straight hem on his garment.

(b) 'An expert must be 'Machliv'. According to Rebbi Yochanan, this means wide stitches; according to Rabah bar Shmuel - it means that the stitches are not in a straight line, but one higher and the next one, lower (both are apt descriptions of a dog's teeth - hence the name 'Machliv' [from the word 'Kelev']).

(c) The Tana Kama of our Mishnah says 'Mesargin es ha'Mitos', Rebbi Yossi, 'Memaschin'. Rebbi Yochanan and Chizkiyah argue over this. One of them explains 'Mesargin' to mean that one arranges the cords on the bed 'Shesi ve'Areiv' - criss-cross ('Shesi - the warp [like the vertical threads that one threads into the loops of the weaving-loom]; 'Areiv' - the woof [like the threads that one then weaves horizontally through the threads of the two sides of the loom by means of the shuttle]). 'Memaschin' then means - to arrange the weft cords only.

(d) According to the second explanation, 'Mesargin' means stretching the cords one way only ('Shesi') and 'Memaschin' - to pull the cords taut should they have come loose.

(a) Rav Tachlifa bar Shaul cites a Beraisa (with reference to the Machlokes between the Tana Kama and Rebbi Yossi) 've'Shavin she'Ein Mafshilin Chavalin Lechatchilah' - creating a difficulty with the *second* of the above explanations: if everyone already agrees that arranging the cords Shesi ve'Areiv is forbidden, there is hardly a need to add that making ropes is forbidden, too?

(b) And Rebbi Meir's statement (in the Mishnah in Keilim) 'ha'Mitah mi'she'Yisrog Bah Sheloshah Batim' creates a difficulty on the same opinion - because we see from Rebbi Meir that 'Mesargin' means 'Shesi ve'Areiv'.

(c) So we now change from the original explanation. Both opinions now agree that Mesargin means 'Shesi ve'Areiv' - and they only argue over the interpretation of 'Memaschin', as we explained before. Note: The Gemara deliberately avoided this explanation, until it was forced to adopt, because it means that we now have a Machlokes in extremes (which we always try to avoid): according to one of the explanations, the Tana Kama permits Shesi ve'Areiv, whereas Rebbi Yossi does not even allow arranging the Shesi only.

(d) The opinion which explains 'Memaschin' to mean just to tighten it, gives the reason for the 'Yesh Omrim' in the Beraisa, which forbids even just tightening the cords of a bed on Chol ha'Mo'ed - because one has the easy option of piling up vessels in the middle of the bed's frame and covering them with cushions.

(a) One is permitted to build from scratch a Tanur, a Kirayim and a mill. A Tanur - is an oven which has space for *one* pot on top, a Kirayim, for *two*.

(b) Rebbi Yehudah says 'Ein Mechabshin es ha'Reichayim Lechatchilah'. Rav Yehudah interprets 'Mechabshin' as 'Menaker Reichaya' - meaning roughing the mill-stone should it have become too smooth (and therefore useless for grinding the corn).

(c) Rav Yechiel interprets it as 'Bas Eina' - making the hole in the middle into which one pours the corn.

(a) Rebbi Eliezer, in the Beraisa, permits the construction of an oven on Chol ha'Mo'ed, provided one does not finish the job - the Chachamim permit even finishing it.

(b) According to Rebbi Yehudah, Rebbi Eliezer differentiates between a new oven and an old one - he permits putting up a new oven (but not 'Mechabshin'), but he does permit 'Mechabshin' by an old one.

(c) Yesh Omrim (Rebbi Nasan) forbids Mechabshin altogether.

(a) Rebbi Yehudah maintains that Rebbi Eliezer permits Mechabshin by an old oven. Now if Mechabshin means making a new hole into which the corn is poured - how is it possible for the mill to have ever functioned without it?

(b) We reconcile Rav Yechiel - by establishing Rebbi Yehudah not by a new hole, but by making an existing one wider.




(a) When Rav Huna (who clearly holds like Yesh Omrim) heard a man roughing an old mill-stone on Chol ha'Mo'ed - he declared 'Who is that, profaning his body by profaning Chol ha'Mo'ed'?

(b) Rav Chama Darshened that roughing an old mill-stone is permitted on Chol ha'Mo'ed. They said in the name of Rav that cutting the nails of a donkey ...

1. ... or a horse that one intends to ride - is permitted, because otherwise, the animal will be in pain and unable to walk.
2. ... that grinds the corn - is forbidden, because, since grinding corn is restricted to the little that one needs for Chol ha'Mo'ed (or Yom-Tov), the donkey can manage easily without having its nails cut.
(c) Rav Yehudah permitted even the latter, as well as putting up mill-stones and building a mill or its wooden stand.

(d) Included in Rav Yehudah's list is building a stable on Chol ha'Mo'ed.

Halachos of Rava regarding Chol ha'Mo'ed.


(a) Rava permits combing a horse and building a manger or a stone -shelter on Chol ha'Mo'ed.

(b) Rava permits bloodletting an animal on Chol ha'Mo'ed. Abaye comments - that he has a Beraisa to prove it.

(c) Rava also permits Kiskusi Kirmi - hand-washing (by rubbing the parts together - see Tosfos DH 'Kiskusi') of clothes (made of thin fabric - Aruch).

(d) Rav Chisda forbids rubbing sleeves on smooth vessels (a crude form of ironing) - because it is professional. Kitri Biri (or Kitri Bei Yadi) - might also mean making pleats in the sleeves (which is professional, too).

(a) Removing earth from a field is permitted on Chol ha'Mo'ed, as long as it is for the purpose of making a threshing-floor, but not when it is to improve the field (because it resembles plowing). We know his intention is to facilitate plowing the field, when he takes earth from higher parts of the field and places it lower down (or vice-versa) in order to level the field. If he leaves the earth wherever it is, then he is preparing a threshing-floor (which is permitted, as long as it is for Chol ha'Mo'ed or Yom-Tov).

(b) Sweeping twigs from the ground is permitted if it is to use the twigs as firewood, but not if it is to clear the ground for sowing. We know it is for sowing - if he sweeps *all* the twigs, the small ones as well as the large ones (seeing as it is only the larger ones that are needed for fire-wood).

(c) One is permitted to drain water on Chol ha'Mo'ed from pools that have gathered in one's field out into the field - provided he makes *two* holes to begin with; one to let fish in, and the other, to let the water out. If he fails to create an inlet for the fish, then it is forbidden (seeing as his aim is obviously to irrigate his field.

(d) One is permitted to prune a date-palm as long as he intends to use the cut branches as animal-food, but not if it is to prune the tree. We know that his intention is to prune the tree - if he cuts only the dry branches from both sides of the tree (if he wanted the wood for his animals, he would cut all the branches from one side of the tree only).

(a) Rava permits cutting unripe dates in half on Chol ha'Mo'ed to eat on Yom-Tov. But he forbids placing a weight on them in order to squeeze out the juice - since the juice will not be ready to drink until after Yom-Tov.

(b) Rav Papa disagrees. According to him - even placing a weight on them in order to squeeze out the juice is permitted, because, if one were not to do that, the dates would become wormy, and it is like business, which is permitted on Chol ha'Mo'ed, if it will spare one from a loss.

(c) Rava forbids business on Chol ha'Mo'ed. Rav Yossi bar Avin - permits all business that will entail a loss from the principle (see Tosfos DH 'u've'Davar') if it is not sold now. Note: One should not confuse saving oneself from a loss (which is permitted), with making a profit (which is not) - see Tosfos DH 'u've'Davar'.

(d) When Ravina once postponed selling goods worth six thousand Zuz until after Chol ha'Mo'ed - he succeeded in selling them after Yom-Tov for twelve thousand Zuz.

(a) When Ravina asked Rav Ashi about collecting a debt (see Tosfos DH 'P'rakmatya') from the people of Akra de'Shan'usa on Chol ha'Mo'ed - he told him that since today he had the opportunity of collecting his debt, and not at a later date, it was no different than a business deal which results in a loss if it is not done now, and which is therefore permitted.

(b) Rav Ashi's source (for permitting saving whatever one can under certain circumstances) is a Beraisa - which permits the purchase of animals, slaves and property on market day and then having it signed and authenticated by their courts (in spite of the fear that they will go and give thanks to their gods for the good deal) - because one is saving from the gentiles what will not be possible to save on another day (which is not market-day).

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