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Beitzah 3

BEITZAH 2 and 3 - have been dedicated by Mrs. Rita Grunberger of Queens, N.Y., in loving memory of her late husband, Yitzchok Yakov ben Eliyahu Grunberger. Mr Grunberger helped many people quietly in an unassuming manner and is sorely missed by all who knew him. Yahrzeit: 10 Sivan.


QUESTION: The Rabanan prohibited eating fruit that fell from a tree ("Peros ha'Noshrin") out of concern that one might then pick fruit directly from the tree. Why was it necessary for the Rabanan to make such a Gezeirah? Even without that Gezeirah, fruit that fell from a tree should be prohibited because they are Muktzah! When Shabbos (or Yom Tov) arrived, the fruit was attached to the tree, and an Isur (the Melachah of Kotzer) prevented the fruit from being picked. As such, the fruit is Asur because it is Muktzah Machmas Isur ("Migu d'Iskatza'i Bein ha'Shemashos...")!

True, the secondary application of the Gezeirah to the case of an egg laid on Yom Tov makes sense, since the egg was not attached to the ground nor forbidden by any other Melachah before it was laid. Why, though, did the Rabanan make the primary Gezeirah of "Peros ha'Noshrin" if fruits that fell from the tree on Shabbos or Yom Tov are prohibited anyway because of Muktzah?


(a) TOSFOS (DH Gezeirah, and in Shabbos 122a, DH Eini) suggests that perhaps this Gezeirah was made only according to Rebbi Shimon, who does not hold of "Migu d'Iskatza'i" as long as a person anticipates that the item will become accessible at some point on Shabbos (or Yom Tov). Since one expects fruit to fall off of a tree on Yom Tov, that fruit does not irrevocably become Muktzah for the entire day.

However, RASHI (24b, DH v'la'Erev) says that even Rebbi Shimon agrees that something which is attached to the ground or to a tree at the start of Shabbos or Yom Tov is Muktzah.

(b) TOSFOS gives another answer, based on the Gemara in Pesachim (56b), which says that even dates on the top of a tree are not Muktzah Machmas Isur if a person owns ravens and he intends for his birds to eat the dates. Since he intends to derive benefit from the dates on Shabbos or Yom Tov in a permitted fashion (without having to pick them), the dates are considered "Muchan" and do not become Muktzah (see Rashi, Pesachim 56b, DH v'Chi Teima). Therefore, when such fruit falls off the tree, the fruit would be permitted if not for the Gezeirah of "Peros ha'Noshrin."

(Even though a person cannot personally derive benefit from dates attached to a tree, but only his birds derive benefit, the Gemara (Pesachim ibid.; Beitzah 6b) says that when a person knows that something is fit for his animals and he has in mind to prepare it for Shabbos use for his animals, he also considers the possibility that it might become fit for himself sometime on Shabbos, and therefore we do not apply the usual rule of "Migu d'Iskatza'i" to prohibit him to eat it if it falls of the tree.)

(c) The RAMBAN (Shabbos 144b, see Insights to Daf 2:5:d) says that no object is "Muktzah Machmas Isur" if one does not *actively* set aside the object from use on Yom Tov. Accordingly, fruit that falls from a tree might not be considered Muktzah according to the Ramban, since one did not actively set that fruit aside. Similarly, according to the BA'AL HA'ME'OR (Insights to Daf 2:5:c) who posits that if one knows that something will become fit to eat later on Shabbos we do not apply the rule of Migu d'Iskatza'i, fruit that falls from a tree that usually drops fruit every day should perhaps be permitted if not for the Gezeirah of Peros ha'Noshrin.

OPINIONS: The Gemara cites two more opinions (in addition to those of Rav Nachman and Rabah) to explain why an egg laid on Yom Tov is Asur according to Beis Hillel. Rav Yosef says that it is Asur because it is included in the Gezeirah of "Peros ha'Noshrin" (fruit that fell from a tree are Asur because of a Gezeirah lest one think that it is permissible to pick the fruit off the tree). Rebbi Yitzchak says that the egg is Asur because it is included in the Gezeirah of "Mashkin sh'Zavu" (juices that flowed from a fruit on Yom Tov are Asur, lest one think that it is permitted to squeeze a fruit in order to extract its juice).

We know that on Yom Tov, it is permitted to do Melachah for the sake of Ochel Nefesh, food preparation (c.f. Shemos 12:16). If so, picking a fruit from a tree and squeezing juice out of a fruit should be permitted on Yom Tov (and certainly fruit that fell off and juice that flowed out by itself should be permitted)! Why, then, do these Gezeiros apply to Yom Tov, when the Melachos that they are safeguarding are Melachos of Ochel Nefesh?

This question touches on a more general one. Which Melachos are included in the Heter of Ochel Nefesh on Yom Tov, and which Melachos are not included in the Heter?

(a) Some Rishonim write that every Melachah that involves food preparation is permitted by the Torah on Yom Tov. The Rabanan, though, enacted that certain Melachos are Asur, even though they involve food preparation.

1. The RAMBAM (Hilchos Yom Tov 1:5-8) writes that the Rabanan prohibited any Melachah that could be done on Erev Yom Tov without diminishing the quality of the food. The purpose for this decree was to ensure that people enjoyed the Yom Tov and experienced Simchas Yom Tov, by preventing people from pushing off all of the work that they needed to do out in their fields until Yom Tov.

The RA'AVAD, who agrees with the Rambam, gives a slightly different reason why the Rabanan did not want a person to save all of his work for Yom Tov. The Rabanan did not want a person to engage in excessive toil on Yom Tov, since that is not respectful of the Yom Tov (see Rambam, Hilchos Shabbos 24:12). The Ra'avad adds that picking fruit form a tree should not be Asur for this reason, since, generally, produce is more fresh on the day that it is picked, and therefore it is not an act which can be done before Yom Tov. Nevertheless, the Rabanan prohibited it, and we find that the Yerushalmi bases it on an Asmachta in the verse (see (c) later).

It should be noted that when the Rambam and Ra'avad say that the Rabanan prohibited doing a Melachah which can be done before Yom Tov without diminishing the food's quality, this refers to the general category of Melachah. That is, we judge whether the general category of Melachah is one which usually needs to be done the same day that the food will be consumed, or whether the Melachah can be done a day earlier without any decrease in the quality of the food. We do not judge the specific act that one wants to do. Therefore, if a Melachah can usually be done a day earlier without diminishing the quality of the food, then even if in this case it must be done today, it is still prohibited.

2. TOSFOS (Shabbos 95a, DH v'ha'Rodeh, and quoted by the RASHBA there) and the ROSH (Beitzah 3:1) explain that the Rabanan prohibited certain acts on Yom Tov because it is an act that is normally done on the weekday ("Uvda d'Chol"). The Rosh defines an act that is normally done on the weekday as any act which is usually done in order to prepare food for many days in advance. Again, whether a Melachah fits this category or not is judged by looking at the Melachah in general, and not at each specific act. This description of which Melachos the Rabanan prohibited is very similar to the Rambam's description. The difference is that the Rambam says that the Rabanan prohibited a Melachah that *could* be done earlier, while the Rosh says that the Rabanan prohibited a Melachah that is *usually* done earlier.

In our Sugya, the Rabanan prohibited fruits that fell off of a tree and juice that flowed from fruits in order to prevent one from thinking that it is permitted to pick a fruit from a tree or to extract juice from a fruit. Even though the Melachah of picking a fruit or extracting its juice is itself only mid'Rabanan, there is a situation where those Melachos will be mid'Oraisa. The RASHBA (Shabbos 95a, citing Tosfos) explains that the perhaps someone will pick a fruit immediately before nightfall at the end of Yom Tov, in which case he is not doing the Melachah in order to eat the fruit on Yom Tov, but in order to eat it after Yom Tov, and thus his act is Asur mid'Oraisa (Pesachim 46b). Alternatively, the Rabanan prohibited a fruit that fell off of a tree lest one pick a fruit that will only be edible the next day, or lest one pick something that the Torah prohibits him from eating, in which case there is no Heter of Ochel Nefesh on Yom Tov.

(b) RASHI (23b) writes, like the Rambam, that any Melachah which can be done before Yom Tov is prohibited on Yom Tov. However, Rashi implies that it is prohibited mid'Oraisa, and not just mid'Rabanan as the Rambam holds. The RAMBAN (Milchamos, 23b) rejects this, asking that according to Rashi it should be permitted to pick fruit on Yom Tov if that fruit will spoil if picked a day before Yom Tov.

It could be that Rashi holds, like the Rambam and Ra'avad, that only *categories* of Melachah that are usually done before Yom Tov are Asur, as we explained in the Rambam above. Since most fruits can be picked a day before they are eaten and remain fresh, it is prohibited to pick *any* fruit on Yom Tov, even a type which will not remain fresh when picked a day earlier.

This will also answer the question of Tosfos (3a, DH Gezeirah), who questions Rashi's explanation from the opinion of the Chachamim regarding "Machshirei" Ochel Nefesh. Rebbi Yehudah and the Chachamim (28b) argue whether Machshirei Ochel Nefesh (secondary acts of food preparation, such as sharpening a spit in order to roast meat on it), may be done on Yom Tov even if they could have been done the day before. The Chachamim permit such Melachos even when they could have been done the day before. According to Rashi, how can Melachos of food preparation, Ochel Nefesh, be more stringent than acts of Machshirin, which are only secondary to the Melachah of food preparation, and be permitted on Yom Tov only when they could not be done before Yom Tov?

The answer to this question is that a Melachah of Machshirin is permitted only when it is done in preparation for a Melachah of Ochel Nefesh which normally must be done the same day. Even if the specific Machshir can be done before Yom Tov, when the primary Melachah of Ochel Nefesh (which the Machshir makes possible) can only be done on Yom Tov, the Machshir is permitted. A specific act of a Melachah of Ochel Nefesh which can be done before Yom Tov is also permitted on Yom Tov, when the general category of Melachah is one which cannot be done before Yom Tov.

(c) Others learn that certain Melachos are excluded from the Heter of Ochel Nefesh by implications in the verse "Ach Asher Ye'achel l'Chol Nefesh."

1. TOSFOS (3a, DH Gezeirah, and 23b, DH Ein) cites the Yerushalmi (Beitzah 1:10) that derives from the verse regarding Melachah on Yom Tov (Shemos 12:16) that the Melachos of Kotzer (harvesting), Tochen (grinding), and Meraked (sifting) are not included in the Heter of Ochel Nefesh. According to another opinion in the Yerushalmi, the verse teaches that any Melachah which precedes Lishah (kneading) cannot be done on Yom Tov. (The two opinions in the Yerushalmi might not be arguing at all, and both are excluding the same Melachos from the Heter of Ochel Nefesh (RAMBAN in Milchamos), or they only argue concerning the specific Melachah of Borer (RASHBA, Shabbos 95a).) Tosfos adds that Tzeidah (trapping) is also prohibited even though it is done for food preparation, since it is similar to Kotzer, and thus when the Torah excludes Kotzer from the Heter, it also excludes Tzeidah. According to this approach, Sechitah (extracting juice) -- which is the Melachah of Mefarek -- and picking fruits -- which is Kotzer -- will both be prohibited on Yom Tov mid'Oraisa.

However, this explanation seems to contradict the Gemara in Shabbos (95a), which says that according to Rebbi Eliezer, one who makes cheese on Yom Tov is Chayav mid'Oraisa for Boneh (building). According to Rashi, he is Chayav because he could have done it the day before. According to Tosfos, though, why should he be Chayav? Only the Melachos which come before Lishah are Chayav; Boneh comes *after* Lishah, and therefore it should be permitted when done for Ochel Nefesh!

Tosfos in Megilah (7b) answers this question by stating an additional rule: any Melachah which -- when done before Yom Tov -- produces a *better- tasting* food, may not be done on Yom Tov. Cheese is better when done before Yom Tov (the older the cheese, the better), and therefore making it on Yom Tov is Asur mid'Oraisa. (Alternatively, the Gemara in Shabbos is referring to making cheese on Yom Tov at a time when he will not be able to eat it until after Yom Tov.)

2. The RAMBAN (in Milchamos, Beitzah 23b) and the RASHBA (Shabbos 95a) cite the Yerushalmi and explain that the Yerushalmi is not referring specifically to the Melachos which it lists. Rather, it also includes anything which is not a Melachah of food preparation. The types of Melachah which the Yerushalmi derives are prohibited are more than what it actually states. This means, first, that any act that is done in preparation for many days is Asur, because that is not considered making food ready to eat, but rather making a storehouse of food. Second, any Melachah that does not make food edible, but merely makes it available (such as Kotzer, harvesting or Tzeidah, trapping), is not considered a Melachah which puts food on one's table and thus it is Asur.

These Rishonim differ from the Ramban and Rosh cited above (a), because according to them, whether or not a Melachah is Mutar on Yom Tov is not determined by whether the Melachah in general is one which makes a food edible, but rather whether the specific act that is being done is an act of making food edible.

(d) Other Rishonim derive that certain Melachos are forbidden mid'Oraisa on Yom Tov, even though they involve food preparation, from the verse which teaches the Isur of Melachah on Yom Tov, "Kol Meleches Avodah Lo Sa'asu" (Vayikra 23).

1. The RAMBAN (Milchamos ibid.) suggests that perhaps "Meleches Avodah" ("a Melachah of labor") excludes a category of Melachah which, although it involves food preparation, is not done to make food edible (same as c:2).

2. Similarly, the MAGID MISHNAH (Hilchos Yom Tov 1:5) writes that "Meleches Avodah" refers to a Melachah that one usually gives to his servant to do. The types of Melachah that are done to prepare food for many days in advance are Asur because one usually gives those Melachos to a slave to do.


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