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Introduction to Eruvin

Eruvin 2

ERUVIN 2 - has been dedicated by Mr. Meir Brachfeld (Antwerp/Yerushalayim) to the memory of his parents, Reb Yechezkel Shraga ben Dovid Yitzchak and Reizel bas Shmuel.



There are four Reshuyos (domains) with regard to the Halachos of Shabbos: Reshus ha'Rabim; Reshus ha'Yachid; Karmelis; Makom Petur.

(a) RESHUS HA'RABIM (the public domain) includes 16 Amah wide thoroughfares or streets which are open at both ends, and open plazas that can hold many people at the same time. (According to some Rishonim, 600,000 people must use the area for it to be considered Reshus ha'Rabim, see Insights to Shabbos 6b.)

(b) RESHUS HA'YACHID (the private domain) is comprised of areas that have an area of at least four by four Tefachim and are enclosed by a ten Tefach high partition on at least three sides, such as enclosed yards, or ditches with these dimensions (since the vertical wall of the ditch acts as a partition). A ten Tefach high mound that is 4 by 4 Tefachim wide at its top is also a Reshus ha'Yachid. Reshus ha'Rabim and Reshus ha'Yachid are Reshuyos which are recognized by the Torah. Transferring from one to the other is prohibited mid'Oraisa.

(c) KARMELIS is the term that the Rabanan gave to certain places and objects that bear similarities to both Reshus ha'Rabim and Reshus ha'Yachid, even though they do not meet all the requirements for either of them. The Rabanan decreed that a Karmelis is to be given the properties of both Reshus ha'Rabim and Reshus ha'Yachid, whichever is more stringent in any given situation, in order to prevent a person from doing a Melachah mid'Oraisa. Some examples of Karmelis are the sea, a desert, and an area in Reshus ha'Rabim that is four by four Tefachim but with a height not greater than ten Tefachim, such as a raised platform, pole, or fenced in area.

(d) MAKOM PETUR, in general, are those places and objects that do not fulfill *any* of the above requirements. Transferring from them to one of the other three Reshuyos is permitted (as long as one does not transfer from Reshus ha'Yachid to a Makom Petur, and then from there to a Reshus ha'Rabim, or v.v.). Some examples of Makom Petur are a doorstep with an area less than four by four Tefachim, a pole in Reshus ha'Rabim with an area less than four by four Tefachim and a height not greater than ten Tefachim and the air above Reshus ha'Rabim (above a height of ten Tefachim). See Shabbos, Charts #1-2.

(By Torah law, there is no such thing as a Karmelis. Every Karmelis is defined by the Torah as a Makom Petur.)


(a) A *Mavoy* is an alleyway which is enclosed on three sides, through which the people of the surrounding courtyards must pass in order to go out to the street (Reshus ha'Rabim). Although mid'Oraisa such a Mavoy is a Reshus ha'Yachid, nevertheless, the Chachamim prohibited carrying objects in a Mavoy a distance of four Amos or more. This decree was enacted because of its similarity to a Reshus ha'Rabim, since many families make use of a single Mavoy. (The source of the word Mavoy is the word Mevo ha'Ir (Shoftim 1:24), meaning the *entrance* to the city.)

(b) Carrying in a Mavoy is permitted if a *Lechi* is placed vertically against one of the walls at the entrance to the Mavoy. A Lechi is a pole, plank, or other object that is at least ten Tefachim high. It serves as a Mechitzah (a fourth wall) or as a Heker (reminder) to signal the border of Reshus ha'Rabim and Reshus ha'Yachid so that people do not transfer objects from the Mavoy to the adjacent Reshus ha'Rabim. (Eruvin 5a, 15a)

(c) Another method to permit carrying in a Mavoy is with a *Korah* (a beam, one Tefach wide). The Korah is placed horizontally across the top of the entrance to the Mavoy, and serves as a Mechitzah (a fourth wall) or as a Heker (reminder) to signal the border of Reshus ha'Rabim and Reshus ha'Yachid so that people do not transfer objects from the Mavoy to the adjacent Reshus ha'Rabim (see Insights to Eruvin 2a, and Graphic #1).

(d) The Lechi and Korah must be used in conjunction with a *Shituf* (see below) to permit carrying within the Mavoy.

(a) A Chatzer is the courtyard into which private dwellings enter. Like a Mavoy, the Chachamim prohibited carrying in a Chatzer which has an opening into Reshus ha'Rabim.

(b) They permitted carrying in such a Chatzer by way of placing a plank ("Pas") at least four Tefachim wide next to one of the walls at the entrance of the Chatzer that opens to Reshus ha'Rabim. The plank is placed perpendicular to the wall of the Chatzer, such that it extends into the entranceway between Reshus ha'Rabim and the Chatzer (see Graphic #1).

(c) Essentially, the "Pas" of a Chatzer is identical to the "Lechi" of a Mavoy, except that the Lechi has no set width, while the Pas must be at least 4 Tefachim.

3) DEFINING A MAVOY AND A CHATZER - Not every Mavoy which has courtyards opening to it is given the status of Mavoy with regard to the laws of Lechi and Korah. In order for a Mavoy to be permitted with a Lechi or Korah, it must fulfill three conditions:
(a) Its length (= the distance it extends away from Reshus ha'Rabim) must exceed its width.

(b) It must have at least two courtyards opening to it.

(c) Each of the two courtyards that open two it must have at least 2 houses in it. (Eruvin 5a)

Any Mavoy which does not meet these three conditions is equivalent to a Chatzer, and must have a 4 Tefach plank at its entrance to allow carrying in the Mavoy.

4) MECHITZOS - Carrying is permitted in a Mavoy or Chatzer only if it has 3 complete walls. These walls need not be physical walls, as long as they are defined Halachically, by way of Halachah l'Moshe mi'Sinai, as walls. Examples of such Halachah l'Moshe mi'Sinai are Lavud, Gud Achis, Gud Asik, Tzuras ha'Pesach, small breaches in the wall which do not add up to most of the wall (Omed Merubah), etc., each of which will b'Ezras Hashem be explained in it proper place.


(a) THE TORAH LAW - According to Torah law, in a courtyard (Chatzer) which has in it houses owned by different people, all of the neighbors may transfer objects from their houses to the courtyard and into other houses on Shabbos. Even though each house is a separate Reshus ha'Yachid, it is permissible to move objects from one Reshus ha'Yachid to another. Such is also the case when several *courtyards* open on a dead-end alley (Mavoy - the Rabanan enacted that a Mavoy must have a Lechi or Korah, see above), or when an entire city is walled. (RAMBAM Hilchos Eruvin 1:1)

(b) ERUV AND SHITUF - King Shlomo decreed that transferring objects from one Reshus ha'Yachid to another is forbidden, unless an *Eruv Chatzeiros* (lit. a mixing of the courtyard, Rambam Hil. Eruvin 1:6; or fraternization of the courtyard, Eruvin 49a) is created on Friday, before Shabbos begins. (Shabbos 14b, Eruvin 21b). (The equivalent of an Eruv Chatzeiros for an alley or a city is called a *Shituf Mavo'os*.) This is accomplished by all of the neighbors collectively setting aside a loaf of bread, in one common container, in one of the houses of the courtyard (or, in the case of Shituf, in one of the courtyards of the alleyway). This shows that all neighbors have an equal share in all of the Reshuyos ha'Yachid, just as they all have a share in that bread. Through this act, they can be considered one Reshus again. (An Eruv Chatzeros uses bread. A Shituf is not limited to bread; any food may be used except for water, salt and mushrooms.) (RAMBAM ibid. 1:4-9)

(c) BITUL RESHUYOS - In the event that the inhabitants of the courtyard did not set an Eruv Chatzeiros before Shabbos, carrying may still be permitted if *Bitul Reshuyos* is done. All of the inhabitants of the courtyard nullify their domains in favor of one of the inhabitants. All of the houses/courtyards in the area are considered the private domain of the person chosen. Bitul Reshuyos may be done as long as the following conditions are met: (1) the nullification is done only in favor of *one* person. If more people are involved, the area is not considered one private domain; (2) the other inhabitants do not transfer objects from their houses to the courtyard or vice versa. Bitul Reshuyos only permits carrying in the courtyard and from the courtyard to the house of the person chosen. If one of the houseowners (other than the one in whose favor the Bitul was done) transfers from his house to the courtyard or vice versa, it constitutes a repeal of the nullification. It becomes once again prohibited to carry in the courtyard.


(a) A person is only allowed to travel a distance of 2000 Amos from his city or dwelling place (if he is not in a city) on Shabbos. If he wants to travel another 2000 Amos, he must make an Eruv Techumin.

(b) This is accomplished by placing an amount of one food that would be used for two meals nearly 2000 Amos away from his present location, in the direction in which he wishes to travel. The location where his food is placed is considered his new dwelling for that Shabbos, and he may travel 2000 Amos in any direction from there.


The third type of "Eruv" is Eruv Tavshilin, which is prepared when Yom Tov immediately precedes Shabbos. This is not the subject of our Maseches, and we will discuss it in its proper place, b'Ezras Hashem.

See Introduction to Maseches Eruvin, [II]:1).

2) [line 9] TAKANTA - rectification
*3*) [line 9] MAVOY D'RABANAN, TANI TAKANTA - (a) By a Rabbinic institution, the Mishnah must first tell us *what* to do, before it tells us what the Halachah is if one does *not* do it. By a Torah law this is not necessary, since the Torah itself has already outlined what to do. (RASHI); (b) Alternatively, by a Rabbinic law it is acceptable for the Mishnah to use a term besides "Pasul," even though there is a possibility that people will mistake this to mean that the law only applies l'Chatchilah. By a Torah law this is not acceptable (TOSFOS)

4) [line 11] NEFISHIN MILEI - there are many laws pertaining to it that are taught in the Mishnah (Sukah 2a)

5) [line 14] PISCHO SHEL HEICHAL - The Ulam (Entrance Hall) of the Beis ha'Mikdash stood before the Heichal (Main Sanctuary). The entrance from the Ulam to the Heichal was 10 Amos wide and 20 Amos high. It had 2 sets of doors, one at either end of the 6 Amos thickness of wall.

6) [line 15] PISCHO SHEL ULAM - The entrance to the Ulam was 20 Amos wide and 40 Amos high. Instead of doors, an embroidered curtain hung there.

7) [line 28] "EL PESACH ULAM HA'BAYIS" - There is no verse that contains these exact words. According to Tosfos, the Gemara is referring to two verses at once: "Ulam ha'Bayis" (Yechezkel 40:48), and "Pesach ha'Bayis" (Yechezkel 47:1). By combination, it is as if "Pesach Ulam Ha'bayis" were written in one verse. (The objection of Rabanan is that the verse *also* states "Ulam ha'Bayis,"). (Tosfos DH d'Chsiv)


8) [line 3] PESACH SHA'AR HE'CHATZER - the twenty-Amos-wide entrance of the Courtyard that surrounded the Ohel Mo'ed

9) [line 4] "ORECH HE'CHATZER ME'AH VA'AMAH, V'ROCHAV CHAMISHIM BA'CHAMISHIM, V'KOMAH CHAMESH AMOS SHESH MASHZAR; V'ADNEIHEM NECHOSES" - "The length of the Courtyard shall be 100 Amos, and its width shall be 50 Amos by 50 Amos (i.e. the open space within the Courtyard *in front* of the Mishkan shall be 50 X 50 Amos), the height shall measure 5 Amos [of curtains] of twined linen, and the sockets [of all of the posts of the Courtyard] shall be made of copper" (Shmos 27:18)

10) [line 6] "V'CHAMESH ESREI AMAH KE'LA'IM LA'KASEF" - "The curtains on one side of the entrance shall be 15 Amos long" (ibid. 27:14)

11) [line 10] PESACH SHA'AR HE'CHATZER IKRI - it is called the "Pesach" (gateway) *of the Courtyard* (and not a standard "Pesach")

12) [line 26] AT'ISEI - misled him
13) [line 30] PISCHA D'MALCHIN - the doorways of kings' palaces
14) [line 39] MIDI HU TA'AMA ELA L'RAV - are we not trying to explain the reasoning of Rav (who says that the basis of Chachamim's ruling is the size of the entrance of the Heichal)?

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