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Eruvin 3

ERUVIN 3 - dedicated to the memory of Sarah Dvosya bas Rav Mordechai (Feldman) of Milwaukee by her children.


OPINIONS: The Mishnah (2a) teaches that in order to permit carrying in a Mavoy, the Korah at the top must not be higher than 20 Amos, because people will not see it there and it will fail to serve its purpose of reminding people that they are in a Mavoy. A Beraisa states that if there is an "Amaltera" on the Korah, then the Korah may be higher than 20 Amos, since it attracts attention. According to Rav, another Beraisa (2b) argues and maintains that an Amaltera does not permit the Korah to be higher than 20 Amos, while according to Rav Nachman bar Yitzchak, the Beraisas do not argue, and both agrees that an Amaltera permits the Korah to be higher than 20 Amos.

The Gemara gives two opinions concerning what an Amaltera is. According to one opinion, it is a decorative beam adorned with carved figures of birds' nests. According to another opinion, it is comprised of long strips of cedar wood. According to the first opinion, only decorations of birds' nests constitute an Amaltera, since they are very decorative and eye-catching. According to the second opinion, strips of cedar wood catch the eye as well, since they are longer than normal beams. What is the Halachic ruling?

(a) The RAMBAM (Hilchos Shabbos 17:15) rules that the Amaltera must be very decorative, such as birds' nests. (The DARCHEI MOSHE OC 363 HAGAHOS ASHIRI, who explains that any unusual design on the Korah which attracts the attention of bypassers also constitutes an Amaltera.)

(b) However, the RASHBA, TUR (OC 363) and SHULCHAN ARUCH (OC 363:26) rule in accordance with the second opinion, that cedar beams also constitute an Amaltera. (It should be noted, however, that the BACH understands the TUR to be ruling like the Rambam, claiming that the Beis Yosef's understanding of the Tur is based on an typographical error.)

How must cedar beams be placed to allow a Korah to be placed above 20 Amos?
(a) RASHI says that long cedar beams which protrude from the wall (of the Ulam or the entrance to a Mavoy) are very noticeable. That is, they serve to remind people that they are nearing the entrance to the Mavoy even if they are placed above 20 Amos.

From Rashi's words it seems that the cedar beams extended from one wall to the opposite wall of the Mavoy, like a normal Korah. If so, how could people standing inside the Mavoy notice that they were exceedingly long? Even if they extended straight through the walls and protruded from the other side, people in the Mavoy could not see how long they were!

Perhaps Rashi means that cedar beams which stretch from one side of a Mavoy to the other are longer than the usual cedar beam, and therefore they attract the attention of bypassers.

Alternatively, perhaps Rashi means that the cedar beams extended *outwards* from the *ends* of the Mavoy walls, in addition to a Korah which was placed atop the walls. People would notice the protruding cedar beams no matter how high they were, and their attention would thus be drawn to the Korah which marked the end of the Mavoy.

(b) RABEINU YEHONASAN explains that the cedar beams were *decorated with drawings*, and they extended across the Mavoy. Since they were of such precious wood, and since they had designs on them, they attracted the attention of bypassers.


OPINIONS: Abaye and Rava argue regarding the size of the Amah used for various Halachos. Abaye says that some dimensions are measured with an Amah which is five Tefachim long, while others are measured with a six-Tefach Amah. Whichever Amah will result in the most stringent measure is the one which is used for that particular measure.

Rava, on the other hand, maintains that all measures use the six-Tefach Amah. The stringency is reflected by using either an Amah "Sochekes" or an Amah "Otzeves." The RASHBA (Avodas ha'Kodesh 1:3:5) explains that the difference between an Amah Sochekes and an Amah Otzeves is half of a fingerbreadth (Etzba). (There are four Etzba'os in a Tefach, and thus there are 24 Etzba'os in an Amah. Since the difference between the Amah Sochekes and the Amah Otzeves is half of an Etzba, the Amah Sochekes is 1/48th longer than the Amah Otzeves.) The Rishonim explain that the Rashba's source is the Gemara in Pesachim (86b) which mentions an Amah which is half an Etzba longer than the normal Amah.

There is disagreement among the Rishonim, however, exactly how to apply the stringency of using an Amah Sochekes or Otzeves according to Rava.

(a) The RASHBA (in Chidushei ha'Rashba) says that according to Rava, the laws of Sukah, Mavoy, and Kil'ayim each use only one type of Amah. Sukah uses only the Amah Otzeves, even with regard to the minimum length of a wall (even though using the Amah Otzeves results in a leniency there). Mavoy, too, uses only the Amah Otzeves, even with regard to the minimum length of a wall. Kil'ayim uses only the Amah Sochekes, even for measuring the distance between rows of grapevines for the Halachah of "Ritzufin." This also may be the opinion of Rashi (end of 3b and top of 4a).

The Rashba explains that this can be inferred from the fact that the Gemara does not ask the same questions on the opinion of Rava as it asks on the opinion of Abaye. This indicates that Rava maintains that the standard used for all measures in each category follow the majority (Rov) of measures in that category. Abaye, on the other hand, does not follow the majority of measures of each category, but rather applies whatever Amah is more stringent, because he maintains that mid'Oraisa the Amah is six Tefachim long, and the Rabanan devised the five-Tefach Amah as a stringency (where applicable).

How can Rava allow a person to be lenient with regard to Mitzvos of the Torah? Apparently, he maintains that mid'Oraisa, the Amah is six Tefachim long, but the Torah *left it up to the Rabanan* to decide whether the Amah used for any particular measure is an Amah Sochekes or an Amah Otzeves. (This concept is known as "Masrecha ha'Kasuv l'Chachamim." An example of its application appears in Mo'ed Katan 18a.) Alternatively, Rava maintains that the Torah allows for a *flexible range* of the Amah, including both the Amah Sochekes and the Amah Otzeves. The Torah calls both of them "Amah." (M. Kornfeld)

(b) The BA'AL HA'ME'OR and the RAMBAM (Hilchos Shabbos 17:36), however, argue with the Rashba. They rule in accordance with Rava, but they explain that Rava means that with each Halachah we must use the more stringent Amah (like Abaye says), either Sochekes or Otzeves, whichever is more stringent in the particular application.

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