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Eruvin 13

ERUVIN 11-15 - sponsored by a generous grant from an anonymous donor. Kollel Iyun Hadaf is indebted to him for his encouragement and support and prays that Hashem will repay him in kind.


QUESTION: In the Mishnah (12b), a certain Talmid said in the name of Rebbi Yishmael that Beis Hillel and Beis Shamai agree that an entrance to a Mavoy less than four Amos wide needs only a Lechi or a Korah to permit carrying in it. They only argue regarding an entrance which is larger than four (and less than ten) Amos wide. Rebbi Akiva maintains that they argue even regarding an entrance less than four Amos wide.

The Beraisa relates that Rebbi Akiva declared that Rebbi Yishmael could not have said that Beis Hillel and Beis Shamai agree concerning an entrance less than four Amos wide, but rather it was a Talmid who said it erroneously in the name of Rebbi Yishmael. Furthermore, said Rebbi Akiva, the Halachah follows that Talmid.

The Gemara asks that Rebbi Akiva is contradicting himself from one statement to the next; first he implied that the Talmid was wrong, and then he rules that the Halachah follows that Talmid! (1) Rav Yehudah in the name of Shmuel answers that Rebbi Akiva was not ruling in accordance with that Talmid, but rather he was merely praising that Talmid for his creative thinking in order to encourage his own students to think creatively.

How could Rebbi Akiva state a falsity in order to sharpen his students?

ANSWER: Rav Gedaliah Rabinowitz in GIDULEI HEKDESH explains that there are two parts to the Talmid's statement in the Mishnah. First, he said that Rebbi Yishmael said that Beis Hillel and Beis Shamai do not argue concerning an entrance less than four Amos wide. Then, he added *on his own* what they *do* argue about -- an entrance which is between four and ten Amos wide.

Rebbi Akiva therefore said that Rebbi Yishmael did not say that Beis Hillel and Beis Shamai agree concerning an entrance less than four Amos wide (rather, they indeed argue even when the entrance is less than four Amos). However, the Halachah *is* like that Talmid in that which he said that they argue regarding an entrance which is between four and ten Amos wide. That is, the maximum width of a Mavoy is ten Amos, not like Rebbi Yehudah (2b and 10a) who says that the Mavoy can be wider than ten Amos.


QUESTION: A certain sharp Talmid was able to be Metaher a Sheretz with 150 reasons. Ravina said that he could be Metaher a Sheretz with a Kal v'Chomer: if a snake, which kills and thereby increases the Tum'ah in the world, is not Tamei itself when it dies, then certainly a Sheretz, which does not kill and increase Tum'ah in the world, will not be Tamei when it dies. What is so praiseworthy about making a Derashah that is not true?

ANSWER: RABEINU TAM, cited by Tosfos, explains that we know that a Sheretz is only Metamei b'Maga (by touching it) and not b'Masa (by carrying it). The Talmid and Ravina's display of insight was that they derived a source for the fact that a Sheretz, even though it is a Chayah (to which Tum'as Neveilah applies), is not Metamei b'Masa when it is dead (just like a snake is not Metamei b'Masa).

How did they know that a snake is not Metamei b'Masa with Tum'as Neveilah? According to Rabeinu Tam, they learned in from the Toras Kohanim (Shemini 10:3) which excludes a snake from Tum'as Neveilah from the words "Kol Holech Al Gachon" (Vayikra 11:42).

AGADAH: The VILNA GA'ON gives a novel explanation for this Gemara. When the Talmid said that he was able to be Metaher a Sheretz with 150 "Ta'amim," he did not mean that he had 150 reasons or ways to be Metaher a Sheretz. Rather, he meant that he had only *one* way, and that was the Kal v'Chomer that Ravina expressed. What, then, did he mean when he said that he had 150 "Ta'amim" to be Metaher a Sheretz?

The verse (Shemos 27:18) describes the dimensions of the Chatzer of the Mishkan as being "a length of one hundred Amah, and a width of fifty by fifty." The names of the cantillation marks (*Ta'amei* ha'Mikra) on those words ("Me'ah ba'Amah v'Rochav Chamishim ba'Chamishim") are Kadma v'Azla, Munach Revi'a. The Talmid meant that by understand the "Ta'amim" (cantillation notes) on the words describing the dimensions of 100 x 50 of the Chatzer, one can find an allusion to the source of the Kal v'Chomer. How is this?

We learn (Sanhedrin 59b) that originally the snake had legs and feet with which it walked ("Kadma v'Azla" -- "it went ahead and walked"). When the snake sinned, Hashem took away its legs and made it lie crouched, close to the ground ("Munach Revi'a"), from where it would bite man and bring Tum'as Mes into the world. It is from the snake, that spreads Tum'ah but is Tahor, that a Kal v'Chomer may be learned to be Metaher a Sheretz!

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