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Eruvin 16

ERUVIN 16-20 - 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: The Mishnah says that people who were traveling when Shabbos arrived and were stranded in an uninhabited area may put up a make-shift partition around their encampment in order to carry within it on Shabbos. They may put poles in the ground and wrap three ropes around the poles to make a Mechitzah of ten Tefachim high (employing Lavud).

Isn't there is a simpler way to enclose the area? If the people have poles and ropes, they should simply put a *single* rope on top of the poles, instead of around them, and form a Tzuras ha'Pesach around the encampment! (TOSFOS 11a, DH I'leima)


(a) TOSFOS answers that the Rabanan permitted carrying in a Chatzer with a Tzuras ha'Pesach only when the Chatzer is used for residential purposes. That is, it must be a place where a person lives on a permanent basis. They did not permit carrying through the use of a Tzuras ha'Pesach in an encampment in which a person lives for only one day.

(b) The RAMBAM (Hilchos Shabbos 16:16) writes that a Tzuras ha'Pesach helps to close a breach that is more than ten Amos wide only when the length of the Mechitzah that is supporting the Tzuras ha'Pesach is *more* than the sum of the breaches ("Omed Merubah Al ha'Parutz"). According to this, the three vertical strings will be more effective than a Tzuras ha'Pesach when the any of the sides of the encampment are more than ten Amos.

(c) This is one reading of the Rambam; however, the MAGID MISHNAH suggests that perhaps the Rambam means that even when the breach is *less* than ten Amos, a Tzuras ha'Pesach does not help when the sum of the breached parts are greater than the closed parts ("Parutz Merubah Al ha'Omed"). (This is contrary to the apparent conclusion of the Gemara on 11a.) That is, the Magid Mishnah is in doubt whether the Rambam maintains that a Tzuras ha'Pesach *never works* when there is Parutz Merubah Al ha'Omed, or if the Rambam maintains that a Tzuras ha'Pesach does not help only when there are two problems -- Parutz Merubah Al ha'Omed *and* a breach which is wider than ten Amos. If the Rambam means to say the former, it is obvious that a Tzuras ha'Pesach cannot work for an encampment, since the encampment has no solid walls, and therefore it is Parutz Merubah Al ha'Omed.

HALACHAH: The SHULCHAN ARUCH (OC 362:10) rules like Tosfos (a), that a Tzuras ha'Pesach does not help in an uninhabited area such as a valley. The MISHNAH BERURAH (362:57) adds, based on the TUR, that a Tzuras ha'Pesach does not work in a valley only when *all four sides* of the enclosure are comprised of a Tzuras ha'Pesach. It does work in a valley, though, to close a breach on *one side* that is more than ten Amos wide.

The SHULCHAN ARUCH also mentions the Rambam's opinion that a Tzuras ha'Pesach does not work for a breach wider than ten Amos (b). The MISHNAH BERURAH (362:59) says that in practice, it is best to be stringent like the opinion of the Rambam and not to rely on a Tzuras ha'Pesach that covers a breach of more than ten Amos when there is Parutz Merubah Al ha'Omed. The Bi'ur Halachah writes that if the breach is *less* than ten Amos, even if the wall is Parutz Merubah Al ha'Omed a Tzuras ha'Pesach still works (i.e. he does not accept the Magid Mishnah's second suggestion, (c)).

OPINIONS: Rav Hamnuna asked whether the principle of "Omed Merubah Al ha'Parutz" ("the closed part is greater than the breached part") can validate a Mechitzah when the closed part and the breach are both horizontal. When the Gemara inquires where this question would be applicable, Rav Ashi explains that Rav Hamnuna was asking about a Mechitzah Teluyah, a hanging partition which is open at the bottom. Even though the bottom was open, the rest of the partition was intact and was larger than the open area on bottom. We know that Rav says a Mechitzah Teluyah works *only* when it hangs over a body of water. Rav Hamnuna wanted to know if the rule of Omed Merubah Al ha'Parutz can be used to validate such a Mechitzah.

What exactly was Rav Hamnuna's question, according to Rav Ashi?

(a) RASHI explains that Rav Hamnuna's question involved a mat ten-Tefachim high which was suspended above the ground more than three Tefachim, making it a Mechitzah Teluyah. The open space on bottom was smaller than the height of the mat itself.

Rashi's explanation is difficult to understand. Since the case he is explaining is a case of Omed Merubah, why does he say that the mat was "ten Tefachim" high? It would have made more sense to explain Rav Hamnuna's question as referring to a case where the mat itself was a little more than *five* Tefachim, and the open space on bottom was a little less than five Tefachim, making this a similar case of "Omed Merubah al ha'Parutz" to the cases that the Gemara has discussed until now!

TOSFOS HA'ROSH explains that the Gemara had previously suggested that the question of Rav Hamnuna referred to a case of "Omed Merubah Al ha'Parutz" when there were six Tefachim of partition on top and three and a half Tefachim open on bottom. The Gemara rejected that possibility because "Gedi'in Bok'in Bo," young goats can walk underneath the partition, thus invalidating it. If this is an accepted axiom, how, then, can the Gemara suggest now that this is the question of Rav Hamnuna?

For this reason, Rashi explains that the mat itself is ten Tefachim. The Gemara before was referring to a mat *less* than ten Tefachim, in which case the space underneath the mat had to join with the mat in order to make a Mechitzah with a height of ten Tefachim. If young goats can walk through the open part, it is clear that the open part cannot be considered as part of the Mechitzah. In the Gemara's conclusion, on the other hand, there is already a Mechitzah of ten Tefachim (that is, the mat). The only question is whether we view that Mechitzah as reaching the ground through "Gud Achis" or not. In such a case the fact that goats walk though the open part on bottom might not invalidate the Mechitzah, since there is (1) 10 Tefachim of Mechitzah and (2) more Mechitzah than open space under it ("Omed Merubah Al ha'Parutz").

That is, Rav said that Mechitzah Teluyah is not considered a Mechitzah when it is hanging over dry land. Rav Hamnuna was asking whether Omed Merubah will change that, and make the Mechitzah work even over dry land.

(b) The SEFAS EMES explains the intention of Rav Ashi differently. According to Rav Ashi, Rav Hamnuna's question was referring to a case of a Mechitzah Teluyah that is hanging over water. If the Mechitzah is six and a half Tefachim, and it is hanging three and a half Tefachim above the water, will Omed Merubah Al ha'Parutz validate it or not. (The reason why the Gemara earlier did not want to say that this is the question of Rav Hamnuna is because it is a Mechitzah under which young goats are able to walk, but when hanging over water Rav ruled that the problem of "Gedi'in Bok'in Bo" does not apply.)

According to this explanation, the reason why the Gemara did not deduce the answer to Rav Hamnuna's question from our Mishnah is because the Mishnah is discussing a case where ropes were stretched out on top of *land*. That is why it was impossible for the bottom rope to be three and a half Tefachim above the ground; it had to be less than three Tefachim from the ground in order for young goats not to be able to walk through it. Rav Hamnuna's question, though, was that when a Mechitzah is hanging over water, and it is not necessary to have the Mechitzah beginning within three Tefachim from the surface, perhaps Omed Merubah Al ha'Parutz will allow us to allow the bottommost of three horizontal ropes to be *more* than three Tefachim from the surface.

Why did Rashi not explain this way? Perhaps, as the Tosfos ha'Rosh writes, he inferred from the previous Gemara that *anything* less than seven Tefachim wide and more than three Tefachim from the ground is not a valid Mechitzah, *even if it is on top of water*. We are lenient with regard to water (and do not invalidate the Mechitzah because of the fish traveling under it) only where there is a full-fledged Mechitzah of *ten* Tefachim. Where there is not a full Mechitzah but only six Tefachim, then even the presence of fish is enough to invalidate it, and even Omed Merubah cannot make it into a Mechitzah. (That is, only when there *already* is a Mechitzah, such as a hanging mat ten Tefachim wide, the presence of fish does not invalidate the Mechitzah.)

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