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Eruvin 22

ERUVIN 22 - 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 Gemara asks that if the cliffs of Tzur and the banks of Gader are considered Mechitzos enclosing Eretz Yisrael, then Bavel should also be considered a Reshus ha'Yachid because of the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers that surround it. The Gemara concludes that Eretz Yisrael and Bavel are certainly not considered Reshuyos ha'Yachid, because if so, the whole world should be considered a Reshus ha'Yachid, since every land mass is surrounded by natural Mechitzos (such as the sea).

Why, though, are entire countries not considered Reshuyos ha'Yachid? Since they do have cliffs and other natural partitions around them, they should be considered Reshuyos ha'Yachid! (TOSFOS, DH Dilma)

According to Rebbi Yehudah, this is not a question, because Rebbi Yehudah holds "Asi Rabim u'Mevatel Mechitzah" -- the public traffic that travels through the area of the natural partitions nullifies the Mechitzos. However, we rule in accordance with the Rabanan that public traffic does *not* invalidate Mechitzos. According to the Rabanan, why do these natural partitions not serve as Mechitzos making Eretz Yisrael and Bavel into Reshuyos ha'Yachid? (Even though the cliffs were not originally created for the sake of serving as Mechitzos around residential areas, nevertheless mid'Oraisa even a Karpaf that is greater than Beis Se'asayim that was not Hukaf l'Dirah is a Reshus ha'Yachid!)


(a) TOSFOS (DH Dilma) answers that even the Rabanan agree that public traffic can invalidate Mechitzos if those Mechitzos were not man-made but were made by Hashem. Only man-made Mechitzos are not invalidated by people walking through them. Mechitzos made by Hashem are not considered Mechitzos if people walk through them.

(b) The RITVA and RASHBA explain that if an area is so large that when one stands in the middle of the area he cannot see the partitions that surround the area, the partitions that surround that area cannot make it a Reshus ha'Yachid (see also Sha'ar ha'Tzion 363:94).

(c) The RAMBAN also says that the area inside Mechitzos that are very far apart is not considered to be a Reshus ha'Yachid. However, the MISHNAH BERURAH (OC 345:48 and BI'UR HALACHAH 346:3) points out that the Ramban said this only regarding Mechitzos that were both made by Hashem *and* which are so distant that they cannot be seen from the middle of the enclosed area.

QUESTION: The Gemara says that Shevilei Beis Gilgul, the area of winding roads going up a tall mountain, is considered Reshus ha'Yachid if it is so steep that a servant cannot carry a bundle of wheat and run in front of his master with it.

Why must it be hard to climb in order to be a Reshus ha'Yachid? Since the mountain itself area reaches a height of at least ten Tefachim within a distance of four Amos, the sides of the mountain should be considered Mechitzos and the top of the mountain should be considered Reshus ha'Yachid, even if the roads are very winding such that it is not so difficult to traverse. (Even though people travel through those roads, the Rabanan maintain that public traffic does not invalidate Mechitzos.) Why, then, does the Gemara make it dependent on whether a servant can run up with a bundle of wheat?


(a) TOSFOS HA'ROSH answers that in the conclusion of the Gemara, even Rebbi Yehudah (who normally maintains that public traffic nullifies the effectiveness of Mechitzos) agrees that such a hilly area is Reshus ha'Yachid even when many people walk through it. Yehoshua gave all the hilly areas of Eretz Yisrael to individuals, and property owned by individuals cannot become a Reshus ha'Rabim.

The Tosfos ha'Rosh explains that Yehoshua only gave to individuals the areas which are extremely hilly, which a person would not be able to ascend without becoming exhausted. Therefore, the Beraisa stipulates that only such areas that a servant can run up while carrying a bundle is considered Reshus ha'Rabim. If he cannot run up so easily, then that is as indication that the area was given to individuals. An area that is not so steep was given to the public (and the presence of public traffic invalidates any Mechitzos that might be there, making it a Reshus ha'Yachid despite its Mechitzos).

However, this would only seem to explain the Beraisa if it follows the opinion of Rebbi Yehudah. How could the Gemara have thought at first that it follows the opinion of the Rabanan?

(b) TOSFOS (DH v'Eizehu) explains as follows. The Gemara later (89b) teaches the Halachah of a "Mechitzah Nidreses." Even though Mechitzos ten Tefachim high are viewed to continue upward until the sky (via "Gud Asik") and the entire area above those Mechitzos is Reshus ha'Yachid, nevertheless if it is a Mechitzah which people *step over*, the presence of people stepping over it prevents "Gud Asik" from working.

Even though the mountain of Beis Gilgul is considered a Reshus ha'Yachid since it has Mechitzos all around it (that is, the sides of the mountain reach a height of ten Tefachim within four Amos, and therefore the sides are considered Mechitzos), nevertheless in order for the area on *top* of the mountain to be considered Reshus ha'Yachid, we must apply "Gud Asik" (in order to view the sides of the mountain as extending upwards above the mountain top and enclosing that area). If that area would be trampled by public traffic, "Gud Asik" would not be able to work. Therefore, says Tosfos, if it is not such a steep hill and the public can climb it easily, it is not considered a Reshus ha'Yachid because its Mechitzos are "trampled over." It is as if it does not have Mechitzos above the top of the mountain. But if it is very steep and not easy to traverse, then the Mechitzos are not being trampled over and they remain intact. "Gud Asik" makes the Mechitzos go up to the sky and enclose the top of the mountain, making it a Reshus ha'Yachid.

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