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Eruvin 44

ERUVIN 42, 43, 44 - 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.


OPINIONS: Rebbi Eliezer and the Chachamim argue whether it is permitted to add to a temporary structure on Shabbos. Rebbi Eliezer considers it as making an Ohel, and the Chachamim do not consider it as making an Ohel. The Gemara applies their argument to a case of setting up a wall for a Sukah on Shabbos. Does this imply that even setting up a *wall* is considered making an Ohel and may not be done on Shabbos?
(a) RASHI in Shabbos (125b) says that a wall is certainly *not* an Ohel, as it says later in Shabbos (138a) that it is permissible to hang a curtain on Shabbos and there is no concern for making an Ohel. According to Rashi there, only making a roof is prohibited.

How, then, does Rashi understand our Gemara? Rashi in Shabbos (125b) mentions that we permit hanging a curtain on Shabbos because it is done only for purposes of Tzeni'us, and is considered only a temporary construction and not something that one will use on an ongoing basis. A roof, though, is made to provide shade and shelter and is considered permanent. It may be suggested that a wall which is made for a Halachic reason, such as the one mentioned in our Gemara (a wall for a Sukah or a Mechitzah to make a Reshus ha'Yachid) is made with the intention to remain there to serve the purpose of forming the Sukah or a new Reshus and not merely for Tzeni'us, and therefore it is prohibited.

(b) TOSFOS (DH Pekak) explains that a curtain is always permitted to be made on Shabbos if it is an addition to a temporary Ohel ("Tosefes l'Ohel Arai"), but one may not make a *new* curtain or partition ("Techilas Ohel") which is not an addition to a pre-existing structure. In the cases of our Gemara where the erection of the wall would create a new Halachic status ("Mechitzah Materes"), either creating a valid Sukah or a Reshus ha'Yachid, it is not considered to be adding to a pre-existing Ohel, but it is considered making a "new Ohel," even though a physical Ohel already existed, and would be forbidden.


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