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Eruvin 45

ERUVIN 45 - Dedicated in memory of Meir Menachem (Max) Turkel, whose Yahrzeit is the 5th of Teves, by his wife, Jean, and his sons, Eddie and Lawrence Turkel.


QUESTION: The Gemara cites a Beraisa which states that if gentiles attacked a Jewish city in order to loot and rob it, we may not desecrate Shabbos to defend it, since there is no concern of Piku'ach Nefesh. However, if that city was on the border of a larger Jewish area, then it is permitted to desecrate Shabbos to protect the city, even if the gentiles attacked it only to rob it. Even though their objective is to steal the Jews' money, we fear that they might conquer the entire city and obtain a stronghold from which to conquer further Jewish towns (thus creating a concern for Piku'ach Nefesh). Rav Nachman adds that in Bavel, Neharda'a is considered a border city. RASHI explains that Neharda'a was on the border between Jewish towns and gentile towns.

What new teaching is Rav Nachman telling us when he says that Neharda'a is "considered like" a border town. It *is* a border town! Why does Rav Nachman single out Neharda'a?

ANSWER: The TORAS CHAIM suggests a different explanation that Rashi's. The Hagahos Ashiri says that outside of Israel, it is permitted to desecrate Shabbos in order to defend *any* city attacked by gentiles, even if they come only for money, and even if the city is not on the border of a larger Jewish area. The reason is because since the Jews outside of Israel live among the gentiles, every Jewish town is like a city next to a border, and being conquered by the gentiles will pose a significant threat to the Jewish populace. The Toras Chaim explains that this is what the Gemara here is teaching. Since Neharda'a was situated among the gentiles the same Halachah applied to it which applies to border towns, even though it is in the middle of a country.

Perhaps this is also Rashi's intent as well. Rashi means to say that one might have thought that only if the Jewish city is on the border of a *country* do we fear that if the gentiles overtake that city that they will attempt to conquer the entire land -- in order to become a more powerful nation -- and therefore Piku'ach Nefesh is involved. Rav Nachman adds that even if the city is in the *middle* of a country, but it is bordering on a Jewish section of the country, we fear that the gentiles will, instead of just taking money, decide to try to torment the neighboring Jews -- just for the sake of persecuting the Jews -- and therefore the Jews must defend themselves.


QUESTION: The Chachamim maintain that ownerless objects are not Koneh Shevisah. The Gemara explains that if a person is not Koneh Shevisah, then he may not walk at all beyond his place (four Amos). If an ownerless object is not Koneh Shevisah, it may be moved as far as the person who picks it up may go. Why is it that a man who was not Koneh Shevisah is severely restricted in how far he may walk, while objects that are not Koneh Shevisah have an unlimited Techum?

ANSWER: Since objects do not have any Techum, they become subordinate to the person who picks them up and they acquire that person's Techum. A person, however, is subordinate to no one but himself, and he himself has no Techum.

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