THOUGHTS ON THE DAILY DAF
brought to you by Kollel Iyun Hadaf of Har Nof
Rosh Kollel: Rav Mordecai Kornfeld
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1) THE "BITUL" OF A "TZEDUKI"
QUESTION: The Gemara asks an apparent contradiction between the opinion of
Rebbi Yehudah as expressed in the Mishnah (61b) and his opinion as
expressed in the Beraisa (68b). In the Mishnah, Rebbi Yehudah states that
a Tzeduki *is* able to be Mevatel his Reshus to the other residents of the
Chatzer, while in the Beraisa Rebbi Yehudah states that a Tzeduki's Bitul
does not work at all.
The Gemara answers (1) by re-interpreting the statement of Rebbi Yehudah
in the Mishnah to read like his statement in the Beraisa; Rebbi Yehudah
does not permit the Bitul of a Tzeduki at all, or (2) by suggesting that
the Mishnah is referring to a Tzeduki who desecrates Shabbos only in
private, whose Bitul is valid, while the Beraisa is referring to a Tzeduki
who desecrates Shabbos in public, whose Bitul is not valid. According to
Rebbi Yehudah, a Tzeduki who desecrates Shabbos only in private, may be
Mevatel Reshus to the Jews in the Chatzer, and a Tzeduki who desecrates
Shabbos in public may not be Mevatel Reshus. (The Rabanan did not permit
the residents of a Chatzer to rely on the Bitul of one who publicly
desecrates Shabbos, because they did not want people living near such a
person, lest they learn from his sinful deeds. In this respect, such a Jew
has the status of a non-Jew.)
Rashi (61b, DH Maharu), when he explains the Mishnah, says that one cannot
rely on the Bitul of the Tzeduki because the Tzeduki may, at any moment,
carry from his house to the Chatzer and annul the Bitul. That is, the
Bitul of a Tzeduki is valid, but the Rabanan were afraid that he would
retract his Bitul. Where did Rashi find this interpretation of Rebbi
Yehudah? The Gemara's two suggestions are either that he does not allow
the Bitul of a Tzeduki at all, or that he allows it entirely because the
Tzeduki is Mechalel Shabbos only in private! (TOSFOS REBBI AKIVA EIGER on
the Mishnah; RASHASH ibid.)
ANSWER: Perhaps Rashi understands this to be the first answer of the
Gemara. Me'Ikar ha'Din, the Tzeduki's Bitul *is* valid. However, we may
not rely on that Bitul to permit carrying in the Chatzer, since he has the
ability to rescind his Bitul at any time (and Rebbi Yehudah maintains that
it does not help for the Jews to make a Chazakah in the Chatzer). As a
result, the Rabanan did not permit relying on his Bitul, lest he revoke it
at some point during Shabbos.
What is Rashi's source for this interpretation? A simple reading of the
Gemara would suggest that, according to the Gemara's first answer, Rebbi
Yehudah does not allow the Bitul of a Tzeduki in the first place!
Perhaps he had a slightly different Girsa in the Mishnah. In fact, we find
in Rashi's quote of the Mishnah in the Rashi on the Rif (page 21 of the
Rif) the words "*Shema* Yotzi" in place of "Ad she'Lo Yotzi," which
clearly indicates that the Jews may not rely on the Tzeduki's Bitul *lest*
he revoke it. This is also the intention of the Gemara, then, when it says
that Rebbi Yehudah meant "Ad Shelo *Yetzei ha'Yom*." (In the Saloniki
print of the Shas this is even more evident; the Mishnah says that
according to Rebbi Yehudah, the instructions were, "Quickly take care of
your needs in the Mavoy *mib'Od Yom*, before the Tzeduki takes from his
house to the Chatzer and prohibits carrying in the Mavoy." (M. Kornfeld)
2) HALACHAH: A JEW WHO DOES NOT OBSERVE MITZVOS
The Gemara says that according to Rebbi Yehudah, a Tzeduki who desecrates
Shabbos only in private, may be Mevatel Reshus to the Jews in the Chatzer,
and a Tzeduki who desecrates Shabbos in public may not be Mevatel Reshus.
Raban Gamliel, on the other hand, rules that a Tzeduki's Bitul is always
valid, and he does not differentiate between one who privately desecrates
Shabbos and one who publicly desecrates Shabbos.
The Gemara cites a Beraisa which adds that a regular Jew (not necessarily
a Tzeduki) who desecrates Shabbos in public may not be Mevatel Reshus, and
the Gemara says that this Beraisa is according to Rebbi Yehudah.
What is the Halachah?
(a) The MORDECHAI and MAHARAM M'ROTENBURG (cited by the Rosh) rule like
Rebbi Yehudah, that a Tzeduki who desecrates Shabbos in public is like a
non-Jew and may not be Mevatel Reshus.
(b) The ROSH (6:13) rules like Raban Gamliel, that a Tzeduki may be
Mevatel Reshus, even if he desecrates Shabbos in public.
(a) The SHULCHAN ARUCH (OC 385:1) rules that a Tzeduki's Bitul *is* valid
even though he desecrates Shabbos in public (BEIS YOSEF). like the ROSH
cited above. In 385:3, however, the Shulchan Aruch rules that a Jew who
desecrates Shabbos in public *cannot* be Mevatel Reshus. Here, too, he
bases his ruling on the Rosh (6:14). It would seem that the Rosh
understood the Machlokes between Raban Gamliel and Rebbi Yehudah to
involve only a Tzeduki; they both agree, though, that a normal Jew who
went astray and desecrates Shabbos in public may *not* be Mevatel Reshus.
What is the difference between a Tzeduki and a normal Jew who went astray?
The Beis Yosef says that the difference is that a Tzeduki was raised by
his parents to believe that his way of life is true Judaism; he does not
transgress the Torah out of heresy, but out of habit. Therefore, he is not
considered a non-Jew with regard to Bitul. A "Mumar," though, has decided
on his own to transgress the Torah, and therefore he has a status of a
non-Jew with regard to Bitul.
(b) The MISHNAH BERURAH (Sha'ar ha'Tziyon 385:2) has much difficulty with
the ruling of the Shulchan Aruch and the words of the Beis Yosef. First,
the Beis Yosef says that the *RAMBAM* (Hilchos Eruvin 2:16) also makes
this distinction, allowing Biutl by a Tzeduki but not by a Jew who
desecrates Shabbos in public. However, the Rambam clearly states there
that a Tzeduki does *not* desecrate Shabbos and *that* is why his Bitul is
Second, even if we are lenient with regard to a Tzeduki because he was
raised that way, that does not apply to the laws of Eruv Chatzeros. The
reason why a heretic's Bitul, or a non-Jew's Bitul, is not valid is
because the Rabanan did not want Jews to live near such people, so they
made it difficult to permit carrying in a Chatzer shared with such a non-
believer. This Gezeirah should apply just the same to living with a
Tzeduki! Even though he transgresses out of habit, his Bitul should not be
valid because we do not want Jews to live near him and learn from his
The Mishnah Berurah, therefore, seems to conclude that we should be
stringent with regard to a Chatzer shared with a Karaite (the Tzeduki of
modern times) who is Mechalel Shabbos publicly, and not rely on his Bitul
but instead rent his rights from him (Mishnah Berurah 385:1).
(c) The CHAZON ISH (87:12) answers that the Beis Yosef was applying the
reasoning of a Tzeduki being raised with his beliefs to a Tzeduki in
modern times, who transgresses only out of ignorance and not out of a true
belief that his way is the right way. There is no fear that other Jews
will learn from his ways, because when he is informed about what he is
doing wrong, he himself will correct his ways!
Based on this, the Chazon Ish (87:14) rules, like the Beis Yosef, that a
Jew who was not raised to be Shomer Torah u'Mitzvos and does not know any
better (and it can be presumed that he is not transgressing purposefully)
is not only considered a Jew with regard to Bitul, but one may even be
Mezakeh to him a share in the Eruv Chatzeros. (RAV MOSHE STERNBUCH takes
issue with this ruling of the Chazon Ish -- see Teshuvos v'Hanhagos