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Eruvin 82

ERUVIN 82 - was generously dedicated by an anonymous donor in Los Angeles in honor of his son, Sam, who lives and teaches in Yerushalayim.


OPINIONS: The Mishnah discusses the amount of bread that constitutes two meals (see Chart #13), with which an Eruv is made. Rebbi Shimon says that two meals are comprised of a volume of bread equal to 8 eggs. Rebbi Yochanan ben Berokah says that a quantity of bread equal to 6 eggs is considered enough for two meals. This argument has a number of other common Halachic ramifications. For intance, if a person eats one meal's worth of Pas ha'Ba'ah b'Kisnin (see Insights to Berachos 42:1), then he must recite ha'Motzi and Birkas ha'Mazon like he would after eating bread. According to Rebbi Yochanan ben Berokah, an amount of Pas ha'Ba'ah b'Kisnin equal to 3 eggs would constitute a full meal, while according to Rebbi Shimon 4 eggs would be necessary. (See Mishnah Berurah 168:24, however, who cites some opinions that do not relate these Shi'urim.) Do we rule like Rebbi Yochanan ben Berokah, or like Rebbi Shimon?

(a) Food can become Tamei with Tum'as Ochlin. Whenever the Gemara speaks of Tum'as Ochlin, it says that food the size of one egg is Mekabel Tum'ah. Rashi (83a) tells us that according to Rebbi Yochanan ben Berokah, the amount should be 3/4 of an egg (half of a half, or a fourth, of a loaf of 3 eggs). Why does the Gemara always say that the amount is 1 Beitzah? TOSFOS (83a DH v'Chatzi) says that all the places in the Gemara that say that Tum'as Ochlin is k'Beitzah represent the opinion of Rebbi Shimon, and not Rebbi Yochanan ben Berokah. Rebbi Shimon's opinion would appear, then, to be the Halachic one. This is indeed the ruling of many Rishonim (TUR OC 409)

(b) The RAMBAM does not seem to agree to this conclusion. He writes that an Eruv must be made with *6* Beitzim (Hil. Eruvin 1:9), and in order for a person to become Tamei with Tum'as Geviyah (one who eats food which is Tamei becomes Tamei with Sheni l'Tum'ah so that if he touches Terumah it will become Pasul), he must eat 1 1/2 eggs worth of Tamei food (Hilchos Tum'as Ochlin 4:1). This is in accordance with the opinion of Rebbi Yochanan ben Berokah (half of 3 eggs is 1 1/2).

However, this contradicts the Rambam's own ruling regarding Tum'as Ochlin. The Rambam says (ibid.) that the Shi'ur of Tum'as Ochlin is one egg, which is like Rebbi Shimon!

The Rambam apparently learns that everyone agrees that the Shi'ur of Tum'as Ochlin is one egg. That is not part of the argument between Rebbi Shimon and Rebbi Yochanan ben Berokah; their argument ends with the Shi'ur for Tum'as Geviyah -- which would explain why Tum'as Ochlin is not mentioned in our Mishnah.

HALACHAH: One should use 8 Beitzim for Eruvei Techumim and Chatzeros, but b'Di'eved 6 Beitzim suffice (Mishnah Berurah 368:12)
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