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Eruvin 101

ERUVIN 101 - has been generously dedicated by Rav Mordechai Rabin of London/Yerushalayim


QUESTION: The Beraisa teaches the way one may use a key to open the lock of a large garden (which is a Karmelis) if the lock itself is a Reshus ha'Yachid. According to Rebbi Meir, the key may not be used unless the person unlocking the lock is able to stand in a Reshus ha'Yachid adjoining the lock. He may not stand in the Karmelis and place a key in a lock which is a Reshus ha'Yachid, for fear that he may return the key to the Reshus in which he is standing (a Karmelis), which is prohibited.

Rashi (DH Sha'arei) explains that the lock can become a Reshus ha'Yachid if it is 4 x 4 Tefachim wide, and raised ten Tefachim in the air. Why does such a lock qualify as a Reshus ha'Yachid? Throughout the Maseches, we have learned that the Mechitzos of a Reshus ha'Yachid must reach within three Tefachim of the ground. If they do not, they are "Mechitzos shehe'Gediyim Bok'im Bahem," and are disqualified as Mechitzos (according to all but Rebbi Yosi b'Rebbi Yehudah, Shabbos 5a, Eruvin 33b). Why, then is a raised 4 x 4 lock considered a Reshus ha'Yachid?


(a) The TOSFOS HA'ROSH suggests that perhaps the lock was indeed on a pedestal of some sort, which was 4 x 4 Tefachim wide all the way to the ground (or even 3 x 3 Tefachim wide, according to TOSFOS 33a DH v'Chalkalah).

(b) Alternatively, the Tosfos ha'Rosh suggests that there may have been a raised [3-Tefach high] mound under the lock, which prevents the goats from passing through easily under the lock. In such a case, even the Rabanan of Rebbi Yosi b'Rebbi Yehudah agree that the lock is a Reshus ha'Yachid (see Tosfos 33a DH d'Hadar).

(c) The RITVA answers that the lock of the garden was at the edge of a 4 x 4 Tefach awning. Since it was at the edge of a "ceiling," we say "Pi Tikrah Yord v'Sosem," the edge of the ceiling is extended to the floor, forming a proper Mechitzah. With regard to Pi Tikrah, we know that Gediyim Bok'im Bo never prevents the Pi Tikrah from being considered a proper Mechitzah (see Insights to Eruvin 25:2).

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