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Eruvin 103


1) REBBI ELIEZER THE "MEIKEL", REBBI ELIEZER THE "MACHMIR" QUESTION: The Gemara cites a Beraisa which records a tremendous "Chumra," a stringency. If a Kohen with a wart wants to remove it on Shabbos in order to perform the Avodah, he may not remove the wart by himself. Rather, he must have a friend remove it for him, so that only a Melachah d'Rabanan will be done and not a Melachah d'Oraisa. (Removing one's own wart can involve a transgression of the Melachah d'Oraisa of Gozez on Shabbos.) Not only that, but the friend may not remove the wart with his hands. He must remove it by biting it off with his teeth, in order to perform the removal with a "Shinuy" (i.e. to do it in an unusual fashion), to distance himself even further from a Melachah d'Oraisa.

Who is the author of this Beraisa? The Gemara contends that it must be Rebbi Eliezer, who holds that *whatever* Shinuyim can be done to distance the act from a Melachah d'Oraisa, must be done. We do not find that the Rabanan require such an abundance of Shinuyim. According to them, the Gemara asserts, it would suffice that the friend remove the wart with his hands.

Why is the Gemara suddenly assuming that Rebbi Eliezer is Machmir, i.e. he is more stringent than the Rabanan, with regard to preparing a Kohen to serve in the Mikdash on Shabbos? Earlier on the Daf, we saw that Rebbi Eliezer proposed tremendous Kulas, leniencies, with regard to serving in the Mikdash. There we see that even if the preparations for the Temple service involve the transgression of an Isur d'Oraisa, Rebbi Eliezer permits the act, while the Rabanan only permit transgressing an Isur d'Rabanan. Even though Rebbi Eliezer does not permit performing a Melachah d'Oraisa for the sake of the Temple service if the Melachah can be avoided by performing an act with a Shinuy (as is the case with the removal of a wart), nevertheless, why should he suddenly be *more* stringent than the Rabanan, and require a Shinuy on top of a Shinuy when the Rabanan do not?


(a) TOSFOS (DH Iy Amart), citing the Sar mi'Kutzi, explains that it is specifically *because* Rebbi Eliezer is normally so lenient, that he will be especially stringent in the case of the wart.

Since Rebbi Eliezer normally allows a Melachah d'Oraisa to be performed for the sake of the Temple service, he is especially afraid that in a case when it is prohibited to perform a Melachah (i.e., if the act can be done with a Shinuy) people will forget and perform a Melachah d'Oraisa as they normally do for the service of the Temple. Therefore, when a Shinuy is required, Rebbi Eliezer insists that as many Shinuyim as possible must be made. The Rabanan, who never permit performing a Melachah d'Oraisa in preparation for the Temple service, had no such worries. A single Shinuy will suffice, since there is no reason to suspect that somebody will make a mistake and think that even a Melachah d'Oraisa can be done. A Melachah d'Oraisa is *never* permitted in preparation for the Temple service!

(b) The TOSFOS HA'ROSH suggests another explanation. It is true that Rebbi Eliezer is more lenient when it comes to performing the Temple service. However, there is another issue involved in the case of the wart, in which Rebbi Eliezer is indeed more *stringent*.

As Rashi explains (DH b'Shinav), we find in Shabbos 94b that according to the Rabanan, if a person removes a wart from his body on Shabbos with his own hands or with his teeth he has not transgressed a Torah prohibition. According to Rebbi Eliezer, though, he has. Secondly, both Rebbi Eliezer and the Rabanan agree that it is prohibited to remove a wart with a utensil, even if a *another person* wields the utensil. (This is evident from our Gemara's statement that Rebbi Eliezer "Gazar Yad (d'Chaveiro) Atu Kli.")

If so, according to the Rabanan who hold that there is no Melachah involved in removing one's own wart, a person should be permitted to remove his wart *by himself* (albeit with his teeth), without the help of a friend, in preparation for the Temple service. Having a friend remove it for him should not be considered a Shinuy at all, since the Halachah does not distinguish between removing one's own wart or removing another person's wart. (In both cases no Melachah is done if the wart is removed with hands or teeth, but a Melachah is done if it is removed with a utensil.) It is only according to Rebbi Eliezer (who maintains that removing one's own wart by hand or tooth is a Melachah d'Oraisa) that it can be considered a Shinuy to have a friend remove the wart, to avoid a Melachah d'Oraisa.

(It may be pointed out that in our Sugya, the Gemara's argument is that according to the Rabanan, "the wart should be removed by hand." The way the Tosfos ha'Rosh is explaining the Sugya, the main point is that according to the Rabanan, the person should remove his wart *on his own*. The Gemara, apparently, is not stating explicitly its main argument but leaving it to be understood of itself.)

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