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prepared by Rabbi Eliezer Chrysler
Kollel Iyun Hadaf, Jerusalem

Moed Katan 2

MOED KATAN 2 - dedicated by Ivan Silverman in memory of his father, Shmuel ben Boruch Silverman, Alav ha'Shalom.


Please note that unless where otherwise indicated, we follow the explanation of Rashi.
Our notes and comments do not necessarily have a bearing on the practical Halachah.

***** Perek Mashkin Beis ha'Shalachin *****


(a) We learn the prohibition of Melachah on Chol ha'Mo'ed from the Pasuk "Sheishes Yamim Tochal Matzos u'va'Yom ha'Shevi'i Atzeres la'Hashem Elokecha" - where the Torah is comparing the six days of Yom-Tov to the seventh, to teach us that just as work is forbidden on the seventh day of Yom-Tov, so too, is it forbidden on the other six.

(b) We ...

1. ... know that not *all* Melachos are forbidden - because the Torah writes "ha'Shevi'i" (to exclude the other six).
2. ... determine which Melachos are prohibited and which are permitted - because, since the Torah did not specify what is prohibited and what is permitted, it left it to the Chachamim to decide what is included in the Torah's prohibition, and what is not.
(a) 'One may water a Beis ha'Shalachin on Chol ha'Mo'ed ... '. A 'Beis ha'Shalachin' - is a field that, due to its position on a mountain-slope, needs to be watered manually.

(b) It makes no difference whether the fountain began flowing only now or whether it has been flowing for a long time - either way, it is permitted.

(c) One is forbidden however, to water one's field on Chol ha'Mo'ed using rainwater or 'Mei Kilon' - which is water that is gathered in a pit and that does not flow.

(d) These are forbidden - because whatever involves excessive trouble is forbidden on Chol ha'Mo'ed.

(a) 'Ein Osin Ugi'os li'Gefanim'. 'Ugi'os - are trenches that one digs round the vines for watering purposes.

(b) Rebbi Elazar ben Azaryah forbids an Amah both on Chol ha'Mo'ed and in the Shmitah. An Amah - is an irrigation ditch surrounding the field, which is one Amah wide (which explains its name).

(c) The Chachamim disagree with Rebbi Elazar ben Azaryah - regarding making an Amah in the Sh'mitah, though they agree with him on Chol-ha'Mo'ed.

(a) 'u'Mesaknin es Kilkulei Mayim she'bi'Reshus ha'Rabim, ve'Chotetin Osan'. 'Kilkulei Mayim' are - pits of water into which stones fell (from the walls of the pit), and 'Chotetin Osan' means - that one may clear them out.

(b) The principle that governs our Mishnah, which concedes that repairing the roads and Mikva'os is permitted - is that 'Tzorchei Rabim' (communal needs) are permitted.

(c) The Tana permits ...

1. ... marking the graves (see Tosfos DH 'u'Metzainin') - on the grounds that Tzorchei Rabim that do not entail too much Tirchah (trouble) are permitted.
2. ... the Beis-Din to send out their Sh'luchim to tend to the removal of Kil'ayim (see Tosfos DH 've'Yotz'in') - because it is a Mitzvah incumbent upon the Beis-Din (rendering this - unlike all the other cases in our Mishnah, which are concessions - obligatory).
(a) We might have thought that watering even a Beis ha'Shalachin would be forbidden using water from a *new* fountain - because the walls might cave in, causing one to go to great lengths to re-dig it.

(b) Nevertheless, having taught us that it is permitted, the Tana finds it necessary to add that it is also permitted to water a Beis ha'Shalachin using water from an *old*, established fountain - to teach us that this concession is confined to a Beis Shalachin, but that watering a Sadeh Beis ha'Ba'al is forbidden even in such a case.

(c) We learn from the Targum of the Pasuk ...

1. ... "ve'Atah Ayeif ve'Yagei'a " ("ve'At Meshalhi ve'La'i") - that a 'Sadeh Beis ha'Shalachin' means a 'thirsty' field (which is what "Ayeif" means in that context).
2. ... "Ki Yiv'al Bachur Besulah" ("Arei Kamah de'Misosiv Olam im Besulta ... ") - that 'Sadeh Beis ha'Ba'al' means 'a settled field' (one does that does need watering).
(a) The Tana of our Mishnah limits permission to water a field to a Beis ha'Shalachin, forbidding a Sadeh Beis ha'Ba'al - because not watering the former will entail a huge loss, whereas the latter will not.

(b) The author of our Mishnah might ...

1. ... be Rebbi Eliezer ben Ya'akov, who says (in a Mishnah later) that one may dig a water-channel from one tree to another in a Sadeh Beis ha'Ba'al, but not to water the entire field - because we see that he agrees that excessive trouble is forbidden on Chol ha'Mo'ed.
2. ... nevertheless not be Rebbi Eliezer ben Ya'akov - because he appears to *permit* digging the channel, even though there is no large loss involved (which our Mishnah does *not*).
(a) Rebbi Meir permits watering even a Sadeh Beis ha'Ba'al using a new fountain on Chol ha'Mo'ed. Rebbi Yehudah restricts the use of a new fountain to a Beis ha'Shalachin which became destroyed - by which he means that its one fountain became destroyed (dried up), but in which a new fountain was found to re-place it (creating a situation of a large loss should one now fail to water the field). He cannot mean quite what he says, because, if the field became destroyed, why would it need to be watered in the first place?

(b) Rebbi Elazar ben Azaryah - forbids the use of a new fountain even if the original fountain dried up.

(c) Rebbi Yehudah forbids diverting a stream to water his garden or yard - even in a Sadeh Beis ha'Shalachin, because of the excessive bother involved.

(d) We conclude that the author of our Mishnah has to be Rebbi Yehudah (because who else could it possibly be?), like Rav Papa maintains. Initially, we object to this contention - on the grounds that Rebbi Yehudah only seems to differentiate between a Sadeh Beis ha'Shalachin and a Sadeh Ba'al with regard to a *new* fountain, but not with regard to an *old*, established one (which he apparently permits even by a Sadeh Beis ha'Ba'al) - which does not conform with our Mishnah (which forbids a Sadeh Beis ha'Ba'al to be watered even using an old fountain.



8) According to the conclusion (that Rebbi Yehudah forbids even using an *old* established fountain to water a Beis ha'Ba'al) the Beraisa confines itself to a *new* one - to teach us that Rebbi Meir permits even that (even by a Sadeh Beis ha'Ba'al).


(a) According to Rabah, if someone wants to weed or to water plants on Shabbos, one warns him that he is transgressing a Toldah of plowing. According to Rav Yosef - it is a Toldah of sowing.

(b) The logic behind saying that it is a Toldah of ...

  1. ... plowing - is because, like plowing, weeding and watering the plants soften the earth.
  2. ... sowing - because like sowing, weeding and watering the plants causes them to grow.
(c) Abaye asks on both of his Rebbes - because how can Rabah deny the fact that weeding and watering the plants causes them to grow, and how can Rav Yosef deny that weeding and watering the plants soften the earth?

(d) The Kashya remains unanswered. The proof that someone who contravenes two Melachos with one action is Chayav two Chata'os is from Rav Kahana - who says that someone who prunes his tree, whilst at the same time, he needs the branches that he is cutting off, is Chayav Two Chata'os: for planting and for reaping.

(a) The Tana Kama of the Beraisa says that someone who weeds or covers over Kil'ayim with earth receives Malkos. This appears to conform with Rav Yosef, according to whom weeding is a Toldah of sowing - because sowing Kil'ayim is forbidden (whereas according to Rabah, there is no such Isur as plowing with regard to Kil'ayim).

(b) Rabah answers that the Tana sentences him to Malkos because of 'Mekayem (retaining) Kil'ayim', which is also forbidden. We reconcile this with the Seifa, in which Rebbi Akiva says that one is also *Chayav* because of Mekayem Kil'ayim, implying that the Tana Kama holds that he is *not* - by establishing Rebbi Akiva to be the author of the entire Beraisa, and that the Seifa does not come to argue with the Reisha, but to give the reason as to *why* he is Chayav.

(c) Rebbi Akiva learns from the Pasuk "Sad'cha Lo Sizra Kil'ayim" that someone who maintains Kil'ayim contravenes a La'av - by rearranging the Pasuk as if it was written "Kil'ayim Sad'cha Lo" (presumably as a result of the order of the words - the Torah should otherwise have inverted the words and written "Lo Sizra Sad'cha Kil'ayim".

(d) The Tana of our Mishnah incorporates Sh'mitah in the concession of watering a Beis ha'Shalachin, a Kashya both on Rabah and on Rav Yosef - because whereas on Chol ha'Mo'ed there is reason to permit whichever Melachah it happens to be, because the whole prohibition of Melachah on Chol ha'Mo'ed is based on Tircha (i.e. whatever is a trouble Chazal included in the prohibition), precluding Malachos which would otherwise involve a loss (if they were not performed). But there is no reason to permit either plowing or sowing (which are both clear-cut Isurim d'Oraysa) in the Shmitah?

(a) Abaye answers the above Kashya by establishing our Mishnah by Shevi'is nowadays, according to Rebbi - who learns from the Pasuk "ve'Zeh D'var ha'Sh'mitah Shamot" that the Torah compares the Sh'mitah of money (releasing debts) to that of (not working the) land: i.e. whenever the one does not apply, neither does the other. Consequently, nowadays, when the latter does not apply, the former does not apply either (from which we can deduce that all Melachos in the Sh'mitah are not applicable nowadays min ha'Torah.

(b) Rava has a more radical approach. According to him - no Toldos (other than pruning and harvesing grapes) are forbidden during the Sh'mitah (ever). Consequently, the Tana of the Beraisa is jusified in permitting watering a Beis ha'Shalachin in the Sh'mitah because of the loss involved.

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