ANSWERS TO REVIEW QUESTIONS
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
Our notes and comments do not necessarily have a bearing on the
***** 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
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.
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 ...
(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?
- ... plowing - is because, like plowing, weeding and watering the plants soften the earth.
- ... sowing - because like sowing, weeding and watering the plants causes them to grow.
(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
(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.