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Moed Katan 11

MOED KATAN 11, 12 - sponsored by Harav Ari Bergmann of Lawrence, N.Y., out of love for Torah and those who study it.



(a) Rav permitted Chiya bar Ashi to weave a fishing-snare on Chol ha'Mo'ed, because it is an amateurish job. Making a net to catch birds on the other hand, is forbidden - because it is a professional one.

(b) Rav Yehudah permitted Ami the oven-maker, to fabricate ovens from scratch, and Rava bar Isbi to fabricate sieves. This is not a contradiction to the Beraisa quoted by Rabah bar Shmuel, which forbids the construction of ovens on Chol ha'Mo'ed - because that Beraisa is speaking about Chol ha'Mo'ed *Sukos*, when the air is wet (due to the forthcoming rain-season). Consequently, the oven will not be completely dry and ready for use until after Yom-Tov. Rav Yehudah on the other hand, is referring to Chol ha'Mo'ed *Pesach*, when the air is dry and the oven is ready for use on Chol ha'Mo'ed (the moment it is made).

(a) One may ...
1. ... construct a low parapet in front of the balconies on Chol ha'Mo'ed - as long as it is done inexpertly (which will be explained shortly).
2. ... cement the cracks in an oven - using a Ma'agilah (a round wooden roller which anyone can use), but not a Machlatzayim (a large piece of wood [or metal, according to the Rambam] shaped something like a leg, which one uses by pressing on the cement and smoothening it - a method which is more sophisticated than that of the Ma'agilah).
3. ... repair a broken hinge, hole in which the hinge swivels, lintel, lock or key (of an outer door) on Chol ha'Mo'ed - as long as one does not deliberately postpone the job for Chol ha'Mo'ed.
4. ... preserve food - as long as it will be ready to eat by the end of Yom-Tov.
(b) According to Rav Yosef, a low parapet inexpertly made, constitutes a wall made of laurel branches interwoven with Lulav-leaves. According to the Tana of the Beraisa - one may build it with stones, but without cementing them.

(c) Having informed us that one may use a wooden roller to cement cracks in an oven, it would not then be necessary for the Tana to permit using one's hands and feet. So we amend the Mishnah, which now states - that one may cement the cracks with one's hands and feet, using the action of a roller, but not that of a Machlatzayim.

(a) The Tana of the Mishnah permits the repair of broken locks and keys ... on Chol ha'Mo'ed - because a carpenter uses *wooden* implements, which do not make much noise; whereas the Mishnah in Ma'aser Sheini, which informs us that Rebbi Yochanan ben Zakai forbade the use of hammers on Chol ha'Mo'ed - is referring to blacksmiths, who use metal implements, which make a tremendous noise (which is forbidden presumably, because it interferes with the serene spirit that pervades on Chol ha'Mo'ed.

(b) We refute this however - because then people will say that a big noise is forbidden, and a little noise is permitted (and this is not in keeping with the manner in which Chazal issue their decrees).

(c) Rav Chisda differentiates between a saw (which is permitted - because it does not make a noise at all) and an ax (which does - irrespective of whether it is made of metal or wood).

(d) Rav Ashi answers the Kashya by establishing the author of the Mishnah in Ma'aser Sheini as Rebbi Yehudah, and the author of our Mishnah as Rebbi Yossi - who maintains that every Davar ha'Aveid (saving oneself a loss) is permitted on Chol ha'Mo'ed, and does not require a Shinuy (any change from the norm, and is therefore permitted, noise or no noise).

4) The Minhag evolved to fix bolts into the lintel - like Rebbi Yossi.


(a) Many of the fish in the River Bedisa in the town Laba'i died - when they drained all the water by diverting its course.

(b) When Rava permitted salting as many fish as they could bring (even though this would render the fish unfit to eat on Yom-Tov) - Abaye objected on the basis of our Mishnah, which limits the preserving of food to what one will be able to eat on Yom-Tov.

(c) Rava justified his ruling however, on the grounds that, if they would not salt it, it would lead to a big loss (and we have already learned that sparing oneself a loss on Chol ha'Mo'ed is permitted).

(d) According to the second Lashon, Rava permitted them to catch the fish, and they salted them of their own volition. Abaye again objected to the people's actions on the basis of our Mishnah. Rava justified what they did however - on the grounds that the fish would be edible if it was washed in water many times.

(a) They had to wash the salted fish - sixty times before Shmuel, and later Rava, could eat them.

(b) When Rav was once served fish that was a third cooked, a third salted and a third roasted - he quoted Ada the hunter as saying - that fish tastes best just before it goes bad.

(c) He also quoted him as saying that fish tastes best when it is roasted with its brother, served with its father, eaten with its son and washed down with its father. What he meant was - when it is roasted with salt (an extract from the sea - like the fish), served in water (into which it is placed after roasting), eaten with its juice, and washed down with water.

(d) Ada the hunter also told Rav two more useful facts: firstly, that one should not go to bed after eating, before having walked a considerable distance - and that after eating fish, cress and milk, one should rather drink water than beer, and beer rather than wine.

***** Hadran Alach Mashkin Beis ha'Shalachin *****



***** Perek Mi she'Hafach *****


(a) 'Mi she'Hafach es Zeisav' - refers to someone who has already stirred the olives in the vat. If the olives are not pressed after that, they will go bad.

(b) If someone 'stirred his olives' and something happened to prevent him from pressing them before Yom-Tov came in - he would be permitted to place one beam on them on Chol ha'Mo'ed, to begin the pressing process.

(c) The same concession will apply - if one hired workers to press his olives and they retracted just before Yom-Tov.

(d) This is the opinion of Rebbi Yehudah. According to Rebbi Yossi - once the olives have been stirred, one may complete the pressing process in the normal manner (see also Tosfos DH 'Rebbi Yossi').

(a) Rav Shisha B'rei de'Rav Idi deduces from the fact that our Mishnah does not expressly permit someone who became an Aveil to place a beam on the olives that he has already stirred - that there are things that are permitted on Chol ha'Mo'ed, but forbidden to an Aveil.

(b) Rav Ashi maintains - that if placing the beam on Chol ha'Mo'ed (which involves an Isur d'Oraysa), is permitted, then it should certainly be permitted in the case of an Aveil (which involves only an Isur de'Rabbanan).

(c) The Beraisa however (which permits others to place the beam on behalf of the Aveil, but not the Aveil himself) - supports Rav Shisha B'rei de'Rav Idi.

(d) If an Aveil sees that his olives are all going to become spoilt, his open barrel of wine to turn sour, his linen to go moldy if it is left to soak any longer or his wool to burn if it remains on the caldron - he can get others to see to all of these on his behalf, as we just learned in the Beraisa.

(a) The field-owners would take turns to water all the fields in the valley, on a daily or weekly basis.

(b) Rebbi Yehudah permitted sowing a plowed field on Chol ha'Mo'ed or sowing flax seeds immediately on behalf of an Aveil. The Chachamim disagree with him - on the grounds that the plowed field can be sown later, and as far as sowing flax is concerned, one can always sow something else later on (so that neither of them is a Davar ha'Aveid).

(c) Raban Shimon ben Gamliel is the most lenient of them all. According to him - if there is no expert other than the Aveil available, then he is permitted to place his oil in barrels and close them, and to take his flax from the soaking-house and the wool out of the boiling caldron, though he must do so discreetly.

(d) And he even goes so far as to permit a professional craftsman whose services are in constant demand, a barber or a bath-attendant, to operate on Erev Yom-Tov.

(a) If an Aris, a Choker or a Kablan become an Aveil. others may do his work for him.
1. An Aris - is a share-cropper. He hires the field, and pays the owner with a half, a third or a quarter of the produce that grows each year (depending on the local custom).
2. A Choker - is a share-cropper who guarantees the owner a fixed amount of grain (so many Kurim) annually, irrespective of how much the field produces.
3. A Kablan - is someone who is employed to look after the field and who is paid a fixed amount, irrespective of how much the field produces.
(b) An ass-driver, a camel-driver or a sailor who became an Aveil are forbidden to accept a new contract - but they are permitted to complete a contract that they accepted before they became Aveilim.

(c) The Tana of the Beraisa does not require others to complete the work for him (like he said earlier with regard to working in the field) - because in this case, it is the Aveil himself who is obligated to perform the task on hand (and if he does complete it, he will cause a loss both to himself and to the person who employed him); whereas an Aris, a Choler and a Kablan are permitted to employ others to look after the field.

(d) 'A S'chir-Yom is forbidden to work even if he became an Aveil *after* he began working that day, even in another town'. A S'chir Yom is worse (in this regard) than the workers mentioned previously - because the Halachah permits him to retract even in the middle of the day (and the employer must hire fresh workers for the rest of the day, if necessary). In any event, his loss is not that great, because he receives his wages for the period that he worked. The Tana mentions 'even in another town' - to inform us that, in spite of the fact that he is unknown there (thereby dispensing with the aspect of Mar'is ha'Ayin), it is nevertheless forbidden.

(a) If someone handed an Aveil work to do at home, he is forbidden to do it, irrespective of whether he gets paid per job ('Kablanus') or per day ('S'chir Yom') - because once he works at home, he has the authority to postpone the work and do it later.

(b) Someone who is employed by an Aveil may do the work - provided he does not do it in the Aveil's house.

(a) Meryon the son of Ravin and Mar the son of Rav Acha B'rei de'Rava paired their oxen to plow together in the field. When the latter became an Aveil - he removed his ox from the yoke.

(b) Rav Ashi commented that - in view of the Beraisa that we have just learned (that if the Aveil is hired out to someone else, he may complete the job - in order not to cause his employer a loss), Mar the son of Rav Acha B'rei de'Rava should not have adopted this stringency at Meryon's expense.

(c) We nevertheless justify Mar the son of Rav Acha B'rei de'Rava - by pointing out that he was an important person, who is expected to be strict in these matters (even at the expense others).

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