ANSWERS TO REVIEW QUESTIONS
prepared by Rabbi Eliezer Chrysler
Kollel Iyun Hadaf, Jerusalem
Previous daf 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).
(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
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
(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.
The Minhag evolved to fix bolts into the lintel - like Rebbi Yossi.
(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).
(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.
***** Hadran Alach Mashkin Beis ha'Shalachin *****
(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.
***** 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
(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
(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
(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
(a) If an Aris, a Choker or a Kablan become an Aveil. others may do his work
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).
(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.
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.
(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).