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Pesachim 51


QUESTION: The Beraisa states that if one goes to a place where the people have a practice to forbid something which is really permitted, one may not permit it in front of them. Rav Chisda asserts that this rule applies only to permitting things in from of the Kusim, who would misinterpret the Heter and permit things that really are forbidden. The Gemara questions Rav Chisda's assertion from a Beraisa which records three occasions on which Tana'im refrained from permitting something in a place where the practice was to forbid it, even though there were no Kusim in those places. One of those occasions was when the two Tana'im, Yehudah and Hillel, the sons of Raban Gamliel, went to a place called Kabul where the people had prohibited going to the bathhouse with one's brother.

The Gemara asks what was the logic behind prohibiting that act? The Gemara explains that there is a Beraisa which says that "it is forbidden to bathe with one's father, father-in-law, step-father, and sister's husband. Rebbi Yehudah permits bathing with one's father because of giving honor to one's father." The people of Kabul extended the decree and forbid bathing with one's brother in order not to think that it is permitted to bathe with one's sister's husband.

The Gemara, while on the topic of whom one may not bathe with, cites another Beraisa which states that one may not bathe with one's rebbi, but if the rebbi needs him, it is permitted.

RASHI (DH me'Aviv), in explaining the first Beraisa, says that the reason it is forbidden to bathe with one's father is because one might have immoral thoughts when he sees the place from which he originated. However, in explaining the second Beraisa, Rashi (DH Talmid) says that the reason one may not bathe with his rebbi is because of the honor and reverence due to his rebbi. Why does Rashi not give that same reason when explaining why one may not bathe with his father?

ANSWER: It is clear from the first Beraisa that the the Tana Kama does not hold that one's requirement to honor his father is the reason why one may not bathe with him. We see that it is Rebbi Yehudah who permits bathing with one's father when his father needs his help; according to Rebbi Yehudah, then, the reason why it is normally prohibited is because of his father's honor, and when one is able to honor his father by bathing with him, it is permitted. The Tana Kama prohibits bathing with one's father even when he will be giving his father honor. It must be, then, that they prohibit bathing with one's father for another reason other than his honor. (See ME'IRI, who quotes only the opinion of Rebbi Yehudah, and says that Rebbi Yehudah's reasoning for prohibiting bathing with one's father is because of the father's honor.)

HALACHAH: What is the Halachah with regard to bathing with one's brother or bathing with one's father?

It is permitted to bathe with one's brother, because we do not follow the practice of the people of Kabul who forbid it.

Regarding bathing with one's father, the Me'iri rules like Rebbi Yehudah, who permits it if the father needs his son there. However, the RAMBAM and REMA mention that it is forbidden to bathe with one's father but do mention that if the father needs him, it is permitted. It seems that they are stringent and do not rule like Rebbi Yehudah.

It seems that the prohibition of bathing with one's father applies only when the child has reached the age of being able to have immoral thoughts, or the age of being obligated to honor his father. A little child would be permitted to go with his father to the bathhouse or Mikvah. The ARUCH HA'SHULCHAN, though, is in doubt regarding this point.

The MAHARAM CHALAVAH writes that if the bathhouse is a dry bathhouse (that is, with no water, but with steam or the like), then it is forbidden for one to go with his father. It is permitted, though, to bathe in a body of water with one's father, since he will be covered by water. Even though there is a short amount of time that it takes to descend to the water, a person can refrain from looking for that small amount of time.

This Halachah is recorded by the RAMBAM and REMA (EH 23:6). The TOLDOS ADAM (Rav Zalman of Volozhen, the brother of Rav Chaim), cited by the PISCHEI TESHUVAH, once went to the Mikvah and when he saw his father-in-law there he fled immediately. He writes that he does not know why people are lenient to go to the bathhouse or Mikvah with their fathers or fathers-in-law. The ARUCH HA'SHULCHAN is also unsure why people are lenient. It could be that people rely on the Maharam Chalavah, and if one is covered until he gets into the water, it is permitted.

QUESTION: The Beraisa relates that when Yehudah and Hillel, the sons of Raban Gamliel, went to a place called Biri, they walked around on Shabbos in wide shoes ("Kurdakisin"). The people of Biri strongly objected, because it was their practice to forbid wearing such shoes on Shabbos, lest the shoe fall off and the wearer end up carrying it in Reshus ha'Rabim. Yehudah and Hillel, in deference to the Minhag of that place, removed their shoes and gave them to their servants.

How could they give their shoes to their servants to carry in Reshus ha'Rabim? One is required to make sure that his servant also rests from Melachah on Shabbos!


(a) The MITZPEH SHMUEL says that their servants were not Avadim Kena'ani'im, who may not do Melachah on Shabbos, but they were simply hired gentiles.

(b) The YIFEH EINAYIM says that their servants were Avadim Kena'ani'im, and Yehudah and Hillel gave them their shoes to wear. Since the practice to forbid wearing such shoes was only a Minhag, it could be that the Minhag did not extend to forbidding servants from wearing such shoes as a result of the obligation to make sure they do not do Melachah on Shabbos.


QUESTION: Rav Safra said that even though he is an expert in the calculation of the new month ("Kevi'a d'Yarcha"), when he goes to a place where the practice is two observe two days of Yom Tov, he does so, too, in order to prevent argument. He asked Rebbi Aba how many days of Yom Tov should he keep when he goes to an uninhabited place, and Rebbi Aba answered in the name of Rav Ami that it is permitted to do Melachah in such a place.

TOSFOS (K'gon) says that then Rav Safra states that "we are experts in Kev'ia d'Yarcha," he cannot mean to say that he knew the calculations and therefore was entitled to keep one day of Yom Tov. Everyone in Bavel knew how to calculate the new month, but there is a Gezeirah that nevertheless requires them to keep two days (Beitzah 4b). Rather, Rav Safra had come to this city, where the practice was to keep two days of Yom Tov, from a place where the practice was to keep only one day of Yom Tov.

How can Tosfos explain that this is the case of the Gemara? If Rav Safra arrived at a place where they kept two days of Yom Tov, this means that that place was beyond the range of the Sheluchei Beis Din (the messengers of Beis Din who would bring word of the new month to all of the outlying areas). Rav Safra himself, though, came frmo a place that kept one day of Yom Tov, meaning that his city *was* within the range of the Sheluchei Beis Din. If so, how could Rav Safra arrive at a place that kept two days if he was from a place that kept one day? If the second city was close enough to his city that he could travel to there after the Sheluchin arrived, before Yom Tov, then certainly the Sheluchin could also travel to the second city before Yom Tov! The second city should also be keeping one day of Yom Tov! It must be that he left his city before the Sheluchin arrived there. But if he left before the Sheluchin arrived, then obviously he must keep two days in the second city, because he does not know when the Beis Din established the new month! (And he may not rely on his own knowledge of how to calculate the new month, because the Rabanan decreed that outside of the range of the Sheluchin, one must keep two days regardless of whether one knows how to calculate the Kevi'a d'Yarcha or not.) (MAHARSHA)


(a) TOSFOS (Sukah 43a) answers that the Gemara is talking about a city which the Sheluchin can reach during Nisan (before Pesach arrives, because they have more days on which they may travel), but which they cannot reach during Tishrei (when they are less days on which they may travel). In such a city, the Rabanan decreed that even in Nisan the residents must observe two days of Yom Tov, because of Tishrei. Rav Safra came from a place which the Sheluchin were able to reach during both Nisan and Tishrei, and now he was visiting a place during Nisan which Sheluchin could only reach in Nisan. We might have thought that the Gezeirah to keep two days in such a place does not apply to him. Therefore, the Gemara teaches that even when he is in that place during Nisan -- and the Sheluchin *do* reach that place, just as Rav Safra was able to reach that place -- he must still keep two days like everyone else. (This is also the approach suggested by the GILYON HA'SHAS and the P'NEI YEHOSHUA.)

(b) The P'NEI YEHOSHUA suggests another answer. He says that Rav Safra left his town, which was in the range of the Sheluchin, and went to the second town *before* the Sheluchin reached his town. He had an extra few days to travel to the second town, which the Sheluchin do not have. If so, how did he know when the Kevia d'Yarcha was? He knew when it was because, as Tosfos here says, the people of Bavel were experts. Since he came from a city where they only observed one day, we might have thought that he did not have to keep a second day when he came to the other city, because (a) he was an expert and knew when the Kevi'a d'Yarcha was, and (b) he came from a city which kept one day of Yom Tov. (The difference between this answer and the answer of Tosfos is whether the Gezeirah to make believe that one does not know the Kevi'a d'Yarcha applies to everyone, or only to people who are from outside of the range of Sheluchin. According to Tosfos, the Gezeirah of "Nisan Atu Tishrei" applies only if one went to a city that is within the range of "Nisan Sheluchin" but not within the range of "Tishrei Sheluchin." But if one went to a Midbar, the Gezeirah does not apply at all. The other Gezeirah -- that one must make believe that he does not know when the Kevi'a d'Yarcha is even though he knows how to calculate it -- applies even in the Midbar. The P'nei Yehoshua holds that only if one lives outside the range of the Sheluchin is he bound by the second Gezeirah (to make believe he does not know the Kevi'a d'Yarcha), but if he comes from inside the range, then if he goes to a Midbar he only has to observe one day of Yom Tov. Since there is no Minhag in the Midbar, one falls back on the Minhag of the place from which he came.)

(c) The D'VAR SHMUEL answers that Rav Safra travelled to the second city for the second Yom Tov (after Chol ha'Moed). Sheluchin do not continue to travel after the first Yom Tov (because then some cities will be keeping two days of Yom Tov for the first Yom Tov, and two days for the second Yom Tov). He kept two days there because of Machlokes, but if he had gone to a Midbar, he would have been allowed to keep only one day, because the Sheluchin do not go there.

(d) RABEINU CHANANEL has an entirely different explanation of the Gemara. He explains that Rav Safra lived in Bavel and was travelling to Eretz Yisrael. When he said that in the city he does not do Melachah, he was referring to when he was still in Bavel. If he were to go to the "Midbar" refers to the Midbar of Eretz Yisrael -- that is, the uninhabited area before the settled area. In that part of Eretz Yisrael is one considered to have the Minhagim of those who live in Eretz Yisrael or not? That is the question of the Gemara according to Rabeinu Chananel. According to this explanation, the question of Tosfos does not begin. (See also the Ba'al ha'Me'or for a similar approach to the Gemara.)

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