THOUGHTS ON THE DAILY DAF
brought to you by Kollel Iyun Hadaf of Har Nof
Rosh Kollel: Rav Mordecai Kornfeld
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1) A DOORSTEP IN FRONT OF A "MAVUY"
QUESTION: The Gemara says that a Mavuy's doorstep that has an area of 4x4
Tefachim is not considered to be part of the Mavuy (for the purpose of
carrying while walking along the doorstep, or from the doorstep to the
Mavuy). RASHI (DH Tzarich Lechi) explains that in the Mavuy itself,
carrying is permitted because of the Lechi that is standing at the opening
of the Mavuy, along the side of the doorstep. The permissible carrying area
is limited to within the Lechi's *inner* edge, which is at the inner side
of the doorstep; therefore, the doorstep is *not* included in the Lechi's
2) SUMMARY: THE DOORSTEP THAT SERVES TWO DOMAINS
Next, the Gemara entertains the possibility that on a doorstep *less* than
4x4 Tefachim wide, carrying might be permitted since in the case of such a
small area, carrying is permitted anywhere within the *outer* edge of the
Lechi. Rashi (DH v'Chi Teima d'Leis Bei) explains that if the doorstep is
less than four by four, then there is *no need* for a real Lechi, because
the very walls of the entranceway will serve as the Lechi for the doorstep
area and will permit carrying from the doorstep to the Mavuy.
STEP WALL CONSIDERED TO BE "LECHI"
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Why did Rashi introduce the concept of the walls serving as a Lechi *now*?
He should have mentioned it at the beginning of the Sugya, when the Gemara
assumed that the doorstep was four by four. Rashi should have said there
that the wall is the Lechi and the inner side of the wall cannot serve to
permit the doorstep! (MAHARSHAL, MAHARSHA)
(a) The MAHARSHAL explains that when Rashi said that there was a Lechi on
the doorstep whose inner side is the limit for the carrying-area inside the
Mavuy, Rashi did not really mean that there was an independent "Lechi." By
saying Lechi Rashi meant the wall adjacent to the doorstep; he called it a
Lechi because it performs the same function as a Lechi, as Rashi later made
(b) Perhaps Rashi's intention was to show us first that not only does the
inner side of a *wall* permit carrying only from its inner edge inward, but
a full-fledged Lechi also only serves to permit carrying from its inner
edge inward. Next, when the Gemara suggests that a doorstep less than 4x4
will be permitted by the outer edge of a Lechi, Rashi emphasizes that even
the outer edge of a *wall* will also permit the doorstep. (M. Kornfeld)
Acherim said that a doorstep serves two domains. When the door is open, it
is part of Reshus ha'Yachid, and when the door is closed, it is part of
Reshus ha'Rabim. The Gemara wants to know in which situation this statement
was made; when does the status of a doorstep depend on whether the door is
open or closed?
The Gemara suggests two answers that are both based on the same premise --
the doorstep is considered Reshus ha'Yachid only if it has one of two
situations: (1) a roof with an area of 4x4 Tefachim on top of it (because
the edge of a 4x4 roof is considered able to descend and act as a fourth
wall -- the door and the lintels are the other three -- making the doorstep
under it a Reshus ha'Yachid); (2) a roof beam ("Korah") of a Mavuy on top
of it (because of the special enactment of the Rabanan that a roof beam
either serves as a reminder that this is the extent of Reshus ha'Yachid, or
because of "Yored v'Sosem" -- the roof beam's edge descends to act as a
fourth wall to make the enclosed area a Reshus ha'Yachid).
If it is the doorstep of a house, it is considered part of the inside of
the house if it has a roof which is 4x4 Tefachim. If it is the doorstep to
a Mavuy, it is considered part of the inside of the Mavuy if it has
*either* a 4x4 roof or a Korah on top of it.
(a) Rebbi Yehudah in the name of Rav says that Acherim are talking about a
doorstep of a Mavuy which has a roof beam on top of it. The roof beam is
only one Tefach wide, and is located on the inner side of the doorstep
(that is, closer to the door). When the door is open, the roof beam serves
to enclose the part of the doorstep that is underneath it (as in situation
(#2), above). When the door is closed, the roof beam cannot be considered
to be enclosing the part of the doorstep under it, because the roof beam is
no longer associated with the Mavuy. A roof beam only makes whatever is
underneath it into a Reshus ha'Yachid when it is associated with a Mavuy
(this was part of the Rabanan's enactment).
(b) Rav Ashi explains that Acherim were talking about the doorstep of a
*house*. Above the doorstep is a roof made of two beams, which together
cover an area of at least 4x4 Tefachim, but each of the two beams by itself
is less than 4x4 Tefachim. The gap between the two beams is less than three
Tefachim. When the door is open, the concept of Lavud (Gud Achis) takes
effect and the two beams are viewed as one large beam that is enclosing the
entire 4x4 Tefachim (as in situation #1 above). When the door is closed,
the door dissociates the outer beam from the inner beam, and the outer beam
is left enclosing an area *less* than 4X4. Therefore, it is not able to
create an outer, fourth, Mechitzah for the doorstep, and the doorstep
remains a Karmelis.
(If the roof of the doorstep had been just one large roof beam, then
closing the door at the middle would not have been able to dissociate the
outer part of the doorstep from the inner part, and the doorstep would
still be a Reshus ha'Yachid.)
3) GOING TO A BARBER BEFORE MINCHAH
QUESTION: The Mishnah states, "A person should not go to barber close to
Minchah before he Davens. A person should not enter a bathhouse, nor go in
to tan hides, nor to eat, nor to judge." Why did the Mishnah separate going
to a barber from all of the other activities in the Mishnah? The Mishnah
should have put them all together!
3) HALACHAH: EATING BEFORE "DAVENING MINCHAH"
(a) RASHI explains that this Mishnah is cited in Shabbos because of its
similarity to the following Mishnah (11a), which says that a tailor should
not walk out on Friday near sundown with his needle lest he forget and
carry his needle on Shabbos, transgressing the Melachah of Hotza'ah.
Similarly, a person should not become involved in these activities shortly
before Minchah, lest he forget to Daven Minchah.
In all the latter cases of the Mishnah, the fear is that the person may
forget about Minchah because he is *involved* in another act which
distracts him from Minchah. However, when a person sits in front of a
barber he is playing a passive part. He is not physically involved in any
act per se, yet we still fear that he may forget about Minchah. Logically,
then, going to a barber most closely resembles the case of the following
Mishnah, because there, too, the tailor is not involved in an *act* that
will cause him to forget about carrying his needle on Shabbos.
Since the case of the barber is the reason for recording this Mishnah here
because of its close similarity to the next Mishnah, it is given special
status and mentioned separately from the other cases in the Mishnah. (This
is alluded to by Rashi who explains, with regard to going to a barber, that
"perhaps one *will forget* and not Daven," while with regard to the other
activities Rashi says, "The reason of all of them is that perhaps one will
*get so involved* in them that he will forget....") (Y. Shaw)
(b) The RASHASH suggests another reason for including this Mishnah in
Maseches Shabbos. This Mishnah is related to the preparations required for
Shabbos, since one is supposed to get a haircut before Shabbos (see
SHULCHAN ARUCH OC 260). According to his suggestion, as well, it is
appropriate that going to a barber is given special status in the Mishnah,
since it is the sole reason for including our Mishnah in Maseches Shabbos.
(The bathhouse that is mentioned in the Mishnah does not refer to the
obligation to wash oneself before Shabbos. Rather, it refers to a much more
involved process of bathing, like a spa, which is not done in preparation
OPINIONS: When is a person allowed to eat before Minchah?
(a) The RIF and the RAMBAM rule like the second answer of the Gemara (Rav
Acha Bar Yakov), that even a *normal* meal is prohibited from right before
*Minchah Gedolah* and on (this is the strictest opinion).
HALACHAH: The SHULCHAN ARUCH (OC 232) cites the opinion of the Rif and the
Rambam (a), which is the most stringent opinion. The REMA mentions the
other three opinions.
The MISHNAH BERURAH writes that we may follow the lenient side of any of
the opinions (because the prohibition is only mid'Rabanan). Therefore, the
practice is to permit starting a large meal before Minchah Gedolah, and a
normal meal before Minchah Ketanah, and to refrain only from starting a
large meal before Minchah Ketanah. The Kaf ha'Chayim rules that even the
Sefardim may rely on this lenient practice, because nowadays we have a set
time for Davening and that prevents us from forgetting to Daven Minchah.
(b) TOSFOS and the ROSH explain that the Halachah follows the first answer
of the Gemara, because it was Rav Ashi, the redactor of the Gemara, who
said it. Therefore, it is prohibited to start a *large* meal before
*Minchah Gedolah*. A normal meal, however, is permitted. Before Minchah
Ketanah, even a normal meal is prohibited (in accordance with the opinion
of Rebbi Yehoshua Ben Levi).
(c) The BA'AL HA'ME'OR writes that since the Gemara in Berachos (28b)
teaches that the Halachah is not like Rebbi Yehoshua Ben Levi, the question
of the Gemara never really started. Consequently, we remain with the
original assumption of the Gemara, that the Mishnah only prohibits starting
these activities before Minchah Ketanah. It is therefore permitted to start
*even a large meal* before Minchah Gedolah, but prohibited before *Minchah
(d) The TUR cites RABEINU YEHUDAH (quoting his Rebbi) who maintains that
only a *large meal* is prohibited, but both before *Minchah Gedolah and
Minchah Ketanah*. A normal meal is permitted, because the Halachah is not
in accordance with Rebbi Yehoshua Ben Levi.
However, the BI'UR HALACHAH adds that it is "Midas Chasidus" (a trait of
righteousness) to be stringent, but only to the extent of Tosfos'
stringency (b); it is not necessary to be as stringent as the Rambam's
opinion (a). The Kaf Ha'Chaim, however, maintains that it is "Midas
Chasidus" to be stringent even like the Rambam's opinion.