(Permission is granted to print and redistribute this material
as long as this header and the footer at the end are included.)


brought to you by Kollel Iyun Hadaf of Har Nof
Rosh Kollel: Rav Mordecai Kornfeld

Ask A Question about the Daf

Previous daf

Shabbos 43


QUESTION: The Gemara cites the opinion of Rebbi Yitzchak, who maintains that one may move a utensil on Shabbos only for the sake of something which is not Muktzah. The Gemara challenges his opinion with all of the cases cited by the Gemara earlier, and it answers that none of those cases pose a difficulty to Rebbi Yitzchak, because they are talking about when the person picked up the utensil for a permissible use (and one may then put the utensil down wherever he wants, even to cover a Muktzah item).

This answer resolves all of the questions from the previous cases. If so, why does the Gemara continue to ask new questions; did it not know that the same answer applies to all of them?

ANSWER: TOSFOS (DH Kofeh) says the Gemara knew this answer, but was merely looking for other answers.


QUESTION: According to Rebbi Yitzchak, who holds that one may not move items on Shabbos for the sake of something which is Muktzah, how is it possible to bring a covering to cover the body of a dead person (to protect it), if a body is Muktzah? Rav Huna explains what the permissible procedure would be the following: two people should sit down next to the body, and when they begin to get hot from the ground beneath them, they should go and bring beds upon which to sit. When they get hot from being unsheltered, they should go bring a mat to hold above their heads. Then, holding the mats above their heads (and above the body), they should lift the beds to support the mat, and then they may depart, leaving the body nicely sheltered.

Why are there two stages -- first they must bring the beds, and then they bring the mat? Let them bring both the beds and the mat at the same time!


(a) TOSFOS (DH Cham) explains that the real purpose behind bringing the mat is for the sake of covering the body, but to do so outright is prohibited, because one may not move an item for the sake of something that is Muktzah. In order to permit it, the shelter must be erected for the sake of someone living, and not for the body. Therefore, the Rabanan required that one show that he is bringing the mat for his own personal benefit. That is why one must first bring the bed to sit on -- he must first do an *action* for himself, so that when he brings the mat, it is not obvious that he bringing the mat for the sake of the body.

(b) The RAMBAM (Hilchos Shabbos 26:22) says that they did not use the beds for making the shelter; rather, they merely left two mats leaning against each other (like a teepee) above the body. Why, then, did they bring they beds altogether? The KESEF MISHNAH explains that since they were not really bringing the mats because they were hot, but rather for the sake of sheltering the body, it must be made to look like they are bringing it for their own personal use as much as possible. Requiring them to bring the beds, which *remain* for their own personal use and are never used for the body, makes it look as if the mats are also being brought for personal use.

OPINIONS: After all is said and done, how does one cover a dead body on Shabbos?
(a) The RIF and ROSH leave out the Gemara's entire discussion of how to cover a body on Shabbos. It seems that the reason is that the discussion of the Gemara is only according to Rebbi Yitzchak, who forbids moving anything for the sake of an object that is Muktzah. Since the Halachah is not like Rebbi Yitzchak, it is permissible to carry an object with which to cover the body without any pretenses.

(b) However, the RAMBAM and TUR do cite this Halachah. The BEIS YOSEF (OC 311) explains that the reason for covering a body in this fashion is not because it is prohibited to carry mats for something Muktzah. Rather, it is because putting up mats constitutes the Rabbinic prohibition of building a temporary tent. (Even a shelter which is pointed at the top and does not have a ceiling with a width of one Tefach, may only be made for a live person, but not for a dead person.)

What is the Rambam's source for learning that Rav Huna is dealing with the prohibition of building a temporary tent? It would seem clear from our Gemara that Rav Huna was explaining how to get around the problem of moving items for something that is Muktzah, and not how to get around the problem of building a tent!

Tosfos and the RIF point out that Rav Huna elsewhere (154b) seems to argue with Rebbi Yitzchak. If so, the real reason why Rav Huna requires making the shelter in this fashion must be because of the problem of making a tent (and not because of the problem of carrying something to place over a Muktzah object).

(However, we might ask another question on the Rambam's explanation. If it is permissible to carry something for the sake of a Muktzah object, why go through this difficult procedure to make a covering over the body? One should just spread a mat directly over the body, without making a tent by leaving space under it. The answer must be that one wants air to circulate around the body, and the only way to achieve this is to leave a tent above the body as the Rambam describes. M. Kornfeld)

Next daf


This article is provided as part of Shema Yisrael Torah Network
Permission is granted to redistribute electronically or on paper,
provided that this notice is included intact.
For information on subscriptions, archives, and other Shema Yisrael
Classes, send mail to daf@shemayisrael.co.il

Shema Yisrael Torah Network
Jerusalem, Israel

In the U.S.:
Tel. (908) 370-3344
Fax. (908) 367-6608

Toll free line for dedications: 1-800-574-2646