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 FLAME IS MUKTZAH
QUESTION: The Gemara says that a lamp, oil, and wick are all considered to
be a "Basis l'Davar ha'Asur" according to Rebbi Shimon. RASHI explains that
the Davar ha'Asur is the flame, which is Muktzah and may not be moved even
l'Tzorech Gufo u'Mekomo. Why is the flame Muktzah? Because it is the same
as a rock on the ground, which is not a Kli and has no purposeful use on
2) MOVING A FIRE PAN
(1) How is a flame comparable to a rock? A flame has a useful purpose -- to
provide light! If a person has, for example, a flashlight, or a
phosphorescent rock such as phosphorus, since that object provides light,
he is permitted to designate it for use on Shabbos and move it to a room in
which he needs light. Since the flame also has a use of providing light,
one should be allowed to bring it from place to place to use its light!
(2) Secondly, if a flame is Muktzah Machmas Gufo, why are we allowed to
move logs in a fire on Yom Tov (when it is not l'Tzorech Ochel Nefesh)? One
may move a lit flame or log on Yom Tov even when it is not l'Tzorech Ochel
Nefesh, and the log is not considered to be a Basis for a flame that is
Muktzah Machmas Gufo. (This is evident from the fact that Tosfos, when he
searches for proofs, never brings this to prove that Muktzah may be moved
on Yom Tov l'Tzorech Ochel Nefesh -- see Tosfos Beitzah 8a DH Amar -M.
Kornfeld). (Rav Shlomo Zalman Auerbach, zt'l, in MINCHAS SHLOMO 14:1)
(a) The CHAZON ISH (Moed, 41:16) explains that people abstain from moving
candles on Shabbos out of fear that the candle might go out. (Even though,
if the candle goes out, it is a Davar sh'Ein Miskaven, nevertheless people
refrain from moving it lest it go out, since they will not be able to
relight it - Rav Shlomo Zalman, ibid.) Tosfos (46a, DH v'Ha) states that
objects that are specifically designated to be kept in a one place
("Kovei'a la'Hem Malom") are Muktzah because they are never moved. So, too,
a flame is Muktzah because it is never moved, as if it was designated to be
kept in a certain place.
On Yom Tov, though, since it is permitted to relight a flame, people do not
refrain from moving candles. Therefore it is not Muktzah as a result of
being designated to remain in one place.
(b) RAV SHLOMO ZALMAN AUERBACH answers that since (1) the flame is only
used for is its light, and (2) it is a Davar sh'Ein Bo Mamash (it has no
tangible substance) and thus cannot really be called a Kli, and (3) it is
always changing (the flame burning now is not the same flame that existed
moments ago, as mentioned in Berachos 53a), it cannot be considered a Kli.
On Yom Tov, though, since it is permitted to light other fires from it, it
is significant and is given the status of a Kli.
(c) The RITVA (in our Sugya) explains that the flame is Muktzah because "it
is forbidden to touch." He may mean that on Shabbos, if one touches the
flame with an object, one transgresses the Melachah of cooking (or if he
touches it with his hand, he transgresses the Melachah of bruising). Since
one cannot touch the flame, as far as Shabbos is concerned it is not
considered a Kli, because a Kli is something that can be *handled* by
itself (without the help of the candle under it). On Yom Tov, one may light
from the flame and touch it with another object, and therefore it is
considered a Kli and is not Muktzah.
QUESTION: The Gemara says that one may move a fire pan with ashes in it
("Kenuna *Agav* Kitma") even though (*v*'Af Al Gav) it also has wood
splinters on it. The Gemara seems to be teaching two things: (1) One may
move a fire pan *because* it has ashes, which are not Muktzah, on it (that
is, without the ashes, the fire pan would be prohibited to move), and (2)
even though there are Muktzah items -- the wood splinters -- on top of it,
one may still move the fire pan.
Why would it have been prohibited to move the fire pan even if it did not
have wood splinters on top, if not for the ashes?
(a) RASHI says that it would *not* have been prohibited, and the Gemara is
teaching only that even when there are wood splinters on top, it may still
be moved (the second teaching mentioned above).
(b) TOSFOS (Beitzah 21b) explains that the fire pan is a Kli she'Melachto
l'Isur, a utensil used for a Melachah that is forbidden on Shabbos, and
that is why it may not be moved by itself. If it has ashes in it, it may be
moved like any other permissible utensil (that is, it may even be moved for
its own protection, "me'Chamah l'Tzel").
(c) The RA'AVAD (to Hilchos Shabbos 26:13) explains that the fire pan
contains ashes that existed before Shabbos *as well as* ashes that came
into existence on Shabbos. The ashes from before Shabbos are permitted to
be handled. If not for those ashes, the fire pan would be prohibited to
move because of the ashes that came about on Shabbos. (The fire pan itself,
though, is not Muktzah.)
(d) The RAMBAN explains that the ashes in the fire pan are Muktzah, because
they came about on Shabbos. Nevertheless, one may move the fire pan because
the pan itself is completely permissible to be handled, and therefore the
ashes are subordinate to the fire pan. That is, the Gemara does not mean
that the ashes *permit* the pan to be moved. Rather, it means that the pan
may be moved *despite* the ashes that are on it.
(e) The RAMBAM says that the fire pan is Muktzah (like (b) above) and the
ashes are also Muktzah (like (d) above), and the only reason one may move
it is because it has a status of a "Graf Shel Re'i," a utensil with
offensive contents, which the Rabanan permitted to be moved from one's
presence on Shabbos. (Even though the Gemara just said that something that
is covered is not a Graf Shel Re'i, a fire pan, unlike a Machatah, is
uncovered. Alternatively, the *ashes* have a status of Graf Shel Re'i, and
therefore the entire fire pan may be moved to remove the ashes from one's
presence (Magid Mishnah).)
QUESTION: Raban Shimon Ben Gamliel and the Tana Kama argue whether it is
permissible to put together a bed loosely. The Tana Kama says "Patur Aval
Asur" (it is forbidden to do so, but one is not Chayav if he does). Raban
Shimon Ben Gamliel says that it is permissible. The Gemara says that the
Amora'im mentioned before are arguing whom to rule like, l'Halachah. That
is why Levi bar Shmuel allowed one to take apart such a bed, and Rav
Yehudah prohibited it.
How can the Gemara say that Rav Yehudah agrees with the Tana Kama who
prohibits constructing (and taking apart) a loose-fitted bed? Rav Yehudah
says that one is Chayav to bring a Korban Chatas if he takes apart such a
bed, and the Tana Kama says that one is Patur!
ANSWER: Rav Yehudah meant that if someone would knock the leg tightly into
the bed, then one is Chayav to bring a Chatas, and consequently it is Asur
(but Patur) to put it together (or take it apart) loosely. (TOSFOS, DH
Raban Shimon Ben Gamliel)
QUESTION: The Mishnah states that one may not place a plate of water
underneath a lamp on Friday afternoon to collect the sparks that fall on
Shabbos. It seems that the reason is because if one were to place a plate
there on *Shabbos*, he would be Chayav for extinguishing, so the Rabanan
made a Gezeirah that one may not do so even on Friday. Why would one be
Chayav for extinguishing, when all he did was lay the plate there?
(a) RASHI explains that he is indeed Chayav to bring a Chatas for
extinguishing. The RITVA explains that Rashi means that if one places the
plate in a place where the sparks usually fall on Shabbos, and one knows
that the sparks are going to fall there, it is considered as if he
extinguished the spark when it does fall there.
(b) TOSFOS, explaining RASHI, says that Rashi does not mean that one is
Chayav to bring a Chatas for merely putting the plate there, but rather
that there are certain cases where one would be Chayav for extinguishing,
such as (1) when one pours the water into the plate, and before he finishes
pouring the water a spark falls into it and the water rises to extinguish
it, and (2) if one picks up the plate while the spark is falling.