THOUGHTS ON THE DAILY DAF
brought to you by Kollel Iyun Hadaf of Har Nof
Rosh Kollel: Rav Mordecai Kornfeld
Ask A Question about the Daf
1) GOING OUT WITH A NEEDLE WITH NO HOLE IN IT
QUESTION: The Mishnah says that a woman may not go out with an un-holed
needle. In explaining the Mishnah, the Gemara goes through two stages, in
which it asks two questions: (1) "What is this un-holed needle used for?"
(The Gemara answers that it is used for parting her hair.) (2) "What is the
un-holed needle used for on Shabbos?"
2) THE "SANDAL HA'MESUMAR" (see GRAPHIC #1)
Why is the Gemara repeating its question? What was wrong with the answer
that the Gemara gave, that it is used for parting her hair?
(a) RASHI explains the difference between the two question as follows. The
Gemara first asks why is the un-holed needle considered a part of her
clothing and not something she carries? The Gemara answers that since she
parts her hair with it, it is considered part of her clothing. The Gemara
then asks its second question -- on Shabbos, when she cannot part her hair
with it, why is it considered part of her clothing? The Gemara answers that
on Shabbos it is worn as an ornament, with the gold plate at its tip
(b) TOSFOS (DH l'Mai Chazya) asks several questions on Rashi's explanation.
First, why does using the needle to part her hair make the needle into a
piece of her clothing? Even if she *could* part her hair with it on
Shabbos, it would *not* be considered a piece of her clothing or an
ornament. It is just stuck into the hair so that it should be available to
the woman at all times -- i.e. she is *carrying it* in her hair! Second,
why is it prohibited to part one's hair on Shabbos? (It cannot be
prohibited because of the possibility that she may pull out hair. Such an
act would be no more than a Davar she'Eino Miskaven, akin to combing the
hair of a Nazir, which Rebbi Shimon (50b) permits.)
Tosfos therefore suggests that the two questions of the Gemara are as
follows. The Gemara first asks a general question -- what does a woman do
with an un-holed needle in the first place? Second, once we know that it is
generally used to part her hair, why is the needle considered an
*ornament*, or a piece of clothing, and not just something that she is
carrying. (That is, Tosfos understands the second question to be what Rashi
understood was the first question)?
In defense of Rashi, we could suggest that Rashi understood that the
needle, after being used to part her hair, was then *pinned* into the hair
to *keep it parted*. Therefore, it is appropriately considered an ornament,
because by being there it makes her hair look nice. This answers Tosfos'
Second, the Gemara later (95a) says that a woman may not braid her hair on
Shabbos because it is considered Binyan (building). If so, pinning-up her
hair is also considered Binyan and therefore it would be prohibited on
Shabbos. This answers Tosfos' second question. (M. Kornfeld)
QUESTION: The Mishnah says that it is prohibited to wear "Sandal
ha'Mesumar" (nailed-up shoes) on Shabbos. The Gemara explains why the
Rabanan enacted such a prohibition, relating that several tragedies
occurred whereby many Jews inadvertently killed each other. What do these
tragedies have to do with Sandal ha'Mesumar?
(a) RASHI explains that the cause of death was that they trampled each
other with their Sandalim ha'Mesumarim, which had thick nails protruding
from their bottoms.
(b) According to TOSFOS (DH v'Sham'u) and other Rishonim, the Sandal
ha'Mesumar was the cause of the stampede in the first place. In the first
incident, it was a Sandal ha'Mesumar that was reversed, that caused
everyone in the cave to panic at the thought that someone may have walked
out of the cave and been spotted by the Romans. In the second and third
incidents, it was the noise of a Sandal ha'Mesumar's nails clanging against
the ground that caused the Jews to panic at the thought that a Roman had
found their whereabouts and was approaching to kill them.
3) THE PROHIBITION OF "SANDAL HA'MESUMAR" ON SHABBOS
QUESTION: According to both explanations above (Insight #2) as to why the
Rabanan prohibited wearing the Sandal ha'Mesumar, why did they prohibit it
only on Shabbos and Yom Tov? Granted, the Gemara says that the incidents
occurred on Shabbos, but the tragedies themselves were unrelated to Shabbos
(and they could have happened any day of the week). They were simply a
result of the Jews fleeing from the Romans! What is the logical connection
between the tragedies and Shabbos?
(a) The ME'IRI explains that the Rabanan wanted to prevent the joy of
Shabbos and Yom Tov from being compromised if people were to be reminded of
the tragedies that occurred on those days. Therefore, they prohibited the
Sandal ha'Mesumar on Shabbos and Yom Tov, the very day that the tragedy
happened, so that people would not be reminded of it and saddened.
(b) The Rabanan were concerned of a recurrence of those tragedies.
Therefore, on days when Jews gather together because they cannot work
(Rashi DH Ika) -- which closely resembles the circumstances in which the
tragedies occurred -- the Rabanan prohibited wearing the Sandal ha'Mesumar.
On other days of gathering, such as a fast day, since people gather
together to Daven (i.e. for a positive and not a negative reason), the
Rabanan assume that they will be engrossed in their prayer and no tragedy
will occur. (M. Kornfeld)