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Shabbos 94


QUESTION: There is a dispute between Rebbi Nasan and the Rabanan whether an animal or bird "carries itself" ("Nosei Es Atzmo") when it is being carried by a person or another animal. Rebbi Nasan maintains that an animal is Nosei Es Atzmo, and the Rabanan say that it does not, because it stiffens itself when being carried and weighs itself down. Rebbi Yochanan says that Ben Beseira agrees with Rebbi Nasan, that an animal is Nosei Es Atzmo. Ben Beseira stated that one may sell a horse to a gentile on Friday before Shabbos, because there is no fear that the horse will do Melachah when Shabbos enters while still owned by the Jew, because the horse is a bird-carrier and carrying animals is not a Melachah since "Chai Nosei Es Atzmo."

Rashi explains that birds that ride on the back of an animal that are not tied up do not weigh themselves down. Therefore, the horse is not considered to be carrying the birds.

It seems from Rashi that Ben Beseira's ruling only applied with regard to birds riding on the back of a horse, since they do not weigh themselves down. Earlier, the Gemara said that the Rabanan (who disagree with Rebbi Nasan and Ben Beseira) maintain that an animal is not Nosei Es Atzmo because it weighs itself down. Why, then, do the Rabanan argue here (and maintain that a horse *is* considered to be carrying when it carries birds), if these birds are not weighing themselves down?

ANSWER: The MAHARSHA answers that the Gemara later explains that Rebbi Nasan agrees that when the animal is tied up, it is not Nosei Es Atzmo and it is prohibited to carry it on Shabbos. Rashi understood that to mean that when it is bound, even Rebbi Nasan agrees that it *weighs itself down*. That is, the argument between Rebbi Nasan and the Rabanan is *when* the animal is considered to be weighing itself down, only when tied or always. Consequently, the question on Rashi is answered. When Rashi said that birds riding a horse on its own volition do not weigh themselves down, that was *only according to Rebbi Nasan*. The Rabanan, however, indeed maintain that birds atop a horse are not Nosei Es Atzmam and do weigh themselves down. (See Maharshal, for another approach to the words of Rashi.)


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