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Shabbos 123


OPINIONS: Rav Nachman and Rav Sheshes argue whether "Asuvei Yenuka" is permitted on Shabbos or not. Rav Nachman attempts to prove that it is forbidden from the Mishnah (147a) that states that it is forbidden to cause Apiktevizin (vomiting) on Shabbos. Rav Sheshes attempts to prove that it is permissible from our Mishnah (122b) that states that one may use a needle to remove a splinter on Shabbos.

What is "Asuvei Yenuka," and how is it comparable to Apiktevizin and removing a splinter?

(a) RASHI explains that Asuvei Yenuka refers to manipulating the bones and joints of a baby in order to straighten them into their proper positions. It is comparable to Apiktevizin because it is a corrective procedure which involves manipulating the body. In this respect it is also similar to removing a splinter. (Rashi later (147b), however, says that Apiktevizin has medicinal properties, and is not merely a corrective procedure, see Gilyon Hashas of Rebbi Akiva Eiger.)

According to Rashi, it is not clear why the Gemara states, at the end of the Sugya, that a splinter is not comparable to Asuvei Yenuka because it is "Lo Pakid." It should have said that a splinter is not part of the person's body, while Asuvei Yenuka involves adjusting parts of the body!

(b) RABEINU CHANANEL, the BA'AL HA'ME'OR, and the ARUCH explain that Asuvei Yenuka refers to a disorder in which a certain cartilage or bone in the upper throat of the child descends into the lower part of the throat (either the esophagus or trachea). A nurse puts her finger down his throat to bring the bone back into its proper position. Since the treatment can cause vomiting, the Gemara compares it to Apiktevizin.

This, too, is difficult to understand. How is this treatment comparable to removing a splinter? Furthermore, the comparison to Apiktevizin is not clear, because the nurse had no intention to cause the child to vomit, making it a Davar sh'Eino Miskaven as far as vomiting is concerned.

The RITVA answers that usually, the nurse causes the child to vomit and *spit up blood* while vomiting (which is forbidden because of Netilas Neshamah). Therefore, such an act falls into the category of "Pesik Reshei" (unavoidably causing a Melachah to be done on Shabbos). The Gemara's question, then, is whether the Rabanan permitted an act of Eino Miskaven which *nearly always* causes a Melachah to be done, for the sake of healing on Shabbos. In this respect it is comparable to taking out a splinter, which also usually causes blood to flow and is therefore a Pesik Reshei. (Rav Sheshes, who permits the act to be done, apparently does not consider it to be a full Pesik Reishei, since it *is* possible that there will be no bleeding. Nevertheless, he does not permit such an act for non-therapeutic purposes, since it is *close* to a Pesik Reishei. -M. Kornfeld)

(c) The Rishonim, citing RABEINU TAM, say that the question is whether one may open a closed duct in order to take something out of it; is such an act considered healing or not? Thus, the question of the bone that falls into the throat, the act of causing one to vomit, and removing a splinter are all questions of opening a closed duct for the sake of healing. The Gemara answers that the splinter is "Lo Pakid" -- it is not the same as Asuvei Yenuka because it is merely deposited underneath the skin. It is not blocking any natural path that will be used as a duct of some sort. The throat, though, is a duct that needs to be opened.


The Gemara relates that the prohibition of Muktzah began in the times of Nechemyah, who made an enactment (with a few exceptions) that no utensils, may be handled on Shabbos, since he saw that people were desecrating Shabbos by bringing piles of wheat from the fields into the city. A decree was issued forbidding any utensil to be carried.

The Rishonim record a number of different reasons for the decree of Muktzah. Different types of Muktzah may be related to the different reasons for the decree.

(a) The RA'AVAD (Hilchos Shabbos 22:12) says that reason for the decree of Muktzah is so that people should not carry from Reshus ha'Yachid to Reshus ha'Rabim on Shabbos (just like the original decree of Nechemyah). This is supported by the Gemara later (124b).

(b) The RAMBAM does not mention this reason, but instead lists three other reasons for the decree of Muktzah: (1) to prevent a person from making his Shabbos into a regular weekday by carrying all of his things around all day; (2) conversely, a person who does not work during the week needs some way to designate that Shabbos is different than the weekdays; the prohibition of Muktzah distinguishes Shabbos from the weekdays for such a person; (3) the Rabanan prohibited handling a utensil used primarily for a labor which is forbidden on Shabbos (Kli she'Melachto l'Isur), lest one inadvertently use it for its purpose and do a Melachah on Shabbos.

(c) The Gemara in Beitzah (2b) and Eruvin (38b) gives another source for the prohibition of Muktzah: "Hachanah d'Rabah." Rabah derives from a verse in the Torah that one is required to prepare things prior to Shabbos for use on Shabbos. If one did not prepare them prior to Shabbos, they are forbidden to be used on Shabbos. According to this source, it seems that the prohibition of Muktzah is mid'Oraisa. Does this conflict with our Gemara which states that Muktzah is only a Rabbinical decree from the time of Nechemyah?

The CHASAM SOFER (introduction to Mahadura Tinyana on Beitzah) explains that there are different parts to the prohibition of Muktzah. We find that the Gemara (Shabbos 128a) differentiates between eating Muktzah and handling or moving it. Rabah's source for the prohibition of Muktzah, which implies that Muktzah is an Isur mid'Oraisa, is referring to an Isur to *eat* (or devour, such as is the case with firewood) items which were not prepared before Shabbos. There is no source from that verse to prohibit *handling* Muktzah; that prohibition comes from the decree of Nechemyah.

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