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Shabbos 146


OPINIONS: The Mishnah states that one may break a barrel in order to eat the figs that are inside it. RASHI (DH Shover) explains that breaking open the barrel on Shabbos is permissible because by breaking the barrel one is doing a destructive act (Mekalkel), "and it is not forbidden whatsoever to be Mekalkel on Shabbos."

We know that Setirah (demolishing) for the sake of building is a Melachah d'Oraisa, and Setirah not for the sake of building is forbidden mid'Rabanan. Why, then, should it be permitted l'Chat'chilah to break open a barrel on Shabbos?

(a) The RASHBA explains that Rashi follows his opinion elsewhere (47a, DH Chayav Chatas), where he says that the Melachos of Binyan and Setirah (building and demolishing) do not apply to utensils. They apply onto to structures that are attached to the ground. Therefore, if a person makes a utensil on Shabbos, he is not Chayav for Boneh; rather, he is Chayav for Makeh b'Patish ("the final hammer-blow"). *Breaking* a utensil, therefore, is not forbidden, because Makeh b'Patish has no destructive counterpart.

(b) TOSFOS (DH Shover) argues and maintains that the Melachos of Binyan and Setirah apply to utensils. The only time that it is permitted to make or break a utensil, according to Tosfos (102b, DH Hai), is when that utensil is *made to be* assembled and disassembled. Why, then, is it permissible to break the barrel of our Mishnah?

Tosfos explains, based on a Gemara in Beitzah (33b), that the Gemara here is referring to a barrel that was broken and later fixed by gluing together the broken parts. Since the barrel is no longer considered a complete utensil, it is permissible to break it open to obtain its contents. Any other barrel, though, may not be broken on Shabbos.

(c) The RITVA explains that breaking a barrel should actually be prohibited mid'Rabanan, because it is an act of Setirah without intention to build. The only reason it is permitted in our Mishnah is because the Rabanan permitted it for the sake of Oneg Shabbos (since one wants to use the food inside the barrel to enhance his Shabbos pleasure).

(d) The YERUSHALMI here, cited in SHITAH L'RAN, explains that opening a barrel to get at the food inside is comparable to opening the shell of a nut to remove the nut inside. Since the barrel is the normal container for the food inside, opening it is not considered Setirah. Rather, it is considered as though one is merely taking food out of its container.

HALACHAH: The Halachah (SHULCHAN ARUCH OC 314:1) follows the opinion of Tosfos (b), that Binyan and Setirah do apply to utensils and the only type of barrel that one may open on Shabbos is one that was broken and was glued together. A complete, unbroken barrel may not be broken in order to get the food inside of it.

However, it is permitted to open plastic bags and containers that contain food because those containers are made for temporary use and thus they are comparable to a broken barrel that was repaired with glue, which is not considered a real utensil.


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