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Shabbos 150


QUESTION: The Mishnah states that on Shabbos one may not tell his friend to hire workers for him. The Gemara says that the Mishnah is not referring to a Jewish friend, because it goes without saying that one may not tell a Jew to do work for him. Rather, the Mishnah is referring to a gentile friend.

However, the Gemara asks, we already know that Amirah l'Nachri is forbidden because of Shevus! Rashi explains this is learned from the Mishnah earlier (121a), which states that one may not tell a gentile to extinguish a fire on Shabbos.

What does the Gemara mean to ask? The Mishnah earlier cannot be compared to our Mishnah! The earlier Mishnah says that one may not tell a gentile to do an act which is Asur mid'Oraisa (such as extinguishing a fire). It cannot be learned from there that it is forbidden to tell a gentile to do an act which is only Asur mid'Rabanan, and that is why our Mishnah is needed! (Tosfos, 121a, DH Ein Omrim Lo, explicitly says that the only source that it is prohibited to tell a gentile to do an Isur d'Rabanan is from *our* Mishnah.) (REBBI AKIVA EIGER, SEFAS EMES, YA'AVETZ, and others)


(a) The YA'AVETZ explains that it is Asur *mid'Oraisa* to tell a gentile to do something which is Asur *mid'Oraisa* for a Jew to do on Shabbos, and not just mid'Rabanan (see TOSFOS DH v'Dibur). It is logical to assume, then, that telling a gentile to do an Isur d'Rabanan should be forbidden mid'Rabanan, and it is not necessary for our Mishnah to tell us this. (See Rebbi Akiva Eiger.)

(b) The CHASAM SOFER cites the RAMBAN (Vayikra 23:24) who says it is forbidden *mid'Oraisa* to treat Shabbos like a weekday, as we learn from the term "Shabason." This term commands us to rest on Shabbos and not to treat the day like a normal weekday. Telling a gentile to hire a worker is a weekday activity and is prohibited, by the Torah, to do on Shabbos.

(c) Perhaps the Gemara does not mean to ask that we already know that Amirah l'Nachri is prohibited. Rather, the Gemara means to ask that if the Mishnah is teaching that this type of Amirah l'Nachri is prohibited, then this law should have been included in the earlier Mishnah (121a) which discussed what one may tell a gentile to do on Shabbos. This may be what Rashi means as well. (M. Kornfeld)

(d) The SHITAH L'RAN mentions an opinion that presents a different understanding of the Sugya, which the SEFAS EMES also discusses. When the Gemara asks that Amirah l'Nachri is prohibited because of Shevus, it means that only telling a gentile to do an Isur d'Oraisa is prohibited. Telling him to do an Isur d'Rabanan, such as hiring a worker, should be *permitted*.


QUESTION: The Gemara relates that there was a certain Chasid who wanted to fix a breach in his fence on Shabbos. He remembered that it was Shabbos and refrained from fixing his fence, and Hashem rewarded him with a Tzelaf plant that grew in the place of the breach and provided sustenance for him and his family.

What was so great about refraining from desecrating Shabbos that merited such a miracle as reward?

ANSWER: The YERUSHALMI (Shabbos 5:3) relates that this Chasid thought on Shabbos about fixing the fence *after* Shabbos. Thinking about such a thing on Shabbos is permissible, as our Gemara states. However, since he was a Chasid, he regretted thinking -- on Shabbos -- about doing a Melachah after Shabbos. He decided not to act on his thoughts and *never* to fix his fence. As reward for his concern for the honor of Shabbos, Hashem fixed the breach by making a Tzelaf plant grow there.

AGADAH: According to REMA MI'PANO (Sefer ha'Gilgulim), this Chasid bore the soul of Tzelafchad.

It appears that this Chasid rectified the sin of Chilul Shabbos with which Tzelafchad had tainted his soul. Earlier in this Masechta (96b), we are told that Tzelafchad was the "Mekoshesh" described in the Torah who was killed for desecrating Shabbos. His act involved either plucking or gathering twigs from the ground or carrying them more than four Amos in Reshus ha'Rabim. All of these acts are involved in repairing a fence. The Chasid rectified the sin of Tzelafchad by deciding never to fix the fence because he had thought about fixingit on Shabbos.

His reward was a Tzelaf plant, or a "Tzelaf Chad" (a sharp, thorned Tzelaf). The Tzelaf provides three types of edible fruit (as Rashi describes in Berachos 37a). These three types of fruit may correspond to the three portions in the land of Israel that Tzelafchad passed on to his daughters (his own, his rights to his father's portion and his Bechorah rights in his father's portion, Bava Basra 116b).

OPINIONS: The Gemara says that a person may not do Melachah before reciting Havdalah. What is the reason for this Halachah?
(a) RASHI explains that it is prohibited because it is necessary to first do an act that represents *escorting out the Shabbos*. The CHIDUSHEI HA'RAN adds that the Rabanan wanted to make a sign to show that Shabbos has ended.

(b) The RAMBAM (Hilchos Shabbos 29:5) says that it is prohibited to "eat, do work, or taste anything" before reciting Havdalah. The BRISKER RAV (stenograph) infers from the fact that the Rambam places work between eating and tasting that all three of those activities are prohibited for the same reason. A person may not eat because there is a Mitzvah of Havdalah that is incumbent upon him to perform. Similarly, a person may not do Melachah because it will *distract him* from his obligation to recite Havdalah.

The Brisker Rav adds that a number of Halachic differences between the Rambam and Rashi due to the difference in their understanding of this Halachah:

(1) The SHULCHAN ARUCH (OC 299:10) says that a person may not do any Melachah before Havdalah. The REMA says in the name of RABEINU YERUCHAM that one may do Melachah, but one may not do "Melachah Gemurah" (a "total," very involved Melachah) before Havdalah.

The Brisker Rav explains that the Shulchan Aruch agrees with Rashi, that one may not do Melachah before making a sign that Shabbos has ended. Rabeinu Yerucham, though, agrees with the Rambam, who says that one may not do Melachah because it will distract him from the Mitzvah of Havdalah that he must do. Only an *involved* Melachah (such as sewing) will distract him, and therefore one may do a Melachah which is not distracting (such as kindling a flame) before Havdalah.

(2) There is an argument whether one who says "ha'Mavdil Bein Kodesh l'Chol" may do Melachah and eat as well, or he may only do Melachah (since he has not yet recited the proper Havdalah). According to the RIF (Pesachim 104a), a person who says "ha'Mavdil..." may not only do Melachah, but he may eat as well before Havdalah. The RAN there argues and says that saying "ha'Mavdil..." permits only Melachah to be done.

The Brisker Rav explains that the Rif agrees with the Rambam; since eating and doing Melachah are prohibited for the same reason, whatever permits one will also permit the other. The Ran, on the other hand, agrees with Rashi, that eating and doing Melachah before Havdalah are prohibited for two separate reasons (Melachah, because it is necessary to show that Shabbos has ended, and eating, because one is obligated to do the Mitzvah of Havdalah). Therefore, saying "ha'Mavdil" is a sufficient indication that Shabbos has ended and permits Melachah. It cannot permit eating, though, since the Mitzvah to recite Havdalah is still incumbent upon the person.

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