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Yevamos, 48

YEVAMOS 46-55 - Ari Kornfeld has generously sponsored the Dafyomi publications for these Dafim for the benefit of Klal Yisrael.


QUESTION: The Beraisa states that there is an obligation for an Eved and a Ger to rest from Melachah on Shabbos. The Gemara explains that the "Ger" to which the Beraisa is referring is a Ger Toshav, a Nochri who lives in Eretz Yisrael and has accepted upon himself the seven Mitzvos of Noach.

How can a Ger Toshav be obligated to observe Shabbos? A Ger Toshav is a Nochri, not a Jew, and the Gemara (Sanhedrin 58b) clearly states that a Nochri who rests from Melachah on Shabbos is Chayav Misah!


(a) RASHI writes that a Nochri who accepts upon himself to observe the seven Mitzvos of Noach and not to serve Avodah Zarah is also required to keep Shabbos, because the desecration of Shabbos is compared to Avodah Zarah.

TOSFOS asks that the Gemara in Sanhedrin clearly implies otherwise. The Acharonim (ARUCH LA'NER) explain that, according to Rashi, the Gemara in Sanhedrin is referring only to a Nochri who is involved in worshipping Avodah Zarah. Such a Nochri is indeed Chayav Misah if he rests from Melachah on Shabbos. However, once he accepts upon himself not to serve Avodah Zarah, he must observe Shabbos.

(b) TOSFOS (DH Zeh) explains that a Ger Toshav has no obligation to observe Shabbos. Rather, the Gemara is saying that the obligation of a Ger Toshav is akin to that of an Eved -- a Jew is not allowed to have an Eved, or a Ger Toshav, do Melachah for him on Shabbos (Rashi himself says this with regard to an Eved, in DH Bein ha'Shemashos). Why did Rashi explain the obligation of a Ger Toshav differently than Tosfos?

Rashi did not want to explain like Tosfos, because a Ger Toshav is different than an Eved in that a Ger Toshav is not subject to any Jew. Thus the verse cannot be telling us that we are not allowed to tell him to do Melachah, because he has no imperative to listen to what we tell him anyway! If he decides to do the Melachah, it is as if he is deciding to do it on his own accord, and there is no Isur d'Oraisa for a Nochri to do Melachah for a Jew. Therefore, it must be that the Torah is telling *him* not to do Melachah, and not that it is telling *us* not to ask him to do Melachah for us.

(c) The TOSFOS YESHANIM explains that this Ger Toshav is actually a Ger Tzedek who is in the process of converting. If Shabbos arrives before he has completed his Gerus (similar to the case of an Eved that Rebbi Akiva discusses earlier), he must observe that Shabbos. Since he had intention to convert, he is not considered a Nochri anymore with regard to the prohibition against keeping Shabbos, and thus he must rest from Melachah on Shabbos.

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