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Tractate Eruvin:
Chapter 7



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Regulations concerning the preparation of eruvim for courts seperated by apertures, walls, ditches, and strawricks. Combination of eruvim in alleys.

MISHNA: If there be an aperture, four spans square, and less than ten spans high (from the ground), between two courts, the inmates of each court may prepare two separate Erubin; or if they prefer it, may combine in one Erub. If the aperture be less than four spans square or over ten spans from the ground, they are each obliged to prepare a separate Erub, and must not combine in one.

GEMARA: Shall we say that this anonymous Mishna, is in accordance with R. Simeon ben Gamaliel, who holds that the law of "lavud" (attached) applies for a distance of less than four spans and not for a distance of less than three spans as maintained by the sages? Nay; this Mishna may be even in accordance with the opinion of the sages, for the question of "lavud" does not arise here. It is merely a case of an aperture which is less than four spans square, hence it is not considered a door and this is admitted by the sages also, who hold that if an aperture is four spans square or more, it is considered a door, but if less than four spans square it is not.

"If the aperture be less than four spans square," etc. Why this repetition? Is this not self-evident? The first clause of the Mishna states, that if there be an aperture four spans square and less than ten spans high from the ground, the inmates of the courts may either prepare separate Erubin or combine in one. Hence if the aperture be less than four spans square and more than ten spans high, it is obvious that they cannot have their choice? The Mishna means to teach us, that if the aperture was partly less than ten spans high from the ground and partly more than ten spans high the inmates of the court still have their choice of either making separate Erubin or combining in one, and only if the entire aperture was over ten spans high from the ground, they are obliged to make each a separate Erub.

This explanation of the Mishna has reference to the following teaching of the Rabbis, viz.: If the entire aperture, with the exception of a small part, was higher than ten spans from the ground (e.g., if the aperture was twelve spans square and was eight spans high from the ground, thus two spans of the aperture were within ten spans from the ground and ten spans were over ten spans from the ground), or if the entire aperture with the exception of a small part was less than ten spans from the ground (e.g., if it was twelve spans square and only two spans were over ten spans from the ground), the inmates of the courts may either each make a separate Erub or combine in one. If the entire aperture with the exception of a small part was higher than ten spans from the ground the inmates have their choice; why is it necessary to state, that if the entire aperture with the exception of a small part was within ten spans from the ground, the inmates have their choice, is this not self-evident? After having stated the law in the former case, it applies the more to the latter.

R. Na'hman said: "The case of where the aperture is less than four spans square or over ten spans from the ground, applies only to courts, but as for houses, the aperture may be at any distance from the ground, even over ten spans, and, nevertheless, the inmates are permitted to join in an Erub." Why so? Because a house is considered solid, and every portion is regarded as occupied.

R. Abba asked of R. Na'hman: "If in the attic of a house there was a hole for the purpose of fastening a ladder therein, may the inmate of the attic join in the Erub regardless of whether there was a ladder fastened in the hole of the attic or not, i.e., should the house be considered solid and occupied and no ladder is necessary, or is the house only considered solid as far as the walls are concerned but not the interior, and a ladder is essential?" and he answered: "A ladder is not necessary." R. Abba understood R. Na'hman to say, that a permanent ladder was not necessary, but for the time that the Erub was to be combined it was necessary. It was taught, however, by R. Joseph bar Minyumi in the name of R. Na'hman that neither a permanent nor a temporary ladder was necessary.

MISHNA: If there be a wall ten spans high and four spans wide between two courts, the inmates of each must prepare separate Erubin and must not join in one. If fruit happen to lie on the wall, they may ascend from their respective sides and partake thereof, provided they do not bring any of it down with them. Should there be a breach in the wall, not wider than ten ells, they may prepare separate Erubin or if they prefer it join in one, because the breach is considered as a door. Should the breach, however, be wider than ten ells they must both join in one Erub but must not prepare two separate Erubin.

GEMARA: How is it, if the wall did not measure four spans in width? Said Rabh: "In that case, the atmosphere of two separate premises predominates at the wall and one must not handle anything even the size of a hair lying on the wall." R. Johanan, however, says to the contrary: "In that case the inmates of both courts may lay down fruit on the wall (or even take it down from the wall because it is regarded as ground under no jurisdiction)." R. Johanan will therefore explain the Mishna thus: "If the wall was four spans wide it is permitted to ascend on either side and partake of fruit lying on the wall, but it is not permitted to bring up any. If, however, the wall was less than four spans wide, one may carry fruit up on the wall and eat it there." This statement of R. Johanan is but in accordance with his own theory, as related by R. Dimi upon his arrival from Palestine in the name of R. Johanan, viz.: "An object less than four spans square, standing between public and private ground, may be used by both the occupants of the public and private ground as an aid on which to shoulder a burden on the Sabbath, but they should be careful not to confound the burdens placed on the object so that a burden placed by an occupant of public ground be taken up by an occupant of private ground and vice versa."

Can Rabh dispute this assertion of R. Dimi? Is it not identical with the Boraitha concerning a man standing on the doorstep and passing things to a mendicant in the street or to the master of a house (see Tract Sabbath, p. 8)? Rabh does not dispute the Boraitha in that instance, because it concerns a biblical law, but in this case where rabbinical law is dealt with, the Rabbis assume the privilege of reënforcing ordinances so as to preclude the possibility of transgression.

Rabba bar R. Huna in the name of R. Na'hman said: If between two courts there was a wall, which was ten spans high from the ground of one court, but on a level with the ground of the other, 1 the wall is ceded to the latter court and considered part of its ground, but to the former court it is an ordinary wall ten spans high. Why so? Because the use of the wall is more convenient for the latter than for the former, and where an object is more convenient for one than for another it is generally ceded to the former.

Said R. Shezbi: "R. Na'hman rendered the same decision concerning a ditch that was situated between two courts and was on a level with the ground on one side."

If a man comes to diminish the size of the wall referred to in the Mishna (either by heaping up earth at the bottom or by erecting posts or benches at its side; such was the original definition of the manner by which the size of the wall was diminished) and this was done to the extent of four spans, or more, he may make use of the entire wall, but if less than four spans he can use only as much of the wall as has been diminished. What do you mean to say? In either case there is an objection. If by diminishing the wall to the extent of less than four spans the wall is actually diminished, why should it not be allowed to use the entire wall, and if this does not constitute a diminution at all, why should it be allowed to use that part (where the earth was heaped up or the posts erected to the extent of less than four spans)?

Said Rabhina: In this case the Mishna does not mean to say, that the wall was diminished by heaping up earth or erecting posts but simply that a part of the wall was removed at the top. If the breach made in this manner exceeded four spans it is considered as a door, and the entire wall may be used, and if it was not quite four spans the entire wall must not be used, but that part of the wall containing the breach may, because its height is lessened.

R. Yechiel said: "If a basin was set down (bottom side up) at the bottom of the wall, the wall is diminished thereby. How can a basin serve to diminish the wall? A basin may be handled on the Sabbath, and is it not a fact that any vessel which may be handled on Sabbath cannot serve to diminish a wall because it can be removed? R. Yechiel means to say, if the basin was fastened to the ground. And if it is fastened to the ground may it not be removed nevertheless? By the statement "it was fastened to the ground," is meant if it was fastened so that a hoe or a pick-axe was required to remove it.

An Egyptian ladder does not diminish a wall but a ladder of Tyre does. What is meant by an Egyptian ladder? One that has not four rungs. So said the school of R. Janai.

Said R. A'ha the son of Rabha to R. Ashi: "Dost thou know why an Egyptian ladder does not diminish a wall?" and R. Ashi answered: "Didst thou not hear the statement of R. A'ha bar Ada in the name of R. Hamnuna, quoting Rabh, to the effect that it was an article which may be handled on the Sabbath and any article which may be handled on the Sabbath cannot serve to diminish a wall?" If such be the case, why can a ladder of Tyre serve to diminish a wall, may it not also be handled on Sabbath? A ladder of Tyre can serve because it is so heavy that it would require the efforts of several men to remove it.

Abayi said: If a wall ten spans high was between two courts and a ladder four spans wide was placed at each side of the wall: if the ladders were placed so that they are three spans apart, i.e., the ladder placed on the other side was three spans further up or down alongside of the wall than the other ladder, the wall is not diminished; but if they are not three spans apart the wall is diminished. If the wall, however, was four spans deep so that a man can walk on it, it makes no difference how far apart the ladders are.

R. Bibhi bar Abayi said: "If one erected two benches one above the other at the foot of a wall, and the lower one was four spans wide while the upper was less, the wall is thereby diminished. If the lower bench however was less than four spans wide and the upper four, or more, the wall is also diminished thereby, providing the two benches were less than three spans apart." R. Na'hman said in the name of Rabba bar Abahu, that the same rule applies to a ladder where there is empty space between the rungs (i.e., where one side of the ladder is not closed with boards).

R. Na'hman said again in the name of Rabba bar Abahu: If a cornice four spans square protrude from a wall and a ladder, no matter how narrow, has been placed against the cornice, the size of the wall is thereby diminished, provided the ladder was placed directly against the cornice, but if placed underneath the cornice against the wall, the cornice was merely enlarged but the wall was not diminished. R. Na'hman says again in the name of the same authority: a wall which is nineteen spans high must have an additional cornice (a ladder which should be placed in the centre of the wall so that the space should not attain ten spans at the top or at the bottom). If the walls, however, measure twenty spans two cornices are needed to make them valid. (One cornice a trifle less than ten spans from the ground and another above that also a trifle less than ten spans from the lower.)

Said R. Hisda: "Providing the cornices are not exactly opposite each other (to prevent a ladder being placed on the bottom cornice)." R. Huna said: "If a peg be placed on a pillar in public ground ten spans high and four spans wide (which is legally private ground) the pillar is diminished." Said R. Adha bar Ahaba: "Providing the peg is three spans high." Abayi and Rabba both said: "Even if it is not as high as three spans." Why so? Because the peg makes the pillar useless. R. Ashi, however, said: "Even if the peg be three spans high it does not diminish the pillar and does not make it private ground because a peg of that kind can be used as a hanger."

R. A'ha the son of Rabha asked R. Ashi, "What is the law if several pegs be placed on the pillar in question?" and he answered: "Did you not hear what R. Johanan said concerning a well, that its enclosures of earth are counted in with the ten spans (makes it a legal private ground), why then should they be counted, are they not useless?" We must assume that, because one can place an object upon the enclosures and thus use them. The same is the case with the peg, one might also place something upon it also.

R. Jehudah said in the name of Samuel: "If a wall be ten spans high it requires, in order to become a valid wall, a ladder fourteen spans in height, because the ladder must be placed against the wall at an angle and the distance from the foot of the ladder to the wall being four spans, the ladder loses that much before it reaches the top of the wall." R. Joseph said: "Even if the ladder be a trifle over thirteen spans high it may be used (because should it lack one span of reaching the top of the wall the deficiency is not taken into consideration)." Abayi, however, said: It matters not if the ladder be even a trifle over eleven spans high (because should it lack three spans of reaching the top of the wall, it is considered as being at the top, for the law of "lavud" is applied in all cases where there is a deficiency of three spans or less). R. Huna the son of R. Jehoshua, however, said: The ladder may be only a trifle over seven spans in height (because it is not compulsory to place the ladder at an angle, and if placed straight at the wall, together with the three spans allowed by the law of "lavud," it reaches the top. Should the ladder even be placed at an angle it may be considered as straight at the wall and the same rule applies).

Rabh said: "I have a tradition, that a ladder standing straight against a wall also diminishes its size, but I know no reason for it." Said Samuel to him: "Does Abba not know the reason for this? Why should a ladder be worse than two benches placed one above the other? Surely it is more difficult to scale a wall by means of benches than by means of a ladder."

Rabha in the name of R. Hyya said: "Trunks of Babylonian fig-trees when placed against a wall need not be fastened, because their weight is so great, that it is very difficult to remove them, although they may be handled on Sabbath." R. Joseph in the name of R. Oshiya said: "The same applies to Babylonian ladders, which are so heavy, that there is no fear of their being removed."

R. Joseph asked Rabba: "If a man had a ladder which he desired to place against a wall and the ladder being too narrow, i.e., less than four spans wide, be hewed out in the wall itself, steps on each side of the ladder, how far up should those steps be hewn out?" Rabba answered: "For a distance of ten spans." Asked R. Joseph again: "How is it if a man hews out steps four spans wide in the wall itself? How far up must he do this?" and the answer was: "The entire height of the wall." "What is the difference between the case of the ladder where steps had to be hewn out additionally and this case where the steps were all hewn out of the wall?" "In the first instance the ascent of the wall is so much easier because the ladder can be placed against the wall at an angle, while in this instance the ascent is much more difficult; hence the steps should reach the entire height of the wall."

R. Joseph asked Rabba again What is the law if a man used a tree, which grew right at the wall, for a ladder? I ask thee, taking into consideration the difference of opinion between Rabbi and the sages. According to Rabbi, who holds, that rabbinical ordinances were not surrounded with precautionary measures for the sake of twilight, it may be said, that in this case, where the tree will be used during the whole Sabbath day, even Rabbi might decide that it would not be allowed to make use of the tree; and on the other hand, even according to the sages, who disagree with Rabbi as regards the precautionary measures for the sake of twilight, it may be said, that the tree might be considered as a door; which, however, cannot be used because it is regarded as if a lion lie across it; nevertheless, it is a door, and being such, the wall may be used. Now, shouldst thou decide, that the wall may be used if a tree grow at its side, how would it be if a grove such as is used in idolatrous Worship, grow alongside of the wall? I ask thee in this instance taking into consideration the difference of opinion between R. Jehudah and the sages. We are aware that R. Jehudah permits the depositing of an Erub even in a grave, notwithstanding the fact that no benefit must be derived from a grave, but for the reason that after the Erub has been deposited for the moment of twilight the grave is of no further use as the Erub need not be watched. In this case, however, R. Jehudah might prohibit the use of a grove, because it serves a distinct purpose, namely, that of a walk to the wall, and it is a law that no benefit must be derived from a grove used for idolatrous worship. On the other hand, even according to the sages, who prohibit the use of a grave for the depositing of an Erub, it might be permitted to use the grove because it is virtually a door to the wall and is merely regarded as if a lion were lying across it, which temporarily makes it unfit for use."

Rabba answered: "A tree may be used but a grove must not." R. Hisda opposed this: "On the contrary," said he, "the lion lying across the tree which renders it unfit for use temporarily is the rabbinical ordinance concerning the Sabbath-rest, i.e., the tree must not be used on account of the Sabbath, while the grove must not be used for another reason altogether hence it should be permitted to use the grove and the use of the tree should be prohibited."

It was also taught, that when Rabhin came from Palestine, he said in the name of R. Elazar, according to another version R. Abahu said in the name of R. Johanan: (This is the rule:) Whenever the prohibition is based upon the Sabbath-rest laws, such prohibition must stand, but whenever the prohibition is based in some other law, it need not hold good. A R. Na'hman bar Itz'hak taught: "Concerning a tree the same divergence of opinion as exists between Rabbi and the sages remains, and concerning a grove the same difference of opinion as exists between R. Jehudah and the sages remains."

MISHNA: If two courts be separated by a ditch, ten spans deep and four wide, the inmates of each court should prepare separate Erubin and must not join in one, even though the ditch be filled with stubble or with straw. Should it however be filled with earth or pebbles, the inmates must join in one Erub and not prepare two separate ones. If a board four spans wide had been put across the ditch, and likewise, if two projecting balconies, one opposite the other, have been connected by means of such a board, or plank, the inmates of the courts may prepare separate Erubin, or if they prefer it, they may join in one; if the board, however, was less (than four spans) wide, they must each prepare a separate Erub, and not join in one.

GEMARA: The Mishna states, that if the ditch was filled with stubble or straw, the inmates of each court must make a separate Erub, because the straw is not considered firm enough to afford a safe passage over the ditch, i.e., it does not constitute a solid filling for the ditch, but in the succeeding Mishna we learn, that if there be between two courts a straw-rick, the inmates of each court must prepare a separate Erub, thereby demonstrating that straw can form a solid partition? Answered Abayi: As for a partition all agree that a straw-rick can form a partition, but as for straw serving as a filling for a ditch it depends upon whether the owner has devoted it entirely for that purpose. If he did and will not remove it, it may constitute a solid filling for the ditch, but if he did not and intends to subsequently remove it, it cannot be considered such.

"Should it however be filled with earth or pebbles." Even if the man who did this, does not declare that he has devoted the earth or the pebbles for that purpose entirely? Have we not learned in a Mishna, that if a man filled a room (which had contained a corpse) with straw or pebbles and declared that he does not intend to make any further use of either the straw or the pebbles, the room is regarded as filled up and is not considered a tent, but if no such declaration was made, the room is still considered a tent. Thus we see, that one must declare the straw and pebbles to be devoted for such purpose only, and our Mishna does not state anything in regard to this? Said R. Assi: This Mishna treating of Erubin is in accordance with the opinion of R. Jose in a Tosephta (in Tract Oholoth) who holds, that in the case of straw no express declaration is necessary.

R. Huna, the son of R. Jehoshua, however, said: Thou wouldst prove a contradiction from a law pertaining to uncleanness to a Sabbath-law? Leave out the prohibition of Sabbath; for a thing which must not be handled on Sabbath is at all events sacrificed even if it be a purse of money; because it must not be handled on Sabbath. (With straw it is different, because that is food for animals, and hence may be handled on Sabbath.)

R. Ashi, however, said: Thou wouldst base a contradiction on an ordinance concerning a room to that concerning a ditch. A ditch was made to be filled up, but is then a room also made to be filled up?

"If a board four spans wide had been put across the ditch." Said Rabha: "When must the board be four spans wide? If it was laid crosswise across the ditch, but if it was laid lengthwise across the ditch it makes no difference how wide the board is, because the width of the ditch was decreased to less than four spans.

"If two projecting balconies, one opposite the other," etc. Said Rabha: The statement in the Mishna, "one opposite the other," might be construed to signify, that if they were not directly opposite each other, no connection could be made; such is the case, however, only if they are three spans or more distant one from the other. Should they be less apart than three spans, it matters not whether they are directly opposite, diagonally so, or even one above the other, a connection may be made and it is simply considered a crooked balcony, but a balcony nevertheless.

MISHNA: If there be between two courts a straw-rick, ten spans high, the inmates of both courts must prepare separate Erubin, and must not join in one. Cattle maybe fed from each side of the rick (and no fear need be entertained, that it will become less than ten spans high). Should the rick become less than ten spans high, the inmates must join in one Erub and not prepare two.

GEMARA: Said R. Huna: "(Cattle may be fed from each side of the rick), providing the straw is not removed by a man and placed in the crib of the cattle (because the straw was designated as a partition since the preceding day, hence it must not be handled)." Did we not learn in a Boraitha: "If a house which was filled with straw stand between two courts, the inmates of each court must make a separate Erub, but must not join in one, and may remove the straw from the house to their respective courts and place it in the crib for the cattle?" Thus we see, that it is allowed for the inmates of each court to remove the straw to their respective courts and place it in the crib; why does R. Huna prohibit this? I will tell thee: In a house, on account of the roof, it will become noticeable if the heap of straw becomes lower than ten spans, but a straw-rick standing in the open air might be overlooked as to its height.

(The above Boraitha continues as follows:) "If the heap of straw contained in the house became less than ten spans high, neither of the inmates of either court are permitted to carry unless the inmates of one court resign their right to the place in favor of the inmates of the other." Thus, if the heap of straw was ten spans high, it still serves the purpose of a partition, even though it does not reach the ceiling. We may adduce therefrom, that any partition if it be only ten spans high, though it should not reach the ceiling, is valid. From the statement in the Boraitha, that neither of the inmates of either court are permitted to carry we can also infer, that any dwellings which may have been added on the Sabbath are included in the prohibition? This is not conclusive evidence! It may be that the Boraitha refers to a case where the heap of straw was diminished to less than ten spans' height before the Sabbath set in.

The Boraitha continues further: "The one wishing to make use of his court should lock up the house and resign his right to the ground." What, do both? Lock the house and resign his right to the ground? Yea; both are necessary, for the man is accustomed to use the house on Sabbath, 1 and he might perchance, if he leave it unlocked, come and use it.

Continuing, the Boraitha states: "If he did so, he must not carry, but his neighbor may." Is this not self-evident? We might assume that the man's neighbor must also do as he did, hence we are told, that the Tana holds repeated resignation of the ground to be prohibited.

MISHNA: How are alleys (entries) to be combined? A man places a cask of wine (in the alley) and says: "This shall be for all the inmates of the alley," and he may transfer the right of possession (which he has in the cask) to them either through his adult son or daughter, or through his Hebrew man-servant or maid-servant, or through his wife; but he cannot transfer his right of possession through his minor son or daughter, or through his Canaanitish bond-man or bond-woman, because their hand is virtually the same as his.

GEMARA: Said R. Jehudah: The person that accepts the transfer of ownership should lift the cask of wine at least one span from the ground at the time of acceptance (saying, I have accepted this for the other inmates). Said Rabha: These two things were said by the old sages of Pumbaditha, namely: This statement of R. Jehudah just quoted and the other one is: When a man pronounces the benediction over a goblet of wine, if he tastes a whole mouthful he has acquitted himself of the duty properly, otherwise he does not.

An objection was raised: We have learned in a Boraitha: How are alleys to be combined? A cask of wine, oil, dates, or figs, or any other fruit, is brought, and if belonging to the one who brought it, he should transfer his right of possession to the other inmates; but if the others have a share in it to commence with, he need only inform them (that he has combined the Erub for them). While transferring the right of possession, the cask should be lifted off the ground a trifle? By a trifle the Boraitha also means a span.

It was taught: At the combining of alleys, the right of possession need not be transferred. So said Rabh; but Samuel maintains, that this must be done. At the combining of the legal limits, however, Samuel declares that the right of possession must be transferred, while Rabh holds, that it is not necessary.

Samuel may be right in his opinion, because he holds in accordance with our Mishna, which teaches, that at the combining of alleys, the right of ownership must be transferred, and at the combining of legal limits nothing is said about transfer, but upon what does Rabh base his opinion? There is a difference of opinion among Tanaim concerning this ordinance as R. Jehudah said in the name of Rabh: "It happened that the daughter-in-law of R. Oshiya went to the bath-house, and not returning before dusk, her mother-in-law made an Erub for her. When this was told to R. Hyya, he declared it unlawful. Said R. Ishmael bar R. Jose to him: Thou Babylonian! So strict art thou with Erubin. Then said my father: Whatever can be made more lenient with regard to Erubin, should so be made."

Said R. Zera to R. Jacob, the son of the daughter of Jacob: When thou goest to Palestine, go out of thy way and pass through Tyre and ask of R. Jacob bar Idi how the case was: Did the mother-in-law make an Erub with her own material, and on account of not transferring her ownership to her daughter-in-law, R. Hyya held it to be unlawful, or did she make it with material belonging to her daughter-in-law and R. Hyya held it to be unlawful because the daughter-in-law was not informed?" R. Jacob bar Idi answered, that it was on account of the ownership not having been transferred.

R. Na'hman said: "We are in possession of a tradition which teaches us, that whether Erubin of legal limits or Erubin of courts or combinations of entries are concerned, a transfer of ownership must be effected. Now the question arises as to Erubin of cooked articles, 1 whether a transfer of ownership is necessary or not." Said R. Jose: "What question is this? Did R. Na'hman not hear the dictum of R. Na'hman bar R. Ada in the name of Samuel, that in the case of Erubin of cooked articles a transfer of ownership must also be effected?" Replied Abayi: "Assuredly he did not hear this dictum or he would not have asked." Rejoined R. Jose: "Did not Samuel say that in the case of Erubin of courts a transfer of ownership is not necessary and still R. Na'hman maintains that it is?" Abayi then said: "How can this be compared? In the case of Erubin of courts and legal limits there is a difference of opinion between Rabh and Samuel, while R. Na'hman accepts the more rigorous decrees of each, but in this instance how could R. Na'hman override the absolute decree of Samuel alone?"

There was a guard of the arsenal living in the neighborhood of R. Zera. His neighbors asked him to rent them his place for the Sabbath, but he refused. So R. Zera was asked whether the place may be rented from the man's wife, who was willing to do so. He answered them: "Thus said Resh Lakish in the name of a great man, i.e., R. Hanina: A man's wife may effect an Erub without the man's knowledge (or against his will)."

The same case occurred in the neighborhood of R. Jehudah bar Oshiya, and when asked concerning the law in the matter, he did not know. R. Mathna could not solve the problem either. When R. Jehudah, however, asked, he answered in the name of Samuel the dictum attributed above to R. Hanina.

An objection was raised: We have learned in a Boraitha: "If women made an Erub or combined in an alley without the knowledge of their husbands, the Erub and the combination are both unlawful." This presents no difficulty. The Boraitha refers to a case, where the husbands distinctly forbid their wives to do so, whereas Samuel refers to a case, where the husbands did not forbid them. Such seems to be the case, for were it not so Samuel would contradict himself as he said elsewhere: If one of the inmates of the alley who, as a rule, combined with the others, refused to do so at one time, the other inmates may enter his house and take his share against his will. Thus we see, that only if the man, as a rule, combined but (out of spite) refused in one instance, then and then only the other inmates may take his share by force; but if he was not in the habit of combining, this would not be allowed. Hence this bears it out.

Can we assume that the following Boraitha is in support of the decree of Samuel? (It teaches:) "It is permitted to compel a man to take a share in the erection of a side and cross beam to an entry, if he refuses to do so voluntarily." In the case of an entry it is different, because there were no partitions (hence it was difficult to watch the entry). According to another interpretation, Where an act is committed out of spite, with the intention to injure another, it is different (i.e., a man may be compelled to desist as explained in Chapter IV., page 109). 1 it was taught: R. Hyya bar Ashi said: "A side-beam may be made of a grove." R. Simeon ben Lakish said: "A crossbeam may be made of a grove." One who says, that a crossbeam may be made of a grove certainly permits a side-beam also to be made of a grove; but he who says, that a side-beam may be made thus, does not permit a cross-beam. Why so? Because a cross-beam must be sound enough to hold a brick one span thick, and as a grove (being used for idolatry) must be burned, it is considered as if it were already burned, hence not sound enough to hold a brick of the prescribed thickness.

MISHNA: If the quantity of food (required for the combination) become diminished, one may (himself) add thereto and transfer his right of possession without notifying the other inmates (to that effect). If, however, new inhabitants have (since) arrived in the alley, he adds sufficient to make up the required legal quantity, transfers his right of possession to them and notifies them to that effect. How much is this legal quantity (of food required for the combination of alleys)? If those who join therein are numerous, it must be sufficient for two meals for all of them; but if they be few, the size of a dried fig for each is sufficient.

R. Jose said: "To what does this regulation apply? To the original (first) preparation of the Erub; but to extend the Erub (for later use) any quantity, however small, is sufficient. Nor did the sages direct that (where the combinations of an alley had been effected) an Erub should be prepared for the several courts (contained in the alley) except that the children might not forget about the law of Erub.

GEMARA: What food does the Mishna refer to as having become diminished? Shall we assume, that it was but one kind of food, then even had it been totally destroyed, it was not necessary to notify the other inmates; if on the other hand there were two kinds of food, then, even, if it became diminished, the man was in duty bound to notify the other inmates, as we have learned in a Boraitha: "If the food was all of one kind and was totally destroyed, one need not notify the other inmates; but if the food was of two different kinds, one must notify the other inmates." (It was assumed that the same law applied to food that had merely become diminished, but the Gemara answered:) "The Boraitha refers to food that had been totally destroyed, but with food that had become diminished, it is different."

"How much is this legal quantity?" etc. What does the Mishna mean to say by "numerous"? Said R. Jehudah in the name of Samuel: "Eighteen persons." Eighteen and not more? Say, from eighteen on and upwards. Then why state eighteen in the first place? Said R. Itz'hak the son of R. Jehudah: My father explained this to me thus: If the food were divided equally amongst all and the share of each for two meals would not amount to the size of a dried fig, then those who took part were "numerous," and it is sufficient if the share of each did not amount to the size of a dried fig; but if the share of each amounted to more than the size of a dried fig, those who took part are considered few, and even if each received but the size of one dried fig, it is sufficient. (Thus both are the more lenient constructions of the law.) Incidentally we are told by R. Jehudah that eighteen dried figs are sufficient for two meals.

MISHNA: The Erub (of courts) or combination (of alleys) maybe effected with all kinds of nutriment except water and salt. Such is the dictum of R. Eliezer. R. Jehoshua, however, said: Only a whole loaf of bread is a lawful Erub. Should even a whole saah of flour be baked into one loaf, and that be broken, it must not be used for an Erub, while a small loaf of the value of an Eesar (a small coin; probably the Roman "as") if it be whole, may be used for an Erub.

GEMARA: Have we not already learned the first clause of this Mishna (in Chapter III., Mishna i), that the Erub or combination may be effected with all kinds of nutriment except water and salt? Said Rabba bar bar Hana: This Mishna repeats the ordinance solely on account of R. Jehoshua, who maintains, that only a whole loaf is a lawful Erub, but not a broken loaf. Hence we are taught that with all kinds of nutriment it may be effected, including a broken loaf.

What reason has R. Jehoshua for his assertion? Said R. Jose ben Saul in the name of Rabbi: "In order to prevent enmity (lest one say he deposited a whole loaf and another a broken loaf, etc.)." Said R. A'ha the son of Rabba to R. Ashi: "How is it if all deposited broken loaves?" and R. Ashi answered: "There is fear that the next time the Erubin are deposited there will be the same strife. One will deposit a whole loaf and another a broken one, etc."

R. Johanan ben Saul said: "If from a whole loaf of bread the legal first dough (offering) has been removed or from a whole loaf of bread made of Therumah and ordinary flour the legal one-hundredth part had been removed, the loaf is still considered whole, and an Erub may be effected therewith." Did we not learn in a Boraitha, that the loaf remains whole, and may be used for an Erub if the legal one-hundredth part had been removed, but if the quantity of the legal first dough had been removed it does not remain whole and must not be used for an Erub? This presents no difficulty. R. Johanan refers to the loaf of a baker who must remove only a small piece for the first dough, while the Boraitha refers to a loaf of a householder as we have learned in a Mishna (Tract Chalah): "The prescribed quantity for the first dough is one twenty-fourth. One who prepares the dough for his own use or for the wedding (feast) of his son must also give one twenty-fourth; but a baker, or even a woman who prepares the dough for sale in the market, need only give one forty-eighth as the legal first dough."

R. Hisda said: "If a man made a loaf whole again by joining the broken pieces with a stick of wood, so that it appeared like an unbroken loaf, he may use it for an Erub."

Said R. Zera in the name of Samuel: "It is permitted to make an Erub with bread made of rice or millet." Said Mar Uqba: "Samuel the Master explained to me that rice-bread may be used for an Erub but not millet-bread." R. Hyya bar Abbin in the name of Rabh said: It is also permitted to make an Erub with lentil-bread.

MISHNA: A man may give money to the wine-seller or baker in order to acquire the right to join in the Erub. Such is the dictum of R. Eliezer; but the sages hold, that money cannot acquire the right for a person to join in the Erub. They admit, however, that if a man give money to another person (with the commission to effect the Erub for him) it will acquire for him the right to join in the Erub, since no Erub can be effected for a man without his knowledge. Said R. Jehudah: To what do these (preceding) regulations apply? To the Erubin of limits; in the Erubin of courts, however, a man may be included with or without his knowledge; for advantages may be conferred on a person, even though he be not present, whereas, he must not be deprived of his right in his absence.

GEMARA: What reason has R. Eliezer for his dictum? The person giving the money to the wine-seller or the baker did not draw his purchase toward him, hence no sale or purchase was effected. 1

Answered R. Na'hman in the name of Rabba bar Abahu: "R. Eliezer makes this case analogous with the case mentioned in the Mishna (Tract Cholin, Chapter V., Mishna 4) concerning a man who purchases one dinar's worth meat and the butcher is compelled to slaughter for him an ox worth one thousand dinars. The question there is propounded by the Gemara: 'How can the sale be effective? No drawing towards himself was accomplished by the purchaser?' and the answer was that the Meshi'kha (drawing) was dispensed with for the sake of the advantage which was to be conferred on the purchaser on the four days or periods enumerated. In this case of our Mishna the Meshi'kha is also dispensed with and for the same reason, or according to the reason of another sage in the mentioned Tract (Cholin) who said that according to biblical law a sale is effective when the money for the purchase is paid."

"They admit, however, that if a man give money to another," etc. What is meant by "another person"? Said Rabh: "A householder," and Samuel agrees with him, meaning, that this other person must be a householder and not a baker (or a wine-seller). Samuel added, that only if the man gave money to the baker he cannot acquire the right to join in the Erub, but if he gave him a vessel he does acquire the right. Also if when giving him the money, he does not say to him: "With this money thou shalt give me bread sufficient to make an Erub," but says: "For this money thou shalt go and effect an Erub for me," then it is as if he merely commissioned him to effect his Erub and he acquires the right to join in the Erub.

"Said R. Jehudah: To what do these ordinances apply?" etc. R. Jehudah in the name of Samuel said: "The Halakha prevails according to R. Jehudah, not only in this case, but in all instances where R. Jehudah decrees concerning Erubin, the Halakha prevails in accordance with his dictum." Said R. Hana of Bagdad to him: "Does Samuel hold, that even in the case where R. Jehudah declares an entry, from which the side and cross beams had been removed, valid, the Halakha prevails accordingly?" Answered R. Jehudah: "Did I not state particularly concerning Erubin, but not concerning partitions?"

Said R. A'ha the son of Rabha to R. Ashi: "If it is said, that the Halakha prevails according to R. Jehudah, then there must be some who disagree with him?" Did not R. Jehoshua ben Levi say, that whenever we find in a Mishna the statement: "Said R. Jehudah. 'When is this the case?' or 'When do these regulations apply?'" it is not to be accepted as a refutation of previous decrees, but merely as a further explanation of the decree of the sages? [How can it be said, that it is not to be accepted as a refutation? Did we not learn in a previous Mishna, that if additional inhabitants came into the alley, the right of possession must be transferred to them and they must be notified, whereas R. Jehudah states, that no notification is necessary? The previous Mishna refers to a court between two alleys when the inhabitants newly arrived must be notified that the Erub was effected in one of the alleys (and R. Jehudah would agree to this also). Did not R. Shezbi say in the name of R. Hisda, that the previous Mishna distinctly states, that the colleagues of R. Jehudah differ with his dictum in this last Mishna?] Answered R. Ashi (the previous question of R. A'ha): Wouldst thou make a contradiction from one man to another? Samuel may hold one thing and R. Jehoshua ben Levi another.

Referring again to the statement of R. Jehoshua ben Levi, R. Johanan said, that whenever R. Jehudah says: "When is this the case?" he means to explain the previous teachings, but whenever he says, "When do these regulations apply?" he means to differ from the foregoing opinions.


Footnotes

182:1 Rashi explains the term "on a level with the ground" to signify, that it was less than ten spans higher than the ground, in which case it is considered as level with the ground.

189:1 Rashi asserts, that the Tana of this Boraitha maintains, that all those who resign their right to the ground of their houses should also lock them, but Tosphath does not agree with Rashi.

191:1 Erubin of cooked articles, called in Hebrew "Erubin Thabhshilin." When a Sabbath follows a festival, no food must be cooked on the festival for the Sabbath, but in order to circumvene this ordinance the Rabbis decreed that two different kinds of food be set aside on the eve of the festival to serve for the Sabbath and thus enable the people to cook, in addition to the food set aside, on the festival in order to provide for the Sabbath.

192:1 What we have rendered above with "Where an act is committed out of spite, etc., it is different," is expressed in the Hebrew original with but two words, viz.: "Metzad Sheäni," literally, "from the side it is different." The marginal notes in the original also state that no explanation for the two words can be found, and in the monographs printed in Venice and Saloniki some two centuries ago, this other version is omitted entirely. In a manuscript of the Talmud, examined by R. N. Rabinowicz, it is also not to be found. According to our method, always to render the other version, because it is invariably more reasonable than the first, we should have omitted the first here also, and more especially so, as it is very abstruse. How ever, the other version is even more so if read as written. After considerable speculation, however, as to its meaning, we found that it is merely a and instead of "Metzad Sheäni" should read "Métzar Sheäni." The misprint is the more excusable because of the extreme similarity of a Hebrew Daled ד {Hebrew D} and a Resh ר {Hebrew R} Métzar Sheäni means "With one who wishes to injure another, it is different" and this was just the case referred to by Samuel, who, according to Rashi, refers to one who, out of spite, would not combine, so that the other inmates of the alley would be prevented from carrying on the Sabbath; hence, in this instance no further explanation by Rashi was necessary.

196:1 A sale or a purchase was not binding or effective unless the purchaser at the time of the purchase drew the object bought towards him, and this act of drawing towards him is called in the Talmud Meshi'kha, based upon the passage, Exod. xii. 21.


Sources: Sacred Texts

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