Shiur 02/20/18 – Beitza 31a

Beitza 31a

1- We continued the Mishna that discusses the collecting of firewood for Yom Tov cooking and or heating. Only wood that has been prepared prior to Yom Tov can be used. So loose branches in one’s yard or field may not be ‘prepared’ in the user’s mind for Yom Tov and therefore unusable.  

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2- As mentioned last week, some say that the reason for the limitations on where the wood may be collected from is due to the concept of מעמר, gathering. The problem is the מלאכה  of מעמר – the prohibition to collect fruits, vegetables, grass, twigs, and the like and creating a pile.

See here in the Alter Rebbe’s Shulchan Aruch. 340, 15

3- Now see here where the Alter Rebbe brings the Gemara about collecting fruits that are strewn about in a yard. 335, 5. The rule is that although they may be collected one should not put them into a basket. ‘As one would do during a weekday’.

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4- We mentioned the ancient Minhag of entertaining children on Simchas Torah by throwing apples for them to catch.

The text we learnt was from the  סימן  in  the Shulchan Aruch on Simchas Torah  #669 that contains ‘one סעיף only’ ! [One guesses that day is not particular suitable to learn….with all the Chitas and מעביר סדרה and the partying…..]  

In any case, the באר היטב  quotes the  רבינו בחיי   who frowns upon this custom. But he continues to quote a Medrash from Megilas Esther that this Minhag was mentioned by המן  to אחשוורוש as ‘proof’ of the Jews being quite different than the rest of the world!

On the other hand he suggests that perhaps this custom got a bit out of hand and therefore frowned upon by רבינו בחיי.

5- What does all this have to do with our Gemara?

We mentioned the famed Rov from Bucharest Reb Yaakov Meir Spielman. His Sefer, טל אורות, is known as a good introduction to Kabbalah and vol 1 is based largely Chabad Chassidus. Interestingly, one of the הסכמות on the ספר is from a Lubavitcher, Reb Yosef Tumarkin, Rov of Kremenchuk.

Reb Yaakov Meir Spielman writes in another of his books that perhaps the reason the apple throwing was not very popular by some רבנים was because of the apples that needed to be collected after the throwing! As above, collecting them into a basket is problematic.

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6- We then moved onto another topic that connects our Gemara with Purim.

Very briefly, on Purim the Megillah is read twice on the 14th day of Adar. In city that has walls, or had walls going back to the time of יהושוע בן נון,  it is read on the 15th.

The reason is explained in the Megillah itself and elaborated upon in Masechet Megillah.

What about the towns adjacent to a walled city? Or a town that the walled city can be seen from it?

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We learnt the ב”ח  that writes [688] what the definition of ‘adjacent’ is ‘very close’.  Based on a Rashi in our Mishna regarding the קרפף  that is ‘adjacent’ to the city. As Rashi says.  סמוך – ממש.


Shiur 02/13/18 – Beitza 30b

Beitzah 30b (3)

1- We continued the topic of מוקצה מחמת מצוה, ‘Muktza because of a Mitzvah’.

Once the Mitzvah begins it “locks” as Muktza and its status cannot be changed until the end of Yom Tov.

Such as with a Sukkah. As per last weeks shiur, at the start of Yom Tov the Sukkah becomes ‘Muktzah of a Mitzvah’ and one can’t use the walls, the סכך or the  נוי סוכה for personal use.

Additionally, one cannot make a תנאי for the Muktzah to disappear on the סכך or the walls.

 נוי סוכה on the other hand, while being in the category of ‘Muktza because of a Mitzvah’ one can indeed make a condition before the start of Yom Tov that he will remove the נוי סוכה and use it for his personal use.

2- The Gemara now explains the unique law concerning an Esrog. When one has 7 Esrogim with plans to use one each day of Sukkos he may indeed bentch on the particular Esrog and then eat it! (According to Rav or wait until the next day to eat it according to Rav Asi).

So a condition does seem to work on the Esrog and the issue here is why is the Esrog different than the Suka.

The Gemara’s reasoning is that as opposed to the Sukkah which is a continuous Mitzvah for the entire 7 days and nights of the Yom Tov, an Esrog’s Mitzva is only during the day. Thus the nights separate the Mitzvah. So the ‘Muktza because of a Mitzvah’ never locks in for the full seven days fi one makes a  תנאי. 

3- Gemara then states that all the above, Sukkah, schach and noy Suka are prohibited until after Simchas Torah.

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So cutting a piece off the Esrog to mix it into the Mashke during Hakofos is not a good idea…..

Tosfos says that if Shabbos follows Simchas Torah the Muktzah stretches until after Shabbos.  We discussed the reason behind this.

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4- Mentioned what some achronim write that one should only hang noy Suka using items that one would display in his home. Items that are not suitable, dignified and respectful to place in a home should not be placed in a Suka.

5- Mentioned the ראשית חכמה  Kedusha 15 that one should not talk דברים בטלים in the Sukkah.

How does that jive with תשבו כעיו תדורו?

He explains that the קדושה of the Sukkah makes it holier that a house! The proof is from the fact that the Sukkah has the same  קדושה  as a Korban which is the reason it becomes ‘Muktza because of a Mitzvah’.

6- The next Mishna discusses the collecting of firewood for Yom Tov cooking and or heating.

Only wood that has been prepared prior to Yom Tov can be used. So loose branches in one’s yard or field are not  ‘prepared’ before Yom Tov and therefore unusable.  

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The Mishna and following Gemara discuss the various types of ‘fields’ ‘farms’ and ‘yards’ that collecting firewood from there is OK.

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Interestingly, it does not say as to why should not all firewood be allowed to be collected.

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A- Rashi and Tosfos – the issues is Muktza. If it is not in a safe location around his house then presumably he did not rely on this wood and therefore Muktza.

B- The Ro”h and the Ra”n say that muktza is not an issue as this Mishna follows the opinion of Reb Shimon.

The problem is the מלאכה  of מעמר – the prohibition to collect fruits, vegetables, grass, twigs, and the like.

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Consolidating things which grew from the ground (such as dates) into one mass is also biblically forbidden because of Me’amer even when done indoors.

Since it is Yom Tov then one would conceivably be permitted to do מעמר  for the purpose of preparing food just as cooking is permitted.

So why are there guidelines as to what firewood can be collected?

The reason is that if one collects wood that is strewn about and/or  not safe it seems that he is collecting wood for more than the actual days of this Yom Tov. It appears that he is pilling wood for future use and therefore אסור מדרבנן.

Such is also the opinion of the Alter Rebbe.

More next week.


Shiur 02/06/18 Beitza 30b (2)

Beitza 30b (2)

1- We discussed the sugya of the מקצה מחמת מצוה.

נוי סוכה

The classic example is the Sukkah. Once the Sukkah is built and Yom Tov begins, one may not use any portion of it for personal use, including the נוי סוכה. This applies even if the Sukkah was demolished for whatever reason.

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Now can we use the walls for something else?

Our Gemara quotes Reb Akiva and Reb Yehuda Ben Beseirah who base this מוקצה  of the Sukkah by comparing it to the קרבן חגיגה: Just as a Korban is holy and cannot be used for anything but a Korban, similarly, a Sukkah is sanctified for the entire 7 days of Sukkos.

(Actually until the end of Simchas Torah, plus;  we’ll discuss this next week bl”n)  

2- We discussed the opinion of the Rambam that this מוקצה applies to the walls as well as to the  סכך . Most other Rishonim argue and say it applies only to the סכך; the walls are מקצה only מדרבנן.  The Alter Rebbe agrees with them.

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2 walls and a tefach

3- We quoted the opinion of Rabbeinu Tam in Tosfos that this Muktzah Min Hatorah applies only to the very minimum needed to build a Sukkah Min Hatora, i.e. two walls and a tefach. The rest is only מדרבנן.

4- This concept is used elsewhere. We mentioned the question asked to the תשורת שי. concerning an addition built to a shul as a temporary Ezras Noshim. Years passed and a Mikvah was proposed to be built in that addition. No one recalled if this addition was ever actually used as a Shul  which would preclude changing its status.

The תשורת שי uses the idea of Rabbeinu Tam that the addition is not considered part and parcel of the Shul despite it being attached to the Shul.

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5- We had a heated debate about the next piece of Gemara which discusses the issue of whether a (stipulation) תנאי can be made prior to Yom Tov that would  remove the sanctity of the סכך walls or the decorations of the Sukkah in case the Sukkah would fall.

In short: The Beraisa says about the wood of a Sukkah that if one makes a condition תנאי  and expresses his intent to use the wood of the Sukkah on Yom Tov, then the תנאי works to permit him to use the wood.


However, the תנאי works only for the wood of a Sukah on a Yom Tov other than Sukkos – e.g. a hut on Pesach.

On Sukkos itself, a תנאי does not work to permit the use of the wood of a Sukkah-Shel-Mitzvah because the Torah gives Kedushah to such a Sukkah at the moment Yom Tov enters. As soon as Bein ha’Shemashos arrives the Sukkah becomes designated for use as a Sukkah and its wood may not be used for any other purpose.

6- Similarly, can one can make a תנאי  when lighting the Shabbos candles that when the fire extinguishes the candelabra would become non Muktzah?

The Alter Rebbe quotes 2 opinions and rules like the Ramah that such a condition is should not be used.

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7- Discussion about sitting in a Sukkah while its raining. According to the pure Halachah, one is פטור to sit in the Sukkah at that time. So why is it not considered having הנאה (prohibited as above, just like the קרבן חגיגיה) of the Suka when not performing the Mitzvah?

Is it perhaps of the תנאי that we assume one makes before Sukos that the Suka is ‘not a Suka של מצוה’ at such time?

See here from the  עונג יו”ט

8- We spoke about the ancient custom of treating hepatitis or other liver illness with pigeons. Technically speaking, it is supposed to reduce the bilirubin in the patient.  (This is the “yellow” the mohel looks for when he inspects the newborn the day before the bris).

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…wait, what?!

As the custom goes, placing a healthy pigeon on the navel of the patient is supposed to draw out the illness from the patient into the pigeon, which soon dies. This is repeated until the last pigeon placed on the patient remains alive. 

Believe it….. or not.

Keep healthy.



Shiur 01/30/18 – Beitza 30b

Beitza 30b

1- The next Mishnah talks about the removing wood from a Suka on Yom Tov.

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“One may not remove wood from the Sukkah, but wood that is close to the Suka is permitted”.  

From the Mishna itself it is unclear if it is referring to:

1- A Sukkah on Sukos or a Sukkah on another Yom Tov.

2- The סכך or the walls.

3- What means ‘from’ and ‘close’.

The Gemara continues to explain the distinction between the permitted case and the prohibited case.

2- We discussed the opinions of Reb Yehudah who prohibits Muktzah on Shabbos and Yom Tov and Reb Shimon that permits it.

Now,  even according to Reb Shimon there are instances that he too would prohibit Muktzah. Such as when the person intentionally does something that shows his total dissociation with using this object for the upcoming Shabbos or Yom Tov.

Example: The process of drying fruit. A few days after putting away fruit to dry the fruits begin to decompose and are thus inedible. So if a person decides on Shabbos and Yom Tov to go into this compost pile to see if  perhaps there is a fruit that is still edible,  that would be prohibited even according to Reb Shimon.

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We suggested a gauge where on one side would be the items where Muktzah applies according to all opinions, in the middle  where only Reb Yehuda would prohibit it and on the other side the leniency of Reb Shimon permitting Muktzah.

3- The classic example of Reb Shimon and Reb Yehuda’s opinion is the case where one fills a cup or candle holder with oil for only, say, 12 hours, and ignites it before Shabbos. At the moment of the start of Shabbos this burning candle it is definitely Muktzah at that time.

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According to Reb Yehuda, this moment ‘locks’ and remains that way even after the candle extinguishes.

Conversely, Reb Shimon’s opinion is that while the candle is burning, then of course one may not touch it.  But once extinguished, it becomes permissible to touch and move. There is no ‘lock’ concept to prohibit it after this period expires.

[If one fills the cup with oil for 24 hours and it unexpectedly extinguishes even Reb Shimon would consider this candle Muktzah]  

4- Can one make a condition, according to Reb Yehuda, that when extinguished he will use the leftover oil?

We will discuss this next week IY”H.

5- We mentioned something semi humorously.

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There is a malady called ‘cellulitis’. (Thank you Dr. Malachovski).

In Yiddish it’s called a ‘Roiz’. רויז.

In Hebrew – שושנה.

Today this infection is treated with antibiotics.

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In the not so distant past, each Jewish community would have a local ‘doctor’ that would “opshrech’ this sickness. This voodoo treatment was secret and would be handed down from mouth to mouth.

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I heard that in Crown Heights it was a certain Rov that would be visited for ‘treatment’. Rumour has it that some writing with a quill would be done on the swollen area…..

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In some Seforim one finds another cure. The smearing of the leftover oil from the  Chanukah מנורה.

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 חנוכה oil?!

What is the basis of this cure?

Well. one of the popular Chanukah songs contain the words:

ומנותר קנקנים נעשה נס לשושנים

Literally translated as:

From the bit of leftover oil (found in the Beis Hamikdash) a miracle occurred to the Jews (who are likened to a שושנה – a rose).

illustration found in a Machzor (Worms, Germany) ca. 1280

Taken a step further, since this infection is called a Roiz, and a Roiz is also a rose שושנה … it follows that by smearing the leftover Chanukah oil on a Roiz- שושנה, a miracle will happen and the healing will occur.

So far so good.

Now, the oil of the מנורה has some sanctity to it and one is prohibited from using it for other purposes. Only when it extinguishes can one use the balance.

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So the question here too is what happens if one pours oil to last an hour and makes a condition that if it extinguishes before the hour has passed he will use the leftover oil for a salad mix or to cure a Roiz………