Apples and Onions

Daf 233-252 (Eruvin 14a-33b)

Summary

Daf 233 (Eruvin 14a-14b)

The gemara examines the implication of the existence of a gap in the crossbeam, or the significance of two beams that extend beyond each other with neither extending across the entire entrance, but one above and one below. “If at the same level, they would combine to form a valid korah, they combine to do so even now.” (Though some say there is a maximum height that neither may exceed,)

Mishnah. Here are the dimensions of a sidepost.

Gemara. There is a dispute on how many sideposts are needed for the entrance of a thoroughfare.

Daf 234 (Eruvin 15a-15b)

Is a post that is constructed without the intent of marking a boundary valid as a boundary marker if it is designated as such after it is constructed? (Answer: On any given Shabbes the marker is only valid if it had been considered a marker before that Shabbes and only according to Abaye but not according to Rava.)

Mishnah. R’Meier prohibits using a live animal in place of a sidepost. All except R’Yose HaGlili accept a bill of divorce written on a living thing.

Gemara. Why can’t one submit a bill of divorce written on a live animal? Answer: “Just as parchment is a thing that has no life  . . .”

Mishnah. Here are the requirements for a partition.

Gemara. The gemara considers a dispute on the validity of a partition in which the gaps are exactly equal to the solid sections.

Daf 235 (Eruvin 16a-16b)

The gemara describes various kinds of partitions and the rules that apply to each, and the rules that apply to all.

Mishnah. Here are methods for a caravan to create an enclosure in which carrying is permitted on the Sabbath. There is a dispute as to whether these methods only apply to caravans.

Gemara. The gemara wonders how many people constitute a caravan. It concludes that the minimum number is three.

Daf 236 (Eruvin 17a-17b)

Rav Gides offers a paradoxical situation: sometimes three are forbidden to carry in a smaller area with inferior partitions but permitted to carry in a larger area with inferior partitions. The rabbis are incredulous that Rav might have said this. Perhaps the explanation rests in the proportion of the area that exceeds what they need. The gemara considers whether the validity of the permission to carry is rescinded if one of the three dies during Shabbes. (“Does the law that took effect at the beginning of the Sabbath remain unchanged for the duration of that Sabbath?”)

Mishnah. Here are situations where an army camp is exempt from some rules of carrying, including “the requirement of making an eruv.”

Gemara. The gemara suggests the mishnah’s leniencies even apply to a “discretionary war.”

Perek 2. Mishnah. Here are rules for creating wells to permit water to be drawn on Shabbes.

Daf 237 (Eruvin 18a-18b)

Gemara. The gemara considers the rules of the mishnah as they might be applied to wells drawing on natural underground sources and deep crevices in which rainwater accumulates. Reference to the double boards used in creating wells leads to mention of terms that refer to doubling, including R’Yirmiyah ben Elazar’s teaching that “The first man had two facial figures” (according to Ramban, creating man and woman initially as one “to implant in man the nature to take a wife for life and become psychologically one with her, to see her as an extension of himself’).

The rabbis debate whether the first man was a double figure from which man and woman were separated or, rather, that the original man had a tail from which woman was formed. If the former, rather than the latter, the gemara asks which one was the front? R’Yochanan says, “Better to go behind a lion, but not behind a woman.”

Daf 238 (Eruvin 19a-19b)

This daf contains many aggadic interpretations of scripture, beginning with a teaching R’Yirmiyah ben Elazar: “Come and see how unlike the characteristic of the Holy One, Blessed is He, is the characteristic of a person made of flesh and blood. The characteristic of flesh and blood is such that when a person is sentenced to death by the Crown, they must put a piece of wood in his mouth to prevent him from cursing the king. In contrast, the characteristic of the Holy One, Blessed is He, is such that when a person is sentenced to death for a crime against the Omnipresent, he is silent and does not express resentment against God for his punishment, as the verse says, To You silence is praise. And not only that, but to him [the dying person] it seems that it is as if he is offering a sacrifice, as it says at the end of that verse and unto You shall the vow be fulfilled, i.e., he regards his acceptance of God’s judgment as the fulfillment of a sacrificial vow.” [This daf, on the daf yomi calendar, fell the day before the untimely death of my Talmud teacher.]

The gemara seeks to determine the maximum interval between double posts in a well where single posts between them are not required. Can one avoid adding single posts in marginal cases by extending the width of the double posts?

Daf 239 (Eruvin 20a-20b)

The gemara considers situations wherein a well is proximate to permanent residents as to whether a caravan is permitted to carry from it on Shabbes. It is apparent from the interchange that no Biblical rule is “relaxed” in creating Rabbinic leniency related to wells. The case is considered of one who stands in one domain while drinking in another; it is different for a person than for a cow; and even more so for a camel, due to its long neck and the nature of its digestion (its stomach is compared to a trough).

Daf 240 (Eruvin 21a-21b)

A baraita says that well-boards are solely for the use of animals (“a person who wishes to drink from the well must climb up and climb down into the well itself and drink there”). Rav Anan protests. Lenient rules regarding well-boards are not in effect except in Babylonia and Israel “because higher institutions of Torah study are not commonplace in [other] countries.” A digression seeks to define the measure of “the extent of the Torah’s vastness.” A vision of Jeremiah is interpreted.

Rav Chisda explains the phrase new ones as well as old ones: “the old ones are the laws deriving from the Torah . . . while . . . the new ones are the laws deriving from the words of the Sages.” Rav Papa and Rava argue over the proper meaning of a related teaching– according to Rav Papa, “anyone who mocks the words of the Sages will be punished in boiling excrement”; according to Rava, “who studies them, i.e., the words of Torah, tastes the flavor of meat.” (Later, Rava notes that a great Torah scholar must “make himself as cruel as a raven towards his children,” citing this incident: “Rav Adda bar Masna . . . was on his way to the house of instruction when his wife asked him . . . ‘what shall I do for [your children] to feed them?’ He said to her, ‘Are there no more wild vegetables in the marsh?'”

The hidden meaning of the Song of Songs is expounded.

Daf 241 (Eruvin 22a-22b)

God rewards the wicked for their good deeds, not “delaying payment,” so He will owe them nothing in the World to Come. The righteous are rewarded in the next world.

Mishnah. There is a dispute regarding whether general traffic between posts invalidates their function.

Gemara. The gemara asks if perhaps one rule applies in Israel and another rule elsewhere.

Mishnah. Here are leniencies relating to the construction of public well.

Daf 242 (Eruvin 23a-23b)

Gemara. Here are the differences between public wells, public watering places, and private wells.

Mishnah. Here are the restrictions regarding carrying in large, enclosed, nonresidential spaces.

Gemara. The gemara seeks to determine if certain linking phrases are significant in cases where a rabbi is interrupted while relating more than one teaching. Does it depend on whether or not the interruption leads to a digression?

Daf 243 (Eruvin 24a-24b)

The gemara considers what one must do to make carrying on Shabbes permissible in an enclosed area that has been converted to residential use. Rav Nachman teaches in Shmuel’s name that one makes a breach in the enclosure and then closes the breach.

Daf 244 (Eruvin 25a-25b)

Does one need to actually breach a wall when the status of the enclosure changes or may one simply erect another wall within the existing enclosure? Is it effective to build a new partition upon the remains of a sunken partition?

May the outer wall of a house serve as a valid partition for an area outside the house? Rav Bibi says it may. Rav Papa says no: “These inner walls of the house were made for the inside of the house; they were not made for the outside.”

Daf 245 (Eruvin 26a-26b)

Partitions erected to provide privacy or storage are not valid as boundaries to permit carrying on Shabbes.

Perek 3. Mishnah. Here are rules regarding which types of food may be used in an eruv techumin; the food may even be of a type that is forbidden to the owner of the eruv.

Daf 246 (Eruvin 27a-27b)

Gemara. R’Yochanan declares, “We cannot learn . . . from general rules.” As an example, the gemara notes that the general rule exempting women from time-bound mitzvot has many unstated exceptions.

Daf 247 (Eruvin 28a-28b)

Here are the consequences for eating entire creatures that are non-kosher; creatures that are less than the size of an olive. The rabbis debate which crops require tithing and whether it depends on how much they have developed when they are harvested. Some foods not fit for tithing are nevertheless fit for establishing an eruv.

Daf 248 (Eruvin 29a-29b)

Is it fatal to eat raw beets? “But, we see that people eat raw beets and do not die as a result!”

The rabbis argue over how many apples are needed to establish an eruv. Why are fewer peaches required compared to apples? It is perhaps due to a defect in the transmission of (oral) Torah created when Rav Menashya bar Sheqvuli misquoted Rav.

May onions be used to establish an eruv? Not according to R’Meier. Shmuel, on the other hand, says the onion bulb may be used (but not the leaves). Others say that even the leaves may be used.

The rabbis rule on the permissibility of other types of foods to establish an eruv. Abaye suggests that the prevailing custom of a region or a class of people may be a valid criteria.

Daf 249 (Eruvin 30a-30b)

Should the eruv of a glutton be required to have more food than is sufficient for an average person?

Daf 250 (Eruvin 31a-31b)

The rabbis do not permit a kohen to establish an eruv in a cemetery but they consider permitting him to establish an eruv by the side of a single grave.

Mishnah. Here are additional rules specifying consecrated foods that may be used to establish an eruv.

Gemara. The gemara focuses on those consecrated foods that are not permitted to be used to establish an eruv.

Mishnah. Here it is asserted that a person or a designated qualified agent may establish the eruv, but it is valid only if there is “proper intent.”

Gemara. The gemara asks why the mishnah says a minor cannot serve as an agent. Answer: “A minor lacks the legal power of acquisition.”

Daf 251 (Eruvin 32a-32b)

The rabbis contemplate the circumstances under which one may rely on an agent to execute an assignment even without receiving verification that the mission was accomplished (for example, those distant from Jerusalem may presume new grain is permitted– i.e., that the omer was offered in the Temple– from midday.

Mishnah. Here is a rule regarding the permissible height of an eruv.

Gemara. One rabbi asks, “What difference does it make to me whether the eruv is above ten tefachim or below?” The subsequent discussion appears to refute the mishnah.

Daf 252 (Eruvin 33a-33b)

The gemara considers whether rabbinic restrictions on the establishment of an eruv apply to the twilight that precedes Shabbes, as well as a holiday immediately preceding or immediately following Shabbes.

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