THOUGHTS ON THE DAILY DAF
brought to you by Kollel Iyun Hadaf of Har Nof
Rosh Kollel: Rav Mordecai Kornfeld
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ERUVIN 86 - was generously dedicated by an anonymous donor in Los Angeles
in honor of his son, Sam, who lives and teaches in Yerushalayim.
1) HONORING WEALTHY PEOPLE
QUESTION: The Gemara says that Rebbi and Rebbi Akiva gave honor to wealthy
people. Why did they conduct themselves this way? And why does the Gemara
single out Rebbi and Rebbi Akiva?
2) "PI TIKRAH YORED V'SOSEM
(a) The GILYON HA'SHAS cites the MAHARIL who writes that Rebbi and Rebbi
Akiva were wealthy themselves (see Berachos 57b, Gitin 59a, Sanhedrin 36a,
and Nedarim 50a) and they did not want people to respect them because of
their Torah wisdom, since one should not take advantage of the Torah and
use it for one's personal benefit (Avos 4:5). They therefore taught that
being wealthy was a positive attribute for which one should be honored, so
that people would honor them for their wealth and not for their Torah
(b) Since Rebbi and Rebbi Akiva were wealthy, they obviously used their
money for Tzedakah and Chessed. Through this, they came to realize the
great value of money, when it is used for doing Mitzvos. They assumed, in
their modesty, that other wealthy people also used their money for the
proper purposes, and therefore they honored them for their Tzedakah and
Chessed. (ME'IRI, second explanation)
(c) A wealthy person is not accustomed to giving honor to other people.
Rebbi and Rebbi Akiva honored wealthy people so that they would get a feel
for what it is like to be honored. This would lead them to honor others in
order to earn their honor, as the Mishnah in Avos (4:1) says, "Who is the
honored one? He who honors others." In this manner the wealthy person will
learn to honor even poor people. (SIDUR HA'YA'AVETZ, end of Hilchos Derech
Eretz; Hagahos ha'Ya'avetz to the Gemara here)
(The people Rebbi and Rebbi Akiva honored were affluent but righteous.
With regard to giving honor to wealthy people who are Resha'im, see
Rabeinu Yonah, Sha'arei Teshuvah 3:9 (#199), and Orchos Tzadikim 24:9
QUESTIONS: The Gemara says that according to Rebbi Yehudah, a Korah which
is four Tefachim wide permits carrying within a Churvah (a destroyed
building). RASHI says that the Gemara is referring to a Korah suspended
above and between two walls. Both ends of the Korah are viewed as
descending and closing off the area below, because the area below measures
at least four Tefachim.
Rashi says that if the width of the Korah would be less than four
Tefachim, then there would not be sufficient space between the [imaginary]
Mechitzos at either side of the Korah, and "Pi Tikrah Yored v'Sosem" would
not apply; a Mechitzah can be made only for an area with a minimum size of
four by four Tefachim.
Rashi adds that Gedi'in Bok'in Bo will not prevent the walls from
descending and closing off the area, because Rebbi Yehudah follows the
opinion of Rebbi Yosi on 86b who holds that we are not concerned with
Gedi'in Bok'in Bo.
(a) Mechitzos that are made through the rule of "Pi Tikrah Yored v'Sosem"
are *always* hanging in the air and always have the problem of Gedi'in
Bok'in Bo. Yet we find (25a) that Rav says that Pi Tikrah does create
Mechitzos, and Shmuel also holds that Pi Tikrah creates Mechitzos where
there is already one real wall (94b). Why should Pi Tikrah work at all
according to those who hold that Gedi'in Bok'in Bo disqualifies a
ANSWER: Rashi understood that Gedi'in Bok'in Bo is normally *not* a
problem for Pi Tikrah, because Pi Tikrah is not a Mechitzah. Rather, when
we apply Pi Tikrah the *edge of the roof* itself serves to separate one
area from another in lieu of a Mechitzah. "Yored v'Sosem" does not mean
that the edge of the roof descends and extends to form a Mechitzah;
rather, it means that the edge of the roof itself is Sosem (closes off the
area) just like a Mechitzah, which actually does reach the ground, is
In fact, Rav himself says (86b) that a Mechitzah Teluyah (a Mechitzah
which hangs in the air) is considered a Mechitzah *only* when it is over
water. This implies that normally, Gedi'in Bok'in Bo *is* a problem, not
like Rebbi Yosi (86b). How, then, can Rashi say that Pi Tikrah does not
work according to those who disqualify a Mechitzah that Gedi'in Bok'in Bo?
It must be that Gedi'in Bok'in Bo does not apply to Pi Tikrah, as we
mentioned in Insights to Eruvin 25:2 (TOSFOS 86b and Rishonim).
(b) TOSFOS (86a) also points out that Rashi seems to be saying that a
Korah which is at least four by four Tefachim is necessary only because we
need both sides to descend to form Mechitzos. This implies that if one
does not intend to enclose a given area below the Korah, but one just
wants a single Mechitzah to descend and separate between two Reshuyos,
then the area below does not need four by four Tefachim. Why, then, does
the Gemara (86b) say that a Korah which is *four by four* Tefachim serves
to separate the pit of water that is located on the border between two
Chatzeros? There, all that is necessary is a single Mechitzah and not an
enclosed area, why does the Korah have to be four by four Tefachim?
(c) Why was Rashi not bothered by the problem of Gedi'in Bok'in Bo with
regard to Pi Tikrah earlier in the Masechta (25a), and only here does he
address the issue?
Accordingly, when Rashi came to the Sugya here, which says that the Korah
must be four by four Tefachim, he was faced with a difficulty: if Pi
Tikrah has nothing to do with Mechitzos, then why should there be a
requirement that the Korah be four by four Tefachim? Therefore, Rashi
learned that the opinion of Rebbi Yehudah which requires a Korah which is
four by four is a new opinion that holds that Pi Tikrah works because of
This is why Rashi did not address earlier the problem of Gedi'in Bok'in Bo
with regard to Pi Tikrah. As long as Pi Tikrah has nothing to do with
Mechitzos, there was never any question that Gedi'in Bok'in Bo should
invalidate it. Here, though, Rashi addresses the problem because Rebbi
Yehudah maintains that Pi Tikrah *does* work because of Mechitzos.
This also explains why Rashi mentions that the measure of four by four is
necessary here in order to make a significant area between the Mechitzos.
Rashi understands that our Gemara maintains that Pi Tikrah only descends
and forms a Mechitzah when *both sides* of the beam can be extended to
form Mechitzos. There is no such thing as one side being extended by
itself, according to this opinion. A Korah must *always* be 4 x 4 Tefachim
in order to apply Pi Tikrah. Even if we want to simply separate two
Reshuyos with a single Mechitzah, such as with the pit of water, we can
apply Pi Tikrah only if the sides of the Korah can be extended downward to
create Mechitzos that *enclose* an area of four by four Tefachim. (M.