THOUGHTS ON THE DAILY DAF
brought to you by Kollel Iyun Hadaf of Har Nof
Rosh Kollel: Rav Mordecai Kornfeld
Ask A Question about the Daf
(1) WHAT OILS MAY BE USED FOR THE SHABBOS LIGHTS
QUESTION: The Beraisa lists a number of opinions concerning what materials
may be used for kindling lights for Shabbos. Rebbi Tarfon says that one may
only use olive oil. Rebbi Yochanan ben Nuri says that one may use *all*
oils except those mentioned by the Chachamim in the Mishnah (20b). Rebbi
Shimon Shezuri says that one may use the oil of Paku'os (a type of gourd)
and Neft (naphta, that is, distilled coal, tar, or petroleum).
(2) INTRODUCTION: GARMENTS BECOMING "TAMEI"
In what way is Rebbi Shimon Shezuri arguing on the previous Tana, Rebb
Yochanan ben Nuri? He cannot mean that *only* these two materials may be
used, because these two are inferior to other oils, as is evident from the
Mishnah. If these may be used, then certainly other oils may be used. He
cannot mean *even* these two materials may be used, because Rebbi Yochanan
ben Nuri already said that one may use any materials not prohibited by the
first Mishnah in the Perek, and thus these two may be used.
(a) TOSFOS in Chulin (75b, DH Ana) and the RITVA explain that Rebbi Shimon
Shezuri indeed maintains that these two materials are the only ones with
which one may light. That does not mean, of course, that all other
materials (even better oils) are prohibited. Rather, *from all the inferior
oils that Rebbi Yochanan permits*, Rebbi Shimon Shezuri permits only these
(b) TOSFOS (DH Rebbi Shimon Shezuri) mentions an alternate reading in the
Gemara, according to which the text is, "Rebbi Shimon Shezuri says we do
*not* light with oil of Paku'os and Neft." While Rebbi Yochanan ben Nuri
permits these two, Rebbi Shimon Shezuri, according to this text, prohibits
them, because they have a bad smell, but permits the other oils. (That is,
exactly the opposite of (a).)
(c) TOSFOS HA'ROSH answers that when Rebbi Yochanan ben Nuri says that one
may use any oil not mentioned in the Mishnah, he did not permit the oil of
Paku'os and Neft, even though those two are not mentioned in the Mishnah.
(Although he cited the practice of the people of Kapotkia, who light with
Neft, there he was referring to *black* Neft, which he permits. He
prohibits using *white* Neft. Rebbi Shimon Shezuri permits even white
How do we know that Rebbi Yochanan ben Nuri does not permit the oil of
Paku'os and Neft, even though he seems to say that all oils not mentioned
in the Mishnah are permitted? Explains the Rosh, after Rebbi Yochanan said
that one may light with all oils that are not listed in the Mishnah, why
did he add, "And one may light with the oil of fish and with Itran?" If he
already said that all oils not listed in the Mishnah are permitted, it is
unnecessary to say that these two oils are permitted! It must be, then,
that when Rebbi Yochanan ben Nuri said that all oils are permitted, he did
not mean literally *all* oils, but rather all oils that are permitted by
tradition (such as the ones which he specifically mentions). Oil of fish
and Itran, however, may be used even though there is no tradition
permitting their use.
Since Rebbi Yochanan ben Nuri is not permitting all oils, it may be
asserted that he indeed prohibits the use of the oil of Paku'os and Neft
(white Neft). Rebbi Shimon Shezuri, then, permits lighting with the oil of
Paku'os and white Neft.
The RASH M'SHANTZ challenges this explanation, because the words of Rebbi
Yochanan ben Nuri seem to clearly imply that *all* other oils are permitted
(i.e., including the two that Rebbi Shimon Shezuri mentions).
In response to the question of the Rashi, it may be suggested that Rebbi
Yochanan ben Nuri was referring, when he said "all oils," only to oils that
one may not use because they do not burn well (and the Rabanan were
concerned that one might tilt the lamp on Shabbos). But perhaps he agrees
that there are other oils that may not be used for other reasons (such as oils that have a bad smell). This why he had to add that the oil of fish
and Itran may be used, even though they have a bad smell. He might agree,
though, that there are yet other oils which are prohibited for a third
reason (such as oils that have a *nice* smell, like white Neft, and the
Rabanan were concerned that one might take some oil out of the lamp). Rebbi
Shimon Shezuri means to permit even those oils. (M. KORNFELD)
(a) The Gemara discusses the Halachah of small pieces of garments; when are
they able to become Tamei and when are they not? These small pieces of
garments are divided into two categories: (1) "Shalosh Al Shalosh Etzba'os"
(three by three *fingerbreadths*), and (2) "Sheloshah Al Sheloshah
Tefachim" three by three *handbreadths*. (NOTE: The Gemara uses the
masculine form for three, "Sheloshah," to refer to "Tefachim," a masculine
noun, and the feminine form for three, "Shalosh," to refer to "Etzba'os," a
feminine noun. Generally, wherever the abbreviation "Gimel" appears in the
Gemara and Rishonim in this Sugya, it represents the feminine "Shalosh").
The difference between these two categories of garments is that if a
garment is only three by three Etzba'os, then it is useful only for a poor
person, who will hoard even scraps of material and use them. If it is three
by three Tefachim, then even rich people find it useful and keep it.
(b) There are two general categories of Tum'ah: (1) Tum'as Nega'im (this
refers to a garment upon which appears green or red spots that are
classified as a Nig'ei Begadim, an affliction of Tzara'as that affects a
garment), and (2) all other Tum'os (Tum'as Meis, Tum'as Sheretz, etc.).
The Mishnah (Maseches Nega'im 11:2) tells us that only garments made of
wool (Tzemer) or flax (Pishtim) can become Tamei with Tum'as Nega'im.
Everyone agrees to this point.
Regarding the other types of Tum'os, there are differing opinions whether
only wool and flax can become Tamei or other materials can also become
Tamei. Some maintain that other materials cannot become Tamei with such
Tum'os, just like they cannot become Tamei with Tum'as Nega'im. Others
maintain that they can become Tamei, but only if there are three by three
Tefachim, and not if they are three by three Etzba'os. Others maintain that
even if they are three by three Etzba'os they can become Tamei. (See chart
(3) THE SOURCE FOR A SMALL GARMENT BECOMING "TAMEI"
QUESTION: The Gemara says that we learn that a garment of wool or flax
whose size is only three by three Etzba'os can become Tamei from the word
"v'ha'Beged" (Vayikra 13:47). The Gemara asks that perhaps this word is
intended to teach that a garment of other materials whose size is three by
three Tefachim can become Tamei, and that a wool or flax garment of three
by three Etzba'os is learned from another source. From where would it be
(a) RASHI (DH v'Eima l'Rabos and DH v'Eima Ki) says that it would be
derived from the Kal v'Chomer from "Shesi v'Erev" that the Gemara suggested
earlier and refuted.
(b) TOSFOS (DH v'Eima l'Rabos) disagrees, because the Gemara just said that
the Kal v'Chomer cannot teach that a garment of three by three Etzba'os
becomes Tamei. Tosfos therefore explains that since the verse specifically
mentions "Tzemer" and "Pishtim," thus limiting Tum'as Negaim to garments
made of wool and flax, it must be that they have something that other
materials do not have. Consequently, if "v'ha'Beged" teaches that other
materials of three by three Tefachim can become Tamei, then it must be that
wool and flax can become Tamei even when they are only three by three
To defend Rashi's explanation, we could suggest that perhaps Rashi
understood that the Gemara earlier was not sure if the Kal v'Chomer from
"Shesi v'Erev" to garments of three by three Etzba'os is a workable Kal
v'Chomer. Even though the Gemara refutes the Kal v'Chomer by saying that
"Shesi v'Erev" is more of a completed garment than one which is only three
by three Etzba'os, the Gemara said that only because the word "v'ha'Beged"
ostensibly teaches us not to make the Kal v'Chomer. But the Gemara may
still have a doubt that perhaps "Shesi v'Erev" is *less* of a garment than
one which is three by three Etzba'os (because at least the small garment is
fit for a poor person's use, while "Shesi v'Erev" cannot be used even by a
poor person), and if the word "v'ha'Beged" can be used to teach something
else, then the Kal v'Chomer will work. (M. KORNFELD)