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) LEARNING THE LAWS OF "TUM'AS OHALIM" FROM THE "MISHKAN"
QUESTION: The Gemara learns that Pishtan can become Tamei if it is an Ohel
over a dead body from the Mishkan. The Torah states, "And he spread the
covering (*Ohel*) over the Mishkan" (Shemos 40:19), and a Gezeirah Shavah
is made to a verse discussing Tum'as Ohalim, "When a person dies in an
*Ohel*..." (Bamidbar 19:14).
(2) THE "TACHASH" ANIMAL
RASHI (DH Mah Tachton) says that the word "Mishkan" refers to the ten
pieces of Pishtan (and woven material) which were hooked together to form
one large piece that was spread over the Mishkan and served as its lower
covering. The word "Ohel," when describing a covering of the Mishkan,
refers to the eleven pieces of goats hair material which were connected
into one large piece that was placed *above* the lower covering of
Pishtan+. If this is true, then how can we learn from the verse, "And he
spread the covering (*Ohel*) over the *Mishkan*," that the covering of
*Pishtan* becomes Tamei? The "Ohel" that that verse is referring to is
(a) TOSFOS (DH va'Yifros) and RAMBAN explain that even though the word
"Ohel" usually refers to the covering of goat hair, in this verse it must
be referring to the lower covering of Pishtan, because the verse states
that this Ohel was spread *directly* upon the Mishkan. Obviously, if the
covering of Pishtan was the lowest covering, it had to be placed on the
(b) Tosfos also suggests that we find that the word Mishkan (which, as
stated above, refers specifically to the covering of Pishtan+) is
synonymous with "Ohel," in the verse, "Mishkan Ohel Mo'ed." If so, not only
is it inaccurate to cite the verse "And he spread the covering (*Ohel*)
over the Mishkan" in order to prove that the Pishtan covering is an Ohel
(since that verse is referring to the goat's hair covering), but it is
unnecessary. It is obvious that the Pishtan covering is an Ohel, since it
is called Mishkan. [Rashi (DH Mishkan Karuy) also hints at this approach.]
If so, why did the Gemara cite the verse "And he spread the covering
(*Ohel*) over the Mishkan," as the source for the Halachah that Pishtan is
called an Ohel? Because the *end* of that verse refers to the covering of
Pishtan as "Mishkan," and we see elsewhere that Mishkan and Ohel are
equatable. The word Ohel in that particular verse, however, is not at all
pertinent to our Gemara (RITVA). Alternatively, the Gemara was not citing
the true source for the Halachah, but rather relying on another verse (that
equates Mishkan with Ohel) (TOSFOS).
QUESTION: Rebbi Nechemyah compares the Tachash animal to the "Tala Ilan"
animal, which has very colorful fur. Rav Yosef, upon hearing this,
exclaimed, "That is why the Aramaic word for Tachash is 'Sasgona' -- it
rejoices (Sas) in its many colors (Gavna)."
Why was Rav Yosef looking for a meaning for the Aramaic translation of
"Tachash?" Perhaps "Sasgona" is simply the Aramaic name for the animal. Why
does it have to have any deeper meaning, such that Rav Yosef needed an
acronym to explain it?
ANSWER: REB HESCHEL of Krakow (CHANUKAS HA'TORAH Parashat Terumah) explains
that since the Tachash only appeared for Moshe Rabeinu (as the Gemara says
on 28b), it was never known to any other person who would be able to give
it a name in his own language, like Aramaic. Therefore, Rav Yosef was
bothered how the Tachash ever acquired an Aramaic name. The Targum should
translate Tachash as "Tachash," and not as "Sasgona." It must be that the
name "Sasgona" is merely *descriptive*, and that is why Rav Yosef was happy
to find out how it describes the Tachash.
(3) HALACHAH: TOUCHING AND BENEFITTING FROM "MUKTZAH"
QUESTION: In the Mishnah, Rebbi Eliezer and Rebbi Akiva argue whether one
may light Shabbos candles with a small piece of cloth that was folded into
a wick. In the first explanation of their argument, the Gemara says that
they are arguing in a case when Yom Tov falls on Friday. One must hold the
flame to the wick until most of it is lit (that is, until the flame takes
hold nicely). Rebbi Eliezer therefore forbids using such a wick because
before the flame takes hold to most of it, it will lose its status of a
garment and will become a useless fragment of a garment, and Muktzah
(because of "Nolad").
(a) Can it be inferred from here that it is prohibited to *touch* Muktzah?
(b) Even if one does not have to wait until most of the wick catches fire,
when the wick diminishes to under three by three Etzba'os on Shabbos, it
loses its status of a garment and becomes Muktzah. If so, how can one eat
to its light and derive benefit from Muktzah on Shabbos? Didn't we learn
(Shabbos 43a) that an egg which is Muktzah may not be used to support a
bench on its point?
(a) The Yerushalmi (Beitzah) says that if an egg is laid on Yom Tov, one is
permitted to cover it with a utensil as long as one does not touch it with
the utensil. It seems from here that it is forbidden to touch Muktzah *even
with another object* on Shabbos or Yom Tov. The Magid Mishnah (Hilchos
Shabbos 25:23) explains that the prohibition against *touching* Muktzah
applies only to an egg, because since it is round, it moves when it is
touched. This is the Halachah as well (SHULCHAN ARUCH OC 310:6 and 322:1;
MISHNAH BERURAH 310:22 and 322:3). Therefore, it is permitted to touch any
other Muktzah object. Why, then, should it be forbidden to continue
lighting the wick even though it is Muktzah? Perhaps because a wick is so
insubstantial, that inevitably it will be moved while holding a flame to
the wick (similar to the Magid Mishnah's approach to the Yerushalmi). The
RASHBA, however, suggests another reason, as we will explain soon.
(b) Regarding getting pleasure on Shabbos or Yom Tov from an item that is
Muktzah, TOSFOS in Pesachim (26b, DH Chadash) implies that getting pleasure
from Muktzah is *not* forbidden. Why does the Beraisa prohibit resting the
bench on the egg? It may be suggested that a close look at the Beraisa on
Daf 43a reveals that it may be read as follows: "One may not *move* an
egg... in order to rest a bench on it." That is, resting a bench on it is
permitted, but moving it in order to get it into position is prohibited.
The RASHBA in our Sugya also permits deriving pleasure from an object that
is Muktzah, but he adds that there is an exception to this. One may *not*
derive pleasure from Muktzah when physical contact with the object of
Muktzah is involved. For *this* reason, he explains, it is prohibited to
rest a bench on the egg of Muktzah. This is why lighting the wick of
Muktzah is prohibited, because one is deriving pleasure from the wick at
the same time that he is touching it. When he is not touching it, however,
he may derive pleasure from the flame even though the wick is Muktzah.