THOUGHTS ON THE DAILY DAF
brought to you by Kollel Iyun Hadaf of Har Nof
Rosh Kollel: Rav Mordecai Kornfeld
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1) HALACHAH: EXTINGUISHING A CANDLE ON SHABBOS FOR A SICK PERSON
OPINIONS: The Gemara explains that it is permitted to extinguish a candle
for a sick person who is in mortal danger and needs the room to be dark.
When the Mishnah says that one who extinguishes a candle for such a sick
person is "Patur," it means that it is Mutar (permitted) to do so.
2) THE GATES OPENED ONLY IN THE MERIT OF DAVID HA'MELECH
Does this law apply even if there is another way to make the room dark for
the sick person, such as by carrying him into another room, or by carrying
out the candle, or putting up a divider?
(a) The RAMBAM (Perush ha'Mishnayos) says that it is prohibited to
extinguish a candle for a sick person if there is some other way to make
the room dark for him.
HALACHAH: Shemiras Shabbos ke'Hilchasah (32:70) writes that if it is
possible to move the sick person out of the room *easily*, then one should
do so and not extinguish the candle.
The BI'UR HALACHAH (OC 278) proves from our Gemara that according to the
Rambam, it is forbidden *mid'Oraisa* to extinguish a candle for a sick
person when there is some other way to make it dark for him. The Gemara
wanted to know why the Mishnah says that one who extinguishes a candle for
a sick person is "Patur" (and not "Chayav" if it is talking about a sick
person who is not in danger, or "Mutar" if it is talking about a sick
person in danger). Since the Gemara did not answer that one is Patur when
he extinguishes a candle for a sick person in mortal danger *when there is
some other way to make the room dark*, it must be that one would *not* be
Patur, but would be Chayav. It must be, then, that it is forbidden
(b) The CHIDUSHEI HA'RAN cites the RE'AH who permits extinguishing a candle
for a sick person in danger even if there is another way to make the room
dark. The ME'IRI (cited by the Bi'ur Halachah) also permits it.
RAV YEHOSHUA NEUWIRTH in SHEMIRAS SHABBOS KE'HILCHASA (32:175*) suggests
that the argument between the Rambam and Re'ah may be dependent upon the
opinions that they expressed elsewhere. The Rambam (Hilchos Shabbos 2:1)
maintains that desecrating Shabbos for the sake of saving a life merely
*overrides* the laws of Shabbos (Shabbos is "Dechuyah" for Piku'ach
Nefesh), but does not *permit* the prohibitions of Shabbos entirely. That
is, the prohibitions of Shabbos are still in effect, but for Piku'ach
Nefesh it is permitted to transgress them. Other Rishonim maintain that the
prohibitions of Shabbos are entirely permitted for the sake of saving a
life (Shabbos is "Hutrah" for Piku'ach Nefesh).
Since the Rambam maintains that the laws of Shabbos are still in effect, he
forbids extinguishing a candle for a sick person when there is some other
way to make the room dark. The Re'ah, on the other hand, maintains that the
laws of Shabbos are entirely suspended for Piku'ach Nefesh, and since all
of the prohibitions of Shabbos entirely disappear, one may extinguish a
candle even if there is another way to make the room dark.
QUESTION: When Shlomo ha'Melech brought the Aron ha'Kodesh to the Beis
ha'Mikdash (Kodesh Kadoshim, -Rashi) the gates would not open for him until
he prayed that they open in the merit of his father, David ha'Melech. When
the gates opened at the mention of David ha'Melech, this exonerated David
ha'Melech, proving him righteous and innocent of any wrongdoing, much to
the consternation of his enemies. Why was the merit of David ha'Melech
mentioned specifically at this point?
ANSWER: The verse (Divrei ha'Yamim I 22:8) relates that Hashem told David
ha'Melech that he, personally, cannot build the Beis ha'Mikdash because he
was involved in wars; rather, his son will build it. The Gemara (Makos 10a)
tells us that people used to taunt David ha'Melech, asking him when he will
die so that they will have the Beis ha'Mikdash (see also Yerushalmi
Berachos 2:1). In response to their derision, David ha'Melech rejoiced and
said that he is happy to see that the people desire to have the Beis
His enemies claimed that he was not fit to have the Beis ha'Mikdash built
in his lifetime due to his sins (with Batsheva). Hashem wanted to show them
that David ha'Melech was indeed worthy of building the Beis ha'Mikdash, but
was not to be involved in its construction for another reason. When the
Beis ha'Mikdash was eventually built by his son (= Shlomo, the son of
Batsheva) it was built totally in the merit of David ha'Melech. This is why
here, at the dedication of the Beis ha'Mikdash, everyone was shown the
righteousness of David ha'Melech. (M. KORNFELD)
3) MOVING A CORPSE ON SHABBOS
QUESTION: The Gemara teaches that a dead body (which is Muktzah) may be
moved on Shabbos by placing a loaf of bread or a baby on top of it.
The SHULCHAN ARUCH (OC 311:3) cites the ruling of the Mordechai that if the
body has clothes on it, one may move the body without putting anything else
on top of it (since the clothes are not Muktzah, and serve the same purpose
as the loaf or baby). The SHELAH HA'KODESH challenges this ruling from our
Gemara, because certainly the body of David ha'Melech was garbed in
clothes, and yet the Sages did not permit moving the body without placing
another object on top of it!
(a) The MAGEN AVRAHAM cites those who answer that when a king dies, it is
not permitted for anyone else to use his possessions, and thus they would
be burned. Therefore, David ha'Melech's clothes were Muktzah, and his body
could not be moved without putting a non-Muktzah object upon it.
However, the MACHTZIS HA'SHEKEL cites the BIRKAS HA'ZEVACH who asks that it
*is* permitted for the *son of a king* to use his father's possessions.
Since Shlomo ha'Melech was alive, he was permitted to use his father's
clothes, and therefore they were not Muktzah!
The CHASAM SOFER (in our Sugya) answers that Shlomo ha'Melech felt that he
was unfit to "fill his father's shoes," and therefore the clothes were also
Muktzah to him. (The Sages of the time apparently concurred and ruled
accordingly, that some other object which is not Muktzah must be placed on
the body to permit moving it.)
(b) The EVEN SHOHAM (cited by the LEVUSHEI SERAD, OC ibid., and BECHOR
SHOR) answer that the Halachah states (SHULCHAN ARUCH YD 364:4) that if a
person dies by falling from a high place, he is buried *in his clothes*
(instead of the usual procedure of removing his clothes and dressing the
body in shrouds). Since David ha'Melech fell to his death when the stair
broke under him, the Halachah required that he be buried in his clothes,
and therefore they were Muktzah, since they were considered like shrouds
and became Asur b'Hana'ah. (The SHACH, YD ibid., writes that the reason the
clothes must be buried with him is because when a person falls and dies, he
bleeds a lot and the clothing may contain a Revi'is of blood.)