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) LOOKING FOR ANSWERS
QUESTION: The Gemara cites the opinion of Rebbi Yitzchak, who maintains
that one may move a utensil on Shabbos only for the sake of something which
is not Muktzah. The Gemara challenges his opinion with all of the cases
cited by the Gemara earlier, and it answers that none of those cases pose a
difficulty to Rebbi Yitzchak, because they are talking about when the
person picked up the utensil for a permissible use (and one may then put
the utensil down wherever he wants, even to cover a Muktzah item).
This answer resolves all of the questions from the previous cases. If so,
why does the Gemara continue to ask new questions; did it not know that the
same answer applies to all of them?
ANSWER: TOSFOS (DH Kofeh) says the Gemara knew this answer, but was merely
looking for other answers.
2) COVERING A "MEIS" ON SHABBOS
QUESTION: According to Rebbi Yitzchak, who holds that one may not move
items on Shabbos for the sake of something which is Muktzah, how is it
possible to bring a covering to cover the body of a dead person (to protect
it), if a body is Muktzah? Rav Huna explains what the permissible procedure
would be the following: two people should sit down next to the body, and
when they begin to get hot from the ground beneath them, they should go and
bring beds upon which to sit. When they get hot from being unsheltered,
they should go bring a mat to hold above their heads. Then, holding the
mats above their heads (and above the body), they should lift the beds to
support the mat, and then they may depart, leaving the body nicely
3) HALACHAH: HOW DOES ONE COVER A "MEIS" ON SHABBOS?
Why are there two stages -- first they must bring the beds, and then they
bring the mat? Let them bring both the beds and the mat at the same time!
(a) TOSFOS (DH Cham) explains that the real purpose behind bringing the mat
is for the sake of covering the body, but to do so outright is prohibited,
because one may not move an item for the sake of something that is Muktzah.
In order to permit it, the shelter must be erected for the sake of someone
living, and not for the body. Therefore, the Rabanan required that one show
that he is bringing the mat for his own personal benefit. That is why one
must first bring the bed to sit on -- he must first do an *action* for
himself, so that when he brings the mat, it is not obvious that he bringing
the mat for the sake of the body.
(b) The RAMBAM (Hilchos Shabbos 26:22) says that they did not use the beds
for making the shelter; rather, they merely left two mats leaning against
each other (like a teepee) above the body. Why, then, did they bring they
beds altogether? The KESEF MISHNAH explains that since they were not really
bringing the mats because they were hot, but rather for the sake of
sheltering the body, it must be made to look like they are bringing it for
their own personal use as much as possible. Requiring them to bring the
beds, which *remain* for their own personal use and are never used for the
body, makes it look as if the mats are also being brought for personal use.
OPINIONS: After all is said and done, how does one cover a dead body on
(a) The RIF and ROSH leave out the Gemara's entire discussion of how to
cover a body on Shabbos. It seems that the reason is that the discussion of
the Gemara is only according to Rebbi Yitzchak, who forbids moving anything
for the sake of an object that is Muktzah. Since the Halachah is not like
Rebbi Yitzchak, it is permissible to carry an object with which to cover
the body without any pretenses.
(b) However, the RAMBAM and TUR do cite this Halachah. The BEIS YOSEF (OC
311) explains that the reason for covering a body in this fashion is not
because it is prohibited to carry mats for something Muktzah. Rather, it is
because putting up mats constitutes the Rabbinic prohibition of building a
temporary tent. (Even a shelter which is pointed at the top and does not
have a ceiling with a width of one Tefach, may only be made for a live
person, but not for a dead person.)
What is the Rambam's source for learning that Rav Huna is dealing with the
prohibition of building a temporary tent? It would seem clear from our
Gemara that Rav Huna was explaining how to get around the problem of moving
items for something that is Muktzah, and not how to get around the problem
of building a tent!
Tosfos and the RIF point out that Rav Huna elsewhere (154b) seems to argue
with Rebbi Yitzchak. If so, the real reason why Rav Huna requires making
the shelter in this fashion must be because of the problem of making a tent
(and not because of the problem of carrying something to place over a
(However, we might ask another question on the Rambam's explanation. If it
is permissible to carry something for the sake of a Muktzah object, why go
through this difficult procedure to make a covering over the body? One
should just spread a mat directly over the body, without making a tent by
leaving space under it. The answer must be that one wants air to circulate
around the body, and the only way to achieve this is to leave a tent above
the body as the Rambam describes. M. Kornfeld)