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) MOVING "MUKTZAH" INDIRECTLY
The Gemara concludes that it is permitted to move the body of a dead
person, which is Muktzah, by way of "Tiltul Min ha'Tzad," or moving Muktzah
indirectly, in order to save it from being destroyed in a fire. The Rabanan
permitted moving the body out of concern that one might otherwise be
tempted to extinguish the fire.
2) REMOVING OIL FROM A LAMP ON SHABBOS
TOSFOS (DH d'Kuli Alma) infers from the conclusion of the Sugya that
"Tiltul Min ha'Tzad" in any normal circumstance would be forbidden.
However, Tosfos explains that there are two types of "Tiltul Min ha'Tzad,"
and only one of them is forbidden:
(1) Lifting a permissible object that is not Muktzah which touches and
moves a Muktzah object while it is being lifted, is permitted, since the
person is interested in the moving the non-Muktzah object and the Muktzah
object is just being moved indirectly.
The ROSH adds a third type of "Tiltul Min ha'Tzad."
(2) If one is interested in moving the Muktzah object, even if he does so
by way of moving something permissible, it is forbidden.
(3) If one moves a Muktzah object with a part of his body that is usually
not used for moving that object (such as with his elbows or feet), even if
his purpose is to move the Muktzah object itself, it is permitted.
QUESTIONS: The Gemara cites a Beraisa in which Rebbi Elazar b'Rebbi Shimon
argues with his father, Rebbi Shimon. Rebbi Elazar states that a person may
take and use oil from a lamp that went out, and he may even use oil that
dripped from a lamp while the lamp is still aflame.
In what way, though, is he arguing with Rebbi Shimon? Rebbi Shimon agrees
that when the lamp is no longer lit, it is permitted to take oil from it
and use it; when the lamp is still aflame, it is prohibited to take oil
directly from the lamp (because of the Melachah of extinguishing). If oil
drips out while the lamp is lit, Rebbi Shimon did not state that he would
prohibit the oil.
(a) RASHI explains that when Rebbi Elazar said that one may use the oil
"when the lamp goes out," he meant that the lamp is *in the process of
going out*, but it is still lit. Rebbi Elazar maintains that once it is
clear that the candle will not be able to burn much longer, oil may be
removed from the lamp without transgressing the Melachah of extinguishing.
(Since the flame is on its way out and will not consume this oil anyway, it
is not considered extinguishing when one removes the oil.) Rebbi Shimon,
though, maintains that the oil is Muktzah because the candle is still
burning and when a person lights a candle before Shabbos, he does not have
in mind to use the oil that remains in the lamp as it is going out.
(See Chart #8 for more details.)
According to Rashi it would appear that both Rebbi Shimon and his son agree
that when oil drips out of the lamp it is permitted to use that oil, since
it is not in a burning candle. (See Maharsha and Sefas Emes on Rashi, see
also Chart #8; footnote #3)
(b) Other Rishonim (TOSFOS HA'ROSH, RITVA, TOSFOS 42b, DH b'Ein) explain
that while the candle is burning, even if it is beginning to go out, it is
forbidden according to *everyone* to take oil from the lamp, because of the
Melachah of extinguishing. The argument between Rebbi Shimon and Rebbi
Elazar concerns oil that drips from the lamp while it is still lit. Rebbi
Shimon prohibits using such oil, because a person does not consider before
Shabbos the possibility of using the oil that drips while the lamp is
aflame. Therefore, one may not eat or use the oil that dripped until after
the candle goes out.
3) THE "MUCHNI"
OPINIONS: The Mishnah in Kelim that the Gemara cites says that a
non-removable "Muchni" can protect utensils from becoming Tamei in an Ohel
ha'Meis, a sheltered area under which a corpse lies. What is a "Muchni,"
and what is the case in which the Muchni can prevent utensils from becoming
4) MOVING AN OBJECT WITH "MUKTZAH" ON IT
(a) RASHI seems to say that the case is when the Muchni or wagon wheel, was
attached to a wagon that was traveling in a graveyard. The wagon wheels
were "taller than the height of the wagon" (the open, upper part of the
side of the wagon). Some utensils which were loaded in the wagon protruded
above the top of the wagon's side, but not higher than the top of the
wheel. Tum'ah would come up and enter the top of the wagon from the side
and be Metamei the utensils, if not for the wheel protecting them.
(b) However, TOSFOS challenges Rashi's explanation and says that we have
never heard of such a thing as Tum'ah creeping in from the side. Therefore,
Tosfos explains that the Mishnah is talking about a wooden vessel that
holds a volume of at least 40 Se'ah (like Rashi explains), and it is sealed
closed (with a Tzamid Pasil) which protects everything inside from becoming
However, this 40 Se'ah wooden vessel has a hole in it (either on the side
or on the bottom), and the Muchni is covering the hole, making it less than
a Tefach in diameter. The Muchni itself is a flat wooden wheel ("Peshutei
Kli Etz") that cannot become Tamei. Since the Muchni is not covering the
entire hole, but has left a space less than a Tefach in the hole of the
wooden vessel, it will only block Tum'ah from rising up into the Muchni if
it has been affixed there *permanently* (see Bava Basra 19b, and Tosfos 20
DH Hi). If the wheel is removable, Tum'ah will enter through the hole and
will be Metamei anything inside the large wooden vessel.
Alternatively, the Muchni is itself a wooden vessel (which can hold only
*less* than 40 Se'ah, and therefore *can* become Tamei) and it is covering
the entire hole. If it is non-removable, then it is part of the entire
wooden vessel (to which it is affixed, which is larger than 40 Se'ah and
not Mekabel Tum'ah), and it too cannot become Tamei. It therefore blocks
Tum'ah from coming into the hole. If it is removable, then it is not part
of the larger wooden vessel but a smaller vessel in its own right, and it
*can* become Tamei. It therefore does not block Tum'ah from ascending into
the hole. (RAN, quoting "Yesh Mefarshim")
(c) The RITVA here (and the BARTENURA in Kelim) explain that Rashi did not
mean that the wheel protects against Tum'ah from coming in *from the side*.
Rather, the wheels are *underneath* the wagon, and as it traveled through a
graveyard, utensils were protruding horizontally over the side of the
wagon, above the wheels. If the wheel is not removable, then it is not
Mekabel Tum'ah and it prevents the Tum'ah from reaching the utensils. If
the Muchni is removable, on the other hand, then it does not prevent the
Tum'ah from reaching the utensils since the Muchni itself is Mekabel
Tum'ah, and it cannot prevent Tum'ah from spreading to other objects.
How can the Ritva's explanation be seen in the words of Rashi? Rashi says
that the wheels are "higher" than the walls of the wagon! To understand how
the Ritva's explanation is seen in the words of Rashi, we must look at a
number of other questions which the Rishonim ask on Rashi's explanation of
(1) Why does the Mishnah say "Muchni" -- "wheel," in the singular form? A
wagon must have at least two wheels, one on each side.
It could be that in order to answer these questions, Rashi understood that
the Mishnah was referring to a wagon with *one* long wheel underneath it,
extending from one side of the wagon to the other side (like a modern
steam-roller). The long wheel was hollow in the middle, with at least a
Tefach of space inside between the bottom of the wheel and the top. The
hollow of a Tefach inside the wheel serves as the Ohel to block the Tum'ah
from ascending above the wheel.
(2) As the wheel rolls over the graveyard, it is resting directly on top of
the ground, and there is no one Tefach separation between the ground and
the bottom of the wheel. How, then, can the wheel prevent the upward
diffusion of Tum'ah? It must be an Ohel to stop Tum'ah from spreading, and
it is only an Ohel if there is a Tefach of empty space between it and the
When Rashi refers to the height of the wheel being greater than the height
of the wagon, he means the *length* of the wheel (which, if stood upwards,
would be its height) as it extends from one side of the wagon to the other.
That length -- or "height" -- is greater than the corresponding length of
the wagon, such that part of the wheel protrudes beyond the wagon on each
side. (Rashi calls this measure of the wheel its "height" in
contradistinction to its width, or diameter, describing it as a pillar
lying down.) If this is correct, Rashi is clearly saying exactly what the
the Ritva understands him to be saying. (M. KORNFELD)
QUESTION: If the "Muchni" (wheel, see previous Insight) is permanently
attached to the wagon, even if there is money on the Muchni, one may drag
it on Shabbos. This is the conclusion of the Gemara.
What difference does it make whether the Muchni is attached permanently or
not? It is serving as a "Basis l'Davar ha'Asur" -- a base for a forbidden
object (money) -- and it should be forbidden to be moved!
(a) TOSFOS (DH Ein) explains that an object only becomes a "Basis" if the
Muktzah item is on top of the *primary part* of the object. If it is on top
of a secondary part of the object, the object does not become a "Basis."
(b) The RAMBAM (in Perush ha'Mishnayos) explains that the Muchni is not a
wheel, but a drawer that slides in and out. When the Gemara says that it is
permissible to move it when it has money on top, it means that one may
slide the drawer in and out if it is permanently attached and cannot be
removed. The reason is because when an object is a "Basis" for Muktzah, its
status as a "Basis" only prohibits moving the entire item from its place,
but moving part of it is permitted. If the drawer is removable, then it is
considered a separate utensil and moving it isA like moving an entire
object and is prohibited.
(c) The RITVA says that the case in the Mishnah cited by the Gemara is when
there is something which is *not* Muktzah inside the wagon, and there is
money which *is* Muktzah on top of the wheel. The Halachah is that an
object which serves as a "Basis" for both a permissible object and a
forbidden one *may* be moved (Shabbos 141a). If the Muchni is removable, it
is not considered part of the wagon, but has its own, individual identity,
and thus it is one object with only one item on top of it, an item of
Muktzah. If the Muchni is non-removable, then together with the wagon it
constitutes one object (that is, the wheel is just an extension of the
wagon), and that single object has on it both a permissible object and a
Muktzah object, and therefore it may be moved.