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Shabbos 59


OPINIONS: Rebbi Yochanan says that to be Mekabel Tum'as Meis, an object must be used for its original purpose. Rebbi Yochanan states that "we say Amod v'Na'aseh Melachteinu" (lit. "stand and let us perform our work") with regard to Tum'as Mes." What does this expression mean?
(a) RASHI explains it to means that a utensil which broke *must be serving* in its original capacity (to some extent) if it is to be considered Tamei even when it is broken. Thus, if we can say to the utensil, "Amod v'Na'aseh Melachteinu" -- "Stand and let us perform our work [by using you for the purpose for which you were originally made]," then it is Mekabel Tum'as Mes.

(b) The RIVA cited by TOSFOS (DH v'Ein) explains that it means that if an object which is broken can only be used for a purpose *other than* its original purpose then it is *not* Tamei, because we tell the person using it, "Amod v'Na'aseh Melachteinu" -- "Stop! We want to [fix it in order to] use it for its original purpose." It is therefore still considered broken, and not Mekabel Tum'ah.

(According to Tosfos, the phrase that Rebbi Yochanan is using, "Amod v'Na'aseh Melachteinu," is consistent with the way it is always used; that is, if we tell a person to stop using a utensil -- "Amod..." -- the utensil is *not* Mekabel Tum'ah.")


QUESTION: The Gemara tells us that Rebbi Meir, the Chachamim (who are the source for the ruling of our Mishnah) and Rebbi Eliezer argue whether a woman may go out into Reshus ha'Rabim with an "Ir Shel Zahav." Rebbi Eliezer, who argues with the ruling of our Mishnah, permits it because only a prominent woman wears such an ornament, and it is beneath her dignity to remove it to show to someone else. Therefore, there is no fear that she will carry it in Reshus ha'Rabim.

Later in the Gemara, Shmuel permits wearing a "Kelila" (a gold plate worn on the forehead) because only a prominent woman wears such an ornament, and there is no fear that she will take it off. Is Shmuel siding with Rebbi Eliezer, and ruling against our Mishnah which prohibits wearing an Ir Shel Zahav?


(a) The ME'IRI quotes the "Gedolei ha'Mefarshim" who says that Shmuel is indeed siding with Rebbi Eliezer, against our Mishnah.

(b) The RASHBA and RITVA say that Shmuel does *not* agree with Rebbi Eliezer. They explain that there are three types of ornaments. The Kelila which Shmuel permits is an eloquent ornament of *average* quality that rich women wear. Since it is average, they will not feel compelled to remove it to show to their friends. However, an Ir Shel Zahav is an unusually eloquent ornament and therefore even rich women will take it off to show to their friends (this is the point of dispute between our Mishnah and Rebbi Eliezer). The third type is an eloquent item which even poor women wear; such an item is prohibited to be worn by anyone.

(c) The MIRKEVES HA'MISHNAH says that according to the RAMBAM (Hilchos Shabbos 19:6), Shmuel agrees that an Ir Shel Zahav is prohibited, but not for the same reason as the Gemara suggested earlier. Rathe, according to Shmuel it is prohibited to wear the Ir Shel Zahav and other ornaments in our Mishnah for fear that they might *fall off* and she will carry it in Reshus ha'Rabim. (This, in fact, is the way the Rambam [Shabbos 19:6] records the laws of our Mishnah.) Perhaps, though, a Kelila is worn tighter and therefore there is no fear that it might fall off. The only problem is that she might take it off to show to her friends, and we are not afraid that she will do that, says Shmuel. Therefore, Shmuel can still agree with our Mishnah that prohibits going out with an Ir Shel Zahav.

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