THOUGHTS ON THE DAILY DAF
brought to you by Kollel Iyun Hadaf of Har Nof
Rosh Kollel: Rav Mordecai Kornfeld
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OPINIONS: The Mishnah says that Jewish women may go out on Shabbos while
"Re'ulos." What does "Re'ulos" mean?
(a) RASHI here explains that it refers to completely covering her head
except for her two eyes. This is what the word means in Yeshayah 3:19.
(b) RASHI in Yeshayah, however, explains that the women used to cover their
entire head except for *one* eye (such attire is considered provocative,
because it makes the men want to see more of her face. This is why it is
called "Re'ulos," from "Ra'al" -- poison).
(c) RASHI in Yeshayah gives another explanation. "Re'ulos" refers to thick
coats that women wrapped around themselves.
(d) The RAMBAM here writes that it refers to bells that hang from their
2) HALACHAH: IMMERSING IN A RIVER
TOSFOS (DH d'Amar Shmuel, and Bechoros 55b, DH Ein) cites RABEINU TAM who
rules in accordance with the statement of Shmuel that a river's waters
increase from the river's own subterranean sources, and therefore one may
immerse in a river throughout the entire year.
3) A COIN AFFIXED TO ONE'S FOOT
Rabeinu Tam (Bechoros ibid.) adds that even those who prohibit Tevilah in
rivers during certain seasons, based on the rulings of Shmuel's father and
the other Amora'im, would have to admit that:
(a) All the rivers in Israel are fit for Tevilah. Since it is higher than
all other lands (Zevachim 54b), it sheds its rainwater and its rivers flow
from subterranean sources alone. (See Mikva'os 8:1, "Eretz Yisrael is Tahor
and its Mikva'os are Tahor" -- M.K.)
HALACHAH: The SHULCHAN ARUCH (YD 201:2) rules that if there is more rain
water then river water in a river, one may immerse only if the water is
kept stationary. Although REMA recommends following this ruling, he adds
that there is an opinion (Rabeinu Tam) that one *may* immerse in a river
with more rain water than river water. The REMA concludes that the custom
is to immerse in rivers throughout the entire year in places where there
are no Mikva'os.
(b) The same may apply to all other mountain rivers.
(c) Rabeinu Tam adds that all Amora'im agree that according to Torah law,
one may immerse in a river even during the rainy season. It was the Rabanan
who prohibited Tevilah in a river due to Mar'is Ayin (that is, it *looks as
if* the person is immersing in rainwater). He offers two logical grounds
for this assertion: (1) Rain water trickles into the river drop by drop and
is therefore Batel (annulled) by the river water. (2) All rivers join with
the sea at some point (Koheles 1:4), and since the sea is valid for
Tevilah, so are the rivers.
QUESTION: The Mishnah states that a woman may go into Reshus ha'Rabim with
a stone, nut, or coin wrapped in her shawl serving as a button. The Gemara
explains that all three are permitted when wrapped in the shawl prior to
Shabbos. It is forbidden, though, to place a coin in her garment on Shabbos
itself, because a coin is Muktzah. A stone may be used, since she planned
to use it on Friday, prior to Shabbos (Rashi).
Why is the stone different from a coin? If she planned before Shabbos to
use the coin on Shabbos, it should also be permitted!
(a) The RITVA and TUR (OC 303) explain that planning on Friday to use a
coin on Shabbos does not work, because no one uses a coin as a button, and
her desire to do so is thus negated ("Batlah Daitah"). To actually *use* it
as a button before Shabbos would be effective. In order to use a stone on
Shabbos as a button, on the other hand, it suffices to *plan* to use it,
because a stone is commonly used as a button.
(b) The SHILTEI GIBORIM cites the SMAG who says that if someone wraps a
coin in her shawl as a button, it appears like she is just trying to carry
the coin into Reshus ha'Rabim in a permitted fashion, circumventing the
prohibition of Hotza'ah, because it is very uncommon to wear a coin as a
button. But by using it as a button before Shabbos, it becomes designated
as a button and she may go out with it on Shabbos.