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: GOING TO "RESHUS HA'RABIM" WITH CRUTCHES ON SHABBOS
May a person walk in Reshus ha'Rabim with crutches on Shabbos? Are crutches
considered tools that a person is *carrying*, and prohibited, or are they
considered a piece of apparel, and permitted to be taken into Reshus
2) THE WOODEN FOOT OF AN AMPUTEE
The Shulchan Aruch O.C. 301:17 distinguishes between two situations:
1) A person who cannot walk without using a crutch is permitted to use
crutches in Reshus haRabim, as they are considered garments like shoes
(Mishnah Berurah #63)
The Mishnah Berurah (#64) writes that if a person walks without using a
cane when at home and only uses it when he walks outside, he falls into
category #2 above. However, Mishnah Berurah #65 quotes the Taz that if a
person has difficulty walking and must use a stick in wet or icy
conditions, he is in category #1, and permitted to use a cane in Reshus
ha'Rabim. The Mishnah Berurah himself argues, citing several Acharonim who
disagree with the Taz and are stringent in this situation, but the Aruch
Hashulchan (301:70) agrees with the Taz and permits the use of a cane in
2) A person who is able to walk without crutches but uses crutches to
assist in walking is not permitted to use his crutches in Reshus ha'Rabim.
They are considered a Masuy.
The Shulchan Aruch 301:18 writes that a blind person may not go out with
his cane. Mishnah Berurah explains that since the blind person can walk
unaided and the cane is only used to steady himself, he is in category #2.
The Aruch haShulchan 302:72 limits the ruling of the Shulchan Aruch to a
situation when the blind person is walking in a familiar area. When he is
in a strange place. he is unable to walk unless he has his cane to feel
ahead for obstacles. It is therefore permitted for him to carry a cane, as
he falls into category #1.
QUESTION: Abaye and Rava argue whether the wooden foot of an amputee can
become Tamei with Tum'as Midras or not. Tum'as Midras is conveyed by
sitting, standing, or leaning on an article that is made for sitting,
standing or leaning on. Abaye and Rav disagree as to whether the wooden leg
is made for one of those uses.
What is their argument based on? If an amputee stands on the wooden foot
which is affixed to his leg, of course it is made for standing upon. Hy
should it not be Mekabel Tum'as Midras?
ANSWER: TOSFOS (65b, DH ha'Kitei'a), the RITVA, and other Rishonim answer
that the amputee does not walk on the wooden stump. The wooden stump is
there primarily for cosmetic purposes. It is only leaned upon on occasion,
for instance when the amputee is seated. On what does the amputee walk?
(a) The amputee walks with crutches and he does not lean on the leg enough
for it to be considered something that is made for leaning on.
(b) Alternatively, a wooden rod is tied to the bent knee of the amputee,
and it is on that rod that he walks. The wooden foot is meant to merely
cover his stump which protrudes behind him as he walks.
QUESTION: The Mishnah says that Luktemin are Tahor. In the Gemara, Rava (or
Rafram) bar Papa says that Luktemin are "Keshiri," which Rashi explains to
mean, "stilts that are used for walking through mud to keep one's feet
clean." As Rashi asks, why should these stilts should be Tahor if they are
used for walking upon? They should be Tamei with Tum'as Midras!
(a) TOSFOS (DH Keshiri) cites the RI who says that they are not Tamei with
Tum'as Midras because they are not used for normal walking, but only to go
through mud. The Ri seems to be consistent with his opinion elsewhere (see
Tosfos 66a, DH v'Ha and DH Tamei), where he says that something worn only
to protect the feet or to protect the shoes is not considered something
that is walked or stood upon. In order to be Mekabel Tum'as Midras, is must
be made for the purpose of normal walking, standing, or sitting upon, and
not for "special purpose" walking, standing, or sitting.
The RITVA explains that the Ri means that if an object is made for
*walking* upon (rather than standing or sitting upon), it is not Mekabel
Tum'as Midras -- unless it is in the form of a shoe (such as a Sandal Shel
Sayadin, see 66a).
(b) TOSFOS cites the ARUCH who explains that Keshiri are tall stilts made
for entertainment purposes. Since the person walks fine without the stilts,
and the purpose of the stilts is only to entertain onlookers and not to
enhance walking, they are not Mekabel Tum'as Midras.