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) SAVING FOOD FROM A BURNING HOUSE ON SHABBOS
OPINIONS: According to Rav Huna, one is allowed to take out as much food as
he wants from a burning house if he does so in the manner of "Matzil," i.e.
by carrying the food in one basket or container into a Chatzer. However,
one is not allowed to save as much food as he wants in the manner of
"Mekapel;" when saving food through being "Mekapel," he may only carry as
much food as he needs for three meals.
2) THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN SAVING FOOD AND SAVING CLOTHES
The Gemara says that there is a third way to take things out -- spreading
out a Talis and placing food items in it. The Gemara concludes that this is
not similar to Mekapel, and it is permissible to carry out as much food as
he wants in this manner.
What is "Mekapel," and what is the difference between being Mekapel and
putting all of the food into a Talis?
(a) TOSFOS (19b, DH v'Chad) explains that "Mekapel" means to take out food
in individual containers, one after the other. This differs from using a
Talis to save the food, whereby one places *multiple containers* into a
single Talis and then takes them all out in one motion by carrying the
QUESTION: Tosfos asks that according to Rashi, there seems to be no
difference between being Mekapel and using a Talis to carry out all of the
containers of food, since both involve placing many containers into one
larger one and carrying it out. Why, then, should using a Talis be more
permitted than "Mekapel?"
(b) Rashi 19b (DH v'Chad) explains that "Mekapel" means to place many
containers into one large container, and that is what is forbidden
according to Rav Huna (this is identical to Tosfos' definition of Talis,
which is *permitted*). This also seems to be Rashi's intention in our Sugya
(Rashi adds the word "ul'Osfam" in his explanation for Rav Huna, which
implies that all of the containers are first gathered into one large one
before being taken out).
ANSWER: The RAMBAN answers that according to Rashi, the case of the Talis
is when one empties the containers of food into the Talis and carries out
the Talis full of food *without the containers themselves*. "Mekapel,"
though, refers to placing the containers themselves into one large
container and carrying them all out together. The former is permitted,
while the latter is forbidden.
(The Gemara compares placing food into a Talis with the case of saving wine
from a leaking barrel. It should be pointed out that only according to
Rashi is the comparison exact, because the wine falls directly into the
container that one puts underneath the barrel, just as the food that one
puts into the Talis goes directly into the Talis and is not contained
within any other utensil within the Talis.)
QUESTION: The Mishnah says that when one wants to save his food from his
house that is on fire, he may announce to others, "Bo'u v'Hatzilu *Lachem*"
-- "Come and save *for yourselves*." However, when one wants to save his
clothing from the fire, the Mishnah says that he may announce, "Bo'u
v'Hatzilu *Imi*" -- "Come and save *with me*." What is the difference
between saving food and saving clothes?
The Gemara answers that the maximum amount of food that is fit for the
owner is enough food for three meals. Any more food than that is not fit
for him. On the other hand, he is not limited with regard to clothing as he
is with food since he can wear many articles of clothing throughout the
How does this explain the difference in the words that he may use to
announce to others to help him save his items, "Lachem" for food and "Imi"
(a) The BARTENURA explains that with regard to food, any person who comes
to save food from the burning house may only save enough food for his own
Shabbos needs, which is a maximum of three meals worth of food. Therefore, the amount that one may save depends on how many meals one has already
eaten (for example, if one has already eaten one meal, he may only save two
meals worth of food). The amount of food that any person may save is
subjective, based on what that person has already eaten. Therefore, the
person trying to save his food from the fire announces, "Bo'u v'Hatzilu
*Lachem*" -- "*for yourselves*," for each person may only save enough food
for *his own* Shabbos needs.
When saving clothing, on the other hand, it does not matter how much one
has worn or is wearing; one may always save eighteen items of clothing,
since they can be worn throughout the day. Therefore, one announces, ""Bo'u
v'Hatzilu *Imi*" -- "*with me*," since everyone may save an equivalent
amount of 18 items of clothing.
(b) REBBI AKIVA EIGER (on Mishnayos) points out that this contradicts the
assertion of the RAN that other people may save as much as they want from
the fire, and that only the owner himself is limited to saving three meals.
Rebbi Akiva Eiger suggests instead that with regard to food, since the
owner may only take the amount he needs for that day and no more, he is
Mafkir the rest of the food since he has no other choice. Therefore, he
says, "Lachem," take it for yourselves (because I do not own it anymore).
With regard to clothing, though, since the owner is permitted to go back
into the house as many times as he can and take out more clothing, he is
not Mafkir his clothing. Therefore, he says, "Imi," come and save the
clothing *with me* (that is, for me, because I still own it). When the
Gemara says that clothing "is fit for him all day," it means that the owner
can keep going into the house to wear more sets of clothing in order to
save them, and consequently he is not Mafkir the clothing.
(c) The YERUSHALMI, cited by the RASHBA on the Mishnah, explains that food
and clothing may be saved by others because food is normally fed to guests,
and clothing is normally loaned to others.
If so, perhaps one says "for yourselves" with regard to food because he has
nothing to do with the food that others save; they take it out only because
they can *eat* it. With regard to clothing, though, he announces that
others should come and save his food "with me," as if to say, "Take out
*my* clothing* because I can lend it to you, and you will wear it and
immediately return it to me." This may be the meaning of the words of our
Gemara, that clothing is "fit for him the entire day. After others finish
wearing them, clothes are normally returned to their original owner, who
can wear them the rest of the day. (M. Kornfeld)
3) MOVING A DOOR THAT IS SUPPORTING A CANDLE
QUESTION: The Gemara says that it is permissible to open and close a door
with a candle affixed to it, as long as there is no Pesik Reshei that the
candle will become extinguished.
Why is the Gemara not bothered by the problem that the door is a Basis
l'Davar ha'Asur? The Gemara earlier (47a) said that the flame of a lit
candle is a Davar ha'Asur, an object forbidden to be handled on Shabbos,
and thus the door supporting the candle is a Basis for the forbidden
object, and a Basis l'Davar ha'Asur may not be moved!
(a) TOSFOS (DH Posei'ach) offers three answers. First, Tosfos suggests that
opening and closing a door is not considered moving Muktzah. That is, since
the door is attached to and part of a larger object (i.e. the house),
moving the door is not considered moving a forbidden object, because only
part of the object is being moved, and the entire object is not being moved
from its place. Thus, when one moves the door, he is not considered to be
moving a Basis l'Davar ha'Asur.
This approach seems to be the opinion of the Rambam as well. The Gemara
(44b) said that if a Muchni that is attached to a Shidah has money on it,
one may move the Muchni on Shabbos. The Rambam (in Perush ha'Mishnayos)
explains that the Muchni is a drawer that slides in and out of a bureau.
When the Gemara says that it is permissible to move the Muchni when it has
money on top, it means that one may slide the drawer in and out if it is
permanently attached, but if it is not, it may not be removed from the
bureau. The reason for this is because when an object is a Basis for
Muktzah, it is only prohibited to move the entire item from its place, but
not to move a part of it to and fro.
(b) Tosfos says that a door cannot become a Basis to a lit candle, because
the door is part of the house and a house cannot become subordinate to a
candle. A Basis is defined as something that supports and *serves* the
Muktzah item. The entire house, though, cannot be said to be serving the
(c) Tosfos explains that we find in the Gemara that an object does not
become a Basis for a forbidden object unless a person purposely leaves the
forbidden object on top of it. Tosfos suggests that perhaps the lit candle
was left on the door unintentionally; someone intended to remove it from
there before Shabbos but forgot. Therefore, the door does not become a
Basis l'Davar ha'Asur.