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THOUGHTS ON THE DAILY DAF
brought to you by Kollel Iyun Hadaf of Har Nof
Rosh Kollel: Rav Mordecai Kornfeld
Ask A Question about the Daf
1) USING THE LIGHT OF A CANDLE KINDLED BY A GENTILE ON SHABBOS
QUESTION: The Mishnah lists three cases of a Jew benefiting from Melachah
performed by a gentile on Shabbos. If a gentile lights a candle on Shabbos,
a Jew may use the light; if a gentile draws water to feed to his animal, a
Jew may use that water "after him" for his own animal; if a gentile builds
a ramp from a boat to the shore, a Jew may use that ramp "after him."
2) HALACHAH: BENEFITING FROM MELACHAH PERFORMED BY A GENTILE
Rashi explains that the Jew may only use the water or ramp only *after* the
gentile has used it, because it must be clear that the gentile drew the
water or built the ramp for himself and not for the Jew. Why, then, does
the Mishnah not say that the Jew may only use it "after him" in the first
case, where a gentile lights a candle on Shabbos from which a Jew may
ANSWER: REBBI ELIEZER MOSHE HA'LEVY HOROWITZ explains that when it comes to
a light, by nature a person normally derives benefit from it at the moment
that he lights it, because it is in front of him and providing him with
light. It was not necessary to say that the Jew uses it after the gentile
uses it, because at the moment that the gentile lights it, he has used it.
When is it permitted to benefit from a Melachah that a gentile performed on
The Gemara concludes that there are two types of cases, each with its
respective Halachos. There is the case where a majority of the people in
that place (who might benefit from the Melachah that was performed) are not
Jewish, and there is the case where a majority of the people in that place
are Jewish, or the numbers of Jews and non-Jews are equal.
(a) In the case where most of the people are not Jewish, then a Jew may
benefit from Melachah performed by a gentile if *one of* the following
three conditions are met:
(1) the gentile does not know who the Jew is;
(b) In the case where most of the people are Jewish, or the numbers of Jews
and non-Jews are equal, it is only permissible to benefit from the Melachah
performed by a gentile when it is clear that the gentile performed the
Melachah for his own use.
(2) it is the type of Melachah which serves many people the same way it
serves one person ("Ner l'Echad, Ner l'Me'ah"); or
(3) the gentile performed the Melachah while the Jew was not present.
Rashi adds that the gentile must actually benefit from the Melachah first
before the Jew may benefit from it.
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