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: HANDLING ANIMAL FODDER
HALACHAH: The Beraisa teaches that a person may handle objects that can be
fed to animals on Shabbos, such as mustard seeds which are fed to doves,
and pieces of glass which are fed to ostriches. Ameimar says that one may
handle pieces of glass only if he personally owns ostriches. Rav Ashi says
that even though he does not own ostriches he may handle glass since he is
fit to own ostriches. (The Halachic consensus follows the ruling of
Ameimar; one must own, or have access to, ostriches in order to move
2) THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN UNPREPARED FISH AND UNPREPARED MEAT
This Beraisa appears to contradict the Mishnah (126b). (1) First, the
Beraisa states that mustard seeds may be handled because they can be used
to feed doves. The Mishnah, though, states that one may *not* handle
mustard seeds. (2) Second, the Beraisa states that items may be handled if
they are fit to be fed to animals. The Mishnah, though, states that bundles
of straw -- which are fit to be fed to animals -- may be handled only if
they were *prepared* before Shabbos as food for animals.
(a) The RASHBA says that the Beraisa and the Mishnah indeed argue with each
other. Both agree to the general principle that it is permissible to handle
objects only if the *normal usage* of that object is a permitted one; thus,
mustard seeds may be handled only if the normal usage of mustard seeds is
to feed them to doves. The Beraisa and Mishnah dispute what the normal use
of mustard seeds is. According to the Mishnah, the normal use of mustard is
for man, and not for birds. The Beraisa maintains that it is also normally
used as food for birds. (Alternatively, the Beraisa and Mishnah agree to
the frequency at which mustard is fed to birds. They argue whether this
degree of frequency is considered a normal use or not.)
HALACHAH: The Rishonim conclude that anything that is commonly fed to an
animal that is either commonly owned in this place or owned by the person
in question, is permitted to be moved on Shabbos (OC 308:29).
Bundles of straw are normally used for *burning*, and not fodder. Therefore
the Mishnah states that it must be prepared before Shabbos as animal fodder
in order to be permitted to be handled on Shabbos. The Beraisa does not
argue with this point.
(b) The RIF and RAMBAM, according to the RAN, explain that the Beraisa and
Mishnah are not arguing. Rather, the permissibility to use these objects
depends on the place. In a place where it is common to raise doves, mustard
seeds may be handled. The Mishnah, though, is referring to a place where
people do not raise doves, and therefore mustard seeds may not be handled.
QUESTION: The Gemara cites a Beraisa that states that unsalted fish is
Muktzah and may not be handled on Shabbos, and that unsalted meat is not
Muktzah and it may be handled on Shabbos. RASHI explains that unsalted fish
is Muktzah because it is not fit for use today, since people do not throw
unsalted fish to dogs. (Presumably, they intend to cook it and eat it
themselves after Shabbos).
If so, why should unsalted meat be any different? Unsalted meat should also
be Muktzah for this same reason; it will be cooked and eaten after Shabbos
rather than fed to dogs!
(a) The BA'AL HA'ME'OR (142b) and TOSFOS (DH Dag) explain that this Beraisa
follows the opinion of Rebbi Shimon (Beitzah 27b), who maintains that
something which is prepared for human consumption after Shabbos is *not*
Muktzah on Shabbos and may be fed to dogs. Therefore, even though one plans
to cook and eat the meat after Shabbos, it is permitted because it is fit
for dogs. Fish is Muktzah *not* because one plans to eat it himself after
Shabbos, but because it is not normally fed to dogs. Since unsalted fish is
not even fit for dogs, it is Muktzah.
(b) TOSFOS suggest a second answer. One throws neither fish nor meat to
dogs, because dogs are able to fend for themselves. Meat, though, is not
Muktzah, because it is common to throw meat to a domesticated wild animal
(Chayah), which is unable to fend well for itself. Unsalted fish is not
thrown even to a wild animal.
3) HALACHAH: DOING "MELACHAH" ON SHABBOS FOR A WOMAN GIVING BIRTH
QUESTION: The Beraisa says that if a woman giving birth needs a certain
item such as oil, her friend may carry it to her through Reshus ha'Rabim,
but she must carry it with a deviation from the normal way of carrying.
That is, one should perform the Melachah with a Shinuy where possible in
order to minimize the desecration of Shabbos.
This implies that the laws of Shabbos are not suspended and permitted
("Hutrah") for the sake of Piku'ach Nefesh, but rather they are still in
force but merely overridden ("Dachuyah") for the sake of Piku'ach Nefesh.
Had they been completely suspended, it would be permitted to do a Melachah
for the sake of Piku'ach Nefesh without any Shinuy. Why, then, do the
Poskim rule that Shabbos is "Hutrah" for the sake of Piku'ach Nefesh (see
BI'UR HALACHAH OC 328 who cites the ROSH and MAHARAM MI'ROTENBURG who
ascribe to this view)?
ANSWER: The MISHNAH BERURAH (OC 330:5) explains that a woman in labor is
considered to be in a lesser degree of danger than someone else who is in
mortal danger, because giving birth is a naturally occurring and common
situation which normally does not result in death, even though it is
dangerous. Therefore, when Shabbos must be desecrated for a woman giving
birth, if it is possible to be Mechalel Shabbos with a Shinuy, then one
should use a Shinuy. In other cases of Piku'ach Nefesh, however, no effort
is made to do the Melachah with a Shinuy.