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) CAUSING "CHILUL SHABBOS" FOR THE SAKE OF "PIKU'ACH NEFESH"
OPINIONS: The Mishnah (133a) states that if the post-operative medications
which are administered after the Milah were not prepared before Shabbos,
then one may prepare them on Shabbos with a Shinuy (e.g. they should be
chewed, and not ground in the normal fashion).
2) PREPARING FOOD ON YOM TOV THAT COULD HAVE BEEN PREPARED BEFORE YOM TOV
What about if there is no way to do the Melachah with a Shinuy, and
performing the Milah on Shabbos will necessitate that a Melachah be done on
Shabbos for the sake of the baby (for example, if hot water for washing the
baby after the Milah was not prepared before Shabbos)? May the Milah be
performed on Shabbos, thus putting the baby in a state of danger so that a
Melachah must be done for him, or is it better to delay performing the
Milah until the next day and not do it in its proper time, in order to
avoid necessitating Chilul Shabbos?
(a) The BA'AL HA'ME'OR says that in such a situation, the Milah should
*not* be performed on Shabbos. It is better to delay the Milah than to
enter into a situation which will certainly result in a Melachah d'Oraisa
being performed, albeit for Piku'ach Nefesh.
The Acharonim point out (KEHILAS YAKOV #15, and others) that the Ramban and
Ba'al ha'Me'or are consistent with their respective opinions elsewhere
(Shabbos 19a). The Ba'al ha'Me'or said that one may not embark on a
sea-voyage within three days of Shabbos, because it is common for
sea-travel to create a situation of Piku'ach Nefesh. Traveling by sea on
Shabbos might *possibly* necessitate the desecration of Shabbos (see
Insights to Shabbos 19); therefore it is forbidden. The Ramban (Milchamos,
Shabbos 19) maintains that we are not concerned with the desecration of
Shabbos that might come about, because at this moment there is no Melachah
being done and when it does become necessary to desecrate the Shabbos, it
will be permitted because of Piku'ach Nefesh.
(b) The RAMBAN (Milchamos) says that it is permitted to perform the Milah
on Shabbos, even though it will cause Chilul Shabbos for Piku'ach Nefesh,
because at this moment (before the Milah has been done) there is no need
for a Melachah to be performed, and there is an obligation to do the
Mitzvah. We do not have to be concerned prior to the Milah that it will
necessitate the desecration of Shabbos after the Milah for the sake of
The commentaries (see Mishnah Berurah 328:39) suggest that this argument
depends on the nature of the why one may violate the Shabbos for the sake
of Piku'ach Nefesh. If Shabbos is only "Dechuyah" in the event of Piku'ach
Nefesh (literally, it is "pushed off;" the prohibition against Shabbos
desecration is still in force, but it is *overridden* by the necessity to
do a Melachah for Piku'ach Nefesh; see Rambam, Hilchos Shabbos 2:1), it
would be logical to accept the Ba'al ha'Meor's assertion; Chilul Shabbos
even for Piku'ach Nefesh must be avoided wherever possible. On the other
hand, if Shabbos is "Hutrah" in the event of Piku'ach Nefesh (it is
"permitted;" that is, from the start the laws of Shabbos were *never
prescribed* for situations of Piku'ach Nefesh and therefore there is no
desecration of Shabbos when a Melachah is performed for Piku'ach Nefesh;
see Bi'ur Halachah, ad loc., who cites the ROSH and MAHARAM MI'ROTENBURG
who ascribe to this view), then the Ramban's ruling makes sense. (See also
Insights to Shabbos 30a, Shabbos 128b, Shabbos 133a, and Nidah 38b; see
also Kehilat Yakov ibid. and Mishmeret Chaim vol. 1 who discuss the
comparison between the Ba'al ha'Me'or's statements here and earlier in
QUESTION: Although it is permitted to roast steak on hot coals on Yom Tov,
it is not permitted to sweeten mustard on hot coals. The reason, explains the Gemara, is because the mustard could have been sweetened before Shabbos
without losing any taste when Yom Tov arrives, but meat will not taste as
good if it is roasted a day earlier and therefore it may be roasted on Yom
Tov. Why is it forbidden to sweeten the mustard on Yom Tov just because it
could be done before Yom Tov? After all, we find (Beitzah 28b) that
Melachah for the sake of food preparation may be done on Yom Tov even if it
could have been done before to Yom Tov!
3) AND THEY CALLED HIM "NASAN HA'BAVLI"
(a) The RAMBAN and other Rishonim explain that this prohibition against
sweetening mustard on hot coals is only a rabbinical stringency. Mid'Oraisa
one may prepare food on Yom Tov even though it could have been prepared
before Yom Tov. The Rabanan, though, enacted that one should avoid doing
Melachah on Yom Tov whenever possible, and thus food that can be prepared
before Yom Tov may not be prepared on Yom Tov.
(b) RASHI (Beitzah 23b) seems to say that doing Melachah on Yom Tov for the
sake of food preparation is permitted only if it could not have been done
before Yom Tov (contrary to the apparent ruling of the Gemara in Beitzah
cited in our question; see Tosfos Beitzah 3a).
QUESTION: A woman came to Rebbi Nasan with her third son and wanted to know
what to do. Her first two sons had died as a result of their Milah. Rebbi
Nasan looked at the baby and saw that he was very red, and said, "Wait
until his body absorbs his blood." She waited as directed, and the son
indeed lived after his Milah. They called the child "Nasan ha'Bavli" in
honor of Rebbi Nasan.
Another time, a woman in the same situation came to Rebbi Nasan with her
third son. He looked at the baby and saw that he was very pale; he further
examined the baby and did not see any Dam Bris. He directed the woman to
wait until the baby develops more blood. She followed his advice and the
baby lived after his Milah, and they called *his name* "Nasan ha'Bavli" in
honor of Rebbi Nasan.
Why does the Gemara say in the second case that they *called his name*
"Nasan ha'Bavli," while in the first case it mentions only that they
*called him* "Nasan ha'Bavli?"
ANSWER: RAV YAKOV D. HOMNICK (NACHALAS YAKOV) points out that according to
Rashi, in the second case, there were two problems. First, the baby boy was
in mortal danger if a Milah would be performed while he was pale. Secondly,
even if Milah was performed no blood would ooze from the cut. Since Dam
Bris is necessary for the Mitzvah of Milah to be properly fulfilled, it
would not have been a proper fulfillment of the Mitzvah. Rashi derived this
from the fact that in the second case, Rebbi Nasan added that he did not
see any Dam Bris. In the first case, though, the only problem was the
mortal danger that the baby faced.
Therefore, in the first case, the people were relieved and expressed their
gratitude to Rebbi Nasan only days or weeks after the Milah was performed,
when it became evident that the baby would live. At the time of the Milah,
though, it was not clear yet that he would live. They named the baby
whatever they named him at the time of the Milah and Kerias Shem, and only
*later* did they begin to "call him" by the name "Nasan ha'Bavli" in
In the second case, the people were grateful to Rebbi Nasan at the very
moment that Dam Bris flowed from the Milah (which apparently had not
occurred when the child's older brothers were circumcised). They therefore
*called the name* of the child by the name of "Nasan ha'Bavli," when he was
named during the Milah, in appreciation for his advice that led to the
Mitzvah being fulfilled properly.
4) THE THIRD DAY AFTER "MILAH"
QUESTION: The Gemara explains that the Tana Kama and Rebbi Elazar ben
Azaryah argue whether it is permitted to wash a baby on Shabbos which is
the third day after the Milah. Rebbi Elazar ben Azaryah cites a verse to
support his opinion; when the wicked men of Shechem were in pain from their
Milah, Shimon and Levi attacked the city and killed all of the men
(Bereishis 34:25). From there we see that a person is in pain on the third
day after the Milah, and therefore his needs may be fulfilled without a
Shinuy according to Rebbi Elazar. The Tana Kama argues and maintains that
the child may be washed only on the first two days after the Milah, but not
on the third day (RASHI DH Ela Iy Amrit), because by then he is no longer
in so much danger and it is not necessary to do a Melachah in order to wash
It seems clear from our Sugya that one who has undergone Milah is in more
pain during the first two days, while on the third day it is questionable
whether Melachah may be done in order to wash him. If so, why did the sons
of Yakov Avinu wait until the third day to attack the people of Shechem?
They should have attacked right away, on the first or second day after the
Milah, when the people would be more ill and weaker from their Milah!
(a) The Rishonim explain that according to Rashi's understanding of the
Sugya, the following dichotomy must be made. With regard to a person's
physical health, he is in greater danger on the first two days after the
Milah than on the third day. However, with regard to the person's
*strength*, a person is weaker on the third day than on the first two days
(because he has already suffered from his wound for two days).
The sons of Yakov Avinu, who wanted to attack the people of Shechem when
they were at their weakest point after their Milah, waited until the third
day to attack them. During the first two days, even though the Shechemites
were in more pain, they were stronger and would have been able to flee or
to fight back. Our Gemara, though, is referring to one's state of health,
which is certainly worse on the first two days after the Milah than it is
on the third.
(b) The RIF and RAMBAM understand this Gemara differently than Rashi. Rebbi
Elazar ben Azaryah only permits washing the child on the third day, and not
on the second day, and the Tana Kama does not permit washing the child on
the second or third day. Rebbi Elazar ben Azaryah permits washing the child
on the third day, because on that day in particular the child is in greater
danger. When the Gemara says that the Tana Kama agrees that the baby may be
washed on the first day, it is referring to the point *immediately* after
the Milah, when the child is certainly in a state of danger. The sons of
Yakov Avinu waited until the third day to attack Shechem because that is
when a person is in the greatest danger as a result of his Milah.