(Permission is granted to print and redistribute this material
as long as this header and the footer at the end are included.)


brought to you by Kollel Iyun Hadaf of Har Nof
Rosh Kollel: Rav Mordecai Kornfeld

Ask A Question about the Daf

Previous daf

Shabbos 151


OPINIONS: If a gentile does Melachah on Shabbos for a Jew, may the Jew benefit from that Melachah, and when?
(a) RASHI (in the Mishnah, DH Lo Yispod, and in the Gemara, DH Tanya) appears to learn that if a gentile does Melachah for a specific Jew, that Jew may *never* benefit from the Melachah.

Other Jews, though, may benefit from it after Shabbos, after the time has passed in which they would have been able to do the Melachah themselves ("b'Chedei she'Ya'asu"). Similarly, if it was not done for any specific Jew, then anyone can benefit from it after Shabbos "b'Chedei she'Ya'asu."

(b) The RAN and other Rishonim argue and say that normally, the results of a Melachah do not become forbidden forever, even if it was done for a specific Jew. Only if a gentile does a Melachah openly, *in public*, for a Jew, then the Jew may not benefit from it forever. If the Melachah is done in a normal manner (not in public), even the specific Jew that it was done for may benefit from it after Shabbos "b'Chedei she'Ya'asu" like everyone else.

(c) The RAN cites an opinion that maintains that a Jew may benefit from Melachah that was not done specifically for him *immediately* (even on Shabbos, if it is something which may be used on Shabbos).

HALACHAH: The SHULCHAN ARUCH (OC 325:14-15) rules like the RAN (b) that it is forever forbidden for the Jew for whom the Melachah was done only if it was done for him in public. If it was not done in public, then it is only forbidden (for everyone) to benefit from it until after Shabbos "b'Chedei she'Ya'asu." The TUR adds that if the Jew *asks* the gentile to do the Melachah for him, it is forbidden to that Jew forever. The MISHNAH BERURAH (325:74), however, is lenient on this matter and says that it is only forbidden until after Shabbos "b'Chedei she'Ya'asu."

If the Melachah that the gentile did involved bringing an object from outside of the Techum (Shabbos boundary), then it is only forbidden for the person for whom it was brought, but everyone else may use it *immediately*, even on Shabbos.

OPINIONS: Rav and Shmuel whether benefit may be derived from Melachah done by a non-Jew if there is a doubt whether the gentile did the Melachah on Shabbos, or whether he did it for other gentiles or for Jews. The Gemara (according to the text of most Rishonim) adduces proof for Shmuel from a Beraisa. What is the Halachah?

The Rishonim all rule in accordance with Shmuel. However, there are two ways to interpret Shmuel's opinion.

(a) RASHI says that Shmuel is more *lenient* than Rav, and allows benefiting from an act done by a gentile on Shabbos even if there is a doubt whether a Melachah was done.

(b) The RIF and RAMBAM understand Shmuel to be the more *stringent* opinion, since he uses the word "Chaishinan" ("we are afraid"), which is almost always used as a term describing a stringency. Shmuel maintains that we must know for certain that Melachah was not done in order to permit a Jew to benefit from the gentile's act. The Beraisa that the Gemara cites is proving the more stringent opinion (the proof is from the Tana Kama).

HALACHAH: The SHULCHAN ARUCH (OC 325:16) follows the stringent opinion and rules that benefiting from an act done by a gentile on Shabbos is permitted only if it is known for sure that he did not do a Melachah specifically for a Jew.
QUESTION: Rebbi Yehudah, in the Beraisa, says that it is permissible for a Jew to bathe in the hot water of a small tub, if there is a figure of authority in the town who has many servants who can heat up a tub of water for him. RASHI explains that one may bathe in a small tub because it can be assumed that the hot water inside of it was heated after Shabbos by the many servants of the gentile figure of authority, and therefore a Jew may wash in it after Shabbos.

(a) In the preceding comment, Rashi explained that this Beraisa follows the opinion of Rav, who maintains that when there is a doubt whether the Melachah was done for a Jew or not, it is not permitted. If so, why does the Beraisa permit washing in the tub even where there is a gentile figure of authority? It is not *certain* that it was heated for him!

(b) Second, why does Rashi say that when there is a ruler, then perhaps the bath was heated after Shabbos? What difference does it make when the bath was heated? Even if it was heated *on* Shabbos, since it was heated for a gentile, it is permissible for a Jew to bathe in it after Shabbos!

ANSWER: The Beraisa is continuing the case that it previously presented -- if a gentile heated a bathhouse in a place where half the residents are Jews and half are gentiles, it is prohibited to benefit from that Melachah until after Shabbos "b'Chedei she'Ya'asu" (see above, Insight #1) because it might have been heated for the Jews.

The Beraisa continues and says that where there is a gentile figure of authority, there is a new point of uncertainty -- perhaps the bath was heated *after* Shabbos. Consequently, there are *two* doubts; perhaps it was heated *after* Shabbos, and even if it was heated on Shabbos, perhaps it was heated for the *gentile* figure of authority.

This provides answers for both of our questions. Even Rav permits benefiting from the gentile's Melachah immediately after Shabbos in such a situation, since it is a Safek Safeika. (NOTE: This is known as a "Safek Safeika she'Einah Mis'hapech"). And Rashi insisted that the figure of authority is a gentile, in order to provide a second Safek. (M. Kornfeld)

(According to Rashi's second explanation, the Beraisa is expressing the opinion of Shmuel; when there is a doubt for whom the Melachah was done, it is *permitted* to wash there immediately after Shabbos. According to that opinion, in a place where there is a gentile figure of authority, no other doubt is necessary. Even if the bath was *certainly* heated on Shabbos it is permitted for a Jew to bathe there immediately after Shabbos, since it is possible that it was heated for the gentile ruler.)


AGADAH: The Gemara says that poverty is cyclical, striking everyone at some point.
(a) The VILNA GA'ON finds an allusion to this in the beginning of Parshas Ki Sisa. The verse states, "v'Nasnu Ish Kofer Nafsho" -- "Every man shall give [a half-Shekel]..." (Shemos 30:12). The Hebrew word "v'Nasno" ("and he shall give") is a palindrome (a word that can be read the same in both directions, forward and backward). This demonstrates that giving Tzedakah can go both ways: Now, one might be giving the Tzedakah, but later, one might very well be receiving the Tzedakah.

Furthermore, the cantillation marks above the word "v'Nasno" are "Kadma" and "Azla." The names of these cantillation marks literally mean "be early" ("Kadma") and "go" ("Azla"). This, too, alludes to the message of our Gemara, which tells a person to act soon and early and go give his money to Tzedakah while he still has it, *before* the time comes that he will have to take Tzedakah from others.

(b) Others (see MAHARA M'PANO) point out another allusion to this Gemara from the word "Tzedakah." When the letters that comprise the word "Tzedakah" are exchanged for their At-Bash equivalent (that is, the system of uncovering hidden meanings in the Torah by reversing the order of the alphabet, so that the letter "Alef" is exchanged for the letter "Tav," "Beis" for "Shin," "Gimel" for "Reish," and so on), the word Tzedakah itself is spelled out backwards! This shows that if a person gives Tzedakah when he is prospering, then when circumstances later become reversed and he is in need, Tzedakah comes back to him.

Next daf


This article is provided as part of Shema Yisrael Torah Network
Permission is granted to redistribute electronically or on paper,
provided that this notice is included intact.
For information on subscriptions, archives, and other Shema Yisrael
Classes, send mail to daf@shemayisrael.co.il

Shema Yisrael Torah Network
Jerusalem, Israel

In the U.S.:
Tel. (908) 370-3344
Fax. (908) 367-6608

Toll free line for dedications: 1-800-574-2646