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: MELACHAH DONE ON SHABBOS BY A GENTILE
OPINIONS: If a gentile does Melachah on Shabbos for a Jew, may the Jew
benefit from that Melachah, and when?
2) HALACHAH: A DOUBT WHETHER A GENTILE DID A MELACHAH FOR A JEW ON SHABBOS
(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.
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."
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
(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).
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?
3) A SMALL BATH HEATED BY GENTILES
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.
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
(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).
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!
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.
(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!
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.)
4) POVERTY IS CYCLICAL
AGADAH: The Gemara says that poverty is cyclical, striking everyone at some
(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.