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Shabbos 153

SHABBOS 153 & 154 (5, 6 Iyar) - have been dedicated by Mr. Lee Weinblatt of N.J.


OPINIONS: The Mishnah states that one who was traveling on Friday and the sun began to set should give his wallet to a gentile in order not to transgress the Melachah of carrying an object in Reshus ha'Rabim on Shabbos. When should he give his wallet to the gentile?
(a) RASHI (DH Mi she'Hechshich) says that he must give the wallet to the gentile *while it is still day*, before it becomes Shabbos.

(b) The ROSH says that one may give his wallet to a gentile after Shabbos has already entered. This is evident from the Gemara which asks why it is permitted to give one's wallet to a gentile. According to Rashi's explanation, there is no reason why it should not be permitted, since he is giving it to the gentile before Shabbos!

The Rosh proposes another two proofs from the Gemara that Rashi's explanation cannot be correct. (1) First, the Gemara says that this Halachah applies only to one's wallet (or any other object that he owns), but not to an object which he *finds*, since he has not yet acquired ownership of the object. If the Mishnah is referring to a point before Shabbos has entered, then the person should simply acquire the object before Shabbos by lifting it, and the Gemara's discussion of an object which he found is not relevant. (2) Second, when the Gemara says that if there is no gentile one may place his wallet on his donkey, the Gemara counters that by doing so he is doing the Melachah of Mechamer. The Mishnah must be referring to *after* Shabbos has already entered, because otherwise one is not doing the Melachah of Mechamer, since it was not yet Shabbos when he placed his wallet on the donkey.

The BACH and the KORBAN NESANEL explain that Rashi was merely explaining what one must do *l'Chatchilah* -- he must give his wallet to a gentile before Shabbos enters. But b'Di'eved, if he did not give his wallet to a gentile until after it became dark, he may still give his wallet to a gentile to watch and he does not have to abandon it there.

The Bach explains that the reason Rashi understood that the Mishnah is teaching what one should do l'Chat'chilah is because the Mishnah says, "If it became dark while one was traveling, *he should give* his wallet to a gentile." This implies that the Mishnah is instructing what one *should* do to avoid any problem (such as carrying on Shabbos, or holding Muktzah). If the Mishnah was discussing what to do when Shabbos has already entered, it should have said, "If it became dark while one was traveling, *it is permitted for him* to give his wallet to a gentile," teaching a Halachah of what one *may* or may not do on Shabbos.

HALACHAH: The SHULCHAN ARUCH (OC 266:1) rules that if it became dark while one was traveling, one may give his wallet to a gentile (like the ROSH, or even like RASHI according to the explanation of the Bach and Korban Nesanel). The MISHNAH BERURAH adds that one should preferably give the wallet to the gentile *before* Shabbos in order to avoid handling Muktzah.

The Shulchan Aruch (266:8) adds that if one intentionally embarked on a trip close to Shabbos, and he should have known that it might well become Shabbos while he is traveling, he may *not* give his wallet to a gentile, but he must abandon it on the road.


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