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Shabbat 123: The Extreme Origins of Muktzah

The mishnah on daf 122 explains that every item is permissible to move on Shabbat – and provides permitted activities to do that designate items that otherwise have a prohibited purpose on Shabbat for use on Shabbat. But what is this really all about? For that, we need today’s daf. And the mishnah here says – you can move all items on Shabbat, except 2. But why? Again, what is this really all about? Which brings us to the decree against carrying *anything,* (except 3 small things for the table), and how it was rescinded over time. That decree came on the heels of Shivat Tzion, the return to Israel in the time of Nechemiah, when people simply were not keeping Shabbat. The decree was slowly rescinded, and the Gemara acknowledges that sequence of events in subsequent discussion – the recognition that the Oral Law changed. And indeed, the way Shabbat was kept changed too.

 

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Anne and Yardaena

Anne Gordon is the deputy editor of Ops & Blogs at The Times of Israel. She is a veteran educator, having taught in high school and post-high school institutions in Israel and America for several decades. Yardaena Osband is a pediatrician and teaches in her community and online. They both hail from Boston, proud alumna of Maimonides School, where they first learned Gemara. Talking Talmud is their conversation (via podcast) on the daf yomi. They say: "Learning the daf? We have something for you to think about. Not learning the daf? We have something for you to think about! (Along with a taste of the daf...) Join the conversation with us!"
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