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Today's Daf Yomi

July 14, 2020 | כ״ב בתמוז תש״פ

Masechet Shabbat is sponsored in memory of Elliot Freilich, Eliyahu Daniel ben Bar Tzion David Halevi z"l by a group of women from Kehilath Jeshurun, Manhattan.

Shabbat 130

What preparations, if any, are allowed to be done on Shabbat for the purposes of a brit milah? Can one carry a scalpel? Can one cuts trees to make a fire to create a scalpel? Rabbi Eliezer permits and says one should carry it in a way that is visible to all but Rabbi Akiva says that anything that can be done before Shabbat cannot be done on Shabbat. Why does Rabbi Eliezer insist that it be visible – is it to show how much one loves to do mitzvot or to prevent others from suspecting one of carrying on Shabbat? The gemara expounds on the issue of performing a mitzva out of happiness. In Rabbi Eliezer’s city, they held like him and in Rabbi Yosi the Galilean’s city, they held like Rabbi Yosi regarding eating milk and chicken together, even though in both cases, it was the minority opinion. The gemara talks about how mitzvot that the Jews accepted with happiness continue to be performed with happiness and those accepted with argumentation continue to be performed with argumentation. Likewise, ones that the Jews sacrificed their lives for, end up being performed widely (like circumcision not worshipping idols) and ones that they did not sacrifice their lives for (tefillin) are not widely held. The story of Elisha “the winged” is brought to show that only he sacrificed his life for tefillin but not others. A story is told of a scalpel that was carried via rooftops and courtyards on Shabbat not according to Rabbi Eliezer. According to whose opinion did they do this? Can one carry within an alley where an eiruv wasn’t established (if the items were in the alleyway before Shabbat)? Two opposing opinions are brought.

מתני׳ רבי אליעזר אומר אם לא הביא כלי מערב שבת מביאו בשבת מגולה ובסכנה מכסהו על פי עדים

MISHNA: As a continuation to the discussion at the end of the previous chapter, which mentioned circumcision in the context of a discussion of the halakhot of childbirth on Shabbat, the mishna continues to address the halakhot of circumcision. Rabbi Eliezer says: If he did not bring an implement for circumcising the child on Shabbat eve, he brings it on Shabbat itself uncovered so that it will be clear to all that he is bringing a circumcision scalpel. And in times of danger, when decrees of persecution prohibit Jews from circumcising their children, one covers it in the presence of witnesses who can testify that he transported the scalpel to perform a mitzva.

ועוד אמר רבי אליעזר כורתים עצים לעשות פחמין לעשות (כלי) ברזל

And furthermore, Rabbi Eliezer said with regard to this issue: One may even cut down trees to prepare charcoal in order to fashion iron tools for the purpose of circumcision.

כלל אמר רבי עקיבא כל מלאכה שאפשר לעשותה מערב שבת אינה דוחה את השבת (ומילה) שאי אפשר לעשותה מערב שבת דוחה את השבת:

Rabbi Eliezer’s approach was not universally accepted, and a principle was stated by Rabbi Akiva: Any prohibited labor that can be performed on Shabbat eve does not override Shabbat, including transporting the circumcision scalpel. However, any prohibited labor involved in the mitzva of circumcision itself that cannot be performed on Shabbat eve overrides Shabbat.

גמ׳ איבעיא להו טעמא דרבי אליעזר משום חבובי מצוה או דילמא משום חשדא למאי נפקא מינה לאתויי מכוסה על פי עדים אי אמרת משום חבובי מצוה מגולה אין מכוסה לא אלא אי אמרת משום חשדא אפילו מכוסה שפיר דמי מאי

GEMARA: A dilemma was raised before the Sages: Is the reason for Rabbi Eliezer’s opinion that the scalpel must be uncovered due to affection for the mitzva and the desire to publicize it, or perhaps it is due to avoiding suspicion? The Gemara asks: What practical difference is there between the two reasons suggested for Rabbi Eliezer’s opinion? The Gemara answers: The difference is with regard to the question of whether or not it is permitted to bring the scalpel covered in the presence of witnesses who are aware that one is bringing the scalpel for the purpose of circumcision. If you say the reason is due to affection for the mitzva, then if it is uncovered, yes, there is a display of affection for the mitzva. If it is covered, no, there is no display of affection. However, if you say the reason for this ruling is due to avoiding suspicion, even if it is covered he may well do so, because the witnesses are aware that a circumcision will be performed. What is the resolution of this dilemma?

איתמר אמר רבי לוי לא אמרה רבי אליעזר אלא לחבובי מצוה תניא נמי הכי מביאו מגולה ואין מביאו מכוסה דברי רבי אליעזר אמר רב אשי מתניתין נמי דיקא דקתני ובשעת הסכנה מכסהו על פי עדים בסכנה אין שלא בסכנה לא שמע מינה משום חבובי מצוה שמע מינה

It was stated that Rabbi Levi said: Rabbi Eliezer only stated this ruling to express affection for the mitzva. That opinion was also taught in a baraita: If a child is to be circumcised on Shabbat and they failed to bring the scalpel on Shabbat eve, one brings it on Shabbat uncovered, but he does not bring it covered; this is the statement of Rabbi Eliezer. Rav Ashi said: The language of the mishna is also precise in support of this opinion, as it teaches: And in a time of danger he covers it in the presence of witnesses. By inference, in a time of danger, yes, he covers it; when it is not a time of danger, no, he does not cover it. Conclude from this that the scalpel is uncovered due to affection for the mitzva. The Gemara states: Indeed, conclude from this.

תניא אידך מביאו מגולה ואין מביאו מכוסה דברי רבי אליעזר רבי יהודה אומר משום רבי אליעזר נוהגין היו בשעת הסכנה שהיו מביאין מכוסה על פי עדים

It was taught in another baraita: He brings the scalpel uncovered, and he does not bring it covered; this is the statement of Rabbi Eliezer. Rabbi Yehuda says in the name of Rabbi Eliezer: In a time of danger they would customarily bring the scalpel covered in the presence of witnesses.

איבעיא להו עדים דקאמר איהו וחד או דילמא הוא ותרי

With regard to these witnesses, a dilemma was raised before the Sages: The necessary witnesses that he is saying, do they include he who is bringing the scalpel and one other witness? Or perhaps they include he who brought the scalpel and two other witnesses to testify on his behalf.

תא שמע ובסכנה מכסהו על פי עדים אי אמרת בשלמא הוא ותרי שפיר אלא אי אמרת הוא וחד מאי עדים שראוים להעיד במקום אחר:

Come and hear a resolution to this dilemma from the language of the mishna, which stated: And in times of danger he covers it in the presence of witnesses. Granted, if you say it is referring to him and two other witnesses, it works out well; the wording is appropriate. However, if you say it is referring to him and one other witness, what is to be made of the use of the term witnesses in the plural when there is only one other witness? The Gemara refutes this proof: They may still be called witnesses, in the plural, because they, i.e., he and the other witness, are fit to testify elsewhere.

ועוד אמר רבי אליעזר: תנו רבנן במקומו של רבי אליעזר היו כורתין עצים לעשות פחמין לעשות ברזל בשבת במקומו של רבי יוסי הגלילי היו אוכלין בשר עוף בחלב

We learned in our mishna: And furthermore, Rabbi Eliezer said: One may even cut down trees to prepare charcoal for the purpose of circumcision on Shabbat. With regard to this issue, the Sages taught in a baraita: In the locale of Rabbi Eliezer, where they would follow his ruling, they would even cut down trees on Shabbat to prepare charcoal from it in order to fashion iron tools with which to circumcise a child on Shabbat. On a related note, the baraita relates: In the locale of Rabbi Yosei HaGelili they would eat poultry meat in milk, as Rabbi Yosei HaGelili held that the prohibition of meat in milk does not include poultry.

לוי איקלע לבי יוסף רישבא קריבו ליה רישא דטווסא בחלבא לא אכל כי אתא לקמיה דרבי אמר ליה אמאי לא תשמתינהו אמר ליה אתריה דרבי יהודה בן בתירה הוה ואמינא דילמא דרש להו כרבי יוסי הגלילי

The Gemara relates: Levi happened to come to the house of Yosef the hunter. They served him the head of a peacock [tavsa] in milk and he did not eat. When Levi came before Rabbi Yehuda HaNasi, the latter said to him: Why did you not excommunicate these people who eat poultry in milk, contrary to the decree of the Sages? Levi said to him: It was in the locale of Rabbi Yehuda ben Beteira, and I said: Perhaps he taught them that the halakha is in accordance with the opinion of Rabbi Yosei HaGelili, who permits the eating of poultry meat in milk. Given the possibility that their rabbi rules that it is permitted, I cannot come and prohibit it, and I certainly cannot excommunicate them for it.

דתנן רבי יוסי הגלילי אומר נאמר לא תאכלו כל נבלה ונאמר לא תבשל גדי בחלב אמו את שאסור משום נבלה אסור לבשל בחלב עוף שאסור משום נבלה יכול יהא אסור לבשל בחלב תלמוד לומר בחלב אמו יצא עוף שאין לו חלב אם

As we learned in a mishna, Rabbi Yosei HaGelili says: It is stated in the verse: “You shall not eat anything that dies of itself; to the stranger at your gates you may give it, that he may eat it; or you may sell it to a foreigner; for you are a holy people to the Lord your God” (Deuteronomy 14:21), and it is stated later in the same verse: “You shall not cook a kid in its mother’s milk.” From the juxtaposition of the two issues it is derived: That which is prohibited due to the prohibition against eating an unslaughtered animal, it is prohibited to cook it in milk. The prohibition against cooking a creature in milk is not limited to only a kid. If so, with regard to poultry, which is prohibited due to the prohibition against eating an unslaughtered animal, I might have thought it should be prohibited to cook it in milk; therefore, the verse states: “In its mother’s milk.” This excludes poultry, which does not have mother’s milk and is therefore not included in the prohibition.

אמר רבי יצחק עיר אחת היתה בארץ ישראל שהיו עושין כרבי אליעזר והיו מתים בזמנן ולא עוד אלא שפעם אחת גזרה מלכות הרשעה גזרה על ישראל על המילה ועל אותה העיר לא גזרה:

Rabbi Yitzḥak said: There was one city in Eretz Yisrael where they would act in accordance with the opinion of Rabbi Eliezer with regard to circumcision, and they would die at their appointed time and not earlier, as a reward for their affection for this mitzva. And not only that, but on one occasion the wicked empire, Rome, issued a decree against the Jewish people prohibiting circumcision; but against that city it did not issue the decree.

תניא רבן שמעון בן גמליאל אומר כל מצוה שקיבלו עליהם בשמחה כגון מילה דכתיב שש אנכי על אמרתך כמוצא שלל רב עדיין עושין אותה בשמחה וכל מצוה שקבלו עליהם בקטטה כגון עריות דכתיב וישמע משה את העם בוכה למשפחותיו על עסקי משפחותיו עדיין עושין אותה בקטטה דליכא כתובה דלא רמו בה תיגרא

Apropos affection for the mitzva of circumcision, the Gemara cites a baraita in which it was taught that Rabban Shimon ben Gamliel says: Every mitzva that the Jews initially accepted upon themselves with joy, such as circumcision, as it is written: “I rejoice at Your word as one who finds great spoil” (Psalms 119:162), and as the Sages explained, this “word” refers to the mitzva of circumcision, over which they rejoiced, they still perform it with joy. And every mitzva that the Jews initially accepted upon themselves with contentiousness and regret, such as the prohibition against incestuous relations, as it is written: “And Moses heard the people weeping, family by family” (Numbers 11:10), and as the Sages interpreted homiletically: They wept over matters pertaining to their families, as they were prohibited at that time from marrying family members, they still perform with contentiousness. The fact is that there is no marriage contract and wedding in which contentiousness does not arise, as there is inevitably some conflict between the parties. The baraita asserts that this is because, initially, the Jews did not accept the laws governing marriage and family relationships willingly.

תניא רבי שמעון בן אלעזר אומר כל מצוה שמסרו ישראל עצמן עליהם למיתה בשעת גזרת המלכות כגון עבודה זרה ומילה עדיין היא מוחזקת בידם וכל מצוה שלא מסרו ישראל עצמן עליה למיתה בשעת גזרת המלכות כגון תפילין עדיין היא מרופה בידם

It was taught in a baraita that Rabbi Shimon ben Elazar says in praise of the observance of the mitzva of circumcision: Any mitzva for which the Jews sacrificed their lives at the time of the decrees of the wicked empire, such as the prohibition of idolatry and the mitzva of circumcision, is still steadfastly observed. And any mitzva for which the Jews did not sacrifice their lives at the time of the decrees of the wicked empire, such as phylacteries, is still casually observed, meaning that they are not as careful in its fulfillment as they should be.

דאמר רבי ינאי תפילין צריכין גוף נקי כאלישע בעל כנפים מאי היא אמר אביי שלא יפיח בהם רבא אמר שלא יישן בהם

The Gemara cites proof that the mitzva of phylacteries was not fulfilled properly at the time of the decrees, based upon an incident related to the following halakha. As Rabbi Yannai said: Donning phylacteries requires a clean body like that of Elisha, Man of Wings. What is included in the requirement to have a clean body? Abaye said: That one may not pass wind in them. Rava said: That one may not sleep in them.

ואמאי קרו ליה אלישע בעל כנפים שפעם אחת גזרה מלכות הרשעה גזרה על ישראל שכל המניח תפילין על ראשו יקרו את מוחו והיה אלישע מניח תפילין ויצא לשוק וראהו קסדור אחד רץ מלפניו ורץ אחריו כיון שהגיע אצלו נטלן מראשו ואחזן בידו אמר ליה מה בידך אמר לו כנפי יונה פשט את ידו ונמצאו בה כנפי יונה לפיכך היו קוראין אותו בעל כנפים

The Gemara asks: And why did they call him Elisha, Man of Wings? Because on one occasion the wicked empire of Rome issued a decree against the Jewish people that, as punishment, they would pierce the brain of anyone who dons phylacteries on his head. Nevertheless, Elisha would don them and defiantly go out to the marketplace. One day, an official who was appointed to enforce the decree saw him. Elisha ran away from him, and the official ran after him. When the official reached him, Elisha removed the phylacteries from his head and held them in his hand. The officer asked him: What is in your hand? Elisha said to him: It is merely a dove’s wings. A miracle took place: He opened his hand, and, indeed, it was found to be a dove’s wings. Therefore, in commemoration of this miracle, they would call him Elisha, Man of Wings.

מאי שנא כנפי יונה דאמר ליה ולא אמר ליה שאר עופות משום דדמיא כנסת ישראל ליונה שנאמר כנפי יונה נחפה בכסף ואברותיה בירקרק חרוץ מה יונה זו כנפיה מגינות עליה אף ישראל מצות מגינות עליהן:

The Gemara asks: And what is different about a dove’s wings, that Elisha specifically told him that he was holding the wings of a dove and he did not tell him he was holding the wings of other birds? The Gemara answers: Because the congregation of Israel is likened to a dove, as it is stated: “You shall shine as the wings of a dove covered with silver and her pinions with yellow gold” (Psalms 68:14). Just as a dove has only its wings to protect it, so too, the Jewish people have only mitzvot to protect them. Apparently, Elisha Man of Wings was vigilant in fulfilling the mitzva of phylacteries in the face of the decree, whereas the rest of the people were not.

אמר רבי אבא בר רב אדא אמר רבי יצחק פעם אחת שכחו ולא הביאו איזמל מערב שבת והביאוהו בשבת [דרך גגות ודרך חצירות]

Rabbi Abba bar Rav Adda said that Rabbi Yitzḥak said as follows: On one occasion they were supposed to circumcise a baby on Shabbat, and they forgot and did not bring a scalpel with which to circumcise him on Shabbat eve, and they brought it on Shabbat via roofs and via courtyards,

שלא ברצון רבי אליעזר

contrary to the wishes of Rabbi Eliezer. Even though the roofs and courtyards were not halakhically joined in a manner where it would be permitted to carry from one to the other, the Rabbis permitted carrying the scalpel in this manner.

מתקיף לה רב יוסף שלא ברצון רבי אליעזר אדרבה רבי אליעזר הוא דשרי וכי תימא שלא ברצון רבי אליעזר דשרי אפילו ברשות הרבים אלא ברצון רבנן דאסרו דרך רשות הרבים ושרו דרך גגות דרך חצירות וקרפיפות ומי שרי והתניא כשם שאין מביאין אותו דרך רשות הרבים כך אין מביאין אותו לא דרך גגות ולא דרך קרפיפות ולא דרך חצירות

Rav Yosef strongly objects to this: Contrary to the wishes of Rabbi Eliezer? On the contrary, it is Rabbi Eliezer who permits this, as he permits carrying the scalpel even through the public domain. And if you say that it means contrary to the wishes of Rabbi Eliezer, who permits carrying even in the public domain, but in accordance with the wishes of the Rabbis, who prohibited carrying via the public domain and only permitted carrying via roofs, via courtyards and enclosures, that is also difficult. And is it permitted according to the opinion of the Rabbis? Wasn’t it taught in a baraita: Just as one may not bring the circumcision knife via the public domain, so too, one may not bring it via roofs, via enclosures, or via courtyards?

אלא אמר רב אשי שלא ברצון רבי אליעזר ומחלוקתו אלא ברצון רבי שמעון דתנן רבי שמעון אומר אחד גגות ואחד קרפיפות ואחד חצירות כולן רשות אחד הן לכלים ששבתו בתוכן ולא לכלים ששבתו בתוך הבית

Rather, Rav Ashi said: It means contrary to the wishes of Rabbi Eliezer and his disputants, but in accordance with the wishes of Rabbi Shimon. As we learned in a mishna that Rabbi Shimon says: Roofs, enclosures, and courtyards are all considered as one domain with regard to vessels that rested inside them at the beginning of Shabbat. Therefore, it is permitted to carry vessels that rested inside one to another. However, they are not considered the same domain with regard to vessels that rested inside the house at the beginning of Shabbat. If the homeowners did not join the courtyard by means of an eiruv, it is prohibited to carry vessels from their houses to the courtyard. Even if the houses in a courtyard were joined, it is prohibited to carry from the courtyard to an enclosure unless they were joined by means of an eiruv. In any case, there are circumstances in which Rabbi Shimon allows carrying via roofs, courtyards, and enclosures.

בעא מיניה רבי זירא מרבי אסי מבוי שלא נשתתפו בו מהו לטלטל בכולו מי אמרינן כחצר דמי מה חצר אף על גב דלא ערבו מותר לטלטל בכולו האי נמי אף על גב דלא נשתתפו בו מותר לטלטל בכולו או דילמא לא דמי לחצר דחצר אית ליה ארבע מחיצות האי לית ליה ארבע מחיצות אי נמי חצר אית ליה דיורין האי לית ביה דיורין שתיק ולא אמר ליה ולא מידי

Rabbi Zeira raised a dilemma before Rabbi Asi: An alleyway whose residents did not merge together, what is its legal status with regard to carrying items in all of it according to Rabbi Shimon? Rabbi Zeira explains the dilemma: Do we say that it is like a courtyard, and just as with regard to a courtyard, even though they did not join the houses in it together and despite the fact that it is prohibited to carry out items from the houses to the courtyard, it is nonetheless permitted to carry in all of it? Therefore, in this alleyway too, even though they did not merge together, it is permitted to carry in all of it despite the fact that it is prohibited to carry items into the alleyway. Or, perhaps an alleyway is not similar in this regard to a courtyard, as a courtyard has four partitions, whereas this, the alleyway, does not have four partitions, but only three. Alternatively, there may be a different reason for the inferior status of an alleyway in this regard: A courtyard has residents and can therefore be considered like a house, which would allow carrying within it, whereas this alleyway does not have residents. Rabbi Asi was silent and did not say anything to him, as he was unable to provide a satisfactory response.

זימנין אשכחיה דיתיב וקא אמר אמר רבי שמעון בן לקיש משום רבי יהודה הנשיא פעם אחת שכחו ולא הביאו איזמל מערב שבת והביאוהו בשבת והיה הדבר קשה לחכמים היאך מניחין דברי חכמים ועושין כרבי אליעזר חדא דרבי אליעזר שמותי הוא ועוד יחיד ורבים הלכה כרבים

On another occasion Rabbi Zeira found Rabbi Asi sitting and saying: Rabbi Shimon ben Lakish said in the name of Rabbi Yehuda HaNasi: One time they forgot and did not bring a scalpel on Shabbat eve for the purpose of circumcising a child on Shabbat, and they brought it on Shabbat, and the matter was difficult in the eyes of the Rabbis: How can they abandon the words of the Rabbis, who prohibit doing so, and act in accordance with the opinion of Rabbi Eliezer? Why did they find this difficult? One reason was that Rabbi Eliezer was a Shammuti, i.e., a follower of the views of Beit Shammai (Jerusalem Talmud), and the halakha is generally in accordance with the opinion of Beit Hillel in their disputes with Beit Shammai. And furthermore, there is a general rule that in a dispute between an individual and the many, the halakha is in accordance with the opinion of the many. Here too, the halakha should certainly be in accordance with the opinion of the Rabbis, who disagree with Rabbi Eliezer.

ואמר רבי אושעיא שאילית את רבי יהודה הגוזר ואמר לי מבוי שלא נשתתפו בו הוה ואייתוהו מהאי רישא להאי רישא אמר ליה סבירא ליה למר מבוי שלא נשתתפו מותר לטלטל בכולו ואמר ליה אין אמר ליה והא זימנין בעאי מינך ולא אמרת לי הכי דילמא אגב שיטפך רהיט לך גמרך אמר ליה אין אגב שיטפא רהיטא לי גמרי

And Rabbi Oshaya said: I asked Rabbi Yehuda the Cutter, i.e., the circumcisor, and he told me that this incident occurred in an alleyway whose residents did not merge together, and they brought the scalpel from this end of the alleyway to that end, where the baby was. That concludes Rabbi Asi’s account of the event. Rabbi Zeira said to Rabbi Asi: Since you related that story without expressing any reservations, it appears that the Master must hold that with regard to an alleyway whose residents did not merge together, it is permitted to carry in all of it. And Rabbi Asi said to him: Yes, that is the halakha. Rabbi Zeira said to him: But on a different occasion I raised a dilemma on this matter before you and you did not say so to me. Perhaps in the course of your studies your knowledge was restored to you? He said to him: Yes, in the course of my studies my knowledge was restored to me, and I remembered this halakha.

איתמר אמר רבי זירא אמר רב מבוי שלא נשתתפו בו אין מטלטלין בו אלא בארבע אמות

With regard to the very same halakha, it was stated as a principle that Rabbi Zeira said that Rav said: An alleyway that was not merged by the residents of the courtyards that open into it, it is only permitted to carry in it within four cubits.

אמר אביי הא מילתא אמרה רבי זירא ולא פירשה עד דאתא רבה בר אבוה ופירשה דאמר רב נחמן אמר רבה בר אבוה אמר רב מבוי שלא נשתתפו בו עירבו חצירות עם בתים אין מטלטלין בו אלא בארבע אמות לא עירבו חצירות עם בתים מותר לטלטל בכולו

Abaye said: This halakhic matter was stated by Rabbi Zeira, and he did not explain it. It remained enigmatic until Rabba bar Avuh came and explained it. As Rav Naḥman said that Rabba bar Avuh said that Rav said: With regard to an alleyway that was not merged by the residents of the courtyards that open into it, if they joined the courtyards with the houses, i.e., the homeowners within each courtyard joined together and are therefore permitted to carry within the courtyards themselves, it is only permitted to carry in it within four cubits, as in an intermediate domain [karmelit]. However, if they did not join the courtyards with the houses and it is prohibited to carry within the courtyards, it is permitted to carry in the entire alleyway.

אמר ליה רב חנינא חוזאה לרבה מאי שנא כי עירבו חצירות עם בתים דניתקו חצירות ונעשו בתים ורב לטעמיה דאמר רב אין המבוי ניתר בלחי וקורה עד שיהו

Rav Ḥanina Ḥoza’a said to Rabba: What is different about a case where they joined the courtyards with the houses? Is it because the courtyards were detached and became like houses? And Rav follows his regular line of reasoning, for Rav said: An alleyway can only be made into a permitted area for carrying by means of a sidepole and a crossbeam, which is the standard halakha in a closed alleyway, if there are

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Shabbat 130

מתני׳ רבי אליעזר אומר אם לא הביא כלי מערב שבת מביאו בשבת מגולה ובסכנה מכסהו על פי עדים

MISHNA: As a continuation to the discussion at the end of the previous chapter, which mentioned circumcision in the context of a discussion of the halakhot of childbirth on Shabbat, the mishna continues to address the halakhot of circumcision. Rabbi Eliezer says: If he did not bring an implement for circumcising the child on Shabbat eve, he brings it on Shabbat itself uncovered so that it will be clear to all that he is bringing a circumcision scalpel. And in times of danger, when decrees of persecution prohibit Jews from circumcising their children, one covers it in the presence of witnesses who can testify that he transported the scalpel to perform a mitzva.

ועוד אמר רבי אליעזר כורתים עצים לעשות פחמין לעשות (כלי) ברזל

And furthermore, Rabbi Eliezer said with regard to this issue: One may even cut down trees to prepare charcoal in order to fashion iron tools for the purpose of circumcision.

כלל אמר רבי עקיבא כל מלאכה שאפשר לעשותה מערב שבת אינה דוחה את השבת (ומילה) שאי אפשר לעשותה מערב שבת דוחה את השבת:

Rabbi Eliezer’s approach was not universally accepted, and a principle was stated by Rabbi Akiva: Any prohibited labor that can be performed on Shabbat eve does not override Shabbat, including transporting the circumcision scalpel. However, any prohibited labor involved in the mitzva of circumcision itself that cannot be performed on Shabbat eve overrides Shabbat.

גמ׳ איבעיא להו טעמא דרבי אליעזר משום חבובי מצוה או דילמא משום חשדא למאי נפקא מינה לאתויי מכוסה על פי עדים אי אמרת משום חבובי מצוה מגולה אין מכוסה לא אלא אי אמרת משום חשדא אפילו מכוסה שפיר דמי מאי

GEMARA: A dilemma was raised before the Sages: Is the reason for Rabbi Eliezer’s opinion that the scalpel must be uncovered due to affection for the mitzva and the desire to publicize it, or perhaps it is due to avoiding suspicion? The Gemara asks: What practical difference is there between the two reasons suggested for Rabbi Eliezer’s opinion? The Gemara answers: The difference is with regard to the question of whether or not it is permitted to bring the scalpel covered in the presence of witnesses who are aware that one is bringing the scalpel for the purpose of circumcision. If you say the reason is due to affection for the mitzva, then if it is uncovered, yes, there is a display of affection for the mitzva. If it is covered, no, there is no display of affection. However, if you say the reason for this ruling is due to avoiding suspicion, even if it is covered he may well do so, because the witnesses are aware that a circumcision will be performed. What is the resolution of this dilemma?

איתמר אמר רבי לוי לא אמרה רבי אליעזר אלא לחבובי מצוה תניא נמי הכי מביאו מגולה ואין מביאו מכוסה דברי רבי אליעזר אמר רב אשי מתניתין נמי דיקא דקתני ובשעת הסכנה מכסהו על פי עדים בסכנה אין שלא בסכנה לא שמע מינה משום חבובי מצוה שמע מינה

It was stated that Rabbi Levi said: Rabbi Eliezer only stated this ruling to express affection for the mitzva. That opinion was also taught in a baraita: If a child is to be circumcised on Shabbat and they failed to bring the scalpel on Shabbat eve, one brings it on Shabbat uncovered, but he does not bring it covered; this is the statement of Rabbi Eliezer. Rav Ashi said: The language of the mishna is also precise in support of this opinion, as it teaches: And in a time of danger he covers it in the presence of witnesses. By inference, in a time of danger, yes, he covers it; when it is not a time of danger, no, he does not cover it. Conclude from this that the scalpel is uncovered due to affection for the mitzva. The Gemara states: Indeed, conclude from this.

תניא אידך מביאו מגולה ואין מביאו מכוסה דברי רבי אליעזר רבי יהודה אומר משום רבי אליעזר נוהגין היו בשעת הסכנה שהיו מביאין מכוסה על פי עדים

It was taught in another baraita: He brings the scalpel uncovered, and he does not bring it covered; this is the statement of Rabbi Eliezer. Rabbi Yehuda says in the name of Rabbi Eliezer: In a time of danger they would customarily bring the scalpel covered in the presence of witnesses.

איבעיא להו עדים דקאמר איהו וחד או דילמא הוא ותרי

With regard to these witnesses, a dilemma was raised before the Sages: The necessary witnesses that he is saying, do they include he who is bringing the scalpel and one other witness? Or perhaps they include he who brought the scalpel and two other witnesses to testify on his behalf.

תא שמע ובסכנה מכסהו על פי עדים אי אמרת בשלמא הוא ותרי שפיר אלא אי אמרת הוא וחד מאי עדים שראוים להעיד במקום אחר:

Come and hear a resolution to this dilemma from the language of the mishna, which stated: And in times of danger he covers it in the presence of witnesses. Granted, if you say it is referring to him and two other witnesses, it works out well; the wording is appropriate. However, if you say it is referring to him and one other witness, what is to be made of the use of the term witnesses in the plural when there is only one other witness? The Gemara refutes this proof: They may still be called witnesses, in the plural, because they, i.e., he and the other witness, are fit to testify elsewhere.

ועוד אמר רבי אליעזר: תנו רבנן במקומו של רבי אליעזר היו כורתין עצים לעשות פחמין לעשות ברזל בשבת במקומו של רבי יוסי הגלילי היו אוכלין בשר עוף בחלב

We learned in our mishna: And furthermore, Rabbi Eliezer said: One may even cut down trees to prepare charcoal for the purpose of circumcision on Shabbat. With regard to this issue, the Sages taught in a baraita: In the locale of Rabbi Eliezer, where they would follow his ruling, they would even cut down trees on Shabbat to prepare charcoal from it in order to fashion iron tools with which to circumcise a child on Shabbat. On a related note, the baraita relates: In the locale of Rabbi Yosei HaGelili they would eat poultry meat in milk, as Rabbi Yosei HaGelili held that the prohibition of meat in milk does not include poultry.

לוי איקלע לבי יוסף רישבא קריבו ליה רישא דטווסא בחלבא לא אכל כי אתא לקמיה דרבי אמר ליה אמאי לא תשמתינהו אמר ליה אתריה דרבי יהודה בן בתירה הוה ואמינא דילמא דרש להו כרבי יוסי הגלילי

The Gemara relates: Levi happened to come to the house of Yosef the hunter. They served him the head of a peacock [tavsa] in milk and he did not eat. When Levi came before Rabbi Yehuda HaNasi, the latter said to him: Why did you not excommunicate these people who eat poultry in milk, contrary to the decree of the Sages? Levi said to him: It was in the locale of Rabbi Yehuda ben Beteira, and I said: Perhaps he taught them that the halakha is in accordance with the opinion of Rabbi Yosei HaGelili, who permits the eating of poultry meat in milk. Given the possibility that their rabbi rules that it is permitted, I cannot come and prohibit it, and I certainly cannot excommunicate them for it.

דתנן רבי יוסי הגלילי אומר נאמר לא תאכלו כל נבלה ונאמר לא תבשל גדי בחלב אמו את שאסור משום נבלה אסור לבשל בחלב עוף שאסור משום נבלה יכול יהא אסור לבשל בחלב תלמוד לומר בחלב אמו יצא עוף שאין לו חלב אם

As we learned in a mishna, Rabbi Yosei HaGelili says: It is stated in the verse: “You shall not eat anything that dies of itself; to the stranger at your gates you may give it, that he may eat it; or you may sell it to a foreigner; for you are a holy people to the Lord your God” (Deuteronomy 14:21), and it is stated later in the same verse: “You shall not cook a kid in its mother’s milk.” From the juxtaposition of the two issues it is derived: That which is prohibited due to the prohibition against eating an unslaughtered animal, it is prohibited to cook it in milk. The prohibition against cooking a creature in milk is not limited to only a kid. If so, with regard to poultry, which is prohibited due to the prohibition against eating an unslaughtered animal, I might have thought it should be prohibited to cook it in milk; therefore, the verse states: “In its mother’s milk.” This excludes poultry, which does not have mother’s milk and is therefore not included in the prohibition.

אמר רבי יצחק עיר אחת היתה בארץ ישראל שהיו עושין כרבי אליעזר והיו מתים בזמנן ולא עוד אלא שפעם אחת גזרה מלכות הרשעה גזרה על ישראל על המילה ועל אותה העיר לא גזרה:

Rabbi Yitzḥak said: There was one city in Eretz Yisrael where they would act in accordance with the opinion of Rabbi Eliezer with regard to circumcision, and they would die at their appointed time and not earlier, as a reward for their affection for this mitzva. And not only that, but on one occasion the wicked empire, Rome, issued a decree against the Jewish people prohibiting circumcision; but against that city it did not issue the decree.

תניא רבן שמעון בן גמליאל אומר כל מצוה שקיבלו עליהם בשמחה כגון מילה דכתיב שש אנכי על אמרתך כמוצא שלל רב עדיין עושין אותה בשמחה וכל מצוה שקבלו עליהם בקטטה כגון עריות דכתיב וישמע משה את העם בוכה למשפחותיו על עסקי משפחותיו עדיין עושין אותה בקטטה דליכא כתובה דלא רמו בה תיגרא

Apropos affection for the mitzva of circumcision, the Gemara cites a baraita in which it was taught that Rabban Shimon ben Gamliel says: Every mitzva that the Jews initially accepted upon themselves with joy, such as circumcision, as it is written: “I rejoice at Your word as one who finds great spoil” (Psalms 119:162), and as the Sages explained, this “word” refers to the mitzva of circumcision, over which they rejoiced, they still perform it with joy. And every mitzva that the Jews initially accepted upon themselves with contentiousness and regret, such as the prohibition against incestuous relations, as it is written: “And Moses heard the people weeping, family by family” (Numbers 11:10), and as the Sages interpreted homiletically: They wept over matters pertaining to their families, as they were prohibited at that time from marrying family members, they still perform with contentiousness. The fact is that there is no marriage contract and wedding in which contentiousness does not arise, as there is inevitably some conflict between the parties. The baraita asserts that this is because, initially, the Jews did not accept the laws governing marriage and family relationships willingly.

תניא רבי שמעון בן אלעזר אומר כל מצוה שמסרו ישראל עצמן עליהם למיתה בשעת גזרת המלכות כגון עבודה זרה ומילה עדיין היא מוחזקת בידם וכל מצוה שלא מסרו ישראל עצמן עליה למיתה בשעת גזרת המלכות כגון תפילין עדיין היא מרופה בידם

It was taught in a baraita that Rabbi Shimon ben Elazar says in praise of the observance of the mitzva of circumcision: Any mitzva for which the Jews sacrificed their lives at the time of the decrees of the wicked empire, such as the prohibition of idolatry and the mitzva of circumcision, is still steadfastly observed. And any mitzva for which the Jews did not sacrifice their lives at the time of the decrees of the wicked empire, such as phylacteries, is still casually observed, meaning that they are not as careful in its fulfillment as they should be.

דאמר רבי ינאי תפילין צריכין גוף נקי כאלישע בעל כנפים מאי היא אמר אביי שלא יפיח בהם רבא אמר שלא יישן בהם

The Gemara cites proof that the mitzva of phylacteries was not fulfilled properly at the time of the decrees, based upon an incident related to the following halakha. As Rabbi Yannai said: Donning phylacteries requires a clean body like that of Elisha, Man of Wings. What is included in the requirement to have a clean body? Abaye said: That one may not pass wind in them. Rava said: That one may not sleep in them.

ואמאי קרו ליה אלישע בעל כנפים שפעם אחת גזרה מלכות הרשעה גזרה על ישראל שכל המניח תפילין על ראשו יקרו את מוחו והיה אלישע מניח תפילין ויצא לשוק וראהו קסדור אחד רץ מלפניו ורץ אחריו כיון שהגיע אצלו נטלן מראשו ואחזן בידו אמר ליה מה בידך אמר לו כנפי יונה פשט את ידו ונמצאו בה כנפי יונה לפיכך היו קוראין אותו בעל כנפים

The Gemara asks: And why did they call him Elisha, Man of Wings? Because on one occasion the wicked empire of Rome issued a decree against the Jewish people that, as punishment, they would pierce the brain of anyone who dons phylacteries on his head. Nevertheless, Elisha would don them and defiantly go out to the marketplace. One day, an official who was appointed to enforce the decree saw him. Elisha ran away from him, and the official ran after him. When the official reached him, Elisha removed the phylacteries from his head and held them in his hand. The officer asked him: What is in your hand? Elisha said to him: It is merely a dove’s wings. A miracle took place: He opened his hand, and, indeed, it was found to be a dove’s wings. Therefore, in commemoration of this miracle, they would call him Elisha, Man of Wings.

מאי שנא כנפי יונה דאמר ליה ולא אמר ליה שאר עופות משום דדמיא כנסת ישראל ליונה שנאמר כנפי יונה נחפה בכסף ואברותיה בירקרק חרוץ מה יונה זו כנפיה מגינות עליה אף ישראל מצות מגינות עליהן:

The Gemara asks: And what is different about a dove’s wings, that Elisha specifically told him that he was holding the wings of a dove and he did not tell him he was holding the wings of other birds? The Gemara answers: Because the congregation of Israel is likened to a dove, as it is stated: “You shall shine as the wings of a dove covered with silver and her pinions with yellow gold” (Psalms 68:14). Just as a dove has only its wings to protect it, so too, the Jewish people have only mitzvot to protect them. Apparently, Elisha Man of Wings was vigilant in fulfilling the mitzva of phylacteries in the face of the decree, whereas the rest of the people were not.

אמר רבי אבא בר רב אדא אמר רבי יצחק פעם אחת שכחו ולא הביאו איזמל מערב שבת והביאוהו בשבת [דרך גגות ודרך חצירות]

Rabbi Abba bar Rav Adda said that Rabbi Yitzḥak said as follows: On one occasion they were supposed to circumcise a baby on Shabbat, and they forgot and did not bring a scalpel with which to circumcise him on Shabbat eve, and they brought it on Shabbat via roofs and via courtyards,

שלא ברצון רבי אליעזר

contrary to the wishes of Rabbi Eliezer. Even though the roofs and courtyards were not halakhically joined in a manner where it would be permitted to carry from one to the other, the Rabbis permitted carrying the scalpel in this manner.

מתקיף לה רב יוסף שלא ברצון רבי אליעזר אדרבה רבי אליעזר הוא דשרי וכי תימא שלא ברצון רבי אליעזר דשרי אפילו ברשות הרבים אלא ברצון רבנן דאסרו דרך רשות הרבים ושרו דרך גגות דרך חצירות וקרפיפות ומי שרי והתניא כשם שאין מביאין אותו דרך רשות הרבים כך אין מביאין אותו לא דרך גגות ולא דרך קרפיפות ולא דרך חצירות

Rav Yosef strongly objects to this: Contrary to the wishes of Rabbi Eliezer? On the contrary, it is Rabbi Eliezer who permits this, as he permits carrying the scalpel even through the public domain. And if you say that it means contrary to the wishes of Rabbi Eliezer, who permits carrying even in the public domain, but in accordance with the wishes of the Rabbis, who prohibited carrying via the public domain and only permitted carrying via roofs, via courtyards and enclosures, that is also difficult. And is it permitted according to the opinion of the Rabbis? Wasn’t it taught in a baraita: Just as one may not bring the circumcision knife via the public domain, so too, one may not bring it via roofs, via enclosures, or via courtyards?

אלא אמר רב אשי שלא ברצון רבי אליעזר ומחלוקתו אלא ברצון רבי שמעון דתנן רבי שמעון אומר אחד גגות ואחד קרפיפות ואחד חצירות כולן רשות אחד הן לכלים ששבתו בתוכן ולא לכלים ששבתו בתוך הבית

Rather, Rav Ashi said: It means contrary to the wishes of Rabbi Eliezer and his disputants, but in accordance with the wishes of Rabbi Shimon. As we learned in a mishna that Rabbi Shimon says: Roofs, enclosures, and courtyards are all considered as one domain with regard to vessels that rested inside them at the beginning of Shabbat. Therefore, it is permitted to carry vessels that rested inside one to another. However, they are not considered the same domain with regard to vessels that rested inside the house at the beginning of Shabbat. If the homeowners did not join the courtyard by means of an eiruv, it is prohibited to carry vessels from their houses to the courtyard. Even if the houses in a courtyard were joined, it is prohibited to carry from the courtyard to an enclosure unless they were joined by means of an eiruv. In any case, there are circumstances in which Rabbi Shimon allows carrying via roofs, courtyards, and enclosures.

בעא מיניה רבי זירא מרבי אסי מבוי שלא נשתתפו בו מהו לטלטל בכולו מי אמרינן כחצר דמי מה חצר אף על גב דלא ערבו מותר לטלטל בכולו האי נמי אף על גב דלא נשתתפו בו מותר לטלטל בכולו או דילמא לא דמי לחצר דחצר אית ליה ארבע מחיצות האי לית ליה ארבע מחיצות אי נמי חצר אית ליה דיורין האי לית ביה דיורין שתיק ולא אמר ליה ולא מידי

Rabbi Zeira raised a dilemma before Rabbi Asi: An alleyway whose residents did not merge together, what is its legal status with regard to carrying items in all of it according to Rabbi Shimon? Rabbi Zeira explains the dilemma: Do we say that it is like a courtyard, and just as with regard to a courtyard, even though they did not join the houses in it together and despite the fact that it is prohibited to carry out items from the houses to the courtyard, it is nonetheless permitted to carry in all of it? Therefore, in this alleyway too, even though they did not merge together, it is permitted to carry in all of it despite the fact that it is prohibited to carry items into the alleyway. Or, perhaps an alleyway is not similar in this regard to a courtyard, as a courtyard has four partitions, whereas this, the alleyway, does not have four partitions, but only three. Alternatively, there may be a different reason for the inferior status of an alleyway in this regard: A courtyard has residents and can therefore be considered like a house, which would allow carrying within it, whereas this alleyway does not have residents. Rabbi Asi was silent and did not say anything to him, as he was unable to provide a satisfactory response.

זימנין אשכחיה דיתיב וקא אמר אמר רבי שמעון בן לקיש משום רבי יהודה הנשיא פעם אחת שכחו ולא הביאו איזמל מערב שבת והביאוהו בשבת והיה הדבר קשה לחכמים היאך מניחין דברי חכמים ועושין כרבי אליעזר חדא דרבי אליעזר שמותי הוא ועוד יחיד ורבים הלכה כרבים

On another occasion Rabbi Zeira found Rabbi Asi sitting and saying: Rabbi Shimon ben Lakish said in the name of Rabbi Yehuda HaNasi: One time they forgot and did not bring a scalpel on Shabbat eve for the purpose of circumcising a child on Shabbat, and they brought it on Shabbat, and the matter was difficult in the eyes of the Rabbis: How can they abandon the words of the Rabbis, who prohibit doing so, and act in accordance with the opinion of Rabbi Eliezer? Why did they find this difficult? One reason was that Rabbi Eliezer was a Shammuti, i.e., a follower of the views of Beit Shammai (Jerusalem Talmud), and the halakha is generally in accordance with the opinion of Beit Hillel in their disputes with Beit Shammai. And furthermore, there is a general rule that in a dispute between an individual and the many, the halakha is in accordance with the opinion of the many. Here too, the halakha should certainly be in accordance with the opinion of the Rabbis, who disagree with Rabbi Eliezer.

ואמר רבי אושעיא שאילית את רבי יהודה הגוזר ואמר לי מבוי שלא נשתתפו בו הוה ואייתוהו מהאי רישא להאי רישא אמר ליה סבירא ליה למר מבוי שלא נשתתפו מותר לטלטל בכולו ואמר ליה אין אמר ליה והא זימנין בעאי מינך ולא אמרת לי הכי דילמא אגב שיטפך רהיט לך גמרך אמר ליה אין אגב שיטפא רהיטא לי גמרי

And Rabbi Oshaya said: I asked Rabbi Yehuda the Cutter, i.e., the circumcisor, and he told me that this incident occurred in an alleyway whose residents did not merge together, and they brought the scalpel from this end of the alleyway to that end, where the baby was. That concludes Rabbi Asi’s account of the event. Rabbi Zeira said to Rabbi Asi: Since you related that story without expressing any reservations, it appears that the Master must hold that with regard to an alleyway whose residents did not merge together, it is permitted to carry in all of it. And Rabbi Asi said to him: Yes, that is the halakha. Rabbi Zeira said to him: But on a different occasion I raised a dilemma on this matter before you and you did not say so to me. Perhaps in the course of your studies your knowledge was restored to you? He said to him: Yes, in the course of my studies my knowledge was restored to me, and I remembered this halakha.

איתמר אמר רבי זירא אמר רב מבוי שלא נשתתפו בו אין מטלטלין בו אלא בארבע אמות

With regard to the very same halakha, it was stated as a principle that Rabbi Zeira said that Rav said: An alleyway that was not merged by the residents of the courtyards that open into it, it is only permitted to carry in it within four cubits.

אמר אביי הא מילתא אמרה רבי זירא ולא פירשה עד דאתא רבה בר אבוה ופירשה דאמר רב נחמן אמר רבה בר אבוה אמר רב מבוי שלא נשתתפו בו עירבו חצירות עם בתים אין מטלטלין בו אלא בארבע אמות לא עירבו חצירות עם בתים מותר לטלטל בכולו

Abaye said: This halakhic matter was stated by Rabbi Zeira, and he did not explain it. It remained enigmatic until Rabba bar Avuh came and explained it. As Rav Naḥman said that Rabba bar Avuh said that Rav said: With regard to an alleyway that was not merged by the residents of the courtyards that open into it, if they joined the courtyards with the houses, i.e., the homeowners within each courtyard joined together and are therefore permitted to carry within the courtyards themselves, it is only permitted to carry in it within four cubits, as in an intermediate domain [karmelit]. However, if they did not join the courtyards with the houses and it is prohibited to carry within the courtyards, it is permitted to carry in the entire alleyway.

אמר ליה רב חנינא חוזאה לרבה מאי שנא כי עירבו חצירות עם בתים דניתקו חצירות ונעשו בתים ורב לטעמיה דאמר רב אין המבוי ניתר בלחי וקורה עד שיהו

Rav Ḥanina Ḥoza’a said to Rabba: What is different about a case where they joined the courtyards with the houses? Is it because the courtyards were detached and became like houses? And Rav follows his regular line of reasoning, for Rav said: An alleyway can only be made into a permitted area for carrying by means of a sidepole and a crossbeam, which is the standard halakha in a closed alleyway, if there are

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