THOUGHTS ON THE DAILY DAF
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Rosh Kollel: Rav Mordecai Kornfeld
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1) HALACHAH: RENTING THE DOMAIN OF A GENTILE IN ORDER TO MAKE AN "ERUV"
HALACHAH: Reish Lakish and the students of Rebbi Chanina arrived at a
certain inn where they planned to stay over Shabbos. They wanted to make an
Eruv Chatzeros to permit carrying from their rooms into the Chatzer of the
inn. One of the rooms, however, was rented by a gentile who was out of town.
Reish Lakish ruled that they could rent his room from the innkeeper, since
it was in the innkeeper's power to evict the tenant. Rebbi Afas later
concurred with Reish Lakish's ruling, and that is the Halachah as well.
2) WHEN A GENTILE ARRIVES ON SHABBOS
Many Jewish communities today have an "Eruv." What we call an "Eruv" today
is actually a Tzuras ha'Pesach which forms a Mechitzah around the city. This
virtual wall around the city makes it considered like one large Chatzer.
However, even as a Chatzer, in order to permit carrying an "Eruv Chatzeros"
must be made. The Eruv Chatzeros is usually made by the rabbi of the city.
He is Mezakeh some food to all of the Jews in the city and places it in one
of the houses in the Chatzer (i.e. the city).
However, there are many non-Jewish people whose presence in the city, and
ownership in the Chatzer, prevents the Eruv from working. In order to make
an Eruv Chatzeros, the rabbi must go to every non-Jew and *rent* the right
to carry in his property from him (for Shabbos). This is practically
impossible, since (a) there may be thousands or hundreds of thousands of
non-Jews in the city, and (b) some non-Jews might not consent to this rental
agreement. Furthermore, public thoroughfares (such as streets) also need to
be unified under the collectively owned unit of the Eruv -- from whom does
one rent those areas?
Our Gemara teaches a solution to this dilemma. Whoever is in charge of the
area and has the power to evict people from that area has the right to lease
it as well. Where a public area such as a street is concerned, the rabbi
rents it from a person who has the ability to control access to that area
(or from that person's Shali'ach). This might include the chief of police
(and by extension, any police officer who is an agent of the police chief)
or the mayor. Similarly, if the police force or the mayor has the right of
entry to each person's home, then one may rent access to all of the non-
Jewish homes in the city from them, as we see from our Gemara. (See SHULCHAN
ARUCH 391:1; see also "The Contemporary Eruv -- Eruvin in Modern
Metropolitan Areas," by Rabbi Yosef Gavriel Bechhofer (Feldheim, Publishers,
1998), ch. 5, for a summary of the issues involved with renting rights from
non-Jews for the sake of making an Eruv Chatzeros.)
QUESTION: The Gemara discusses a case of a Chatzer in which Jews resided
with one gentile. The gentile was not present in the Chatzer at the onset of
Shabbos, but he arrived on Shabbos. The Gemara discusses whether the Jews
may rent the gentile's property from him and, with Bitul Reshus, permit
carrying in that Chatzer on Shabbos.
The explanation of RASHI (DH d'Asa), with the words that appear in our text,
is very difficult to understand. First, Rashi says that they could have made
an Eruv when the gentile was not home on Erev Shabbos. Then, Rashi says that
if they would have made an Eruv, they would *not* have been able to carry
there! What does Rashi mean?
In truth, we find that the Rishonim record two completely different
explanations in the name of Rashi. Apparently, upon reviewing the Sugya
Rashi emended his original explanation and approached the Sugya in a
different way, leaving us two different explanations of the Sugya (which
eventually got combined in the Rashi that we have in our Gemaras.) (Also, it
is helpful to accept the emendation of the HAGAHOS DIKDUKEI SOFRIM, who
suggests that according to both versions of Rashi's commentary the words
"*v'Lo* Irvu me'Esmol, *v'Lo*..." should read "*v'Ilu* Irvu me'Esmol,
The two versions of Rashi cited in the Rishonim are as follows. According to
one version, the words in Rashi read "d'me'Esmol *Lo* Matzi l'Aruvei...
d'Nachri *Asar* Alaihu... *Lo Havu* Matzi Metalteli." (That is, even if they
would have made an Eruv on Erev Shabbos, they would have *not* been able to
carry in the Chatzer on Shabbos before the arrival of the gentile.) The
alternate version of Rashi is "d'me'Esmol *Shapir* Matzi l'Aruvei...
d'Nachri *Lo Asar* Alaihu... *Havu* Matzi Metalteli." (That is, if they
would have made an Eruv on Erev Shabbos, they *would* have been able to
carry in the Chatzer on Shabbos before the arrival of the gentile.)
We can understand Rashi's two explanations as follows:
QUESTION: Rashi was apparently bothered by a question that the Rishonim ask
(see, for example, the RA'AVAD cited by the RITVA). We find that if everyone
in a Chatzer made an Eruv except for one person who forgot to join the Eruv,
in order to permit carrying in the Chatzer, that one person needs only to be
Mevatel his Reshus to all the other residents, and then they may all carry
in the Chatzer. The reason is because they already have an Eruv, and all
they are lacking is that person's Reshus in the Chatzer. As soon as they get
that person's Reshus, the Eruv starts to work again and it unites everyone
in the Chatzer, permitting them to carry there. Even though it did not work
before that one person was Mevatel his Reshus, now that he was Mevatel
Reshus the Eruv is "Chozer v'Ne'ur," it becomes re-activated, as it were.
This raises a question. There is an argument between Tana'im (on 47a)
concerning a case of a gentile who is not at home. Is it permitted for the
Jews to carry in that Chatzer since the gentile is not home and his right to
carry in the Chatzer is therefore inconsequential, or even when he is not
home, since he owns a house in the Chatzer, his ownership prohibits the Jews
from carrying in that Chatzer? The Halachah follows the opinion of Rebbi
Shimon who maintains that it is permitted to carry in the Chatzer with an
Eruv when the gentile is not home.
If so, in our case, the Jews presumably made an Eruv on Erev Shabbos when
the gentile was not home and was not expected to return home on Shabbos. At
that point, it is a valid, working Eruv. Then, on Shabbos, the gentile
returns and the Eruv becomes invalidated. When the Jews rent his domain from
him, the Eruv becomes re-activated and it should once again be permitted to
carry in the Chatzer because of the Eruv. No further measure (such as Bitul
Reshus) should be necessary. However, from the Gemara later (66b) it is
clear that in the case under discussion here, besides renting the domain of
the gentile, it is necessary for all of the Jews in the Chatzer to be
*Mevatel their Reshus* to one of the residents in order to carry there. Why
does the original Eruv -- which worked until the gentile came -- not start
working again when his Reshus is rented from him and no longer prevents the
Eruv from working?
(a) To answer this question, Rashi suggests two different answers in his two
(a) One answer is that they could have made an Eruv before the gentile came,
but it so happens that they did not make an Eruv. Since they did not make an
Eruv, they have to rent his rights in the Chatzer *and* be Mevatel Reshus.
(b) In his other version, Rashi explained that this Gemara follows the
opinion (on 47a) that maintains that when the gentile is not home on
Shabbos, the Jews may *not* carry in the Chatzer, unless they rent his
Reshus from him. Therefore, on Erev Shabbos the residents of the Chatzer did
not make an Eruv because it would not have helped. Then, on Shabbos, when
the gentile showed up and they rented his Reshus from him, the question
arises whether they can be Mevatel Reshus in order to permit carrying in the
According to both versions, Rashi says that there was no Eruv at the start
of SHabbos. That is why it was necessary to have Bitul Reshus on Shabbos and
the Eruv was not re-activated (that is, because there *was no Eruv*).
(c) TOSFOS (DH d'Asa) suggests a different approach. When the Jews made an
Eruv and there was a gentile who was not included in the Eruv (that is, the
Jews in the Chatzer did not rent from the gentile the rights to his
property), in such a case when the Jews finally do rent his property from
him, the original Eruv does *not* work. Why not? When one Jew forgets to
join the Eruv, we assume that he will probably cooperate and be Mevatel his
Reshus. Therefore, the Eruv can be tentative until he is Mevatel his Reshus.
When, however, there is a gentile in the Chatzer, we have no reason to
assume that he will agree to lease his Reshus to a Jew, and therefore the
Eruv that was made originally is void. It cannot become "re-activated" when
the gentile eventually does lease his Reshus to a Jew.