POINT BY POINT SUMMARY
Prepared by R. Yakov Blinder
of Kollel Iyun Hadaf, Yerushalayim
Rosh Kollel: Rabbi Mordecai Kornfeld
Ask A Question on the daf
Moed Katan 2
MOED KATAN 2 - dedicated by Ivan Silverman in memory of his father, Shmuel
ben Boruch Silverman, Z"L.
1) MISHNAH: THE THREE CATEGORIES OF ACTIVITY DURING CHOL HA'MO'ED
(a) Watering crops that would become ruined without
irrigation (Beis ha'Shalchin), i.e. preventing monetary
loss (Davar ha'Aved):
2) NEW OR ESTABLISHED SPRINGS
1. It may be done from a new or established spring, and
may be done on Shemitah also.
(b) Attending to public needs is permitted, for example:
2. It may not be done from rainwater gathered in wells,
cisterns, etc. (because this is too much exertion).
3. One may not dig circles in the ground around the bases
of vines (to hold water) (also too much exertion).
4. R. Elazar ben Azaryah forbids making a new water
channel (on Shemitah also). The Chachamim permit
making a new one on Shemitah and repairing an
existing one on C.H.
1. Fixing problems in the public water supply
(c) C.H. Pesach is the time when special inspectors when to
look for Kil'ayim growing in fields and destroy it.
2. Fixing roads
3. Fixing Mikva'os
4. Marking graves to prevent Tum'ah.
(a) New springs are more problematic than established ones,
because they might collapse and require fixing (which is
prohibited because of exertion).
(b) Question: If the Mishnah permits even new ones, why
mention established ones?
(c) Answer: If the Mishnah had remained silent about
established ones, one might have thought that it is
permitted even for crops that do not depend on
irrigation, but do improve with some irrigation (Beis
ha'Ba'al). Therefore, it is mentioned that it is
permitted only for Beis ha'Shalchin.
(a) Shalchin is from the Aramaic Meshalhei ("thirsty").
4) WHO IS THE AUTHOR OF THE MISHNAH?
(b) Ba'al is from Yeshayah 62:5, meaning "settled".
(a) The Mishnah clearly implies that watering is permitted
(1) only to prevent loss (Beis ha'Shalchin), but not for
monetary gain (Beis ha'Ba'al). And even this is (2) only
permitted when there is not too much exertion. Whose
opinion is this?
(b) Answer #1: R. Eliezer ben Yakov, in the Mishnah on 6b.
1. Refutation: But this shows only point (2), not point
(c) Answer #2: R. Yehudah of a Beraisa, which states three
opinions about using a new spring:
1. R. Meir permits watering even a Beis ha'Ba'al, which
certainly is against the Mishnah.
(d) So we see from R. Yehudah both point (1) [from 4:c:2] and
point (2) [from 4:c:4].
2. R. Yehudah permits only a Beis ha'Shalchin that has
become disconnected from its usual spring.
3. R. Elazar ben Azaryah forbids even this (only
established springs may be used).
4. R. Yehudah adds: It is prohibited to dredge out a
channel and use this water for one's garden, because
1. Question: This Beraisa discusses only a new spring. We
don't know what R. Yehudah would say about an
established spring - perhaps he would permit even
Beis ha'Ba'al, against the Mishnah.
5) WHY ARE WEEDING AND WATERING PROHIBITED ON SHABBOS?
2. Answer: R. Yehudah is the only one who can possibly be
identified with the Mishnah, so he probably means
exactly what the Mishnah says.
(a) Rabah: They come under the category of "Plowing", because
they loosen the soil.
6) WHY DOES THE MISHNAH PERMIT WATERING ON SHEMITAH?
(b) Rav Yosef: They come under "Sowing", because they
generate growth of surrounding plants.
(c) Abaye's question: Why can't both prohibitions apply? It
is, after all, possible to transgress two prohibitions
with one act, as Rav Kahana said about one who prunes a
tree and also intends to use the pruned branches
("Detaching" and "Sowing"). The question remains
(d) Question on Rav Yosef: A Beraisa says that one who weeds
[or covers seeds with dirt] in a field of Kil'ayim
violates the prohibition of Kil'ayim, which is "In your
field you shall not sow Kil'ayim." Obviously, then,
weeding comes under "Sowing."
(e) Answer: That Beraisa holds like R. Akiva, who says that
even retaining Kil'ayim is a prohibition.
1. Question: From where does R. Akiva derive this
prohibition of "retaining Kil'ayim"?
2. Answer: He rearranges the punctuation of the verse to
["You shall not intermingle your animals as]
Kil'ayim in your field you shall not [sow Kil'ayim]"
- to get "Kil'ayim in your field you shall not",
meaning even to retain what is already there.
(a) Question: Whether watering comes under "Plowing" or
"Sowing" it should be prohibited on Shemitah!
(b) Answer #1 (Abaye): Our Mishnah holds like Rebbi, who says
that Shemitah (ever since Sancheriv) has been only
mid'Rabanan, and the Rabanan were lenient in cases of
1. How do we know that Rebbi holds Shemitah is
mid'Rabanan nowadays? Because he says "At those
times when Shemitah of the land applies, so does
Shemitah of loans apply," implying that there are
times when Shemitah does not apply (mid'Oraisa).