POINT BY POINT SUMMARY
Prepared by R. Yakov Blinder
of Kollel Iyun Hadaf, Yerushalayim
Rosh Kollel: Rabbi Mordecai Kornfeld
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Previous daf Moed Katan 5
MOED KATAN 5 - Dedicated by Gerald (Gedalia) Ziering in honor of Rabbi
Elimelech Kohn, leader of the Daf Yomi shiur at Telshe Yeshiva Alumni of
1) FIXING WATER SUPPLY
(a) The Mishnah (above, 2a, 1:b:1) permitted fixing problems
with the water supply, specifically dredging out wells,
etc. The implication is that only dredging is permitted,
but not digging a new well.
2) MARKING GRAVES
(b) R. Yakov... said: This is only true if the public does
not need the water (during the holiday - Ritva quoting
Tosfos), but if the public does need the water (during
the holiday) one may even dig a new well.
(c) There are three Beraisa'os pertaining to this topic, and
according to R. Yakov... the bottom line of them all is:
If the water is needed (during the holiday) a private
well may be dredged but not dug anew, and a public well
may even be dug anew. If the water is not needed (during
the holiday) a private well may be neither dredged nor
dug anew, and a public well may be dredged but not dug
(d) R. Ashi infers from the Mishnah's words that R. Yakov is
right. The Gemara tries to reject the proof, but in the
end accepts it.
(a) The Mishnah (above, 2a, 1:b:4) mentioned that graves are
marked off on C.H. to prevent Tum'ah. The Gemara
presents numerous allusions to the need to mark graves in
the Torah or Nach.
(b) Apropos to one of these verses, the Gemara talks about
how important it is for a person to carefully consider
the consequences of his actions before doing anything.
3) THREE POINTS MADE BY A BERAISA ABOUT MARKING GRAVES
(a) Marking is done only for Tum'ah that can be Metamei
through Ohel (as opposed to Tum'ah that can be Metamei
only through direct contact). For example, a k'Zayis of
flesh is not marked.
4) THE GEMARA'S DISCUSSION OF THE ABOVE BERAISA
(b) Marking is not needed where the Tum'ah is well-known, but
only where there is some uncertainty (Sechachos, Pera'os
and Beis ha'Pras).
(c) The marking should be not be placed directly over the
Tum'ah, but at some distance (to give sufficient advance
warning), but not too much distance (so as not to waste
the land of Eretz Yisrael by making it Tamei).
(a) The Beraisa (see 3:a) implies that a k'Zayis of flesh is
not Metamei through Ohel.
1. Question: This contradicts a Mishnah, which states
clearly that a k'Zayis is Metamei through Ohel.
(b) Definitions of the terms describing uncertain Tum'ah (in
2. Answer: The Beraisa refers to a piece of flesh which
is exactly a k'Zayis, and will certainly decompose
shortly to become less than a k'Zayis. It is better
not to mark it, risking that someone will become
Tamei from it in the short run, rather than to mark
it and have people wrongly burn their Terumah and
Kodshim because of it forever.
1. Sechachah - Tree branches, one of which leans over
Tum'ah, but it is unknown which (Rashi).
2. Pera'os - Protrusions from walls, which may have
Tum'ah under them.
[3. Beis ha'Pras - A field containing a grave that
was plowed over; the Tum'ah spreads 100 Amos in
all directions. This interpretation is later
rejected, and according to many Rishonim it
should be erased from the text here.]
4. Question on Beis ha'Pras (B.H.): The Beraisa implies
that B.H. is Metamei through Ohel. This is
contradicted by what Shmuel said, that a person may
bend down and blow his way through a B.H.
5. Answer: The word B.H. actually applies to three
different kinds of field: A) A field where a grave
was plowed over, as above. B) A field that contains
a grave in it, but no one remembers exactly where.
C) A "field of weeping" (a field used for bewailing
the dead brought from faraway places, where a piece
of the corpse may have fallen away). A is not
Metamei through Ohel, and does not require marking.
B is the one that requires marking, and it is
Metamai through Ohel.
6. Question: A Beraisa talks about someone who finds a
field marked off as a B.H. but doesn't know whether
it's type A or type B. (The Beraisa determines that
if there are trees it's A, if not it's B. R. Yehudah
says its status remains unknown unless there is an
old man or rabbinical student who knows for sure.)
Hence, we see that BOTH types of field are marked!
7. Answer: What the Beraisa means is that the field was
definitely type B when it was marked, but a doubt
exists as to whether it was plowed over subsequently
(thus becoming a type A) and therefore no longer
Metamei through Ohel.
8. The Beraisa said (4:b:6) that if there are trees the
field was definitely plowed (for the sake of the
trees growing there). Question: Perhaps only the
area near the trees was plowed, but the area between
the trees and the road is still Metamei through
9. Answer: The Beraisa is talking about a case where the
trees are next to the road.
10. Question: Perhaps the area BEYOND the trees was not
plowed and is still Metamei through Ohel.
11. Answer: The Beraisa is talking about a case where the
trees are scattered throughout the field.
12. Alternate answer: The border of the marking is near
13. The Beraisa (above, 5b, 4:b:6) mentioned that
according to R. Yehudah the status is considered
unknown unless there is an old man or rabbinical
scholar there. Observation: A rabbinical scholar is
responsible for keeping track of matters of his