ANSWERS TO REVIEW QUESTIONS
prepared by Rabbi Eliezer Chrysler
Kollel Iyun Hadaf, Jerusalem
Previous daf Moed Katan 4
(a) Rebbi Yochanan disagrees with the previous explanation (of Rebbi
Yitzchak and Rav Nachman bar Yitzchak). He maintains that Raban Gamliel and
his Beis Din rescinded the Takanah of Beis Hillel and Beis Shamai min
ha'Torah. He learns from a 'Gezeirah-Shavah' "Shabbos" "Shabbos" from
Shabbos Bereishis - that, just like by Shabbos Bereishis, only the day
itself is forbidden, so too by Sh'mitah, will only the Sh'mitah-year itself
be forbidden, but not the period prior to it and after it. Note: Rebbi
Yochanan does not seem to hold of Tosefes Shabbos (see Rosh Hashanah 9a).
(b) His explanation is unacceptable however - because, whether Tosefes
Sh'mitah is learned from a Pasuk or from a Halachah, how can a
'Gezeirah-Shavah' uproot either of them?
(c) Rav Ashi amends Rebbi Yochanan's explanation. He explains that in fact,
Raban Gamliel and his Beis-Din hold like Rebbi Yishmael, that the Derashah
of "be'Charish u've'Katzir Tishbos" pertains to Shabbos and not to forbid
Tosefes Sh'mitah. Consequently, we can revert to the explanation that we
gave above (at the end of Daf 3b., question 7b. namely, that it was indeed
Beis Shamai and Beis Hillel who decreed Tosefes Sh'mitah [from Pesach and
from Shavu'os] but that, when they issued the decree, they stipulated that a
later Beis-Din would be able to rescind it)
(a) The Tana of our Mishnah forbids using Mei Kilon (water in a pit) to
water a Beis ha'Shalachin because of the excessive trouble involved.
According to Rebbi Yochanan, he decrees rain-water (that is flowing and does
not involve excessive trouble) in case one will then go on to use Mei Kilon.
According to Rav Ashi, it is because rain-water itself, before the pits
become full (or after the rain stops - Rabeinu Chanan'el), needs to be drawn
and *is* therefore Mei Kilon.
(b) Rebbi Zeira quotes ... Shmuel who says that one is permitted to water
one's field on Chol ha'Mo'ed from rivers that draw their water from pools -
and we do not issue a decree forbidding it because the water in the pools
may come to an end, and obtaining a new source of water (on Chol ha'Mo'ed)
will involve excessive trouble (Tircha Yeseira).
(c) Shmuel does not decree where there is no Tircha Yeseira because of where
there is - and this is also the opinion of Rav Ashi, who only forbids
rainwater because it *is* Mei Kilon, but not *because* of Mei Kilon (but it
does not does conform with the opinion of Rebbi Yochanan, who decrees one
because of the other).
(d) Rebbi Yirmiyah asked Rebbi Zeira (who permitted watering one's field in
Bavel from pools of water), why the pools of Bavel should be any different
than Mei Kilon, which might dry up and are therefore forbidden. He replied -
that the pools of Bavel do not tend to dry up.
(a) The Tana of the Beraisa permits using the water from pools on Chol
ha'Mo'ed, provided a stream flows between them - because, should the pools
dry up, one can always take to using the water from the stream to water
one's fields without excessive trouble.
(b) Rav Papa adds the requirement that one must be able to water most of the
field from that stream at the same time. Rav Ashi maintains that this is not
necessary - because, seeing as that stream is so conveniently located, he
will nevertheless water his field from it (even if it takes two or three
days instead of one) rather than getting involved in searching for other
sources of water.
(c) One may water a Sadeh Beis ha'Shalachin from a pool of water (even when
there is no stream flowing from it) - if the water is dripping into the pool
from another (which is situated above it), but only as long as the water is
(d) In addition, Abaye adds - that the original fountain (which feeds the
higher Beis ha'Shalachin) has not dried up.
(a) Rebbi Shimon ben Menasya forbids carrying water from a lower field to a
higher one - because of the trouble that this entails.
(b) Rebbi Elazar b'Rebbi Shimon is even more stringent - forbidding even the
transportation of water from a lower area in a field to a higher one in the
(a) One may water vegetables on Chol ha'Mo'ed - as long as one intends to
pick them and eat them on Chol ha'Mo'ed, but not if it is to enhance their
growth for after the Chag.
(b) Rabah Tosfa'ah asked Ravina to place a certain man in Cherem one Chol
ha'Mo'ed - because he was watering vegetables on Chol'ha'Mo'ed.
(c) Ravina proved to him from a Beraisa that it is permitted to water
vegetables as long as one intends to eat them on Chol ha'Mo'ed (i.e. that
that is what 'Madlin li'Yerakos ... ' means) - Rabah Tosfa'ah interpreted
'Madlin li'Yerakos ... ' to mean that, when the vegetables are growing too
closely, one is permitted to remove some of them to enable the rest to grow
(d) Rabah Tosfa'ah conceded 'I Tanya, Tanya'.
(a) Rav Yehudah translates Ugi'os for the vines (forbidden by our Mishnah on
Chol ha'Mo'ed) as 'Banchi' - circular ditches surrounding the vines.
(b) Rav Yehudah himself, who permitted the people of Tzisa'i to dig 'Banchi'
for their vineyards on Chol-ha'Mo'ed - permitted only the re-digging of old
ones that had become stopped up (which does not involve excessive work), but
not new ones.
(a) Rebbi Zeira and Rebbi Aba bar Mamal argue over Rebbi Elazar ben
Azaryah's reason for forbidding digging the course of a stream in the
Sh'mitah year. One of them says because it resembles digging in one's
field - the other one, because throwing the dug earth onto the stream's
banks looks as if one is creating a new source for seeding.
(b) We suggest that the difference between them will be a case where the
water flows along the bed as he digs, since that hardly resembles normal
digging. We reject this suggestion however - on the grounds that even the
first opinion will have to admit that it looks as if he is creating a new
source of seeding and is therefore forbidden.
(c) So we give the difference as being a case where the digger throws the
earth beyond the stream's banks, in which case, it no longer looks as if he
is preparing them for sowing. This opinion does not forbid it nonetheless,
due to the fact that it *resembles* digging - because he maintains, it does
*not*, seeing as someone who digs, normally leaves the earth where it is.
(a) The Tana Kama in a Mishnah in Shevi'is says 'Oseh Adam es Zivlo Otzer' -
meaning that one is permitted to pile up all one's manure in his field.
(b) But Rebbi Meir forbids it (because it conveys the impression that he is
manuring his field), unless he places it in a ditch three Tefachim deep or
on a mound three Tefachim high. Rebbi Meir concedes however, that it is
permitted even when there is no ditch or mound - if some manure was placed
there already before the Sh'mitah.
(c) Rebbi Elazar ben Azaryah is the most strict of all - he agrees with
Rebbi Meir's stringency, but not with his concession.
(a) Ameimar gave Rebbi Elazar ben Azaryah's reason for forbidding the
digging of a source of a stream as being because it resembles digging in a
field. But didn't we just learn - that Rebbi Elazar ben Azaryah himself
agrees with Rebbi Meir, who permits digging a trench of three Tefachim in
which to place his manure?
(b) Rebbi Zeira and Rebbi Aba bar Mamal give two reasons as to why the
latter case (the Mishnah in Shevi'is) is different. One says because it
speaks when he already dug the ditch beforehand - the other one says that
the fact that he later fills the ditch with manure demonstrates that he is
not digging it in order to cultivate the field, and is therefore permitted.
(a) Rebbi Aba explains 'u'Mesaknin es ha'Mekulkeles' (in our Mishnah) to
mean that if five Tefachim of a stream that was one Amah deep became stopped
up - one is permitted to re-dig the stream to its previous depth of six
Tefachim. It is obvious that this will be forbidden if the stream had an
original depth of ...
1. ... *three* Tefachim, and two and *half* Tefachim became stopped up -
because three Tefachim is too shallow to be of much use (making it an
(b) Rebbi Aba's She'eilah is in the case of a stream that was originally
seven Tefachim deep, five of which became stopped up? It might be ...
2. ... *twelve* Tefachim, of which *ten* Tefachim became stopped up -
because, even though the proportion is the same as five Tefachim to six,
this is more depth than one needs (making it here too, an unnecessary
1. ... permitted - because he is digging five Tefachim, exactly the same as
in the original case permitted by our Mishnah.
(c) Abaye permitted the removal of branches from the river bed on Chol
ha'Mo'ed; Rebbi Yirmiyah permitted clearing the source of a river that
became stopped-up, and Rav Ashi permitted clearing away a large pile of
rubble that had formed in the middle of a river. The reason for all these
concessions is - because whatever is Tzorchei Rabim is permitted on Chol
ha'Mo'ed, even if it involves excessive trouble, even if it is done in
public and even if it could have been done beforehand (see Rosh, Si'man 6).
2. ... forbidden - because one of those five Tefachim is unnecessary and is
therefore considered a Tircha Yeseirah.