THOUGHTS ON THE DAILY DAF
brought to you by Kollel Iyun Hadaf of Har Nof
Rosh Kollel: Rav Mordecai Kornfeld
Ask A Question about the Daf
1) REMEMBERING SHABBOS WHILE FORGETTING ALL THE MELACHOS
QUESTION: The Gemara says that it is not possible to forget every Melachah
of Shabbos and still know that it is Shabbos. Why not? Let him remember (a)
the Mitzvah to recite Kidush and Havdalah, or the Mitzvah of Oneg Shabbos,
or (b) let him remember the Mitzvos Aseh of resting on Shabbos ("Shabason"
cf. end of Daf 24b)!
(a) The RITVA explains that the Mitzvos of Oneg and Kidush/Havdalah are not
the essence of Shabbos. In fact, their whole purpose is to remind one of
the prohibition to do Melachah on Shabbos. Therefore, if a person remembers
them but does not remember the Melachos, that is not considered remembering
Shabbos. This does not answer, though, why remembering the Mitzvos Aseh of
resting on Shabbos does not qualify as remembering Shabbos.
(b) TOSFOS (DH d'Yada) leaves this (b) as a question. The RITVA, though,
answers that just like Reish Lakish maintains that having knowledge that
Melachah on Shabbos is prohibited by a Lav prevents a person from being
considered a Shogeg (even though he is mistaken regarding Kares), so, too,
if a person knows that there is an Isur Aseh not to work on Shabbos (a
Mitzvas Aseh which manifests itself in a prohhibition), it is also
considered like one transgressed willfully and is not considered "Shogeg."
Since we are looking for a case which even Reish Lakish will consider a
Shogeg, it must be that the person does not know that there is *any*
prohibtion of Melachah on Shabbos, even an Aseh.
(Tosfos and the other Rishonim who do not suggest that answer apparently
disagree with the Ritva's assumptions.)
2) STRANDED IN THE DESERT
The Gemara concludes that a person who is wandering in the desert and loses
track of what day of the week it is must count six days and observe the
seventh as Shabbos. During the six interim days (as well as the seventh),
because of the doubt that one of them might be Shabbos, he is permitted to
perform only enough Melachah to keep himself alive, but no more. The
seventh day is unique only in that Kidush and Havdalah is recited that day.
3) BLESSINGS FOR A DAY WHICH IS IN DOUBT
The VILNA GA'ON finds a hint to this Halachah in the verses of the
commandment of observing Shabbos in the Ten Commandments. The verse states,
"Six days you shall work, and you shall do *all* of your work, and on the
seventh day you shall rest for Hashem your G-d; you shall not do *any*
work..." (Shemos 20:9-10).
(a) Why does the Torah have to tell us to work six days?
ANSWER: The verse is not only commanding us to "observe" Shabbos
("Zachor"), but it is also commanding us to remember, and not to *forget*
what day is Shabbos.
(b) Why does the Torah stress that during the week we must do *all* of our
(c) Why does the Torah stress that on Shabbos we must not do *any* of our
(a,b) If we remember what day is Shabbos, we will *be able to* perform
*all* of our work, and not just the bare minimum necessary for life.
(c) And by remembering what day is Shabbos, when Shabbos comes we will be
able to rest from *all* forms of work and not have to do *any* work, not
even work necessary for life. (KOL ELIYAHU, Parshas Yisro, #63)
QUESTION: The Gemara says that a person who does not know what day is
Shabbos should not do any Melachah on any day except for Melachah which is
absolutely necessary for his survival. On the seventh day, he should recite
Kidush and Havdalah in order to remind himself of the concept of a seventh
day being designated unique as Shabbos.
However, if that day is not really Shabbos, why is it permitted to recite
the blessings of Kidush and Havdalah?
(a) The RITVA, in his first answer, says that when the Gemara says that one
should recite these blessings, it means that one should recite them without
(b) In his second answer, the RITVA says that since Berachah l'Vatalah,
reciting a blessing in vain, is prohibited mid'Rabanan, in this situation
the Rabanan permitted it for Kavod Shabbos.
(c) The RADVAZ (1:76) says that when the Torah commands us to observe the
Shabbos, the Torah only requires a person to keep one day out of seven as
Shabbos, and not necessarily "Saturday." However, since the people in any
given area have accepted upon themselves a certain day to be Shabbos, that
day becomes Shabbos in that place, and a person would be Chayav Sekilah for
not keeping that day. In a desert, though, no day has been established as
Shabbos, and so one who forgets what day is Shabbos may keep *his* seventh
day (with certain conditions, see the Radvaz there). According to the
Radvaz, the prohibition for this person to do Melachah on the other six
days is only a stringency that the Rabanan enacted (and not a result of a
real doubt when Shabbos is), and the seventh day that he chooses to observe
is truly Shabbos. (The Radvaz proposes this in response to the question of
what day to observe as Shabbos past the International Dateline. See
Parasha-Page, Emor 5756.)