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) THE SMALL BOATS ON THE MEISHAN RIVER
QUESTION: The Gemara states that one may not carry an object more than four
Amos in small boats (canoes, according to RASHI) on Shabbos, because the
boat only becomes four Tefachim wide *above* a height of three Tefachim
from the floor of the boat, and thus the boat is not considered to be a
Even though the boat is not a Reshus ha'Yachid, it should also not be
considered a Karmelis, since a Karmelis also must be four Tefachim wide.
Rather, the boat should be considered a Mekom Petur, and it should not be
forbidden to carry within it! (TOSFOS DH Hani)
(a) The RITVA answers that the Rabanan consider an area a Karmelis even if
it does not have walls that are four Tefachim apart that *reach the
ground*, even though the walls must reach the ground in order to be defined
as a Reshus ha'Yachid. The SEFAS EMES adds that although a Karmelis must
have an *area* of four by four Tefachim, it does not need *Mechitzos*
enclosing the area in order for it to be a Karmelis.
(b) The RITVA cites in the name of his Rebbi, the RE'AH, that indeed, even
in a Mekom Petur one is forbidden to carry an object four Amos! Even though
we find that one is allowed to carry from a Mekom Petur to a Reshus
ha'Yachid or to a Reshus ha'Rabim and from those domains to a Mekom Petur,
only *transferring* between domains is permitted. Within the Mekom Petur
itself, it is forbidden to carry four Amos.
(c) Since the boat is constantly moving, it is not considered to set aside
a Reshus of its own (which is a Mekom Petur). Rather, it is subordinate to
the sea on which it is floating, which is a Karmelis. Thus, the boat is a
Karmelis and one may not carry four Amos in a Karmelis. However, if the
boat had had the proper dimensions to be considered a Reshus ha'Yachid, it
would not be subordinate to the sea, because a Reshus ha'Yachid is always
significant unto itself. (M. Kornfeld, based on RASHBA on 5a)
(d) TOSFOS argues with Rashi and gives a completely different explanation
for the Gemara. The Gemara is not talking about a canoe, but rather it is
referring to a floatation device that looks like an open raft or dinghy.
The middle of the raft is open and has no floor. It is partially submerged,
and people sit, partially submerged, on the bench-like perimeter of the
raft. The raft itself is more than four by four Tefachim wide. (In
accordance with his definition of the small boat, Tosfos understands many
points in the Gemara completely differently).
(2) THE BREACH OF FISH
QUESTION: The Gemara explains that the presence of fish swimming under a
hanging wall is not considered to be a breach of that wall, and even the
area under the wall is still considered to be an extension of the wall
("Gud Achis"). The Gemara adduces proof for this from a statement of Rav,
who said that a "hanging Mechitzah" (i.e. a wall that does not reach the
ground) is not Halachically extended except when it is over water, and this
is a "leniency with regard to water which the Chachamim permitted." It must
be that the fact that fish swim under the wall does not invalidate the
presence of the Halachic extension of the wall.
If it is true that a breach caused by fish is never a problem, why does Rav
call this a "*leniency* with regard to water?" It is not a leniency; it is
ANSWER: The RITVA answers that in truth, the presence of fish should have
been considered a breach in the Halachic wall, for two reasons: (1) The
presence of fish should be no different than the presence of any other
animal, and (2) fish swim under the hanging wall more frequently and with
greater ease than animals crawl under a wall hanging over land.
Nevertheless, the Chachamim were lenient and applied the rule of Gud Achis
because fish are not visible, as Rashi comments in the Sugya.