Davar She'eino Miskavein
What is the definition of a
davar she'eino miskavein?
A davar sheino
miskavein is a deed that arises as a result of another
action. As mentioned in last shiur, dragging a bench in a
field and the bench plows a groove in the field - a
melacha of plowing – choresh. One needs the bench
and unintentionally it plows the field.
The direct action is
dragging the bench and the indirect action, a result of the
action, is the furrow.
Davar she'eino miskavein
This sounds like g'rama more than anything else?
There is a major
difference between the two.
A davar she'eino
miskavein is a direct result of one's action usually
taking place at the same time as the primary deed, or
immediately after, while g'rama takes place later.
We will see the difference
with the following example. Washing hands over a lawn is a
davar she'eino miskavein. One's primary deed is
washing hands and the secondary deed is the lawn being
watered. Watering the lawn is not intended (eino
miskavein) and is a by-product of one's primary deed.
Example of g'rama are
placing water on a carpet in wake of fire and the water
extinguishes the fire when the fire eventually reaches the
water, or placing plastic bags filled with water in wake of
a fire and the fire consumes the bags, causing the water to
extinguish the fire. In both cases one is not acting
directly, unlike the davar she'eino miskavein,
which is a direct action.
What is the halacha with regards to davar she'eino miskavein?
We must divide
davar she'eino miskavein into two major parts, p'sik
reisha and not a p'sik reisha. P'sik reisha
itself is divided into two parts, nicha lei and lo
means "it will definitely
happen". In the case of dragging the bench across a field
and the bench is heavy enough and the ground soft enough, it
will make a furrow – this is a p'sik reisha.
means that one is happy with the outcome.
Lo nicha lei
means that one is unhappy with the outcome.
Another famous term is known
as lo ichpas lei,
which means one is indifferent to the outcome. In most
cases, lo ichpas lei is equivalent to lo nicha lei
as we will see.
Is the halacha
different in each case?
A p'sik reisha
d'nicha lei is ossur mid'oraisso – biblically
prohibited. Practically speaking, if one is happy with the
fact that while washing hands over the lawn the garden is
being watered, it is ossur mid'oraisso.
What is the logic
behind p'sik reisha d'nicha lei?
Rav Elchonon Wasserman
ztz"l explains this as follows: A p'sik reisha
is not ossur
mid'oraisso (only d'rabanan), because one
considers the outcome of the secondary deed irrelevant as it
is not as if the person is performing it, but just a
consequence of the main act. If however one derives comfort
and is pleased with the outcome, it is considered as if one
intends for that outcome, rendering the secondary deed a
davar she'miskavein – one intends it to happen.
It is comparable to doing
two deeds at once, turning on a light with one hand and
separating (borer) with the other, in which case one
is chayav for both.
But I prefer not
to water the garden because it is Shabbos?
This is not a
valid argument because you really want to irrigate the
garden and it is only because of Shabbos that you do not
wish it to happen. When one forgets to turn off the light in
the refrigerator before Shabbos, one may not open the door
saying that one does not wish the light to go on, because
normally one is pleased with the outcome and it is only due
to the issur that one wishes the light not to go on.
[It is important to note that Rav Shlomo
Zalman Auerbach reiterates many times that he does not think
that the light turned on in the refrigerator is a p'sik
reisha rather a direct action, because it is connected
to operate in that manner.]
What is the halacha with p'sik reisha d'lo nicha lei?
There is a famous machlokes,
where the Aruch (cited in Tosefos Kesubos 6a)
holds that it is permitted and most other Rishonim
argue and hold that it is ossur mid'rabanan.
Halacha is in accordance with most Rishonim who
hold that it is ossur.
The same holds for p'sik
reisha d'lo ichpas lei, when one is not concerned with
Consequently, washing hands over someone
or in a forest is not a d'oraisso. It is nevertheless
Is there a
practical difference between lo nicha lei and lo ichpas lei?
Dragging a heavy
bench that creates a furrow over a lawn or path is lo
nicha lei because one does not want to ruin the lawn or
path. Dragging it in a forest or through an empty lot is
lo ichpas lei because one does not care whether it
creates a furrow or not.