she’eina tzricha l’gufah
What does l’gufah mean?
stated, the 39 prohibited melachos of Shabbos are
taken from the melachos used to construct the
Mishkan. An important criterion is that a melacha
must be performed in the same manner and with the same
intention as it was performed in the Mishkan.
Performing a melacha with the same intention as in
the Mishkan is called l’gufah – for the
purpose of the melacha. When performed for a
different purpose, it is eina tzricha l’gufah or not
Can you present such a case?
Mishkan, a pit was dug for the sake of the pit - not for
the sand. Consequently, if one digs a pit for the sake of
the pit, one is liable to bring a korban chatas (when
b’shogeig) for violating a biblical prohibition.
Conversely, if one digs a pit to obtain sand, one has
performed the melacha for a different purpose than
intended in the Mishkan and is eina tzricha
Is it a violation of a biblical
gemora cites a machlokes between R’ Yehuda and R’
Shimon, where R’ Yehuda holds that a melacha
she’eina tzricha l’gufah is biblically prohibited
and R’ Shimon holds that a melacha she’eina
tzricha l’gufah is rabbinically prohibited.
Consequently, one who digs a pit for the sand, according to
R’ Shimon, has violated a d’rabanan not a
Which opinion is the halacha?
presents the following scenario:- one finds a burning hot
coal in the street on Shabbos and it is possible that
someone might not realize it is there and might burn
himself. The Shulchan Aruch says that one may
extinguish it, whether it is metal or wood, and the
Rambam prohibits extinguishing a wooden coal.
This is a
case of melacha she’eina tzricha l’gufah,
where most Rishonim learn that it is only an issur
d’rabanan but the Rambam holds that it is an
Raba, cited by the Mishna Berura, rules according
to the first and major opinion, that it is an issur
Why is extinguishing a wooden coal
a melacha she’eina tzricha l’gufah?
wicks were extinguished in the Mishkan for one purpose only
- they were lit and extinguished soon thereafter, either to
make coals or to singe the wick to enable easier igniting at
a later time. This unique extinguishing is for the sake of
the wick and coal and not for any other purpose.
Extinguishing for a different purpose, such as to prevent
harm or because the light disturbs, is not for the same
purpose done in the Mishkan and is eina tzricha
Is it an issur d’rabanan?
is an issur d'rabanan but the poskim do not
treat it as a regular d'rabanan; it is more severe.
The Mishna Berura writes
that a melacha she'eina tzricha l'gufah is more
severe than a regular d'rabanan because the same
action can involve an issur d'oraisso
according to all opinions.
What is the difference between a
davar sheino miskavein and eina tzricha l'gufah?
b'ezras Hashem learn about davar sheino miskavein
in future shiurim, but in brief, a davar sheino miskavein
is a deed that arises as a result of another action. One of
the most famous examples is 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. This is a davar
difference between this and a melacha she'eina
tzricha l'gufah is that in the former one does not
intend doing the melacha at all, whereas in the
latter, one intends doing the actual melacha albeit
for a different purpose.
Are there other examples of eina
Mishkan, people donated items towards its construction
and (during the week) they brought items from their homes (a
reshus hayachid) to the center (a reshus harabim).
This action on Shabbos is called hotza'ah – carrying
from a reshus hayachid to a reshus harabim.
The purpose was to transfer an item and place it in the
reshus harabim because one needed the item in the
the garbage from one's house (a reshus hayachid) into
the garbage can (dustbin) in the street is a melacha
she'eina tzricha l'gufah because one removes
garbage for the sake of removing it from one's home and not
in order to fill the garbage can.
it is ossur to take out garbage when there is no
eiruv (and handling garbage is also an issue on account of
muktze) nevertheless we are discussing this to
appreciate the difference between the two types of carrying.
A candle is burning in an ill
person's room, what can be done?
Even when pikuach nefesh is involved, it is far
preferable to carry the candle out of the room rather than
extinguishing it. Carrying the candle is merely handling
muktze as opposed to extinguishing, which is a
melacha she'eina tzricha l'gufah. Although
carrying muktze is a d'rabanan and
extinguishing in this case is also a d'rabanan,
nevertheless we observed that eina tzricha l'gufah is
not a regular d'rabanan but is treated far stricter.
Consequently carrying is a far better solution.