web analytics
March 2, 2015 / 11 Adar , 5775
At a Glance
Judaism
Sponsored Post


Daf Yomi

Daf-Yomi-logo

Size Is Indicative Of Importance
‘He Took Out Wood to Cook an Egg…’
(Shabbos 89b)

The Ramban and the Rashba, both Rishonim, were in fact mentor and student. In the chapters of Meseches Shabbos currently studied, the Gemara describes at great length the minimum size requirements of dozens of different objects for which a person would be liable if he carried them on Shabbos. Specks of dust, breadcrumbs and the like, are all negligible; therefore, carrying them does not constitute meleches hotza’ah.

Solids And Liquids

The Pnei Yehoshua (Shabbos 76b) notes an interesting contrast between the minimum requirements of liquids and foods. In regard to liquids, the Gemara dictates different measurements for each liquid. In regard to animal foods, the Gemara distinguishes between different foods according to the requirements of the animals that generally eat each type of food. In regard to human foods, however, the Gemara dictates one standard measurement for them all – k’grogeres, the size of a dried fig.

Halacha l’Moshe Mi’Sinai

The Pnei Yehoshua explains, based on a Gemara in Meseches Eruvin (4b), that the size requirement for human food – k’grogeres – was transmitted to Moshe Rabbeinu on Har Sinai. Hence, we do not apply our own reasoning to determine what size of each different type of food makes one liable for carrying on Shabbos. However, Heaven did not inform Moshe what measurement would make one liable for carrying various types of liquids, animal foods, or other articles. Rather, Heaven gave Moshe, and the Sages who would succeed him, the authority to determine the minimum requirement of each item based on their own understanding of each item’s relative importance.

Food Expansion

The Gemara rules that if a piece of food smaller than a dried fig expands to that size, one would be liable for carrying it outside. The Ramban notes an apparent contradiction in Meseches Menachos (54a). The minimum size concerning most mitzvos and aveiros is the size of an olive. If a piece of food is smaller than an olive and then expands to that size, it does not acquire the legal significance of an olive – neither in regard to mitzvos (such as eating matzah) nor in regard to aveiros (such as eating non-kosher meat). Why is the dried fig measurement treated differently than the olive measurement?

The Ramban leaves his question unanswered, confessing that he is unable to find a distinction between hilchos Shabbos (which requires the dried fig measurement) and the other mitzvos and aveiros mentioned in Menachos (which require the olive measurement).

Two Contrasting Measures

In answer to his own rebbe’s question, the Rashba suggests that whereas other mitzvos and aveiros are measured by size, matters concerning hilchos Shabbos are measured by importance. Size is merely an indicator of importance. Thus, if a food item is less than the size of an olive but then is inflated by air pockets inside it, the actual size of the food has not increased. Thus, there is no legal significance to this expansion. It still is unimportant. However, in regard to hilchos Shabbos, we must concede that people view a larger piece of food as more important, even if its increased size is only due to the air pockets inside it.

Perhaps we might explain that the Ramban rejected this answer, based on the Gemara in Eruvin cited above by the Pnei Yehoshua. True, in regard to hotza’ah, most objects are measured by their importance. However, the dried fig measurement for human food is not based on each item’s relative importance. It is rather a fixed measurement which Heaven transmitted to Moshe on Har Sinai. Therefore, there should be no distinction between the olive and dried fig measurements. That’s why the Ramban couldn’t answer his question.

About the Author: RABBI YAAKOV KLASS, rav of Congregation K’hal Bnei Matisyahu in Flatbush, Brooklyn, is Torah Editor of The Jewish Press. He can be contacted at yklass@jewishpress.com. RABBI GERSHON TANNENBAUM, rav of Congregation Bnai Israel of Linden Heights, Boro Park, Brooklyn, is the Director of Igud HaRabbanim – The Rabbinical Alliance of America.


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

No Responses to “Daf Yomi”

Comments are closed.

Current Top Story
Some 1,500 teens from around the world at the Chabad CTeen convention hear a personal greeting from UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on March 1, 2015.
Ban Ki-moon Greets 1,500 Jewish Teens at Chabad CTeen Convention
Latest Judaism Stories
Esther Denouncing Haman

Purim is the battleground of extremes, Amalek and Yisrael, with Zoroastrian Persia in between.

Niehaus-022715

One should not give the money before Purim morning or after sunset.

Mendlowitz-022715-Basket

The mishloach manos of times gone by were sometimes simple and sometimes elaborate, but the main focus was on the preparation of the delicious food they contained.

Winiarz-022715-Kids

Does Hashem ever go away and not pay attention to us?

In other words, the Torah is an expression of the Way that we must follow in order to live a divine-like life and to bond in the highest way possible with God or Being Itself.

The Chasam Sofer answers that one of only prohibited from wearing a garment that contains shatnez if he does so while wearing the garment for pleasure purposes.

The avodah (service) of the kohen gadol is vital and highly sensitive; the world’s very existence depends on it.

Moreover, even if the perpetrator of the capital offense is never actually executed, such as when the fatal act was unintentional, Kam Lei applies and the judge cannot award damages.

Forever After?
‘Obligated for Challahh and Not Terumah’
(Kesubos 25a)

Question: If Abraham was commanded to circumcise his descendants on the eighth day, why do Arabs – who claim to descend from Abraham through Yishmael – wait until their children are 13 to circumcise them? I am aware that this is a matter of little consequence to our people. Nevertheless, this inconsistency is one that piques my curiosity.

M. Goldman
(Via E-mail)

“We really appreciate your efforts in straightening the shul,” said Mr. Reiss. “How is it going?”

This was a spontaneous act of rest after the miracle of vanquishing their respective foes. The following year they celebrated on the same days as a minhag.

The way we must to relate to our young adult children is to communicate with genuine loving-kindness

Jewish prayer is a convergence of 2 modes of biblical spirituality, exemplified by Moses and Aaron

In holy places it’s important to maintain a level of silence permitting people to dialogue with God

More Articles from Rabbi Yaakov Klass and Rabbi Gershon Tannenbaum
Daf-Yomi-logo

The Threat Of Death
‘Sign or Else…’
(Kesubos 19a)

Daf-Yomi-logo

Tethered To The Mother
‘If She Is Fit, Her Daughter Is Also Fit’
(Kesubbos 13b)

A Joy And A Blessing
‘Rejoicing All Seven Days’
(Kesubbos 4b)

An Explosion In The Trench
‘With A Glowing Hot Knife’
(Yevamos 120b)

Life Before The Printed Word
‘A Revi’is Of Blood’
(Yevamos 114a-b)

Mitzvah Or Kinyan?
‘Both Shall Have Intention At The Same Time’
(Yevamos 102b)

A Kohen Of Choice
‘A Deaf-Mute, A Mentally Challenged Person, A Minor…’
(Yevamos 99b)

A Posted Picture Saves The Day
‘In Order To Avoid Igun…’
(Yevamos 88a)

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/judaism/halacha-hashkafa/daf-yomi-57/2012/12/27/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: