‘If the Owner Retains a Holding There’
We learned in the mishnah (72a) that guests who sleep in an owner-occupied house (or courtyard) on a temporary basis (for less than 30 days – see Biur Halacha, Orach Chayim 370 sv “ve’hish’elan”) are not required to make an eruv (see Rashi, sv “ubeis Hillel Omrim”) even if they have private dining and sleeping quarters. However, if the house is occupied by long-term guests or tenants living in separate quarters, all the occupants are required to join in an eruv to permit carrying from their private quarters to the jointly used courtyard (or hallway).
The halacha follows R. Yehuda in the mishnah on our daf who asserts that in certain situations an eruv is not required for a courtyard occupied by a landlord and his tenants. R. Yehuda asserts that if the landlord retains “tefisas yad” – namely, he keeps some of his belongings in the rental units – no eruv is needed for the courtyard (or hallway in the case of an apartment house) because the tenants have the status of (temporary) guests residing in the landlord’s house.
The Gemara explains that the halacha of tefisas yad applies only if the items stored by the landlord in the tenant’s units are muktzeh and can’t be removed on Shabbos. If the stored items, however, are non-muktzeh and can be removed, an eruv is necessary.
The Tur (ad loc. O.C. 370) adds that if the stored items are very heavy, making their being moved rather unlikely, the tefisas yad exemption applies even if the items are not muktzeh.
Rav Moshe Feinstein (Responsa Igros Moshe, Orach Chayim Vol. 1:141), based on the halacha of tefisas yad, asserts that an eruv is not required in an owner-occupied apartment house (to permit tenants to carry from their apartments to the common hallway and courtyard) provided that the owner supplies his tenants such utilities as a stove or a refrigerator. Since these items belong to the owner and cannot be removed on Shabbos, R. Yehuda’s law of tefisas yad applies and the residents may carry from their apartments to the hallway and to their fellow neighbors’ apartments without need of an eruv.
The Chazon Ish (siman 82) asserts that R. Yehuda’s law of tefisas yad is applicable only in a situation where the owner retains the right to store his personal items in his tenants’ apartments. However, if the items maintained in the apartments are intended solely for the tenants’ use during the course of their tenancy – such as stoves and refrigerators – then they do not constitute a tefisas yad of the owner and an eruv is necessary.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org. 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.
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