Join Meir Panim’s campaign to “light up” Chanukah for families in need.
“On Shabbat, every person must remain in his residence,” said Moshe to the people, forbidding them to walk more than a certain distance beyond their desert encampment. This distance, which measures two thousand amot – about two thirds of a mile – is known as techum Shabbat. It is the same distance that stretched from the perimeters of the Levite cities to their outlying suburbs.
These are the biblical sources on which the rabbis rely when prohibiting one from walking beyond the techum Shabbat. One may walk up to 2,000 amot in any direction from one’s residence on Shabbat, but not beyond. The “beyond the techum” prohibition applies both on Shabbat and Yom Tov, as well as on Yom Kippur. It does not, however, apply in any area that can be legally defined as a reshut hayachid, a private domain, including an area that has been transformed into a reshut hayachid by means of an enclosure – an eruv.
What constitutes a person’s residence from which the 2,000 amot are measured? That depends on where the person finds himself at the onset of Shabbat. If he finds himself in a walled or otherwise enclosed city, the 2,000 amot is measured from the city walls irrespective of the size of the city. Accordingly, a person can walk on Shabbat tens upon tens of miles to the city walls and then another 2,000 amot. If he finds himself at the onset of Shabbat in a city without walls, the 2,000 amot is measured from the end of the city.
For this purpose, a city is defined as any place that has at least three streets with at least two permanent houses in each street. The “end of the city” is that point at which one house is more than 70 amot (between 105 feet and 140 feet) away from the next house. Accordingly, on Shabbat a person can walk through country villages until he reaches the last house within 70 amot of the previous one and then another 2,000 amot.
What happens if one wants to attend a synagogue, visit a friend or just take a Shabbat stroll beyond the techum Shabbat? One may do so by performing a ceremony called “eruvei techumin.” This ceremony allows one to walk a total of 4,000 amot in one chosen direction by symbolically moving one’s point of residence at the onset of Shabbat 2,000 amot in the direction one wishes to walk on Shabbat. However, these additional 2,000 amot that one may now walk on Shabbat in one chosen direction are not free. One has traded them for the 2,000 amot one could have walked in the opposite direction had one not performed eruvei techumin.
There are two ways to conduct the eruv ceremony. One method is to travel before Shabbat to a point not more than two thousand amot from one’s original residence, remain there until after twilight, bein hashmashot, and then walk home. This point then becomes one’s new symbolic residence. The following day, Shabbat, one may walk back to one’s symbolic residence plus an additional 2,000 amot from there.
The alternative, and most commonly used, method is for the person or his agent to place a sufficient amount of food for two meals at a point not more then 2,000 amot from one’s original residence before Shabbat. At that point and time, one articulates one’s intention to acquire that place as one’s new symbolic residence. One then makes the eruv blessing and returns home, this time before bein hashmashot. This point then becomes one’s new symbolic residence. This alternative method of eruvei techumin, once performed, is valid for all Shabbatot of the year, provided, however, that the food remains at the symbolic residence and remains edible. For this purpose matzot can be used.
May a person who has boarded a ship before Shabbat sail beyond the techum on Shabbat? This question is left unresolved in tractate Eruvin. It depends on whether the law, which provides that a public domain ends at the height of ten tefachim above the ground for the purpose of carrying on Shabbat, also applies for the purpose of walking beyond the techum on Shabbat. If it does, then one may sail beyond the techum because the hull of a ship is typically more than ten tefachim above the bed of the sea, so that one is not deemed to be traveling in a reshut harabim.
About the Author: Raphael Grunfeld’s book, “Ner Eyal on Seder Moed” (distributed by Mesorah) is available at OU.org and your local Jewish bookstore. His new book, “Ner Eyal on Seder Nashim & Nezikin,” will be available shortly.
If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.
Comments are closed.
Rabbi Yaakov Nagen, a Ram at Yeshivat Otniel, notes that the verse is suggesting that retelling the story of the Exodus is so important that Hashem is performing ever-greater miracles specifically so that parents can tell their stories to future generations.
Before performing the 10th plague God makes a fundamental argument about the ultimate nature of justice.
Life Before The Printed Word
‘A Revi’is Of Blood’
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.
“It means that the disqualification of relatives as witnesses is a procedural issue, not a question of honesty,” explained Rabbi Dayan.
Property ownership is an extremely important and fundamental right and principle according to the Torah.
The tenderest description of the husband/wife relationship is “re’im v’ahuvim/loving, kind friends”
And if a person can take steps to perform the mitzvah, he should do so (even if he won’t be held accountable for not performing it due to circumstances beyond his control).
Suddenly, she turns to me and says, “B’emet, I need to thank you, you made me excited to come back to Israel.”
Pesach is called “zikaron,” a Biblical term used describing an object eliciting a certain memory
Recouping $ and assets from Germans and Swiss for their Holocaust actions is rooted in the Exodus
Pharaoh perverted symbols of life (the Nile and midwives) into agents of death.
I think that we have to follow the approach of the Tannaim and Amoraim. They followed the latest scientific developments of their time.
A more difficult situation arises when there is no evidence placing the missing husband at the site of the death.
When the inability cannot be clearly attributed to either spouse, the halacha is the subject of debate among the Rishonim.
The child of a Jewish mother from a union with a non-Jewish father is not a mamzer.
Although the conversion ceremony involves more than circumcision and immersion, these are the two essential requirements, without which the conversion is ineffective.
If a man dies childless, the Torah commands the deceased’s brother to marry his brother’s widow in a ceremony known as yibum, or to perform a special form of divorce ceremony with her known as chalitzah.
What if, at the moment of the late brother’s death, the surviving brother cannot effect yibum because the widow is a niddah?
Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/judaism/halacha-hashkafa/eruvei-techumin-ships-planes-and-mashiach/2013/04/24/
Scan this QR code to visit this page online: