web analytics
July 24, 2014 / 26 Tammuz, 5774
Israel at War: Operation Protective Edge
 
 
At a Glance
Judaism
Sponsored Post
IDC Advocacy Room IDC Fights War on Another Front

Student Union opens ‘hasbara’ room in effort to fill public diplomacy vacuum.



Home » Judaism » Parsha »

The Nature Of A Melachah


Taste-of-Lomdus-logo

This column is dedicated to the refuah sheleimah of Shlomo Eliezer ben Chaya Sarah Elka.

The Gemara in Shabbos 49b discusses different options regarding what the 39 melachos correspond to. One opinion in the Gemara holds that they correspond to the 39 times that the Torah uses the word “melachah.” The Gemara says that Rav Yosef asked whether the word “melachah” in the pasuk that describes when Yosef was going to Potifar’s house – “la’asos melachto” – is included in the count. The Gemara suggests that a sefer Torah be taken out and checked. The Gemara responds that it will not help to check, for Rav Yosef was unsure about something else, namely whether the count of the words of melachah included the pasuk in parshas Vayakhel, “vehamelachah haisa dayam,” or the pasuk that uses the word melachah regarding Yosef.

This uncertainty is caused because the word melachah in both pasukim can be interpreted differently. Regarding the pasuk by Yosef, there is a dispute whether Yosef had intended to go into the house to do his ordinary work. In this case the word melachah would be appropriately counted in the list of the 39 other times the Torah uses the word melachah. However, others opine that Yosef had intended to enter the house to tend to his own needs. In this view the word melachah is not a reference to the general word melachah.

The pasuk in parshas Vayakhel, “vehamelachah haisa dayam,” can be interpreted to mean that the melachah was complete, denoting that there was no more melachah.

In short, the Gemara is unsure which pasuk refers to the 39th in the list of times that the Torah uses the word melachah. Acharonim suggest that there is a halachic difference that would result, depending on which pasuk is included in the list. If we are to include the pasuk concerning Yosef, then a melachah she’eino tzericha legufa will be exempt. Why? Because if that pasuk is included in the list, the interpretation of that pasuk is that Yosef intended to perform his daily melachos. These melachos were those that were tzericha legufa. But if we are to include, as the 39th time, the pasuk in parshas Vayakhel that says that there was a sufficient amount of melachah already performed, then the melachah in that pasuk is referring to an unnecessary melachah. This should indicate that one would be prohibited from performing a melachah she’eino tzericha legufa according to the Torah, not only by rabbinic prohibition.

The Maharsha, in Baba Basra 119, says that the mekosesh eitzim (the individual who was mechallel Shabbos in the midbar) acted l’sheim shamayim. He was mechallel Shabbos so that bnei Yisrael would learn which form of death a mechallel Shabbos deserves, since prior to that point in time it was not clear which form of death a mechallel Shabbos deserved. He violated Shabbos thinking that it was a melachah she’eino tzericha legufa and therefore thought that he would not be put to death. He reasoned that his act of chillul Shabbos was a melachah she’eino tzericha legufa because he was only acting so that others would learn from the result – not because he wanted the melachah. The Maharsha concludes that indeed he was deserving of death because the witnesses who warned him not to be mechallel Shabbos were unaware of his intentions and he did not inform them of his intentions. Thus, in his scenario, he was deserving of death. However, if one makes clear that he is only acting so that others will learn from him we would consider his actions a melachah she’eino tzericha legufa.

Others argue that there is no indication from the pasuk in Vayakhel that one is Biblically prohibited from performing a melachah she’eino tzericha legufa. They do not hold that doing an unnecessary action should constitute a melachah she’eino tzericha legufa. The classic example of a melachah she’eino tzericha legufa is when one digs a hole in order to take the dirt. Generally, the melachah of digging is performed for the purpose of having a hole. In this situation the individual has performed the melachah of digging. However, he did it for a different purpose – namely to get the dirt. But if one performs a melachah that was unnecessary, provided that he did the melachah for the correct purpose, it will not be classified as a melachah she’eino tzericha legufa and will not be biblically prohibited. We do not take into consideration the motive behind why the individual performed the melachah. We only consider whether the action was done with the same purpose as the purpose in the Mishkan, e.g., digging to make a hole, regardless of why one needs a hole. If one digs a hole for the sake of having a hole, he is liable min haTorah.

About the Author: For questions or comments, e-mail RabbiRFuchs@gmail.com.


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 “The Nature Of A Melachah

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
UNRWA bags once had wheat -- Hamas now uses them to hide evidence of digging. Where did they get them ... Friends of the IDF photo - FB
Netanyahu Regrets Gaza Casualties, But Operation Continues
Latest Judaism Stories
The Yabok River

Today, we remain Hashem’s nachal.

Lenny1

Will Your brothers go to war, while you sit (in peace) here? (Bamidbar 32:6)

PTI-071814

Perhaps, just perhaps, we can relate to this: whenever we feel distant from Hashem, that is the Churban.

Parshat Matot

Over the next 2 weeks covering portion Matot and Maasei, Rabbi Fohrman will bring order to confusion.

Our home is in the center of the Holy Land, surrounded by (what else?) green hills and valleys.

“Sound fine,” said Mrs. Schwartz. “In the middle, paint their names, Shoshana and Yehonasan. He spells his name Yehonasan with a hei and is very particular about it!”

Question: I recently returned from a trip abroad and wanted to say HaGomel. When I mentioned this to the officers of my synagogue, however, they told me – as per the instructions of the synagogue’s rabbi – that I would have to wait until Shabbos to do so. I was not given any reason for this and did not wish to display my ignorance, so I quietly acquiesced. Can you please explain why I had to wait?

Name Withheld
(Via E-Mail)

We may not recognize the adverse affect of eating forbidden foods, but they leave an indelible imprint.

There are several rules that one must adhere to when making a neder.

Important message for Jews in the Diaspora: In times of need run to Israel rather than from Israel.

The negotiation between Moses and the tribes of Reuven and Gad is a model of conflict resolution.

Once again we find ourselves alone – a little lamb among wolves.

When we return to our routines, things don’t have to go back to exactly the way they were.

The Three Weeks determines the “who we are and how we live” as Jews.

More Articles from Rabbi Raphael Fuchs
Taste-of-Lomdus-logo

There are several rules that one must adhere to when making a neder.

Taste-of-Lomdus-logo

We need to understand why Moshe Rabbeinu decided to ask that his sons inherit his position after this new halacha was introduced.

If it is not prohibited when there is a purpose for inflicting the tza’ar, why was Bilam chastised for tza’ar ba’alei chaim?

How can we be certain that any animal can be counted toward ma’asar beheimah when perhaps it is a treifah?

This separation between Kohanim, Levi’im and Yisraelim obligates us to honor kohanim.

The pasuk says that since the halacha concerning a Mechallel Shabbos was uncertain, the mekoshesh was placed in custody until the halacha was clarified.

The question still remains on how to reconcile all of the different drashos that are derived from this pasuk.

    Latest Poll

    Do you think the FAA ban on US flights to Israel is political?






    View Results

    Loading ... Loading ...

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/judaism/parsha/the-nature-of-a-melachah/2013/03/06/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: