ANSWERS TO REVIEW QUESTIONS
prepared by Rabbi Eliezer Chrysler of Kollel Iyun Hadaf
Rosh Kollel: Rabbi Mordecai Kornfeld
(a) It is not obvious that a woman is permitted to open the knot with which she ties ...
1. ... her undershirt - because the Tana is speaking when the undershirt has two cords with which to tie it - one beneath the other. One might have thought, that since it is possible to remove it when only one of the cords is untied, a woman will leave one of the cords permanently tied, and only use the other (in which case that knot would be forbidden); so the Tana needs to tell us that this is not so.
2. ... her headdress - the Tana is talking about a wide headdress, which can be removed without being untied. There too, we might have thought that the knot is a permanent one since the woman will leave it tied, and remove it as it is, in which case there too, the Tana needs to tell us that this is not so.
(b) A woman will not pull of her head-dress without untying the knot, for fear that she may pull out some of her hair. And she will not remove her belt without untying it - because untying it is a more modest way of removing it.
(a) One Beraisa rules - that someone who unties the strap of a sandal or a sandal-lace is Chayav, a second Beraisa rules Patur Aval Asur and a third Beraisa, Mutar.
(b) We establish the Beraisa which rules Chayav, regarding both the strap of the sandal and the sandal-lace - with regard to the permanent knot which the sandal manufacturer initially made, when he affixed the lace to the sandal (this Beraisa is speaking about Arab manufacturers, who tended to fit the strap to the sandal).
(c) And we reconcile the Beraisa which rules Patur Aval Asur with that which rules Mutar with regard to ...
1. ... a sandal-lace - by establishing the former by a lace which the Rabbanan used to tie loosely round the leg (to enable them to remove the sandal [in the rain season] without untying it), and the latter by the B'nei Mechuza, who were more fussy about their appearance, and who would tie their sandals smartly around their legs, thus creating the need to untie them daily.
2. ... the strap of a sandal - by establishing the former by sandals that were manufactured without fitted laces, and where the laces were fitted by the owner using a temporary knot (which they tended to leave for 'a week or a month'; and the latter by a sandal which is shared by two people, and which therefore needed to be untied daily.
(a) When the strap of Rebbi Yirmiyah's sandal broke in a Karmelis, Rebbi Avahu advised him - to take a fresh reed (that is fit for animal food, and therefore not Muktzah) - to tie his sandal with it, and to proceed.
(b) Rav Yosef on the other hand, instructed Abaye to leave his sandals where they were, when the strap tore -because the latter was standing in a guarded place, and since the sandal was safe where it was, Rav Yosef did not permit Abaye to do likewise (since, strictly speaking, the sandal itself was Muktzah, as we shall now see).
(c) Abaye was surprised - that Rav Yosef's considered the sandal to be Muktzah, seeing as he was still able to use it, by changing it to the other foot. (That is because a sandal can be used on both feet. When the inside strap breaks, it can be repaired and used; when it breaks on the outside, it does not look nice when it is repaired, so one tends to turn it round, and use it on the other foot, with the repaired strap now on the inside).
(d) Rav Yosef explained that he ruled like Rebbi Yochanan who cited Rebbi Yehudah - who declared Muktzah a sandal whose outside strap tore.
(a) The Tana Kama of the Beraisa rules that if ...
1. ... both sandal-handles or straps (where they are attached to the sandal) of a Tamei sandal tear - the sandal is Tahor.
2. ... only one of them tears - it is remains Tamei.
(b) Rebbi Yehudah holds - that if only the outside strap tears, the sandal remains Tahor.
(c) Ula (and some say Rabah bar bar Chanah) Amar Rebbi Yochanan rules that, just as the Tana'im argue by Tum'ah, so too, do they argue by Shabbos, but not by Chalitzah. He cannot mean that ...
1. ... the Rabbanan argue with Rebbi Yehudah by Shabbos as well as by Tum'ah, but that they agree with him by Chalitzah (that the sandal with the outer strap broken is not a sandal and the Chalitzah is Pasul) - since we have learnt in a Mishnah in Yevamos, that Chalitzah performed with the left sandal on the right foot is Kasher (and the sandal under discussion is fit to turn round and wear on the right foot with the torn strap on the inside).
2. ... Rebbi Yehudah will argue with the Rabbanan by Shabbos, just like he argues by Tum'ah, but not by Chalitzah, where he will concede that it is a sandal, and the Chalitzah is Kasher - because, since the sandal is not considered a sandal with regard to Tum'ah and Shabbos, why should it be considered a sandal with regard to Chalitzah (unlike taking a right sandal off the left foot, which is basically a good sandal - and is the case over which Rebbi Yehudah and the Rabbanan argue).
(a) We conclude that Rebbi Yochanan's statement is a Chidush according to Rebbi Yehudah, and we amend Rebbi Yochanan's statement 'Aval Lo le'Inyan Chalitzah' - to 've'Chen la'Chalitzah' (meaning that just like the sandal is not a sandal with regard to Tum'ah and Shabbos, so too, is it not a sandal with regard to Chalitzah, and the Chalitzah is Pesulah).
(b) And he is coming to teach us - that Rebbi Yehudah only declares a sandal whose outer strap broke Tamei, because it could still be used on the foot for which it was made, whereas in the current case, since Rebbi Yehudah does not consider it fit to use on the foot for which it was made, he concedes that it is not a sandal as regards Chalitzah either.
(c) We cannot however, establish Rebbi Yochanan like the Rabbanan, making the same amendment ('ve'Chein le'Inyan Chalitzah'), because seeing as it is considered a sandal regarding the foot for which it has been made, it is obvious that the Chalitzah is Kasher (even if he turned it round, as we know from the Mishnah in Yevamos, that we just cited).
(d) Rav Yosef has now proved his point - that Rebbi Yochanan comes to explain Rebbi Yehudah, and therefore he must hold like him.
(a) We just proved that Rebbi Yochanan rules like Rebbi Yehudah, that if the outer strap tears, the sandal is Tahor. We query Rebbi Yochanan however, from a Stam Mishnah in Kelim (in connection with the sandal belonging to a Zav), which states 'Sandal she'Nifsekah Achas me'Oznav, ve'Tiknah, Tamei Medras'. Since Rebbi Yochanan always rules like a Stam Mishnah, which appears to declare the sandal Tamei in all cases, how can he then rule like Rebbi Yehudah, that if the strap breaks on the outside, it is Tahor?
(b) We cannot establish the Mishnah when the inside strap tore, but if it had been the outside strap, it would be Tahor, because then - why did the Tana continue 'Nifsekah Sheni'ah ve'Tiknah Tahor min ha'Medras, Aval Tamei Maga Medras '? Since Sheni'ah must mean the outside strap, the sandal would be Tahor (according to Rebbi Yehudah) - even if the first strap had not torn, and the Tana ought then to have drawn a distinction between the inner strap and the outer one (even without the second strap breaking).
(c) To resolve the Kashya on Rebbi Yochanan - Rav Yitzchak bar Yosef therefore establishes the Mishnah in Kelim by a sandal with four straps, in which case, both of the straps mentioned in the Beraisa refer to the outside straps (and the author is Rebbi Yehudah).
(a) When Ravin arrived in Bavel from Eretz Yisrael, he cited ... Rav as concurring with the opinion of Rebbi Yehudah - whilst Rebbi Yochanan holds like the Rabbanan.
(b) We reconcile this with Rabah bar bar Chanah who earlier on, in the name of Rebbi Yochanan, explained Rebbi Yehudah's opinion, from which we extrapolated that he must hold like him - by turning it into a Machlokes Amora'im, as to how Rebbi Yochanan really holds.
(a) We cite the Mishnah in Kelim which discusses wooden vessels belonging to a private individual. A hole - the size of a pomegranate will render such a vessel Tahor.
(b) Chizkiyah asks whether in a case where a wooden vessel that has a hole the size of a k'Zayis, which is repaired, and then another hole the size of a k'Zayis appears next to it, and another and another ... each time after the previous one has already been repaired - if the total adds up to the size of a pomegranate, the vessel is Tahor or not?
(c) Rebbi Yochanan explains with regard to the Seifa of the Mishnah in Kelim that we cited earlier - that the sandal is no longer Tamei Medras when the second strap tears, even though the first one has already been repaired - because the repair does not really restore the sandal but is considered like a new entity ('Panim Chadashos Ba'u le'Ka'an' [so that when the second strap tears, it is as if both straps were now missing').
(d) By the same token, stopping up the holes on the wooden vessel is also considered 'Panim Chadashos' (allowing the holes to add up, even after they have been repaired).
(a) Chizkiyah's reacted to Rebbi Yochanan's explanation - by referring to him as not human (but angelic), or as a human.
(b) Despite the fact that the Tum'as Medras departs when the second strap tears, the Tana still refers to the sandal as 'Tamei Maga Medras' - because on the one hand, it is no longer fit to be used as a sandal, but on the other, it is still fit to be used for other things, so it retains the Tum'ah that it received when touching itself whilst it was Tamei Medras.
(c) 'If the previous generations are angels', Rebbi Zeira quoted Rava bar Zimuna as saying, 'then we are human beings; and if they are human beings, then we are like donkeys ...
(d) ... but not even like the donkeys of Rebbi Yossi from D'yukras or of Rebbi Pinchas ben Yair' ...
(e) ... which were special in that - the former would not return home from the hirer's house, unless it had the exact amount of rental on its back, and the latter in that it refused to eat Tevel.
(a) When the Tana of our Mishnah permits tying knots in flasks of wine and oil (whose tops bend and can be tied - he is referring to a case where they have two ropes), to teach us that we do not assume that he negates one of the knots permanently, with the intention of using the other one.
(b) A 'Shal'acha' is a spout. Here too - he is teaching us that we do not assume that the owner intends to use only the spout, and is Mevatel the knot.
(c) And when Rebbi Eliezer ben Ya'akov permits tying a rope across the entrance to a stable - he is speaking when there are two ropes there, and we might have thought that he is negates one of them, and only intends to use the other one. In all of these cases, the Tana teaches us that each of the above knots is regularly tied and untied, and is therefore permitted.