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Rosh Kollel: Rabbi Mordecai Kornfeld

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1) CARRYING FOUR AMOS IN "RESHUS HA'RABIM"

QUESTIONS: Rabah says that the Rabanan decreed that one may not hold the Lulav on a day of Sukos which occurs on Shabbos, lest one carry it four Amos through Reshus ha'Rabim in order to bring it to an expert to learn how to perform the Mitzvah.

RASHI asks why Rabah says that the Rabanan were concerned only that one might carry the Lulav four Amos in Reshus ha'Rabim ("Ha'avarah"), and he does not say that they were concerned that one might carry it from Reshus ha'Yachid to Reshus ha'Rabim ("Hotza'ah"). Rashi answers that the transgression of carrying four Amos in Reshus ha'Rabim is more common than the transgression of Hotza'ah from Reshus ha'Yachid to Reshus ha'Rabim, because it applies to a Lulav that is resting anywhere, even in a Karmelis. (If one picks up a Lulav in a Karmelis and carries it four Amos through Reshus ha'Rabim, he transgresses only Ha'avarah and not Hotza'ah, since the Lulav was not brought from a Reshus ha'Yachid to a Reshus ha'Rabim.)

Rashi explains further that even if the Lulav is in one's home (a Reshus ha'Yachid), there is more cause for concern that he will transgress Ha'avarah than Hotza'ah. This is because he might pick up the Lulav with no intent to carry it outside and then change his mind and walk out with it. In that case, he will not be liable for Hotza'ah because he performed no Akirah with intent to take the Lulav into Reshus ha'Rabin. He will be liable, however, for Ha'avarah in Reshus ha'Rabim.

There are a number of difficulties with Rashi's explanation.

(a) When one picks up the Lulav in a Karmelis and carries it into Reshus ha'Rabim, why is he liable for Ha'avarah in Reshus ha'Rabim? One transgresses Ha'avarah only when he performs both an Akirah and a Hanachah in Reshus ha'Rabim. In this case, he performs the Akirah in a Karmelis and not in Reshus ha'Rabim, and thus he should not be liable for Ha'avarah. (REBBI AKIVA EIGER, Shabbos 5b; see Insights to Eruvin 34:2:b.)

(b) It is even more difficult to understand why one is liable for Ha'avarah in the second case that Rashi mentions, where one picks up the Lulav in his home in order to shake it and then decides to walk out with it into Reshus ha'Rabim. Just as one is not liable for Hotza'ah (bringing the Lulav from Reshus ha'Yachid to Reshus ha'Rabim) since he did no Akirah in Reshus ha'Yachid with intent to bring it into Reshus ha'Rabim, he should also not be liable for Ha'avarah in such a case, since he did no Akirah for the sake of Ha'avarah (see Shabbos 153a). (TOSFOS DH v'Ya'avirenu)

(c) If Rashi maintains, as his words imply, that one does not need to do an Akirah in Reshus ha'Rabim in order to be liable for carrying four Amos in Reshus ha'Rabim, then he should explain the Gemara as the RA'AVAD does (as cited by the ME'IRI). The Ra'avad explains that since a person normally picks up a Lulav in his house, the Rabanan were concerned that he might take his Lulav from his house to the house of the expert. In that case, he will carry the Lulav from one Reshus ha'Yachid to another Reshus ha'Yachid and thus he will not be liable for Hotza'ah, but he will be liable for carrying the Lulav four Amos in Reshus ha'Rabim. This is why Rabah's only concern is that the Lulav will be carried four Amos in Reshus ha'Rabim, and he is not concerned that the Lulav will be carried from Reshus ha'Yachid to Reshus ha'Rabim.

ANSWERS:

(a) The RE'EM (in his notes to the SEMAG, cited by the KAPOS TEMARIM here) and REBBI AKIVA EIGER explain the words of Rashi as follows:

Rashi understands that the expert to whom the person might bring his Lulav is in Reshus ha'Rabim and not in Reshus ha'Yachid. Rashi maintains that one is liable for Ha'avarah in Reshus ha'Rabim only when he does both an Akirah and Hanachah in Reshus ha'Rabim. Accordingly, when the expert is in Reshus ha'Rabim and one brings his Lulav from its place in Reshus ha'Rabim and sets it down next to the expert, he is liable for Ha'avarah because he has performed Akirah and Hanachah in Reshus ha'Rabim. The reason he is liable in a case in which he picks up the Lulav from a Karmelis, even though he did no Akirah in Reshus ha'Rabim, is because it is natural for a person who walks a moderate distance to stop for a moment to rest. At the moment that he stops, the item he carries is considered to have come to rest in Reshus ha'Rabim, and when he starts to walk again he does an Akirah in Reshus ha'Rabim. When he reaches the expert and sets the Lulav down, he does a Hanachah in Reshus ha'Rabim and becomes liable for Ha'avarah in Reshus ha'Rabim. This answers the first question.

(b) The second question can be answered the same way. Rashi does not mean to say that when one does an Akirah in Reshus ha'Yachid without intent to bring the Lulav out of his home, he will still be liable for Ha'avarah if he walks four Amos with it in Reshus ha'Rabim. Rather, Rashi means that one will be liable for walking four Amos in Reshus ha'Rabim because, at some point after his arrival in Reshus ha'Rabim, he will probably stop to rest. When he starts to walk again, he does an Akirah in Reshus ha'Rabim. However, he is not liable for Hotza'ah from Reshus ha'Yachid to Reshus ha'Rabim, because he did not do the Akirah with intent to bring the Lulav outside to Reshus ha'Rabim. There is no concern that he will stop to rest in his house and then start to walk again with intent to go outside (which would constitute a proper Akirah in Reshus ha'Yachid), because one normally walks only a short distance in his house until he reaches the threshold and has no need to stop and rest before he exits.

(c) With regard to why Rashi does not explain as the Ra'avad does (that the concern is that one might carry his Lulav from his house to the house of the expert and walk four Amos with it in Reshus ha'Rabim), apparently Rashi maintains that in such a case one does not transgress the Isur of Ha'avarah. According to Rashi, in order to be liable for carrying four Amos in Reshus ha'Rabim, one must do an Akirah (and Hanachah) in Reshus ha'Rabim. Accordingly, if he stops to rest in Reshus ha'Rabim on his way to the expert he will be liable for both Hotza'ah and Ha'avarah. If he does not stop to rest in Reshus ha'Rabim, he will be liable for neither Hotza'ah nor Ha'avarah.

TOSFOS, who questions Rashi's explanation (see question (b) above), does not understand Rashi in this manner. Tosfos understands that Rashi maintains that if one does an Akirah in a Karmelis or Reshus ha'Yachid, one can be liable for carrying the item four Amos in Reshus ha'Rabim (even if he does not stop to rest and subsequently perform a new Akirah), regardless of whether or not he intended to carry the object in Reshus ha'Rabim at the moment he picked it up.

According to this understanding, Rashi makes two important points. First, he asserts that one can be liable for Ha'avarah in Reshus ha'Rabim even if his act of Akirah was not in Reshus ha'Rabim but in Reshus ha'Yachid. Second, he teaches that one can be liable for Ha'avarah even if his Akirah was not done with intent to carry the object through Reshus ha'Rabim.

Tosfos, who questions Rashi's explanation, seems to take issue only with Rashi's second point, as he does not question the first point. According to Tosfos, as long as the person intends to carry the object in Reshus ha'Rabim at the moment he picks it up, he will be liable for Ha'avarah, even if he picks it up in a Karmelis or Reshus ha'Yachid. (This is also evident from TOSFOS to Eruvin 33a, DH v'Ha, and 34a, DH v'Amai; see TOTZA'OS CHAYIM at the beginning of Maseches Shabbos.) The RA'AVAD (mentioned in question (c) above) clearly follows this opinion as well. The ME'IRI also mentions this opinion in Shabbos (97b).

In conclusion, there are three opinions with regard to the prohibition of carrying four Amos in Reshus ha'Rabim:

1. RASHI, according to the RE'EM, maintains that one is not liable for Ha'avarah unless he performs both the Akirah and the Hanachah in Reshus ha'Rabim.

2. TOSFOS maintains that one is liable for Ha'avarah even if his Akirah was not done in Reshus ha'Rabim.

3. The RA'AVAD, who offers a novel but simple interpretation of the Gemara, rules that one is liable even if neither the Akirah nor the Hanachah were done in Reshus ha'Rabim.

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