1) A DONKEY THAT GOES OUT WITH ITS SADDLE PAD
QUESTION: A donkey girded with a saddle pad ("Marda'as") may be taken into Reshus ha'Rabim only if the saddle pad was tied to it on Friday, before Shabbos.
If a saddle pad is considered attire (and not a load), then what difference does it make whether it was placed on the donkey before or during Shabbos?
(a) RASHI (54b, DH k'd'Amran) says that one must demonstrate that this donkey generally wears the saddle pad as its attire. By putting it on the donkey on Friday (and leaving it there for an extended period of time), one shows that it is a garment and not a load.
(b) TOSFOS (DH v'Hu she'Keshurah) suggests two other explanations. In his first explanation, Tosfos says that if one ties the saddle pad to the donkey on Shabbos, it appears as though his intention is to transport the saddle pad from one place to another (which is forbidden), and not merely to take the donkey for a walk.
(c) In his second explanation, Tosfos (in the name of RABEINU PORAS) says that when one ties the saddle pad to the animal on Shabbos, it appears as though he intends to take the animal for a long ride on Shabbos.
(d) The RASHBA and ROSH cite the Yerushalmi that says that one may not tie the saddle pad to the animal on Shabbos because of the prohibition of "Mishtamesh b'Ba'alei Chayim." That is, while one ties the saddle pad to the donkey, he leans on the donkey and uses it, which is forbidden mid'Rabanan on Shabbos.
If the Gemara here means that one may not tie the saddle pad to the donkey on Shabbos because of the problem of "Mishtamesh b'Ba'alei Chayim," what, then, is the Gemara's question later when it inquires whether one is permitted to put a saddle pad on a donkey [inside a courtyard] without intention to take the donkey outside? If putting the saddle pad on the donkey violates the prohibition against using an animal on Shabbos, then what difference does it make whether or not the donkey remains in the courtyard?
Perhaps the Gemara later does not intend to differentiate between one who puts a saddle pad on a donkey that will walk outside and one who puts a saddle pad on a donkey that will stay inside. Rather, the Gemara is differentiating between one who places a saddle pad on the donkey and one who ties it to the donkey. The Gemara wants to know if one is permitted to place a saddle pad on a donkey on Shabbos, because one does not lean on the animal when he merely places the pad on its back. (This answer is supported by the text of the Gemara here. The Gemara earlier says "Keshurah" (tied) and later it says "Liten" (to place). This answer is also implicit in the words of the Me'iri.) (M. KORNFELD)
2) CALLING THE COW TO COME HOME
QUESTION: In an attempt to prove that the Rabanan did not uphold their decrees when doing so would cause pain to an animal, the Gemara cites a Beraisa that says that if a man sees his animal standing outside its Techum, he may call it to come home, and the Rabanan were not concerned that he might go and bring the animal with his hands and transgress the Isur of Techumin on Shabbos. Had the Rabanan prohibited the owner from calling his animal to come home, the animal might have experienced distress as a result of being lost from its owner.
The Gemara answers that the law of the Beraisa is no proof. The Beraisa is discussing a case in which the animal's Techum was inside the owner's Techum. Therefore, he may call the animal to come home, and there is no concern that he will go and bring the animal and transgress the Isur of Techumin.
The Gemara implies that one is permitted only to call the animal to come home, but not to go and bring the animal home (by pulling it, or even by chasing it). Why, though, are these acts prohibited, and if they indeed are prohibited, why is there no concern, according to the Gemara's conclusion, that the owner will go bring the animal instead of just calling it?
ANSWERS: The answers to this question take into account three issues of concern in this case. First, a man is not permitted to walk outside of his Techum on Shabbos. Second, any object may not be moved out of the Techum of the owner (or trustee) of the object. Hence, a cow that is given to a shepherd may be moved only as far as the shepherd may walk. (It does not matter who moves the object; the limits of an object's Techum are determined by the Techum of its owner.) Third, a man is not permitted to have his animal perform Melachah for him on Shabbos because of the Mitzvas Aseh of "Shevisas Behemto," to ensure that one's animal rests on Shabbos. Perhaps this Mitzvas Aseh also prohibits him from allowing his animal to leave its Techum, even in order to return home.
(a) RASHI explains that the Gemara initially assumes that the animal is outside of the owner's Techum, and the prohibition involved in bringing back the animal is that the owner will go out of his Techum (the first concern mentioned above). The animal itself, however, is not necessarily outside of its own Techum.
The Gemara answers that the animal is within the man's Techum, but it is outside of its own Techum. Accordingly, the owner is not permitted to bring the animal to his home, because he will be taking the shepherd's object (the animal) outside of the shepherd's Techum (the second concern above). Rashi explains that this prohibition is a weaker prohibition than taking oneself out of one's own Techum. For such a weak prohibition, the Rabanan did not make a decree out of concern that one may go and bring his animal back home.
With regard to the third concern (that the animal will walk out of its Techum for the owner's benefit (to bring the animal home)), Rashi explains that the Mitzvah of "Shevisas Behemto" requires that the owner prevent his animal from doing any of the 39 Melachos. He is permitted, though, to let his animal walk out of its Techum (which is not one of the 39 Melachos). Therefore, he is permitted to call the animal to come back home, but not to bring it home actively with one's hands (because then he transgresses the second concern, actively taking the object out of its Techum).
(b) The RITVA gives the exact opposite explanation. The Gemara initially assumes that the animal is outside of its own Techum (and it does not matter whether or not it is within the owner's Techum). The only way the owner can bring the animal home is by calling it and causing the animal to transgress the Isur of Techumin (the third concern above). Even though the Torah does not prohibit one to cause his animal to transgress the Isur of Techumin, the Rabanan prohibited it. However, since it is not such a strong prohibition, the Rabanan permitted one to call his animal to come back to its Techum in order to prevent the animal from having pain.
Why were the Rabanan not concerned that the owner will bring the animal home by hand (or by chasing it) and transgress the second concern above by actively taking it out of its Techum, and by carrying an object (the animal) four Amos in Reshus ha'Rabim? It must be that the Rabanan did not enforce decrees when doing so would cause pain to an animal. This is the Gemara's attempted proof.
The Gemara answers that the animal is not outside of its own Techum; it is only outside of the owner's Techum (like the Gemara's initial understanding according to Rashi). Therefore, the owner may not make the animal move by physically going out to the animal and leading or chasing it, but he may call it to make it move. By calling it, he does not transgress any prohibition whatsoever, because the animal is inside of its Techum.
(If this is the case, there is no concern that the owner will think that he is also permitted to go out of his Techum to fetch the animal, and there is no concern that he will transgress an Isur d'Oraisa by pulling the animal four Amos in Reshus ha'Rabim. Such a concern exists only in the original scenario, in which the Rabanan suspended the third concern mentioned above for the well-being of the animal. In the present scenario, since the owner is not permitted to transgress any trace of a rabbinical prohibition, there is no concern that he will think that he is permitted to do an Isur d'Oraisa or an Isur d'Rabanan for his animal.)