1) MAY AN ADULT HELP A CHILD TO WASH HIMSELF ON YOM KIPPUR
QUESTIONS: The Gemara teaches that a child is not required to observe any of the prohibitions of Yom Kippur except for that of Ne'ilas ha'Sandal, wearing shoes. As RASHI explains, the Gemara initially suggests that the reason why a child may not wear shoes on Yom Kippur is because of what onlookers might think: if people see the child wearing shoes, they will think that his parent put them on him, which his parent is not allowed to do. The prohibition of "Lo Sachilum," derived from the verse, "Lo Sochlum" (Vayikra 11:42; Yevamos 114a), teaches that an adult may not give a prohibited item to a child.
The Gemara argues that if this is the reason why a child may not wear shoes on Yom Kippur, then the child should also be required to observe the prohibitions of Rechitzah (washing) and Sichah (smearing with oil) for the same reason. The Gemara answers that when people see a child who is washed or smeared with oil, they assume that he was washed or smeared the day before. In contrast, when they see a child wearing shoes, it is obvious that the shoes were placed on the child on that day (as no one wears shoes overnight), and thus they will think that the child's parent put the shoes on him on Yom Kippur.
The Gemara continues to challenge this reason. The Beraisa says, "Children are permitted in all of the prohibitions [of Yom Kippur] except Ne'ilas ha'Sandal." The words of the Beraisa imply that an adult is permitted l'Chatchilah to wash the child and to smear oil on him. RASHI explains that since it is permitted l'Chatchilah, when the father asks Beis Din whether or not he may feed or wash his son on Yom Kippur, Beis Din tells him to feed and wash him. The father, and others, obviously know that the child was fed and washed on Yom Kippur, and yet there is no concern that people will think that the child's parent fed and washed him on Yom Kippur.
There are a number of difficulties with Rashi's comments.
(a) Why does Rashi add that the father asks whether he is allowed to feed the child? The Gemara has no question about whether or not the father may feed the child. Feeding a child is certainly permitted on Yom Kippur, because it is dangerous for a child not to eat.
(b) Why does Rashi write that when Beis Din tells the father that he is allowed to wash the child, the father knows that the washing is done on Yom Kippur (and, therefore, it must be that there is no concern that people will suspect that he transgressed by having a child perform an Isur)? Rashi should say that Beis Din's allowance shows that a much greater problem is resolved and not merely people's suspicion that an adult gave the child an Isur. The father actually did give the child an Isur, and yet Beis Din permitted him to do so. If Beis Din permitted him to do so, it must be that there is no Isur of "Lo Sachilum" whatsoever (and, obviously, there is no reason to be concerned that people will suspect him of transgressing such an Isur, as the Isur does not exist).
(a) The SI'ACH YITZCHAK explains that Rashi's intention is to explain how the Gemara knows that one is permitted to wash a child l'Chatchilah on Yom Kippur. Rashi understands that from the fact that an adult is permitted to feed a child on Yom Kippur it can be inferred that one may also wash a child. The Beraisa, which groups together all of the Inuyim except for Ne'ilas ha'Sandal, implies that all of the Inuyim are similar to Achilah and are permitted l'Chatchilah. This is why Rashi adds that the father asked Beis Din if he may feed the child and wash him. Rashi shows how the Gemara knows that washing the child is permitted l'Chatchilah.
(b) The RAN earlier (73b) asks that according to Rashi, the Rambam, and the other Rishonim who maintain that all of the Inuyim are Asur mid'Oraisa (and not only Achilah and Shetiyah), why is one permitted to do those things for a child on Yom Kippur? An adult may not do for a child anything which he is forbidden to do for himself because of the Derashah of "Lo Sachilum." The prohibition of "Lo Sachilum" should prohibit an adult from helping a child perform any of the Inuyim, just as Rashi says here with regard to Ne'ilas ha'Sandal.
The Rishonim quote the Tosefta (4:1) which says that Ne'ilas ha'Sandal for a child is prohibited only because of Mar'is ha'Ayin (and not because of "Lo Sachilum"). RABEINU ELYAKIM explains what the Mar'is ha'Ayin is in this case: Although the prohibition of "Lo Sachilum" does not actually apply here, people will think that it applies to smearing oil, washing, or placing shoes on a child on Yom Kippur. When they see others perform such acts for children (or when they see Beis Din permit such acts to be done for children), they will think that the Torah forbids only eating and drinking on Yom Kippur, but not smearing oil, washing and wearing shoes. For this reason, the Rabanan prohibited placing shoes on a child on Yom Kippur. They permitted smearing and washing the child only because of "Hainu Rivisai'hu," they are needed for the normal development of the child.
Why, though, does "Lo Sachilum" indeed not apply? According to the Rishonim who maintain that these Inuyim are prohibited mid'Rabanan and not mid'Oraisa, the Rabanan did not apply "Lo Sachilum" to their own prohibitions. According to the Rishonim who maintain that all of the Inuyim are mid'Oraisa, the Torah may not have prohibited the other Inuyim in cases where the primary Inuy of fasting does not apply (see Insights to Yoma 74:1).
This may be Rashi's intention here as well. Rashi does not mean to say that the Gemara originally prohibited putting shoes on a child because of "Lo Sachilum." Rather, it prohibited the act lest people think that "Lo Sachilum" is being transgressed and, as a result, come to permit wearing shoes on Yom Kippur. Similarly, Rashi says that if Beis Din permits a person l'Chatchilah to wash or smear oil on his child, the person may mistakenly think that those acts are not prohibited at all on Yom Kippur. (He will reason that had they been prohibited, Beis Din would not have permitted him to do them for his child because of "Lo Sachilum.")