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Shabbat, 15 Cheshvan 5778 / November 4, 2017

Rambam - 3 Chapters a Day

Rambam - 3 Chapters a Day

Shabbat - Chapter Six, Shabbat - Chapter Seven, Shabbat - Chapter Eight

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Shabbat - Chapter Six

1

It is forbidden for us to tell1 a gentile to perform work on the Sabbath on our behalf, although they are not commanded [to observe] the Sabbath.2 [This applies] even when the instructions were conveyed to them before the Sabbath and we do not require [the products of] their work until after the Sabbath.

The above is forbidden as a Rabbinical prohibition to prevent the people from regarding the Sabbath lightly, lest they perform [forbidden] labor themselves.3

א

אסור לומר לנכרי לעשות לנו מלאכה בשבת אע"פ שאינו מצווה על השבת ואע"פ שאמר לו מקודם השבת ואע"פ שאינו צריך לאותה מלאכה אלא לאחר השבת. ודבר זה אסור מדברי סופרים כדי שלא תהיה שבת קלה בעיניהן ויבואו לעשות בעצמן:

2

[The following rules4 apply] when a gentile performs a [forbidden] labor on the Sabbath on his own accord:5 If he performed it on behalf of a Jew, it is forbidden to benefit from that labor6 until one waits the amount of time necessary to perform the labor on Saturday night.7

[The latter leniency is granted] provided the matter is not public notice - i.e., everyone knows that a particular task is being performed for a person on the Sabbath.8

If [the gentile] performed [the labor] for his own sake alone,9 it is permitted to benefit from it on the Sabbath.

ב

נכרי שעשה מלאכה מעצמו בשבת אם בשביל ישראל עשה אותה אסור ליהנות באותה מלאכה עד מוצאי שבת וימתין בכדי שתעשה. והוא שלא יהא הדבר בפרהסיא עד שידעו בו רבים שדבר זה בשביל פלוני הוא נעשה בשבת. ואם בשביל עצמו בלבד עשה מותר ליהנות בה בשבת:

3

What is implied? If a gentile kindled a candle [for his own benefit], a Jew is also permitted to perform activity by its light.10 If [the gentile] kindled the light on behalf of the Jew, it is forbidden.11

Similarly, if a gentile made a ramp to descend from a ship [himself], a Jew may descend after him.12 If he made it for the Jew, it is forbidden.13 If he filled a trench with water to allow his animal to drink, a Jew may have his own animal drink afterwards. If he did so for the sake of the Jew, it is forbidden.14

If a [gentile] gathered grass to feed his animal, a Jew may bring his animal to eat from it15 provided that the gentile does not know this Jew. [If he does, it is forbidden,16] lest he bring more on his behalf at which point he would be performing a [forbidden] labor on behalf of a Jew. Similarly, whenever there is a possibility that the gentile will add more [on a Jew's behalf], [a Jew] should not benefit unless [the gentile] does not know [the Jew].17

ג

כיצד נכרי שהדליק את הנר משתמש לאורו ישראל ואם בשביל ישראל אסור. עשה נכרי כבש לירד בו מן הספינה ירד אחריו ישראל ואם בשביל ישראל אסור. מילא מים להשקות בהמתו משקה אחריו ישראל ואם בשביל ישראל אסור. ליקט עשבים להאכיל לבהמתו מניח ישראל בהמתו לאכול מהן. והוא שלא יהא אותו הנכרי מכיר לאותו ישראל שמא ירבה במלאכתו בשבילו ונמצא עושה בשביל ישראל. וכן כל דבר שאפשר להרבות בו לא יהנה בו בשבת אלא אם כן אינו מכירו:

4

In contrast, when a matter concerns a situation where there is no concept of increasing or decreasing [one's efforts for the sake of the Jew] - e.g., a light or a ramp18 - since [the gentile] performed these activities for his own sake, a Jew may benefit from them afterwards on the Sabbath, even when [the gentile] knows him.

[The following laws apply when] a lamp is kindled at a gathering [of Jews and gentiles] on the Sabbath: If most of the people in attendance are Jewish, it is forbidden to benefit from the light, since the one who kindles it does so for the sake of the majority.19 If the majority are gentiles, it is permitted to benefit from the light. If the proportions are equal, it is forbidden.20.

If a fire broke out on the Sabbath and a gentile comes to extinguish it, we may not tell him, "Extinguish it,21" nor [must we tell him,] "Do not extinguish it,"22 for his resting is not our responsibility.23 The same applies in all similar situations.

ד

אבל דבר שאין בו להרבות ולמעט כגון נר וכבש הואיל ועשה בשביל עצמו נהנה אחריו ישראל בשבת ואף על פי שהוא מכירו. נר הדלוק במסיבה בשבת. אם רוב ישראל אסור להשתמש לאורה שהמדליק על דעת הרוב מדליק. ואם רוב נכרים מותר להשתמש לאורה. מחצה למחצה אסור. נפלה דליקה בשבת ובא נכרי לכבות אין אומרין לה כבה ואל תכבה מפני שאין שביתתו עלינו וכן כל כיוצא בזה:

5

[The following principles apply when] gentiles make a coffin, dig a grave, or bring flutes to play mourning dirges on behalf of a deceased person:

If this was done discreetly, one must wait until that activity could have been carried out on Saturday night, and then the person may be buried using the above. If, however, the grave was located in a public square, the coffin was placed upon it, and all those who pass by say, "This activity that the gentiles are performing on the Sabbath is for the sake of so and so," that Jew may never be buried using the above, for this is a matter of public knowledge.24

Another Jew, however, may be buried using the above, provided that the people wait the amount of time necessary for these activities to have been performed [after the Sabbath has concluded].25 The same applies in all similar situations.

ה

מת שעשו לו נכרים ארון וחפרו לו קבר בשבת או הביאו לו חלילין לספוד בהן. אם בצנעה ימתין בכדי שיעשו למוצאי שבת ויקבר בו. ואם היה הקבר בסרטיא גדולה והארון על גביו וכל העוברין והשבין אומרים שזה שהנכרים עושין עכשיו בשבת לפלוני הוא. הרי זה לא יקבר בו אותו ישראל עולמית. מפני שהוא בפרהסיא. ומותר לקבור בו ישראל אחר והוא שימתין בכדי שיעשה וכן כל כיוצא בזה:

6

[The following rules apply when] a gentile brings flutes on the Sabbath to mourn a deceased person: Even though he brought them from just outside the wall,26 we are required to wait the time it takes to bring them from a close place27 after the Sabbath has concluded, and afterwards we may mourn with them.28 [This restriction stems from our suspicion] that he brought them from another place at night, and then entered with them in the morning.

If one is certain that they were brought from another place on the Sabbath, one should wait [the amount of time] until it was possible to bring them from that place after [the conclusion of] the Sabbath.29 [The above leniencies apply] only when [the flutes were not brought] in a public square, as mentioned above.

ו

נכרי שהביא חלילין בשבת למת אף על פי שהביאן מצד החומה ימתין למוצאי שבת בכדי שיבוא ממקום קרוב ואחר כך יספדו בהן. שמא בלילה הביאום ממקום אחר עד החומה ובבקר נכנסו בהן. ואם ידע בודאי שממקום פלוני הביאום בשבת ימתין בכדי שיבואו מאותו מקום אחר השבת. והוא שלא יהא הדבר בסרטיא גדולה כמו שאמרנו:

7

[The following rules apply with regard to] a city inhabited by both Jews and gentiles that possesses a bathhouse that is open on the Sabbath: If the majority [of the bathers30] are gentiles, it is permitted to bathe in it on Saturday night immediately [after the conclusion of the Sabbath].

If the majority of the bathers are Jewish, one must wait [the time it takes] for the water to heat.31 [The rationale is that] the water was heated for the majority of [the city's bathers]. If [the numbers of Jews and gentiles are] equal, one must wait [the time it takes] for the water to heat.32 The same applies in all similar situations.

ז

עיר שישראל ונכרים דרין בתוכה והיתה בה מרחץ המרחצת בשבת. אם רוב נכרים מותר לרחוץ בה למוצאי שבת מיד. ואם רוב ישראל ימתין בכדי שיחמו חמין. שבשביל הרוב הוחמו. מחצה למחצה ימתין בכדי שיחמו חמין וכן כל כיוצא בזה:

8

A Jew who instructs a gentile to perform a [forbidden] labor on his behalf on the Sabbath commits a transgression and should be given stripes for rebellion33 [as punishment]. Nevertheless, he is permitted to benefit from the labor on Saturday night after waiting the time it takes for the labor to have been performed.34

The following is the sole reason35 for which [the Sages] forbade using [the products of forbidden labor] until the time to perform the labor passes on Saturday night: If one permitted the use of [the products of forbidden labor] immediately [on Saturday night], a person might tell a gentile to perform a [forbidden] labor on his behalf, so that [after the conclusion of the Sabbath], it will be immediately available for him. Since, however, [the products of forbidden labor] are forbidden until the time it takes for the labor to have been performed passes, he will not instruct a gentile to perform this task. It does not bring him any benefit at all, for on Saturday evening he must wait the time it takes for the labor to have been performed on the Sabbath.

ח

ישראל שאמר לנכרי לעשות לו מלאכה זו בשבת אע"פ שעבר ומכין אותו מכת מרדות מותר לו ליהנות באותה מלאכה לערב אחר שימתין בכדי שתעשה. ולא אסרו בכל מקום שימתין בכדי שיעשו אלא מפני דבר זה. שאם תאמר יהא מותר מיד שמא יאמר לנכרי לעשות לו וימצא הדבר מוכן מיד. וכיון שאסרו עד שימתין בכדי שיעשו לא יאמר לנכרי לעשות לו שהרי אינו משתכר כלום מפני שהוא מתעכב לערב בכדי שיעשה דבר זה שנעשה בשבת:

9

A Jew is permitted to instruct a gentile to perform an activity that is not a [forbidden] labor36 and is prohibited from being performed on the Sabbath only as a sh'vut.37[This leniency applies] provided that this is necessary because of a minor infirmity,38 a very pressing matter,39 or a mitzvah.

ט

דבר שאינו מלאכה ואין אסור לעשותו בשבת אלא משום שבות מותר לישראל לומר לנכרי לעשותו בשבת. והוא שיהיה שם מקצת חולי או יהיה צריך לדבר צורך הרבה או מפני מצוה:

10

What is implied? On the Sabbath, a Jew may instruct a gentile to climb a tree or to swim across water to bring him a shofar or a knife for circumcision. Similarly, [one may instruct a gentile] to bring hot water from one courtyard to another to wash a child or a person experiencing difficulty,40 although an eruv was not made to join them.41 The same applies in all similar situations.

י

כיצד אומר ישראל לנכרי בשבת לעלות באילן או לשוט על פני המים כדי להביא לו שופר. או סכין למילה. או מביא לו מחצר לחצר שאין עירוב ביניהן מים חמין להרחיץ בהם קטן ומצטער וכן כל כיוצא בזה:

11

When a person buys a house in Eretz Yisrael from a gentile,42 he is permitted to tell the gentile to compose a deed of sale on the Sabbath.43 Giving the gentile instructions [to perform a forbidden labor on the Sabbath] is a Rabbinic prohibition, and because [of the importance] of settling Eretz Yisrael44the Sages did not enforce their decree in this instance.

Similarly, the above principles apply when one purchases a house from [a gentile] in Syria, for Syria is equivalent to Eretz Yisrael in this regard.45

יא

הלוקח בית בארץ ישראל מן הנכרי מותר לו לומר לנכרי לכתוב לו שטר בשבת. שאמירה לנכרי בשבת אסורה מדבריהם ומשום ישוב ארץ ישראל לא גזרו בדבר זה. וכן הלוקח בית מהם בסוריא שסוריא כארץ ישראל לדבר זה:

12

When a person contracts a gentile for a task and sets the price, the gentile [is considered] as acting in his own interests.46 [Therefore,] even if he performs the task on the Sabbath, it is permitted.47 Similarly, it is permissible to hire a gentile for a prolonged period, although he performs [forbidden] labor on the Sabbath.48

What is implied? When a person hires a gentile for a year or two as a scribe or as a weaver,49 it is permissible for the gentile to write or weave on the Sabbath. It is as though he contracted him to write a scroll or weave a garment, [in which case, he may] perform the task whenever he desires. [This leniency is granted] provided he does not pay him on a day to day basis.50

יב

פוסק אדם עם הנכרי על המלאכה וקוצץ דמים והנכרי עושה לעצמו ואע"פ שהוא עושה בשבת מותר. וכן השוכר את הנכרי לימים הרבה מותר אע"פ שהוא עושה בשבת. כיצד כגון ששכר הנכרי לשנה או לשתים שיכתוב לו או שיארוג לו. הרי זה כותב ואורג בשבת ומותר כאלו קצץ עמו שיכתוב לו ספר או שיארוג לו בגד שהוא עושה בכל עת שירצה. והוא שלא יחשוב עמו יום יום:

13

When does the above51 apply? When the matter is discreet, and everyone52 is not aware that the [forbidden] labor being performed on the Sabbath is for the sake of a Jew. If, however, it53 is a matter that is well known, open, and of public knowledge,54 it is forbidden [for a gentile to perform such work]. A person who sees the gentile working does not know that he has been hired on a contractual55 basis and will say that so and so56 hired a gentile to work for him on the Sabbath.

יג

במה דברים אמורים בצנעה שאין מכירים הכל שזו המלאכה הנעשית בשבת של ישראל היא. אבל אם היתה ידועה וגלויה ומפורסמת אסורה שהרואה את הנכרי עוסק אינו יודע שקצץ ואומר שפלוני שכר הנכרי לעשות לו מלאכה בשבת:

14

Therefore, [the following rules apply when] a person hires a gentile to build a courtyard or a wall or to harvest his field, or [hires him to work] at building his courtyard or planting a vineyard for him for a year or two:

If the project is located in a city57 or within its Sabbath limits, it is forbidden for the Jew to allow them to work on the Sabbath,58 because of [the impression this might create in the mind of] an observer who is unaware that they were hired on a contractual basis. If the project is located beyond the Sabbath limits, it is permitted, for there are no Jews who will see the laborers at work on the Sabbath.

יד

לפיכך הפוסק עם הנכרי לבנות לו חצרו או כותלו או לקצור את שדהו או ששכרו שנה או שתים לבנות לו חצר או ליטע לו כרם. אם היתה המלאכה במדינה או בתוך התחום אסור לו להניחן לעשות בשבת מפני הרואים שאינם יודעים שפסק. ואם היתה המלאכה חוץ לתחום מותר שאין שם ישראל שיראה את הפועלין כשהן עושין בשבת:

15

Similarly, it is permitted for a Jew to hire out his vineyard or his field to a gentile, although the latter will sow and plant them on the Sabbath, since an observer will know that they have been hired out or given [to the gentile] under a sharecropping agreement.59

[In contrast,] when an enterprise60 is known by the name of its Jewish owner and is not of the type that is hired out or contracted out under a profit sharing agreement by most people in that city, it is forbidden to be hired out to a gentile.61 The gentile will perform work in the establishment on the Sabbath, and [in the public's mind, the establishment] will be associated with the name of its Jewish owner.62

טו

וכן מותר לאדם להשכיר כרמו או שדהו לנכרי אף על פי שהוא זורען ונוטען בשבת. שהרואה יודע ששכורין הן או באריסות נתן להן. ודבר ששם ישראל בעליו קרוי עליו ואין דרך רוב אנשי אותו המקום להשכירו או ליתנו באריסות אסור להשכירו לנכרי. מפני שהנכרי עושה באותו המקום מלאכה בשבת והוא נקרא על שם הישראל בעליו:

16

It is permitted to lend63 and hire out64 utensils to a gentile although he will perform [forbidden] labors with them on the Sabbath,65 for we are not obligated to have our utensils rest [on the Sabbath].66 It is, however, forbidden to [lend or hire out] one's servant or livestock67 [to work on the Sabbath], for we are commanded that they rest.68

טז

מותר להשאיל כלים ולהשכירן לנכרי ואע"פ שהוא עושה בהן מלאכה בשבת מפני שאין אנו מצווים על שביתת הכלים. אבל בהמתו ועבדו אסור מפני שאנו מצווין על שביתת בהמה ועבד:

17

[The following rules apply when a Jew] enters into a partnership with a gentile concerning labor, merchandise, or the operation of a storefront:69 If such a stipulation was made at the outset,70 it is permissible71 for the profits from the Sabbath - whether large or small - to be designated for the gentile alone, and the profits of another day to be given to the Jew alone in exchange.72

If, however, such conditions were not made at the outset, when [the two] come to divide the profits, the gentile should take all the profits of the Sabbath for himself alone, and then the remainder should be divided [equally].73 The [gentile] need not give [the Jew] anything extra for the Sabbath unless a stipulation to that effect was made at the outset.74 The same principles apply if [a Jew and a gentile] hired a field under a partnership arrangement.75

יז

המשתתף עם הנכרי במלאכה או בסחורה או בחנות. אם התנו בתחלה שיהיה שכר השבת לנכרי לבדו אם מעט אם הרבה ושכר יום אחר כנגד יום השבת לישראל לבדו מותר. ואם לא התנו בתחלה. כשיבואו לחלוק נוטל הנכרי שכר השבתות כולן לבדו והשאר חולקין אותו. ואינו מוסיף לו כלום כנגד יום השבת אלא א"כ התנו בתחלה. וכן אם קבלו שדה בשותפות דין אחד הוא:

18

If the stipulation [mentioned above] was not made, [the partners] came to divide the profits, and the profits of the Sabbath were not distinct, it appears to me76 that the gentile should take a seventh of the profits alone77 and the remainder should be divided equally.78

When a person gives a gentile money to invest, the two may divide the profits equally, despite the fact that the gentile engages in business dealings with these funds on the Sabbath.79 All of the Geonim80 concur with this ruling.

יח

ואם לא התנו ובאו לחלוק השכר ולא היה שכר שבת ידוע יראה לי שהנכרי נוטל לבדו שביעית השכר והשאר חולקין. הנותן מעות לנכרי להתעסק בהן. אף על פי שהנכרי נושא ונותן בשבת חולק עמו בשכר בשוה וכן הורו כל הגאונים:

19

A Jew should not give utensils to a gentile artisan to fashion81 on Friday, despite the fact that he has established a set price,82 unless there is time for him to remove them from [the Jew's] home before nightfall.83

Similarly, a person should not sell, lend, pawn, or give a present of his possessions to a gentile unless [the gentile] can leave the entrance of [the Jew's] house with that article before the Sabbath. As long as [the gentile] is in [the Jew's] house, no one knows when he gave it to him. Thus, should the gentile leave [the Jew's] house on the Sabbath with [the Jew's] possessions in his hand, it would appear that the object was lent, pawned, agreed to be worked on, or sold on the Sabbath.84

יט

לא יתן אדם בערב שבת כלים לאומן נכרי לעשותן אף ע"פ שפסק עמו. אלא בכדי שיצא בהן מביתו קודם שחשיכה. וכן לא ימכור אדם חפציו לנכרי ולא ישאילנו ולא ילונו ולא ימשכננו ולא יתן לו במתנה אלא בכדי שיצא באותו חפץ מפתח ביתו קודם השבת. שכל זמן שהוא בביתו אין אדם יודע אימתי נתן לו וכשיצא הנכרי מביתו בשבת וחפץ ישראל בידו יראה כמי שהלוהו לנכרי או משכנו או פסק עמו או מכר לו בשבת:

20

[The following rules apply when] a person gives a gentile a letter to bring to another city. If he fixed a fee for conveying [the letter], it is permitted [even if the gentile conveys it on the Sabbath].85 [This leniency applies] even when [the Jew] gives [the letter] to [the gentile] on Friday at nightfall, provided [the gentile] leaves [the Jew's] home before the commencement of the Sabbath.

When a fee was not fixed [beforehand, the following rules apply]: If there is a designated person in the city86 who collects letters and sends them to other cities with his agents,87 it is permitted to give a gentile the letter,88 provided there is time [on Friday] for the letter to reach a house adjacent to [the city's] wall before [the commencement of] the Sabbath, lest the home of the gentile who collects and sends letters be located there.89

If there is no person designated to fulfill this function and the gentile to whom one gives the letter is the one who brings it to the other city, it is always forbidden to send a letter with a gentile90 unless one establishes a fixed price [beforehand].

כ

הנותן אגרת לנכרי להוליכה לעיר אחרת אם קצץ עמו שכר הולכה מותר. ואפילו נתנה לו ערב שבת עם חשיכה. והוא שיצא בה מפתח ביתו קודם השבת. ואם לא קצץ אם יש במדינה אדם קבוע שהוא מקבץ האגרות ושולח אותם לכל מדינה ומדינה עם שלוחיו מותר ליתן לנכרי האגרת. והוא שיהיה שהות ביום כדי שיגיע לבית הסמוך לחומה קודם השבת. שמא זה שמקבל האגרות ושולחן ביתו סמוך לחומה הוא. ואם אין שם אדם קבוע לכך אלא הנכרי שנותנין לו האגרת הוא שמוליכה לעיר אחרת אסור לשלוח ביד נכרי האגרת לעולם אלא אם כן קצץ לו דמים:

21

It is permissible for a gentile carrying his possessions to bring them into the Jew's house on the Sabbath.91 It is even permissible for [the Jew] to tell [the gentile], "Place them in this corner."92

One may invite a gentile to visit on the Sabbath and serve food93 for him to eat.94 If he took the food outside [the Jew's] home, there is no difficulty, for one is not obligated to see that he observes the Sabbath.95

Similarly, one may serve food to a dog in one's courtyard. If he takes it outside, there is no difficulty.

כא

נכרי שהביא חפציו בשבת והכניסן לבית ישראל מותר. ואפילו אמר לו הניחן בזוית זו הרי זה מותר. ומזמנין את הנכרי בשבת ונותנין לפניו מזונות לאוכלן. ואם נטלן ויצא אין נזקקין לו מפני שאין שביתתו עלינו. וכן נותנין מזונות לפני הכלב בחצר ואם נטלן ויצא אין נזקקין לו:

22

When a person is carrying money while traveling on a journey and the Sabbath commences, he should give his wallet to a gentile to carry for him. On Saturday night, he may take it back from him. This is permitted even though he did not pay the gentile for his services96 and even though he gave it to him after nightfall.97

These leniencies are granted because a person becomes distraught over his money and cannot bear to discard it. If we do not allow him [to have a gentile carry it for him] - a matter forbidden merely by Rabbinic decree - we fear that he will come to carry it himself98and thus transgress one of the Torah's prohibitions.99

When do the above [leniencies] apply? With regard to one's wallet. In contrast, a person may not give an ownerless object that he discovered to a gentile [to carry for him].100 Instead, he should carry it less than four cubits at a time101 [until he reaches a place where he can deposit it].

כב

מי שהיה בא בדרך וקדש עליו היום והיו עמו מעות נותן כיסו לנכרי להוליכו לו ולמוצאי שבת לוקחו ממנו. ואף על פי שלא נתן לו שכר על זה. ואף על פי שנתנו לו משחשיכה מותר מפני שאדם בהול על ממונו ואי אפשר שישליכנו. ואם לא תתיר לו דבר זה שאין איסורו אלא מדברי סופרים יבא להביאו בידו ועובר על מלאכה של תורה. במה דברים אמורים בכיסו אבל מציאה לא יתן לנכרי אלא מוליכה בפחות פחות מארבע אמות:

23

[The following rules apply when] a Jew performs a [forbidden] labor on the Sabbath: If he willingly transgressed, it is forbidden for him to benefit from this labor forever.102 Other Jews103 may, however, benefit from this labor immediately after the conclusion of the Sabbath,104 as [can be inferred from Exodus 31:14]: "And you shall observe the Sabbath, for it is holy." [Our Sages105 commented,] "It is holy, but the fruits of labor performed on it are not holy."106

What is implied? When a Jew cooks [food] on the Sabbath in willful violation [of the Sabbath laws], other Jews may partake of it Saturday night. He, however, is forbidden to partake of it forever. If he cooked it without knowing of the prohibition he was violating, both he107 and others may eat it immediately after the conclusion of the Sabbath.108 The same principles apply in other similar situations.

כג

ישראל שעשה מלאכה בשבת אם עבר ועשה בזדון אסור לו ליהנות באותה מלאכה לעולם. ושאר ישראל מותר להם ליהנות בה למוצאי שבת מיד שנאמר ושמרתם את השבת כי קדש היא היא קדש ואין מעשיה קדש. כיצד ישראל שבשל בשבת במזיד. למוצאי שבת יאכל לאחרים אבל לו לא יאכל עולמית. ואם בשל בשגגה למוצאי שבת יאכל בין הוא בין אחרים מיד וכן כל כיוצא בזה:

24

When produce was taken outside a city's Sabbath limits and then brought back without the knowledge of the prohibition involved, one may partake of it on the Sabbath, since nothing was done to the fruits themselves, and their state did not change. If they were brought back in willful violation of the prohibition involved,109 one may not partake of them until after the conclusion of the Sabbath.110

כד

פירות שיצאו חוץ לתחום וחזרו. בשוגג יאכלו בשבת שהרי לא נעשה בגופן מעשה ולא נשתנו. במזיד לא יאכלו עד מוצאי שבת:

25

When a person hires a worker to watch a cow or a baby, he should not pay him a wage for the Sabbath day.111 Therefore, [the worker] is not responsible for what happens on the Sabbath.112If a worker was hired on a weekly or annual basis, he is given full payment.113 Therefore, [the worker] is responsible for what happens on the Sabbath. [In the latter instance,] the worker should not say, "Pay me for the Sabbath," but rather, "Pay me for the year," or "Pay me for the ten days."114

כה

השוכר את הפועל לשמור לו את הפרה ואת התינוק לא יתן לו שכרו של שבת. לפיכך אין אחריות שבת עליו. ואם היה השכיר שכיר שבת או שכיר שנה נותן לו שכרו משלם לפיכך אחריות שבת עליו. ולא יאמר לו תן לי שכרי של שבת אלא אומר לו תן לי שכרי של שנה או של עשרה ימים

Footnotes
1.

See the Rambam's Commentary on the Mishnah (Machshirin 2:5-6), which states that it is forbidden even to hint to a gentile that one desires that he perform a forbidden labor on one's behalf. This ruling is accepted by the Ramah (Orach Chayim 307:22). Nevertheless, Shulchan Aruch HaRav 307:7 and the Mishnah Berurah 307:76 allow one to make an indirect hint in certain situations.

2.

On the contrary, a gentile who observes the Sabbath is liable for death (Sanhedrin 58b, Hilchot Melachim 10:9).

3.

The Tur and the Shulchan Aruch (Orach Chayim 307:1-2) mention another reason for the prohibition against conveying such instructions on the Sabbath itself, so that one should not talk about mundane matters on the Sabbath.

[On the basis of this rationale, we can understand the lenient opinions mentioned in note 1. Since the prohibition against instructing a gentile to perform work stems from the prohibition against speaking of mundane matters, there is room for leniency if the instruction is conveyed without speech.]

Shulchan Aruch HaRav 243:1 also mentions an opinion that maintains that a gentile performing a labor on behalf of a Jew on the Sabbath is considered as the Jews's agent. Hence, the Jew is held responsible for the work.

4.

Examples of the principles mentioned in this halachah are given in Halachot 3-8.

5.

I.e., even without receiving specific instructions from a Jew.

6.

The entire Jewish people, not only the person for whom the forbidden labor was performed, are prohibited from benefiting from it (Maggid Mishneh, Shulchan Aruch 325:10).

7.

See Halachah 8.

8.

The Rambam's mention of this principle is significant. In the interpretation of Shabbat 24:3 - the Mishnah that serves as the basis for Halachah 8 - there are authorities (e.g., Rabbenu Nissim) who explain that the prohibition against benefiting from forbidden labors performed by a gentile in public on the Sabbath applies only in the specific context mentioned in that Mishnah: a grave, coffin, or flutes for mourning a deceased person.

A prohibition was instituted in these instances alone, for it is improper that a person's final resting be associated with the performance of labor on the Sabbath. In contrast, when a Sabbath prohibition is performed on behalf of a living person, one may benefit from it after the Sabbath.

From the Rambam's statements in this halachah, it is obvious that he does not allow such leniency. Note Shulchan Aruch HaRav 325:21 and the Mishnah Berurah 325:73, which explain that if the situation requires it, Rabbenu Nissim's opinion can be relied on.

9.

With this addition, the Rambam implies that if the gentile performs the forbidden labor for his own sake and with the intention that it also benefit a Jew, it is forbidden. (See Shulchan Aruch, Orach Chayim 276:2.)

10.

The Shulchan Aruch (loc. cit.:1) states that one may also benefit from a lamp kindled by a gentile on behalf of a person who is ill.

11.

The Ramah (loc. cit.) states that if a gentile lights a lamp or a fire in a Jew's house on his own accord, the Jew is not required to leave his home. Although he should try not to benefit from the light, the fact that he receives benefit against his will is not of significance.

12.

Shabbat 122a gives a classic example of this halachah. Rabban Gamliel and several other Sages descended from a ship on a ramp made by a gentile on the Sabbath.

13.

Note the contrast between this pair of examples and the following pair, as explained in the following halachah.

14.

The Shulchan Aruch (loc. cit. 325:10) states that this prohibition applies only when one is drawing from a well in a private domain into the public domain, for this involves the transgression of a Torah prohibition. More leniency is allowed when water is drawn from a well in a private domain to a carmelit, for then merely a Rabbinic prohibition is involved. In such an instance, anyone other than the person for whom the water was drawn may benefit from it.

The Ramah (loc. cit.) mentions a more lenient perspective, which states that whenever it is possible for a Jew to accomplish an objective without performing a forbidden labor, he may benefit from a forbidden labor that a gentile performed for the Jew's sake, which made the objective easier to accomplish. For example, since a Jew could have descended to a well to drink water, he is allowed to drink water that a gentile brought from the well for him.

15.

The Maggid Mishneh and the Shulchan Aruch (loc. cit. 325:11) explain that one may not give this grass to the animal or even lead him directly toward it, because the grass is muktzeh.

16.

Not only for him, but for other Jews as well (Shulchan Aruch, loc. cit.:10).

17.

For then we may be certain that the gentile did not make an increase for the Jew's sake.

18.

Once a lamp is lit or a ramp is laid down, many people can benefit from it. No additional effort is required on their behalf.

19.

The Maggid Mishneh and the Shulchan Aruch (Orach Chayim 276:2) state that, even in such circumstances, if the gentile uses the light for the performance of a specific activity, it is clear that he kindled it for his own purposes. Hence, it is permitted for other Jews to benefit from it afterwards.

20.

The commentaries use this situation to exemplify the following principle: It is prohibited to benefit from the performance of a forbidden labor when it was performed for the sake of both a gentile and a Jew. (Note the Rambam's use of the expression "for his own sake alone" in Halachah 2).

Other commentaries (see Rashi, Shabbat 122a) offer different explanations for this ruling.

21.

Although the situation may arouse fear, we are still forbidden to instruct a gentile specifically to perform a forbidden labor.

22.

Furthermore, as stated in Chapter 12, Halachah 7, one may say, "The person who extinguishes the fire will not suffer a loss," encouraging the gentile to do so.

From this law, Tosafot (Shabbat 122a) explains that a Jew is not obligated to prevent a gentile from carrying out a forbidden activity that benefits the Jew's property, if the gentile does so on his own initiative. The Shulchan Aruch (Orach Chayim 325:13) accepts this principle, provided that the gentile does not do this on a continuous basis.

23.

With this expression, the Rambam (quoting Shabbat 16:6) contrasts a gentile with one's children - even minors - and one's servants - even gentiles - for whom one is responsible that they rest on the Sabbath, as mentioned in Exodus 20:10.

24.

Even though a Jew did not instruct a gentile to perform any of these activities, since they were performed on behalf of a Jew in public, they may never be used on his behalf.

25.

The Ra'avad objects to requiring one to wait when the product of the gentile's efforts is to be used for the sake of an individual other than the one for which they were originally intended. He explains that in Halachah 8, the Rambam states that this requirement was instituted, lest the person who benefits from the gentile's efforts instruct him to perform a forbidden labor. Needless to say, this does not apply in the situation under discussion, a burial.

The Shulchan Aruch (Orach Chayim 325:14) follows the Rambam's ruling. Although the rationale suggested by the Ra'avad is justifiable in this instance, the Rabbis did not accept it, in order to maintain a uniform policy regarding forbidden labor performed by a gentile on the Sabbath.

26.

In his Commentary on the Mishnah (Shabbat 23:4), the Rambam explains that if the flutes were brought from outside the city, they were brought from a public domain to a private domain. Hence, a transgression was involved, and it is necessary to wait for the time to pass that it would take to bring them after the conclusion of the Sabbath. We must, however, wait longer than the minimal amount of time it takes to bring them from outside the wall inside the wall, because of the suspicion mentioned by the Rambam. See also Hilchot Sh'vitat Yom Tov 2:10.

Significantly, Rashi (Shabbat 151a) and others interpret this Mishnah as relating to the prohibition against bringing objects from beyond the Sabbath boundary. The Shulchan Aruch (Orach Chayim 325:15-16) mentions both of these views.

27.

Shulchan Aruch HaRav 325:22 and the Mishnah Berurah 325:76 explain this as referring to the Sabbath boundary - i.e., 2000 cubits.

28.

The Shulchan Aruch (loc. cit.:15) emphasizes that a more lenient ruling is given if the gentile did not bring the flutes through the public domain, and traveled via a carmelit instead. Since the gentile violated a Rabbinic prohibition and not a prohibition of the Torah itself, the flutes are permitted to be used immediately on Saturday night.

29.

This can lead to both a more lenient and a more stringent ruling. If the place was within the Sabbath limits, one is required to wait less time. If the place is beyond the Sabbath limits, one is required to wait longer (Shulchan Aruch HaRav 325:22 and the Mishnah Berurah 325:77).

30.

This addition was made on the basis of the Mishnah Berurah 326:38, which explains that the ruling depends, not on the proportion of the population of the city at large, but on that of the bathers. Since they are the ones who use the bath, the bath is considered as being heated for them.

31.

In his Commentary on the Mishnah (Machshirin 2:5-6, the source for his halachah), the Rambam expounds on the principle stated in the following halachah to explain why it is necessary to wait until the water could have heated.

32.

In this instance, it is considered as if the baths were heated for the sake of both the Jews and the gentiles, as explained in the notes to Halachah 4.

33.

The punishment given for the violation of Rabbinic prohibitions.

34.

Although Rabbenu Yerucham forbids ever benefiting from such work, the Shulchan Aruch (Orach Chayim 307:20) accepts the Rambam's ruling.

35.

This appears to differ from Rashi's interpretation (Beitzah 24b), which explains (with regard to the festivals) that the reason that one is required to wait until the time it takes to perform the forbidden labor after the festival passes is "so that one will not benefit from a [forbidden] labor performed on a festival." Seemingly, he would accept the same rationale with regard to the Sabbath.

36.

The Rambam derives this principle from Eruvin 67b, which mentions that one is permitted to instruct a gentile to bring hot water to wash a child after circumcision, provided he does not have to pass through the public domain. The Rambam maintains that one can extrapolate from this instance to other similar cases. Although Tosafot, Gittin 8b, differs, the Rambam's opinion is accepted by the Shulchan Orach (Orach Chayim 307:5) as well as the later Ashkenazic authorities (Shulchan Aruch HaRav 307:12, Mishnah Berurah 307:23).

The Ramah (Orach Chayim 276:2) states that there are authorities who allow one to instruct a gentile to perform a forbidden labor on the Sabbath so that a mitzvah can be performed. Although he does not accept this opinion, he allows for leniency in circumstances of great necessity.

37.

In Chapter 21, Halachah 1, the Rambam defines sh'vut as an activity forbidden by the Sages because it resembles a forbidden labor or because it might lead to the performance of a forbidden labor.

The rationale behind this leniency is the principle that a Rabbinic prohibition is not instituted to support another Rabbinic prohibition. Since the activity in question is merely a Rabbinic prohibition, and the prohibition against instructing a gentile to perform a forbidden activity on the Sabbath is Rabbinic in origin, the two Rabbinic prohibitions should not be associated.

38.

In contrast to the situations mentioned in Chapter 2, here the Rambam is not speaking of a situation where the person is dangerously ill or even when there is a danger threatening one of the limbs of his body. Instead, the intent is situations that involve minor discomfort. Although a Jew himself is forbidden to perform certain activities that would relieve this uneasiness, a gentile is allowed to do so.

39.

Shulchan Aruch HaRav, loc. cit., cites as an example of this principle, merchandise that would spoil if left in the rain. [See the Shulchan Aruch (Orach Chayim 307:19) and commentaries.]

4 0. See Hilchot Milah 2:9. Significantly, Shulchan Aruch HaRav 331:7 and the Mishnah Berurah 331:22 rely on the leniency mentioned by the Ramah cited in note 36 in this instance. Since the circumcision itself involves carrying out a forbidden labor on the Sabbath, other labors that are necessary for the mitzvah to be performed may be carried out by a gentile even when instructed by a Jew.

40.

As stated above, Eruvin 67b mentions this instance with regard to circumcision. As explained above, the Rambam extends the leniency beyond the specific instance and applies it to other similar circumstances.

41.

Carrying in courtyards with an eruv is discussed in Chapters 16 and 17.

42.

The Magen Avraham 306:19-20 cites other authorities who state that a Jew should not complete the sale on the Sabbath. Even according to the Rambam, it appears that one is forbidden to give the gentile money on the Sabbath.

43.

From the fact that this law is cited in the Shulchan Aruch (Orach Chayim 306:11), it is clear that it applies in the present era as well.

44.

In contrast to the Ramban, the Rambam does not consider the settlement of Eretz Yisrael as one of the 613 mitzvot of the Torah. There is, however, no question of the great importance he attaches to this activity. (See Hilchot Melachim, 5:9-12. See also Hilchot Avodat Kochavim 10:3-4.)

45.

In Hilchot Terumah 1:2-3, the Rambam defines Syria as the lands outside Eretz Yisrael conquered by King David. Generally, lands conquered by the entire Jewish people are included in Eretz Yisrael. In this instance, however, although David was a king and his wars were approved by the Sanhedrin, these lands did not become part of Eretz Yisrael, because he had not completed the conquest of all the lands of the Canaanite nations at that time. Nevertheless, because of the communal nature of his conquest, the Rabbis ordained that certain of the laws applicable within Eretz Yisrael should also apply there. Compare also to Hilchot Avodat Kochavim 10:3.

46.

Since the gentile contractor has established a set price for his work, it does not matter when he performs the labor involved. Accordingly, he is considered as working for himself and not on behalf of the Jew.

The Rashba emphasizes that this leniency applies only when the gentile performs the task in question on his own premises. If he does so on premises belonging to a Jew, it is forbidden for him to work on the Sabbath even when the price is set beforehand. The Shulchan Aruch (Orach Chayim 244:5, 252:2) quotes the Rashba's view.

47.

The Jew may not, however, explicitly tell the gentile to perform a forbidden labor on the Sabbath even if he is hired on a contractual basis (Shulchan Aruch, loc. cit. 252:2).

48.

The Rambam's decision is based on Mo'ed Katan 12a, which mentions a person hired on a weekly, monthly, or yearly basis - i.e., rather than receive a wage on an hourly basis, he is contracted to perform a particular task which his employer will present him from time to time.

The Ra'avad differs with the Rambam on this issue, maintaining that although a person who is hired on a weekly basis is not required to work on the Sabbath, the Jew receives a direct benefit from the fact that he does. Therefore, this is forbidden.

The Shulchan Aruch (loc. cit. 244:5) accepts the Rambam's view. The Turei Zahav 244:5 emphasizes, however, that this ruling may be accepted only when the employer does not mind if the gentile does not work at any specific time. If he requires him to work a set number of hours, this is not acceptable.

(To explain the concept in contemporary terms: An employee who receives a weekly salary for a specific time commitment is not covered by this leniency. In contrast, an outside professional who is hired on a retainer basis is, for he is not bound by a time commitment to the employer.)

The Noda BiY'hudah (Orach Chayim, Vol. II, Responsum 38) explains the difference between the Rambam's and the Ra'avad's view as follows: In the case of a contractor, the gentile is the one who benefits from his working on the Sabbath. Although he is not obligated to work then, by doing so he earns a fee that he would not have received otherwise.

In contrast, when an employee is paid on a retainer basis, he receives no benefit from working on the Sabbath, for he receives the same wage regardless. Therefore, the Ra'avad considers this to be forbidden. The Rambam, however, permits this, since the employer receives no additional profit from the task being completed on the Sabbath. Were it not to be completed then, it would have been completed on the following day.

49.

The Ramah (loc. cit.) emphasizes that if the gentile is hired as a jack of all trades, it is forbidden for him to work on the Sabbath. In such an instance, the Jew has a distinct benefit from his working on the Sabbath, since there will surely be other work for him to do on the following day.

50.

In such an instance, the wage the gentile receives for the work performed on the Sabbath is distinct. Hence, it is forbidden.

51.

This restriction applies both to the leniency allowing a gentile to work as a contractor and to that which allows him to work on a retainer basis.

52.

The Magen Avraham 244:2 states that this wording implies that if several individuals know that the task is being performed for the sake of a Jew, but the matter is not public knowledge, there is no prohibition involved.

53.

It is of no importance to us whether people see the work being performed or not. What is significant is that they know that this work is being performed for the sake of a Jew (Rabbenu Yerucham).

54.

"Public knowledge" refers to matters known within the Jewish community. As reflected by the following halachah, if the matter is known to gentiles but not to Jews, there is no difficulty.

55.

See Hilchot Sh'vitat Yom Tov 7:25, which states "People at large do not know the difference between a contractor and a hired worker. Hence, it is forbidden."

Note also the Be'ur Halachah 244, which questions whether a gentile is permitted to perform work on behalf of a Jew if it is common custom for these tasks to be performed by a contractor. In such a situation, it is unlikely that an observer would assume that the gentile was hired to work on a daily basis. Neverthess, as mentioned in the Mishnah Berurah 244:7, the Noda BiY'hudah (Orach Chayim, Vol. I, Responsum 12), and Shulchan Aruch HaRav 244:8, the common custom is to allow such work to be performed.

56.

From the wording the Rambam uses, one might infer that this restriction applies to a private individual. In contrast, if a community at large employs a gentile, it can be assumed that they hired him in a permitted manner. On this basis, there are opinions which allow a gentile contractor to perform services for the community on the Sabbath (Magen Avraham 244:8).

57.

I.e., either the city in which the Jew contracting the gentile lives or another city populated by Jews.

58.

Note the Shulchan Aruch (Orach Chayim 244:3), which states that if a gentile builds a house for a Jew on the Sabbath, it is proper not to enter it.

59.

Since these arrangements are commonplace, an observer will not think that the gentile was employed as a hired worker.

60.

The Shulchan Aruch (Orach Chayim 243:1) gives as examples a bathhouse or an oven. As explained in the following note, the inclusion of an enterprise in this category is dependent on the business practices common in that locale.

61.

I.e., since the gentile will operate the enterprise on the Sabbath, it is forbidden to rent him the enterprise even on an annual or monthly basis.

As the Rambam mentions in his Commentary on the Mishnah (Avodah Zarah 1:8, the source for this halachah), the determination of which enterprises are included in this category is dependent on the local business practices. If it is commonplace for an enterprise to be rented out on an annual or monthly basis, an onlooker will not suppose that the gentile operating the enterprise is working for the Jew as a hired hand. (See also Shulchan Aruch, loc. cit.:2.)

62.

Similarly, if it is publicized throughout the community that the enterprise has been hired to the gentile, there is no prohibition. (See Shulchan Aruch, loc. cit..)

63.

One may not, however, lend a utensil to a gentile on the Sabbath itself. Similarly, when a utensil is lent on Friday, the gentile must have time to bring it out of the Jew's premises before the commencement of the Sabbath [Halachah 19, Shulchan Aruch (Orach Chayim 246:2)].

64.

The Shulchan Aruch (loc. cit.:1) states that if a Jew receives payment for the Sabbath day, he must arrange to be paid on a weekly or monthly basis. It is forbidden to receive payment for the Sabbath as a distinct entity.

65.

The Ra'avad, based on his interpretation of Shabbat 19a, states that it is forbidden to rent an article to a gentile on Friday, since it will appear that one is receiving a wage for the Sabbath. The Maggid Mishneh justifies the Rambam's decision, explaining that according to the Rambam, the passage the Ra'avad cites follows the opinion of the School of Shammai, which is not accepted as halachah.

The Shulchan Aruch (Orach Chayim 246:1) mentions both opinions, and the Ramah states that it is customary to follow the Ra'avad's ruling.

66.

Note the application of this principle in the first halachot of Chapter 3.

67.

See Chapter 20, Halachah 1, which includes fowl, fish, and all other living beings in this prohibition.

68.

Exodus 20:10 states "You shall not perform any labor, neither you, your son, your daughter, your servant, your maid-servant, or your beast." See also Exodus 23:12 and other sources. The nature of this p rohibition is discussed in Chapter 20.

69.

In such a situation, although the Jew does not work on the Sabbath, if he benefited from his gentile partner's activity, the latter would be considered to be acting as his agent unless they make a stipulation clarifying the matter at the outset.

70.

"At the outset" means when the partnership was originally established. If such an agreement was not made at that time, and the Jew made such an offer to the gentile afterwards, there are difficulties, for it appears that the Jew is paying the gentile for working on the Sabbath by working one day in the middle of the week.

71.

This leniency is not granted merely after the fact. On the contrary, it is a perfectly acceptable course of action according to Jewish law (Ba'er Heteiv 245:1).

72.

Rabbenu Nissim emphasizes that the need for such a stipulation applies only in situations where one of the partners works one day and the other another day. If during the week both work together, the fact that the gentile works on the Sabbath does not cause the profits of that day to be forbidden for the Jew. The gentile knows that the Jew will not work on the Sabbath, nor will he work any more during the week. Therefore, the activity the gentile is performing is motivated by his own benefit. The fact that he gives a share to the Jew as well is of no consequence. The Ramah accepts this ruling (Orach Chayim 245:1).

73.

Avodah Zarah 22a does not make a final ruling in this situation, and the Rambam follows the more stringent position. (Note a similar ruling, Hilchot Ma'achalot Asurot 10:14.)

In contrast, Rabbenu Asher states that in such a situation, if the gentile willingly gives the Jew a share of the Sabbath profits, the Jew is allowed to keep it. The Ramah (loc. cit.) states that after the fact, one may rely on this ruling. The Shulchan Aruch HaRav 245:2 rules more stringently and states that one may rely on Rabbenu Asher's opinion only in the case of a major loss.

74.

The Shulchan Aruch (Orach Chayim 245:3) describes the procedure to follow when a Jew and gentile partner did not make such an agreement at the beginning of the partnership, and the Jew desires to do so afterwards.

75.

Significantly, the Magen Avraham 245:1 differentiates between a field that requires work seven days a week and certain business establishments that do not require active effort on the part of their owner. For example, partners may own an oven and rent it out to others.

In the first instance, when the gentile works on the Sabbath, he appears to be working as the agent of the Jew. In the latter instance, by contrast, since there is no work required on the Sabbath, the gentile partner appears to be acting in his own interest by renting the establishment to others. Therefore, the Jew is allowed to receive a share of the profits.

76.

This expression implies a ruling made by the Rambam that is not based on a previous Rabbinic source.

77.

Thus, retroactively the Jew renounces his portion in the gentile's activity. Hence, the gentile is no longer considered to be acting as his agent (Shulchan Aruch HaRav 245:6).

78.

The Shulchan Aruch (Orach Chayim 245:1) accepts the Rambam's ruling. As mentioned, in a case of severe loss, the Ramah allows leniency in accordance with the opinion of Rabbenu Asher mentioned in note 74.

79.

In this instance, the Jew is not obligated to perform work at all. Hence, no one will say that the gentile is working as the Jew's agent (Shulchan Aruch, loc. cit.:4). Furthermore, the gentile is not obligated to work on the Sabbath. Should he choose to do so, it is his own independent decision, which is not at all related to the Jew (Shulchan Aruch HaRav 245:16).

80.

The Beit Yosef (Orach Chayim 245) cites a responsum of Rav Sherirah Gaon. (See also Teshuvat HaGeonim, Responsum 43.)

81.

Or to fix, improve, or work on in any way.

82.

Once a set price is established, there is no difficulty with the gentile's working on the utensil on the Sabbath. Since the same price would be paid whether the work is done on Saturday or another day, the gentile is considered to be working for himself if he decides to work on the Sabbath. Nevertheless, even though basis of the contractual arrangement is correct, this is forbidden, since the article was given to the gentile directly before the commencement of the Sabbath.

83.

I.e., before the commencement of the Sabbath. Were the gentile to take the article from the Jew's home on the Sabbath, it would appear that he was working for him, as the Rambam states at the conclusion of this halachah.

84.

As mentioned in Chapter 23, Halachah 12, these business transactions are forbidden on the Sabbath.

85.

The Shulchan Aruch (Orach Chayim 247:1) emphasizes that one may not specify that the gentile should convey the article on the Sabbath.

86.

We have translated both the words and as "city," since in other sources (see Hilchot Megillah, Chapter 1) we find them both used by the Rambam with that meaning. (More particularly, refers to a small city, while to a large metropolis.)

The Kessef Mishneh, however, interprets as referring to a province, and thus explains the halachah as referring to an instance where the person charged with conveying the letter travels from his city to another place.

87.

I.e., a post office. Since the post office charges fixed prices for its services, there is no difficulty in having it convey mail on the Sabbath. Accordingly, there is no difficulty at present in sending mail before the Sabbath. On the Sabbath itself, however, it is forbidden to send mail, even by means of the post office.

88.

I.e., this gentile does not bring the letter to its destination, but merely brings it to the post office. Nevertheless, since a fee has not been established for his services in bringing the letter to the post office, there must be enough time for him to do so before the commencement of the Sabbath. Otherwise, it would appear that he is acting as the Jew's agent.

89.

The Rambam is referring to an instance where the gentile bringing the letter to the post office does not know the location of the post office. Nevertheless, since there is a post office in the city, there is no difficulty if there is time to reach the farthest point in the city before the commencement of the Sabbath.

90.

For the gentile will be performing work on the Jew's behalf on the Sabbath. This ruling is based on Rabbenu Yitzchak Alfasi's interpretation of Shabbat 19a. Rashi and the Tur (Orach Chayim 247) offer a different interpretation of that source, which allows one to send a letter with a gentile even when a fixed fee was not set, provided one sent it with him on Thursday or earlier.

The Shulchan Aruch (Orach Chayim 247:1) quotes the Rambam's ruling, while the Ramah follows that of the Tur.

91.

Even though the gentile charges the Jew with watching his possessions, there is no prohibition (Maggid Mishneh). Similarly, the Ramah (Orach Chayim 307:22) mentions that a gentile may bring a Jew grain as payment for debts on the Sabbath.

92.

Since this activity is being performed by the gentile for his own interests on his own volition, there is no prohibition against giving him instructions. A Jew may tell a gentile to perform labor for the gentile's own sake on the Sabbath (Maggid Mishneh).

93.

In contrast, this is forbidden on a festival. In the latter instance, the possibility exists that for the sake of the gentile one may add to the food that one is cooking. Although one is permitted to cook for the sake of Jews on a festival, one may not do so for the sake of a gentile. In contrast, no cooking whatsoever is permitted on the Sabbath. Hence, there is no need for concern (Hilchot Sh'vitat Yom Tov 1:13).

94.

One may not, however, give a gentile food with the intent that he take it out. (See Shulchan Aruch, Orach Chayim 325:1 and commentaries.)

95.

The Mechilta, Parashat Bo, Chapter 9, derives this from the verse, "Six days shall you perform your work, and on the seventh day you shall rest." The mitzvah of resting on the seventh day concerns only "your work," and not that of a gentile. 97. As the Rambam writes in Chapter 21, Halachah 36, on the Sabbath a person is allowed to provide food only for animals that are dependent on him for their sustenance. (See Shulchan Aruch, Orach Chayim 324:11 and commentaries which question whether this also applies to a stray dog or not.)

96.

Were the gentile to be paid a fixed fee, there would be no difficulty, because he would be carrying the wallet to earn the fee and not on behalf of the Jew.

97.

As mentioned in Halachot 19 and 20, a gentile must generally remove any objects he has been given to take from a Jew's domain before the commencement of the Sabbath.

98.

From the Rambam's statements, it appears that it is preferable for a person to have a gentile carry his wallet for him than for him to carry it himself less than four cubits at time. This and other related matters are discussed in Chapter 20, Halachot 6-7, and commentary.

99.

We find several instances where the Sages relaxed the prohibitions they imposed for fear that as a result a person would lose control, and ignore Torah law entirely. Similarly, in this instance, they felt it preferable to allow a person to instruct a gentile to perform a forbidden labor on his behalf - a Rabbinic prohibition, so that he would not come to carry the wallet himself in the public domain - a prohibition of the Torah.

On the basis of this principle. The Sefer HaTerumah offers a further leniency. A person who is pursued by gentiles may take his money and hide it. The Rashba and others do not, however, agree to this extension.

100.

Since this is money that did not belong to him originally, the person is less concerned about it. Hence, the Sages granted less leniency.

101.

Many other authorities do not allow the finder to carry the object discovered at all. The Rambam's view is discussed in the notes on Chapter 20, Halachah 7.

102.

This is also a Rabbinic prohibition. (See Shabbat 38a and also Ketubot 34a, which mentions three different opinions of the Sages on this matter.) The Rambam follows the opinion of Rabbi Yehudah, which is the intermediate view. The person may, however, benefit from the sale of the proceeds of such labor (Mishnah Berurah 218:4).

103.

Even a person for whom this labor was performed may benefit from it. Although this is forbidden with regard to other prohibitions, in this instance the Sages did not feel that such a restriction was necessary. It is unlikely that one Jew would ask another to violate the Sabbath laws on his behalf, nor is likely that the person of whom such a request was made would agree (Shulchan Aruch HaRav 218:1, Mishnah Berurah 218:5).

104.

When a gentile performs a forbidden labor on behalf of a Jew (Halachah 8) and when food is left to warm in a forbidden fashion (Chapter 3, Halachah 9), a Jew is forbidden to benefit from these activities until enough time passes on Saturday night for the activity to have been performed. Nevertheless, these restrictions are punitive in nature, instituted so that one would not perform either of these forbidden activities. In contrast, as mentioned in the previous note, we do not suspect that one Jew will transgress the Sabbath laws on behalf of another individual. Hence, these restrictions were not applied under these circumstances.

105.

Ketubot 34a.

106.

The Hebrew, translated as "holy," also means "consecrated." Consecrated articles may not be used for mundane purposes.

107.

Since the transgression was not willfully performed, the person is not prohibited from benefiting from his act.

108.

The fruits of the forbidden activity are forbidden until Saturday night, lest one willfully perform a transgression and seek license to benefit from his activity on the grounds that the transgression was performed inadvertently.

This is the opinion of Rabbi Yehudah (Shabbat 38a, Ketubot, loc. cit.). Tosafot, however, quotes the opinion of Rabbi Meir, who allows one to benefit on the Sabbath itself from a forbidden activity performed without a willful desire to transgress. The Mishnah Berurah 318:7 mentions opinions that allow one to rely on Tosafot's opinion in a situation of necessity. This leniency is not, however, accepted by all authorities.

In regard to deriving benefit from the performance of an activity on the Sabbath which was forbidden by the Sages, see also Chapter 23, Halachah 8.

109.

If they were brought back by a gentile, a deaf mute, a mentally incapable person, or a child, they are permitted, for these individuals are not obligated to keep the Sabbath prohibitions.

110.

The Ra'avad questions the Rambam's opinion, noting that although there is a difference of opinion among the Sages of the Mishnah about the matter (see Eruvin 41b), Rav Pappa, one of the later Sages of the Talmud, adopted a more lenient opinion, allowing one to benefit from the produce if it was brought to its original place, even if this was done willfully. Significantly, the Rambam also quotes Rav Pappa's opinion in Hilchot Sh'vitat Yom Tov 5:10. The Maggid Mishneh, however, supports the Rambam's ruling, explaining that the laws of the Sabbath are more stringent than those of the festivals in this context. (See also the distinction between the Sabbath and holidays made by the Tzafenat Paneach.)

The Maggid Mishneh also mentions an opinion of the Rashba which is more stringent than both the Rambam and the Ra'avad.

111.

When a worker is paid for serving as a watchman on a daily basis, he may not take a wage for watching on the Sabbath. Although watching a cow or a child is not a forbidden activity, it is forbidden to receive payment for the Sabbath as a separate and independent entity.

112.

Note Shulchan Aruch HaRav 306:8, which states that although he does not have the responsibilities of a paid watchman on the Sabbath, he still has the responsibilities of an unpaid watchman.

113.

I.e., the payment he receives can include recompense for the services rendered on the Sabbath, as long as the number of days he works is not considered individually, but rather he receives payment for a month's work as a lump sum.

114.

I.e., he hires himself out for a ten day period. Each of these days may not be considered as an individual entity as above.

Alternatively, the Mishnah Berurah 306:18 explains that "Pay me for the ten days" can be interpreted as referring to a situation in which a worker accepted a monthly contract and left the job after working ten days. Since he worked on a monthly basis, he is entitled to payment for all ten days he worked, including the Sabbath. This, however, is a delicate manner, and the exact wording of the contract between an employer and employee should be checked with a Rabbinic authority to prevent any problems from arising in this regard.

It must be emphasized that the same principles also apply with regard to the rental of homes, or money lent at interest to a gentile. One may not receive payment for the Sabbath individually. Instead, one must receive payment on a weekly, monthly, or annual basis. Thus, problems may arise if interest is compounded daily and the Sabbath is included as one of the days. (See Shulchan Aruch HaRav 306:9.)

Shabbat - Chapter Seven

1

With regard to the [forbidden] labors for which one is liable to be executed by stoning or to receive karet if one transgresses willingly, or for which one is obligated to bring a sin offering if one commits the transgression unknowingly, there are primary categories and [their] derivatives.

The sum of all the primary categories of [forbidden] labor are forty minus one. They include:

1) plowing,

2) sowing,

3) reaping,

4) collecting sheaves,

5) threshing,

6) winnowing,

7) separating,

8) grinding,

9) sifting,

10) kneading,

11) baking,

12) shearing,

13) whitening,

14) beating,

15) dyeing,

16) spinning,

17) making heddles,

18) mounting the warp,

19) weaving,

20) undoing woven fabric,

21) tying,

22) untying,

23) sewing,

24) tearing,

25) building,

26) demolishing,

27) beating with a hammer,

28) trapping,

29) slaughtering,

30) skinning,

31) processing [hides],

32) removing hair,

33) cutting [leather],

34) writing,

35) erasing,

36) ruling lines,

37) kindling a flame,

38) extinguishing a flame,

39) transferring from one domain to another.

א

מלאכות שחייבין עליהן סקילה וכרת במזיד או קרבן חטאת בשגגה. מהן אבות ומהן תולדות. ומנין כל אבות מלאכות ארבעים חסר אחת. ואלו הן. החרישה. והזריעה. והקצירה. והעימור. והדישה. והזריה. והברירה. והטחינה. וההרקדה. והלישה. והאפיה. והגזיזה. והלבון. והנפוץ. והצביעה. והטויה. ועשיית הנירין. והנסכת המסכה. והאריגה. והבציעה. והקשירה. וההתרה. והתפירה. והקריעה. והבנין. והסתירה. והכאה בפטיש. והצידה. והשחיטה. וההפשטה. וההעבדה. ומחיקת העור. וחתוכו. והכתיבה. והמחיקה. והשרטוט. וההבערה. והכיבוי. וההוצאה מרשות לרשות:

With regard to the [forbidden] labors for which one is liable to be executed by stoning - when a forbidden labor is performed in the presence of witnesses who administer a warning (Chapter 1, Halachah 1)

or to receive karet if one transgresses willingly - when a forbidden labor is performed when witnesses are not present (ibid.)

or for which one is obligated to bring a sin offering if one commits the transgression unknowingly, - i.e., one intended to perform the forbidden labor, but was not aware that doing so was breaking the Sabbath laws.

there are primary categories and [their] derivatives. - In his Commentary on the Mishnah (Shabbat 7:2), the Rambam explains that the primary categories are so defined because "they were part of the work of the Sanctuary, which is termed melachah [the term used for the Torah for forbidden labor]." The Rambam clarifies the definition of what constitutes a primary category and what constitutes a derivative in Halachot 2-6.

See Yereim (249) who notes that the Jerusalem Talmud (Shabbat 7:2) derives the existence of thirty nine categories of work from the exegesis of Exodus 38:2. There is a question if this difference in sources creates a difference in law as well. See also the preface to Eglei Tal, which questions whether the definition of the categories of forbidden labor are taken from the activities necessary for the offering of the sacrifices in the Sanctuary, or merely the activities necessary for construction of the Sanctuary. (In this context, see Rashi, Shabbat 73a, which states that the forbidden labor of baking was not practiced in the Sanctuary although one of the offerings was the showbread which was baked each week.)

The sum of all the primary categories of [forbidden] labor are forty minus one. - The commentaries question why the Rambam (and his source, Shabbat 7:2, use this expression, rather than merely stating "thirty-nine." Some draw attention to the parallel found in the Mishnah's description of the number of lashes given a transgressor (Makkot 3:10). Others explain that this expression indicates that there is a fortieth activity - the spiritual service of prayer and study - which must be performed on the Sabbath day.

They include: plowing - This and the ten labors that follow are described as sidura d'pat, the manner in which bread is baked. They were necessary to prepare the herbs used as dyes for the curtains of the Sanctuary. (See Chapter 8, Halachah 1.)

sowing, - Significantly, plowing is mentioned before sowing in the Mishnah. Shabbat 73b explains that this was done to teach that if the earth is hard, and it is necessary to re-plow the land after the first plowing, one is liable for the second plowing as well. The Rambam, however, follows the usual order of activities. (See Chapter 8, Halachah 2.)

reaping - As explained in Chapter 8, Halachah 3, this refers to reaping with a utensil. Severing produce by hand is considered merely a derivative. (See Chapter 8, Halachah 3.)

collecting sheaves - In his Commentary on the Mishnah (loc. cit.), the Rambam mentions that the reapers usually gather the grain in small sheaves. Others follow who collect these sheaves into larger bundles. (See Chapter 8, Halachah 5.)

According to one opinion in Shabbat 96b, there is an explicit reference to the prohibition of this labor on the Sabbath. Numbers, ch. 15, relates that a person was executed for collecting wood on the Sabbath. As the Rambam states Chapter 21, Halachah 11, this labor includes only the collection of produce. Gathering other substances - e.g., salt - is not included. It is, however, forbidden by Rabbinic decree.

threshing - applying pressure to grain to extract the kernel from its husk. (See Chapter 8, Halachah 7.)

winnowing - casting the mixture of kernels and husks to the wind. The wind will blow away the chaff, while the kernels that are heavier will fall to the ground.

separating - separating stones and the like from the kernels of grain. This is usually done by hand.

grinding - crushing the kernels into flour. (See Chapter 8, Halachah 15.)

sifting - the flour with a sifter. Shabbat 74a (see also Chapter 8, Halachah 11) notes that the three labors - winnowing, separating, and sifting - are similar. Nevertheless, because they represent three different activities performed in the construction of the Sanctuary, each one is considered a separate primary category of forbidden labor.

kneading - mixing the flour with water to create a dough. (See Chapter 8, Halachah 16.)

baking - This also includes cooking, roasting, or the like. In the construction of the Sanctuary, cooking was necessary for the preparation of dyes. (See Chapter 9, Halachah 1.)

shearing - This and the following twelve labors are necessary for the preparation of fabric. Shearing involves removing hair or wool from an animal, whether dead or alive. (See Chapter 9, Halachah 7.)

whitening - After the wool is removed from the animal, it is washed to remove dirt. (See Chapter 9, Halachah 10.)

beating - Unlike Rashi and others who interpret as combing the wool, in the Rambam's Commentary on the Mishnah he translates the word into an Arabic term meaning "beat it with a stick." This activity is necessary as a preliminary stage of the preparation of flax to be spun into linen. (See Chapter 9, Halachah 12.)

dyeing - for most of the fabrics used in the curtains and roof-coverings of the Sanctuary were dyed. (See Chapter 9, Halachah 13.)

spinning - intertwining the fibers to make thread. (See Chapter 9, Halachah 15.)

making heddles - The Hebrew, literally means "house of string." In the weaving process, it refers to the following practice: Weaving involves passing the threads of the woof over and under each of the consecutive threads of the warp. In order to facilitate this process, two frames are made, each possessing many threads with a loop (referred to as a "heddle") in the middle of these threads. The threads of the warp are passed through these loops, one from one frame, and the next from the other, consecutively. When this is completed, the weaver lifts the two frames alternately. As he raises one up, he passes the woof through. In this manner, he is able to thread the woof through the entire warp at one time. (See the Rambam's Commentary on the Mishnah, Shabbat 7:2; Keilim 21:1.)

mounting the warp - See Chapter 9, Halachah 17-18, where the Rambam describes how a loom is set up. First, the threads of the warp are extended to the desired length and width. They are then attached to a rod on either side, and held taut. This is the activity referred to by this term.

weaving - passing the threads of the woof between the threads of the warp. (See Chapter 9, loc. cit.)

undoing woven fabric - See Chapter 9, Halachah 20.

tying - This refers to a permanent knot whose tying requires professional expertise. (See Chapter 10, Halachah 1.) In the construction of the Sanctuary, the chilazon which were used for dye were caught with nets that had to be tied (Shabbat 74b).

untying - This also includes untying only such knots. (See Chapter 10, Halachah 7.)

sewing - at least two stitches. (See Chapter 10, Halachah 9.)

tearing - in order to sew. Otherwise, one is not liable. (See Chapter 10, Halachah 10.) If a hole was found in one of the curtains of the Sanctuary, it was cut open and sewn close (Shulchan Aruch HaRav 302:4).

building - any structure; similarly, leveling the ground is included in this category. (See Chapter 10, Halachah 12.) The Kiryat Sefer gives as an example, the placement of the boards of the Sanctuary in their sockets.

demolishing - Here also the intent must be a constructive one: demolishing in order to rebuild. (See Chapter 10, Halachah 15.)

beating with a hammer - The Kiryat Sefer points to the fashioning of the menorah in the Sanctuary.

A craftsman finishing the fashioning of a utensil concludes his work by giving several taps with a hammer to smooth the utensil's surface. Thus, this labor also includes all activities performed to apply the finishing touch to an object - e.g., polishing and shining. (See the Rambam's Commentary on the Mishnah, loc. cit., and Chapter 10, Halachah 16.)

trapping - The Mishnah mentions the following seven categories as activities necessary to write a scroll. Leather hides were used to cover the roof of the Sanctuary. (See also Chapter 10, Halachah 19.)

slaughtering - Although this term is usually used to refer to ritual slaughter, the intent here is taking a life through any means. (See Chapter 11, Halachah 1.)

skinning - the hide of an animal to use for leather. (See Chapter 11, Halachah 5.)

processing [hides] - into leather. (See Chapter 11, loc. cit.) Significantly, the Mishnah (Shabbat 7:2) also includes salting the hides as a separate category of labor. Shabbat 75b, however, includes this activity in the category of processing hides and includes ruling parchment as the thirty-ninth category of labor.

removing hair - For leather or parchment, smooth skin is required. (See also Chapter 11, Halachah 5, 6.)

cutting [leather] - This refers to making an exact cut, so that the leather can be used for a purpose. Cutting indiscriminately is a destructive activity. Hence, one is not held liable. (See Chapter 11, Halachah 7.)

writing - two letters. This activity was necessary in the Sanctuary, for a mark was made on the boards so that the same boards could be matched to each other each time they were attached together. (See Chapter 11, Halachah 9.)

erasing - For if the builders of the Sanctuary erred in making a sign, they would erase it and write another in its place. In this instance as well, one is held liable only when one erases with the intent of writing two letters in this place. (See Chapter 11, loc. cit.)

ruling lines - For proper writing is possible only on ruled lines. (See Chapter 11, Halachah 17.) In the Sanctuary, this labor was performed to prepare the hides to be cut.

kindling a flame - This was necessary to cook the dyes. As the Rambam explains in Chapter 12, Halachah 1, one is liable for kindling a flame only when when desires to cook with it, use it for light, or desires ash. Otherwise, it is considered a destructive activity.

extinguishing a flame - Here also, one's intent must be constructive - e.g., to use the charcoal produced. In the Sanctuary, this was necessary to produce an even flame for the fashioning of the metal utensils (See Chapter 12, Halachah 2.)

transferring from one domain to another. - All the materials necessary for the construction of the Sanctuary were brought from the private domain to the public domain (Shabbat 96b). This forbidden labor is discussed in great length. (See Chapters 12-19.)


2

All of these [forbidden] labors and all analogous activities are referred to as primary categories of labor. What is meant by an "analogous activity"? Plowing, digging, or making a groove [in the ground] are all considered to be primary categories of work. For each one involves digging in the ground and they all reflect a single activity.1

ב

כל אלו המלאכות וכל שהוא מענינם הם הנקראין אבות מלאכות. כיצד הוא ענינן. אחד החורש או החופר או העושה חריץ הרי זה אב מלאכה. שכל אחת ואחת מהן חפירה בקרקע וענין אחד הוא.

3

Similarly, one who sows seeds, plants trees, extends trees,2 grafts [branches to] trees,3 or prunes trees:4 All of these [activities] are considered a single primary category of [forbidden] labor, [for] they share a commonality, since all these activities have a single intent:5 to cause [a plant] to grow.

ג

וכן הזורע זרעים או הנוטע אילנות או המבריך אילנות או המרכיב או הזומר. כל אלו אב אחד הן מאבות מלאכות וענין אחד הוא. שכל אחת מהן לצמח דבר הוא מתכוין:

4

Similarly, a person who reaps grain or legumes, one who harvests grapes, dates, olives, or figs: All these [activities] are considered a single primary category of [forbidden] labor, [for] they share a commonality, since all these activities have a single intent:6 to remove produce from [the plant] on which it grows. [The same principle applies] with regard to other forbidden categories of labor.

ד

וכן הקוצר תבואה או קטנית או הבוצר ענבים או הגודר תמרים או המוסק זיתים או האורה תאנים. כל אלו אב מלאכה אחת הן. שכל אחת מהן לעקור דבר מגידוליו מתכוון. ועל דרך זו שאר האבות:

5

A derivative is a labor that resembles one of these categories of [forbidden] labor.7 What is implied? A person who cuts a vegetable into small pieces to cook is liable,8 for this activity resembles grinding. When a person grinds, he takes one [large] entity, and divides it into smaller parts. Anyone who performs an activity that resembles this is [performing] a derivative of the labor of grinding. Similarly, a person who takes a strip of metal and pulverizes it to use the powder9 acts as goldsmiths do;10 he is [performing] a derivative of the labor of grinding.

ה

התולדה היא המלאכה הדומה לאב מאלו האבות. כיצד המחתך את הירק מעט לבשלו הרי זה חייב שזו המלאכה תולדת טחינה. שהטוחן לוקח גוף אחד ומחלקו לגופים הרבה. וכל העושה דבר הדומה לזה הרי זה תולדת טוחן. וכן הלוקח לשון של מתכת ושף אותו כדי ליקח מעפרו כדרך שעושים צורפי הזהב הרי זה תולדת טחינה:

6

Similarly, one who takes milk and inserts a [piece of intestine] in it so that it curdles is liable for [performing] a derivative of separating,11 for he separates the curds from the whey.

If one made cheese from it, one is liable for [performing a derivative of building]. Whenever one collects separate entities and bonds them together so that they form a single mass, [the activity] resembles building.

Similarly, each of the primary categories of [forbidden] labor [mentioned above] possesses derivatives,12 which are determined according to the principles explained above. From the nature of the [forbidden] labor performed on the Sabbath, one can determine in which category of [forbidden] labor it should be included, or which [forbidden] labor it is a derivative of.

ו

וכן הלוקח חלב ונתן בו קיבה כדי לחבצו הרי זה חייב משום תולדת בורר שהרי הפריש הקום מן החלב. ואם גבנו ועשהו גבינה חייב משום בונה. שכל המקבץ חלק אל חלק ודבק הכל עד שיעשו גוף אחד הרי זה דומה לבנין. וכן לכל מלאכה ומלאכה מאלו האבות יש להן תולדות על דרך זו שאמרנו. ומגוף המלאכה הנעשית בשבת תדע מעין אי זה אב היא ותולדת אי זה אב היא:

7

A person who willingly, as a conscious act of defiance, performs an activity that constitutes one of the primary categories of [forbidden] labor or one of the derivatives [of these categories] is liable for karet.13 If witnesses come, he should be stoned [to death].14 If [he performs such an activity] without being conscious of the transgression, he must bring a sin offering of a fixed nature.

If so, what is the difference between the primary categories of [forbidden] labor and the derivatives?15 There is no difference except with regard to sacrifices. When a person, without being conscious of the transgression involved, performs many activities, each of which constitutes a different primary category [of forbidden labor] in one period of lack of awareness,16 he is obligated to bring a sin offering for every such category17 [of forbidden labor].18

If he performs an activity that constitutes a primary category [of forbidden labor] and its derivatives in one period of lack of awareness, he is obligated to bring merely one sin offering.19

ז

אחד העושה אב מאבות מלאכות או תולדה מן התולדות במזיד חייב כרת. ואם באו עדים נסקל. בשוגג חייב חטאת קבועה. אם כן מה הפרש יש בין האבות והתולדות. אין ביניהן הפרש אלא לענין הקרבן בלבד.שהעושה בשוגג אם עשה אבות הרבה בהעלם אחד חייב חטאת אחת על כל אב ואב. ואם עשה אב ותולדותיו בהעלם אחד אינו חייב אלא חטאת אחת:

8

What is implied? If a person plows, sows, and reaps on the Sabbath in a single period of lack of awareness, he is required to bring three sin offerings. Even if he performs all thirty-nine [forbidden] labors without knowing of the prohibition involved - e.g., he forgot that it is forbidden to perform these labors on the Sabbath - he is obligated to bring one sin offering for each and every [forbidden] labor.20

In contrast, if he ground [grain], cut a vegetable, and pulverized a strip of metal during a single period of lack of awareness, he is required to bring only one sin offering [for each Sabbath],21 for he performed only a single primary [forbidden] labor and its derivatives. The same applies in all similar situations.

ח

כיצד הרי שחרש וזרע וקצר בשבת בהעלם אחד חייב שלש חטאות. ואפילו עשה הארבעים חסר אחת בשגגה כגון ששכח שאלו המלאכות אסורות לעשות בשבת חייב על כל מלאכה ומלאכה חטאת אחת. אבל אם טחן וחתך הירק ושף לשון של מתכת בהעלם אחד אינו חייב אלא חטאת אחת. שהרי לא עשה אלא אב אחד ותולדותיו. וכן כל כיוצא בזה:

9

When a person performs many labors corresponding to a single category of labor in one period of lack of awareness, he is obligated to bring only one sin offering.22

What is implied? When a person sowed, planted, extended, grafted, and pruned in a single period of lack of awareness, he is obligated to bring only a single sin offering, for all of these [activities] are included in the same primary category of labor. The same applies in all similar situations.

ט

העושה מלאכות הרבה מעין מלאכה אחת בהעלם אחד אינו חייב אלא חטאת אחת. כיצד הרי שזרע ונטע והבריך והרכיב וזמר בהעלם אחד אינו חייב אלא חטאת אחת שכולן אב אחד הן. וכן כל כיוצא בזה

Footnotes
1.

In this and the following two halachot, the Rambam emphasizes how other activities that are analogous to the thirty-nine mentioned in the previous halachah are not considered as solely derivatives of the primary category of labor; they have the same status as the primary categories themselves. In his Commentary on the Mishnah (Shabbat 7:2) and in Halachah 9 of this chapter, he uses the term - "labors corresponding to a single category of labor" to describe such activities. This phrase is also used by the Mishnah, Shabbat 7:1 (although interpreted differently by other authorities).

The Kessef Mishneh quotes Rav Moshe Kohen as objecting to the Rambam's statements, for the Mishnah specifically states that there are thirty-nine such categories of forbidden labor, while according to the Rambam there would be far more. He thus considers all these other activities as derivatives.

The Maggid Mishneh does not see such a difficulty, explaining that, as the Rambam illustrates in the examples he cites in this and the following halachot, the activity being performed is basically the same as the primary category of labor. Thus it is not proper for such an activity to be called a derivative. Similarly, since these activities are identical in nature to the existing categories, it is not proper to consider them as being an additional category with regard to the total sum.

Kalkalat Shabbat adds that the activities that the Rambam mentions as analogous to the primary categories of labor are not counted as additional categories because they were not necessary for the construction of the Sanctuary.

2.

One of the methods of agriculture common in the Talmudic period was to plant vines - and in certain instances, trees - by taking a branch from an existing vine or tree and, without severing it from its source, burying it in the ground. In this manner, it would sprout roots, and ultimately a new plant would grow from this base.

3.

Taking branches from one tree and grafting them to another so that they will grow.

4.

As the Rambam states in Chapter 8, Halachah 2, pruning a tree is beneficial in causing it to grow. He also explains this concept in his Commentary on the Mishnah, Sh'vi'it 4:5, "One cuts off [branches] at a specific place to improve the tree."

The Eglei Tal and others note that the Rambam (Hilchot Shemitah 1:3, based on Mo'ed Katan 3a) considers pruning merely a derivative of planting with regard to the concept of forbidden labor in the Sabbatical year, while in the present context it is considered in the same status as planting itself.

The Eglei Tal resolves this difficulty on the basis of the principle that with regard to the Sabbath, it is, "thoughtful work," that the Torah forbade. This principle does not apply with regard to the prohibitions against working the land in the Sabbatical year.

Accordingly, since the activities of planting and pruning are very different, pruning is considered only a derivative with regard to the Sabbatical year. With regard to the Sabbath labors, however, intent is of fundamental importance. Since the intent of both activities is the same - to enable the plant to grow - they are both given equal status.

5.

With this statement, the Rambam explains the difference between the sets of activities mentioned in the previous halachah, and those mentioned in this halachah. Plowing, digging, and making a groove are very similar activities, but they differ in their objectives. The activities mentioned in this halachah, by contrast, do not resemble each other; nevertheless, they share the same intent.

6.

The activities mentioned in this halachah differ from those mentioned in the previous halachah in that each of the activities in this halachah involves a different type of produce. Hence, it is necessary to emphasize that they are all considered in the same status.

7.

In his Commentary on the Mishnah (Shabbat 7:2), the Rambam explains that a derivative is an activity that produces a result similar to that produced by one of the forbidden labors, but differs both in the intent and the nature of the activity.

8.

See Chapter 21, Halachah 18. As mentioned in the notes on that halachah, for the activity to be forbidden as a derivative of grinding, one must have the intent to cook it.

9.

See Chapter 8, Halachah 15.

10.

This phrase emphasizes that to be liable, one's intent in pulverizing the metal must be for a useful purpose. If one's intent is merely destructive in nature, one is not liable.

11.

Note the Jerusalem Talmud (Shabbat 7:2), which states that with regard to both this activity and making cheese, one is liable for performing a derivative of kneading.

12.

The Jerusalem Talmud (loc. cit.) states that one of the determinants of a primary category of forbidden labor is that it has derivatives. Perhaps it is to emphasize this point that the Rambam mentions derivatives for each of the thirty-nine categories of labor in the succeeding chapters. Even when the derivatives are not explicitly mentioned in the Talmud, he uses logic to define activities that fall in these categories. (See Merkevet HaMishneh.)

13.

The Rambam is restating the principles stated in Chapter 1, Halachah 1, in terms of the concepts of primary categories of forbidden labor and their derivatives.

14.

As stated in Chapter 1, Halachah 1, a person is executed for the performance of a forbidden labor only if witnesses warn him of the nature of the prohibition beforehand.

15.

The Rambam's question is: Since one incurs the same liabilities regardless of whether one performs an activity that itself constitutes a forbidden category of labor or merely a derivative, of what importance is the definition of such categories?

16.

A person is obligated to bring a sin offering if he was unaware that the forbidden labor he performed involved a transgression, despite the fact that he performed it several times. Even if the period in which he is not conscious of the transgression lasts several weeks, he is obligated for only a single offering for each category of forbidden labor. (See Shabbat 7:1 and Hilchot Shegagot, Chapter 7.)

17.

Since each category of forbidden labor involves a different subject of which he was unaware, he is required to bring a different sin offering for it.

18.

As explained in the above- mentioned sources, a person is liable for the above only when he knows the day on which the Sabbath should be observed and is aware of the prohibition against work, but does not know of the prohibition involved in the performance of a (or several) forbidden labor(s). If, however, a person forgets the day on which the Sabbath should be observed, he is required to bring merely a single sin offering for each Sabbath he violated, regardless of how many forbidden labors he performed that day. Furthermore, a person who was totally unaware of the prohibition against working on the Sabbath is required to bring only one sin offering. This single sacrifice atones for all the Sabbaths that he did not observe.

19.

For it is the lack of knowledge of a single category of labor that is involved. All of the violations stem from the lack of awareness of a single matter. The same ruling applies if one performs several derivatives of the same category of labor (Hilchot Shegagot 7:5). If, however, one performed derivatives of two different categories of labor, one is required to bring two sin offerings (loc. cit.:6).

20.

In his gloss to Hilchot Shegagot 7:3, the Kessef Mishneh quotes a responsum from the Rambam's son, Rav Avraham, which focuses on the following question: If the person is unaware of the entire concept of forbidden labor, how can we say that he is aware of the concept of Sabbath in general? Seemingly, he should be obligated for only a single sin offering. [I.e., when a person is aware of the concept of the Sabbath, but is unaware of a (or several) particular labor(s), every labor is considered an entity that requires his attention. Hence, a sacrifice is required for each labor. When, however, the entire concept of the Sabbath is unknown to him, there is but one matter of which he is unaware. Hence, only one sacrifice is necessary.]

Among the resolutions offered are that the person knew of the positive commandments associated with the Sabbath or that he knew of the prohibition associated with going beyond the Sabbath limits. Alternatively, he knew of the prohibition against forbidden labor, but did not know which labors where forbidden. From the Rambam's wording itself, another resolution can be offered: The person knew that the labors were forbidden, but did not know that they were punishable by karet.

21.

The bracketed addition is based on Hilchot Shegagot 7:8-9, which explains that in these circumstances, one is required to bring a sin offering for every Sabbath on which one transgressed.

22.

As mentioned in the commentary on Halachah 2, this refers to activities that so closely resemble the activities that constitute the primary categories of labor that they are also considered to be primary labors. Despite their having this distinction, since only a single category of forbidden labor is involved, only one sacrifice is required.

Shabbat - Chapter Eight

1

A person who plows even the slightest amount [of earth] is liable.1 One who weeds around the roots of trees, cuts off grasses, or prunes shoots to beautify the land2 - these are derivatives of plowing. One is liable for performing even the slightest amount of these activities.

Similarly, one who levels the surface of a field - e.g., one who lowers a mound and flattens it or fills a vale - is liable for [performing a derivative of] plowing.3 [One is liable for performing] the slightest amount of these activities. Similarly, one who levels cavities [in the ground] to even the slightest degree is liable.

א

החורש כל שהוא חייב. המנכש בעיקרי האילנות והמקרסם עשבים או המזרד את השריגים כדי ליפות את הקרקע הרי זה תולדת חורש ומשיעשה כל שהוא חייב. וכן המשוה פני השדה כגון שהשפיל התל ורדדו או מילא הגיא חייב משום חורש. ושיעורו כל שהוא. וכן כל המשוה גומות שיעורו כל שהוא:

2

A person who sows even the slightest amount is liable.4 A person who prunes a tree so that it grows performs an activity resembling sowing.5 In contrast, watering plants and trees on the Sabbath is considered merely a derivative of sowing.6 One is liable for even the slightest amount. Similarly, one who soaks the seeds of wheat, barley, and the like in water [performs] a derivative of sowing7 and is liable for even the slightest amount.

ב

הזורע כל שהוא חייב. הזומר את האילן כדי שיצמח הרי זה מעין זורע. אבל המשקה צמחין ואילנות בשבת הרי זה תולדת זורע וחייב בכל שהוא. וכן השורה חיטין ושעורין וכיוצא בהן במים הרי זה תולדת זורע וחייב בכל שהוא:

3

One who reaps an amount the size of a dried fig is liable.8 Plucking [fruit] is considered a derivative of reaping.9 Similarly, any person who removes produce from where it is growing is liable for reaping. Therefore, a person who removes grass growing from a rock, a parasite plant that grows on shrubs, or grasses that grow on a barrel is liable, for this is the place where they grow.10

In contrast, a person who removes [fruit from a plant growing] in a flower pot that is not perforated is not liable, for this is not the [ordinary] place from which it grows.11 If, however, the flower pot has a hole the size of a small root, [the plant] is considered as growing in the ground12 and a person who picks fruit from it is liable.

ג

הקוצר כגרוגרת חייב. ותולש תולדת קוצר הוא. וכל העוקר דבר מגידולו חייב משום קוצר. לפיכך צרור שעלו בו עשבים וכשות שעלה בסנה ועשבים שצמחו על גב החבית. התולש מהן חייב שזה הוא מקום גידולן.אבל התולש מעציץ שאינו נקוב פטור מפני שאין זה מקום גידולו. ועציץ נקוב בכדי שרש קטן הרי הוא כארץ והתולש ממנו חייב.

4

Whenever reaping from a plant causes it to grow larger - e.g., cattle-grass or beets - a person who harvests it without knowing of the prohibition involved is liable for two sin offerings: one because he [performed the labor of] reaping, and one because he [performed the labor of] planting.13 Similarly, a person who prunes [a tree] and desires to use [the branches he prunes] is liable for reaping and planting.

[The following rules apply to] a clod of earth on which grass is growing: If one lifted it from the earth and placed it on staves, one is liable for uprooting. If it was supported by staves and one placed it on the earth, one is liable for planting.14

When figs have dried out while on the tree, and similarly, [other] trees whose fruits have dried out - a person who picks them on the Sabbath is liable15 although they are considered to be detached [from the tree] with regard to the laws of ritual purity.16

ד

כל זרע שקצירתו מצמחת אותו ומגדלתו כגון אספסתא וסלקא. הקוצרו בשגגה חייב שתי חטאות. אחת מפני שהוא קוצר ואחת מפני שהוא נוטע. וכן הזומר והוא צריך לעצים חייב משום קוצר ומשום נוטע. גבשושית של עפר שעלו בה עשבים הגביהה מעל הארץ והניחה על גבי יתדות חייב משום תולש. היתה על גבי יתדות והניחה על הארץ חייב משום זורע. תאנים שיבשו באיביהן וכן אילן שיבשו פירותיו בו. התולש מהן בשבת חייב אף על פי שהן כעקורין לענין טומאה.

5

[The following rules apply to] one who uproots chicory or who prunes moist shoots:17 If he intends to use them as food [for human beings], the minimum measure [for which one is held liable for reaping] is the size of a dried fig.18 If he intends to use them as animal [fodder], the minimum measure is the amount necessary to fill the mouth of a young kid.19 If he intends to use them for kindling, the minimum measure is the amount necessary to cook an egg.20

[Similar measures apply with regard to the forbidden labor of] collecting food:21 If [one's intent is to use it] as [food for human beings], the minimum measure [for which one is held liable] is the size of a dried fig. [If one's intent is] for animal [fodder], the minimum measure is the amount necessary to fill the mouth of a young kid. [If one's intent is] for kindling, the minimum measure is the amount necessary to cook an egg.

Whenever the term "an egg" is used, the intent is an average-size chicken egg.22 Whenever the term "the amount necessary to cook an egg" is used, the intent is the amount necessary to cook a portion of an egg the size of a dried fig. A dried fig is one-third the size of an egg.23

[The forbidden labor of] collecting food applies only with regard to [collecting] the earth's produce.24

ה

התולש עולשין המזרד זרדין. אם לאכילה שיעורו כגרוגרת. ואם לבהמה שיעורו כמלוא פי גדי. ואם להסקה שיעורו כדי לבשל ביצה. המעמר אוכלין אם לאכילה שיעורו כגרוגרת. ואם עמר לבהמה שיעורו כמלוא פי גדי. ואם להסקה שיעורו כדי לבשל ביצה . וביצה האמורה בכל מקום היא ביצה בינונית של תרנגולין. וכל מקום שנאמר כדי לבשל ביצה הוא כדי לבשל כגרוגרת מביצה וגרוגרת אחד משלשה בביצה. ואין עמור אלא בגדולי קרקע:

6

A person who collects figs25 and makes a chain from them or one who pierces a hole through dates and passes a string through them until they are collected as a single entity performs a derivative26 of the forbidden labor of collecting sheaves. The same applies in other similar circumstances.

ו

המקבץ דבילה ועשה ממנה עגולה או שנקב תאנים והכניס החבל בהן עד שנתקבצו גוף אחד. הרי זה תולדת מעמר וחייב וכן כל כיוצא בזה:

7

A person who threshes [an amount of grain the size of] a dried fig is liable. [The forbidden labor of] threshing applies only with regard to the earth's produce.27

Extracting produce from its shell28 is a derivative of threshing; [a person who performs this activity] is liable. The same applies in all similar situations. Similarly, a person who milks an animal is liable for extracting food.29

By the same token, a person who wounds an animal that has a hide30is liable for extracting,31 provided he requires the blood32that flows from the wound. If, however, his intent is merely to wound [the animal], he is not liable, because his activity is destructive in nature.33 One is not liable unless one extracts a quantity of blood or milk equivalent to the size of a dried fig.34

ז

הדש כגרוגרת חייב ואין דישה אלא בגדולי קרקע. והמפרק הרי היא תולדת הדש וחייב וכן כל כיוצא בזה. החולב את הבהמה חייב משום מפרק. וכן החובל בחי שיש לו עור חייב משום מפרק. והוא שיהיה צריך לדם שיצא מן החבורה. אבל אם נתכוון להזיק בלבד פטור מפני שהוא מקלקל. ואינו חייב עד שיהיה בדם או בחלב שהוציא כגרוגרת:

8

When does the above apply? When one wounds an animal, a wild beast, a fowl, or the like. If one wounds a fellow man, by contrast, one is liable although one's intent is to injure, for [this activity generates] pleasure.35 It causes one's feelings to cool and one's anger to subside. Therefore, it is considered "constructive" in nature. Accordingly, even if one does not require the blood that one extracts, one is liable.36

ח

במה דברים אמורים בחובל בבהמה וחיה ועוף וכיוצא בהם. אבל החובל בחבירו אף על פי שנתכוון להזיק חייב מפני נחת רוחו שהרי נתקררה דעתו ושככה חמתו והרי הוא כמתקן. ואף על פי שאינו צריך לדם שהוציא ממנו חייב:

9

The eight creeping animals mentioned in the Torah37 have hides whose status is analogous to those of animals, beasts, and fowl with regard to the Sabbath laws.38 Other small creatures and crawling animals are not considered to have a hide [whose status is significant with regard to the Sabbath laws]. Therefore, one who wounds them is not liable.39

One who wounds an animal, beast, fowl, or one of the above-mentioned eight creeping animals is liable whether he caused an open wound from which they bled or he made a bruise that caused internal bleeding.

ט

שמנה שרצים האמורים בתורה הן שיש להן עורות לענין שבת כמו חיה ובהמה ועוף. אבל שאר שקצים ורמשים אין להן עור. לפיכך החובל בהן פטור. ואחד החובל בבהמה חיה ועוף או בשמנה שרצים ועשה בהן חבורה ויצא מהם דם או שנצרר הדם אע"פ שלא יצא חייב.

10

A person who squeezes fruit to extract its juice is liable for extracting. One is not liable until he extracts an amount of juice equivalent to the size of a dried fig. From the Torah itself, one is liable for pressing only grapes and olives.40

It is, [however,] permitted to squeeze a cluster of grapes directly into food, since a liquid that is absorbed into food is considered as food. Thus, one is considered to be extracting food from food.41 Nevertheless, if one squeezes these liquids into a vessel that does not contain food,42 this is considered pressing and one is liable.

[Similarly,] one who milks directly into food43 or one who sucks with his mouth is not liable.44 One is liable only when one milks into a container.45

י

הסוחט את הפירות להוציא מימיהן חייב משום מפרק. ואינו חייב עד שיהיה במשקין שסחט כגרוגרת. ואין חייבים מן התורה אלא על דריכת זיתים וענבים בלבד. ומותר לסחוט אשכול של ענבים לתוך האוכל. שמשקה הבא לאוכל אוכל הוא ונמצא כמפרק אוכל מאוכל. אבל אם סחט לכלי שאין בו אוכל הרי זה דורך וחייב. והחולב לתוך האוכל או היונק בפיו פטור ואינו חייב עד שיחלוב לתוך הכלי:

11

A person who winnows or separates [an amount of food the size of] a dried fig is liable.46 Causing milk to curdle is a derivative [of the category] of separating.

Similarly, a person who separates the dregs from liquids is liable for having performed a derivative of separating or a derivative of sifting.47 [The particular category of forbidden labor is not defined,] because the labors of winnowing, separating, and sifting resemble each other.48 [If so,] why were they reckoned as three [separate categories? Because every labor that was performed in the Sanctuary is counted as a separate category.

יא

הזורה או הבורר כגרוגרת חייב. והמחבץ הרי הוא תולדת בורר. וכן הבורר שמרים מתוך המשקין הרי זה תולדת בורר או תולדת מרקד וחייב. שהזורה והבורר והמרקד דומין עניניהם זה לזה. ומפני מה מנו אותן בשלשה מפני שכל מלאכה שהיה במשכן מונין אותה בפני עצמה:

12

A person who separates food from unwanted matter49 and one who separates one type of food from another food50 using a sifter or a strainer is liable. If one separates using a tray51 or a pot with compartments,52 one is not liable. It is permitted to separate food by hand to eat immediately.53

יב

הבורר אוכל מתוך פסולת או שהיו לפניו שני מיני אוכלין ובירר מין ממין אחר בנפה ובכברה חייב. בקנון או בתמחוי פטור. ואם בירר בידו לאכול לאלתר מותר:

13

A person who separates unwanted matter from food is liable,54 even if he does so using only one hand.55 A person who separates turmos beans from their shucks is liable, for the shucks sweeten them when they are cooked together. Therefore, one is considered to be taking unwanted matter from food and is held liable.56

A person who separates food from unwanted matter by hand and sets it aside [to serve] at a later time,57 even later on [the Sabbath] itself, is considered to have separated for the purpose of storage and is held liable.

If there were two types of food mixed together before a person, he may separate one from the other and place it aside to eat immediately. If he separated [one from the other] and set it aside [to serve] at a later time, even later on [the Sabbath] itself, he is liable - for example, one separated food in the morning to eat in the late afternoon.58

יג

והבורר פסולת מתוך האוכל ואפילו בידו אחת חייב. והבורר תורמוסין מתוך פסולת שלהן חייב מפני שהפסולת שלהן ממתקת אותן כשישלקו אותן עמהם ונמצא כבורר פסולת מתוך אוכל וחייב. הבורר אוכל מתוך פסולת בידו להניחו אפילו לבו ביום נעשה כבורר לאוצר וחייב. היו לפניו שני מיני אוכלין מעורבין בורר אחד מאחר ומניח לאכול מיד. ואם בירר והניח לאחר זמן אפילו לבו ביום כגון שבירר בשחרית לאכול בין הערביים חייב:

14

A person who filters the dregs from wine, oil, water, or other liquids, using a utensil appropriate for this purpose59 is liable,60 provided he removes the dregs from an amount of liquid equivalent to the size of a dried fig. One may, however, filter wine61 that has no dregs, or clear water, with a handkerchief or with an Egyptian basket62 so they will become crystal clear.63

We may pour water over wine dregs64 so they will become clear.65 [Similarly,] we may place a raw egg in a mustard strainer so that it becomes clear.66

When one has mixed mustard on Friday, one may stir it by hand or with a utensil to make it fit to drink [on the Sabbath].67 Similarly, while wine is in the process of fermentation, one may pour out a barrel of wine together with the dregs over handkerchiefs, for the dregs have not been finely separated from the wine and they are still considered a single mixture.68 The same applies to mustard and all similar substances.69

יד

המשמר יין או שמן או מים וכן שאר המשקין במשמרת שלהן חייב. והוא שישמר כגרוגרת. אבל מסננין יין שאין בו שמרים או מים צלולין בסודרין ובכפיפה מצרית כדי שיהא צלול ביותר. ונותנין מים על גבי שמרים בשביל שיצולו. ונותנין ביצה טרופה למסננת של חרדל כדי שיצלל. חרדל שלשו מערב שבת. למחר ממחה ושותה בין ביד בין בכלי. וכן יין מגתו כל זמן שהוא תוסס טורף חבית בשמריה ונותן לתוך הסודרין. שעדיין לא נפרשו השמרים מן היין יפה יפה וכל היין כגוף אחד הוא. וכן החרדל וכל כיוצא בו:

15

A person who grinds [an amount of grain the size of] a dried fig is liable. One who crushes spices or herbs in a mortar is performing the labor of grinding and is held liable.70

A person who cuts a vegetable that has been detached from its source [into small pieces] performs a derivative of the labor of grinding.71

Similarly, a person who saws wood in order to benefit from the sawdust, and similarly, one who files a piece of metal is liable72for filing even the slightest amount.73 A person who chops wood is not liable [for grinding] until he produces enough chips to cook an amount of egg the size of a dried fig.74

טו

הטוחן כגרוגרת חייב. וכל השוחק תבלין וסמנין במכתשת הרי זה טוחן וחייב. המחתך ירק תלוש הרי זה תולדת טוחן. וכן הנוסר עצים ליהנות בנסורת שלהן. או השף לשון של מתכת חייב משישוף כל שהוא. אבל המחתך עצים אינו חייב עד שידקדק מהן כדי לבשל כגרוגרת מביצה:

16

A person who sifts [an amount of flour the size of] a dried fig is liable.75

A person who kneads [dough76 the size of] a dried fig is liable. Mixing earth [for use as cement] is a derivative of kneading. What is the minimum amount for which one is liable? The amount necessary to make a crucible for a goldsmith.77 The activity of mixing cement cannot be performed with ash, coarse sand, bran, or the like.78

A person who places sesame seeds, flax seeds, or the like in water is liable for kneading,79 because they become attached to each other.

טז

המרקד כגרוגרת חייב הלש כגרוגרת חייב המגבל את העפר הרי זה תולדת לש. וכמה שיעורו כדי לעשות פי כור של צורפי זהב. ואין גיבול באפר ולא בחול הגס ולא במורסן ולא בכיוצא בהן. והנותן זרע שומשמין או זרע פשתן וכיוצא בהן במים חייב משום לש. מפני שהן מתערבין ונתלין זה בזה.

Footnotes
1.

Since one can plant a seed in even the tiniest hole, even the smallest amount of plowing is considered significant (Shabbat 103a).

2.

Our translation is based on the Rambam's Commentary on the Mishnah, Shabbat 12:2. Note Rashi and others, who offer different interpretations.

In his Commentary on the Mishnah (loc. cit.), the Rambam emphasizes that if one's intent when performing these activities is to gather the growths one is cutting, one is liable for reaping. If one's intent is to improve the tree so that it will grow better, one is liable for sowing, as stated in the following halachah.

3.

Note Shabbat 73b, which states that the Rambam's statements apply when these activities are performed outside. A person who performs these activities inside a house is liable for building. See Chapter 10, Halachah 12.

4.

One is liable for sowing even the tiniest seed, since from it, a l arge plant can grow.

5.

See Chapter 7, Halachah 3, and notes.

6.

Since watering does not involve a seed, plant, or tree itself (as do all of the activities mentioned in Chapter 7, Halachah 2), it is considered merely a derivative of sowing.

7.

In one of his responsa, the Rambam explains that the source for his statements is Zevachim 94b, which mentions that one is liable for soaking seeds so they sprout. Others point to Shabbat 17b, which states that one is liable for soaking vetch, a type of bean fed to cattle.

8.

Reaping is important because it provides food for us to eat. Since an amount smaller than a dried fig is not considered a significant measure of food, one is not held liable for reaping until one reaps that amount.

9.

Plucking the fruit is considered merely as a derivative, because in contrast to reaping, which is done with a utensil, plucking is done by hand (Lechem Mishneh).

10.

I.e., since these plants grow naturally in these places, one is held liable for removing them.

11.

Such plants grow naturally in the ground. By planting them in a flower pot, one separates them from their normal place of growth. Hence, they are no longer considered to be connected to their source, and according to the Torah there is no prohibition against picking fruit from such a plant. There is, however, a Rabbinic prohibition involved. (See Shulchan Aruch, Orach Chayim 336:7- 8.)

12.

It is able to receive nurture from the earth through the hole. (See Rashi, Shabbat 107b.) The above applies only in homes with earth floors where there is no interruption (except air) between the flower pot and the earth. See Shemirat Shabbat Kehilchasah, p. 326.

The difference between a flower pot that is perforated and one that is not perforated is relevant in many different contexts within Torah law. (See Hilchot Kilayim 1:2, 5:16; Hilchot Mechirah 3:16, and other sources.)

13.

Although the person performed merely one activity, since this activity produces effects that parallel those accomplished by two separate forbidden labors, he is liable to bring a sin offering for each.

14.

Significantly, Rashi (Shabbat 81b) and others maintain that one is not held liable in this instance. Although such activity is forbidden by Rabbinic decree, since the connection between the flower pot and the ground was never interrupted, one is not considered to have uprooted the plant (Shulchan Aruch HaRav 336:12).

15.

Since they remain attached to the tree, they are governed by the same rules as other fruit.

Tosafot (Shabbat 150b) maintains that this ruling applies only when the stems attaching the fruit to the tree are still fresh. If they have also dried out, one is not held liable for picking the fruit. (See Be'ur Halachah 336.)

16.

See Hilchot Tum'at Ochalin 2:4-5.

17.

Although the latter are most frequently used as fodder for animals, at times they are cooked and eaten by human beings. (See Sh'vi'it 7:5 and the Rambam's Commentary.)

18.

As evident from the laws that follow, this is the minimum measure for which one is liable for all forbidden labors associated with food. Eating a lesser amount is not significant.

The Nodeh BiY'hudah (Orach Chayim, Vol. II, Responsum 34) notes that Shabbat 103a states that this measure applies when one gathers these substances in a field belonging to a colleague. When gathering in one's own field, by contrast, one is liable for even the slightest amount, since in doing so, one clears one's field, a derivative of the labor of plowing.

The Noda BiY'hudah explains that the Talmudic passage does not contradict the Rambam's decision. As mentioned in the previous halachot, one can be liable for transgressing two different forbidden labors when performing a single activity. Thus, as soon as one gathers any of these substances, one is liable for plowing. Should one one gather the amounts mentioned by the Rambam in this halachah, one is also liable for reaping.

19.

Based on Shabbat 76a, it appears that a mouthful of a kid is slightly less than the size of a dried fig.

20.

This is the smallest amount of kindling wood that will be useful for a person.

21.

Although collecting food is a forbidden labor in its own right, the Rambam mentions it within the context of this halachah, because the measures for which one is held liable correspond exactly to those mentioned with regard to the previous law.

22.

In contemporary measure, the size of an egg is determined as 57.6 cubic centimeters by Shiurei Torah and 100 cubic centimeters by Chazon Ish.

23.

The Ra'avad states that this measure is not exact, and the actual amount is slightly larger. The difference between their opinions is based on the interpretation of Eruvin 80b and 82b. Similarly, their understanding of those passages affects their determination of many different significant measures in Torah law, for example, כדי אכילת פרס (the measure of time associated with the mitzvot and prohibitions connected with eating). The Shulchan Aruch (Orach Chayim 368:3) mentions both opinions.

24.

Thus excluding salt or similar substances (Shabbat 73b). (Note the Kessef Mishneh's comments regarding the proper text of that Talmudic passage.) As the Rambam states in Chapter 21, Halachah 11, there is, however, a Rabbinic prohibition against gathering salt.

The Hagahot Maimoniot (21:8) state that just as sheaves are collected in a field - the place where produce grows - similarly, all activities that are derivatives of this forbidden labor must take place in or near the field or orchards in which the produce grows. The Tur (Orach Chayim 240) and others also accept this ruling. From Chapter 21, Halachah 11, it appears that the Rambam also follows this approach.

25.

Rav Moshe Kohen mentions that a person is liable only when he collects the fruit near the grooves of trees where they grow. Nevertheless, this opinion is not accepted outright by the later authorities. (See the Shulchan Aruch HaRav 340:15 and the Mishnah Berurah 340:38.)

26.

The commentaries have not cited a direct source for the laws stated in this halachah [although there is a parallel in the Jerusalem Talmud (Shabbat 7:2)]. Some cite this as an example of the Rambam's use of his own powers of deduction to determine derivatives for forbidden labors, so that every category of forbidden labor will be associated with derivatives.

27.

Rav Moshe Kohen questions this statement, for the derivatives of a forbidden labor must resemble the forbidden labor itself. Thus it is difficult to understand how the Rambam can make such a statement and also state that one is liable for extracting food or for milking an animal.

The Maggid Mishneh and the Rivash (Responsa 121) state that an animal that lives on the land (as opposed to fish and other creatures that live in the sea) can be considered as produce of the earth, because it derives its life from the earth's produce.

The Rambam's son, Rabbenu Avraham, however, does not accept the basic premise of the question and explains that a derivative of a forbidden labor can differ drastically from the forbidden labor itself. Accordingly, even though threshing applies only with regard to produce, its derivatives can involve animals (Birkat Avraham, Responsum 18).

28.

This applies to extracting kernels of grain from their husks or legumes from its pods. Nevertheless, the Eglei Tal allows one to remove the shells of onion and garlic, and Sh'vitat HaShabbat permits the removal of the hard shells of nuts.

29.

The Rambam's opinion is also accepted by Rashi (Shabbat 95a) and other authorities. Rabbenu Tam and other Rishonim agree that milking is forbidden according to Torah law, but consider it a derivative of other categories of labor. The Ramban (Shabbat 145) considers this merely a Rabbinic prohibition.

Note the Shulchan Aruch (Orach Chayim 305:20), which states that one may tell a gentile to milk an animal. This leniency is permitted because the animal will suffer pain if it is not milked. Other leniencies are also granted on the basis of the Rambam's statements in Halachah 10.

The question of milking animals attracted much attention in the early years of agricultural development in Eretz Yisrael, when the question arose regarding milking herds of animals when a gentile was not available. (See K'tzot HaShulchan, Vol. VI, p. 34 ff. and other sources.)

30.

This concept is defined in Halachah 9.

31.

Although it is universally accepted that one is liable for drawing blood from an animal, the Rishonim differ under which category of forbidden work this prohibition falls. Rashi, Shabbat 107a, mentions an opinion that extracting blood falls into the category of dyeing. Tosafot, Shabbat 75a, Ketubot 6b, offers a different interpretation, explaining that it is included in the category of slaughtering.

32.

To use as a remedy or as food for a dog or other animal (Shabbat 106a; the Rambam's Commentary on the Mishnah, Shabbat 14:1).

33.

See Chapter 1, Halachah 17.

34.

The Ra'avad objects to the Rambam's ruling, explaining that the minimum measures for liquids differ than those of foods. The Maggid Mishneh and the Kessef Mishneh support the Rambam's decision, explaining that since he considers these activities as derivatives of threshing, the minimum amount for which one is liable is the same as for threshing. It must be emphasized that according to the opinions of Rashi and Tosafot (see note 31), one is liable for extracting a quantity of blood smaller than the size of a dried fig.

35.

This ruling depends on the Rambam's decision, Chapter 1, Halachah 7, where he states that one is liable for performing a מלאכה שאינה צריכה לגופה. Although the person is performing the forbidden labor for reasons very different from those that were involved in the construction of the Sanctuary, he is held liable because he is fulfilling his intent.

36.

The Ra'avad objects to the Rambam's decision, based on his interpretation (which parallels that of Rashi) of Shabbat 105b. The Rambam, however, interprets this passage differently. (See the Maggid Mishneh.)

37.

Leviticus 11:29,30 mentions that the carcasses of these animals convey ritual impurity. There are various different opinions regarding the meanings of the Hebrew names for the species mentioned there. The Living Torah offers the following interpretation: the weasel, the mouse, the ferret, the hedgehog, the chameleon, the lizard, the snail, and the mole.

38.

The hides of these animals are tougher than the flesh beneath them. Therefore, there is a possibility that a wound will cause internal bleeding and that the blood will never be reabsorbed by the body.

39.

The Rambam states that one is not liable for wounding other creeping animals even if one causes them to bleed. This decision is not accepted by most authorities (see Rashi and others, Chulin 46b), who maintain that one is not liable for causing these creatures to bleed internally. If, however, one causes external bleeding, one is liable.

The Shulchan Aruch (Orach Chayim 316:8) accepts the opinion of the other authorities. This decision depends on the difference of opinion mentioned in note 31 as to the category of forbidden labor of which causing bleeding is a derivative. As mentioned, the Rambam considers this activity a derivative of the labor of threshing, and threshing involves removing a substance from a hard shell. Since the hides of the other crawling animals are not tough, causing them to bleed cannot be considered a derivative of this labor. According to the opinion that bleeding is a derivative of slaughtering, however, one is liable for making any animal bleed, regardless of the nature of its hide (Ziv HaMishneh).

The question whether one may kill creeping animals that are dangerous is discussed in Chapter 10, Halachah 25 and notes.

40.

Rashi, Shabbat 143b, explains that the reason is that the primary purpose which grapes and olives are grown is for these liquids. With regard to other fruits, by contrast, it is not as common to use them for juice. From his Commentary on the Mishnah (Shabbat 22:1), it appears that the Rambam also accepts this rationale.

(Rabbenu Nissim gives another reason: The juices of other fruits are not considered as liquids, but as food. See Hilchot Tum'at Ochalin 1:4. The Pri Megadim and others consider these as two separate rationales.)

Note Chapter 21, Halachah 12, which states that there is a Rabbinic prohibition against squeezing other fruits that are frequently used for juice (Shabbat 144b gives as examples, berries and pomegranates). If, however, it is not common to use a fruit for juice, there is no prohibition at all against squeezing juice from it. Note also the discussion in the Beit Yosef (Orach Chayim 320) regarding squeezing lemons to make lemonade.

41.

Rabbenu Chanan'el does not accept this leniency and maintains that one is liable. In a responsum, Rabbenu Asher states that a person who observes this stringency will be blessed (Beit Yosef, Orach Chayim 320).

42.

It is prohibited to do this even if one ultimately intends to mix these beverages into food. Note, however, Shulchan Aruch Harav 320:6, which states that since one ultimately intends to mix the liquid into food, the prohibition is merely Rabbinic in nature.

43.

The Maggid Mishneh maintains that this law applies only on a festival, but not on the Sabbath. Since the animal may not be slaughtered on the Sabbath, it is not considered as "food." Similarly, the Shulchan Aruch (Orach Chayim 505) quotes this law with regard to the laws of festivals and not with regard to the Sabbath laws.

44.

See Chapter 21, Halachah 14. Based on this leniency, there are authorities who allow one to suck the juice from grapes and other fruits. Other authorities forbid this. (See Ramah, Orach Chayim 320:1.)

45.

The Shulchan Aruch HaRav 320:21 states that a person who milks an animal and lets the milk flow from the animal to the ground is not liable, for this is not the normal manner in which an animal is milked. This can be interpreted as the implication of the Rambam's words: "One is liable only when one milks into a container."

46.

With regard to separation, this can also be interpreted as separating the unwanted matter (whether more or less than the size of a dried fig) to produce an amount of food the size of a dried fig (Minchat Chinuch). The Yeshu'ot Ya'akov 319:1 differs and maintains that both the food and the unwanted matter are counted when reckoning the amount equal to the dried fig.

47.

See Halachah 14 and also Chapter 21, Halachah 17, for more particulars regarding the separation of dregs from liquids.

48.

See the Eglei Tal, who questions whether these three activities can be combined. Thus, if one winnowed an amount of grain one third the size of a dried fig, and one separated and sifted the same amount, is one liable for a sin offering under such circumstances or not?

49.

Primarily, the forbidden labor of separating involves separating unwanted matter from food. In the Sanctuary, it involved separating unwanted matter - pebbles and the like - from the herbs used for the dyes. Nevertheless, if one uses a utensil that is made for the purpose of separation, one is liable even when separating food from unwanted matter.

See also the Turei Zahav 319:12 who states that the prohibition against separation applies, not only to the separation of unwanted matter from food, but also to the separation of unwanted matter from substances other than food. This opinion is accepted by the later authorities.

50.

In this instance, since one does not wish to partake of the other food, it is considered unwanted matter, and it is forbidden to separate the food one desires from it. When, however, one separates one portion of one type of food from another portion of the same food, one is never considered to be separating (Shulchan Aruch HaRav 319:4-5; Mishnah Berurah 319:15).

51.

Our translation is taken from the Rambam's Commentary on the Mishnah, Keilim 16:3. Rashi translates this as a sieve. His interpretation is accepted by most authorities.

52.

Our translation is taken from the Rambam's Commentary on the Mishnah, loc. cit:1.

53.

The Ramah (Orach Chayim 319:1) explains that "immediately" means "for the purpose of the meal that one is attending." If one separates the food for use at a later time, one is liable, as stated in the following halachah.

54.

As mentioned in the notes on the previous halachah, this is the primary form of the labor of separating.

55.

The word "one" is not found in the authoritative Yemenite manuscripts. It is, however, included in the quotation of this halachah in the Shulchan Aruch (Orach Chayim 319:4). The Mishnah Berurah 319:17 notes that some texts of the Shulchan Aruch also do not include it.

According to those versions that do include it, the intent is that using only one hand is not considered an abnormal way of performing this labor.

56.

As explained in the notes on Chapter 3, Halachah 12, the turmos beans are very bitter and must be cooked seven times before they are edible. The shucks help absorb some of this bitterness. Hence, they are not considered as unwanted matter. (See Rashi, Shabbat 74a.)

57.

One is not held liable for separating food in the process of eating, for the Torah's intent was surely not to prevent a person from eating in the normal manner. Separating food and setting it aside to be used later is not necessary to allow one to eat normally. Hence, it is considered in the category of this forbidden labor (Shulchan Aruch HaRav 1-2).

58.

The Rambam's intent should not be misinterpreted: even if one decides to eat the food set aside at a second meal served earlier in the day, one is also held liable. It was merely common custom to eat two meals during the daytime on the Sabbath - one in the morning and one in the evening. (See Magen Avraham 319:6.)

59.

The Rambam's words literally mean "their filter." The Shulchan Aruch 319:10 states "filter," seemingly implying all filters, even one not specifically made for that liquid.

60.

See Halachah 11.

61.

One must, however, do so in a manner slightly different from the way one filters these liquids during the week, as the Rambam states in Chapter 21, Halachah 17.

62.

A basket made of woven palm branches.

63.

The Rashba and other authorities differ with the Rambam, based on their interpretation of Shabbat 139b. According to the Rashba, one may filter even cloudy wine with a handkerchief or other strainer of this nature, since this is not the normal manner in which this activity is performed.

According to the Rambam, although one would not be liable for straining the wine in this manner, it would still be forbidden by Rabbinic decree. The only filtering that is permitted is filtering wine that is already fit to be drunk, so that it will become crystal clear. One might ask: Of what value is such an act? The answer is that precisely because most people would not consider this activity of value, and only the most spoiled individuals would require it, is it permitted. (According to the Rashba, such beverages may even be filtered with an ordinary filter.) Though the Shulchan Aruch (Orach Chayim 319:10) mentions the Rambam's view, the Rashba's ruling is favored.

64.

The dregs were placed in a strainer on Friday, and one desires to pour the water over them on the Sabbath day (Rav Ovadiah of Bertinoro, Shabbat 20:2).

65.

To remove any residue of wine that might be left in the dregs (ibid.).

66.

The intent is to mix the egg with mustard lying at the bottom of the strainer that has already been strained before the Sabbath (Shabbat 134a). In his Commentary on the Mishnah (Shabbat 20:2), the Rambam states that when raw eggs are mixed with coarse foods, they cause the lighter matter to rise above the heavier, coarse matter. Thus, by mixing the egg with the mustard, one will cause it to undergo a further process of refinement. Nevertheless, this is not included in the forbidden labor of separating.

It must be noted that the Tur (Orach Chayim 319) explains that the problem in question in this instance is that the egg yolk will pass through the strainer, while the albumen will not. Nevertheless, this is not considered a derivative of the forbidden labor of separating. The Shulchan Aruch (Orach Chayim 319:15) follows this interpretation.

67.

Since the mustard is already strained and is fit to be used, there is no difficulty in stirring it further. (See also Chapter 22, Halachah 12.)

68.

Rashi, Shabbat 139b, explains that this straining process will not be very effective. Hence, it is permitted. Shulchan Aruch HaRav 319:14 focuses on the Rambam's words and explains that since the wine and the dregs are considered a single mixture, the forbidden labor of separation does not apply. The concept of separation applies when the desired entity and the dregs are distinct, and this is not true until the wine has completed the fermentation process.

69.

I.e., although it is forbidden to strain mustard using a strainer on the Sabbath, one may strain it through a handkerchief (Or Sameach).

70.

Indeed, in the construction of the Sanctuary, it was herbs that were crushed for use as dyes.

71.

See Chapter 7, Halachah 5, Chapter 21, Halachah 18. In those halachot, the Rambam adds the expression "to cook it," implying that one is not liable for cutting vegetables one intends to eat raw. When the Shulchan Aruch (Orach Chayim 321:12) quotes this law, it omits the above term, leading to the conclusion that one is liable even for cutting vegetables that one desires to eat raw. For this reason, in his gloss the Ramah clarifies that one is liable only when one cuts the vegetables and then stores them for later use, if one partakes of them immediately, one is not liable.

72.

See Chapter 7, Halachah 5.

73.

Because any amount of the dust he desires will be useful for him. This is evident from Chapter 18, Halachah 5.

74.

Since he intends to use the wood for kindling, he must have enough wood to perform an an activity of at least minimal importance. (See Chapter 18, Halachah 4.)

75.

The Rambam does not mention derivatives for this category of forbidden labor, because, as mentioned in Halachah 11, sifting resembles the categories of separating and winnowing, and it is not clear which of these categories of forbidden labor the derivatives of these activities fall under.

76.

This addition follows the opinion of the Minchat Chinuch. The Eglei Tal differs, maintaining that for a person to be liable, the flour used for the dough must be this size before water is added.

77.

This measure is derived from Chapter 18, Halachah 11.

78.

The forbidden labor of kneading involves adding water to a collection of granular substances - e.g., flour or cement - and mixing them until they cling together as a single mass. Since the substances mentioned in this clause of the halachah do not adhere to each other, one can never be held liable for performing this forbidden labor with them. As mentioned in the notes to Chapter 21, Halachot 33-34, this opinion is not accepted by all authorities.

There is another difference of opinion among the Sages and later Rabbis pertinent to this matter. Rabbi Yosse bar Yehudah (Shabbat 155b) mentions that kneading involves actually mixing the dough with one's hands. Rabbi Yehudah HaNasi differs and maintains that one is liable for kneading as soon as one pours water into flour. This opinion is accepted by some authorities (Sefer HaTerumot) and is referred to in the Shulchan Aruch (Orach Chayim 321:16).

79.

As mentioned in Halachah 2, if a person places seeds into water so they sprout, he is liable for performing a derivative of sowing. (See Mishnah Berurah 336:51 which states that this applies only when one has the intent that they sprout. A person who soaks seeds so that they soften is not liable.) If one pours water over the seeds mentioned in this halachah, one is liable for kneading.

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