Enter your email address to get our weekly email with fresh, exciting and thoughtful content that will enrich your inbox and your life.

Rambam - 3 Chapters a Day

Shabbat - Chapter Twenty Seven, Shabbat - Chapter Twenty Eight, Shabbat - Chapter Twenty Nine

Video & Audio Classes
Show content in:

Shabbat - Chapter Twenty Seven

1

A person who goes beyond [his] city's Sabbath limit should be punished by lashes, as [Exodus 16:29] states: "No man should leave his place on the seventh day."1 [The term] "place" refers to the city's Sabbath limits.

The Torah did not [explicitly] state the measure of this limit. The Sages, however, transmitted the tradition that this measure was twelve mil,2 the length of the Jews' encampment [in the desert]. Thus, Moses our teacher was instructing them, "Do not go out beyond the camp."

Our Sages ruled3 that a person should go only two thousand cubits beyond the city. [Going] beyond two thousand cubits is forbidden. [The rationale for the choice of this figure is that] two thousand cubits represents the pasture land [given to] a city.4

א

היוצא חוץ לתחום המדינה בשבת לוקה שנאמר אל יצא איש ממקומו ביום השביעי. מקום זה הוא תחום העיר ולא נתנה תורה שיעור לתחום זה אבל חכמים העתיקו שתחום זה הוא חוץ לשנים עשר מיל כנגד מחנה ישראל. וכך אמר להם משה רבינו לא תצאו חוץ למחנה. ומדברי סופרים שלא יצא אדם חוץ לעיר אלא עד אלפים אמה אבל חוץ לאלפים אמה אסור. שאלפים אמה הוא מגרש העיר:

2

[From the above,] it follows that a person may walk throughout the expanse of [any] city, even if it is as large as Nineveh, whether or not it is surrounded by a wall.5

Similarly, it is permitted for a person to walk two thousand cubits in all directions outside the city. [When calculating these two thousand cubits, the entire area] is considered to be square, like a tablet,6 so that [the area in between] its furthest corners will also be included.7

If a person goes beyond two thousand cubits up to a distance of twelve mil, he should be given "stripes for rebelliousness"8. If he goes even one cubit beyond twelve mil, he should be punished by lashing [as prescribed] by the Torah.

ב

נמצאת למד שמותר לאדם בשבת להלך את כל העיר כולה אפילו היתה כנינוה. בין שהיתה מוקפת חומה בין שלא היתה מוקפת חומה. וכן מותר לו להלך חוץ לעיר אלפים אמה לכל רוח מרובעות כטבלא מרובעת כדי שיהיה נשכר את הזויות. ואם יצא חוץ לאלפים אמה מכין אותו מכת מרדות עד שנים עשר מיל. אבל אם יצא והרחיק מן העיר יתר על שנים עשר מיל אפילו אמה אחת לוקה מן התורה:

3

[There is a question whether] a person [is liable] if he goes beyond the Sabbath limit, [travelling] at a height of more than ten handbreadths above the ground9 - e.g., he jumps from one pillar to another - when none of the pillars has a surface area of four handbreadths by four handbreadths.10 For there remains an unresolved question [among the Sages] whether or not the Sabbath limits apply ten handbreadths above the ground.11.

[The matter is one of question only in an instance similar to the example given.] If, by contrast, a person walks on a surface that is four [handbreadths] by four [handbreadths], it is as if he is walking on the ground [even though the surface is ten handbreadths above the ground].12 The Sabbath limits apply in such an instance.

ג

המהלך חוץ לתחום למעלה מעשרה טפחים כגון שקפץ על גבי עמודים שגבוהין עשרה ואין בכל אחד מהן ארבעה על ארבעה טפחים הרי זה ספק אם יש תחומין למעלה מעשרה או אין תחומין למעלה מעשרה. אבל אם הלך על מקום שיש בו ארבעה על ארבעה הרי זה כמהלך על הארץ ויש איסור תחומין שם:

4

A person who spends the Sabbath in a barn in the desert,13 in a corral, in a cave, or in a similar type of private domain may walk through its entire space and [may continue] to the limits of a square extending two thousand cubits in every direction [from that domain].

Similarly, a person who spends the Sabbath in an [open] valley14may walk to the limits of a square extending two thousand cubits in every direction from the place [at which he is located at the commencement of the Sabbath]. [This applies] even when he was sleeping at the time of the commencement of the Sabbath and thus did not consciously acquire the place as his Sabbath base.15

A person who is walking in an open valley and does not know how far his Sabbath limit extends may take two thousand ordinary steps. This is [his] Sabbath limit.

ד

מי ששבת בדיר שבמדבר או בסהר או במערה וכיוצא בהן מרשות היחיד מהלך את כולה וחוצה לה אלפים אמה לכל רוח בריבוע. וכן השובת בבקעה אפילו היה ישן בשעה שנכנס השבת שלא קנה שביתה יש לו להלך ממקומו אלפים אמה לכל רוח בריבוע. היה מהלך בבקעה ואינו יודע תחום שבת מהלך אלפים פסיעות בינוניות וזה הוא תחום שבת:

5

When a person walks the two thousand cubits that he is entitled to walk and his limit ends in a barn, in a corral, in a cave, or in a city, he is allowed to proceed only to the end of his limit. We do not say that since his limit ends within a private domain, he is entitled to walk throughout that domain.16

When does the above apply? When his limit ends in the midst of the city or in the midst of the cave. If, however, that private domain is included within his two thousand cubits,17 that entire domain is considered to be only four cubits, and the remainder [of the two thousand cubits] is calculated accordingly.

ה

המהלך אלפים אמה שיש לו להלך ושלמה מדתו בתוך דיר או סהר או מערה או בתוך המדינה אינו מהלך אלא עד סוף מדתו. ואין אומרין הואיל וכלתה מדתו בתוך רשות היחיד מהלך את כולה. במה דברים אמורים בשכלתה מדתו במקצת העיר או במקצת המערה אבל אם היתה אותה רשות היחיד מובלעת בתוך אלפים אמה שלו תחשב לו כל אותה הרשות כארבע אמות ומשלימין לו את השאר:

6

What is implied? If there were one thousand cubits from the place a person established as his base for the Sabbath, or from the town [in which he spent the Sabbath],18 to a city or a cave that is a thousand cubits long or less, he may walk through the entire city or cave that he encounters and [continue] beyond it for 996 cubits.

ו

כיצד הרי שהיה אלף אמה ממקום שביתתו אם מחוץ לעיר עד מדינה או מערה שיש בארכה אלף אמה או פחות מאלף מהלך את כל המדינה או המערה שפגע בה ומהלך חוצה לה אלף אמה פחות ארבע אמות:

7

If, however, [in the instance mentioned above,] the city or the cave that begins within his Sabbath limits extends one thousand and one cubits, the person may walk only one thousand cubits - i.e., he may proceed to the end of the two thousand cubits [granted] him, [but no further].

ז

אבל אם היה במדינה או במערה שפגע בו בתוך מדתו אלף אמה ואמה אינו מהלך בה אלא אלף אמה בלבד שהוא תשלום אלפים אמה שיש לו:

8

A person whose Sabbath limits end in the midst of a town may, nevertheless, move an article to any place within the town by throwing it.19

When a person spends the Sabbath in an open valley, and gentiles surround him with an enclosure on the Sabbath, he may still walk only two thousand cubits - even when this measure is included within the enclosure - in any direction.20 He may, nevertheless, move an article to any place within the enclosure by throwing it, provided it was enclosed for the sake of habitation.21

ח

מי שכלתה מדתו בחצי העיר אף על פי שאינו מהלך אלא עד סוף מדתו מותר לטלטל בכל העיר על ידי זריקה. וכן מי ששבת בבקעה והקיפוהו נכרים מחיצה בשבת אינו מהלך בה אלא אלפים אמה לכל רוח אע"פ שהוא בתוך המחיצה. ומותר לו לטלטל בכל המחיצה על ידי זריקה אם הקיפוה לשם דירה:

9

[The following rule applies when] a person is in the midst of a journey - whether on sea or on dry land - and [intends] to enter a city: If he comes within two thousand cubits of the city before the commencement of the Sabbath, even though he did not arrive at the city until [after] the Sabbath [had commenced], he is permitted to enter,22 to walk throughout the entire city,23 and [continue] for two thousand cubits outside of it in all directions.

ט

מי שהיה בא בדרך ליכנס למדינה בין שהיה בא בים בין שהיה בא בחרבה. אם נכנס בתוך אלפים אמה קרוב לעיר קודם שיכנס השבת אף על פי שלא הגיע למדינה אלא בשבת הרי זה יכנס ויהלך את כולה וחוצה לה אלפים אמה לכל רוח:

10

[The following rule applies when] a person [is in the midst of a journey and intends to enter] a city, but falls asleep on the way, and does not awake until [after] the Sabbath [has commenced]: If when he awakes, he finds himself within the city's [Sabbath] limits, he is permitted to enter, to walk throughout the entire city, and [continue] for two thousand cubits outside of it in all directions.24

[This is permitted] because his intent was to journey to this city. Therefore, he is considered to have established his "place" for the Sabbath together with the inhabitants of this city, since he entered into their limits.

י

היה בא למדינה וישן בדרך ולא נעור אלא בשבת וכשנעור מצא עצמו בתוך התחום הרי זה יכנס לה ויהלך את כולה וחוצה לה אלפים אמה לכל רוח. מפני שדעתו היתה להלך למדינה זו ולפיכך קנה שביתה עם בני המדינה כמותן שהרי נכנס עמהן בתחום:

11

A person who goes25 even a single cubit beyond [a city's] Sabbath limits should not reenter them. [The rationale is that] the four cubits that a person is granted in which to walk begin from the place where the person is standing. Therefore, since the person went a cubit or more beyond his Sabbath limit, he must remain in his place. He may not walk except in the four cubits that begin from the place in which he is standing, and continue in a forward direction.26

Similarly, a person who is even one cubit outside a city's Sabbath limits when darkness falls should not enter the city.27 Instead, he may proceed only two thousand cubits from the place where he was standing when the Sabbath commenced. If a person's Sabbath limit ends in the midst of the city, he may proceed [no further] than the end of his Sabbath limit, as has been explained.28

If one of a person's feet is inside [a city's] Sabbath limits and his other foot is outside the Sabbath limits [when the Sabbath commences], he may enter.29

יא

מי שיצא חוץ לתחום אפילו אמה אחת לא יכנס שהד' אמות שיש לו לאדם תחלתן ממקום שהוא עומד בו. לפיכך כיון שיצא חוץ מתחומו אמה או יתר ישב במקומו ואין לו להלך אלא בתוך ארבע אמות מעמידת רגליו ולחוץ. וכן מי שהחשיך חוץ לתחום המדינה אפילו אמה אחת הרי זה לא יכנס לה אלא מהלך ממקום שנכנס עליו השבת והוא עומד בו אלפים אמה בלבד. ואם כלתה מדתו במקצת העיר מהלך עד סוף מדתו כמו שאמרנו. היתה רגלו אחת בתוך התחום ורגלו אחת חוץ לתחום הרי זה יכנס:

12

[The following rules apply to] a person who left the Sabbath limits unintentionally - e.g., gentiles took him outside [the limits], he was possessed by an undesirable temperament,30 or he inadvertently went beyond [the limit]: He may walk no more than four cubits.

If he returned [within his previous Sabbath limits] voluntarily, he may walk no more than four cubits. If [the forces that caused him to depart] returned him, it is as if he had never departed.31

If [these forces] left him in a private domain - e.g., the gentiles placed him in a barn, a corral, a cave, or another city - he may walk throughout that domain.32 Similarly, if he inadvertently left his Sabbath limits [and entered] a domain of this nature, and became conscious of his actions while in this domain, he may walk throughout that domain.33

יב

מי שיצא חוץ לתחום שלא לדעתו כגון שהוציאוהו נכרים או רוח רעה או ששגג ויצא אין לו אלא ארבע אמות. חזר לדעת אין לו אלא ארבע אמות. החזירוהו כאילו לא יצא. ואם נתנוהו ברשות היחיד כגון שנתנוהו נכרים בדיר וסהר ומערה או בעיר אחרת יש לו להלך את כולה. וכן אם יצא לאחד מאלו בשגגה ונזכר והוא בתוכן מהלך את כולה:

13

When a person voluntarily left the Sabbath limits, he may walk only within four cubits, even when he was returned to his [original] Sabbath limits involuntarily34 - e.g., he was taken back by gentiles or because of an undesirable temperament.

Similarly, if he voluntarily left the Sabbath limits, he may walk only within four cubits even when he is within a private domain - e.g., a barn or a corral.35

A person who sets out on the Mediterranean Sea may walk throughout the ship and carry throughout the ship, even though he is outside the Sabbath limits that he originally established as his Sabbath base.36

יג

יצא חוץ לתחום לדעת אף על פי שחזר שלא לדעת כגון שהחזירוהו נכרים או רוח רעה אין לו אלא ארבע אמות. וכן אם יצא חוץ לתחום לדעת אף על פי שהוא בתוך רשות היחיד כגון דיר וסהר אין לו אלא ארבע אמות המפרש בים הגדול אע"פ שהוא חוץ לתחום ששבת בו מהלך את כל הספינה כולה ומטלטל בכולה:

14

Whenever a person leaves his Sabbath limits unintentionally, and is surrounded by an enclosure on the Sabbath,37 he may walk throughout [the area of] that enclosure, provided it does not exceed two thousand cubits.38

When this enclosure that is created without his knowledge overlaps part of the Sabbath limit that he left [an additional leniency is granted]. Since he is allowed to walk throughout that enclosure, he may reenter his Sabbath limits. Once he enters, [he may proceed freely,] as if he had never left.39

יד

מי שיצא חוץ לתחום שלא לדעת והוקף במחיצה בשבת יש לו להלך כל אותה המחיצה והוא שלא תהיה יתר על אלפים אמה. ואם היה תחום שיצא ממנו מובלע מקצתו בתוך המחיצה שנעשית שלא לדעתו הואיל ויש לו להלך את כל המחיצה הרי זה נכנס לתחומו וכיון שיכנס הרי הוא כאילו לא יצא:

15

[The following rules apply when] any of the individuals whose movement is restricted to four cubits must relieve himself: He may leave [these four cubits], move away [an appropriate distance], relieve himself,40 and then return to his place.41

If when moving away to relieve himself, the person enters a portion of the Sabbath limits that he originally left: since he has entered, [his] entry [is accepted as fact], and it is as though he had never departed.42 [This leniency applies] provided he originally left unintentionally. If he left intentionally, he may walk only [within] four cubits, even if he reentered [his original limits].43

טו

כל מי שאין לו לזוז ממקומו אלא בתוך ארבע אמות אם נצרך לנקביו הרי זה יוצא ומרחיק ונפנה וחוזר למקומו. ואם נכנס למקצת תחום שיצא ממנו בעת שיתרחק להפנות הואיל ונכנס יכנס וכאילו לא יצא. והוא שלא יצא בתחלה לדעת אבל אם יצא לדעת אף על פי שנכנס אין לו אלא ארבע אמות:

16

[The following rules apply to] all individuals who are sanctioned by the court [to leave their Sabbath limits] - e.g., witnesses who are going to testify regarding their sighting of the moon,44 - and all others who are allowed to depart because of a mitzvah:45 When they reach their destination, they may proceed two thousand cubits in all directions.46 Should they become located in a city, they [are governed by] the same [rules as] the inhabitants of that city, and may proceed two thousand cubits beyond the city in all directions.

טז

כל מי שיצא ברשות בית דין כגון העדים שבאו להעיד על ראיית הלבנה וכיוצא בהן ממי שמותר לו לצאת לדבר מצוה יש לו אלפים אמה לכל רוח באותו מקום שהגיע לו. ואם הגיע למדינה הרי הוא כאנשי העיר ויש לו אלפים אמה לכל רוח חוץ למדינה:

17

[The following rules apply when] a person was sanctioned to depart [from his Sabbath limits], but in the midst of his journey, he was informed that the mitzvah that he had intended to perform had already been completed: He may proceed two thousand cubits in all directions. If a portion of the Sabbath limit from which he departed overlaps these two thousand cubits, he may return to his [original] place, and it is as though he had never departed.

All those who depart [from the Sabbath limits] to rescue Jewish lives from gentiles, from a [flooding] river, or from an avalanche, are granted two thousand cubits [in which to walk] from the place where they rescue them. [When Jews are rescued from gentiles, but] the gentiles' position is strong, and the rescuers fear spending [the remainder of] the Sabbath in the place where they rescue them, they may return to their [original] place, [carrying] their weapons.47

יז

היה יוצא ברשות ואמרו לו והוא הולך בדרך כבר נעשית המצוה שיצאת לעשות יש לו ממקומו אלפים אמה לכל רוח. ואם היה מקצת תחום שיצא ממנו ברשות מובלע בתוך אלפים אמה שיש לו ממקומו הרי זה חוזר למקומו וכאילו לא יצא. וכל היוצאין להציל נפשות ישראל מיד עובדי כוכבים ומזלות או מן הנהר. או מן המפולת יש להם אלפים אמה לכל רוח ממקום שהצילו בו. ואם היתה יד העובדי כוכבים ומזלות תקיפה והיו מפחדים לשבות במקום שהצילו בו הרי אלו חוזרין בשבת למקומן ובכלי זיינן

Footnotes
1.

Sefer HaMitzvot (Negative Commandment 321) and Sefer HaChinuch (Mitzvah 24) include this prohibition as one of the 613 mitzvot of the Torah.

Having covered all the prohibitions associated with the performance of labor on the Sabbath, in this and the next chapter the Rambam focuses on another Biblical prohibition associated with the Sabbath - the prohibition against departing from one's location. With regard to this prohibition, it is also significant to consult Hilchot Eruvin, Chapters 6-8, which mention extending the Sabbath limits mentioned here through a convention of Rabbinic origin known as eruv t'chumim.

2.

A mil is approximately one kilometer.

There are those who interpret the Rambam's ruling here as a change in his position from Sefer HaMitzvot, which can be interpreted as stating that the limit of two thousand cubits has its source in the Torah itself. In a responsa, however, the Rambam explicitly states that his statements in Sefer HaMitzvot were intended to be general in nature, to be clarified in the Mishneh Torah.

It must also be noted that there are many authorities (among them the Ramban and the Rashba) who maintain that the Sabbath limits are a Rabbinic prohibition. (According to this view, the allusion to Exodus 16:29 is merely an asmachta.) Significantly, there is an early reference in the Rambam's works (Commentary to the Mishneh, Sotah 5:3) which supports this view.

The fundamental basis for these positions can be explained as follows: The measure of twelve mil is mentioned in the Jerusalem Talmud (Eruvin 1:10), but not in the Babylonian Talmud. The Babylonian Talmud (Eruvin 17a) cites a dispute between Rabbi Akiva and other Sages. Rabbi Akiva maintains that the Torah established a Sabbath limit of two thousand cubits, but the other Sages differ. According to the Rambam, the ruling of the Jerusalem Talmud is accepted. According to the other view, this represents a difference of opinion between the majority opinion in the Babylonian Talmud (which appears to state that the Torah did not establish Sabbath limits) and the Jerusalem Talmud. Generally, when there is a difference between the majority opinion in the Babylonian Talmud, and the Jerusalem Talmud, the majority opinion of the Babylonian Talmud is accepted.

The Rabbinic origin of the prohibition of two thousand cubits is universally accepted. It would appear that the Shulchan Aruch (Orach Chayim 404:1) accepts the position that the entire concept of Sabbath limits is a Rabbinic institution. The Ramah, however, requires that consideration be taken of the Rambam's view.

Note also the Tzafenat Paneach, which emphasizes that all authorities agree that the observance of limits on travel on the holidays is Rabbinic in origin.

3.

According to the Rambam, as a safeguard to the prohibition of the Torah. According to the other view, as an independent prohibition.

5.

Nineveh is used as a classic example of a metropolis because of the description of the city's size in the Book of Jonah (3:3, 4:11). Significantly, the Talmud (Eruvin 61b) gives Antioch as the example, and not Nineveh.

The entire city is considered to be the person's "place," in the wording used in Exodus (loc. cit.). Hence, as long as he stays within the city's confines, or goes less than two thousand cubits beyond them, he is not considered to have "left his place."

With the expression, "whether or not, it is surrounded by a wall," the Rambam touches on a Halachic point of particular relevance in the diaspora where it is not common for a city to have an eruv. There is a question if the term "city" used throughout this chapter refers to all cities, or only to those surrounded by a wall.

The rationale behind the latter thesis is that only when a city is surrounded by a wall is it a private domain, and fit to be described as a person's "place." When the city lacks a wall, the person's place is his individual domain. See Rashi, Eruvin 61b, Shulchan Aruch HaRav 396:1.

The Maggid Mishneh (in his gloss to these halachot, and more specifically, in his gloss to Hilchot Eruvin 7:4), explains that the Rambam does not subscribe to this restriction, and considers even a city without a wall as "one's place" even if it is forbidden to carry within it.

6.

There is a difference of opinion among the Sages of the Mishnah (Eruvin 4:8) whether the city is considered to be the center of a circle with a radius of two thousand cubits, or the center of a square whose sides are twice that length. The Rambam follows the latter opinion, thus expanding the permitted area to include the corners of the square.

The determination of the limits of the city's boundaries from which these two thousand cubits are measured is discussed at the beginning of the following chapter.

7.

The Maggid Mishneh states that although the corners of the square are included, one is allowed to walk 2800 cubits (the approximate distance to the corner of the square) only when one is, in fact, pointed in the direction of that diagonal. One may not arbitrarily rotate the area encompassed by the square so that one will always be walking along its diagonal.

8.

This is the punishment given for the violation of a Rabbinic prohibition.

9.

Since a public domain and a carmelit extend only to a height of ten handbreadths, the Sages questioned whether or not this same concept applied with regard to the Sabbath limits.

10.

A surface less than four handbreadths by four handbreadths is not comfortable to use. Therefore, it is a matter of question (Rashi, Eruvin 43a).

11.

The Maggid Mishneh and the Kessef Mishneh cite one of the Rambam's responsa, which states that this entire question applies on dry land only. On the sea or on a river, all authorities agree that if the sea or river is more than ten handbreadths deep, the Sabbath limits do not apply.

The rationale for this leniency is that the laws concerning the Sabbath limits are also derived from the encampment of the Jews in the desert, and there the Sabbath limits were measured only on the land, and more particularly, in a public domain. When a domain is classified within the category of carmelit, e.g., seas and rivers, the establishment of the Sabbath limits is merely Rabbinic in origin. Therefore, since the case at hand - whether the Sabbath limits apply above ten handbreadths - is a point in question, we follow the principle: When in doubt regarding a point of Rabbinic law, the more lenient view should be followed. (See Chapter 30, Halachah 13 and notes, for a further discussion of this issue.)

12.

Eruvin 43a uses the expression, "It is like thick ground."

13.

The intent is a private domain that is located outside a city and that was enclosed for the purpose of dwelling, or that is less than 5000 square cubits (Rashba, as quoted by the Maggid Mishneh). (See Chapter 16, Halachah 12, and Hilchot Eruvin 7:4.)

Halachah 2 emphasizes that a person's "place" can refer to the entire city in which he lives. Similarly, in this instance, since this private domain is a distinct entity, it is considered to be the person's "place," and the calculation of a person's Sabbath limits begins from the end of its borders.

14.

I.e., a carmelit that is not enclosed (Chapter 14, Halachah 4). Needless to say, the same laws would apply in a public domain (Maggid Mishneh).

In this instance, the four square cubits surrounding the place where he is standing at the commencement of the Sabbath is considered his "place," and the two thousand cubits are calculated accordingly (Rashba, as quoted by the Maggid Mishneh).

15.

This point is the subject of a difference of opinion among our Sages (Eruvin 4:5). There are opinions that maintain that a person must consciously acquire his place on the Sabbath. Otherwise, he is allowed to move within a square of four cubits alone. Eruvin 46a substantiates the opinion that the Rambam quotes as halachah.

16.

The Hagahot Maimoniot quotes sources that allow a person to proceed throughout a domain - but no further - even though his Sabbath limits end within that domain. This view is also cited by the Ramah (Orach Chayim 408:1).

17.

These concepts also apply in regard to a city. If it is included within the two thousand cubits of a person's Sabbath limits, it is only considered as four cubits. In this context, the commentaries clarify that when the urban area of a city is included within a person's two thousand cubits, but the city possesses some pasture land that extends beyond the two thousand cubits, the pasture land is not significant, and the city is still counted as four cubits (Ra'avad, as quoted by the Maggid Mishneh).

18.

In this instance, we have based our translation on Rav Kapach's Yemenite manuscripts of the Mishneh Torah, because the precise meaning of the wording employed in the standard printed text is extremely difficult to comprehend.

19.

Needless to say, this ruling applies when the town is surrounded by an eruv. Eruvin 42b states that it is necessary to state this law, lest one think that this would be forbidden lest a person be drawn after the article he threw.

20.

As stated in Chapter 16, Halachah 22, an enclosure that is erected on the Sabbath is significant - and therefore, the person is allowed to carry within it. Nevertheless, the erection of such an enclosure does not have any effect on the extent of a person's Sabbath limits, because these are established at the commencement of the Sabbath.

21.

See Chapter 16, Halachah 1.

22.

This refers to a classic instance recorded in the Mishnah, Eruvin 4:2. Once, when several Rabbis were traveling together with Rabban Gamliel on a ship, they had not reached port before the commencement of the Sabbath. After the ship docked, the Sages asked Rabban Gamliel if they might disembark or not. He assured them that they might, because at the commencement of the Sabbath, he had looked to see that they were within two thousand cubits of the city.

23.

Regardless of its size, even if it is more than 2000 cubits. It is considered as if the person had already entered the city before the commencement of the Sabbath.

24.

This also refers to a classic instance that occurred concerning Rabbi Tarfon. Eruvin 45a states that he was on his way to a city when night fell on Friday. Unsure of whether or not he was within the city limits, he did not proceed any further and spent the night in the fields. In the morning, the shepherds found him and told him, "Rabbi, the city is right in front of you. Why don't you enter?" He indeed did so, and lectured in the house of study throughout the entire day.

The Ra'avad questions why the Rambam quotes the story of Rabbi Tarfon, which is a baraita, rather than the Mishnah, Eruvin 4:4. The Mishnah states that a person who was journeying toward a city, but sat down to rest at nightfall, may enter the city on the Sabbath, if he has already passed within its Sabbath limits. Although the person was unsure whether or not he entered the Sabbath limits, since he was actually within those limits and desired to be in the city on the Sabbath, he is given the privileges of the city's inhabitants.

If, however, the person did not have a desire to be within the nearby city, or specifically stated "This is my place for the Sabbath," he may walk no more than 2000 cubits from that specific place, despite the fact that he is within the city limits. Since he consciously segregated himself from the inhabitants of the city, he is not granted their privileges (Maggid Mishneh; Shulchan Aruch and Ramah, Orach Chayim 400:1).

25.

This refers to a person who left the city's Sabbath limits either intentionally, for purposes not directly associated with a mitzvah, unintentionally, or because of forces beyond his control, as mentioned in the following halachah.

26.

A key to the understanding of this halachah and the questions it has raised among the commentaries is the principle of הבלעת תחומים, the overlapping of boundaries. What this means is that when a person has a Sabbath limit already established, but leaves - either intentionally or because of forces beyond his control - he is given a new Sabbath limit in which he may walk. If the boundaries of that new limit overlap into his previous Sabbath limit, he may return there and walk freely within that limit.

To apply these principles to the case at hand: When a person leaves his Sabbath limits voluntarily, the place at which he stops is considered to be his base for the remainder of the Sabbath. He is granted only four cubits in which to walk. Moreover, as indicated in the notes on Chapter 12, Halachah 15, the Rambam maintains that this does not mean that the person may walk four cubits in all directions, but that he may walk four cubits in one of the four directions. Once he walks four cubits to one side, however, he may not walk four cubits in the other direction.

In the case of a person who willfully departs from the Sabbath limits, he is considered to have chosen the four cubits in front of him. Therefore, it is only within these four cubits that he may walk; he may not turn back in the direction of his original place at all.

This is the explanation given by the Maggid Mishneh for the Rambam's ruling. The Maggid Mishneh questions, however, the restriction imposed by the Rambam: Why must we say that the person is restricted to the four cubits in front of him? The person has the choice of four cubits in any direction. If he chooses the four cubits behind him, he will be able to reenter his previous Sabbath limits, and, based on the principle of הבלעת תחומים mentioned above, he would then be able to conduct himself as any other member of the city. Why prevent him from utilizing this option?

This objection - first mentioned by the Ra'avad - is echoed by Rav Yosef Karo in the Kessef Mishneh. In the Shulchan Aruch (Orach Chayim 405:1), however, Rav Karo quotes the Rambam's decision. Based on the above principles, the Magen Avraham 405:1 allows a person to return to his previous Sabbath limits if he leaves the city's Sabbath limits unintentionally or because of forces beyond his control, provided the four cubits in which he is allowed to walk overlap his previous Sabbath limits. If, however, he intentionally leaves the city's Sabbath limits, no leniency is allowed, as the Rambam states.

27.

Since the person is outside the city's Sabbath limits, he is more than two thousand cubits away. Thus, he cannot enter the city unless he transgresses and goes beyond his own Sabbath limits.

28.

In Halachot 5 and 7. The Maggid Mishneh raises an obvious question: Since the person is located more than two thousand cubits outside the city, how is it possible for his Sabbath limits to end within the city? [Significantly, when quoting this law, the Shulchan Aruch (loc. cit.:3) omits this clause.]

The Maggid Mishneh answers that this refers to a situation in which a person was traveling to a city when night fell on Friday, and consciously decided to be considered as an individual, rather than as a member of the city. (See the notes on Halachah 10.)

The Kessef Mishneh explains that the Rambam is speaking of a second location, a town other than the one that the person originally desired to enter. The Or Sameach offers a unique explanation, stating that this refers to a situation where the person was more than two thousand cubits outside the city, and thus beyond its Sabbath limits. Nevertheless, there was a large cave included within his two thousand cubits. Since that cave is considered to be only four cubits, it is possible that his own Sabbath limits will extend into the city.

29.

He may conduct himself as a member of the city with regard to its Sabbath limits. Although the Ra'avad objects to the Rambam's ruling, the Maggid Mishneh and the Shulchan Aruch (loc. cit.:2) follow the Rambam.

30.

More literally, this phrase would be rendered as "an evil spirit." Our translation is based on the Rambam's Commentary on the Mishnah (Eruvin 4:1, the source for this halachah), which interprets this phrase as referring to "any malfunction in a person's intellectual functioning, whatever the cause may be."

31.

And he may walk within its limits at will. Note the Shulchan Aruch (Orach Chayim 405:8), which follows the ruling of Rabbenu Asher and allows a person to walk through his city at will, even if he returned voluntarily. The rationale is that since this was his original Sabbath limit, it is as though he had never departed.

32.

In this instance, we apply the principle that an entire domain can be considered to be four cubits. This ruling is the subject of a difference of opinion in the Mishnah cited above, and there are Geonim who follow the more stringent ruling and restrict the person to four cubits in this situation as well. Nevertheless, the Shulchan Aruch (Orach Chayim 405:6) and the other later authorities follow the Rambam's decision.

33.

For Eruvin 43b equates acting without awareness of the prohibition involved to being taken away forcefully by gentiles.

34.

Needless to say, according to the ruling of the Shulchan Aruch mentioned previously in Note 31, one would be allowed to walk freely in such circumstances.

35.

The Maggid Mishneh relates that the Rashba differs with this decision, maintaining that, in this instance, we should also apply the principle that an entire domain can be considered to be four cubits. It is, however, the Rambam's view that is accepted by the Shulchan Aruch (Orach Chayim 405:6).

36.

This ruling also reflects a classic incident related by the Mishnah (Eruvin 4:1): Rabban Gamliel, Rabbi Elazar ben Azaryah, Rabbi Akiva, and Rabbi Yehoshua were on a ship that left the port of Plandarsin on the Sabbath. Rabban Gamliel and Rabbi Elazar walked throughout the ship despite the fact that it had traveled beyond their original Sabbath limits. (This follows the ruling in Halachah 12, that if gentiles take a person outside his Sabbath limits, but place him in an enclosed area, he may walk throughout the entire area. The gentiles took the Sages outside their Sabbath limits, but since the ship was enclosed, they were allowed to walk throughout its confines.)

The Mishnah continues, stating that Rabbi Akiva and Rabbi Yehoshua remained within the four cubits in which they were standing. Nevertheless, the Mishnah explains that this was merely a stringency they accepted upon themselves and not a binding obligation.

The Shulchan Aruch (loc. cit.:7) accepts the more lenient view and allows one to proceed throughout a ship's confines. It must be emphasized, however, that this leniency applies only when there are barriers around a ship's deck. When the barriers surrounding a ship's deck are removed, one may proceed throughout the ship only when it is moving. If it is anchored, the passengers may move only four cubits.

37.

As stated in Halachah 8, and in Chapter 16, Halachah 22, an enclosure that is erected on the Sabbath is significant. Therefore, this situation is considered analogous to that of a person who leaves his Sabbath limits unintentionally and enters an enclosed domain.

38.

The Rambam does not grant the person any greater leniency than if he had been located in that place when the Sabbath began, and afterwards gentiles surrounded it with an enclosure. (See Halachah 8.)

The Ra'avad and the Rashba differ and explain that greater leniency should be granted in this instance. Halachah 8 is speaking about establishing a person's place at the beginning of the Sabbath. Hence, if the enclosure is not erected at that time, it is not significant. This halachah is speaking about a person who is removed from his Sabbath limits against his will. Since we follow the principle that any enclosure is considered to be merely four cubits - whatever the size of that enclosure - he should be granted permission to walk throughout its limits, and 1996 cubits beyond it.

39.

In this instance as well, the Rambam is referring to a well known Talmudic incident. Eruvin 43b relates that Rav Nechemiah, one of Rav Nachman's students, had taken a Sabbath stroll, and while lost in thought had strayed beyond the Sabbath limits.

"Your student, Nechemiah, is beset by disturbance," Rav Chisda told Rav Nachman.

"Make a human partition around him [see Chapter 16, Halachah 23] and let him enter," Rav Nachman replied.

40.

Note the Shulchan Aruch (Orach Chayim 406:1), which questions if this leniency applies when the person must urinate, or if it applies only when he must defecate.

41.

Here we see how important the consideration of human dignity is. Even the prohibitions of our Sages - which the Torah obligates us to fulfill - are waived because of it (Rashi, Eruvin 41b).

This would appear to indicate that, according to the Rambam - who rules that the Sabbath limit of twelve mil has its source in the Torah - a person who travels more than twelve mil beyond his Sabbath limits may not move beyond four cubits, even to relieve himself (Minchat Chinuch, Mitzvah 24).

42.

The Shulchan Aruch (loc. cit.) states that one may intentionally move toward one's Sabbath limits in search of a private place to relieve oneself. Nevertheless, if such a place presents itself before one is able to return to his Sabbath limits, he must avail himself of it. He may then move far enough away so as not to be bothered by the odor, but then he must confine himself to a square of four cubits.

43.

As mentioned in Halachah 13, even if he was returned to his Sabbath limits by gentiles, the restrictions against his walking freely are not lifted.

44.

See Hilchot Kiddush HaChodesh 3:2-4, which describes how witnesses who saw the new moon should proceed to Jerusalem to give testimony, even if it is necessary to violate the Sabbath laws.

45.

Rosh HaShanah 2:6 explains that this refers to individuals who leave their Sabbath limits in an attempt to save lives - e.g., a midwife or a person who goes to rescue people from drowning, from an attack, or from an avalanche, as mentioned in the following halachah.

46.

Rosh HaShanah (ibid.) explains that originally such people were considered to be individuals who leave their Sabbath limits voluntarily, and therefore could proceed no more than four cubits. Rabban Gamliel was the one who granted this leniency.

47.

See Chapter 2, Halachah 23, where these concepts have been explained.

Shabbat - Chapter Twenty Eight

1

Whenever there is a home that is outside a city, but seventy and two thirds cubits - i.e., the length of one of the sides of [a square] 5000 square cubits in area1 - or less from the city, it is considered to be part of the city and joined to it. When two thousand cubits are measured in all directions from the city, this house [is considered to be on the extremity of the border2 and] the measurement [begins] from there.3

א

כל בית דירה שהוא יוצא מן המדינה אם היה בינו ובין המדינה שבעים אמה ושני שלישי אמה שהוא צלע בית סאתים המרובעת או פחות מזה הרי זה מצטרף למדינה ונחשב ממנה. וכשמודדין לה אלפים אמה לכל רוח מודדין חוץ מבית דירה זה:

2

If one house is within seventy cubits of a city, another house is within seventy cubits of the first, and a third within seventy cubits of the second [and so on], they are all considered to be one city, although the chain extends for a distance of several days walk. When [the Sabbath limits] are measured, they are measured from the last house, provided this house is a dwelling4 four cubits by four cubits5 or more [in area].

ב

היה בית זה קרוב למדינה בשבעים אמה ובית שני קרוב לבית ראשון בשבעים אמה ובית שלישי קרוב לשני בשבעים אמה וכן עד מהלך כמה ימים הרי הכל כמדינה אחת וכשמודדין מודדין מחוץ לבית האחרון. והוא שיהיה בית דירה זה ארבע אמות על ארבע אמות או יתר:

3

[The following are considered to be dwellings in the context mentioned above:] a synagogue that has a dwelling for its attendants, a temple of a false deity that has a dwelling for its priests, a storeroom that has a dwelling, a bridge or a grave that has a dwelling,6 a structure four cubits by four cubits that has three walls but no roof, watchtowers,7, a house built [on an island]8 at sea,9 a structure with two walls and a roof,10 a cave with a building at its entrance that is used as a dwelling. All of these are included as part of the city, provided they are located within seventy and a fraction cubits of it.

From this house on the extremity [of the city], we consider it as if a line is extended along the length of the entire city, and we measure two thousand cubits outward from that line.

ג

וכן בית הכנסת שיש בו בית דירה לחזנין ובית עבודת כוכבים ומזלות שיש בו בית דירה לכהניהם והאוצרות שיש בהן בית דירה והגשר והקבר שיש בהן בית דירה ושלש מחיצות שאין עליה תקרה ויש בהן ארבע על ארבע אמות והבורגנין והבית הבנוי בים ושתי מחיצות שיש עליהן תקרה ומערה שיש בנין על פיה ויש בה בית דירה. כל אלו מצטרפין עמה אם היו בתוך שבעים אמה ושירים. ומאותו הבית היוצא רואין כאילו חוט מתוח על פני כל המדינה ומודדין חוץ לאותו החוט אלפים אמה:

4

The following [structures] are not added [as the furthest extremities of a city's boundaries]: a structure with two walls and no roof - despite the fact that people dwell within it - a bridge, a grave, a synagogue, a temple to false deities, and a storehouse that do not have dwellings; a cistern, a trench, a cave,11 a dovecote, and a house on a ship.12 All of these are not added [to a city's boundaries].

ד

ואלו שאין מצטרפין עמה. שתי מחיצות שאין עליהן תקרה אף על פי שדרין ביניהן. והגשר והקבר ובית הכנסת ובית עבודת כוכבים ומזלות והאוצרות שאין בהן בית דירה והבור והשוח והמערה והשובך ובית שבספינה כל אלו וכיוצא בהן אין מצטרפין עמה:

5

[The following rule applies when] two towns are located next to each other: If the distance between them is 141 1/3 cubits [or less], so that [the distance between them] is seventy and a fraction [as measured] from one town and seventy and a fraction [as measured] from the other town, they are considered to be a single city. Accordingly, [the inhabitants of] each town can walk throughout the other town and two thousand cubits outside of it.

[The following rules apply when] three villages are located in a triangle: If there are two thousand cubits or less between the village in the middle and both of the villages on the extremities, and there are 282 2/3 cubits [or less] between the villages on the extremities, so that if the middle village were placed on the line between them, there would be 141 1/3 cubits [or less] between it and both13 of them,14 they are all considered to be a single city. When [a Sabbath limit] is measured, it is measured two thousand cubits in all directions from [the single unit created from] these three [villages].

When the wall15 of a city was erected, and the city was settled afterwards, we measure [the Sabbath limit] from [the end of] the settled area [and not from the wall]. If it was settled and then surrounded [by a wall], we measure from the wall.16

ה

היו שתי עיירות זו סמוכה לזו אם יש ביניהן מאה וארבעים ואחת ושליש כדי שיהיה שבעים אמה ושירים לזו ושבעים אמה ושירים לזו חושבין שתיהן כעיר אחת ונמצא כל עיר מהן מהלכת את כל העיר השניה וחוצה לה אלפים אמה. היו שלשה כפרים משולשין אם יש בין האמצעי ובין כל אחד ואחד מן החיצונים אלפים אמה או פחות מכאן ובין השנים החיצונים מאתים שלש ושמונים פחות שליש כדי שיהיה בין כל אחד מהן ובין האמצעי כשתראה אותו כאילו הוא ביניהן מאה וארבעים ואחת אמה ושליש הרי שלשתן כמדינה אחת ומודדין אלפים אמה לכל רוח מחוץ לשלשתן. עיר שהוקפה ולבסוף ישבה מודדין לה מישיבתה. ישבה ולבסוף הוקפה מודדין לה מחומותיה:

6

When a city is rectangular or square, since it has four angles that are equal, we leave it as it is, and measure two thousand cubits in each direction on all four sides.

17

If it is circular, we construct an [imaginary] square around it, considering it as the center of that square. We measure two thousand cubits from the sides of that square in all directions. Thus, [the inhabitants] gain [the area] at the corners.

ו

עיר שהיתה ארוכה או מרובעת הואיל ויש לה ארבע זויות שוות מניחין אותה כמות שהיא ומודדין לה אלפים אמה לכל רוח מארבע רוחותיה. היתה עגולה עושין לה זויות ורואין אותה כאילו הוא בתוך המרובע ומודדין חוץ מצלעות אותו מרובע אלפים אמה לכל רוח שנמצא משתכר הזויות:

7

Similarly, if a city is triangular in shape, or if it has many different sides, we construct a square around it, and afterwards measure two thousand cubits from each side of that square.

When we construct a square around a city, we construct this square according to the compass directions,18 making each of its sides face one of the four directions and extend in a straight line vertically or horizontally.

ז

וכן אם היתה העיר משולשת או שיש לה צלעות רבות מרבעין אותה ואחר כך מודדין חוץ למרובע אלפים אמה לכל רוח. וכשהוא מרבעה מרבעה בריבוע העולם כדי שתהא כל רוח ממנה משוכה כנגד רוח מרוחות העולם ומכוונת כנגדה:

8

When a city is [shaped like a trapezoid,] one side being shorter than the other, we consider both sides to be of the length of the longer side.

[The following rules apply when a city] is L-shaped or crescent-shaped: If there are less than four thousand cubits between the two points on the extremities,19 we measure [the Sabbath limit] from [the imaginary line that connects these points].20 When there are more than four thousand cubits between the two points on the extremities, we measure [the Sabbath limit] from [the vertex of] the crescent.21

ח

היתה רחבה מצד אחד וקצרה מצד אחד רואין אותה כאילו היא כלה רחבה. היתה עשויה כמין ג"ם או שהיתה עשויה כקשת אם יש בין שני ראשיה פחות מארבעת אלפים אמה מודדין לה מן היתר ורואין את כל הרוחב שבין היתר והקשת כאילו הוא מלא בתים. ואם היה בין שני ראשיה ארבעת אלפים אין מודדין לה אלא מן הקשת:

9

[The following rules apply to] a city located at the edge of a river:22 If there is a dock four cubits wide at the river bank, so that one can stand on it and use the river, the river is considered to be part of the city. Thus, [the Sabbath limit of] two thousand cubits is measured from the other bank of the river, because the dock causes the river to be considered part of the city.

If there is no dock, the measurement begins from the edge of the houses,23 and [the width of] the river is included in the two thousand cubits.

ט

עיר שיושבת על שפת הנחל, אם יש לפניה דקה רוחב ארבע אמות על שפת הנחל כדי שיעמדו עליה וישתמשו בנחל נמצא הנחל בכלל העיר ומודדין לה אלפים אמה משפת הנחל השניה ויעשה הנחל כולו בכלל המדינה מפני הדקה הבנויה מצדו. ואם לא היה שם דקה אין מודדין להן אלא מפתח בתיהן ונמצא הנחל נמדד מן האלפים שלהם:

10

[The following laws apply to] the dwellers of huts:24 [The Sabbath limits] should be measured from the entrance to their homes.25 If [in that area] there are three courtyards with two houses26 in each, [the entire area] is established [as a unit].27 A square is constructed around it, and two thousand cubits are measured [from its borders], as all other cities.

י

יושבי צריפין אין מודדין להן אלא מפתח בתיהן. ואם יש שם שלש חצרות של שני בתים הוקבעו כולם ומרבעין אותה ונותנין להם אלפים אמה לכל רוח כשאר העיירות.

11

[The two thousand cubits of the Sabbath limits] should be measured only by using a rope of fifty cubits,28 but not a shorter29 or a longer one.30 The rope should be made of flax, so that it will not stretch beyond [that length].

When [the measurers] reach a crevice that is fifty cubits [or less] wide, so that [its width] can be spanned [by the length of] the measuring rope, this should be done,31 provided [the crevice] is less than four thousand cubits deep.32

יא

אין מודדין אלא בחבל של חמשים אמה לא פחות ולא יתר ובחבל של פשתן כדי שלא ימשך יותר מדאי. הגיע לגיא אם היה רוחבו חמשים אמה שיכול להבליעו בחבל המדה מבליעו והוא שיהיה בעמקו פחות מארבעת אלפים:

12

When does the above apply? When a plumb line descends directly [into the crevice], for then [the slopes of the crevice] cannot be used.33 If, however, the plumb line does not descend directly,34 one should not span [the crevice with the measuring rope], unless the crevice is two thousand cubits or less in depth.

יב

במה דברים אמורים שהיה חוט המשקולת יורד כנגדו שאי אפשר להשתמש בו. אבל אם אין חוט המשקולת יורד כנגדו אינו מבליעו אלא אם כן היה עמקו אלפים או פחות מיכן:

13

With regard to a valley with a gradual descent, one should ascend and descend, measuring by approximation.35 If the valley is more than fifty cubits wide and thus cannot be spanned [by the measuring rope], [the measurers] should go to a place where they can span the gap,36 measure the span [there], see the parallels to [the place they are] measuring, and return to their task.

יג

היה גיא מעוקם מקדר ועולה מקדר ויורד. היה גיא רחב מחמשים שאינו יכול להבליעו הולך למקום שהוא יכול להבליעו ומבליעו וצופה כנגד מדתו וחוזר:

14

When [the measurers] reach a wall, we do not say that they must pierce the wall [to continue measuring].37 Instead, it is sufficient to approximate its thickness and continue.38

If the wall can be used [by the public],39 it must be measured in an exact manner.40 Similarly, if a plumb line will descend directly parallel [to the wall],41 its thickness should be measured exactly.

יד

הגיע לכותל אין אומרים יקוב את הכותל אלא אומד רחבו והולך לו. ואם אפשר להשתמש בו מודדו מדידה יפה. ואם היה חוט המשקולת יורד כנגדו מודד רחבו מדידה יפה:

15

[The following rules apply when the measurers] reach a mountain: If the slope of the mountain ascends ten handbreadths within a length of five cubits, [the measurers should] measure the span [above the mountain],42 and return to their [ordinary] measurement.

If its height rises acutely, its slope ascending ten handbreadths within a length of four cubits, [all that is necessary is] to approximate [its length], and then one may proceed further.

If a mountain is so wide that [the measuring rope] cannot span it - i.e. it is more than fifty cubits wide - it should be measured by approximation, small portions at a time. This is the meaning of the expression,43 "In the mountains, they measured by approximation."

טו

הגיע להר אם היה הר מתלקט ממנו גבוה עשרה טפחים באורך חמש אמות מבליעו וחוזר למדתו. ואם היה גבוה הרבה עד שיתלקט ממנו עשרה טפחים מתוך משך ארבע אמות אומדו והולך לו. ואם אינו יכול להבליעו כגון שהיה רחבו יתר מחמשים מקדרו מעט מעט. וזה הוא שאמרו מקדרין בהרים:

16

What is implied [by the directive to] measure mountains or valleys that cannot be spanned by approximation? Two people hold a rope four cubits long. The person above should hold the upper end at the level of his feet, while the person below should hold the lower end at the level of his heart.44 The person standing above then descends to the level of the person standing below, who, in turn, descends further to the extent of the rope. [The entire process should be repeated and] continued until the entire area has been measured.

When [the measurers] go to span a mountain or a valley,45 they should not depart from the Sabbath limits, lest passersby see them and say, "The Sabbath limits passed by here."

טז

כיצד מקדרין בהרים או בגיאיות שאינו יכול להבליען. אוחזין שנים חבל של ארבע אמות העליון אוחז קצתו מכנגד מרגלותיו והתחתון אוחז בקצה השני כנגד לבו וחוזר העליון לעמוד במקום התחתון והתחתון יורד ומרחיק ממנו מדת החבל וכן מתגלגלים והולכין עד שמודדין את כולו. וכשילך המודד להבליע ההר או הגיא לא יצא חוץ לתחום שלא יראו אותו העוברים ויאמרו מדת תחומין באה לכאן:

17

We rely only on the measurement by an expert46 who is proficient in the measuring of land. If the Sabbath limits [of a city] had been established and an expert came and measured [them again], increasing them in some places and decreasing them in others, we accept his ruling regarding the limits that he increased.47

Similarly, if two experts came and measured the Sabbath limits, one giving a larger measure and the other giving a smaller measure, we accept the ruling of the one who gives the larger measure,48 provided that the inconsistency is not greater than the difference between the diagonal [and the border of] a city.49

יז

אין סומכין אלא על מדידת אדם מומחה שהוא יודע מדת הקרקע. היו לנו תחומי שבת מוחזקין ובא מומחה ומדד ריבה בתחום מהן ומיעט בתחום. שומעין לו בתחום שריבה. וכן אם באו שנים מומחין ומדדו התחום אחד ריבה ואחד מיעט שומעין למרבה. ובלבד שלא ירבה יתר ממדת אלכסונה של עיר:

18

What is implied? We can say that the reason the latter increased the measure was the following: The first erred and measured the two thousand [cubits] from the corner of the city diagonally.50 Therefore, he reduced its measurement, and the distance between the border of the Sabbath limits and the city will be less than two thousand [cubits]. [By contrast,] the second person [who measured] measured the two thousand [cubits] from the edge of the city [and therefore produced a larger figure]. We do not, however, consider the possibility of the first person's making any greater mistake.

Accordingly, if the latter measure is less than 580 cubits51 more than the original measure, it is accepted. A larger increase, however, is not accepted.

יח

כיצד בעת שירבה זה נאמר שמא הראשון מקרן אלכסון של עיר מדד האלפים ולפיכך מיעט מדתו ונמצא צלע התחום בינו ובין המדינה פחות מאלפים. וזה האחרון מדד אלפים מצלע המדינה. ואין מחזיקין על הראשון שטעה ביותר על זה. לפיכך אם ריבה זה האחרון יתר על הראשון אפילו בחמש מאות ושמונים אמה בקרוב שומעין לו, ביותר על זה אין שומעין לו:

19

Even when a servant or a maidservant52 says, "The Sabbath limits reach here,"53 their statements are accepted. An adult's statement is accepted if he says, "We would proceed until this place when I was a child." His testimony is relied on in this instance, 54since our Sages stated that the lenient approach should be accepted in these rulings, and not the more stringent one, because the measure of two thousand cubits is a Rabbinic institution.

יט

אפילו עבד אפילו שפחה נאמנין לומר עד כאן תחום השבת. ונאמן הגדול לומר זכור אני שעד כאן היינו באים בשבת כשהייתי קטן. וסומכין על עדותו בדבר זה. שלא אמרו חכמים בדבר להחמיר אלא להקל מפני ששיעור אלפים אמה מדבריהם

Footnotes
1.

See the Rambam's Commentary to the Mishnah (Eruvin 5:2) which notes the difference between the figures mentioned here and the precise mathematical terms. See also Tosafot Yom Tov, Eruvin 5:2.

2.

See Halachot 6 and 7, which state that a square should be made to include the furthermost extremities of the city, and the Sabbath limits should be measured from there.

3.

The Maggid Mishneh notes that the Rambam appears to be saying that the Sabbath limits are measured from the edge of the city. He notes that there are opinions (see Eruvin 5:2) that grant a city a karpef (a seventy and two-thirds cubit extension) even if it is not close to another city. According to those views, the Sabbath limits are calculated seventy and two thirds cubits from the city's boundaries. The Rambam (Commentary on the Mishnah) rejects that view.

The Rambam's opinion is accepted by the Shulchan Aruch (Orach Chayim 398:5). The other view is accepted by the Tur and quoted by the Ramah.

4.

The intent is a permanent dwelling. A temporary structure, or a building that does not have facilities for lodging is not sufficient, as explained in the following halachot.

5.

The Magen Avraham 398:6 emphasizes that this does not include all structures with a total area of sixteen square cubits. Each side of the building must be at least four cubits. (See a parallel in Hilchot Mezuzah 6:2.)

6.

Rav David Arameah explains that it was common for a bridge to have a dwelling for a toll collector, and a grave to have a dwelling for a watchman.

7.

Our translation is based on the Rambam's Commentary on the Mishnah (Ma'aser 3:7).

8.

The bracketed additions are based on Rashi's commentary (Eruvin 55b).

9.

Such a house is useful in unloading cargo from ships (Magen Avraham 398:7).

10.

The Ra'avad notes that the question of whether such a structure is acceptable is left unresolved by Eruvin, loc. cit. Accordingly, he rules stringently. The Rambam's position is, however, followed by the Shulchan Aruch (Orach Chayim 398:6).

11.

The commentaries on Eruvin 55b state that the latter three are excluded even if there are people who inhabit them.

12.

Because it is not anchored permanently and may depart, it is considered to be a temporary dwelling (Magen Avraham 398:10).

13.

See the Chatam Sofer (Orach Chayim, Responsa 94), which emphasizes that each of the exterior villages can be no more than 141 1/3 cubits from the imaginary line leading to the middle village. It is not sufficient that there be a total sum of less than 282 2/3 cubits between the two villages.

14.

This phrase and the phrase that precedes it create a difficulty. From the phrase, "there are 282 2/3 cubits [or less] between the villages on the extremities," one would assume that this rule does not apply when the two villages on the extremities are separated by a greater distance. Nevertheless, the phrase "if the middle village were placed on the line between them, there would be 141 1/3 cubits [or less] between it and both of them," appears to imply that even were the distance between the two villages on the extremities to exceed 282 2/3 cubits, as long as the villages on the extremities are not more than 141 1/3 cubits from the place the middle city would take up, it is acceptable.

From the diagram that the Rambam drew to accompany his Commentary on the Mishnah (Eruvin 5:3), the former interpretation would appear appropriate. (Similarly, the Ra'avad interprets the Rambam's intent in this manner and, therefore, objects.) Nevertheless, both the Maggid Mishneh and the Radbaz state that the width of the city should be added to the sum of 282 2/3 cubits. The Shulchan Aruch (Orach Chayim 398:8) quotes the Rambam's wording verbatim. The Ramah, however, clarifies the ruling according to the interpretation of the Maggid Mishneh.

15.

This refers to a wall on which there are no dwellings (Maggid Mishneh).

16.

Rashi (Eruvin 26a) explains that when a wall is erected after an area has been settled, the wall causes the entire village to be considered as if it were four cubits in length. Therefore, we measure from the wall. When, by contrast, the wall was erected before the houses were built, the wall is not halachically significant. Accordingly, the Sabbath limits are measured from the houses. Based on the Rambam's statement's in Halachah 2, it is questionable if he would accept this interpretation.

17.

Eruvin 55a and the Shulchan Aruch (Orach Chayim 398:1) state that even if the sides of such a city are not positioned directly north and south, nothing is added to its size, because it is rectangular or square in shape.

18.

This applies even when the total area of the square is increased by constructing it in this fashion.

19.

I.e., if the Sabbath limits of the houses on the extremities overlap, the houses are considered to be part of a single entity.

20.

This applies regardless of the distance from the vertex of the crescent to the imaginary line connecting its extremities. Even if it is more than two thousand cubits, the entire area is considered to be a single unit (Kessef Mishneh).

21.

This applies to the house at the vertex. The Rashba considers each of the sides of the crescent to be a separate city. Sefer Ha'Itim considers every house to be an entirely separate entity. The Magen Avraham 398:2 states that the entire crescent is considered to be a single entity. According to this conception, the only difference between this instance and the previous clause is that one may not walk more than two thousand cubits away from the houses in the open area between them.

Based on the rulings of Rabbenu Asher and the Tur, the Ramah mentions two leniencies: a) Even when the two extremities of the crescent are more than four thousand cubits away from each other, the entire area of the crescent until the points on the either side which are four thousand cubits removed, is, nevertheless, considered to be a single entity.

b) If the space from the vertex of the crescent to the imaginary line connecting the two extremities is less than two thousand cubits, the entire area is considered to be a single entity even though there are more than four thousand cubits between each side.

22.

Rabbenu Yitzchak Alfasi - and subsequently the Shulchan Aruch (Orach Chayim 398:9) - interpret this as referring to a river that usually dries up and is filled with water only during the rainy season.

23.

The city itself, however, is considered to be a collective entity (Maggid Mishneh). Note Rashi (Eruvin 61a), who follows a different perspective entirely, stating that, because there is no dock, the city is not considered as a permanent location, and every home is judged to be an individual entity.

24.

More specifically, in his Commentary on the Mishnah (Ma'asrot 3:7), the Rambam defines the Hebrew צריפין as referring to "V-shaped lean-tos made from reeds and wood."

25.

These huts are not considered to be permanent dwellings. Hence, their aggregate is not considered to be a unit. Note, however, the Ramah (Orach Chayim 398:10), who states that if a group of such dwellings is surrounded by a wall ten handbreadths high or a trench ten handbreadths deep, they are considered to be a single unit.

26.

This refers to permanent structures built of wood and/or stone.

27.

The three courtyards, each containing two houses, are sufficient to be classified as a city (Eruvin 59a). Since we are classifying the permanent houses as a city, that status is conferred upon the area as a whole, including also the huts.

28.

Eruvin 58a interprets Exodus 27:18, "its width fifty by fifty," as an indication that the width of fifty cubits should be measured with a rope of that size.

29.

For when the rope is shorter, the measurers may pull it tightly and extend its length (Rashi, Eruvin 58a).

30.

For when the rope is longer, it may sag and cause the measure to be shortened (Rashi, Eruvin 58a).

31.

I.e., rather than measure the length of the incline, the entire valley should be measured as a unit of fifty cubits or less.

32.

The Maggid Mishneh states that this represents the Rambam's interpretation of the statements of Abbimi (Eruvin 58b). Rabbenu Asher offers a different interpretation of that passage, which is accepted by the Shulchan Aruch (Orach Chayim 399:4).

33.

For the incline is too steep.

34.

And thus the slopes of the incline can be used for various purposes.

35.

Our translation is based on the Rambam's Commentary on the Mishnah (Eruvin 5:4). See Halachah 16 for an explanation of the process followed.

36.

Provided it is within the Sabbath limits. He should not, however, go beyond the Sabbath limits, lest an observer notice his measurements and mistakenly think that the place is within the Sabbath limits (Eruvin 58b and Halachah 16 above).

37.

Tosafot, Eruvin 58a, states that the intent is not actually to pierce the wall, but that one would be required to erect poles extending above the wall and measure from them.

38.

The Rambam is referring to a wall whose sides are not straight, and hence the determination of its exact thickness is difficult.

39.

I.e., its incline is gentle enough to allow the public to ascend it without difficulty.

40.

The Rambam's ruling follows the version of Eruvin 58a that appears in the texts of several early geonim. The standard printed text of the Talmud differs. In his gloss, the Ra'avad refers to the version of the standard text.

41.

And thus its thickness can be measured easily at either side. It must be measured exactly. The leniency granted in the first clause applies to a wall that ascends gradually, but not gradually enough to make it easily accessible for public use.

42.

By erecting a pole equivalent to the height of the mountain on either side (Shulchan Aruch, Orach Chayim 399:4).

43.

Eruvin 5:4.

44.

In this way, the rope will be held horizontally, on more or less an even plane.

45.

Which cannot be measured in the normal manner, as mentioned in Halachot 13 and 15. See also Halachah 19.

46.

In his Commentary on the Mishnah (Eruvin 5:5), the Rambam defines this as a person who knows engineering and is proficient in the measurement of land.

47.

The Rambam's wording appears to imply that one accepts the opinion of the expert only with regard to the Sabbath limits that he increased, but not with regard to those that he decreased. The Maggid Mishneh and the Kessef Mishneh note that although the Rambam is quoting the wording of the Mishnah (Eruvin, loc. cit.), the Talmud (Eruvin 59a) explains that the ruling of the expert must be accepted even with regard to those places where he decreased the Sabbath limit. The Kessef Mishneh notes that even in his Commentary on the Mishnah (loc. cit.), the Rambam follows this interpretation.

Note, however, Merkevet HaMishneh, which explains the Rambam's ruling here according to its simple interpretation. When the original measurement of a city's Sabbath limits was made by ordinary people, the expert's advice must be adhered to entirely, whether it is more stringent or more lenient. When, however, the original limits were also established by experts, the situation resembles the latter clause of the halachah, and the second expert's opinion is followed only when it is more lenient.

48.

Because, as stated in Halachah 19, the more lenient opinion is accepted, since the Sabbath limit of two thousand cubits is a Rabbinic institution.

49.

We do not say that the difference between the two figures could only be a minute measure because of imprecision. Instead, we allow the possibility of a major error, as explained in the following halachah.

50.

Instead of measuring 2000 cubits on the diagonal, the person should have measured approximately 2800, as explained in Chapter 27, Halachah 2, and notes. Measuring only 2000 cubits on the diagonal causes the entire measure to become reduced.

51.

I.e., if the diagonal of a square is 2000, the side will be approximately 1420. The figure stated by the Rambam is not exact, as the commentaries mention in detail.

52.

There are two difficulties regarding the statements of a servant or maidservant. First, they are not acceptable witnesses. Also, as a whole, such individuals are known to be less than careful with regard to ritual observance.

53.

I.e., the servant's statements were intended to increase the Sabbath limit of a city by saying that the limit originally established was greater than the one observed at present.

54.

Generally, a person's testimony is accepted only when he qualifies as a witness at the time he saw an event take place and at the time he gives his testimony. Since a child is not an acceptable witness, testimony of this nature would ordinarily be rejected. In this instance, however, it is accepted. (See Hilchot Edut 14:3 for other examples of instances in which similar testimony is accepted.)

Shabbat - Chapter Twenty Nine

1

It is a positive commandment from the Torah1 to sanctify the Sabbath day with a verbal statement,2 as [implied by Exodus 20:8]: "Remember the Sabbath day to sanctify it" - i.e., remember it with [words of] praise [that reflect its] holiness.3

This remembrance must be made at the Sabbath's entrance and at its departure: at the [day's] entrance with the kiddush that sanctifies the day, and at its departure with havdalah.4

א

מצות עשה מן התורה לקדש את יום השבת בדברים שנאמר זכור את יום השבת לקדשו. כלומר זכרהו זכירת שבת וקידוש. וצריך לזכרהו בכניסתו וביציאתו. בכניסתו בקידוש היום וביציאתו בהבדלה:

2

This is the text of the kiddush, sanctifying the day:



Blessed are You, God, our Lord, King of the universe, who has sanctified us with His commandments and has desired us. He has given us5 the holy Sabbath with love and with favor as an inheritance and a commemoration of the work of creation.6

It is the first of the convocations of holiness,7 a commemoration of the exodus from Egypt.8 For You have chosen us and sanctified us from among all the nations. With love and favor You have granted us Your holy Sabbath as an inheritance.9 Blessed are You, God, who sanctifies the Sabbath.

ב

וזהו נוסח קידוש היום. ברוך אתה ה' אלהינו מלך העולם אשר קדשנו במצותיו ורצה בנו ושבת קדשו באהבה ורצון הנחילנו זכרון למעשה בראשית תחלה למקראי קדש זכר ליציאת מצרים כי בנו בחרת ואותנו קדשת מכל העמים ושבת קדשך באהבה וברצון הנחלתנו ברוך אתה ה' מקדש השבת:


3

This is the text of the havdalah prayer:



Blessed are You God, our Lord, King of the universe, who distinguishes between the holy and the mundane, between light and darkness, between Israel and the nations, and between the seventh day and the six days of activity.10 Blessed are You, God, who distinguishes between the holy and the mundane.

ג

וזה נוסח ההבדלה. ברוך אתה ה' אלהינו מלך העולם המבדיל בין קדש לחול ובין אור לחשך בין ישראל לעמים ובין יום השביעי לששת ימי המעשה. ברוך אתה ה' המבדיל בין קדש לחול:


4

The essence [of the mitzvah] of sanctifying the Sabbath [is to do so] at night.11 If a person does not recite kiddush at night - whether consciously or inadvertently - he may recite kiddush12 throughout the entire [Sabbath] day.13

A person who does not recite havdalah at night may recite [this blessing] on the following day,14 and [indeed] may recite [this blessing] until [nightfall] on Tuesday15 [if he does not fulfill his obligation beforehand].

[Although the havdalah blessing may be recited at a later time,] one should recite the blessing on a flame only on Saturday night.16

ד

עיקר הקידוש בלילה. אם לא קידש בלילה בין בשוגג בין במזיד מקדש והולך כל היום כולו. ואם לא הבדיל בלילה מבדיל למחר ומבדיל והולך עד סוף יום שלישי. אבל אינו מברך על האור אלא בליל מוצאי שבת בלבד:

5

A person is forbidden17 to eat or to drink wine from the commencement of the Sabbath onward18 until he recites kiddush. Similarly, after the conclusion of the day, a person is forbidden to begin to eat, drink, perform labor,19 or taste anything until he recites havdalah. Drinking water is, however, permitted.20

Should a person forget or transgress and eat or drink before reciting kiddush or havdalah, he may nevertheless recite kiddush or havdalah afterwards.21

ה

אסור לאדם לאכול או לשתות יין משקדש היום עד שיקדש. וכן משיצא היום אסור לו להתחיל לאכול ולשתות ולעשות מלאכה או לטעום כלום עד שיבדיל. ולשתות מים מותר. שכח או עבר ואכל ושתה קודם שיקדש או קודם שיבדיל הרי זה מקדש ומבדיל אחר שאכל:

6

It is a mitzvah [instituted by] our Sages to recite kiddush over [a cup of] wine22 and to recite havdalah over [a cup of] wine.

Although one recites havdalah in one's [evening] prayers, one is required to recite [this blessing] over a cup [of wine].23 [Nevertheless,] once a person has said "[Blessed is He24] who distinguishes between the holy and the mundane," he is permitted to perform labor25 even though he has not recited havdalah over a cup [of wine].

One should recite the blessing over the wine first, and then recite the kiddush.26 One should not wash one's hands27 until after the recitation of kiddush.

ו

מדברי סופרים לקדש על היין ולהבדיל על היין. ואף על פי שהבדיל בתפלה צריך להבדיל על כוס. ומאחר שיבדיל ויאמר בין קדש לחול מותר לו לעשות מלאכה אע"פ שלא הבדיל על הכוס. ומברך על היין תחלה ואחר כך מקדש. ואינו נוטל את ידיו עד שיקדש:

7

What is the procedure he should follow: He should take a cup that contains a revi'it28 or more, wash it thoroughly inside, and rinse its outside.29 He should fill it with wine, hold it in his right hand, lifting it above the ground more than a handbreadth,30 without supporting it with his left hand.

One recites the blessing [borey pri] hagefen and then the kiddush. It is, however, common custom among the Jewish people first to recite the passage Vayechulu,31 then the blessing [borey pri] hagefen and then the kiddush

One should drink [at least] a cheekful of wine32 and give all those joining in the meal to drink.33 Afterwards, one washes one's hands, recites the blessing hamotzi, and [begins] eating.

ז

כיצד הוא עושה לוקח כוס שהוא מחזיק רביעית או יתר ומדיחו מבפנים ושוטפו מבחוץ וממלאהו יין ואוחזו בימינו ומגביהו מן הקרקע טפח או יתר ולא יסייע בשמאל. ומברך על הגפן ואחר כך מקדש. ומנהג פשוט בכל ישראל לקרות בתחלה פרשת ויכלו ואחר כך מברך על היין ואחר כך מקדש ושותה מלוא לוגמיו ומשקה לכל בני חבורה ואח"כ נוטל ידיו ומברך המוציא ואוכל:

8

[The mitzvah of] kiddush [may be fulfilled] only in the place of one's meal.34 What is implied? A person should not recite the kiddush in one house35 and eat his meal in another.36 One may, however, recite kiddush in one corner and eat one's meal in another.

[One might ask:] Why is kiddush recited in the synagogue? Because of the guests who eat and drink there.37

ח

אין קידוש אלא במקום סעודה. כיצד לא יקדש בבית זה ויאכל בבית אחר. אבל אם קידש בזוית זו אוכל בזוית שניה. ולמה מקדשין בבית הכנסת מפני האורחין שאוכלין ושותין שם:

9

A person who desires to partake of bread more than of wine, and similarly, a person who has no wine, should wash his hands, recite the blessing hamotzi, and then recite kiddush. Afterwards, he should break bread and eat.

Havdalah, by contrast, may not be recited over bread, but only over wine.38

ט

היה מתאוה לפת יותר מן היין או שלא היה לו יין הרי זה נוטל ידיו תחלה ומברך המוציא ומקדש ואחר כך בוצע ואוכל ואין מבדילין על הפת אלא על הכוס:

10

A person who had intended to recite kiddush over wine on Friday night, but forgot, and before he recited kiddush washed his hands [with the intention of partaking of bread], should recite kiddush over bread. He should not recite kiddush over wine after washing his hands [to partake of] a meal.39

It is a mitzvah to recite a blessing over wine on the Sabbath day before partaking of the second [Sabbath] meal.40 This is called "the great kiddush."41 One recites only the blessing borey pri hagefen, partakes of the wine,42 washes one's hands, and begins the meal.

[On the Sabbath day as well,] a person is forbidden to taste any food before he recites kiddush.43 This kiddush may also be recited only in the place where one eats one's meal.

י

מי שנתכוין לקדש על היין בלילי שבת ושכח ונטל ידיו קודם שיקדש הרי זה מקדש על הפת ואינו מקדש על היין אחר שנטל ידיו לסעודה. ומצוה לברך על היין ביום השבת קודם שיסעוד סעודה שניה. וזה הוא הנקרא קידושא רבה, מברך בורא פרי הגפן בלבד ושותה ואחר כך יטול ידיו ויסעוד. ואסור לו לאדם שיטעום כלום קודם שיקדש. וגם קידוש זה לא יהיה אלא במקום סעודה:

11

A person may recite kiddush over a cup [of wine] on Friday before sunset, even though the Sabbath has not commenced.44 Similarly, he may recite havdalah over a cup [of wine] before sunset, even though it is still Sabbath.45 For the mitzvah of remembering the Sabbath involves making [a statement to this effect] at the entrance and the departure of the Sabbath, or slightly before these times.

יא

יש לו לאדם לקדש על הכוס ערב שבת מבעוד יום אף על פי שלא נכנסה השבת. וכן מבדיל על הכוס מבעוד יום אף על פי שעדין היא שבת. שמצות זכירה לאמרה בין בשעת כניסתו ויציאתו בין קודם לשעה זו כמעט:

12

A person who is in the midst of eating [a meal] on Friday when the Sabbath commences should spread a cloth46 over the table,47 recite kiddush,48 complete his meal,49 and recite grace.50

A person who is in the midst of eating [a meal]51 on the Sabbath when the Sabbath departs should complete his meal,52 wash his hands,53 recite grace over a cup of wine,54 and afterwards recite havdalah over [this cup].55 If he is sitting and drinking,56 he should interrupt his drinking,57recite havdalah, and begin drinking again.

יב

מי שהיה אוכל בערב שבת וקדש עליו היום והוא בתוך הסעודה פורס מפה על השולחן ומקדש וגומר סעודתו ואחר כך מברך ברכת המזון. היה אוכל בשבת ויצא השבת והוא בתוך סעודתו גומר סעודתו ונוטל ידיו ומברך ברכת המזון על הכוס ואחר כך מבדיל עליו. ואם היה בתוך השתיה פוסק ומבדיל ואחר כך חוזר לשתייתו:

13

A person who is eating and completes his meal at the commencement of the Sabbath should recite grace first and then recite kiddush on a second cup of wine.58 He should not recite grace and kiddush on the same cup [of wine], because two mitzvot should not be performed with the same cup [of wine].59 For both the mitzvah of kiddush and the mitzvah of grace are mitzvot that emanate from the Torah itself.

יג

היה אוכל וגומר אכילתו עם הכנסת שבת מברך ברכת המזון תחלה ואחר כך מקדש על כוס שני. ולא יברך ויקדש על כוס אחד שאין עושין שתי מצות בכוס אחד. שמצות קידוש ומצות ברכת המזון שתי מצות של תורה הן:

14

Kiddush may be recited only on wine that is fit to be offered as a libation on the altar.60 Therefore, if one mixed even a drop of honey61 or yeast62 the size of a mustard seed in a large barrel [of wine], kiddush may not be recited upon it.

This is the ruling that we follow universally in the west. There is, however, an opinion that allows kiddush to be recited on such wine.63 [This view] explains that the term "wine that is fit to be offered as a libation on the altar" excludes only wine with an unpleasant fragrance,64 wine that was left uncovered,65or wine that was cooked.66 Kiddush may not be recited on any of these wines.

יד

אין מקדשין אלא על היין הראוי לנסך על גבי המזבח. לפיכך אם נתערב בו דבש או שאור אפילו כטיפת החרדל בחבית גדולה אין מקדשין עליו. כך אנו מורין בכל המערב. ויש מי שמתיר לקדש עליו ואומר לא נאמר היין הראוי לנסך על גבי המזבח אלא להוציא יין שריחו רע או מגולה או מבושל שאין מקדשין על אחד מהן:

15

Wine that tastes like vinegar may not be used for kiddush although its fragrance is that of wine.67 Similarly, we may not recite kiddush over [the beverage produced from] pouring water over the dregs of wine, although it tastes like wine.

When does the above apply? When the ratio between the water poured over the dregs and the beverage produced is less than three parts to four parts. If, however, the ratio is more than three parts to four parts, [the beverage produced is considered to be] diluted wine, and kiddush may be recited over it.68

טו

יין שטעמו טעם חומץ אף על פי שריחו ריח יין אין מקדשין עליו. וכן שמרים שנתן עליהן מים אף על פי שיש בהן טעם יין אין מקדשין עליהן. במה דברים אמורים בשנתן על השמרים שלשה מים והוציא פחות מארבעה. אבל אם הוציא ארבעה הרי זה יין מזוג ומקדשין עליו:

16

When a person drinks from a vessel containing wine, even if he drinks only a small amount from a vessel that contains many revi'iot [of wine],69 he has blemished the wine and invalidated it. We may not recite kiddush over the remainder,70 because it is regarded like the remnants left over in a cup.71

טז

כלי שהיה מלא יין אפילו מחזיק כמה רביעיות אם שתה ממנו מעט הרי זה פגמו ונפסל ואין מקדשין על השאר מפני שהוא כשיורי כוסות:

17

Although the fragrance of wine resembles vinegar, if its flavor resembles wine, kiddush may be recited over it.72 Similarly, [kiddush may be recited over] diluted wine.73

We may recite kiddush over raisin wine, provided it is made from raisins that [are not entirely dried out] - i.e., if one presses them, they will release a concentrated syrup.

Similarly, a person may recite kiddush over wine fresh from the wine press, [i.e., grape juice].74 Indeed, a person may squeeze a cluster of grapes and recite kiddush over the juice immediately thereafter.75

Although the majority of a country uses beer instead of wine, [the beer] is not acceptable for kiddush.76 It may, nevertheless, be used for havdalah,77 for in that country it serves as a substitute for wine.78

יז

יין שריחו ריח החומץ וטעמו טעם יין מקדשין עליו. וכן יין מזוג. וכן יין צמוקים מקדשין עליו והוא שיהיו צמוקים שיש בהן לחלוחית שאם ידרוך אותן יצא מהן דבשן. וכן יין חדש מגתו מקדשין עליו. וסוחט אדם אשכול של ענבים ומקדש עליו בשעתו. מדינה שרוב יינה שכר אף על פי שהוא פסול לקדוש מותר להבדיל עליו הואיל והוא חמר המדינה:

18

Just as we recite kiddush on Friday night and havdalah on Saturday night, so too, we recite kiddush on the night of a holiday's commencement and havdalah on the night following a holiday and on the night following Yom Kippur, for they are all "Sabbaths of God."79

We recite havdalah on the night leading from a holiday to chol hamo'ed,80 and on the night leading from the Sabbath to a holiday,81 but not on the night leading from a holiday to the Sabbath.82

יח

כשם שמקדשין בלילי שבת ומבדילין במוצאי שבת כך מקדשין בלילי ימים טובים ומבדילין במוצאיהן ובמוצאי יום הכפורים שכולם שבתות ה' הן. ומבדילין במוצאי ימים טובים לחולו של מועד ובמוצאי שבת ליום טוב. אבל אין מבדילים במוצאי יום טוב לשבת:

19

[The following is] the text of the kiddush recited on festivals:



Blessed are You, God our Lord, King of the universe, who has chosen us83 from all the nations, and raised us above people of all tongues. He chose us and made us great; he showed us favor and glorified us.

And God our Lord gave us with love festivals for rejoicing, holidays and [unique] seasons for gladness, [including] this festive day of holy convocation, this festival of

- Matzot, Shavuot, [or] Sukkot -

the season of - our freedom, the giving of our Torah, [or] our happiness -

in love, as a commemoration of the exodus from Egypt.

For You have chosen us and sanctified us from all the nations and given us as an inheritance Your holy seasons for rejoicing and gladness. Bless are You, God, who sanctifies Israel and the seasons.84



When [a holiday] occurs on the Sabbath, one should mention the Sabbath [in the midst of the passage], and conclude in the same manner as one concludes in prayer, "[Blessed...] who sanctifies the Sabbath,85 Israel and the seasons."

יט

נוסח קידוש יום טוב. ברוך אתה ה' אלהינו מלך העולם אשר בחר בנו מכל עם ורוממנו מכל לשון בחר בנו ויגדלנו רצה בנו ויפארנו. ותתן לנו ה' אלהינו באהבה מועדים לשמחה חגים וזמנים לששון את יום טוב מקרא קדש הזה את יום חג המצות הזה או חג השבועות או חג הסוכות זמן חירותנו או זמן מתן תורתנו או זמן שמחתנו באהבה זכר ליציאת מצרים כי בנו בחרת ואותנו קדשת מכל העמים ומועדי קדשך בשמחה ובששון הנחלתנו ברוך אתה ה' מקדש ישראל והזמנים. ואם חל להיות בשבת מזכיר שבת וחותם כדרך שחותם בתפלה מקדש השבת וישראל והזמנים:

20

On Rosh HaShanah, one should say:



...And God our Lord gave us with love this day of holy convocation for remembrance,86 recalling the sounding [of the shofar],87 a holy convocation in love, as a commemoration of the exodus from Egypt.

For You have chosen us and sanctified us from all the nations, and Your words are true and everlasting. Blessed are You God, the King of the entire earth,88 who sanctifies Israel and the Day of Remembrance.



When [Rosh HaShanah] occurs on the Sabbath, one should conclude "[Blessed...] who sanctifies the Sabbath, Israel and the Day of Remembrance," as one concludes in prayer.

כ

בראש השנה אומר. ותתן לנו ה' אלהינו באהבה את יום טוב מקרא קודש הזה זכרון תרועה מקרא קדש באהבה זכר ליציאת מצרים כי בנו בחרת ואותנו קדשת מכל העמים ודברך אמת וקיים לעד ברוך אתה ה' מלך על כל הארץ מקדש ישראל ויום הזכרון. ואם חל להיות בשבת חותם מקדש השבת וישראל ויום הזכרון כדרך שחותם בתפלה:

21

On the night of a holiday, one recites kiddush over wine as on the Sabbath.89 Should one lack wine or should one desire bread, one may recite kiddush over bread.90 Similarly, on [the day of a] holiday, one should recite "the great kiddush" as one does on the Sabbath.91

כא

בלילי יו"ט מקדש על היין כבשבת. ואם אין לו יין או שהיה מתאוה לפת מקדש על הפת. וכן ביו"ט מקדש קידושא רבא כדרך שמקדש בשבת:

22

What blessings should be recited on the night of a holiday that falls on a Sunday? At the outset, one recites the blessing [borey pri] hagefen. Afterwards, one should recite the kiddush for the holiday. Then one should recite the blessing over fire,92 and after that havdalah. One should conclude havdalah, "...who distinguishes between the holy and the holy."93 [In conclusion,] one recites the blessing Shehecheyanu.94

כב

כיצד מברכין בלילי יום טוב שחל להיות באחד בשבת. בתחלה מברך על הגפן. ואח"כ מקדש קידוש יום טוב. ואחר כך מברך על הנר. ואחר כך מבדיל וחותם בהבדלה המבדיל בין קדש לקדש. ואחר כך מברך שהחיינו:

23

On the night of every holiday95 and on the night of Yom Kippur, we recite the blessing Shehecheyanu.96 We do not recite the blessing Shehecheyanu on the seventh day of Pesach, because it is not a holiday in its own right,97 and we have already recited the blessing Shehecheyanu at the beginning of the Pesach festival.98

כג

כל לילי יום טוב ובליל יום הכפורים אומרים שהחיינו. ובשביעי של פסח אין מברכין שהחיינו מפני שאינו רגל בפני עצמו וכבר בירך על הזמן בתחלת הפסח:

24

This is the order of havdalah on Saturday night: [First,] one recites the blessing over the wine;99 afterwards, one recites the blessing over the spices,100 and then over the flame.

Which blessing is recited over the flame? "[Blessed... King of the universe,] who creates the lights of fire."101 Afterwards, one recites havdalah.

כד

סדר הבדלה במוצאי שבת מברך על היין ואח"כ על הבשמים ואחר כך על הנר. וכיצד מברך על הנר בורא מאורי האש. ואחר כך מבדיל:

25

We do not recite the blessing over the flame until we derive benefit from its light to the extent that one could differentiate between the coin of one country and that of another.102

We may not recite the blessing over a flame belonging to gentiles,103 for it may be assumed that their gatherings are associated with the worship of false divinities.104 We may not recite the blessing on a flame [kindled for] the worship of false divinities105 or on a flame [kindled for the sake of] the deceased.106

כה

אין מברכין על הנר עד שיאותו לאורו כדי שיכיר בין מטבע מדינה זו למטבע מדינה אחרת. ואין מברכין על הנר של עובדי כוכבים ומזלות שסתם מסיבתן לעבודת כוכבים ומזלות. ואין מברכין לא על הנר של עבודת כוכבים ומזלות ולא על הנר של מתים:

26

When a Jew lights a flame from a gentile's [flame], or a gentile from a Jew's [flame], we may recite a blessing upon it.107 [If, however,] a gentile [lights a flame] from another gentile's [flame], we may not recite a blessing upon it.108

[The following rules apply when a person] is walking outside a large city and sees light: If most of the city's inhabitants are gentiles, he may not recite this blessing. If most are Jewish, he may.

At the outset, one should not recite this blessing over the fire of a furnace, an oven, or a range.109 If coals [are glowing to the extent that] were one to put a sliver of wood between them, they would catch fire of their own accord, we may recite a blessing over them.110

We may recite this blessing over the light of the House of Study if there is an important person there for whom the light is kindled. We may recite a blessing over the light of a synagogue if there is a chazan who lives there.111

The most choice way of performing the mitzvah is to use a torch for the havdalah [light].112 There is no need to seek light [for havdalah] as one seeks to fulfill all the other mitzvot.113 Instead, [the law is that] if one has a light, one should recite the blessing over it.

כו

ישראל שהדליק מעובד כוכבים ומזלות או עובד כוכבים ומזלות מישראל מברכין עליו. עובד כוכבים ומזלות מעובד כוכבים ומזלות אין מברכין עליו. היה מהלך חוץ לכרך וראה אור אם רוב אנשי הכרך עובדי כוכבים ומזלות אינו מברך ואם רוב ישראל מברך. אור של כבשן של תנור ושל כירים לכתחלה לא יברך עליו. הגחלים אם כשיכניס קיסם ביניהן דולק מאליו מברכין עליהן. אור של בית המדרש אם יש שם אדם חשוב שמדליקים בשבילו מברכין עליו. של בית הכנסת אם יש שם חזן שהוא דר שם מברכין עליו. ואבוקה להבדלה מצוה מן המובחר. ואין מחזרין על האור כדרך שמחזרין על כל המצות אלא אם יש לו מברכין עליו:

27

We may recite the blessing over a fire that is kindled on the Sabbath for the sake of a sick person or for a woman after childbirth.114

On Saturday night, we may recite the blessing over light produced from wood or stone, for this was the manner in which fire was first created by man.115 We may not, by contrast, recite a blessing over such a flame on the night following Yom Kippur. For on the night following Yom Kippur, we recite the blessing only on a light that has rested.116 When, however, a fire is kindled on Yom Kippur for the sake of a sick person or for a woman after childbirth, we may recite the blessing upon it, for it "rested from sin."

כז

אור שהודלק בשבת לחולה ולחיה מברכין עליו במוצאי שבת. אור שהוקדח מן העצים ומן האבנים מברכין עליו במוצאי שבת שהיא היתה תחלת ברייתו בידי אדם. אבל אין מברכין עליו במוצאי יום הכפורים שאין מברכין במוצאי יום הכפורים אלא על אור ששבת. אף על פי שהודלק לחולה או לחיה ביום הכפורים מברכין עליו שהרי שבת מעבירה:

28

When a holiday falls in the middle of the week,117 one recites [the following passage] as havdalah:



[Blessed are You...] who distinguishes between the holy and the mundane, between darkness and light, between Israel and the gentiles, between the Sabbath and the six days of activity....



One uses the same text as one uses on Saturday night. [The fact that it is not the Sabbath does not present a difficulty, for] one is merely listing the types of distinctions [that God has created within our world].

[On the night following a holiday,] one need not recite the blessing over spices, nor the blessing over light.118 Similarly, we are not required to recite the blessing over spices on the night following Yom Kippur.

כח

יום טוב שחל להיות באמצע שבת אומר בהבדלה המבדיל בין קדש לחול ובין אור לחושך ובין ישראל לעמים ובין יום השביעי לששת ימי המעשה כדרך שאומר במוצאי שבת שסדר ההבדלות הוא מונה. ואין צריך לברך לא על הבשמים ולא על הנר. וכן אינו צריך לברך על הבשמים במוצאי יום הכפורים:

29

Why is the blessing recited over spices on Saturday night? Because the soul is forlorn119 by reason of of the departure of the Sabbath. Therefore, we gladden120 it and settle it with a pleasant fragrance.

כט

ולמה מברכים על הבשמים במוצאי שבת מפני שהנפש דואבת ליציאת שבת משמחין אותה ומיישבין אותה בריח טוב:

Footnotes
1.

Sefer HaMitzvot (Positive Commandment 155) and Sefer HaChinuch (Mitzvah 31) count this as one of the Torah's 613 mitzvot.

2.

Sefer HaMitzvot states: "With this mitzvah, we are commanded to make statements... that acknowledge the greatness and glory of this day, and how it is distinguished from the days that precede it and those that follow it."

Although the Sabbath is by nature a holy day, this mitzvah requires that we consciously - and verbally - acknowledge this holiness. As the Rambam mentions in Halachah 6, our Sages required that this acknowledgement be recited over a cup of wine. Nevertheless, according to the Torah itself, it is sufficient to make these statements in the prayer service.

3.

As the Rambam states in Hilchot Avodat Kochavim 12:3, this mitzvah is incumbent on women as well as on men. This concept is derived as follows: In the first mention of the Ten Commandments (Exodus, Chapter 20), we are commanded to "remember" (zachor) the Sabbath. In Moses' review of that event (Deuteronomy, Chapter 5), however, he uses the expression, shamor, "observe."

Sh'vuot 20b teaches that these two terms were related by God "in a single breath" - i.e., they are two complementary expressions of respect for the Sabbath. Accordingly, all the individuals obligated to keep the mitzvah of "Observe" must also keep the mitzvah of "Remember." Since women are obligated to keep the mitzvah of "Observe" - i.e., to adhere to the prohibitions against forbidden labor - they are also obligated to "Remember" the Sabbath (Berachot 20b).

4.

As the Rambam clearly states in Sefer HaMitzvot (loc. cit.), his intent is that the mitzvah of remembering the Sabbath encompasses both kiddush and havdalah. The Maggid Mishneh cites opinions that maintain that the mitzvah to "remember the Sabbath" applies only at the commencement of the Sabbath, but not at its conclusion. According to this view, the obligation to recite havdalah is Rabbinic in origin, without any connection to the Biblical commands, "Remember" and "Observe."

Among the practical distinction between these two approaches is the conception of a woman's obligation to recite havdalah. According to the Rambam, there is no difference between a woman's obligation and that of a man. The other view, by contrast, allows for the conception that women are not obligated to recite the havdalah prayer.

The Shulchan Aruch (Orach Chayim 296:8) cites both opinions (but appears to favor the Rambam's view). The Ramah suggests that a woman should fulfill her obligation by listening to a man's recitation of this prayer. When this is not possible, a woman should recite the havdalah herself. A man who has fulfilled his obligation should not, however, recite the prayer for the sake of a woman (Shulchan Aruch HaRav 296:19; Mishnah Berurah 296:35-36).

5.

Although the Sabbath is part of the internal rhythm of creation, it was given to the Jewish people alone as a heritage to observe and make part of their lives.

6.

For in the narrative of creation, God rested on the Sabbath day.

7.

In the Bible, the term "convocation of holiness" refers to the festivals. The Sabbath is the first and foremost of these holy days. Therefore, in Leviticus, Chapter 23, when the festivals are mentioned, the Sabbath is mentioned first.

8.

In the Guide for the Perplexed, Vol. II, Chapter 31, the Rambam explains the connection between the exodus from Egypt and the Sabbath. In Egypt, the Jews were slaves and unable to control when they could cease work and rest. By ceasing work every week, they recall God's kindness in delivering them.

The Ramban (in his Commentary on the Torah, Deuteronomy 5:15) offers a different explanation. The exodus from Egypt expresses God's infinite power. If a person doubts the narrative of creation, he can resolve those questions by considering the historical evidence of the miracles of the exodus.

9.

Herein, there is a unique homiletic point. God's choice of the Jewish people is expressed, not in granting them dominion over other nations or bestowing inordinate resources of wealth and prosperity upon them, but rather in granting them the Sabbath and its atmosphere of holiness and peace.

Rav Zerachiah HaLevi notes that the three times God's desire and favor are mentioned this passage refer to the three dimensions of the Jews' connection with the Sabbath: the Sabbath of creation, the Sabbath of the exodus, and "the age that is all Sabbath and rest for life everlasting" - i.e., the era of the Redemption.

10.

All four of the distinctions mentioned are reflected in the transition from the Sabbath to the weekdays. For, as we progress from day to night on the eve between the Sabbath and the days of activity that follow, the Jews - and not the people of the world at large - pass from an atmosphere of restful holiness to involvement with the mundane details of their existence.

11.

For this marks the transition from the weekdays to the Sabbath. More particularly, the most select way of performing the mitzvah is to recite the kiddush shortly after nightfall (Shulchan Aruch HaRav 271:16).

12.

Note that the Shulchan Aruch (Orach Chayim 271:8) describes the recitation of the blessing at this time as compensation for the mitzvah of sanctifying the Sabbath at night.

When reciting kiddush during the day, one should recite the entire blessing usually recited on Friday night. The passage Vayechulu should not, however, be recited (Ramah, Orach Chayim, loc. cit.).

13.

Until sunset. Between sunset and the appearance of three stars on Saturday night, the blessing should be recited without mentioning God's name (Mishnah Berurah 271:39).

14.

In Talmudic times, this situation was wont to occur because wine was scarce. People would often be unable to obtain wine on Saturday night, but would be able to secure it the following day.

At present, the most common example of the delay of the recitation of the havdalah occurs when the fast of Tish'ah B'Av is observed on a Sunday. In that instance, havdalah is not recited until Sunday night.

15.

The first three days of the week are still associated with the previous Sabbath. Therefore, the recitation of havdalah is still appropriate (Pesachim 106a).

There are authorities who differ, maintaining that one may not recite havdalah after sunset on Sunday. Also, the Halachot Gedolot states that a person who has eaten before reciting havdalah may no longer recite this prayer from Sunday onward. Although the later authorities do not accept these views, they do urge that the recitation of havdalah not be delayed any later than necessary.

16.

The blessing over a flame was incorporated into the havdalah ceremony to commemorate the discovery of fire by Adam directly after the conclusion of the first Sabbath. Thus, reciting this is appropriate only on Saturday night. Similarly, when havdalah is recited from Sunday onward, the blessing over the spices is also omitted (See Halachah 29, and Shulchan Aruch, Orach Chayim 299:5).

17.

Whenever the performance of a mitzvah is associated with a specific time, our Sages forbade partaking of a meal from the time when the obligation to perform the mitzvah begins until one actually performs it. With regard to kiddush and havdalah, however, they were more stringent and forbade even tasting food until one performs the mitzvah. They enforced this stringency because the most favorable manner of performing both these mitzvot is to do so at the beginning of the evening (Shulchan Aruch HaRav 271:9).

18.

I.e., from sunset onwards. The procedure to be followed by a person who begins a meal before sunset and continues eating is described in Halachah 12. The restrictions mentioned in this halachah also apply to a person who accepts the Sabbath before its actual commencement (Mishnah Berurah 271:11).

19.

Needless to say, the performance of labor is not mentioned with regard to kiddush, for performing labor on the Sabbath is forbidden regardless.

20.

The Maggid Mishneh maintains that this leniency applies both before kiddush and before havdalah. However, based on the rulings of the Rashba, the Shulchan Aruch (Orach Chayim 271:4, 299:1) states that drinking water before reciting kiddush is forbidden. One may, however, drink water before havdalah.

21.

The performance of one undesirable act is not reason to perform another. As soon as one becomes conscious of the obligation to recite kiddush or havdalah, he should cease eating and fulfill the mitzvah (Shulchan Aruch, Orach Chayim 271:4).

22.

The Magen Avraham 271:1 explains that the Rabbinic obligation to recite kiddush over wine does not replace the Biblical commandment entirely. Accordingly, the recitation of the Sabbath prayers in the Shemoneh Esreh of the evening service represents the fulfillment of one's obligation to sanctify the Sabbath.

Although one is also required to recite kiddush before one's meal to fulfill the obligation instituted by our Sages, there is room for certain leniency, because one has already fulfilled one's obligation according to the Torah. For example, a person who is certain that he has recited the evening service, but is in doubt whether or not he has recited kiddush, should not recite the latter prayer. Note, however, Sefer HaKovetz, which interprets these concepts in a different manner.

23.

In Hilchot Tefillah 2:12, the Rambam mentions the inclusion of havdalah in our evening prayers by the addition of the passage Attah Chonantanu to the fourth blessing of the Shemoneh Esreh.

When the Men of the Great Assembly ordained the prayers and blessings for the Jewish people, the Jewish people were needy and could not afford wine. Therefore, these Sages ordained the recitation of havdalah in prayer. Afterwards, when the fortunes of the people improved, the Sages ordained that they should recite this blessing over a cup of wine, like kiddush.

Subsequently, our people's prosperity suffered and the Sages reinstituted the blessing into the prayer service. Nevertheless, in order to prevent the matter from being totally dependent on socio-economic factors, they established the following guidelines: A person should recite the havdalah prayers in the Shemoneh Esreh of the evening service. Afterwards, he should try to obtain wine in order to fulfill the mitzvah as the Sages prescribed. If, however, this is not possible, his recitation of the prayer in the evening service is sufficient to fulfill his obligation.

24.

Here, the Rambam is not necessarily referring to a person who recited the passage Attah Chonantanu in the evening prayers. To be permitted to perform labor, it is sufficient to recite the phrase, "Blessed be He who distinguishes between the holy and the mundane," without reciting God's name or mentioning His sovereignty. Indeed, this is a frequent practice for women, who do not always recite the evening service.

25.

But not to eat or to drink.

26.

For we follow the principle תדיר ושאינו תדיר, תדיר קודם Whenever a person has a choice of reciting two blessings, one frequently recited and one less frequently recited, he first recites the one that is more frequently recited.

27.

This refers to the ritual washing before partaking of bread. The order suggested by the Rambam is quoted by the Shulchan Aruch (Orach Chayim 271:12). Significantly, the Ramah states that it is preferable to wash one's hands and recite the blessing before reciting kiddush. (See Halachah 10 and notes.) He writes that this is the common practice in the Ashkenazic community. (Significantly, the Shulchan Aruch HaRav 271:23 and the Mishnah Berurah 271:62 differ and suggest adhering to the ruling of the Shulchan Aruch.)

28.

A revi'it is 86.6 cubic centimeters according to Shiurei Torah and 150 cubic centimeters according to the Chazon Ish.

29.

These are the requirements Berachot 51a mentions with regard to a cup of blessing. In contrast to Rashi, the Rambam considers the term "cup of blessing" as referring primarily to the cup over which kiddush is recited. He does, however, also apply these principles to the cup over which grace is recited. (See Hilchot Berachot 7:15.)

Based on this distinction, the cup must also be whole, without a crack or chip; it should be filled to the brim; and no one should have drunk from the wine in the cup beforehand (Shulchan Aruch HaRav 271:18).

30.

The Rambam is speaking about Arab countries, where people would eat while sitting on mats on the ground. When eating at a table, one is obligated to lift the cup a handbreadth above the table.

31.

This recitation of this passage acknowledges God's creation of the world. Accordingly, Shabbat 119b states, "Whoever recites the passage Vayechulu on Friday night is considered to be God's partner in creation."

The Rokeach mentions that we should recite Vayechulu three times on Friday night - and this, indeed, is our practice: once in the Shemoneh Esreh of the evening service, once communally after the Shemoneh Esreh, and once in Kiddush.

32.

A cheekful is slightly more than half of a revi'it (Shulchan Aruch, Orach Chayim 271:13). This, however, refers to a cheekful of an ordinary person. More particularly, the measure of a "cheekful" depends on the size of an individual person's mouth - i.e., were a person to swish the wine in his mouth to one side, that cheek would look full (Shulchan Aruch HaRav 271:24; Mishnah Berurah 271:68).

33.

These people are not required to partake of a revi'it. Indeed, they may fulfill their obligation for kiddush by reciting Amen, without partaking of the wine at all (Magen Avraham 271:30). Nevertheless, it is preferable that everyone be given from the cup of kiddush or have cups of wine before them (Shulchan Aruch, Orach Chayim 271:14).

34.

Tosafot (Pesachim 101a) derive this law from the exegesis of Isaiah 58:13: "And you shall call the Sabbath, 'a delight.' It explains that "calling the Sabbath" - reciting kiddush - must be in the place of "a delight," one's Sabbath meal.

35.

We have translated the word בית as "house" according to its literal meaning. The Maggid Mishneh, however, suggests that in this context, the term should be rendered as "room" - i.e., one may move from one corner to another in the same room, but not from one room to another in the same house. (See also Hilchot Berachot 4:5 and commentaries, where this term is used in a similar context.)

The Maggid Mishneh mentions, however, that there are authorities who interpret בית as "house." According to their view, if two rooms are in the same house, one may recite kiddush in one and eat the Sabbath meal in the other, provided one has this intention when reciting kiddush. The Ramah (Orach Chayim 273:1) rules according to this interpretation.

36.

Even if the person had the intent of eating his meal in the second place when he recited kiddush and does so without any unnecessary interruption, he does not fulfill his obligation and must recite kiddush again.

37.

I.e., the kiddush is not part of the prayer service, but was instituted merely for the sake of these individuals. Nevertheless, in one of his responsa, the Rambam writes that after the custom of reciting kiddush in the synagogue was established, it should be continued even if there are no guests present in the synagogue. [At present, this custom is not usually followed in the Sephardic community, and there are many communities in the Ashkenazic community that have also discontinued it.]

38.

Rabbenu Yitzchak Alfasi explains the difference between the two blessings: Kiddush was instituted as the beginning of the Sabbath meal. Hence, it is also appropriate that it be recited over bread. Havdalah, by contrast, has no connection with a meal. Therefore, bread may not be used.

39.

In this ruling, the Rambam follows the interpretation of Pesachim 106b suggested by Rabbenu Yitzchak Alfasi and other Rishonim. There are, however, other interpretations of this passage, which lead to the ruling of the Ramah (cited in Note 27) that one should always wash one's hands before reciting kiddush.

(Although the Ramah's view is not accepted by the later authorities, the Mishnah Berurah 271:62 states that it is of sufficient weight to be relied on in the case described by the Rambam here: a person who desired to recite kiddush over wine, but washed his hands previously. Rather than recite the kiddush over bread, the person may recite kiddush over wine.)

40.

Pesachim 106a relates that this practice is derived from Exodus 20:8: "Remember the Sabbath day"; a remembrance must be made on the day itself. (See also Chapter 30, Halachah 9.)

41.

The Maggid Mishneh explains that this term is used as a euphemism, as one calls the blind sagi nahor, "of great light."

42.

The Ra'avad objects to the Rambam's ruling and rejects the concept of reciting kiddush on the Sabbath day. In his rebuttal of the Ra'avad's words, the Maggid Mishneh states that it is impossible to recite kiddush on the Sabbath day on bread. The Shulchan Aruch HaRav 289:2, however, uses the Ra'avad's ruling to reach a third position, that although kiddush is required during the day as well as at night, one may recite the kiddush on bread.

43.

The Shulchan Aruch (Orach Chayim 289:1) permits one to drink water before prayer, because "the obligation to recite kiddush is not incumbent on one at that time." This leniency has been extended by the later authorities to drinking coffee, and by some to partaking of pastry.

44.

From this time onward, the person must observe all the Sabbath laws. Note the Magen Avraham 267:1, which states that a person may only recite kiddush from plag haminchah onward - i.e., no more than one and a quarter "seasonal" hours (שעות זמנוית) before sunset.

45.

The Shulchan Aruch (Orach Chayim 293:3) prescribes this leniency only for a person who is אנוס, "pressured by forces beyond his control." Needless to say, even after reciting havdalah, the person must observe all the Sabbath laws. The blessing over fire should not be recited until sunset.

46.

I.e., as soon as the sun sets, one must cease eating and cover the table for kiddush. (See also Chapter 30, Halachah 4, which states that one should not plan to eat a meal on Friday afternoon, so that one will enter the Sabbath with an appetite.)

47.

The bread should always be covered during kiddush. In this instance, covering it serves a further purpose, making it appear as if it had been placed on the table in honor of the Sabbath (Shulchan Aruch HaRav 271:10).

48.

The Maggid Mishneh and the Shulchan Aruch (Orach Chayim 271:4) state that if one had been drinking wine previously, one should recite kiddush over a cup of wine without reciting the blessing borey pri hagefen.

49.

From the Rambam's wording, it would appear that he does not require the recitation of the blessing hamotzi when one resumes eating. Rabbenu Yitzchak Alfasi and Rabbenu Asher differ and require the recitation of this blessing, because at the time the person recited kiddush it was forbidden for him to partake of bread.

The Shulchan Aruch (loc. cit.) mentions both opinions. Shulchan Aruch HaRav 271:11 and the Mishnah Berurah 271:18 suggest following the Rambam's view. For whenever there is an unresolved question of whether or not a blessing should be recited, the practice is not to recite it.

50.

When one partakes of a portion of food the size of an olive after nightfall, one is obligated to mention the Sabbath in the grace, for this is considered to be one of the Sabbath meals (Shulchan Aruch HaRav 271:13; Mishnah Berurah 271:30).

51.

This refers to a meal including bread that he began before sunset. If one did not begin eating before sunset, eating or drinking is forbidden. (See Halachah 5.) Moreover, if one is eating or drinking, but is not in the midst of a meal including bread, one is obligated to cease eating at sunset. There are, however, certain opinions that allow one to begin eating after sunset or to continue partaking of foods outside a meal until a half hour before the appearance of the stars (Mishnah Berurah 299:1).

52.

I.e., one is allowed to continue eating after nightfall. Although the Sefer Mitzvot Gadol requires one to interrupt one's meal and recite havdalah directly after the appearance of three stars, this opinion is not accepted by the later authorities (Ramah, Orach Chayim 299:1).

53.

For mayim acharonim, the washing that precedes grace.

54.

For it is preferable - although not obligatory - to recite grace over a cup of wine. (See Hilchot Berachot 7:15.)

55.

The Ra'avad and others raise questions concerning the Rambam's decision. For Pesachim 102b states, as the Rambam himself quotes in the following halachah, "we do not observe mitzvot in bundles" - i.e., one cup of wine should not be used to fulfill two separate mitzvot.

The Maggid Mishneh offers a possible resolution for the Rambam's ruling: The above principle applies only when the two mitzvot are connected with two different times - e.g., kiddush and grace, as mentioned in the subsequent halachah. For grace is associated with the preceding meal, and kiddush with the Sabbath day that will follow. In contrast, in the present halachah, both havdalah and grace are associated with the previous time - the Sabbath - and the previous meal. Nevertheless, the Maggid Mishneh himself agrees with the Ra'avad that the Rambam's ruling should be followed only in a situation where one does not have another cup of wine available. This opinion is also quoted by the Shulchan Aruch (Orach Chayim 299:4) and accepted by the later authorities.

[Rav Kapach offers another justification for the Rambam's ruling, based on the final phrase of the following halachah, which states that both kiddush and grace are "mitzvot of the Torah." Havdalah, Rav Kapach explains, is Rabbinic in origin and therefore can be combined with grace and recited over a single cup. Although this resolution appears closest to the Rambam's wording in these two halachot, it is difficult to reconcile with the Rambam's statements at the beginning of the chapter and in Sefer HaMitzvot (Positive Commandment 155) that the mitzvah of reciting havdalah has its source in the Torah itself.]

56.

For drinking - even drinking wine - is not considered significant enough to override the obligation to recite havdalah.

57.

He must stop drinking at sunset (or half an hour before the appearance of the stars), but preferably should not recite havdalah until after the appearance of three stars.

58.

The Shulchan Aruch (Orach Chayim 271:6) also quotes the opinion of Rabbenu Asher, and states that reciting grace in such a situation generates several doubts: whether or not to mention the Sabbath in grace, whether or not to partake of the cup over which grace was recited, and whether or not a second meal is required so that kiddush will be "in the place of a meal."

Therefore, it is preferable to recite kiddush in the midst of the meal, as mentioned in the previous halachah, to eat a small amount on the Sabbath, and then to recite grace. The Ramah suggests following this view.

59.

See the notes on the previous halachah.

60.

See Hilchot Issurei Mizbe'ach 5:1, 6:9. (See also Hilchot Ma'achalot Asurot 11:9-10, which mentions these concepts with regard to the prohibition against using wine employed by gentiles for their libations.)

61.

Needless to say, this also applies to sugar.

62.

These are forbidden to be offered on the altar in any form, as derived from Leviticus 2:11, which states, "You shall present no leavening agent and no sweetener...."

63.

The western lands the Rambam refers to are Morocco and Muslim Spain.

The Jerusalem Talmud (Pesachim 10:1) states that one may use sweetened wines for kiddush. The Shulchan Aruch (Orach Chayim 272:8) mentions both opinions. The Ramah states that it is customary to follow the more lenient view. This issue is very significant, for almost all commercially produced wines have sugar added to them.

64.

This applies even if the wine's taste is unaffected (Shulchan Aruch, loc. cit.:1).

65.

In Talmudic times, wine that was left uncovered was forbidden, out of fear that poisonous snakes might have deposited venom in it. (See Hilchot Rotzeach UShemirat HaNefesh 11:6-8,10.) At present, this circumstance is extremely rare, and it is customary to partake of wine even after it has been left uncovered. Nevertheless, such wine is unacceptable for kiddush, because using it for a mitzvah is not considered respectful (Shulchan Aruch HaRav 272:1; Mishnah Berurah 272:3).

66.

In this instance as well, there are many authorities who differ with the Rambam and permit the use of such wine, based on the Jerusalem Talmud (loc. cit.). Here, also, the Shulchan Aruch (loc. cit. 272:8) mentions both opinions, and the Ramah states that it is customary to follow the more lenient view. This issue is also very relevant today, for many wines and grape juices undergo pasteurization before being sold.

67.

Indeed, as the Shulchan Aruch (Orach Chayim 204:4) states, it is not proper to recite the blessing borey pri hagefen over this beverage.

68.

The Shulchan Aruch (Orach Chayim 204:5) emphasizes that this law depends on the strength of the wine. Our wines are not as strong as those of the Talmudic period, and hence the ratio of one to four is not sufficient to require the blessing borey pri hagefen. This law is also relevant with regard to commercially produced wines, which are often heavily diluted before being sold.

69.

The Ra'avad states that this restriction applies only when one drinks from a cup of wine and not from a larger container. The Rambam's view is, however, accepted by the later authorities. (See Pesachim 106a, which mentions opinions that follow both views.)

70.

The Mishnah Berurah 271:43 questions whether a person who only has wine from which others have drunk should recite kiddush over it, or whether he should recite kiddush over bread instead.

71.

I.e., wine into which bread has been dipped. Beitzah 21b states that such wine is unfit for human consumption and should be given only to chickens. Even if wine has not been spoiled to this extent, after a person has drunk from a cup, reciting kiddush over it is forbidden.

72.

After stating this law, however, the Shulchan Aruch (Orach Chayim 272:3) states that it is preferable to use wine that is choice in all respects for the mitzvah.

73.

Indeed, as stated in Hilchot Berachot 7:15, wine should be diluted before using it for a "cup of blessing." (See, however, the notes on Halachah 15 regarding the extent of the dilution.)

74.

Although grape juice was acceptable as a wine libation only after the fact (בדיעבד, Hilchot Issurei Mizbe'ach 6:9), it is acceptable for kiddush. Nevertheless, using wine that has fermented is a more favorable way of performing the mitzvah (Shulchan Aruch HaRav 272:2; Mishnah Berurah 272:5).

75.

Needless to say, the grapes must be squeezed before the commencement of the Sabbath.

76.

For if there is no wine available, kiddush may - and should - be recited over bread.

77.

Since havdalah may not be recited over bread, these beverages should be used as an alternative.

This is the Maggid Mishneh's interpretation of the Rambam's ruling, based on Pesachim 107a. The Shulchan Aruch (Orach Chayim 272:9), however, mentions other views: that one may recite kiddush over beer in places where wine is not easily available, and that of Rabbenu Asher, which states that, at night, one should recite kiddush on bread if wine is not available. During the day, however, it is preferable to recite kiddush over other beverages. The Ramah states that Rabbenu Asher's view should be followed.

If wine is easily available, however, kiddush should not be recited on these other beverages. With regard to havdalah, the Ramah (Orach Chayim 296:2) states that it is preferable to recite havdalah over a cup of wine from which a person has drunk, rather than to use another beverage. Although this ruling is not accepted by the later authorities, Shulchan Aruch HaRav 296:8 states that a person who possesses wine at home should not recite havdalah over other beverages.

78.

It must be emphasized that the term חמר מדינה, "a beverage used as a substitute for wine in one's country," must be widely used in that country. If it is not, it is not acceptable. (See Mishnah Berurah 296:9.)

Water (Shulchan Aruch, loc. cit.), milk and oil (Mishnah Berurah 272:25), and apple cider and borscht (Mishnah Berurah 296:10) are also not considered acceptable. From these exclusions, we can appreciate the types of beverages that are acceptable.

79.

From the Rambam's description of the holidays as "Sabbaths of God," he appears to be implying that the mitzvah of reciting kiddush on these days is included in the mitzvah to "remember the Sabbath," which is the source for the mitzvah of reciting kiddush on the Sabbath. A similar intent appears in the comments of the Mechilta on that verse.

The Magen Avraham 271:1 cites the Maggid Mishneh as differing with this interpretation and stating that the obligation to recite kiddush on holidays is Rabbinic in origin.

80.

For chol hamo'ed has a lesser level of holiness, since the prohibitions against performing the forbidden labors do not apply. There are, however, restrictions against work, as stated in Hilchot Sh'vitat Yom Tov, Chapter 7.

81.

For the Sabbath represents a higher level of holiness, since even the labors associated with the preparation of food are prohibited.

82.

Since the holiday represents a lower level of holiness, it is not appropriate to say havdalah, but only kiddush. (See the conclusion of Chapter 5, where the two final points are mentioned.)

83.

God's choice of the Jewish people is mentioned at the outset in the kiddush for festivals, but not at the beginning of the kiddush for the Sabbath. Our Rabbis explain that God's choice of the Jewish people is associated with the exodus and the giving of the Torah. Since the uniqueness of the Sabbath was established before these events, it takes primacy. The festivals, by contrast, were established to commemorate those events that are directly associated with God's choice of the Jewish people.

Significantly, the authoritative manuscripts of the Mishneh Torah mention a slightly different text for this blessing. Instead of beginning "who has chosen us," it begins "who has sanctified us."

84.

See Hilchot Tefillah 2:5. The sanctity of the Jewish people is mentioned before the sanctity of the festivals, because God sanctifies the Jews and it is they - through their keeping the calendar through the sanctification of the months - who sanctify the festivals (Beitzah 17a).

85.

The sanctification of the Sabbath is mentioned first, because the Sabbath is sanctified by God directly, independent of the spiritual service of the Jewish people (ibid.).

86.

Leviticus 23:24 refers to Rosh HaShanah as "a day of recalling the sounding of the shofar." Numbers 29:1 refers to it as "a day of sounding the shofar." On this basis, our Rabbis understand "recalling" as a separate concept, and describe Rosh HaShanah as "the Day of Remembrance," the day when we ask God to remember us for good.

87.

In many communities, the text of this phrase is generally יום תרועה, "a day of sounding [the shofar]." Only on the Sabbath, when the shofar is not sounded, is the text employed by the Rambam used.

88.

As indicated by Rosh HaShanah 16a, our divine service on Rosh HaShanah centers on the acceptance of God as our King. Therefore, this concept is mentioned in the conclusion of this blessing.

89.

This law appears to corroborate the thesis that the Rambam sees kiddush on the holidays as an obligation with a source in the Torah itself. Therefore, he clarifies that just as Halachah 6 states that the Sages instituted the obligation that kiddush be recited over wine on the Sabbath, they imposed a similar obligation on holidays.

90.

See Halachah 9.

91.

See Halachah 10.

92.

It is customary merely to look at the festive candles on the table. One need not hold them together and gaze at one's nails, as is the usual custom on Saturday night.

93.

Merkevet HaMishneh notes that in Hilchot Tefillah 2:14, the Rambam states that in one's prayers during the evening service, one should add the phrase "You distinguished between the holiness of the holidays and the holiness of the Sabbath." He does not, however, recommend making this addition in havdalah. It is, however, customary in most communities to make this addition.

94.

See the following halachah.

95.

This also includes the second day of the holiday celebrated in the diaspora and the second day of Rosh HaShanah.

96.

As the Rambam states in Hilchot Berachot 11:9, the blessing Shehecheyanu is recited when performing any mitzvah that we are obligated to fulfill only at a specific time. This also applies to the mitzvah of observing the festivals. Needless to say, on Yom Kippur the blessing is recited in the synagogue, and not during kiddush. On Yom Kippur, women should recite this blessing while lighting candles and should not repeat it in the synagogue.

97.

Shemini Atzeret is, by contrast, considered to be a festival in its own right (Sukkah 47a), and we recite the blessing Shehecheyanu on that day and on Simchat Torah.

98.

See Sukkah 47b, which states that this wording implies that a person who failed to recite Shehecheyanu on the first day of the festival may compensate by reciting it later.

99.

Significantly, the Rambam does not mention the custom of reciting the passage containing select Biblical verses beginning Hiney E-l Yeshuati.

100.

See Halachah 29.

101.

Berachot 52b explains that this wording is chosen because there are many colors of light in a flame.

102.

Note the Rambam's Commentary on the Mishnah (Berachot 8:6), from which it appears that one is actually required to derive benefit from the havdalah light. (In this context, see the Midrash Sachar Tov, commenting on Psalms 35:10, which mentions the custom of gazing at one's nails in the light of the havdalah candles.) The Shulchan Aruch (Orach Chayim 298:4), by contrast, states that one must stand close enough to the light to benefit from it, implying that there is no obligation actually to derive benefit from the light.

103.

The Mishnah (loc. cit.) also mentions spices belonging to gentiles. The Rambam omits mention of this subject here, relying on his discussion of the prohibition against using such spices in Hilchot Berachot 9:7-9.

104.

Significantly, according to Rabbenu Yitzchak Alfasi, Berachot 52b appears to offer this rationale only with regard to spices belonging to gentiles. With regard to a gentile's flame, it offers another reasoning: because the gentile's flame has not rested on the Sabbath. In his Commentary on the Mishnah (loc. cit.), the Rambam also quotes Rabbenu Yitzchak Alfasi's view. In these halachot, however, he mentions this principle only in Halachah 27, appearing to indicate that the need for a candle to "rest" on the Sabbath applies only to candles lit by Jews. Since the gentiles are not bound by the Sabbath laws, this principle does not apply to them at all.

The Shulchan Aruch (loc. cit.:5) quotes Rabbenu Yitzchak Alfasi's view and forbids using a candle that a gentile lit during the day. With regard to a candle lit by a gentile at night, see the following halachah.

105.

In his explanation of these laws in his Commentary on the Mishnah (loc. cit.), the Rambam states:

It is explicitly forbidden by the Torah to benefit from any entity associated with the worship of false divinities, as [Deuteronomy 13:18] states, "Nothing that has been condemned shall cling to your hand."

The prohibition against benefiting from entities associated with false divinities is detailed in Chapters 7 and 8 of Hilchot Avodat Kochavim.

106.

For this was kindled to give honor to the deceased and not to provide light for others to benefit from (Shulchan Aruch, loc. cit.:12).

107.

The Maggid Mishneh specifies that this does not refer to a flame lit at a gathering of gentiles. Shulchan Aruch Rav 298:9 and the Mishnah Berurah 298:20 explain that this decision was rendered even though one might think it proper to forbid using a light taken from a gentile at night, lest one use a light kindled by the gentile during the day. According to the Rambam, however, the meaning is that since a Jew is involved, there is no intention for the worship of false divinities.

108.

According to the Rambam, it would appear that we suspect that the gentiles lit the flame for the sake of worshiping their divinities.

In contrast, the Magen Avraham 298:11 states that this is a decree, lest the gentile light from a flame kindled on the Sabbath directly after the Sabbath's conclusion. He continues postulating that, after the fact, a person who recites a blessing over such a flame is considered to have fulfilled his obligation.

109.

This ruling reflects the Rambam's conception of Berachot 53a. Since these fires are not generally kindled for the purpose of producing light, one should not use them for the blessing. Nevertheless, since it is customary to benefit also from their light, one fulfills his obligation.

Significantly, the Shulchan Aruch (Orach Chayim 298:10) and most other authorities follow Rav Hai Gaon's interpretation of the passage, which explains that directly after these flames are kindled, one may not recite a blessing over them, since they are then intended for purposes other than producing light. When, however, those purposes have been accomplished and the flames continue burning, one may recite the blessing over them.

110.

Note the Shulchan Aruch (loc. cit.:9), which states that this law applies only when the fire was kindled for the purpose of producing light. Otherwise, a blessing should not be recited.

111.

Candles are often lit in synagogues and houses of study as a token of respect for the place, and not to produce light. Therefore, it is not proper to recite a blessing over this light unless it was lit for the benefit of an individual, so that he will use it for his needs.

112.

Because it produces a large quantity of light with different colors of flame (Shulchan Aruch HaRav 298:4; Mishnah Berurah 298:5). Note Rav Tanchum of Jerusalem, who interprets the Hebrew אבוקה as referring to a beeswax candle. Although his interpretation is not accepted, it is customary to use beeswax for this mitzvah (ibid.).

113.

On the night following Yom Kippur, by contrast, we are obligated to search for a candle that burned throughout the day, over which to recite the blessing (Maggid Mishneh; Shulchan Aruch, loc. cit.:1).

114.

Although this fire was kindled on the Sabbath, since it was permitted to do so, it may be used for the mitzvah. If, however, it was kindled on the Sabbath in transgression of the law, it may not be used, for the light used for this blessing must have "rested from sin" on the Sabbath (Maggid Mishneh).

115.

Bereshit Rabbah 12:6) relates that after the sun set following the first Sabbath, Adam became frightened. G‑d prepared two boards for him. He struck them together and brought forth fire.

116.

I.e., we do not recite the blessing over light that was kindled on that night, but on a candle that had burned throughout the holiday. It is, however, acceptable to use a candle that was lit from a candle that burned throughout the holiday (Shulchan Aruch and Ramah, Orach Chayim 624:5).

117.

I.e., from Sunday to Thursday. As mentioned in Halachah 18, when a holiday falls on Friday, havdalah is not said.

118.

There is a slight imprecision with the Rambam's wording, for it is not customary to recite the blessing for spices at this time, and we are forbidden to recite the blessing over light.

119.

See Beitzah 16a, which mentions that God grants us an extra soul on the Sabbath, but takes away this gift after the Sabbath's conclusion. This gift is granted on the Sabbath alone, and not on festivals. Hence the distinction mentioned in the previous halachah.

120.

See Berachot 43b, which describes fragrance as an element that brings joy to the soul.

Published and copyright by Moznaim Publications, all rights reserved.
To purchase this book or the entire series, please click here. The text on this page contains sacred literature. Please do not deface or discard.
The Mishneh Torah was the Rambam's (Rabbi Moses ben Maimon) magnum opus, a work spanning hundreds of chapters and describing all of the laws mentioned in the Torah. To this day it is the only work that details all of Jewish observance, including those laws which are only applicable when the Holy Temple is in place. Participating in the one of the annual study cycles of these laws (3 chapters/day, 1 chapter/day, or Sefer Hamitzvot) is a way we can play a small but essential part in rebuilding the final Temple.
Download Rambam Study Schedules: 3 Chapters | 1 Chapter | Daily Mitzvah