SECTION 255 The Laws Governing the Preparation of Fire before the Onset of Shabbos (1-4)

סימן רנה הֲכָנַת הָאֵשׁ קֹדֶם הַכְנָסַת שַׁבָּת וּבוֹ ד׳ סְעִיפִים׃

1 It is forbidden to make a large fire – a medurah – using wood as fuel close to nightfall [on Friday] unless the fire catches hold to the extent that the flame burns on its own accord,1 without the assistance of other wood.2 This is a decree, lest one stir [the wood] on Shabbos, moving [the pieces of] wood until the flame ascends on its own accord.3

If [only] one log is [burning], the fire must take hold of the majority of its circumference and its width4 while it is still day [on Friday], i.e., the fire must penetrate more than half the width of the log and must cover half of its circumference from the outside. Under such circumstances, [the log] will burn on its own accord on Shabbos and it will not need to be stirred.

א אָסוּר לַעֲשׂוֹת מְדוּרָה מֵעֵצִים סָמוּךְ לַחֲשֵׁכָה, אֶלָּא אִם כֵּן מַצִּית בָּהֶם הָאוּר כָּל כָּךְא עַד שֶׁתְּהֵא הַשַּׁלְהֶבֶת עוֹלָה מֵאֵלֶיהָב,1 בְּלִי סִיּוּעַ עֵצִים אֲחֵרִים,ג,2 גְּזֵרָה שֶׁמָּא יַחְתֶּה בָּהּ בְּשַׁבָּת וְיָנִיד הָעֵצִים כְּדֵי שֶׁתַּעֲלֶה הַשַּׁלְהֶבֶת.ד,3

וְאִם הוּא עֵץ יְחִידִי – צָרִיךְ שֶׁיֶּאֱחוֹז הָאוּר מִבְּעוֹד יוֹם1 בְּרֹב הֶקֵּפוֹ וּבְרֹב עָבְיוֹ,ה,4 דְּהַיְנוּ שֶׁיִּכָּנֵס הָאוּר בְּעֹבִי הָעֵץ עַד רֻבּוֹ, וּמִבַּחוּץ יַקִּיפֶנּוּ גַם כֵּן עַד רֹב הֶקֵּפוֹ,ו שֶׁאָז יִדָּלֵק מֵאֵלָיו בְּשַׁבָּת, וְלֹא יִצְטָרֵךְ כְּלָל לַהֲנִידוֹ:

2 When wood was not kindled while it was still day [on Friday] to the extent described [in the previous subsection], even if later, on Shabbos, in and of itself, the fire took hold to the extent that there is no concern that one will stir it,5 it is nevertheless forbidden to benefit from [this fire] on Shabbos, since it was kindled in a forbidden manner while it was still day.

If, however, [the wood] was kindled to the extent described [in the previous subsection] while it was still day, a person may warm himself by [that fire] and use its light, regardless of whether [the wood] was [burning] on the ground or on a holder for fire. Even substances that are forbidden to be used as wicks for [the Shabbos] lights – because the flame will flutter around them6 and will not catch well onto them, as will be explained in sec. 264[:1] – are permitted to be used [as fuel] for a fire in any situation.7 [The rationale:] Since a medurah is a large fire [and contains a large quantity of fuel], one [piece of wood] will cause another to burn.

ב עֵצִים שֶׁלֹּא הֻדְלְקוּ מִבְּעוֹד יוֹם כְּשִׁעוּר שֶׁנִּתְבָּאֵר,ז אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁהֻדְלְקוּ אַחַר כָּךְ מֵאֲלֵיהֶם בְּשַׁבָּתח בְּעִנְיָן שֶׁשּׁוּב אֵין לָחוּשׁ שֶׁמָּא יַחְתֶּה בָּהֶםט,5 – אַף עַל פִּי כֵן אָסוּר לֵהָנוֹת מֵהֶם בְּשַׁבָּת, כֵּיוָן שֶׁהֻדְלְקוּ מִבְּעוֹד יוֹם בְּאִסּוּר.י

אֲבָל אִם הֻדְלְקוּ מִבְּעוֹד יוֹםיא כְּשִׁעוּר שֶׁנִּתְבָּאֵר – יָכוֹל לְהִתְחַמֵּם כְּנֶגְדָּם וּלְהִשְׁתַּמֵּשׁ לְאוֹרָן, בֵּין שֶׁהֵם עַל גַּבֵּי קַרְקַע, בֵּין שֶׁהֵם עַל גַּבֵּי מְנוֹרָה.

וַאֲפִלּוּ מִדְּבָרִים שֶׁאָסוּר לַעֲשׂוֹת מֵהֶם פְּתִילָה לְנֵריב מִפְּנֵי שֶׁהָאוֹר מְסַכְסֶכֶת בָּהֶם6 וְאֵינָהּ נֶאֱחֶזֶת בָּהֶם יָפֶה כְּמוֹ שֶׁיִּתְבָּאֵר בְּסִמָּן רס"דיג – מֻתָּר לַעֲשׂוֹת מֵהֶם מְדוּרָה בְּכָל מָקוֹם,יד,7 לְפִי שֶׁבִּמְדוּרָה שֶׁהִיא הֶסֵּק גָּדוֹל מַבְעִיר הָאֶחָד אֶת חֲבֵרוֹ:טו

3 There are authorities who maintain that if coals [are used for kindling], even though the fire only started burning minimally on its own while it was still day [on Friday], it is permitted [to benefit from it], because they will continue to burn on their own. There are other authorities who differ with this [ruling. Nevertheless,] with regard to a Rabbinic decree,8 one may follow the more lenient opinion.

ג יֵשׁ אוֹמְרִיםטז שֶׁבַּפֶּחָמִין אֲפִלּוּ לֹא אָחַז בָּהֶם הָאוּר אֶלָּא כָּל שֶׁהוּא מִבְּעוֹד יוֹם – הֲרֵי זֶה מֻתָּר,1 לְפִי שֶׁהֵם דּוֹלְקִים וְהוֹלְכִים מֵאֲלֵיהֶם.יז

וְיֵשׁ חוֹלְקִין עַל זֶה.יח וּבְדִבְרֵי סוֹפְרִים8 – הַלֵּךְ אַחַר הַמֵּקֵל:יט

4 When tar, sulfur, straw, or stubble [are used as kindling for] a medurah, even though the fire only started burning minimally [while it was still day on Friday], it is permitted [to benefit from it], because these substances will continue to burn on their own.9

The same [rule applies when] reeds or date pits are used as kindling when they are spread out.10 If, however, the reeds are bound [in a bundle] and the pits are [collected] in a basket, then the fire must take hold of them to the extent that it ascends on its own accord, because [when they are collected in such a manner], the flame cannot penetrate them on its own accord.

ד מְדוּרָה שֶׁל זֶפֶת וְשֶׁל גָּפְרִית וְשֶׁל קַשׁ וּגְבָבָא,כ אֲפִלּוּ לֹא אָחַז בָּהֶן הָאוּר אֶלָּא כָּל שֶׁהוּא – הֲרֵי זֶה מֻתָּר, שֶׁהֵם דּוֹלְקִים וְהוֹלְכִיםכא מֵאֲלֵיהֶם.9 וְכֵן מְדוּרָה (א) שֶׁל קָנִים וְשֶׁל גַּרְעִינֵי תְמָרִים כְּשֶׁהֵם מְפֹרָדִים.10 אֲבָל אִם הַקָּנִים הֵם אֲגוּדִים וְהַגַּרְעִינִים הֵם בַּסַּל – צְרִיכִים שֶׁיַּצִּית בָּהֶם הָאוּר כָּל כָּךְ בְּעִנְיָן שֶׁתְּהֵא הַשַּׁלְהֶבֶת עוֹלָה מֵאֵלֶיהָ,כב לְפִי שֶׁאֵין הַשַּׁלְהֶבֶת יְכוֹלָה לִכָּנֵס בָּהֶם מֵאֵלֶיהָ:כג