SECTION 314 Actions Forbidden because [They Involve] Building or Demolishing on Shabbos (1-21)

סימן שיד דְּבָרִים הָאֲסוּרִים מִשּׁוּם בִּנְיָן וּסְתִירָה בְּשַׁבָּת וּבוֹ כ"א סְעִיפִים:

1 It has already been explained1 that [the forbidden labors of] building and demolishing do not apply to keilim2 that contain less than 40 seah in volume3 when [the k’li]4 is not a structure in a full sense. Therefore, when an earthenware barrel5 containing less than 40 seah was broken, and its broken pieces were reattached with tar, one is permitted to break it open on Shabbos6– whether by hand or with a k’li – in order to obtain its contents. [The forbidden labor of] demolishing is not involved because [the barrel] is not a structure in a complete sense.7

[The above license is granted] provided he does not intend to fashion a fine puncture8 so that [the barrel] will have an attractive opening, for if so, he would be improving a k’li9 and would be liable for “striking with a hammer” (makeh bepatish),10 as will be explained.11 If, however, [fashioning an attractive opening] is not his intent, he may [open the barrel] in this manner. [Our Sages] did not issue a [restrictive] decree in this instance [out of concern] that one might intend [to fashion an attractive opening], since a broken barrel that is held together by tar is inferior in one’s eyes, and he will not concern himself with making an attractive opening for it when breaking it open again.

If, however, the barrel is whole,12 it is forbidden to break it, even when one does so in a manner where he does not fashion an attractive opening for it. [The rationale is that] demolishing a complete structure is forbidden even with regard to keilim. Furthermore, [this restriction is] a decree lest one will intend to fashion a fine puncture so that [the barrel] will have an attractive opening.13

א כְּבָר נִתְבָּאֵר א, 1 שֶׁאֵין בִּנְיָן וּסְתִירָה בְּכֵלִיםב, 13 שֶׁאֵין מַחֲזִיקִים אַרְבָּעִים סְאָהג, 2 כְּשֶׁאֵינוֹ בִּנְיָן גָּמוּר,ד לְפִיכָךְ, חָבִיתה שֶׁל חֶרֶסו, 3 שֶׁאֵינָהּ מַחֲזֶקֶת אַרְבָּעִים סְאָה שֶׁנִּשְׁבְּרָה, וְדִבֵּק שְׁבָרֶיהָ בְּזֶפֶתז – מֻתָּר לְשַׁבְּרָהּ בְּשַׁבָּת,ח, 4 בֵּין בְּיָד בֵּין בִּכְלִי, ט, 5 כְּדֵי לִקַּח מַה שֶּׁבְּתוֹכָהּ, וְאֵין בָּהּ מִשּׁוּם סְתִירָה, מִפְּנֵי שֶׁאֵינָהּ בִּנְיָן גָּמוּר. י, 6

וּבִלְבַד שֶׁלֹּא יִתְכַּוֵּן יא לְנָקְבָהּ נֶקֶב יָפֶה7 שֶׁיְּהֵא לָהּ לְפֶתַחיב נָאֶה,יג שֶׁאִם כֵּן הֲרֵי הוּא מְתַקֵּן כְּלִי,יד8 וְחַיָּב מִשּׁוּם "מַכֶּה בַּפַּטִּישׁ",9 כְּמוֹ שֶׁיִּתְבָּאֵר.טו, 10 אֲבָל כְּשֶׁאֵינוֹ מִתְכַּוֵּן לְכָךְ – מֻתָּר, וְלֹא גָזְרוּ שֶׁמָּא יִתְכַּוֵּן לְכָךְ, מִפְּנֵי שֶׁחָבִית הַשְּׁבוּרָה וּדְבוּקָה בְּזֶפֶת הִיא גְרוּעָה בְּעֵינָיו, וְאֵינוֹ חוֹשֵׁשׁ עָלֶיהָ כְּשֶׁחוֹזֵר וְשׁוֹבְרָהּ לְתַקֵּן לָהּ פֶּתַח נָאֶה.טז

אֲבָל אִם הִיא שְׁלֵמָה11 – אָסוּר לְשַׁבְּרָהּיז אֲפִלּוּ בְּעִנְיָן שֶׁאֵינוֹ מְתַקֵּן לָהּ פֶּתַח נָאֶה, מִפְּנֵי שֶׁסְּתִירַת בִּנְיָן גָּמוּר אֲסוּרָה אַף בְּכֵלִים.יח וְעוֹד, גְּזֵרָה שֶׁמָּא יִתְכַּוֵּן לְנָקְבָהּ נֶקֶב יָפֶה שֶׁיְּהֵא לָהּ לְפֶתַח נָאֶה:יט, 12

2 One who embeds a peg into a wall so that he can hang keilim or the like upon it is liable for [performing the forbidden labor of] building.14 [Moreover,] he is liable for [performing the forbidden labor of] building even if he does not [actually] embed the peg, but merely bores a hole in the wall into which he intends to place it.14 [The rationale is that] this hole facilitates building, i.e., the [ensuing] insertion of the peg. Similarly, one who makes a hole in the floor of a home so that water can flow out is liable for [performing the forbidden labor of] building.

When, by contrast, one makes a hole in an object that is not attached [to the ground],15 he is not liable unless the hole is made to allow both inflow and outflow16 – for example, a hole in a chicken coop that is not attached to the ground, which is made to allow light to enter and the [foul] air [of the chicken coop] to be released.6 Such a hole is an entrance in a complete sense, and one who makes it is liable for improving a k’li, a derivative of [the forbidden labor of] makeh bepatish, as stated in sec. 302[:5]. Whether one makes such a hole in wood, in metal, or in keilim, he is liable for [performing the forbidden labor of] makeh bepatish if the hole is intended to allow both inflow and outflow.17

ב הַתּוֹקֵעַ יָתֵד בַּכֹּתֶלכ לִתְלוֹת בּוֹכא כֵּלִים וְכַיּוֹצֵא בָזֶה – חַיָּב מִשּׁוּם בּוֹנֶה.כב, 14 וַאֲפִלּוּ לֹא תָקַע הַיָּתֵד, אֶלָּא שֶׁקָּדַח חוֹר בַּכֹּתֶל לִתְקוֹעַ בּוֹ יָתֵד – חַיָּב מִשּׁוּם בּוֹנֶה עַל נֶקֶב זֶה,14 הוֹאִיל וְנֶקֶב זֶה הוּא מוֹעִיל לְבִנְיָן,כג דְּהַיְנוּ לִתְקִיעַת הַיָּתֵד. וְכֵן הָעוֹשֶׂה נֶקֶב בְּקַרְקַע הַבַּיִת כְּדֵי שֶׁיֵּצְאוּ הַמַּיִם – חַיָּב מִשּׁוּם בּוֹנֶה.כד

אֲבָל הָעוֹשֶׂה נֶקֶב בְּדָבָר תָּלוּשׁ – אֵינוֹ חַיָּב,כה, 15 אֶלָּא אִם כֵּן הַנֶּקֶב עָשׂוּי לְהַכְנִיס וּלְהוֹצִיא בּוֹ,16 כְּגוֹן נֶקֶב שֶׁבְּלוּל שֶׁל תַּרְנְגוֹלִיםכו שֶׁאֵינוֹ מְחֻבָּר לַקַּרְקַע,כז שֶׁהוּא עָשׂוּי לְהַכְנִיס הָאוֹרָה וּלְהוֹצִיא הַהֶבֶל,כח, 6 שֶׁנֶּקֶב זֶה הוּא פֶּתַח גָּמוּר, וְחַיָּבִים עַל עֲשִׂיָּתוֹ מִשּׁוּם תִּקּוּן כְּלִי שֶׁהִיא תּוֹלֶדֶת "מַכֶּה בַּפַּטִּישׁ",כט כְּמוֹ שֶׁנִּתְבָּאֵר בְּסִימָן ש"ב.ל וּבֵין שֶׁעָשָׂה הַנֶּקֶב בְּעֵץ, בֵּין בְּמַתֶּכֶת,לא בֵּין בְּכֵלִיםלב – חַיָּב עָלָיו מִשּׁוּם "מַכֶּה בַּפַּטִּישׁ", אִם הוּא עָשׂוּי לְהַכְנִיס וּלְהוֹצִיא:לג, 17

3 The Sages issued a decree forbidding making any hole, even if it is made solely for outflow or solely for inflow, lest one make a hole for which he is liable.6 For this reason, one may not make a new hole in a barrel for wine to flow out.6 [Moreover,] even if the barrel has a hole and one [merely] desires to increase it slightly by widening it, it is forbidden [to do so].6

[The above applies] when one intentionally desires to increase [the size of the hole]. If, however, a knife was inserted in a wooden barrel while it was still day [on Friday] so that the wine would flow through the hole when [the knife] was pulled out, it is permitted to pull out and [re]insert the knife on Shabbos. Althoughit is impossible that one will not [at least minimally] increase the size of the hole by pulling out [the knife,] this is of no consequence since he does not desire to increase [the size of the hole].

True, [increasing the size of the hole] is an inevitable consequence (p’sik raishah vilo yamus),18 [of his action, and as such, seemingly, making the hole larger by pulling out the knife should be forbidden]. Nevertheless, since even intentionally making a new hole in this manner is forbidden only by Rabbinic decree, because the hole is made only to allow [the wine to] flow out,19 therefore, [the Sages] did not rule stringently and [did not] forbid unintentionally enlarging [the hole].

There are authorities who differ with the above and maintain that license to remove a knife from a barrel was granted only when one already removed [the knife] once while it was still day [on Friday], for then it is not inevitable that [the size of] the hole will be increased by removing [the knife] on Shabbos. [Indeed,] it is possible that [its size] will not be increased at all. Therefore, even if it was increased, it is of no consequence, because it was done unintentionally.

Fundamentally, the halachah follows the first opinion. Nevertheless, in a situation where there is not such a great need [for wine or other liquids contained in the barrel), it is desirable to give weight to the second opinion.

ג וְגָזְרוּ חֲכָמִים עַל כָּל נֶקֶב, אֲפִלּוּ עָשׂוּי לְהוֹצִיא בִּלְבַד אוֹ לְהַכְנִיס בִּלְבַד, שֶׁמָּא יָבֹא לַעֲשׂוֹת נֶקֶב שֶׁחַיָּבִים עָלָיו.לד, 6 לְפִיכָךְ,לה אֵין נוֹקְבִים נֶקֶב חָדָשׁ בְּחָבִיתלו שֶׁיָּזוּב בּוֹ הַיַּיִן.לז, 6 וַאֲפִלּוּ הָיָה בוֹ נֶקֶב וּבָא לְהוֹסִיף בּוֹ מְעַט לְהַרְחִיבוֹ – אָסוּר.לח, 6

וְהוּא שֶׁמִּתְכַּוֵּן לְהוֹסִיף,לט אֲבָל אִם הָיָה סַכִּין תָּקוּעַ בְּחָבִית שֶׁל עֵץ מִבְּעוֹד יוֹם כְּדֵי שֶׁיָּזוּב הַיַּיִן בִּמְקוֹם נְקִיבָתוֹ כְּשֶׁיּוֹצִיאוּ אוֹתוֹ – מֻתָּר לְהוֹצִיאוֹ וּלְהַכְנִיסוֹ בְּשַׁבָּת.מ וְאַף שֶׁאִי אֶפְשָׁר שֶׁלֹּא יוֹסִיף בַּנֶּקֶב עַל יְדֵי הוֹצָאָה זוֹ – אֵין בְּכָךְ כְּלוּם, כֵּיוָן שֶׁאֵינוֹ מִתְכַּוֵּן לְהוֹסִיף. וְאַף שֶׁ"פְּסִיק רֵישֵׁהּ וְלֹא יָמוּת"18 הוּא,מא מִכָּל מָקוֹם, כֵּיוָן שֶׁאַף הָעוֹשֶׂה נֶקֶב חָדָשׁ כָּזֶה בְּמִתְכַּוֵּן אֵין בּוֹ אִסּוּר אֶלָּא מִדִּבְרֵי סוֹפְרִים, הוֹאִיל וְאֵינוֹ עָשׂוּי אֶלָּא לְהוֹצִיא בִּלְבַד19 – לְפִיכָךְ לֹא הֶחֱמִירוּ בּוֹ כָּל כָּךְ לֶאֱסוֹר אַף לְהוֹסִיף שֶׁלֹּא בְמִתְכַּוֵּן.מב

וְיֵשׁ חוֹלְקִים וְאוֹמְרִיםמג שֶׁלֹּא הִתִּירוּ לְהוֹצִיא הַסַּכִּין מֵהֶחָבִית בְּשַׁבָּת אֶלָּא אִם כֵּן כְּבָר הוֹצִיאוֹ פַּעַם אַחַת מִבְּעוֹד יוֹם, שֶׁאָז אֵינוֹ "פְּסִיק רֵישֵׁהּ" שֶׁיּוֹסִיף בַּנֶּקֶב עַל יְדֵי הוֹצָאָה זוֹ שֶׁבְּשַׁבָּת, אֶלָּא אֶפְשָׁר שֶׁלֹּא יוֹסִיף כְּלוּם, וְאִם כֵּן אַף אִם אֵרַע שֶׁמּוֹסִיף – אֵין בְּכָךְ כְּלוּם, שֶׁדָּבָר שֶׁאֵינוֹ מִתְכַּוֵּן הוּא.

וְהָעִקָּר כַּסְבָרָא הָרִאשׁוֹנָה.מד וּמִכָּל מָקוֹם, בְּמָקוֹם שֶׁאֵין שָׁם צֹרֶךְ כָּל כָּךְ, טוֹב לָחוּשׁ לַסְבָרָא הָאַחֲרוֹנָה:מה

4 [A different rule applies when,] by contrast, a knife is embedded in a wooden wall while it is still day [on Friday]. If it is implanted there a bit firmly, it is customary to forbid removing it on Shabbos unless one already removed it once before Shabbos commenced. [In such an instance,] it is not inevitable that [removing it] will increase [the size of] the hole.

When, by contrast, [the knife] has never been removed from this hole, it is impossible that [the size] of the hole will not increase when [the knife] is removed on Shabbos, because it is implanted there a bit firmly. License was only granted to unintentionally increase [the size of a hole] in the instance of a barrel, for in that instance, making a hole – even initially and intentionally – is only forbidden according to Rabbinic decree.20 When, by contrast, one intentionally makes a hole in a wall, there are times when he is liable for a sin-offering,21 i.e., when he makes the hole to insert a peg.22 [Moreover,] even one who intentionally increases [the size of] this hole even slightly is liable. Therefore, one should be stringent not to increase its size, even unintentionally, if it is inevitable [that he will increase the hole’s size]. This is the rationale for the custom.

Nevertheless, there is no clear prohibition according to [the letter of] the law, since even if he would make an entirely new hole in the wall in this situation where he is increasing its size by removing the knife, [his act] would not be prohibited by Scriptural Law. [The rationale is that] since he is not intending to insert a peg, [his act is] a melachah she’einah tzorichah legufah – “a forbidden labor performed for a purpose that does not involve the object with which the forbidden labor was performed.”23 Moreover, he is damaging the wall.24 Also, the increase in [the size of] the hole brought about by the removal of the knife is made in an abnormal manner, and whenever [a forbidden activity is performed in] an abnormal manner, there is no prohibition at all according to Scriptural Law, even when one [performs an activity that involves] an actual forbidden labor. Therefore, one should not forbid increasing [the size of] the hole [in the wall] unintentionally, just as a similar [action] in a barrel was not forbidden, for as explained: fundamentally, the halachah follows [the authorities who] grant license. Nevertheless, [in practice,] contrary to the [prevailing] custom, one should not conduct oneself leniently.

ד אֲבָל סַכִּין שֶׁהוּא תָּחוּב בְּכֹתֶל שֶׁל עֵץ מִבְּעוֹד יוֹם, אִם הוּא תָּקוּעַ קְצָת בְּחֹזֶק – נָהֲגוּ בוֹ אִסּוּר לְהוֹצִיאוֹ בְּשַׁבָּת,מו אֶלָּא אִם כֵּן הוֹצִיאוֹ כְּבָר פַּעַם אַחַת מִבְּעוֹד יוֹם,מז שֶׁאָז אֵינוֹ "פְּסִיק רֵישֵׁהּ" שֶׁיּוֹסִיף בַּנֶּקֶב.מח אֲבָל כְּשֶׁעֲדַיִן לֹא הוֹצִיאוֹ מֵעוֹלָם מִנֶּקֶב זֶה – אִי אֶפְשָׁר שֶׁלֹּא יוֹסִיף בַּנֶּקֶב כְּשֶׁמּוֹצִיאוֹ בְּשַׁבָּת, כֵּיוָן שֶׁהָיָה תָּקוּעַ קְצָת בְּחֹזֶק.מט

וְלֹא הִתִּירוּ לְהוֹסִיף שֶׁלֹּא בְּמִתְכַּוֵּן אֶלָּא בְּחָבִית, שֶׁאַף לַעֲשׂוֹת בָּהּ נֶקֶב בַּתְּחִלָּה וּבְמִתְכַּוֵּן – אֵין בּוֹ אִסּוּר לְעוֹלָםנ אֶלָּא מִדִּבְרֵי סוֹפְרִים20, אֲבָל הָעוֹשֶׂה נֶקֶב בַּכֹּתֶל בְּמִתְכַּוֵּן – חַיָּב חַטָּאת לִפְעָמִים,21 דְּהַיְנוּ אִם נוֹקְבוֹ כְּדֵי לִתְקוֹעַ בּוֹ יָתֵד.22 וְאַף הַמּוֹסִיף כָּל שֶׁהוּא בְּנֶקֶב זֶה בְּמִתְכַּוֵּן – חַיָּב, לָכֵן יֵשׁ לְהַחֲמִיר בּוֹ שֶׁלֹּא לְהוֹסִיף בּוֹ אַף שֶׁלֹּא בְּמִתְכַּוֵּן, כְּשֶׁהוּא "פְּסִיק רֵישֵׁהּ".נא זֶהוּ טַעַם הַמִּנְהָג.

אֲבָל מִן הַדִּין אֵין בָּזֶה אִסּוּר בָּרוּר,נב כֵּיוָן שֶׁמִּכָּל מָקוֹם, אִם הָיָה עוֹשֶׂה נֶקֶב חָדָשׁ בַּכֹּתֶל בְּעִנְיָן זֶה מַמָּשׁ שֶׁהוּא מוֹסִיף בּוֹ עַכְשָׁו בְּהוֹצָאַת הַסַּכִּין, דְּהַיְנוּ שֶׁלֹּא עַל מְנָת לִתְקוֹעַ בָּהּ יָתֵד – לֹא הָיָה בוֹ אִסּוּר מִן הַתּוֹרָה, לְפִי שֶׁהִיא מְלָאכָה שֶׁאֵינָהּ צְרִיכָה לְגוּפָהּ,נג, 23 וְגַם הוּא מְקַלְקֵל הַכֹּתֶל.24 וְגַם מַה שֶּׁמּוֹסִיף בַּנֶּקֶב בְּהוֹצָאַת הַסַּכִּין זֶהוּ נַעֲשֶׂה כִּלְאַחַר יָד,נד וְכָל כִּלְאַחַר יָד אֵין בּוֹ אִסּוּר כְּלָל מִן הַתּוֹרָה אַף בִּמְלָאכָה גְמוּרָה.נה אִם כֵּן אֵין לֶאֱסוֹר לְהוֹסִיף שֶׁלֹּא בְּמִתְכַּוֵּן,נו כְּמוֹ שֶׁלֹּא אָסְרוּ כֵּן בְּחָבִית, לְפִי מַה שֶּׁנִּתְבָּאֵרנז שֶׁהָעִקָּר כְּהַמַּתִּירִין שָׁם. וּמִכָּל מָקוֹם, אֵין לְהָקֵל נֶגֶד הַמִּנְהָג:נח

5 When, by contrast, [before Shabbos] a knife is inserted into a bench or other object that is not attached to the ground, one may remove it on Shabbos, even if he never removed it before, because the [Scriptural prohibition] against building never applies when an object is not attached to the ground. [Instead, the prohibition is] only a decree [of Rabbinic origin] lest one improve a k’li by making a hole [to allow] both inflow and outflow. When, however, the person does not make an opening at all – neither for inflow nor for outflow – but rather, the opening results as a matter of course when he removes the knife, there is no prohibition at all. If, however, [a knife] is inserted into a large barrel or other large keilim that have a volume of 40 seah,25and thus [the forbidden labors of] building and demolishing are relevant,26 the laws that apply to it are similar to a knife inserted into a wall.

ה אֲבָל סַכִּין הַתָּקוּעַ בַּסַּפְסָל אוֹ בִּשְׁאָר דָּבָר הַתָּלוּשׁ – מֻתָּר לְהוֹצִיאוֹ בְּשַׁבָּת, אַף שֶׁעֲדַיִן לֹא הוֹצִיאוֹ מֵעוֹלָם,נט מִפְּנֵי שֶׁבַּעֲשִׂיַּת נֶקֶב בְּדָבָר תָּלוּשׁ אֵין בּוֹ אִסּוּר לְעוֹלָם מִשּׁוּם בּוֹנֶה, אֶלָּא מִשּׁוּם גְּזֵרַת תִּקּוּן כְּלִי, אִם עָשָׂהוּ פֶּתַח לְהַכְנִיס אוֹ לְהוֹצִיא.ס אֲבָל כְּשֶׁאֵינוֹ עוֹשֵׂהוּ פֶּתַח כְּלָל, לֹא לְהַכְנִיס וְלֹא לְהוֹצִיא, אֶלָּא שֶׁנַּעֲשֶׂה מִמֵּילָא עַל יְדֵי הוֹצָאַת הַסַּכִּין – אֵין בּוֹ אִסּוּר כְּלָל.סא

וְאִם הוּא תָּקוּעַ בְּחָבִית גְּדוֹלָה אוֹ בִּשְׁאָר כֵּלִים גְּדוֹלִים שֶׁמַּחֲזִיקִין אַרְבָּעִים סְאָה25, שֶׁיֵּשׁ בָּהֶם בִּנְיָן וּסְתִירָה26 – הֲרֵי דִּינוֹ כְּתָקוּעַ בַּכֹּתֶל:סב

6 When a barrel has a hole that was sealed, one may open it on Shabbos27even when he had performed an action, [e.g.,] sealing it with wood or another substance, [to seal it before Shabbos].28

When does the above apply? When [the hole in the barrel] is above the wine dregs. When, however, [the hole] is on the same level as the dregs, it is forbidden to open it29 (unless [the hole] was made to be opened and closed frequently like a bung30 for a barrel). [The rationale for the prohibition is that] since [the hole] is positioned so low in the barrel, the entire weight of the wine is resting on it. Hence, it must be sealed effectively. As such, when one opens it, it is comparable to opening a new hole.31 When, by contrast, the hole is positioned above the wine dregs, it does not require such an effective sealing. [Hence, opening it] is not considered like opening a new hole.

ו חָבִית שֶׁהָיָה בָהּ נֶקֶב וְנִסְתַּם,סג אֲפִלּוּ סְתָמוֹ בְּיָדַיִם בְּעֵץסד אוֹ בְּדָבָר אַחֵר28 – מֻתָּר לְפָתְחוֹ בְּשַׁבָּת.27

בַּמֶּה דְּבָרִים אֲמוּרִים? כְּשֶׁהוּא לְמַעְלָה מִן הַשְּׁמָרִים, אֲבָל אִם הוּא כְּנֶגֶד הַשְּׁמָרִים – אָסוּר לְפָתְחוֹסה, 29 (אֶלָּא אִם כֵּן עָשׂוּי לְפָתְחוֹ וּלְסָתְמוֹ תָּדִיר, כְּגוֹן בַּרְזָא30 שֶׁבְּחָבִית), שֶׁכֵּיוָן שֶׁהוּא לְמַטָּה כָּל כָּךְ, הֲרֵי כָּל כֹּבֶד הַיַּיִן נִשְׁעָן עָלָיו וְצָרִיךְ סְתִימָה מְעֻלָּה, לְפִיכָךְ כְּשֶׁפּוֹתְחָהּ – חָשׁוּב כְּפוֹתֵחַ נֶקֶב חָדָשׁ,סו, 31 מַה שֶּׁאֵין כֵּן לְמַעְלָה מִן הַשְּׁמָרִיםסז שֶׁאֵין צָרִיךְ סְתִימָה מְעֻלָּה – אֵינוֹ חָשׁוּב כְּפוֹתֵחַ מֵחָדָשׁ:סח

7 In instances where it is permitted to open an existing hole that was sealed, it is permitted to pierce a [new] hole in [the existing hole’s seal], even with a drill.32 For example, if the bung of a barrel was broken and one cannot remove it, he is permitted to pierce a hole in [the bung] with a drill. Needless to say, one may take another bung to bang on the bung that is stuck in [the barrel] if one needs to drink wine on Shabbos,33 provided the bung is not inserted on the same level as the wine dregs, as explained.34

ז בְּמָקוֹם שֶׁמֻּתָּר לִפְתּוֹחַ נֶקֶב יָשָׁן שֶׁנִּסְתַּם – מֻתָּר לְנָקְבוֹ אֲפִלּוּ בְּמַקְדֵּחַ32, כְּגוֹן אִם נִשְׁבְּרָה הַבַּרְזָא שֶׁבְּחָבִית וְאֵינוֹ יָכוֹל לְהוֹצִיאָהּ – יָכוֹל לְנָקְבָהּ בְּמַקְדֵּחַ.סט וְאֵין צָרִיךְ לוֹמַר שֶׁמֻּתָּר לִקַּח בַּרְזָא אַחֶרֶת וּלְהַכּוֹת בְּאוֹתָהּ בַּרְזָא הַתְּחוּבָה בָּהּ, אִם הוּא לְצֹרֶךְ לִשְׁתּוֹת יַיִן בְּשַׁבָּת.ע, 33 וּבִלְבַד שֶׁלֹּא תְהֵא הַבַּרְזָא הַתְּחוּבָה בָּהּ נֶגֶד הַשְּׁמָרִים,עא כְּמוֹ שֶׁנִּתְבָּאֵר:עב, 34

8 There are authorities who maintain that license was granted to open a previously existing hole only with regard to an earthenware barrel [since, in that instance, the substance] sealing [the barrel] does not adhere tightly to the hole. By contrast, [this is forbidden with regard to a wooden barrel. The rationale: since] the wood that seals a hole in a wooden barrel adheres tightly to it,35 when the portion of the bung that projects36 is cut off, [it can be assumed that the person] does not intend to remove [the bung37 in the future. Hence] the hole certainly appears as new, and it is forbidden [to create such a hole].

There are [other] authorities who differ with this view. One may rely on their words in a situation of great need. Leniency [can be granted because only] a Rabbinic prohibition [is involved].

ח יֵשׁ אוֹמְרִיםעג שֶׁלֹּא הִתִּירוּ לִפְתּוֹחַ נֶקֶב יָשָׁן אֶלָּא בְּחָבִית שֶׁל חֶרֶס, שֶׁאֵין הַסְּתִימָה מְהֻדֶּקֶת יָפֶה בַּנֶּקֶב. אֲבָל בְּחָבִית שֶׁל עֵץ שֶׁמְּהַדְּקִין מְאֹד הָעֵץ שֶׁסּוֹתְמִין בּוֹ הַנֶּקֶב,עד, 35 וְחוֹתְכִין רֹאשׁוֹ36 עַל דַּעַת שֶׁלֹּא לְהוֹצִיאוֹ37 – וַדַּאי נִרְאֶה שֶׁזֶּהוּ נֶקֶב חָדָשׁ וְאָסוּר.

וְיֵשׁ חוֹלְקִין עַל זֶה.עה וְיֵשׁ לִסְמוֹךְ עַל דִּבְרֵיהֶם בִּמְקוֹם צֹרֶךְ גָּדוֹל לְהָקֵל בְּדִבְרֵי סוֹפְרִים:עו

9 It is permitted to place a hollow reed29 or a [hollowed out] bung in a barrel to have its wine flow out through them, even though [this reed or bung] was never used for this barrel and the person does not at all know if it will [properly] fit the size of this hole. There is no concern that should [the reed or bung] not fit the size of the hole, he will cut them29 or scrape around them with a knife until they fit the size [of the hole], and he will thus become liable for cutting, as will be explained.38

ט מֻתָּר לִתֵּן קָנֶה חָלוּלעז, 29 אוֹ שְׁאָר בַּרְזָאעח בְּחָבִית לְהוֹצִיא בָּהֶם הַיַּיִן, אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁלֹּא הָיוּ מֵעוֹלָם בְּחָבִית זוֹ, וְאֵינוֹ יוֹדֵעַ כְּלָל אִם יָבֹאוּ לְמִדַּת הַנֶּקֶב שֶׁל חָבִית זוֹ,עט וְאֵין חוֹשְׁשִׁיןפ שֶׁמָּא לֹא יָבֹאוּ לְמִדָּתוֹ וְיַחְתְּכֵם וִיגָרְדֵם בְּסַכִּיןפא, 29 סָבִיב סָבִיב עַד שֶׁיָּבֹאוּ לְמִדָּתוֹ וְיִתְחַיֵּב מִשּׁוּם מְחַתֵּךְ, כְּמוֹ שֶׁיִּתְבָּאֵר:פב, 38

10 It is, however, forbidden to place a [folded] myrtle leaf in a hole of a barrel39 so that the wine will not flow down the side of the barrel, but rather flow over the folded leaf, which he shaped to serve as a spout. [This is a] decree lest one affix [an actual] spout for his wine40 so that the wine will flow through it and flow for a distance.

The reason a similar decree [was not instituted] with regard to placing a hollow reed [in a barrel]41 is that [when placing] the reed, [the person] does not perform an act [that changes] the reed itself; he merely inserts it into the barrel. Therefore, a decree was not instituted lest one perform a deed to affix a spout for his wine.42 By contrast, with regard to the leaf, he performs an action with the leaf itself – he takes it and folds it like a spout. Since it appears that he is making a spout, [our Sages issued a prohibitive] decree concerning [this] lest he affix an actual spout for his wine.

י אֲבָל אָסוּר לִתֵּן עָלֶה שֶׁל הֲדַס בְּנֶקֶב שֶׁבְּחָבִיתפג, 39 כְּדֵי שֶׁלֹּא יִהְיֶה הַיַּיִן שׁוֹתֵת עַל דָּפְנֵי הֶחָבִית,פד אֶלָּא יִהְיֶה מְקַלֵּחַ עַל הֶעָלֶה הַמְקֻפָּל וְעָשׂוּי כְּעֵין מַרְזֵב,פה גְּזֵרָה שֶׁמָּא יְתַקֵּן מַרְזֵב לְיֵינוֹפו, 40 שֶׁיִּפֹּל הַיַּיִן לְתוֹכוֹ וְיֵלֵךְ לְמֵרָחוֹק.

וּמַה שֶּׁלֹּא גָזְרוּ כֵּן בִּנְתִינַת קָנֶה חָלוּל,41 הוּא לְפִי שֶׁהַקָּנֶה אֵין הוּא עוֹשֶׂה שׁוּם מַעֲשֶׂה בְּגוּפוֹ אֶלָּא שֶׁתּוֹחֲבוֹ בֶּחָבִית,42 לְפִיכָךְ אֵין גּוֹזְרִין שֶׁמָּא יָבֹא לַעֲשׂוֹת מַעֲשֶׂה לְתַקֵּן מַרְזֵב לְיֵינוֹ, מַה שֶּׁאֵין כֵּן בְּעָלֶה שֶׁעוֹשֶׂה מַעֲשֶׂה בְּגוּפוֹ, שֶׁלּוֹקְחוֹ וּמְקַפְּלוֹ כְּעֵין מַרְזֵב, כֵּיוָן שֶׁנִּרְאֶה כְּעוֹשֶׂה מַרְזֵב – גָּזְרוּ בוֹ שֶׁמָּא יָבֹא לְתַקֵּן מַרְזֵב גָּמוּר לְיֵינוֹ:פז

11 There are other authorities who maintain that the decree forbidding the use of a leaf was not [instituted because perhaps one would affix] a spout, but rather because of a decree that perhaps this leaf would become spoiled and [the person] would snap off another leaf from a branch43 that had been cut off [from a tree]44 to place it in the hole of the barrel. Snapping off this leaf is forbidden because one is preparing a k’li.45 For whenever one prepares an object on Shabbos, making it fit to be used for any function, it is considered as if he is preparing a k’li. [Hence, the act is forbidden,] as will be explained in sec. 340[:17].

Even if the leaf is soft and thus fit to serve as animal fodder, snapping it off is still forbidden because one is preparing a k’li. [Our Sages’] statement46 that [the concept of] preparing a k’li does not apply with regard to animal fodder since it is soft and will not last, as will be explained in sec. 322,47 is relevant only when one adjusts the animal fodder to serve as a k’li in its own right – for example, one snaps off a piece of straw to serve as a toothpick. This is not considered as preparing a k’li, because it is entirely uncommon to initially make a k’li from food since it will not last long. It is, however, common to use food to fix a k’li that was already fashioned, [as in this instance] where the leaf is placed in an already-fashioned hole. Therefore, when one snaps off a leaf for this purpose, snapping it off is considered as preparing a k’li.

According to this understanding – that the prohibition against placing a leaf in a hole in a barrel is [a safeguard] lest one snap off [a leaf from a cut branch] – this prohibition does not apply in an instance where one has many leaves48 that were snapped off while it was still day [on Friday]. For in such an instance, there is no concern that he will snap off [additional leaves], since even if one or two [of the leaves] become ruined, he still has many others. There is no concern that all [the leaves] will become ruined. With regard to the actual halachic ruling, [since merely] a Rabbinic prohibition [is involved], one may follow the lenient view.

יא וְיֵשׁ אוֹמְרִיםפח שֶׁגַּם בְּעָלֶה לֹא אָסְרוּ מִשּׁוּם גְּזֵרַת מַרְזֵב, אֶלָּא מִשּׁוּם גְּזֵרָה שֶׁמָּא יִתְקַלְקֵל עָלֶה זֶה וְיִקְטוֹם עָלֶה אַחֵרפט מִן הֶעָנָף43 הַתָּלוּשׁ44 לִתְּנוֹ בְּנֶקֶב הֶחָבִית, וּקְטִימָה זוֹ אֲסוּרָה מִשּׁוּם תִּקּוּן כְּלִי,צ, 45 שֶׁכָּל דָּבָר שֶׁמְּתַקְּנוֹ בְּשַׁבָּת שֶׁיִּהְיֶה רָאוּי לְהִשְׁתַּמֵּשׁ בּוֹ אֵיזֶה תַּשְׁמִישׁ – יֵשׁ בּוֹ מִשּׁוּם תִּקּוּן כְּלִי,צא כְּמוֹ שֶׁיִּתְבָּאֵר בְּסִימָן ש"מ.צב

וְאַף אִם הֶעָלֶה הוּא רַךְ וְרָאוּי לְמַאֲכַל בְּהֵמָה – אַף עַל פִּי כֵן יֵשׁ אִסּוּר בִּקְטִימָתוֹ מִשּׁוּם תִּקּוּן כְּלִי,צג שֶׁלֹּא אָמְרוּ46 אָכְלֵי בְהֵמָה אֵין בָּהֶם מִשּׁוּם תִּקּוּן כְּלִיצד הוֹאִיל וְהֵן רַכִּין וְאֵין מִתְקַיְּמִין,צה כְּמוֹ שֶׁיִּתְבָּאֵר בְּסִימָן שכ"ב,צו, 47 אֶלָּא כְּשֶׁמְּתַקֵּן הָאֹכֶל לִהְיוֹת כְּלִי בִּפְנֵי עַצְמוֹ, כְּגוֹן שֶׁקּוֹטֵם קַשׁ לַחֲצוֹץ בּוֹ שִׁנָּיו, שֶׁאֵינוֹ חָשׁוּב כִּמְתַקֵּן כְּלִי, לְפִי שֶׁאֵין דֶּרֶךְ הָאֹכֶל כְּלָל לַעֲשׂוֹת מִמֶּנּוּ כְּלִי בַּתְּחִלָּה, כֵּיוָן שֶׁאֵינוֹ מִתְקַיֵּם הַרְבֵּה, אֲבָל דֶּרֶךְ הוּא לְתַקֵּן בּוֹ כְּלִי הֶעָשׂוּי כְּבָר, כְּגוֹן לִתֵּן הֶעָלֶה בְּנֶקֶב שֶׁבֶּחָבִית הָעֲשׂוּיָה כְּבָר, לְפִיכָךְ כְּשֶׁקּוֹטְמָהּ לְכָךְ – יֵשׁ בִּקְטִימָה זוֹ מִשּׁוּם תִּקּוּן כְּלִי.צז

וּלְפִי סְבָרָא זוֹ שֶׁאֵין אִסּוּר בִּנְתִינַת הֶעָלֶה בְּנֶקֶב שֶׁבֶּחָבִית אֶלָּא מִשּׁוּם שֶׁמָּא יִקְטוֹם – לֹא אָסְרוּ בְּמָקוֹם שֶׁיֵּשׁ לוֹ הַרְבֵּה עָלִין48 קְטוּמִים מִבְּעוֹד יוֹם,צח שֶׁאָז אֵין לָחוּשׁ שֶׁמָּא יִקְטוֹם,צט שֶׁאַף אִם יִתְקַלְקֵל אֶחָד אוֹ שְׁנַיִםק – הֲרֵי יֵשׁ לוֹ עוֹד, וְאֵין חוֹשְׁשִׁים שֶׁמָּא יִתְקַלְקְלוּ כֻּלָּם.

וּלְעִנְיַן הֲלָכָה – בְּדִבְרֵי סוֹפְרִים הַלֵּךְ אַחַר הַמֵּקֵל:קא

12 A person may cut open a covering made from an animal hide that was placed over a barrel of wine49 or other beverages for the sake of [its use] on Shabbos; he need not worry [that he is committing a transgression. The rationale is that] cutting a detached entity is permitted [even] as an initial and preferred option, as will be explained.50 [This leniency is granted] provided one does not intend to fashion something akin to a spout from the cut hide, because doing so would be like fashioning a k’li.

יב קוֹרֵעַ אָדָם עוֹר שֶׁעַל פִּי הֶחָבִית שֶׁל יַיִןקב, 49 אוֹ שְׁאָר מַשְׁקֶה שֶׁלְּצֹרֶךְ הַשַּׁבָּת וְאֵינוֹ חוֹשֵׁשׁ, מִפְּנֵי שֶׁפְּסִיקַת תָּלוּשׁ מֻתָּר לְכַתְּחִלָּה, כְּמוֹ שֶׁיִּתְבָּאֵר.קג, 50 וּבִלְבַד שֶׁלֹּא יִתְכַּוֵּן לַעֲשׂוֹת כְּעֵין מַרְזֵב מֵעוֹר הַקָּרוּעַ,קד מִפְּנֵי שֶׁהוּא כִּמְתַקֵּן כְּלִי:קה

13 A person may bring a barrel of wine before his guests, and with a sword, slash open its head51 below its bung (i.e., the top of the barrel. The place where the bung is inserted [is considered] the highest point of the barrel when the barrel is standing upright with the barrel’s sides sloping downward in all directions from that point). Thus he is cutting off the edge [of the barrel] near its opening together with the bung that seals the opening.

Although by doing so, [the host] will be making a new opening for the barrel, this is of no consequence because certainly his intent is not to make a new opening, since slashing off the top of the barrel is not at all the ordinary way of opening a barrel. Instead his intent is to [demonstrate] his generosity, [i.e.,] to display his openhandedness to his guests [by] making a wide opening for the wine.

[The above applies] provided the barrel has already been broken and is [now] held together by tar, and that it is less than 40 seah in volume, in which instance [breaking it] does not involve [the forbidden labor of] demolishing, as explained above.52 [See fig. 19 and fig. 20.]

It is, however, forbidden to pierce a hole in the body of the barrel itself,53 even using a spear that makes a large hole that does not resemble an opening. [The rationale is that] in any case, we are forced to say [the person’s] intent is to make an opening, i.e., since for whatever reason he does not want to frequently open the bung [of the barrel], he makes this hole so that he will be able to remove wine whenever he does not want to open the bung. Thus, this is [considered] an opening intended to serve as an outlet in a complete sense and our Sages forbade [fashioning such an opening]. For if his intent is to demonstrate his generosity54 [rather than just fashion an opening,] he could have opened the [barrel’s] bung, since through it, he could pour wine more generously than through the hole he makes.

יג מֵבִיא אָדָם חָבִית שֶׁל יַיִן לִפְנֵי הָאוֹרְחִים וּמַתִּיז רֹאשָׁהּ51 (פֵּרוּשׁ רֹאשׁ הֶחָבִית הוּא בִּמְקוֹם הַמְּגוּפָה, שֶׁזֶּהוּ מָקוֹם הַגָּבוֹהַּ שֶׁבָּהּ כְּשֶׁהִיא מֻנַּחַת, שֶׁסָּבִיב לְמָקוֹם זֶה מִכָּל צְדָדָיו הִיא מַשְׁפַּעַת וְיוֹרֶדֶתקו) בְּסַיִףקז לְמַטָּה מִמְּגוּפָתָהּ, דְּהַיְנוּ שֶׁחוֹתֵךְ שְׂפַת פִּיהָ סָבִיב עִם הַמְּגוּפָה שֶׁעַל פִּיהָ.קח וְאַף שֶׁעַל יְדֵי כָךְ נַעֲשֶׂה פֶּתַח חָדָשׁ לֶחָבִית – אֵין בְּכָךְ כְּלוּם, מִפְּנֵי שֶׁבְּוַדַּאי אֵין כַּוָּנָתוֹ כְּדֵי לַעֲשׂוֹת פֶּתַח חָדָשׁ, שֶׁאֵין דֶּרֶךְ כְּלָל לַעֲשׂוֹת כֵּן לְהַתִּיז רֹאשׁ הֶחָבִית בִּשְׁבִיל עֲשִׂיַּת פֶּתַח,קט אֶלָּא לְעַיִן יָפָה הוּא מִתְכַּוֵּן,קי לְהַרְאוֹת נְדִיבוּת לִבּוֹ לִפְנֵי הָאוֹרְחִים,קיא שֶׁמַּרְחִיב לָהֶם מְקוֹם מוֹצָא הַיַּיִן.קיב וְהוּא שֶׁהֶחָבִית שְׁבוּרָה וּדְבוּקָה בְּזֶפֶת,קיג וְגַם אֵינָהּ מַחֲזֶקֶת אַרְבָּעִים סְאָה,קיד שֶׁאֵין בָּהּ מִשּׁוּם סְתִירָה, כְּמוֹ שֶׁנִּתְבָּאֵר לְמַעְלָה.קטו, 52

אֲבָל אָסוּר לַעֲשׂוֹת נֶקֶב בְּגוּף הֶחָבִית53, אֲפִלּוּ בְּרֹמַח שֶׁעוֹשֶׂה נֶקֶב גָּדוֹלקטז שֶׁאֵינוֹ דוֹמֶה לְפֶתַח,קיז מִפְּנֵי שֶׁמִּכָּל מָקוֹם עַל כָּרְחֲךָ הוּא מִתְכַּוֵּן לְפֶתַח,קיח דְּהַיְנוּ שֶׁמִּפְּנֵי שֶׁאֵינוֹ חָפֵץ לִפְתּוֹחַ הַמְּגוּפָה תָּדִיר, מֵאֵיזֶה טַעַם שֶׁיֵּשׁ לוֹ, לְכָךְ הוּא עוֹשֶׂה נֶקֶב זֶה לְהוֹצִיא בּוֹ יַיִן בְּכָל עֵת שֶׁלֹּא יַחְפֹּץ לִפְתּוֹחַ הַמְּגוּפָה,קיט וַהֲרֵי זֶה פֶּתַח גָּמוּר הֶעָשׂוּי לְהוֹצִיא, שֶׁאֲסָרוּהוּ חֲכָמִים,קכ שֶׁאִם הָיָה מִתְכַּוֵּן לְעַיִן יָפָה,54 הָיָה לוֹ לִפְתּוֹחַ הַמְּגוּפָה,קכא שֶׁדֶּרֶךְ שָׁם יְכוֹלִין לְהוֹצִיא יַיִן יוֹתֵר בְּרֶוַח מִדֶּרֶךְ הַנֶּקֶב שֶׁעָשָׂה הוּא:

Fig. 19: A barrel held together by tar
Fig. 19: A barrel held together by tar

Fig. 20: Severing the neck of such a barrel
Fig. 20: Severing the neck of such a barrel

14 It is, however, permitted to make a hole in the top of the [barrel’s] bung in order to remove wine, even if the barrel is whole.54 [The rationale is that] it is not at all common to make a hole in the top of the bung. Instead, one removes the entire bung.55 Therefore, this hole that was made on top [of the bung] does not look like – nor is it considered – as an opening at all. For that reason, [our Sages] did not forbid [making a hole] in the bung, since even if one were to make an opening in a complete sense – i.e., one intended to allow the inflow and outflow56 of wine – he would not be liable according to Scriptural Law as he would be if he were to make such a hole in the barrel itself. [The rationale is that] the bung is not considered as attached to the barrel54 even when it is placed over [the barrel’s] opening. Instead, [the bung] is considered as an independent entity. Accordingly, the hole in [the bung] is not considered as [as having been made] “to allow the inflow and outflow,” because when one has [liquid] flowing in and out [of the barrel] through the hole [in the bung], it is as if he is actually having the liquid flow in and out through the opening [of the barrel]. The hole [in the bung] does not make possible the inflow and outflow [of liquids] at all, for even without the hole [in the bung], it would be possible to have [liquids] flow in and out through the opening of the barrel.

True, the opening of the barrel is sealed closed with the bung. [Nevertheless,] this is not considered as being sealed in a complete sense, since the bung is not considered as attached to the barrel. For this reason, [our Sages] did not rule that stringently and did not forbid even [making] a hole that was only intended for outflow, if it was made in a place where it is not common to make a hole, i.e., on top of the bung.

It is, however, forbidden to make a hole on the side [of the barrel],54 i.e., in the place where [the barrel] slopes downward. [The rationale is that] it is common, at times, to make a hole in the side when one desires to have the barrel open so that he will be able to pour wine from it frequently, but [at the same time] he does not desire to open the bung [so frequently], lest dust or waste fall into the wine. Therefore, he makes an opening from the side.

יד אֲבָל מֻתָּר לַעֲשׂוֹת נֶקֶב בַּמְּגוּפָה מִלְמַעְלָה לְהוֹצִיא בּוֹ יַיִן,קכב אַף אִם הֶחָבִית הִיא שְׁלֵמָה,קכג, 54 לְפִי שֶׁאֵין דֶּרֶךְ כְּלָל לַעֲשׂוֹת פֶּתַח בַּמְּגוּפָה מִלְמַעְלָה,קכד אֶלָּא נוֹטֵל כָּל הַמְּגוּפָה.קכה, 55 וּלְפִיכָךְ נֶקֶב זֶה שֶׁמִּלְמַעְלָה אֵינוֹ נִרְאֶה וְנֶחְשָׁב כְּפֶתַח כְּלָל. וְלָכֵן לֹא אֲסָרוּהוּ בַּמְּגוּפָה, הוֹאִיל וְאַף הָעוֹשֶׂה בָּהּ נֶקֶב גָּמוּר לְהַכְנִיס וּלְהוֹצִיא56 בּוֹ הַיַּיִן – אֵינוֹ חַיָּב מִן הַתּוֹרָהקכו כְּמוֹ הָעוֹשֶׂה בֶּחָבִית עַצְמָהּ,קכז מִפְּנֵי שֶׁהַמְּגוּפָה אֵינָהּ חֲשׁוּבָה חִבּוּר לְהֶחָבִית,קכח, 54 אַף כְּשֶׁהִיא נְתוּנָה עַל פִּיהָ,קכט אֶלָּא הוּא דָבָר בִּפְנֵי עַצְמוֹ, וְלָכֵן אֵין הַנֶּקֶב שֶׁבָּהּ קָרוּי עָשׂוּי לְהַכְנִיס וּלְהוֹצִיא בּוֹ, לְפִי שֶׁכְּשֶׁמּוֹצִיא וּמַכְנִיס דֶּרֶךְ הַנֶּקֶב שֶׁבָּהּ – הֲרֵי זֶה כְּאִלּוּ מוֹצִיא וּמַכְנִיס דֶּרֶךְ פִּי הֶחָבִית בִּלְבַד, לְפִי שֶׁהַנֶּקֶב אֵינוֹ מוֹעִיל כְּלוּם לְהוֹצָאָה וְהַכְנָסָה זוֹ, שֶׁאַף מִבִּלְעָדוֹ הָיָה יָכוֹל לְהַכְנִיס וּלְהוֹצִיא דֶּרֶךְ פִּי הֶחָבִית, וְאַף שֶׁפִּיהָ סָתוּם בַּמְּגוּפָה – אֵין זוֹ סְתִימָה גְמוּרָה, הוֹאִיל וְאֵין הַמְּגוּפָה חֲשׁוּבָה חִבּוּר לֶחָבִית, לָכֵן לֹא הֶחֱמִירוּ בָּהּ כָּל כָּךְ לֶאֱסוֹר בָּהּ אֲפִלּוּ נֶקֶב שֶׁאֵינוֹ עָשׂוּי אֶלָּא לְהוֹצִיא בִּלְבַד,קל אִם הוּא עָשׂוּי בְּמָקוֹם שֶׁאֵין דֶּרֶךְ לַעֲשׂוֹת שָׁם פֶּתַח, דְּהַיְנוּ עַל גַּבָּה מִלְמַעְלָה.

אֲבָל אָסוּר לַעֲשׂוֹת בָּהּ נֶקֶב בְּצִדָּהּ,קלא, 51 דְּהַיְנוּ בְּמָקוֹם שֶׁהִיא מַשְׁפַּעַת וְיוֹרֶדֶת,קלב לְפִי שֶׁדֶּרֶךְ הוּא לִפְעָמִים לַעֲשׂוֹת בָּהּ פֶּתַח מִן הַצַּד, כְּשֶׁרוֹצֶה שֶׁתְּהֵא הֶחָבִית פְּתוּחָה לְהוֹצִיא מִמֶּנָּה יַיִן תָּדִיר, וְאֵינוֹ רוֹצֶה לִפְתּוֹחַ הַמְּגוּפָה, שֶׁלֹּא יִפֹּל עָפָר אוֹ פְּסֹלֶת בַּיַּיִן,קלג לָכֵן עוֹשֶׂה בָּהּ פֶּתַח פָּתוּחַ מִן הַצַּד:

15 It is forbidden, however, to make a hole in the barrel itself, even from above,57 even though it is not common to make an opening there. [The rationale is that the person] would be liable according to Scriptural Law if [the opening] was made [both] for inflow and outflow,54 even though [the hole] was made from above. Hence, it is forbidden to make [a hole] according to Rabbinic Law, even if it was made only for wine to flow out and even if it was made from above.58

טו אֲבָל בְּגוּפָהּ שֶׁל חָבִית אָסוּר לַעֲשׂוֹת נֶקֶב אֲפִלּוּ מִלְמַעְלָה,קלד, 57 אַף שֶׁאֵין דֶּרֶךְ לַעֲשׂוֹת שָׁם פֶּתַח, לְפִי שֶׁכֵּיוָן שֶׁאִם הָיָה עָשׂוּי לְהַכְנִיס וּלְהוֹצִיא – הָיָה חַיָּב עָלָיו מִן הַתּוֹרָה54 אַף שֶׁעֲשָׂאוֹ מִלְמַעְלָה, לְפִיכָךְ גַּם כְּשֶׁאֵינוֹ עָשׂוּי אֶלָּא לְהוֹצִיא בִּלְבַד – אָסוּר מִדִּבְרֵי סוֹפְרִים אַף שֶׁעֲשָׂאוֹ מִלְמַעְלָה:קלה, 58

16 One who cuts an animal hide and is careful to cut it in the precise measure he requires, e.g., he cuts it for straps and for sandals, is performing [a task that is forbidden] as one of the primary categories of forbidden labor.59 For in the Sanctuary, they would cut the hides of the rams and tachashim60precisely to make a covering for the Tent [of the Sanctuary]. Anyone who cuts an article that is not attached [to the ground or to a living being] – cutting it in a precise measure – performs a derivative [of the forbidden labor] of cutting. For example, one who cuts off the tip of a feather 61 that is thin and soft and fit to be placed in a pillow or a cushion is liable if this is his intent, because he will be careful to cut it to the measure appropriate for his [needs]. Similarly, one who files down the ends of beams so that they will be of equal measure and sharp is liable for [performing the forbidden labor of] cutting.62

Similarly, when a person chops wood into small pieces, if he is careful to cut them in a precise measure, he is liable for cutting.61 Moreover, even if he does not cut them precisely, but chops them into very small pieces so that they will serve as kindling, he is liable for [performing the forbidden labor of] grinding.63 If, however, one chops wood into large pieces and he is not precise about their measures, his actions are forbidden only according to Rabbinic decree. [The Sages issued this prohibition] because [chopping wood] is a mundane activity that denigrates the Shabbos.64[The above applies even when the prohibition against] moving articles that are muktzeh is not involved,65 i.e., the wood was designated [before Shabbos] to be used for permitted purposes and is prepared to be moved.

However, it is permitted as an initial option to cut other objects that are not attached [to the ground or to a living animal] when they are cut in a manner that does not involve mundane activity, provided: a) one does not intend to cut with a precise measure, b) one does not cut [them] into very small pieces, and also, c) cutting them does not involve preparing a k’li, as will be explained in sec. 340[:17].66 Therefore, it is permitted to cut the knots that tie a lamb or a fowl on a spit [to unfasten them], and similarly, it is permitted to cut the stitches that were used to sew closed a stuffed fowl.

טז הַמְחַתֵּךְ אֶת הָעוֹרקלו וּמַקְפִּיד לְחַתְּכוֹ בְּמִדָּה הַצְּרִיכָה לוֹ,קלז כְּגוֹן שֶׁמְּקַצְּעוֹ לִרְצוּעוֹת וְסַנְדָּלִיםקלח – הֲרֵי זֶה אַב מְלָאכָה,59 שֶׁכֵּן בַּמִּשְׁכָּן הָיוּ מְחַתְּכִים עוֹרוֹת אֵילִים וּתְחָשִׁים60 בְּמִדָּה לַעֲשׂוֹתָן מִכְסֶה לָאֹהֶל.קלט

וְכָל הַמְחַתֵּךְ אֵיזֶה דָבָר תָּלוּשׁ וּמַקְפִּיד לְחַתְּכוֹ בְּמִדָּה – הֲרֵי זֶה תּוֹלֶדֶת הַמְחַתֵּךְ.קמ כְּגוֹן הַקּוֹטֵםקמא רֹאשׁ הַנּוֹצָה61 שֶׁהוּא דַק וְרַךְ וְרָאוּי לִתְּנוֹ בְּכַר אוֹ בְּכֶסֶתקמב – חַיָּב אִם מִתְכַּוֵּן לְכָךְ,קמג מִפְּנֵי שֶׁמַּקְפִּיד לְקָטְמוֹ בְּמִדָּה הָרְאוּיָה לוֹ.קמד וְכֵן הַמְגָרֵד רָאשֵׁי כְלוֹנְסוֹתקמה שֶׁיִּהְיוּ שָׁוִין וְחַדִּיןקמו – חַיָּב מִשּׁוּם מְחַתֵּךְ.62

וְכֵן הַמְבַקֵּעַ עֵצִים לַחֲתִיכוֹת, אִם מַקְפִּיד לְחַתְּכָן בְּמִדָּה – חַיָּב מִשּׁוּם מְחַתֵּךְ.קמז, 61 וְאַף אִם אֵינוֹ מַקְפִּיד עַל מִדָּתָן, אִם מְבַקֵּעַ לַחֲתִיכוֹת דַּקּוֹת מְאֹד לְהַבְעִיר בָּהֶן הָאֵשׁ – חַיָּב מִשּׁוּם טוֹחֵן.קמח, 63 אֲבָל הַמְבַקֵּעַ לַחֲתִיכוֹת גְּדוֹלוֹת וְאֵינוֹ מַקְפִּיד עַל מִדָּתָן – אֵין בּוֹ אִסּוּר אֶלָּא מִדִּבְרֵי סוֹפְרִים, מִשּׁוּם שֶׁהוּא מַעֲשֵׂה חֹל וְזִלְזוּל שַׁבָּתקמט, 64 אִם אֵין בָּהֶם מִשּׁוּם טִלְטוּל מֻקְצֶה,65 כְּגוֹן עֵצִים הַמְיֻחָדִים לְתַשְׁמִישׁ וּמוּכָנִים לְטַלְטֵל.קנ

אֲבָל שְׁאָר דָּבָר תָּלוּשׁ שֶׁאֵין בַּחֲתִיכָתוֹ מִשּׁוּם מַעֲשֵׂה חֹל – מֻתָּר לְחַתְּכוֹ לְכַתְּחִלָּה, כָּל שֶׁאֵינוֹ מִתְכַּוֵּן לַחְתּוֹךְ בְּמִדָּה וְאֵינוֹ חוֹתֵךְ לַחֲתִיכוֹת דַּקּוֹת מְאֹד, וְגַם הוּא דָבָר שֶׁאֵין בּוֹ תִּקּוּן כְּלִי בַּחֲתִיכָתוֹ,קנא וּכְמוֹ שֶׁיִּתְבָּאֵר בְּסִימָן ש"מ.קנב, 66 לְפִיכָךְ,קנג מֻתָּר לַחְתּוֹךְ קִשְׁרֵי הַשַּׁפּוּד שֶׁקּוֹשְׁרִים בְּטָלֶה אוֹ עוֹף הַצְּלוּיִים בּוֹ.קנד וְכֵן עוֹפוֹת מְמֻלָּאִים שֶׁתְּפָרָן – מֻתָּר לַחְתּוֹךְ חוּט הַתְּפִירָה:קנה

17 Similarly, [one may cut open] seals for keilim. For example, if the covers of a chest, a counter, and a closet were tied to them with a rope, it is permitted to cut the rope,67 even with a knife,68 or to split it open,68 i.e., to undo its braiding so that one can open [these storage units] and take out their contents. Needless to say, it is permitted to untie the knot68 because it is not a permanent knot, since it is made to be untied [and retied] frequently.

True, the rope is intended to attach the cover to the storage unit, and when one cuts it or splits it open, he undoes their connection. Nevertheless, doing so is not considered as [performing the forbidden labor] of demolishing. [The rationale is that connecting a cover] via a rope is [an] inferior [form of connection] because it is not that durable. Thus, when one undoes it, he is taking apart an inferior structure [for which one is not liable. One is liable for] demolishing a k’li only when he takes apart something that can be considered a structure in the full sense.

For this reason, it is only permitted to cut or to split open a rope or the like. By contrast, it is forbidden to split or break open wooden or metal fasteners when their key is lost, since they are durably [fastened. Hence,] this is considered demolishing in the full sense, which is forbidden even with regard to keilim.69

Similarly, it is forbidden to remove the hinges that are behind a counter, (i.e., the pegs that join the countertop to its rear wall. To explain: Pegs are inserted into small holes in two interlocking iron [hinges], one of which is affixed to the countertop and one is affixed to the [rear] wall. Inserting the peg into both of them joins them together and connects them with each other. This peg has one head that is somewhat thick,70 and on its other side, it has a hole into which is inserted a small bolt.)71 Since [the pegs] are firmly inserted, [taking apart the hinge] is [considered] demolishing in the full sense.

Similarly, it is forbidden to remove the bands that surround a wooden barrel constructed of many staves held together by such bands. [One’s] removal of these bands is considered as demolishing in a full sense.

Nevertheless, one may follow the leniency of having a non-Jew break open fasteners and remove hinges and bands. [The rationale is that] there are authorities who maintain that [the forbidden labors of] building and demolishing do not apply with regard to keilim, even when one is building or demolishing a structure in a complete sense. [According to these authorities, our Sages’] statement that one is liable for a sin-offering for putting the door of a chest, counter, or closet in place and firmly inserting it,72 or for putting together a k’li with removable parts and firmly inserting them,73 applies only because [through these actions] one is preparing a k’li. Thus, he is liable for [performing the forbidden labor of] makeh bepatish.9 However, when one takes apart an entity that is firmly inserted and even when one totally demolishes and breaks a complete k’li, there is no prohibition involved at all if [the act] is performed for one’s Shabbos necessities.74 One may rely on their ruling with regard to instructing a non-Jew [to perform such an activity] if it is for one’s Shabbos necessities.75

יז וְכֵן חוֹתָמוֹת שֶׁבַּכֵּלִים, כְּגוֹן שִׁדָּה תֵּבָה וּמִגְדָּל שֶׁהַכִּסּוּי שֶׁלָּהֶם קָשׁוּר בָּהֶם בְּחֶבֶל – מֻתָּר לַחְתּוֹךְ הַחֶבֶלקנו, 67 אֲפִלּוּ בְּסַכִּין,קנז, 68 אוֹ לְהַפְקִיעוֹ,קנח, 68 דְּהַיְנוּ לְהַתִּיר קְלִיעָתוֹ,קנט כְּדֵי לְפָתְחָם לִקַּח מַה שֶּׁבְּתוֹכָם. וְאֵין צָרִיךְ לוֹמַר שֶׁמֻּתָּר לְהַתִּירקס הַקֶּשֶׁר,68 שֶׁהֲרֵי אֵינוֹ קֶשֶׁר שֶׁל קַיָּמָא, שֶׁהוּא עָשׂוּי לְהַתִּירוֹ תָּדִיר.קסא

וְאַף שֶׁהַחֶבֶל עָשׂוּי לְחַבֵּר הַכִּסּוּי עִם הַכְּלִי, וּכְשֶׁחוֹתְכוֹ אוֹ מַפְקִיעוֹ הֲרֵי זֶה סוֹתֵר חִבּוּרָם – אֵין בָּזֶה מִשּׁוּם סְתִירָה, לְפִי שֶׁהַחֶבֶל הוּא חִבּוּר גָּרוּעַ שֶׁאֵינוֹ חָזָק כָּל כָּךְ, וּכְשֶׁסּוֹתְרוֹ הֲרֵי הוּא סוֹתֵר בִּנְיָן גָּרוּעַ, וְאֵין סְתִירָה בְּכֵלִים אֶלָּא כְּשֶׁסּוֹתֵר בִּנְיָן גָּמוּר.קסב לְפִיכָךְ, אֵינוֹ מֻתָּר לַחְתּוֹךְ וּלְהַפְקִיעַ אֶלָּא בְּחֶבֶל וְכַיּוֹצֵא בוֹ, אֲבָל פּוֹתְחוֹת שֶׁל עֵץ וְשֶׁל מַתֶּכֶת שֶׁהֵם חֲזָקִים – אָסוּר לְהַפְקִיעַ וּלְשַׁבֵּר אִם נֶאֱבַד הַמַּפְתֵּחַ, שֶׁזֶּהוּ סְתִירָה גְמוּרָה הָאֲסוּרָה אַף בְּכֵלִים.קסג, 69

וְכֵן אָסוּר לְהָסִיר הַצִּירִים שֶׁאֲחוֹרֵי הַתֵּבָהקסד (דְּהַיְנוּ הַיְתֵדוֹת שֶׁמְּחַבְּרִים כִּסּוּי הַתֵּבָה עִם דָּפְנָהּקסה מֵאֲחוֹרַיִם, שֶׁתּוֹחֲבִין יָתֵד בְּחוֹרִים קְטַנִּים שֶׁבִּשְׁנֵי בַּרְזֶלִּים מְשֻׁלָּבִים, אֶחָד קָבוּעַ בַּכִּסּוּי וְאֶחָד קָבוּעַ בַּדֹּפֶן, וְעַל יְדֵי הַיָּתֵד הַתָּקוּעַ בִּשְׁנֵיהֶם יַחַד הֵם מְחֻבָּרִים וּמְשֻׁלָּבִים זֶה עִם זֶה, וְיָתֵד זֶה רֹאשׁוֹ אֶחָד עָב קְצָת70 וְרֹאשׁוֹ הַשֵּׁנִי יֵשׁ בּוֹ נֶקֶב וְתוֹחֲבִין בּוֹ יָתֵד קָטָן),71 מִפְּנֵי שֶׁהֵם תְּקוּעִים בְּחֹזֶק, וַהֲרֵי זוֹ סְתִירָה גְמוּרָה.קסו וְכֵן אָסוּר לְהָסִיר הַחֲשׁוּקִים מֵחָבִית שֶׁל עֵץ הָעֲשׂוּיָה מִנְּסָרִים הַרְבֵּה וְהֵם מְחֻבָּרִים עַל יְדֵי הַחֲשׁוּקִים שֶׁעֲלֵיהֶם, וּכְשֶׁמֵּסִיר הַחֲשׁוּקִים – הֲרֵי זוֹ סְתִירָה גְמוּרָה.קסז

וּמִכָּל מָקוֹם, עַל יְדֵי נָכְרִי יֵשׁ לְהָקֵל,קסח בֵּין בִּשְׁבִירַת פּוֹתְחוֹת, בֵּין בַּהֲסָרַת הַצִּירִים וְהַחֲשׁוּקִים, לְפִי שֶׁיֵּשׁ אוֹמְרִיםקסט שֶׁאֵין בִּנְיָן וּסְתִירָה בְּכֵלִים אֲפִלּוּ בְּבִנְיָן גָּמוּר וּסְתִירָה גְמוּרָה, וְלֹא אָמְרוּ שֶׁהַמַּחֲזִיר דֶּלֶת שִׁדָּה תֵּבָה וּמִגְדָּל וְתוֹקְעָהּ בְּחֹזֶקקע, 72 וְכֵן הַמַּחֲזִיר כְּלִי שֶׁל פְּרָקִים וְתָקַע בְּחֹזֶקקעא, 73 חַיָּב חַטָּאת, אֶלָּא מִפְּנֵי שֶׁהוּא מְתַקֵּן כְּלִי, וְחַיָּב מִשּׁוּם "מַכֶּה בַּפַּטִּישׁ",קעב, 9 אֲבָל כְּשֶׁסּוֹתֵר דָּבָר הַתָּקוּעַ בְּחֹזֶק וַאֲפִלּוּ סוֹתֵר וְשׁוֹבֵר כְּלִי שָׁלֵם לְגַמְרֵי – אֵין בָּזֶה שׁוּם אִסּוּר כְּלָלקעג אִם הוּא לְצֹרֶךְ הַשַּׁבָּת.קעד, 74 וְיֵשׁ לִסְמוֹךְ עַל דִּבְרֵיהֶם לְעִנְיַן אֲמִירָה לְנָכְרִי,קעה אִם הוּא לְצֹרֶךְ הַשַּׁבָּת:קעו, 75

18 [The following laws apply regarding] baskets for dates and figs,74 i.e., containers made from date fronds, in which are placed figs and dates that did not ripen in the sun, so that they may fully ripen:76 If [the baskets’] cover is tied to them with a rope, the rope may be split open77 or cut,74 as explained above.78 Moreover, even the actual substance of these containers themselves may be split or cut open, because the structure of a container made from date fronds is an inferior structure that is not made to last long. Taking it apart is comparable to breaking open nuts and almonds for the sake of their fruit [which is permitted].79

יח חוֹתָלוֹת שֶׁל תְּמָרִים וְשֶׁל גְּרוֹגְרוֹת,קעז, 74 דְּהַיְנוּ כֵּלִים הָעֲשׂוּיִם מִכַּפּוֹת תְּמָרִיםקעח וּמַנִּיחִין בְּתוֹכָם גְּרוֹגְרוֹת אוֹ תְּמָרִים שֶׁלֹּא נִתְבַּשְּׁלוּ בַּחַמָּה שֶׁיִּגְמְרוּ שָׁם בִּשּׁוּלָם,קעט, 76 אִם הַכִּסּוּי קָשׁוּר בָּהֶם בְּחֶבֶלקפ – מֻתָּר לְהַפְקִיעַקפא הַחֶבֶל77 אוֹ לְחַתְּכוֹ,קפב, 74 כְּמוֹ שֶׁנִּתְבָּאֵר לְמַעְלָה.קפג, 78 וַאֲפִלּוּ גּוּפָן שֶׁל כֵּלִים אֵלּוּ מֻתָּר לְהַפְקִיעַ וְלַחְתּוֹךְ,קפד מִפְּנֵי שֶׁבִּנְיַן כֵּלִים אֵלּוּ הָעֲשׂוּיִים מִכַּפּוֹת תְּמָרִים הוּא בִּנְיָן גָּרוּעַ, שֶׁאֵינוֹ עָשׂוּי לְהִתְקַיֵּם הַרְבֵּה,קפה וּכְשֶׁסּוֹתְרוֹ אֵינוֹ אֶלָּא כְּמִי שֶׁשּׁוֹבֵר אֱגוֹזִים וּשְׁקֵדִים בִּשְׁבִיל הָאֹכֶל שֶׁבָּהֶם:קפו, 79

19 [The following laws apply regarding] a seal in the ground,80 e.g., the door of a cistern that is tied to it with a rope [see fig. 21]: It is permitted to untie the knot because it is not a permanent knot, since it is made to be untied [and retied] frequently. If, however, one cannot untie the knot, it is forbidden to split or cut open its braid80 because of the prohibition against demolishing. [The rationale is that the forbidden labors of] building and demolishing apply to all objects that are attached to the ground, even if they are not structures in a complete sense.

When does the above apply? When the door was placed there to remain, [i.e.,] not to be removed on Shabbos; rather, when [one] desires to open the cistern, he unties the knot and opens the door, but he does not remove [the door] entirely. Instead, it remains affixed there for a period of time. If, however, [the door] is not intended to be maintained there at all, [the prohibition against] demolishing does not apply, not in splitting open nor cutting the rope, and not even in removing the door itself. [There is, however,] an exception [to this principle]: when the door revolves on a hinge and the person removes the hinge from its hole, as stated in sec. 313[:8].

For the above reason,81 it is permitted to remove a piece of wood placed [at the opening of] an oven and sealed there with mud, as mentioned in sec. 259[:7. The rationale is that the wood] is not meant to remain there at all, but rather to be removed on Shabbos.

יט חוֹתָמוֹת שֶׁבַּקַּרְקַע,קפז, 80 כְּגוֹן דֶּלֶת שֶׁל בּוֹר שֶׁקָּשׁוּר בּוֹ בְּחֶבֶלקפח – מֻתָּר לְהַתִּיר הַקֶּשֶׁר,קפט מִפְּנֵי שֶׁאֵינוֹ קֶשֶׁר שֶׁל קַיָּמָא, שֶׁהוּא עָשׂוּי לְהַתִּירוֹ תָּדִיר.קצ אֲבָל אִם אֵינוֹ יָכוֹל לְהַתִּיר הַקֶּשֶׁר – אָסוּר לְהַפְקִיעַ קְלִיעַת הַחֶבֶל אוֹ לְחַתְּכוֹ,קצא מִשּׁוּם אִסּוּר סְתִירָה,קצב, 80 שֶׁבְּכָל דָּבָר הַמְחֻבָּר לַקַּרְקַע יֵשׁ בּוֹ בִּנְיָן וּסְתִירָה,קצג אֲפִלּוּ אֵינוֹ בִּנְיָן גָּמוּר.קצד

בַּמֶּה דְּבָרִים אֲמוּרִים? כְּשֶׁהַדֶּלֶת עֲשׂוּיָה שָׁם לְקִיּוּם עַל מְנָת שֶׁלֹּא לַהֲסִירָהּ בְּשַׁבָּת,קצה אֶלָּא כְּשֶׁרוֹצֶה לִפְתּוֹחַ הַבּוֹר מַתִּיר הַקֶּשֶׁר וּפוֹתֵחַ הַדֶּלֶת, אֲבָל אֵינוֹ מְסִירָהּ מִשָּׁם לְגַמְרֵי, אֶלָּא הִיא קְבוּעָה שָׁם לְאֵיזֶה זְמַן, אֲבָל אִם אֵינָהּ עֲשׂוּיָה לְקִיּוּם כְּלָל – אֵין בָּהּ מִשּׁוּם סְתִירָה, לֹא בְּהַפְקָעַת הַחֶבֶל אוֹ חֲתִיכָתוֹ, וְלֹא אֲפִלּוּ בַּהֲסָרַת הַדֶּלֶת עַצְמָהּ, אֶלָּא אִם כֵּן הִיא סוֹבֶבֶת עַל צִירָהּ וְהוּא שׁוֹמֵט הַצִּיר מֵחוֹרוֹ, כְּמוֹ שֶׁנִּתְבָּאֵר בְּסִימָן שי"ג.קצו

וּמִטַּעַם זֶה81 מֻתָּר לְהָסִיר הַדַּף שֶׁמְּשִׂימִין לִפְנֵי הַתַּנּוּר וְשׁוֹרְקִין אוֹתוֹ בְּטִיט מֵעֶרֶב שַׁבָּת כְּמוֹ שֶׁנִּתְבָּאֵר בְּסִימָן רנ"ט,קצז מִפְּנֵי שֶׁאֵינוֹ עָשׂוּי לְקִיּוּם כְּלָל אֶלָּא עַל מְנָת לַהֲסִירוֹ בְּשַׁבָּת:קצח

Fig. 21: A cistern whose door is tied with a rope
Fig. 21: A cistern whose door is tied with a rope

20 Just as it is forbidden to open any [type of] hole because of a decree [prohibiting] preparing a k’li, as explained above,82 so too it is forbidden to close any hole, because one is [similarly] preparing a k’li. Therefore, it is forbidden to seal a hole in a barrel even with a substance that does not smear,83 and thus one will not [violate the prohibition against] squeezing out [liquids]. For example, [it is forbidden] to plug [the hole] with a rock or a piece of wood that was prepared to be used [for this purpose] while it was still day [on Friday] so that it would are not forbidden to be moved.84 It is, however, permitted to place food or the like in the hole to set it aside85 [despite the fact that, as a matter course,] the hole is sealed.

It is permitted for a Torah scholar to act with guile with regard to the above, and close a hole with food or the like and tell any observer that he is merely setting it aside.86 [This leniency is granted,] because even if he would not act with guile and say that his intent is to close the hole, only a Rabbinic prohibition would be involved.87 Moreover, since he is a Torah scholar, [we are not concerned that] he will [come to violate the prohibition outright] without using guile.

An unlearned person, by contrast, was not granted license to act with guile, lest he [seal a hole] without any guile and instead of saying that he intends to set aside the food, [he will say that] he is sealing the hole.

There are, however, authorities who also permit an unlearned person [to make use of this leniency]. One may rely on their words to grant leniency to a Torah scholar, permitting him to act with guile with regard to this matter in the present age; however, with regard to other matters, it is said that the distinction of Torah scholars does not apply in the present age.88

All the above applies with regard to closing a hole with a sealant that is not commonly used. It is, however, permitted to close a hole with a piece of wood with which it is common to close [such a hole], i.e., to close a hole through which wine flows [from the barrel] with a bung. [This leniency applies] even if the hole was not made to be opened and closed frequently, [but] only on rare occasions, because the person does not appear to be preparing a k’li since it is always common to close [such a hole] with this [type of] piece of wood.89 Nevertheless, if the bung is lost, it is forbidden to close a hole from which wine flows out with a substance that is not prepared90 to serve as a bung, except for a Torah scholar who may do so using guile, as explained above.

כ כְּשֵׁם שֶׁאָסוּר לִפְתּוֹחַ כָּל נֶקֶב מִשּׁוּם גְּזֵרַת תִּקּוּן כְּלִי כְּמוֹ שֶׁנִּתְבָּאֵר לְמַעְלָהקצט, 82 – כָּךְ אָסוּר לִסְתּוֹם כָּל נֶקֶב,ר מִפְּנֵי שֶׁהוּא כִּמְתַקֵּן כְּלִי.רא לְפִיכָךְ, אָסוּר לִסְתּוֹם נֶקֶב הֶחָבִית, אֲפִלּוּ בְּדָבָר שֶׁאֵינוֹ מִתְמָרֵחַ83 וְאֵינוֹ בָא לִידֵי סְחִיטָה, כְּגוֹן שֶׁיִּסְתּוֹם בִּצְרוֹר אוֹ בְּקֵיסָםרב שֶׁהוּכְנוּ לְתַשְׁמִישׁ מִבְּעוֹד יוֹם, שֶׁאֵין בָּהֶם מִשּׁוּם אִסּוּר טִלְטוּל.רג, 84 אֲבָל אִם מַנִּיחַ אֵיזֶה אֹכֶל וְכָל כַּיּוֹצֵא בוֹ בְּתוֹךְ הַנֶּקֶב כְּדֵי לְהַצְנִיעוֹ,85 וְנִמְצָא הַנֶּקֶב נִסְתָּם – מֻתָּר.רד

וּמֻתָּר לְתַלְמִיד חָכָם לְהַעֲרִים בְּדָבָר זֶה, שֶׁיִּסְתּוֹם הַנֶּקֶב בְּאֵיזֶה אֹכֶל אוֹ כָּל כַּיּוֹצֵא בוֹ, וְיֹאמַר לְכָל רוֹאֶה שֶׁאֵינוֹ מִתְכַּוֵּן אֶלָּא לְהַצְנִיעוֹ,רה, 86 הוֹאִיל וְאַף אִם יַעֲשֶׂה בְּלֹא הַעֲרָמָה שֶׁיֹּאמַר שֶׁמִּתְכַּוֵּן לִסְתּוֹם – אֵין כָּאן אִסּוּר אֶלָּא מִדִּבְרֵי סוֹפְרִים,רו, 87 וְגַם כֵּיוָן שֶׁהוּא תַּלְמִיד חָכָם לֹא יָבֹא לַעֲשׂוֹת בְּלֹא הַעֲרָמָה.רז

אֲבָל לְעַם הָאָרֶץ לֹא הִתִּירוּ לְהַעֲרִים,רח שֶׁמָּא יָבֹא לַעֲשׂוֹת בְּלֹא הַעֲרָמָה,רט שֶׁלֹּא יֹאמַר כְּלָל שֶׁהוּא מִתְכַּוֵּן כְּדֵי לְהַצְנִיעוֹ אֶלָּא כְּדֵי לִסְתּוֹם הַנֶּקֶב.

וְיֵשׁ מַתִּירִיםרי בָּזֶה אַף לְעַם הָאָרֶץ. וְיֵשׁ לִסְמוֹךְ עַל דִּבְרֵיהֶם לְהָקֵל לְתַלְמִיד חָכָם, שֶׁמֻּתָּר לוֹ לְהַעֲרִים בְּדָבָר זֶה אַף בִּזְמַן הַזֶּה שֶׁאֵין לָנוּ תַּלְמִידֵי חֲכָמִים לְעִנְיַן שְׁאָר דְּבָרִים.ריא, 88

וְכָל זֶה לִסְתּוֹם הַנֶּקֶב בְּדָבָר שֶׁאֵין דֶּרֶךְ לִסְתּוֹם בּוֹ, אֲבָל מֻתָּר לִסְתּוֹם בְּעֵץ שֶׁדֶּרֶךְ לִסְתּוֹם בּוֹ,ריב דְּהַיְנוּ לִסְתּוֹם בְּבַרְזָאריג אֶת הַנֶּקֶב הֶעָשׂוּי לְהוֹצִיא בּוֹ יַיִן, אֲפִלּוּ אֵינוֹ עָשׂוּי לְפָתְחוֹ וּלְסָתְמוֹ תָּדִיר אֶלָּא לְעִתִּים רְחוֹקִים, מִפְּנֵי שֶׁאֵינוֹ נִרְאֶה כִּמְתַקֵּן כְּלִי בִּסְתִימָה זוֹ, כֵּיוָן שֶׁדֶּרֶךְ הוּא לְעוֹלָם לְסָתְמוֹ בְּעֵץ זֶה.ריד, 89 אֲבָל בְּדָבָר שֶׁאֵינוֹ מְתֻקָּן90 לְבַרְזָא – אָסוּר לִסְתּוֹם בּוֹ הַנֶּקֶב הֶעָשׂוּי לְהוֹצִיא בּוֹ יַיִן אִם נֶאֶבְדָה הַבַּרְזָא, אֶלָּא אִם כֵּן עַל יְדֵי הַעֲרָמָה לְתַלְמִיד חָכָם, כְּמוֹ שֶׁנִּתְבָּאֵר:

21 One who smears a poultice – i.e., smoothes and levels the crevices in it91 – and similarly, one who smears wax, tar, or other substances that are smeared – [doing so] until their surfaces are smooth – performs a derivative [of the forbidden labor] of smoothing a hide, i.e., removing wool or hair from a hide until its surface is smooth. [Smoothing a hide] is one of the primary categories of [forbidden] labor because it was carried out in [the construction of] the Sanctuary, as explained in sec. 302[16].

For this reason, a hole should not be sealed with wax or the like.92 [This stringency applies] even when one does not insert the wax into the hole, but merely places [the wax] above [the hole’s] opening. In this instance, he does not appear to be preparing a k’li with this sealing93 since the sealant does not enter [the space] within the thickness of the walls of the k’li, inside the space of the hole, but remains merely on the outside of the k’li. [Moreover, this applies] even when there is no prohibition against carrying this wax, [i.e., it is not muktzeh] because it was prepared to be used while it was still day [on Friday]. It is nevertheless forbidden to seal [a utensil] with it. [This is] a decree [instituted] lest one smear wax and have it cling to the walls of the k’li around the hole, [evening out] its surface until it becomes smooth, thus becoming liable [for performing the forbidden labor of] smoothing. [Moreover,] it is even forbidden to seal [a hole] with fat or thick oil; [this is] a decree lest [one will come to seal it with] wax.94

In this instance, it is forbidden to act with guile and say that one intends merely to set aside the substance, even if one is a Torah scholar. [The rationale is that] if he uses wax, it is very likely that one will become liable for a sin-offering,95 for he [may] forget and smear it in his ordinary weekday manner so that the seal will be thoroughly attached. For this reason, it is [also] forbidden to use fat and oil, as a decree [safeguarding against] the use of wax or the like.

כא הַמְמָרֵחַ רְטִיָּה,רטו דְּהַיְנוּ שֶׁמַּחֲלִיקרטז וּמַשְׁוֶהריז הַגּוּמוֹת שֶׁבָּהּ,91 וְכֵן הַמְמָרֵחַ שַׁעֲוָה אוֹ זֶפֶת וְכָל כַּיּוֹצֵא בָהֶן מִדְּבָרִים הַמִּתְמָרְחִים עַד שֶׁהֶחֱלִיק פְּנֵיהֶם – הֲרֵי זֶה תּוֹלֶדֶת מְמַחֵק אֶת הָעוֹר,ריח דְּהַיְנוּ שֶׁמְּגָרֵר אֶת הַצֶּמֶר אוֹ הַשֵּׂעָר מֵעַל הָעוֹר עַד שֶׁמַּחֲלִיק פָּנָיו, שֶׁהוּא אַב מְלָאכָה, שֶׁכֵּן הָיוּ עוֹשִׂין בַּמִּשְׁכָּן, כְּמוֹ שֶׁנִּתְבָּאֵר בְּסִימָן ש"ב.ריט

לְפִיכָךְ, אֵין סוֹתְמִין נֶקֶב בְּשַׁעֲוָהרכ וְכַיּוֹצֵא בָהּ,רכא, 92 אֲפִלּוּ אֵינוֹ מַכְנִיס הַשַּׁעֲוָה בְּתוֹךְ הַנֶּקֶב אֶלָּא מַנִּיחָהּ עַל פִּי הַנֶּקֶב, שֶׁאֵינוֹ נִרְאֶה כִּמְתַקֵּן כְּלִי בִּסְתִימָה זוֹ,93 כֵּיוָן שֶׁאֵין הַסְּתִימָה נִכְנֶסֶת בְּתוֹךְ עֳבִי דָּפְנֵי הַכְּלִי שֶׁבִּמְקוֹם הַנֶּקֶב, אֶלָּא הִיא עַל פִּי הַכְּלִי מִגַּבּוֹ.רכב וְגַם אֲפִלּוּ אִם אֵין בְּשַׁעֲוָה זוֹ מִשּׁוּם אִסּוּר טִלְטוּל, כְּגוֹן שֶׁהֱכִינָהּ לְתַשְׁמִישׁ מִבְּעוֹד יוֹםרכג – אַף עַל פִּי כֵן אָסוּר לִסְתּוֹם בָּהּ, מִשּׁוּם גְּזֵרָה שֶׁמָּא יְמָרֵחַ הַשַּׁעֲוָהרכד לְדָבְקָה בְּדָפְנֵי הַכְּלִי סְבִיב הַנֶּקֶברכה עַד שֶׁיַּחֲלִיק פָּנֶיהָ שָׁם,רכו וְיִתְחַיֵּב מִשּׁוּם מְמַחֵק.רכז וַאֲפִלּוּ בְּשֻׁמָּןרכח אוֹ בְּשֶׁמֶן עָברכט אָסוּר לִסְתּוֹם, גְּזֵרָה מִשּׁוּם שַׁעֲוָה.רל, 94

וְאָסוּר לְהַעֲרִים בְּכָאן וְלוֹמַר שֶׁאֵינוֹ מִתְכַּוֵּן אֶלָּא לְהַצְנִיעוֹ, אֲפִלּוּ הוּא תַּלְמִיד חָכָם,רלא שֶׁכֵּיוָן שֶׁבְּשַׁעֲוָה קָרוֹב הַדָּבָר מְאֹד לָבֹא לִידֵי חִיּוּב חַטָּאת,95 שֶׁיִּשְׁכַּח וִימָרֵחַ כְּדַרְכּוֹ בְּחֹל כְּדֵי שֶׁתְּהֵא הַסְּתִימָה מְהֻדֶּקֶת יָפֶה, לָכֵן אָסְרוּ גַם בְּשֻׁמָּן וְשֶׁמֶן, גְּזֵרָה מִשּׁוּם שַׁעֲוָה וְכַיּוֹצֵא בָהּ: