Friday, May 2, 2014

Rambam (Eyin Mishpat) on Daf Yomi, Beitzah 32 (Rosh Chodesh Iyar, 5774)


 
Laws of Shevitat Yom Tov

Chapter 2

 

Halacha 12

 

It is forbidden to chop wood that had been placed in a pile of beams, for it is muktzeh. Nor may one [chop wood] from a beam that broke on a holiday, because it is nolad. Similarly, utensils that broke on a holiday may not be used for kindling, because they are nolad.

 

However, one may use utensils that are intact or utensils that were broken before the commencement of a holiday for kindling, for they were prepared to be used for purposes [other than that for which they were originally suitable] before the holiday.

 

Similarly, when nuts or almonds were eaten before the commencement of a holiday, their shells may be used for kindling on the holiday. If, however, they were eaten on the holiday, their shells may not be used for kindling.

 

There are, however, versions [of the Talmud] that read: If they were eaten before nightfall, we may not use their shells for kindling, because they have become muktzeh. If, by contrast, they were eaten on the holiday, they may be used for kindling, because they are considered to be designated for use, because of the food [they contained].

 

 

Chapter 3

 

Halacha 10

 

We may not bake in a new earthenware oven on a holiday. [This is] a decree [instituted] lest [the oven] crack open, spoiling the bread, and tainting the person's festive joy.

 

We may not rake out [the coals and ash] of an oven or a range; we may, however, press them down.If baking or roasting in it is impossible unless we rake out [the coals and ash], it is permitted to do so.

 

We may seal the opening of an oven with mud or sediment from a river bank, provided it was made soft on the previous day. It is forbidden to mix mud on a holiday. We may, however, mix ashes with water [to form a clay-like mixture] to seal the opening of an oven.

 

 

Chapter 4

 

Halacha 3

 

It is forbidden to lift the opening of a lamp upward so that it will be extinguished, nor may one remove oil from it, nor may one cut off the top of the wick with a utensil. One may, however, flick the top of the wick with one's hand [to remove the charred portion].

 

When a bundle of wood has been lit in a fire, it is permitted to remove any piece of wood that did not catch fire. This does not resemble removing oil from a lamp.

 

Halacha 7

 

We may not blow [on a fire] with a bellows on a holiday, so that we do not follow a craftsman's practice. One may, however, blow with a tube.

 

We may not make charcoal. Nor may we braid wicks, singe them, or cut them in two with a utensil. One may, however, squeeze [a wick until it becomes firmer] by hand. [Similarly, one may] soak it in oil, and one may place it between two lamps [with one end in each], and light it in the middle, thus causing the wick to be divided for each of the lamps.

 

Halacha 8

 

It is forbidden to break an earthenware shard or cut a piece of papyrus over which to roast [fish]. One may not break a reed to use as a spit with which to roast salted [meat or fish]. When a spit has become bent, fixing it is forbidden, even when one can straighten it with one's hands.

 

When two utensils have been attached from the time they were originally fashioned - e.g., two lamps or two cups - it is forbidden to break them into two, since by doing so one makes a utensil fit for use.

 

Halacha 11

 

A woman should not walk among piles of wood to look for a branch [appropriate to use as a spit] for roasting. One may not support a pot or a door with a block of wood, for carrying wood on a holiday was permitted solely for the purpose of kindling.

 

Halacha 13

 

Utensils made of detachable parts - e.g., candelabra made up of several pieces or a chair or table made up of pieces - may be constructed on a holiday provided one does not firmly attach the pieces. [This is permissible] because the forbidden labor of building does not apply to utensils.

 

It is permitted to stack stones to use as a toilet. [Stacking them creates] only a temporary structure, and because of respect for human dignity [the Sages] did not institute any restrictions [regarding this matter].

 

Halacha 14

 

When a person who makes a fire on a holiday sets up the wood, he should not place one log on top of the other in an orderly fashion, for this looks like building. Although this is merely a temporary structure, it is forbidden. Instead, he should either unload all the logs in disarray, or arrange them in order using an irregular manner.

 

What is implied? One should place a log on top and then place another below it, and then another even lower, until one reaches the ground.

 

 

Chapter 5

 

Halacha 3

 

We may not direct an animal with a staff, nor may a blind man go out with a cane,4 nor may a shepherd carry his pack.

 

Neither a man nor a woman may be carried out in a chair, so that the ordinary weekday practice will not be followed. A person whose presence is required by many may be carried out on a chair on another person's back. Similarly, he may be carried out in a litter, even on people's shoulders.

 

 

Laws of Keilim (Utensils)

 

Chapter 15

 

Halacha 1

 

An earthenware container does not become susceptible to ritual impurity until the tasks necessary to finish it are completed.

 

When are the tasks necessary to finish it completed? When they are fired in a kiln. An oven: When it is heated to bake donuts. A range with two openings: When it is heated so that a stirred egg can be baked over it in a frying pan. A range with one opening: If it was made for baking, the measure is the same as that of an oven. If it was made for cooking, the measure is the same as that of a range.

 

 


Laws of Issurei Biah

 

Chapter 19

 

Halacha 17

 

We operate under the presumption that all families are of acceptable lineage and it is permitted to marry their descendants as an initial and preferred option. Nevertheless, if you see two families continuously quarreling with each other, you see one family that is always involved with strife and controversy, or you see a person who frequently quarrels with people at large and is very insolent, we suspect [their lineage]. It is fitting to distance oneself from such people for these are disqualifying characteristics.

 

Similarly, a person who always slurs the lineage of others, casting aspersions on the ancestry of families or individuals, claiming that they are mamzerim, we are suspicious that he himself is a mamzer. Similarly, if he calls others servants, we suspect that he is a servant.

 

Similarly, whenever a person is characterized by insolence and cruelty, hating people and not showing kindness to them, we seriously suspect that he is a Gibeonite. For the distinguishing signs of the holy nation of Israel is that they are meek, merciful, and kind. With regard to the Gibeonites, [II Samuel 21:2] states: "The Gibeonites are not of the Jewish people." For they acted extremely brazenly and would not be appeased. They did not show mercy to the sons of [King] Saul, nor did they show kindness to the Jews to forgive the descendants of their king, while [the Jews] had shown them kindness and allowed them to live.

 

 

Laws of Matanot Ani’im

 

Chapter 10

 

Halacha 2

 

A person will never become impoverished from giving charity. No harm nor damage will ever be caused because of charity, as [ibid. 32:17] states: "And the deed of charity is peace." Everyone who is merciful evokes mercy from others, as [Deuteronomy 13:18] states: "And He shall grant you mercy and shower mercy upon you and multiply you." Whenever a person is cruel and does not show mercy, his lineage is suspect, for cruelty is found only among the gentiles, as [Jeremiah] 3:42] states: "They are cruel and will not show mercy."

 

The entire Jewish people and all those who attach themselves to them are as brothers, as [Deuteronomy 14:1] states: "You are children unto God your Lord." And if a brother will not show mercy to a brother, who will show mercy to them? To whom do the poor of Israel lift up their eyes? To the gentiles who hate them and pursue them? Behold their eyes are pointed to their brethren alone.

 

 

Laws of Shabat

 

Chapter 23

 

Halacha 6

 

One may not cut a reed, since this resembles preparing a utensil. If [a reed] is cut [before the commencement of the Sabbath], even though it has not been adjusted, it may be inserted into a hole in the barrel on the Sabbath. We are not concerned that one might adjust it.

 

It is forbidden to place a myrtle leaf or the like in the opening of a cask so that the wine will flow through it, since this resembles making a faucet on the Sabbath. We may not break a shard or tear a piece of paper, since this resembles preparing a utensil.

 
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