Skip to main content

Thought for the Day: Not Quite Cunning Evasion, But Close

People used to wear a kind of garment that as keep closed by putting deely-bob under the garment on one side, bunching the cloth around the deely-bob, then wrapping a cord from the other side of the garment around the neck of the bunched up cloth under the deely-bob; these keeping the garment closed.  Think toga.

Imagine a kid sitting in the middle of a public thouroghfare on Shabbos and screaming at the top of his lungs that he wants a walnut.  His frantic mother has just found a walnut at home and is now trying to figure out how to get it it out to him (the little brat... I mean sweetheart won't budge without his walnut).  She sends her totally frustated husband to run to ask R' Fuerst what to do.  He get there and finds two groups queued up and he joins one; patiently waits his turn.  Finally, there is no one between him and the rav; R' Fuerst turns to him and says, "One moment; other line."

The Shulchan Aruch OC 303:23 says that if a mother needs to take a walnut out to her kid  in the public thoroughfare and so she uses the walnut as a replacement for her toga's deely-bob; then it depends.  If he is in a karmelis, go for it; if he is in a r'shus harabim, sorry... the kid's not getting his walnut out there.

The p'sak is a little funny, because we usually don't distinguish between a karmelis and r'shus harabim when it comes to carrying, just like we don't distinguish chicken and beef when it comes to mixing with milk.  The Mishna Brura makes a funny comment (sk 76): it is assur (in the r'shus harabim) because if looks like a cunning evasion (aka haramah).  "Looks like"?  Seems to be to be pretty straight out a haramah, to me!  After asking around, I discovered a cool distinction.  A haramah is when I create an unnecessary situation in order to permit some basically b'di'avad action.  In this case, though, holding the garment together is actually necessary, it's simply that one could use the deely-bob just as well as the nut.  Using the nut, then, is not a real haramah, but seems awfully close.  In such a case, the Shulchan Aruch forbids the subterfuge if not using it would an issur d'oraisa, but permits the subterfuge if using it only avoids a d'rabanan and there is a necessity.

Another (more common, in my experience) example is when you want to put water into the crock pot insert after lunch so that cleanup will be easier after Shabbos.  Assuming you are just keeping it from getting dried out, you can wash your hands over the liner.  Since you need to wash your hands anyway, the Torah does not require you to move the liner out of the way.  (If the cholent is already dry and you are re-hydrating it, it's worse; this is the safest course of action.)

Why can we use this subterfuge on issurei d'rabanan and not d'oraisa?  Yep... we need to talk about that.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Thought for the Day: Battling the Evil Inclination on all Fronts

Yom Kippur.  When I was growing up, there were three annual events that marked the Jewish calendar: eating matzos on Passover, lighting candles on Chanuka, and  fasting on Yom Kippur.  Major news organizations around the world report on the "surreal" and "eerie" quiet of the streets in even the most secular neighborhoods of Israel.  Yom Kippur.

As you know, I am observant of Jewish law.  Some have even called me "ultra orthodox" (not in a kind way).  Given that, I have a question.  How likely do you think that I would be tempted to eat on Yom Kippur, that most holy day of the year?  Let's make the scale zero to ten, where zero is "as likely as driving through McDonald's on Shabbos and ordering a Big Mac with extra cheese." and ten is "as likely as breathing regularly".  Take your time.  If you answered "zero"; thank you, but -- sadly and penitently -- no.  The answer is more like nine; I'd like to say lower, but i…

Thought for the Day: Coming Into This World for Torah, Avodah, and Acts of Loving Kindness

This TftD is so self-serving that I should be embarrassed.  But I am not... talking about grandchildren is always off budget.  I have, bli ayin hara, a beautiful new grandson; born at 6:11 PM CDT last Friday night.  The secular (aka -- by me, anyway -- slave) date is October 20, 2017 CE.  The Hebrew (aka Real) date is certainly Rosh Chodesh חשון/Cheshvan and certainly in the year 5778 since Creation.  The date, you ask... good question!

Sundown on Friday night was 6:01 PM CDT, which means he was born either at the end of the last day of תשרי or the beginning of the first day of Cheshvan; a period know as בין השמשות/twilight.  What's the big deal, you ask... I am so glad you asked.  We all deal quite handily with בין השמשות every week and every holiday; we're just stringent.  We start Shabbos and the first day of Yom Tov before בין השמשות; that is, before sundown.  Likewise, we end Shabbos and the first day of Yom Tov after בין השמשות; some 42, 50, 60, or 72 minutes after sundo…

Thought for the Day: Prayer II -- How?

Now that we know that the obligation to pray is nothing more (nor less!) than a divine decree, we are going to also need instructions from heaven on how to implement that decree.  I cannot stress enough how important it is to have instruction from heaven how to implement heavenly decrees.  One only needs to look at the shambles that one modern ism has made of the very important Torah principle of תיקון עולם/improving and fixing the world.  They have taken words out of context and used them to support their own nefarious schemes.  (To the point that Google Translate actually translates -- not transliterates -- תיקון עולם as Tikkun Olam.  Amelia Bedelia would be proud; we are not amused.

The Torah teaches us how to pray in two complementary fashions.  One is the way in which the concept is presented as an obligation, the other is by giving us examples of how to practically implement those instructions.

The obligation is introduced in the second paragraph of "sh'ma" -- וּלְ…