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: Thanking HaShem Each and Every Day for Solid Land Near Water

Each and every morning, a Jew is supposed to view himself as a new/renewed creation, ready for a new day of building his eternal self through Torah and mitzvos.  We begin the day with 16 brachos to praise/thank/acknowledge HaShem for giving us all the tools we need to succeed.  We have a body, soul, and intellect.  We have vision, mobility, and protection from the elements.  Among those brachos, we have one that perhaps seems a bit out of place: רוקע הארץ על המים/Who spreads out the land on/over the water.  After all, it's nice to have a dry place to walk, but does that compare to the gratitude I have for a working body and vision?  As it turns out, I should; as explained by the R' Rajchenbach, rosh kollel of Kollel Zichron Eliyahu (aka, Peterson Park Kollel).  Your best bet is to listen to the shiur; very distant second is to continue, which I hope will whet your appetite for the real thing.

First... since we have dry land, I don't have to slog to work through even a foot…

Thought for the Day: Using a Mitzvah Object for Non-Mitzvah Purposes

As I am -- Baruch HaShem -- getting older, I am more cognizant of the fact that I'd like to stay as healthy as possible right up the moment I leave this world.  Stuff hurting is not the problem (I am told there is an old Russian saying that once you are 40, if you wake up and nothing hurts -- you're dead), stuff not working, however, is a problem.  To that end, for several years now I commute to work by bicycle (weather permitting, 30 minutes on an elliptical machine when weather does not permit).  I recently took up some upper body weight training.  Not because I want to be governor of California, just simply to slow down loss of bone mass and extend my body's healthy span.  Simple hishtadlus.  I have an 18 month old grandson who is just the right weight for arm curls (yes... I am that weak), so I do about 10 reps when I greet him at night.  He laughs, I get my exercise; all good.  (Main problem is explaining to the older ones why zeidy can't give them the same "…

Thought for the Day: Hydroponically Grown Humans... I Feel Sick

I am quite openly not at all objective about abortion in particular and the treatment of human embryos and fetuses in general.  I am, after all, the survivor of a failed abortion attempt.  Not "thought about it, but couldn't go through with it"; not "made appointment, but then chickened out at the lost moment"; but, "tried a procedure, but was unsuccessful in attempt to abort".  Nonetheless, I try very hard to listen to the liberal arguments (which I also used to chant as part of the general liberal catechism), and am genuinely empathetic to the plight of women who find themselves in that difficult position.

What I heard on NPR this morning, however, has left me feeling physically ill.  You can read about it, if you like, but here's the bottom line:  Scientists in Cambridge have achieved a new record, they fertilized a human ova and then kept it alive in vitro (that is, in a test tube/petri dish in a laboratory) for 14 days.  The scientist involve…