TalmuDigest

For the week ending 5 April 2014 / 5 Nisan 5774

Beitzah 7 - 13

by Rabbi Mendel Weinbach zt'l
The Color of HeavenArtscroll
  • Status of eggs found in a slaughtered chicken
  • The cohabitation and birth pattern of chickens
  • The amount of chametz eaten or possessed for which one is punished
  • Slaughtering and covering the blood with ashes on Yom Tov
  • When positive and negative commandments clash
  • Moving a ladder on Yom Tov and the problem of marit ayin
  • The position of Beit Hillel and Beit Shamai re simchat Yom Tov
  • Designating which birds will be used tomorrow on Yom Tov
  • The mystery of finding other birds in place of the designated ones
  • Using a grinding board for meat cutting on Yom Tov and handling animal skins
  • Booth fronts serving as counters – removing and returning them on Yom Tov
  • What may be carried out to the public domain on Yom Tov
  • Taking challah or other priestly gifts to the kohen on Yom Tov
  • Certain forms of removing vegetable shells for consumption on Yom Tov
  • When certain foods achieve the status of tevel
  • The Levite who took his ma’aser tithe before the kohen received his terumah

What Else is a Lulav Good For?

  • Beitzah 13a

A lulav and the other species that make up the arba minim that we are required to take up on Succot may be carried from the private to the public domain on Yom Tov itself. The reason why such carrying is permitted despite the ban on performing creative labor on Shabbat and holidays is thus explained:

Since the Torah explicitly permitted carrying on Yom Tov from the private to public domain for the purpose of preparing food for the holiday, our Sages interpreted this as extending to carrying for other purposes as well. The only condition is that there must be some need for the object on Yom Tov itself even if it is not for the purpose of food preparation.

The three such examples in mishna are a baby, a lulav and a Sefer Torah. Tosefot explains that the baby can be carried in order to circumcise him, the Sefer Torah to read from it, and the lulav in order to fulfill the mitzvah of the arba minim.

In his commentary, Rabbi Zvi Hirsh Chayos suggests that the lulav to which the mishna refers is not necessarily one used for a mitzvah on Succot but a palm branch one wishes to carry on another holiday. As possible uses for such a lulav that would justify its being carried he refers us to the commentary of Rashi in Mesechta Succah (40a) which states that the prime use of a lulav is to sweep the home. The Talmud Yerushalmi also mentions that one can use a lulav to fan air to comfort an ill person.

These possible uses of a lulav, he concludes, would therefore justify carrying a lulav on any Tom Tov when there is no mitzvah of arba minim. The question arises, however, as to why a lulav on the Shabbat of Succot may not be handled since the inability to perform the mitzvah on that day leaves it in the status of an ordinary tree branch which is considered muktzeh. (Shulchan Aruch Orech Chaim 658:1). Why is this so when a lulav can be used as a broom or a fan?

The answer is that since the lulav on Succot has been specifically designated for the use of the mitzvah, it cannot be utilized for sweeping. In regard to the use of a lulav as an “air conditioner” mentioned in the Talmud Yerushalmi, the Chafetz Chaim in Mishneh Berurah (Orach Chaim, ibid. Sha'ar Hatziun 3) suggests that perhaps the ban on handling muktzeh was waived in order to comfort the sick party.

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