For the week ending 18 May 2013 / 8 Sivan 5773

Eiruvin 72 - 78

by Rabbi Mendel Weinbach zt'l
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  • What separates the groups spending Shabbat in one building?
  • Is the place of eating or of sleeping the criterion of residence regarding eiruv?
  • When are both eiruvei chatzeirot and shitufei mevuot needed?
  • How many homes and courtyards are required for a lechi and koreh being applicable to a movuy?
  • The mystery of the ruling of the Sage Shmuel
  • The inner and outer courtyards and houses interacting regarding eiruv
  • Window connecting adjoining courtyards
  • Squaring the circle
  • Wall separating adjoining courtyards
  • Reducing the size of the wall in order to connect them
  • Ladders against the wall
  • Ditch separating courtyards

Mystery of the Movuy

  • Eiruvin 74

Carrying in a movuy (a walled inner street into which courtyards pour and which leads to a public thoroughfare) is permitted only if a lechi (pole) or koreh (beam) is placed at its entrance to remind the residents of the courtyards not to carry into the reshut harabim (public thoroughfare).

Whether this arrangement is valid only if there are at least two courtyards with two houses in each was initially a matter of dispute between the Sages Rav and Shmuel. The latter once gave a man named Eivos bar Echi approval for putting up a lechi for the movuy in which his was the only courtyard leading into it. After Shmuel passed away, Rabbi Anan came along and removed the lechi to the great wonder of Eivos who had relied on the ruling of Shmuel.

The first assumption of the gemara is that Shmuel had approved the lechi of Eivos in accordance with his own halachic position that a lechi could be effective in a movuy which had only one house with a courtyard plus a house without a courtyard leading into it. Since this was contrary to the position of Rav that two courtyards with two houses in them were necessary for a lechi to be effective, Rabbi Anan removed the lechi after Shmuel was no longer around to be offended.

This assumption is challenged by the gemara by offering a totally different scenario. There is an earlier account of a Sage challenging Shmuel by presenting a contradiction in his rulings. It can then be assumed that Shmuel retracted his position and conceded to Rav that two courtyards leading into the movuy were necessary. He nevertheless approved the lechi of Eivosbecause there was a synagogue which had a courtyard leading to the same movuy in which the sexton would sleep at night, although he ate his meals in his home somewhere else. Since Shmuels position was that the place of sleeping was the decisive factor in determining residence in regard to eiruv, he considered the synagogue and its courtyard as fulfilling the requirements of the position of Rav to which he had conceded. After Shmuels passing the sexton ceased sleeping in the synagogue so that it and its courtyard no longer constituted a residence to qualify the movuy for a lechi. This is why Rabbi Anan removed the lechi.

What the Sages Say

"Where a man eats determines his residence in regard to eiruv."

  • The Sage Rav

"Where a man sleeps determines his residence in regard to eiruv."

  • The Sage Shmuel - Eiruvin 73a

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