For the week ending 15 June 2013 / 6 Tammuz 5773

Eiruvin 100 - 105

by Rabbi Mendel Weinbach zt'l
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  • Sitting on a tree and carrying under its branches
  • Walking on grass
  • Marital relations and learning from animals
  • Locking and opening doors
  • Making partitions in a ship
  • Difference between Beit Hamikdash and outside in regard to restoring door which fell off a hinge, resetting a bandage and tying harp-string
  • Removing a blemishing growth and which rabbinical restrictions are waived for purpose of a sacrifice
  • A bandage for a wounded kohen
  • Salt on the altar ramp and water drawn with a pulley
  • Knocking on the door and other forms of making sound
  • The special well
  • Ridding the Sanctuary of a contaminating dead sheretz
  • Entering the Sanctuary for purpose of repair
  • Leeway in calculating techum limit

Childbirth and Child-raising No Child’s Play

  • Eiruvin 100b

As atonement for the sin of the first woman in eating from the forbidden fruit of the Tree of Knowledge all women were destined to suffer in regard to bearing and raising children. Three different states of suffering are mentioned in the Torah (Bereishet 3:16) which Rabbi Yitzchak bar Avdimi identified as raising children, pregnancy and birth.

Marharsha raises a question in regard to this order since raising children is chronologically the final stage and should have been mentioned last and not first.

We may find somewhat of an answer to this in the words of Moshe (Bamidbar 11:12) when he complained to G-d that he was overwhelmed by the responsibility of leading his difficult people. “Was I pregnant with this entire nation,” he cried, “and did I give birth to it that You tell me to carry it in my lap like one who raises a baby!”

In his commentary on the Torah, Ramban thus explains Moshe’s reference to childbirth:

A woman is capable of enduring the pain of raising her children by recalling how much she suffered with them in pregnancy and birth. But Moshe had no such experience with the people whom he was asked to lead like a mother.

Even though the pain of raising children comes after pregnancy and birth, it is perhaps mentioned first in the atonement prescribed for Chava and her female descendants because the intensity of this suffering will be mitigated by the memory of the two stages which came before.

Doesn’t the man also suffer the pain of raising children? asks Maharsha. Although our Sages’ statement (Sanhedrin 19b) that Yaakov redeemed Avraham from the pain of raising so many children indicates that a man shares in this suffering, the brunt of the pain is still borne by the mother.

What the Sages Say

“Why does the Prophet Micha compare the best of our people to thorns? Just as thorn bushes are planted at an opening to a field to protect the field against intruders, so do the best of our people protect the entire nation.”

  • Rabbi Yehoshua ben Chanania - Eiruvin 101a

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