Eruvin 70 – 76

Eruvin 70: The Feet of the Parents

The She’airis Menachem explains the relationship between parents and their children.        “In Eruvin 70 we find that a child is ‘karei’ – literally the feet – of his father. How is a child his parent’s feet? Just like one’s movements are naturally dependant on his feet, the parent’s spiritual motion after he leaves the world is determined by his progeny. A child who acts as is proper and fulfills mitzvos causes his parent to continue climbing even after he or she has departed from the material world. This explains why it is so important for a son to says Kaddish for his departed parent.”

The Sefer Chassidim tell about a sage who would promise various amounts of charity for the soul of his departed relatives. When asked why he did so, he explained. “After all, I have received great good from their merit and continue to benefit. Isn’t it only proper for me to return something to them? Besides, I am sure that this good deed – like every other – will surely aid me as well.”

The Sefer Chassidim continues: “Even the child of a wicked person can redeem his parents through giving charity” (She’airis Menachem, Part II, p. 135;Sefer Chassidim, #170).

 

Eruvin 71: The River Ganges

Thisdaf discusses the halacha that applies if one of the people from whom space was rented to make an eruv died.

When one mashgiach had to spend time in Mumbai for work, he was distressed when he learned an important detail about the Ganges, which is the main water source for this city of thirty million souls. The local religion has established the custom that people cremate the remains of their relatives and place the ashes in the river. Since one may not have benefit from a dead body, this man wondered if he could drink the water or eat any of the fruits or vegetables in the city, all of which were watered by this river.

When this question was presented to Rav Yitzchok Zilberstein, he issued a surprising ruling: “Although it is certainly forbidden for a Jew to incinerate a Jewish body, a non-Jew may be allowed to do so if he chooses. Although the Shulchan Aruch rules that one may not derive benefit from any dead body, whether of a Jew or a non-Jew, there is still room for leniency here. Clearly, the ashes are much less than the majority of the river, and if one were to have some residue of ashes in his cup, this would surely afford him no pleasure at all and is therefore not prohibited. It follows that one may drink from the river or eat the fruits of Mumbai” (Sichos Hasabba M’Slabodka, Biurei Hachassidus, Likkutim).

 

Eruvin 72:  Dedication to Hashem and the Klal

Rav Bentzion Yadler was appointed by the Aderes to build an eruv over greater Yerushalayim. Since the old eruv did not include new neighborhoods, the Aderes immediately undertook to expand the eruv and gave Rav Yadler the job.

When his son, Rav Chaim Dovid, became bar mitzah, his father immediately began to take him along to help build the eruv. In Rav Chaim Dovid’s words: “Initially, my father worked alone. He was the planner and worker, as well as the shlepper. When he began to take me along, I became the worker and the shlepper.

“I still recall one Pesach. My father and I went with small packages of matzoh to Sheik Jarrach, the Arab village near Shimon Hatzaddik, and other Arab neighborhoods. We gave the matzoh to the muchtar – the chief of the village – and other leaders there as a gift for allowing us to put up the polls and strings of the eruv.

“I remember once, during a period of Arab riots, we heard that the eruv near Shaar Shechem required repair. We went together with two British policemen to ensure our safety and did the required repairs. They were ordered to accompany us by the second-in-command of Yerushalayim, who respected my father and his many works.

“My father was very dedicated to the eruv. Neither rain, nor shine, nor hard conditions could discourage him from continuing his careful upkeep of the eruv. He did this for the honor of Hashem and to help the klal” (Betuv Yerushalayim, p. 11).

 

Eruvin 73: The Chief Rabbi’s Intervention

Rav Aryeh Mordechai Rabinovitz recounted: “When World War II broke out before Rosh Hashanah, I was in charge of taking care of the eruv of Karov. Karov was close to the border with Galicia and was the residence of the minister. I would always check the eruv on Erev Shabbos and, despite the uncertain times, I continued to do so. That first Erev Shabbos, I had to fix the eruv and did so.

“That Shabbos, an important officer arrived from Petersberg. Although the man was Jewish, he was far from religious observance, like many officers of that time. To my chagrin, he had with him an order that I be incarcerated on the charge of being a spy.

“At that time, people were saying that many Jews were spies and they suspected that I was working for the enemy. They figured, ‘Why are you working with a network of wires if not to make an electric system to communicate whatever you learn with your employers among the enemy?’

“I spent a very long time explaining that there was nothing electric about the wires; they had always been there so that Jews could carry on Shabbos. Our lengthy discussion convinced the officer to forgo capital punishment – to my great relief. It was then that Rav Yehudah Leib Tzirelsohn arrived in the city. When the visiting chief rabbi of Bessarabia heard that I was still incarcerated, he went to see the officer. As Hashemordained it, the two had gone to the same cheder and the officer held the rov in great respect. ‘I guarantee that no Jew is a spy,’ asserted the rov. ‘I take full responsibility for this or any other Jew who acts in a suspicious manner. You can rest assured that none are spies for the enemy.”

After spending some time with the officer, the rov convinced him and he freed Rav Rabinovitz without a stain on his character (Karnei Re’eim, p. 124).

 

Eruvin 75: The Common Courtyards

Rashi explains the verse, ‘Vehayu bechatzeiros,” to refer to the machlokes of Korach. The Chiddushei Harim explains the connection. Chazal tell us that eruvei chatzeiros unite the residents of a courtyard into one dwelling. We see that without an eruv, a common courtyard alludes to divisiveness.

The Sifsei Tzaddik explains this further: “We can use this to understand the deeper reason behind a statement in Eruvin 75. There we find a situation where there is both an inner courtyard and an outer courtyard. If the inner courtyard makes an eruv, it is permitted to carry between the houses and the inner courtyard. This alludes to one who has a healthy avodas Hashem. He learns and davens with an eruv, with sweetness and connection. The word eruv can also mean areiv, sweetness, and when two things are conjoined. Even if his mundane needs, such as eating and the like, are not done with proper kavanah and connection, he has at least formed an eruv regarding the inner aspects of avodah. But if one has only worked on his outer aspects – how he eats and the like – but has an underdeveloped inner connection, his eruv is invalid even for the outer aspects. Why? Because one cannot truly eat with holiness as is fitting if he doesn’t develop his thoughts and actions through holy words and mitzvos.

“If each courtyard made an eruv for itself, each is permitted for itself. This refers to true ovdei Hashem who are filled with holy enthusiasm. They know that each aspect is an important avodah that must be imbued with connection to Hashem. Such people are able to focus on learning and forging a connection in this manner, and also on creating a connection through how one acts in his mundane life” (Sifsei Tzaddik, Masei).

 

Eruvin 76: The Broad Entry

Halachic questions in army bases in Eretz Yisroel are very common. A frum soldier has a lot more to deal with than most people are aware.

One soldier was learning through hilchos eruvin when he ran into a halacha found on this daf. When he learned that a gap of up to ten amos can be considered a doorway, but not more as a general rule, he wondered if he could really carry the entire Shabbos on his base. “After all, when they open the gate, there is a gaping hole larger than ten amos. Since this cannot constitute a doorway, it presumably nullifies the base eiruv. Although the base is enclosed within four walls, perhaps one cannot carry when the gateway is open.”

When this question was presented to Rav Avigdor Nebenzahl, he offered his tentative opinion: “It seems to me that the eruv remains valid even when the gateway is open. See Shulchan Aruch 364:2 and commentaries.”

There we find that although a space of over ten amos is no longer a doorway, a door permits even a space of more than ten amos. There is a dispute whether the door requires a tzuras hapesach – a lintel and frame – or not. The Chessed L’Avrohom and the Chazon Ish rule that a door requires a tzuras hapesach to permit such an opening, while the Chasam Sofer and other authorities disagree. 

Rav Yaakov Blau explained that a door that slides open and closes automatically – such as what is found on most army bases – will only permit over ten amos according to the opinion that a door without a tzuras hapesach is acceptable (Teshuvas Avigdor Halevi p. 329; Nesivos HaShabbos, p. 263-264).