Wednesday, October 31, 2012
Friday, October 19, 2012
Small point of clarification: The discussion at the end of the shiur about cloudy and sunny days is speaking about the situation where the bowl was left under the drainpipe, NOT when it was left out in the courtyard. The qualifications being presented are qualifications of the ORIGINAL case.
Wednesday, October 17, 2012
Thursday, October 11, 2012
Today has been designated by the United Nations as the first annual "International Day of the Girl" in recognition of the fact that "in many countries girls get left behind in all areas of life from school to work and many are prevented from fulfilling their true potential by severe discrimination and prejudice."
Wednesday, October 10, 2012
Friday, October 5, 2012
The first piece in Masekhet Shabbat is rather complex. Here is a summary (meant to accompany the recording, not substitute for it) that can help you understand and retain the points:
There are two cases where the poor man standing in the public domain is entirely liable for violating Shabbat. He is liable when he picks up an object in the public domain and sets it down in the private domain. He is also liable when he picks up an object in the private domain and sets it down in the public domain.
There are two cases where the homeowner standing in the private domain is entirely liable for violating Shabbat. One is where he picks up an object in the private domain and sets it down in the public domain. The other is where he picks up an object in the public domain and sets it down in the private domain.
There are four cases where the activity is shared and, therefore, no one is entirely liable.
The first two involve transfers of an object from the public to the private domain, in which the poor man picks up an object in the public domain and the homeowner sets it down in the private domain. In one case, the poor man picks up the object and stretches his arm into the house where the homeowner takes it and puts it down, completing the act. In the other case, the poor man picks up the object and the homeowner stretches his own arm outside, takes it from the poor man and sets it down inside.
The other two cases of shared activity involve transfers of an object from the private domain to the public domain, in which the homeowner picks up an object inside and the poor man sets it down outside. In one case, the homeowner picks up an object and stretches his arm outside, where the poor man takes it and sets it down in the public domain, completing the action. In the other case, the homeowner picks up an object inside and the poor man stretches his own arm inside, taking the object from the homeowner and then setting it down outside.
Both parties are exempt from liability in these four cases. Nevertheless, the Mishnah calls the poor man "exempt" only in two of the four cases and calls the homeowner "exempt" only in two of the four cases. Apparently, in two of the cases, the poor man is "exempt from liability" but the homeowner's role is too insignificant to be counted, and in two of the cases, the homeowner is "exempt from liability" but the poor man's role is too insignificant to be counted.
According to Rashi, whoever initiated the process by lifting the object is called "exempt from liability". So, in the first two cases of shared transfer, the poor person is called exempt. In the second pair of cases, the homeowner is called exempt.
According to Tosafot, the person who stretched out his hand and effectuated the transfer is the primary actor in the case and is referred to as "exempt from liability". Therefore, following the order in which I have listed the cases, in the first and fourth cases, the poor man is the exempt one; in the second and third, the homeowner is called "exempt".
Apparently, there is a deeper level to this dispute. According to Rashi, the essence of the act of carrying is the relocation of the object. Therefore, the person who has picked up the object, removing it from its current place of rest, has begun the process of relocation in a significant way and is the primary actor.
According to Tosafot, on the other hand, the essence of the act of carrying is the transfer. In order to meet the criteria for liability, one must pick up the object in Domain A and set it down in Domain B. Nonetheless, the main action is the transfer - as a result, the one who stretches out his hand is considered to have done a significant action (although he is exempt from liability) while the other participant is not considered to have played a significant role at all.