1) THE IDENTITY OF "A CERTAIN CHASID"

QUESTION: The Gemara quotes a Beraisa which relates an incident about "a certain Chasid" who became ill, whom the doctors told that the only thing for him to do was to drink raw milk of a goat every morning. They brought him a goat, which he tied to the legs of his bed in order to prevent it from grazing outside so that he not transgress the prohibition against raising a Behemah Dakah in Eretz Yisrael. Nevertheless, when his friends saw that he had a goat in his home, they abstained from visiting him and they called him a robber. The Beraisa relates that this Chasid had performed no other sin in his life.

Who was this Chasid?

ANSWER: The Gemara later (103b) and in Temurah (15b) relates that whenever an incident is recorded that involves "a certain Chasid," it refers either to Rebbi Yehudah ben Bava or to Rebbi Yehudah b'Rebbi Ila'i. Which one of those Chasidim is the subject of the incident recorded here? The SHITAH MEKUBETZES in the name of the GA'ON asserts that it is Rebbi Yehudah ben Bava. Indeed, the Yerushalmi (Sotah 9:10) and the Tosefta (8:4) state this explicitly (as cited by the Yefeh Einayim and the Mitzpeh Eisan). (See also Insights to Shabbos 127:2.) (I. Alsheich)

2) THE SIN OF THE CHASID

QUESTION: The Gemara quotes a Beraisa which relates an incident about "a certain Chasid" who became ill, whom the doctors told that the only thing for him to do was to drink raw milk of a goat every morning. They brought him a goat, which he tied to the legs of his bed in order to prevent it from grazing outside so that he not transgress the prohibition against raising a Behemah Dakah in Eretz Yisrael. Nevertheless, when his friends saw that he had a goat in his home, they abstained from visiting him and they called him a robber. The Beraisa relates that this Chasid had performed no other sin in his life.

Why did his friends accuse of him of sinning? The Gemara in Sanhedrin (74a) teaches that when a person's life is in danger he is permitted to transgress an Isur in order to save his life (except for the three Isurim of Shefichas Damim, Giluy Arayos, and Avodah Zarah). Hence, he was permitted to keep the Behemah Dakah in order to save his life. What sin did he commit?

ANSWERS:

(a) The TORAS CHAIM in Eruvin (21b, DH Mutav) answers based on the opinion of the ROSH and the TUR (YD 157) who rule that if a person wants to conduct himself stringently and allow himself be killed in order to avoid a transgression, he is permitted to do so. This Chasid was on such a lofty level of Avodas Hash-m that the act of keeping a Behemah Dakah in his home, instead of giving up his life, was considered a sin. (This is also the view of the RAMBAN in Kesuvos (19a), who writes that it is a "Midas Chasidus" to let oneself be killed and not transgress an Aveirah. Accordingly, this act was considered a sin according to the great degree of Chasidus of Rebbi Yehudah ben Bava.)

(b) The Toras Chaim also explains the Gemara according to the view of the RAMBAM. The Rambam (Hilchos Yesodei ha'Torah 5:1) rules that one is not permitted to be stringent and let himself be killed instead of doing a sin. The Rambam writes that one who lets himself be killed instead of doing a sin is "Mischayev b'Nafsho" ("guilty for his life"). Why, then, was the Chasid's act of keeping a Behemah Dakah called a sin?

The Toras Chaim explains that although the Chasid had no way to cure himself other than by drinking the milk of a goat each morning, nevertheless he would not have died without the milk. His condition of "Gone'ach mi'Libo" would have persisted.

The MAHARSHA (Chidushei Agados) also suggests this answer.

RAV BETZALEL RENSBURG (in Hagahos) questions this approach. The Gemara in Kesuvos (60a) teaches that a sick person is permitted to drink the milk of a goat on Shabbos, because even though milking a goat on Shabbos is an Isur d'Rabanan (Mefarek kel'Achar Yad), nevertheless "in a situation of pain, the Rabanan did not prohibit it." Here, too, the Chasid was in pain, and since the prohibition against keeping a Behemah Dakah is only an Isur d'Rabanan, "in a situation of pain, the Rabanan did not prohibit it"!

This question may be answered with the words of the ME'IRI. The Me'iri explains that in a case in which the Isur d'Rabanan involves an enactment made to prevent loss to other people, one must be exceedingly stringent. Although the Me'iri himself maintains that the Chasid should have given his life and not transgressed the Isur d'Rabanan (since keeping a goat in one's home is a potential source of damage for others), and the Maharsha maintains that the Chasid's life was not in danger, nevertheless the Me'iri's explanation that this Isur d'Rabanan is an especially stringent one suffices to explain the difference between the case in the Gemara in Shabbos, where the sick person is allowed to perform the Isur d'Rabanan, and the case here, where keeping a goat in one's home is considered a sin.

80b----------------------------------------80b

3) THE REASON FOR THE PROHIBITION OF "AMIRAH L'NOCHRI"

OPINIONS: The Gemara discusses the law of "Amirah l'Nochri" -- telling a Nochri to perform a Melachah on Shabbos. Telling a Nochri to perform a Melachah for a Jew is one of the decrees of Shevus enacted by the Rabanan. Although a Nochri transgresses no prohibition when he does a Melachah on Shabbos, the Rabanan prohibited a Jew from telling a Nochri to do a Melachah for him on Shabbos.

Several reasons for this prohibition are suggested by the Rishonim.

(a) The RAMBAM (Hilchos Shabbos 6:1) writes that the Rabanan prohibited it "in order that Shabbos not be taken lightly in one's eyes, lest one come to do the Melachah himself."

(b) RASHI in Avodah Zarah (15a, DH Keivan) writes that the reason for the decree is the verse, "Mimtzo Cheftzecha v'Daber Davar" -- "... and you honor it (Shabbos) by not engaging in your own affairs, from pursuing your own needs and speaking [forbidden] speech" (Yeshayah 58:13), which establishes guidelines for speech on Shabbos. One may not tell a Nochri to do a Melachah on Shabbos because such speech is forbidden on Shabbos.

(c) RASHI in Shabbos (153a, DH Mai Ta'ama) implies that the reason why one may not tell a Nochri to do a Melachah on Shabbos is that when the Nochri does the Melachah, he acts as the Shali'ach of the Jew and it is considered as though the Jew himself is doing the Melachah. (With regard to how a Nochri can be a Shali'ach for a Jew, see NESIVOS HA'MISHPAT 182. See also Nesivos ha'Mishpat 348:4.)

It seems that there is a practical difference between these explanations. According to Rashi in Avodah Zarah, one should be permitted to tell a Nochri before Shabbos to do a Melachah for him on Shabbos, since the Jew's "Dibur," speech, is not being done on Shabbos. According to the other two explanations, the prohibition will apply regardless of when the Jew tells the Nochri to do the Melachah, whether on a weekday or on Shabbos itself.

(See KOVETZ SHI'URIM, Beitzah #49. The Kovetz Shi'urim writes that there are two elements of Isur involved with Amirah l'Nochri. The first is that the Jew makes the Nochri a Shali'ach to do Melachah for him, and the second is that speaking such words itself is prohibited, either because of "Mimtzo Cheftzecha" or because of the reason the Rambam gives.) (I. Alsheich) (See Insights to Shabbos 150:1.)

OTHER D.A.F. RESOURCES ON THIS DAF