More Discussions for this daf
1. Exemptions from rabbinical safeguards 2. Mikvah Heated by Time Clock 3. Is Rebbi Shimon Matir?
4. Lighting a Kli Shavur 5. Petilat ha'Beged 6. Aliyah/Upper Chamber
7. Rav Hamnuna

Leonard Warren asked:

Dear Rabbi

Shalom Alechem Rabbi, and thank you for considering my question.

The Mishnah states that R' Yehuda permits a person to perforate an eggshell, fill the shell with oil and place it over the mouth of a lamp so that the oil drips into the cup. The Rabbis prohibited this practice. R'Yehuda states that the Rabbis present at the House of Nitzah did not object to him using such a device. The Gemara retorts that the House of Nitzah is different because its members are zealous [in their observance of mitzvos, and do not require a Rabbinical safeguard to prevent them removing oil and transgressing the Biblical prohibition on prematurely extinguishing the lamp].

What is the Gemara's source for not requiring a zealous person to observe a Rabbinical safeguard? Who is a zealous person? And, when may we apply the principle that a zealous person need not observe a Rabbinical safeguard?

Thank you once again.

Leonard Warren

The Kollel replies:

Good question. You are correct -- generally, rabbinical safeguards are never relaxed even for someone who is zealous. There are exceptions though, and this is one of them. Only when the people of a certain place (or people involved in a service in the Beis ha'Mikdash) are always known zealous, then a rabbinical safeguard is relaxed for them. For example, the Kohanim and the members of the Chaburah that were mentioned earlier on 20a are always Zerizim, and therefore the Rabanan relaxed their safeguard concerning making a fire right before Shabbos.

The House of Nitzah was where the great rabbis convened and adjudicated, as is evident from the Gemara here, and therefore they had the right to be lenient regarding this rabbinical safeguard. We find that same type of leniency with regard to blowing the Shofar on Rosh Hashanah that falls on Shabbos, which is permitted in a place where the rabbinical court is sitting (Rosh Hashanah 30a).