ERUVIN 96-100 - Dedicated in memory of Max (Meir Menachem ben Shlomo ha'Levi) Turkel, by his children Eddie and Lawrence and his wife Jean Turkel/Rafalowicz. Max was a warm and loving husband and father and is missed dearly by his family and friends. His Yahrzeit is 5 Teves.

[96a - 42 lines; 96b - 34 lines]

1)[line 2]בל תוסיףBAL TOSIF/BAL TIGRA

(a)The Torah states, "[Oso Sishmeru La'asos] Lo Sosif Alav v'Lo Sigra Mimenu" -- "You should keep and perform it (the Torah); do not add onto it nor detract from it" (Devarim 13:1). This is a negative commandment to refrain from adding onto or detracting from any Mitzvah in the Torah, even temporarily (see Sefer ha'Chinuch #454-455). According to the Rambam (Hilchos Mamrim 2:9), the source for this Mitzvah is "Lo Sosifu Al ha'Davar Asher Anochi Metzaveh Eschem v'Lo Sigre'u Mimenu" -- "You shall not add onto the thing that I command you (the Torah), nor detract from it" (Devarim 4:2). One who transgresses either of these prohibitions in front of witnesses after receiving a proper warning is liable to receive Malkus.

(b)The commandment of "Bal Tosif" can be transgressed in many ways. One transgresses the prohibition of Bal Tosif if he performs a Mitzvah at any time other than that commanded by the Torah, if he adds quantitatively onto a Mitzvah of the Torah (such as placing five Parshiyos instead of four into Tefilin, or taking five species instead of four on Sukos), and if he adds a completely new Mitzvah to the Torah. Similarly, "Bal Tigra" can be transgressed if he does not perform a positive Mitzvah when it is incumbent upon him to do so (in addition to the transgression of not performing that Mitzvah - SIFRI #30), if he subtracts quantitatively from a Mitzvah of the Torah (such as placing three Parshiyos instead of four into Tefilin, or taking three species instead of four on Sukos), and if he claims that a certain negative commandment is not prohibited at all or only prohibited mid'Rabanan. (The third example given for both Bal Tosif and Bal Tigra is in accordance with the opinion of the RAMBAM, Hilchos Mamrim 2:9. The Ra'avad maintains that one does not transgress Bal Tosif or Bal Tigra by adding or subtracting an entire Mitzvah.)

(c)These prohibitions do not prevent Beis Din from forming new Rabbinic Mitzvos (such as the reading of Megilas Esther) or enacting Rabbinic prohibitions (such as the prohibition of blowing the Shofar on Shabbos). Numerous explanations are offered by the Rishonim to explain why this is so. The Rambam (ibid.) and other Rishonim (see Rabeinu Bachya, Devarim 4:2) explain that the Torah only prohibits adding a Mitzvah when one claims that the additional Mitzvah is a Torah prohibition (or commandment). By adding to the Torah in such a manner, a person shows that in his view the Torah is imperfect (see also Sefer ha'Chinuch ibid.). This does not apply to Rabbinic prohibitions. The Chachamim who put these new laws in to practice do not claim them to be Torah commandments; rather, they are enacted in order to preserve that which is commanded in the Torah. Similarly, Chazal saw it necessary, at times, to add Mitzvos Aseh in order to preserve or make it easier to fulfill the Mitzvos of the Torah (see, for example, Rambam at the end of his list Minyan ha'Mitzvos ha'Katzar). There are many other reasons why Rabbinic decrees and Mitzvos do not fall into the category of Bal Tosif or Bal Tigra (see Sefer ha'Chinuch 454:2 at length.)

(d)There is a Machlokes between the Amora'im in the Gemara as to whether or not one transgresses Bal Tosif if he performs a Mitzvah at a time other than that commanded by the Torah, but he does not intend for his action to be considered a Mitzvah. The consensus of the Poskim follows the opinion of Rava (see Rosh Hashanah 28b), who maintains that such intent is necessary in order to transgress Bal Tosif. For this reason, if one sits in a Sukah during the year he does not transgress the prohibition of Bal Tosif unless he intends to fulfill a Mitzvah by sitting in it. (The various Minhagim practiced when sitting in a Sukah on Shemini Atzeres in order to demonstrate that one does not intend to fulfill the Mitzvah d'Oraisa of Sukah are Rabbinic in nature. As long as one does not positively intend to fulfill the Mitzvah, his act does not transgress Bal Tosif; see Ba'al ha'Me'or, Sukah 48a.)

(e)There is much discussion among the Rishonim and Acharonim regarding the circumstances under which the prohibitions of Bal Tosif and Bal Tigra would not apply. For example, one does not transgress Bal Tosif if he repeats a Mitzvah (or refrains from performing it) out of uncertainty as to whether or not he has already fulfilled the Mitzvah (RITVA, Rosh Hashanah 16b). In addition, Tosfos (Rosh Hashanah 28b DH Mena Teimra) posits that one does not transgress Bal Tosif if he repeats the performance of a Mitzvah (such as by taking an Esrog and Lulav a second time, or blowing the Shofar an additional time). For further discussion of these and related points, see Insights to Sukah 34b, and to Rosh Hashanah 28b and 33a.

2)[line 11]הישן בשמיני בסוכה ילקהHA'YASHEN B'SHEMINI B'SUKAH YILAKEH- one who sleeps in a Sukah on the eighth day (in Chutz la'Aretz, which may or may not be Sukos) should receive Malkus (due to Bal Tosif). (This is obviously not the case, as the Minhag in Chutz la'Aretz is to sleep in the Sukah on Shemini Atzeres since it may be the seventh day of Sukos.)

3)[line 14]"ושמרת את החקה הזאת למועדה מימים ימימה""V'SHAMARTA ES HA'CHUKAH HA'ZOS L'MO'ADAH MI'YAMIM YAMIMAH"- "And you shall guard this commandment from day to day." (Shemos 13:10) - This verse appears in one of the four Parshiyos which mention the Mitzvah of Tefilin. Also mentioned in this Parsha is the Mitzvah of the Korban Pesach. Rebbi Akiva, who understands that the verse is referring to the Mitzvah of Pesach, explains the words "mi'Yamim Yamimah" to mean "from year to year."

4)[line 28]יצאו אלו שהן גופן אותYATZ'U EILU SHE'HEIN GUFAN OS- The verse of "Ki Os Hi Beini u'Veineichem" refers to Shabbos and Yom Tov

5)[line 32]מדלילה לתנא קמא זמן תפילין שבת נמי זמן תפיליןMID'LAILAH L'TANA KAMA ZMAN TEFILIN, SHABBOS NAMI ZMAN TEFILIN- Both nighttime and Shabbos are excluded from the Mitzvah of Tefilin by the words "mi'Yamim Yamimah." If one of these times is not excluded by a Tana from the Mitzvah of Tefilin, this presumably means that he uses these words for a different Derashah.

6)[line 37]מיכל בת כושיMICHAL BAS KUSHI- Michal, the daughter of Shaul ha'Melech, who is called Kush in Tehilim 7:1. The Gemara explains that just as a black man (Kushi) stands out due to the color of his skin, so did Shaul stand out due to his rare virtuous qualities (Moed Katan 16b).


Mitzvos which must be performed at a specific time, such as of the day (e.g. daytime only, such as Tzitzis) or year (e.g. Sukah, Lulav, and Shofar) are called Mitzvos Aseh sheha'Zman Geramah. Women are exempt from these Mitzvos, with the exception of Kidush on Friday night, Matzah on Pesach night, the Korban Pesach, Hakhel, and Simchah on Pesach, Shavuos, and Sukos.


8)[line 1]נשים סומכות רשותNASHIM SOMCHOS RESHUS

(a)Semichah refers to the act of leaning with all of one's might on the head of his sacrifice before it is slaughtered, as described in Vayikra 1:4.

(b)Only Men are required to perform Semichah, as the beginning of the Parsha mentions specifically "Bnei Yisrael," implying only the men and not Bnos Yisrael. There is a Machlokes Tana'im if women may perform Semichah or if they are forbidden to do so.

(c)Our Gemara suggests that just as Rebbi Yosi allows women to perform Semichah even though they are not required to do so, he allows them to perform any Mitzvos Aseh sheha'Zman Geramah if they so choose, even though they are not required to do so.

9)[line 17]נשים מעכביןHA NASHIM ME'AKVIN- [the inference is that] if women [blow the Shofar on Rosh Hashanah] we stop them [from doing so]. Since it is not forbidden to blow the Shofar on Rosh Hashanah, the only reason to stop women from blowing the Shofar is that since they are not obligated in this Mitzvah, it appears as if they are adding onto the Mitzvos (Bal Tosif). From this we see that Rebbi Meir does not allow women the option of performing Mitzvos which they are not obligated to perform.

10)[line 22]סיפראSIFRA- the standard collection of Beraisos

11a)[line 23]לשונותLESHONOS- combed strips of [Techeles-dyed] wool

b)[line 24]חוטיןCHUTIN- threads

12)[line 25]אדעתא דגלימא צבעינהוA'DA'ATA D'GELIMA TZAV'INHU- he dyed them with the intention to use them for a cloak (and they are therefore invalid for use as Tzitzis since Tzitzis threads must be dyed Lishmah -- for the express purpose of using them for Tzitzis)

13)[line 26]טוינהי[TAVINHU] (SHAZRINHU)- spun

14)[line 26]בשזוריםSHEZURIM- twisted

15)[line 27]אדעתא דשיפתא דגלימא עייפינהוA'DA'ATA D'SIFSA D'GELIMA AIFINHU- he twisted them in order to make them into fringes along the edge of a cloak [(O.F. cimols) border of a garment; (O.F. orels) threads forming the edge of a garment]

16)[line 28]במופסקיןMUFSAKIN- cut [strings]

17)[line 29]דכולי האי ודאי לא טרחי אינשיD'KULEI HAI VADAI LO TARCHI INSHI- people certainly do not trouble themselves to cut off twisted threads in order to reattach them as fringes along the edge of a garment

18)[line 29]קמיעKAMEI'A- amulet, charm

19)[line 30]במה דברים אמורים? בישנותBA'MEH DEVARIM AMURIM? B'YESHANOS- That is, if it is clear from the markings on the straps that they were once tied into the type of knot that is found in Tefilin, then we may be certain that these are real Tefilin and not just a Kemei'a. No one would trouble himself to such an extent as to not only make a Kemei'a that resembles Tefilin, but to also tie its straps like those of Tefilin. (TOSFOS DH v'Chi, RASHI 95a DH b'Yeshanos)

20)[line 32]כיפי תלא לה?KEIFEI TALA LAH?- did he hang earrings and nose-rings (alt. pearls) on it? i.e. the Beraisa of Ahavah brei d'Rebbi Zeira -- even though it explicitly states that we may assume that no one would make the effort to dye cut strings for any purpose other than the Mitzvah of Tzitzis -- is not enough to explain the teaching of Rebbi Elazar. Since it is implicit in our Mishnah that even in a case where we may assume that a person would not make such an effort for any purpose other than a Mitzvah we still must still consider other remote possibilities, we have found a Tana who would not allow cut strings to be used for Tzitzis, even when they are found dyed with Techeles.