1) SEPARATE "CHATA'OS" FOR SEPARATE "SHABBOSOS"
QUESTION: The Mishnah quotes Rebbi Akiva who asked Rebbi Eliezer what the law is in a case of one who performed Melachah on many Shabbosos. Is he Chayav to bring a Chatas for every Shabbos that he desecrated (even if he committed the same Melachah each Shabbos), or is he Chayav to bring just one Chatas for each Melachah, even though he performed it on a number of Shabbosos? (See Chart #4.)
In the Gemara, Rav Chisda explains that Rebbi Akiva assumes that every Shabbos is a separate entity. Consequently, if one acted inadvertently (b'Shogeg) with regard to the Melachos (he did not know that they were forbidden), but he acted intentionally (b'Mezid) with regard to Shabbos (he knew that it was Shabbos), he is Chayav to bring a Chatas for every Shabbos that he transgressed. Rebbi Akiva's question involves a case in which one acted b'Shogeg with regard to Shabbos and b'Mezid with regard to the Melachos (he knew that these Melachos are forbidden on Shabbos, but he did not know that it was Shabbos). In such a case, must he bring a Korban for every Shabbos, since there were days separating each Shabbos (i.e., weekdays) which caused him to learn that it was Shabbos, and that knowledge served to separate each Shabbos from the next (making two separate Ha'alamos and obligating him to bring two Korbanos)? On the other hand, perhaps the weekdays are not considered a "Yedi'ah" and do not serve to differentiate each Shabbos from the next. This is the question of Rebbi Akiva.
If each Shabbos is considered a separate entity, then why is there any question about whether the weekdays between each Shabbos serve as a "Yedi'ah" to separate the Shabbosos from each other with regard to his sins? Even if the weekdays are not considered a "Yedi'ah," each Shabbos should require its own Chatas. Each Shabbos is considered a separate entity by itself, and separate entities require separate Chatas offerings, just as a "Yedi'ah" between non-separate entities necessitates separate Chatas offerings (as is evident throughout the Perek).
(a) RASHI (DH O Dilma Zadon Shabbos, and 16b, DH v'Ha d'Tani) answers that when the Gemara says that Shabbosos are "separate entities," it does not mean that two Shabbosos are exactly like a case of two separate women who are Arayos. Rather, the Gemara means that doing one Melachah on two Shabbosos is like doing two different Melachos. Therefore, in a case in which one was Shogeg with regard to the Melachos, he is Chayav for the Melachah done on each and every Shabbos just as he is Chayav for each and every Melachah. In contrast, in a case in which one was Shogeg with regard to Shabbos, even if he desecrated several Shabbosos he is Chayav to bring only one Chatas, since he is Chayav to bring only one Chatas in a case in which he did many Melachos (as the Gemara in Shabbos (70a) derives from a verse).
The RASHASH questions Rashi's explanation from the Gemara later (16b) that says that one who writes one letter on one Shabbos and another letter on the following Shabbos is sometimes Chayav and sometimes Patur. If he writes the letters with Shigegas Melachos, forgetting that writing is forbidden, he is Patur, because the two Shabbosos cannot join to make it as though he wrote two letters on one Shabbos.
The Rashash asks that if two acts of a Melachah done on separate Shabbosos are considered like two different Melachos, then how can two Shabbosos join to be Mechayev the person even in a case of Shigegas Shabbos? It is clear that one who does half of a Ketzirah and half of a Zeri'ah will not be Chayav, regardless of what his Shegagah was. Why, then, is he Chayav in this case (of writing two letters)?
The answer to this question is that two partial Shi'urim of different Melachos cannot join with each other to make the person Chayav, because altogether there is not a Shi'ur of either Melachah; half a Shi'ur of Ketzirah and half a Shi'ur of Zeri'ah do not combine to make a full Shi'ur of Melachah. In contrast, half a Shi'ur of Kesivah (writing) can join with another half a Shi'ur of Kesivah to form a full Shi'ur. Therefore, two letters written on two Shabbosos can join to make the person Chayav.
When Rashi says that two Shabbosos separate two full acts (with a full Shi'ur) of one Melachah into two separate Melachos, he means merely that the Melachah done on the two Shabbosos is not viewed like one long Melachah in order to be Chayav only one Chatas. Rather, each Shabbos is considered a new beginning for that Melachah, and he is Chayav to bring two Chata'os.
This logic applies only l'Chumra -- to maximize one's Chiyuvim. It does not apply to be lenient and to exempt a person, such as in a case in which he did a partial Shi'ur of Melachah on each Shabbos. Consequently, in the case of Shigegas Shabbos, one is Chayav if he writes one letter on one Shabbos and another letter on the next Shabbos.
Why, then, in the case of Shigegas Melachos, is one exempt? In that case, it seems that in the logic of Shabbosos being Mechalek is used l'Kula, for a leniency! The answer to this is that in a case of Shigegas Melachos, the reason why the two half-Shi'urim of Melachah cannot join to make him Chayav is not because of the Chiluk caused by the separate Shabbosos. If that would be the reason, then the Melachos should not join even in a case of Shigegas Shabbos. Rather, with regard to Shigegas Melachos, there is a specific rule in the laws of Korban Chatas that states that when two acts can cause one to be Chayav two Chata'os when the acts are each done with a full Shi'ur, when each one is done in a partial Shi'ur they cannot join to cause him to be Chayav. Therefore, since -- when one does two full Shi'urim of Melachah (either the same or different Melachos) with Shigegas Shabbos (but not with Shigegas Melachos), he is Chayav only one Chatas -- when he does two half Shi'urim of one Melachah with Shigegas Shabbos, they join to be Mechayev him one Chatas. Only in a case of Shigegas Melachos, where two acts of a full Shi'ur of Melachah are Mechayev him two Chata'os, do two half Shi'urim not join.
(This principle, that the exemption in a case of Shigegas Melachos is not due to the Chiluk caused by the separate Shabbosos, but rather it is due to a specific rule in the laws of Korban Chatas, answers the question of the SEFAS EMES
quoted earlier (see Insights to Kerisus 15:4
). The Sefas Emes asks that since Tamchuyin Mechalkin applies l'Kula, why should it be limited only to Me'ilah, due to the Chumra of Me'ilah? The answer, according to our explanation here, is that the Chiluk caused by separate Tamchuyin indeed is only l'Chumra. The fact that there is a Chiluk that is l'Kula is a result of the law of Korban Chatas that states that when two acts, each with a full Shi'ur, can be Mechayev two Chata'os, two acts with a half-Shi'ur cannot join to be Mechayev him to bring a Chatas.) (Mordechai Zvi Dicker)
(b) When the RAMBAM (in Perush ha'Mishnayos) presents the opinion that Shabbosos are separate entities, he writes that one who performs a Melachah in one He'elem on two Shabbosos is like one who has relations with many forbidden women, and thus he is obligated to bring separate Chata'os for each Shabbos that he desecrates.
The Rambam's words imply that he maintains that Shabbosos indeed are considered two separate entities, just like two different women. This is difficult to understand, because one who is Shogeg with regard to Shabbos and Mezid with regard to the Melachos should be Chayav for each and every Shabbos for this reason, as we asked above. (RASHASH)
It must be that since a single Shogeg caused him to perform Melachah on all of these Shabbosos (that is, he did not know that this day was the seventh day of the week), and it was a single forgetting that caused him to do all of these transgressions (that is, if he thought, for example, that Shabbos is on Tuesday, he will err on every Shabbos that comes in his lifetime, because he thinks Shabbos is on Tuesday), it is not possible to consider the Shabbosos as separate entities. Only when he knows that it is Shabbos (Zadon b'Shabbos) but he does not realize that what he is doing is a Melachah (Shogeg b'Melachos) can the Shabbosos be considered separate entities. (M. KORNFELD)
2) RAV CHISDA'S OPINION THAT "SHABBOSOS" ARE "MECHALEK"
QUESTION: Rav Chisda asserts that in a case of Shigegas Melachos, even Rebbi Akiva agrees that Shabbosos are Mechalek to obligate the person to bring a separate Chatas not only for each Melachah that he did, but for each and every Shabbos on which he did Melachah. (See Chart.)
RASHI (DH Rav Chisda) points out that there is a difficulty on Rav Chisda's opinion from the Mishnah in Shabbos (67b), which lists the Melachos and says that one is Chayav only for each Melachah, but not for each and every Shabbos. Indeed, this was Rabah's proof that Shabbosos are not Mechalek. How does Rav Chisda refute this proof against his opinion?
(a) RASHI answers that Rav Chisda learns that the Mishnah in Shabbos indeed means that one is also Chayav for each and every Shabbos that he desecrates. (This answer is a bit forced, however.)
(b) The RAMBAM (Hilchos Shegagos 7:9) answers this question in a different way. The Rambam rules like Rav Chisda and says that Shabbosos are Mechalek, but only when there is at least a slight difference between each Melachah that was done. That is, the Av Melachah must have been done with variations in order for the person to be Chayav for multiple Chata'os. For example, he sowed a seed, planted a tree, and grafted a tree. Had he done all of these Melachos on one Shabbos, he would have been Chayav only one Chatas, since they are all included in one Av Melachah (Zore'a). When he does them on separate Shabbosos, he is Chayav for each act because the Shabbosos are Mechalek.
This approach explains the Mishnah in Shabbos. According to Rav Chisda, the Mishnah there refers to one who did the exact same Melachah on each Shabbos, and therefore he is Chayav only once. Rav Chisda, in contrast, refers to one who did the same Melachah but with slight variations on each Shabbos.
This answer, however, needs further elucidation. If Shabbosos are Mechalek between the Melachos, then why are they not Mechalek even when the exact same Melachah was done? Why must there be a slight variation in the Melachah in order for the Shabbosos to be Mechalek?
Moreover, Rav Chisda himself cites proof for his opinion from a Beraisa that discusses the case of one who writes one letter on one Shabbos, and a second letter on the following Shabbos. There is no variation between the Melachos, and yet Shabbosos are Mechalek!
RAV AHARON KOTLER zt'l in MISHNAS REBBI AHARON (Shabbos #10) explains that the Rambam maintains the separate Shabbosos do not suffice to separate the Melachos from each other to make the person obligated to bring two (or more) Chata'os. In order to be Chayav to bring two Chata'os, there must also be two Shegagos, two mistakes. If there is only one mistake, then there can be only one Chiyuv Chatas.
What, though, is the Rambam's source for this understanding?
The Rambam understands this from the Mishnah in Shabbos (67b) that Rabah cites. The Mishnah there teaches that if one forgets about Shabbos entirely, he is Chayav only one Chatas for all of the Melachos that he does on all of the Shabbosos that he desecrates. If, however, each week he forgets again that it is Shabbos, he is Chayav once for each Shabbos. Only if he forgets the Melachos is he Chayav for each and every Melachah that he does. The Rambam maintains that this is not merely a Gezeiras ha'Kasuv. Rather, the Torah is teaching that on one Shegagah (forgetting) there can be only one Chatas, regardless of how many separate Aveiros he did. In other words, in order to separate the Chata'os, two factors must be present: one, a separation between the Melachos (by the fact that they are different Avos Melachah or by Shabbosos separating them), and two, a separation between the Shegagos. Therefore, one who forgets about Shabbos entirely is Chayav only once, for there is only one Shegagah. If the Shegagah is that he forgets what day of the week it is, then he is Chayav only one Chatas for each Shabbos (if the days in between are considered a "Yedi'ah"). One is Chayav for each Melachah only when he forgets the Melachos, and there is a Shegagah for each Melachah.
How, though, does the Rambam understand the Gemara here? If one did the same Melachah repeatedly every Shabbos because he forgot that this act is a Melachah, there is only one Shegagah. The days in between can be considered a "Yedi'ah" only if what he forgot was what day is Shabbos. Why, then, is he Chayav for each Shabbos that he desecrated?
To explain the Gemara here, the Rambam learns that each Melachah that one did was slightly different, so that each one was a separate Shegagah. If all of his acts of Melachah would have been done on one Shabbos, then he would have been Chayav only one Chatas, because nothing differentiates the Melachah into separate Melachos, since all of his acts are part of the same general Av Melachah. When separate Shabbosos are Mechalek the Melachos, he can be Chayav to bring many Chata'os, since there are many Shegagos because of the slight variation in the Melachos. (Rabah, who disproves Rav Chisda from the fact that the Mishnah in Shabbos says that one is Chayav for Shigegas Melachah on each Shabbos, argues with Rav Chisda and maintains that Chata'os do not depend on separate Shegagos. Accordingly, if the Shabbosos would be Mechalek, they would be Mechalek for identical Melachos as well.)
Regarding the case of the Beraisa of one who writes one letter on one Shabbos and a second letter on the following Shabbos, the Beraisa actually refers to a person who does each writing in a different He'elem. This is enough to separate the Melachos into two Shegagos so that one would be Chayav two Chata'os if he would write two letters (the Shi'ur of the Melachah of Kosev) on each Shabbos. Therefore, it also separates between the one-letter writings in the Beraisa. In the case of a true He'elem, a deviation between the Melachos is not necessary to separate the Shegagos. The new He'elem itself comprises a new Shegagah, and if the Melachah was done in two Shabbosos, it is possible to Mechalek the two Isurim as well. The deviation is necessary only to separate the Shegagos when what was forgotten was that his act was a Melachah but there was no actual He'elem between the Melachos. (Although this Tana maintains that "Ein Yedi'ah l'Chatzi Shi'ur," this applies only to the days between the two Shabbosos, which have that status of a Yedi'ah, but the person himself does not actually become aware of Shabbos. See TOSFOS in Shabbos (67b, DH Klal Gadol) who says that it indeed is a Gezeiras ha'Kasuv to consider the days between the Shabbosos to be a Yedi'ah that separates between the Isurim. This type of Yedi'ah (a Halachic Yedi'ah, but not an actual awareness) must be a Yedi'ah after an entire Shi'ur of Melachah was done, and then it is able to separate the Melachos from each other. In contrast, a real, cognitive Yedi'ah is effective even when it is on a Chatzi Shi'ur, but it is not able to separate the Isurim from each other; it separates the Shegagos only after the Shabbosos were already Mechalek the Isurim. Therefore, when there was a real Yedi'ah in between the Shabbosos, even the Rambam will agree that the Shabbosos can be Mechalek identical Melachos.) (Mordechai Zvi Dicker)