KERISUS 19 (9 Elul) - Dedicated to commemorate the Yahrzeit ofֲ Chana bas Mordechai Eliezer z'l.
1) WHAT IS CONSIDERED TWO "SHEMOS"?
QUESTION: In the Mishnah, Rebbi Shimon and Rebbi Shimon Shezuri say that Rebbi Eliezer and Rebbi Yehoshua (who disagree about whether one is Chayav to bring a Chatas when he is in doubt about which Melachah he performed unintentionally on Shabbos) do not argue when the possible transgressions are all from one "Shem" (title, or category of Isur). In such a case they agree that he is Chayav to bring a Chatas. They disagree only when the possible transgressions are from two separate Shemos; Rebbi Eliezer maintains that he must bring a Chatas, and Rebbi Yehoshua maintains that he is exempt.
RASHI (DH Al Davar, and DH Al Mah) explains that the two "Shemos" refer to two separate types of produce. For example, he is in doubt about whether he picked dates or grapes. This explanation is evident from the question of the Gemara later (20a).
Why, though, does the Gemara not explain the Mishnah in a more straightforward manner -- that one "Shem" refers to one Melachah (which would be Rashi's case of two Shemos, where one does not know if he harvested dates or grapes)? In this case he is Chayav because he certainly performed the Melachah of Kotzer. The case of two "Shemos" refers to a case in which one is unsure about whether he transgressed the Melachah of Kotzer (harvesting) or Tochen (grinding). (Indeed, this is the way the RAMBAM explains the Mishnah in Perush ha'Mishnayos.)
(a) TOSFOS (20a, DH Hainu) answers that the Tana Kama of the Mishnah already states that Rebbi Eliezer and Rebbi Yehoshua disagree about whether one is Chayav to bring a Chatas when in doubt about which Melachah he performed unintentionally. On what point, then, do Rebbi Shimon and Rebbi Shimon Shezuri disagree with the Tana Kama? If they mean that Rebbi Eliezer and Rebbi Yehoshua argue about whether two "Shemos" means two Melachos (that is, when a person is in doubt about which of two Melachos he performed), then they are saying the same thing as the Tana Kama! It must be, therefore, that Rebbi Shimon and Rebbi Shimon Shezuri mean that Rebbi Eliezer and Rebbi Yehoshua argue even with regard to a doubt in one Melachah, when the doubt involves two "Shemos," meaning two different types of produce (dates or grapes). Rebbi Yehoshua exempts the person from a Korban Chatas even though he knows which Melachah he performed.
(b) The RAMBAM, however, understands from the Gemara's conclusion (20a) that the Gemara retracts its original assumption that two "Shemos" means a doubt about the type of fruit with which the Melachah was performed, and it concludes that two "Shemos" means two Melachos. How does the Rambam answer the question of Tosfos? In what way are Rebbi Shimon and Rebbi Shimon Shezuri arguing with the Tana Kama?
It is apparent from the Mishnah that Rebbi Eliezer and Rebbi Yehoshua are arguing with regard to two laws. They are arguing about whether one must bring a Chatas when he knows that he performed a Melachah (or committed another transgression) but he is unsure which Melachah (or transgression) it was. They also are arguing about whether one must bring a Chatas in a case of Mis'asek, when one intended to perform a Melachah (or other transgression) and his hand slipped and he inadvertently performed another Melachah (or transgression). (The Gemara (19b) concludes that they are not arguing about a real case of Mis'asek, but rather about a case in which the person intended to do the action that he eventually did, but he wanted to do it at a later time, or he forgot that he had wanted to do this action intentionally and then he did it unintentionally.)
Accordingly, perhaps since the Tana Kama does not mention the second argument, he maintains that Rebbi Eliezer and Rebbi Yehoshua argue only in the first case. Rebbi Shimon and Rebbi Shimon Shezuri add that Rebbi Eliezer and Rebbi Yehoshua argue in the second case as well (as is clear from the Gemara, and as can be inferred from the words of Rebbi Yehudah in the end of the Mishnah). (M. KORNFELD)
2) "MIS'ASEK" AND "MELECHES MACHSHEVES"
QUESTION: In the Mishnah, Rebbi Eliezer derives from the word "Bah" (Vayikra 4:23) that one who performs an act of Aveirah by being Mis'asek does not bring a Korban Chatas. The Gemara concludes that this refers to a person who did a Melachah on Shabbos by being Mis'asek (that is, he intended to do something that was permitted, and he accidentally did something that was forbidden). He is exempt from a Korban because "the Torah forbids only Meleches Machsheves."
There are a number of difficulties with the Gemara's statement that he is exempt from a Korban because the Torah forbids only Meleches Machsheves.
1. If one who is Mis'asek on Shabbos is exempt from bringing a Chatas because the Torah forbids only Meleches Machsheves, then why does the Mishnah need to derive the exemption from a new verse ("Bah")?
2. If, on the other hand, the source that Mis'asek on Shabbos is exempt is the word "Bah," then why does Shmuel in the name of Rav Nachman say that one who is Mis'asek is exempt because his act is not a Meleches Machsheves?
3. In the Gemara, Abaye and Rava disagree about the definition of Mis'asek. Abaye says that Mis'asek exists only in a case in which one intended to lift something that was already detached from the ground ("l'Hagbi'a Es ha'Talush"), but instead he cut a plant that was still attached to the ground ("Chatach Es ha'Mechubar"). Rava says that Mis'asek is also in a case in which one intended to cut something that was detached and instead he cut something that was attached to the ground. Everyone agrees that when one intended to cut one plant that was still attached to the ground and instead he cut something else that was attached to the ground, he is not considered Mis'asek, and he is Chayav. However, the Gemara later (20a) quotes a Beraisa that says that if two candles were kindled and a person intended to extinguish one of them but instead extinguished the other one, he is exempt because he is Mis'asek!
ANSWERS: There are two basic approaches in the words of RASHI and TOSFOS to answer these questions.
(a) To answer the first question, RASHI (19a, DH Miba'i Lei, and 19b, DH Afilu Rebbi Yehoshua) writes that this point is indeed the subject of dispute between Rebbi Eliezer and Rebbi Yehoshua in the Mishnah. Rebbi Eliezer derives from "Bah" that Mis'asek is exempt (as the end of the Mishnah mentions). According to Rebbi Eliezer, only when one intended to do something permitted and accidentally did something forbidden is he considered Mis'asek. The argument between Abaye and Rava is according to the view of Rebbi Eliezer, who does not learn the exemption from the concept of Meleches Machsheves.
Shmuel in the name of Rav Nachman, however, who says that Mis'asek is exempt because the Torah forbids only Meleches Machsheves, is following the opinion of Rebbi Yehoshua who does not derive the exemption of Mis'asek from "Bah" (because, as the Gemara says, he uses that word for a different Derashah -- that one who sinned but does not know exactly which sin he committed is exempt from a Korban). According to Rebbi Yehoshua, Mis'asek is excluded because it is not considered an act of Meleches Machsheves since he did not have intention to do the act that he did. (This answers the second question. Even though the concept of Meleches Machsheves is written with regard to Shabbos and does not exempt a person from a Korban with regard to other prohibitions, in truth Mis'asek is not exempt from a Korban except in the Halachos of Shabbos, as is evident from the Sugya here; see SHITAH MEKUBETZES #10.)
This approach also answers the third question. Since Rebbi Yehoshua's source for exempting Mis'asek is that it is not a Meleches Machsheves, according to Rebbi Yehoshua it is logical to exempt a person from a Korban even when the person intended to do one Isur but did another, because this act, too, is not a Meleches Machsheves. The Beraisa later (20a) that exempts this type of Mis'asek follows the opinion of Rebbi Yehoshua.
According to this approach, Shmuel is arguing with Abaye and Rava with regard to the same thing that Rebbi Eliezer and Rebbi Yehoshua are arguing. Shmuel follows the view of Rebbi Yehoshua, and Abaye and Rava follow the view of Rebbi Eliezer. This appears to be Rashi's approach in the Sugya. (M. KORNFELD)
It is important to note that according to Rashi, the entire discussion of Mis'asek is applicable only in a case in which a person intended to perform one action and his hand slipped and he performed another action. If he did what he had intended to do, but he merely thought that what he was doing was permissible (for example, he intended to cut a detached plant but the plant was actually attached to the ground; this is known as making a mistake "b'Guf Echad" (in one object) as opposed to the case of Mis'asek, which involves two Gufin), he is not considered to be Mis'asek at all, since he was not aware of the reality of the situation. This is the case of Shogeg mentioned by the Torah, for which one is obligated to bring a Korban Chatas according to all opinions. (See the Girsa section, #6, in Background here.) This is the approach of Rashi in the Sugya.
(b) TOSFOS (19a, DH Lashon ha'Tosfos and DH Aval; Shitah Mekubetzes #1, #9, #10) learns the Gemara differently. Tosfos differentiates between a mistake with two Gufin (objects) and a mistake with one Guf. According to both Rebbi Eliezer and Rebbi Yehoshua, a mistake with one Guf (he thought that this object was one thing and it turned out to be another thing) is considered a case of Mis'asek for which he is exempt, because the word "Bah" in the verse excludes Mis'asek. Similarly, everyone agrees that a mistake with two Gufin (he intended to grab one object and his hand slipped and he grabbed another object) is considered Mis'asek for which he is exempt, because of two reasons: first, "Bah" excludes Mis'asek, and, second, the act is not considered a Meleches Machsheves.
The difference between these two reasons is that according to the reason of "Bah," only one who intended to do a permitted act and accidentally did a forbidden act is exempt, while according to the reason of Meleches Machsheves, one is exempt for Mis'asek even when he intended to do one forbidden act and instead did another forbidden act (as the Gemara on 19b teaches). This answers the second question.
This is what the Beraisa (20a) means when it says that one who intended to extinguish one candle but accidentally extinguished the other candle is exempt; the Beraisa refers to a case of Mis'asek with two Gufin. Abaye and Rava, who exempt Mis'asek only when he intended to do something permitted and mistakenly did something forbidden, refer to a case of one Guf, because this is what the Mishnah is discussing when it derives from the word "Bah" that Mis'asek is excluded. This answers the third question.
According to the approach of Tosfos, the answer to the first question must be that the Mishnah is referring to a case of two Gufin, because otherwise Mis'asek would be exempt without the Derashah from "Bah" (because it is not a Meleches Machsheves, the reason which applies to all cases of Mis'asek).
In summary, according to Tosfos, when one made a mistake and sinned with one Guf, everyone agrees that he is exempt because of "Bah," which excludes Mis'asek. This exemption applies only when he had intended to do something permitted. When he erred with two Gufin, everyone agrees that he is exempt because his act is not a Meleches Machsheves, and even when he had intended to do a forbidden act he is exempt, as Shmuel in the name of Rav Nachman says. (All of this applies only to the laws of Shabbos, as mentioned above, because the exemption of Mis'asek is said only with regard to Shabbos and not with regard to any other Isur). This is the approach of Tosfos in the Sugya.
(According to the view of Tosfos -- that even a mistake in one Guf is considered Mis'asek, where do we find a case of Shogeg for which one is obligated to bring a Korban Chatas? Tosfos answers that the Chiyuv of Shogeg to bring a Chatas applies only in a case of "Omer Mutar," when a person errs in the Halachah (thinking that the act is permitted) and not in the reality of the situation (in contradistinction to Rashi's explanation). See Tosfos DH d'Ha.)