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MOED KATAN 3

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MOED KATAN 3 (18 Av) - Dedicated in memory of Rabanit Miryam Rabinowitz zt'l, devoted wife of the Manostricher Rebbe shlit'a. May she be a Melitzas Yosher in heaven for her descendants and for all of Klal Yisrael.

SUMMARY

Rava says that the Torah only prohibited Avos Melachah (Melachos that were needed for the Mishkan) on Shevi'is and not Toldos Melachah.(1)
 
The Rabanan prohibited all Toldos Melachah on Shevi'is. The prohibition applies both to a regular field and to a vineyard.
 
Certain types of hoeing are permitted on Shevi'is and certain types are prohibited. (2)
 
It is a dispute between Rebbi Yochanan and Rebbi Elazar whether one who plows on Shevi'is is punished with lashes.
 
It is forbidden to plow a field in the months prior to Shevi'is.(3)
 
Raban Gamliel rescinded the prohibition to plow the fields on Erev Shevi'is and allowed the fields to be plowed until thirty days prior to Shevi'is.(4)

A BIT MORE

1. Although the Torah only prohibits Avos Melachah on Shevi'is pruning a tree and harvesting a vineyard, which are Toldos, are exceptions and are also prohibited by the Torah.
 
2. Hoeing for the purpose of filling the cracks in the field is permitted but hoeing for the purpose of improving the trees is forbidden.
 
3. Beis Shamai says that it is permitted to plow an orchard on Erev Shevi'is as long as the plowing is beneficial to the produce of Erev Shevi'is. According to Beis Hillel it is permitted until Shavuos. Regarding a regular field, it is permitted to plow until the end of the rainy season. Rebbi Shimon says it is prohibited to plow an orchard after Shavuos and a regular field after Pesach.
 
4. The Halachah l’Moshe mi’Sinai prohibits plowing thirty days prior to Shevi'is and Beis Shamai and Beis Hillel prohibited the plowing from Pesach and Shavuos and they stipulated that their decree may be rescinded by a Beis Din of a later generation.

BRIEF INSIGHT

The Gemara says that you may think that you would get lashes for transgressing Tosfos Shevi'is. The Ritva asks how Tosfos Shevi'is, which is a Mitzvas Aseh, could be punished with lashes; only a Mitzvas Lo Sa'aseh is punishable by lashes! The Ritva answers that the Torah is teaching us that Tosfos Shevi'is is included in the Mitzvas Lo Sa'aseh of Shevi'is. Alternatively, the lashes that the Gemara is referring to are Makas Mardus (Rabbinicaly obligated lashes).

QUICK HALACHAH

It is a Mitzvas Aseh to cease from working the land on Shevi'is. Anyone who does work on the land on Shevi'is has transgressed a Mitzvas Aseh and a Lo Sa'aseh. A person is only punished with Torah obligated lashes if he plants, prunes or harvests, whether in a vineyard or an orchard. Pruning is included in planting and harvesting a vineyard is included in regular harvesting. If so, why did the Torah specify them? To teach us that only for these two Toldos Melachah is a person punished with lashes but not for any other Toldos Melachah. However there would be a punishment of Makas Mardus (for other Toldos Melachah) (Rambam Hilchos Shemitah 1:1-3).

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