EMPLOYING NON-JEWISH WORKERS ON SHABBOS AND YOM TOV
(Shmuel): Non-Jewish contractors (hired before Shabbos) may do work for a Jew on Shabbos and Yom Tov.
(R. Papa): This is only true if the work they are doing is out of walking distance (Techum Shabbos) of any city, so that no one will see what they are doing and suspect that they were hired on Shabbos.
(R. Mesharshia): On Chol ha'Mo'ed even this is forbidden, because people can travel to the place even when it is out of the Techum.
Story: Mar Zutra Breih d'Rav Nachman once had a mansion built (out of the Techum) by non-Jewish contractors who worked on Shabbos and Yom Tov. Yet several rabbis (some say even Mar Zutra himself) refused to walk into the house.
Question: According to the rules given above (2:a-c) Mar Zutra did nothing wrong. Why did the rabbis boycott the house?
Answer #1: An important, prominent man must follow a more stringent standard (see above, 11b, 2:d:2).
Answer #2: Mar Zutra himself had supplied them with straw (for bricks) on Shabbos and Yom Tov, and this was forbidden.
WORK THAT IS NOT MELACHAH ON CHOL HA'MO'ED
R. Chama allowed the Reish Galusa's table-fixers to do their work (which did not involve actual Melachah - Rosh) on Chol ha'Mo'ed because they did not receive a salary but only worked for their food. (But working for a salary would be forbidden, even if it does not involve Melachah.)
BERAISOS - GIVING WORK TO A NON-JEW ON CHOL HA'MO'ED
One may give work to a non-Jew (e.g., cleaners, shoemaker, repairman) on Chol ha'Mo'ed to do after Chol ha'Mo'ed, but not to do on Chol ha'Mo'ed
Amirah l'Acum (instructing a non-Jew to do a Melachah) is forbidden on Chol ha'Mo'ed (for those Melachos which are forbidden to Jews).
When giving the work to the non-Jew (as in 3:a) one must not measure, weigh, etc. the objects involved in the normal, week-day manner.
BERAISOS ABOUT WORKING WITH ANIMALS ON CHOL HA'MO'ED
One may not mate his animals on Chol ha'Mo'ed (It is also forbidden to use a Bechor animal or Pesulei ha'Mukdashin animal for breeding.)
R. Yehudah permits mating a she-ass in heat, to prevent her from becoming ill. For other animals in heat he should just put them into the barn where there are males and let nature take its course.
One may not lead his animals into his field with the intention of having them fertilize the land on Shabbos and Yom Tov and Chol ha'Mo'ed If they went into the field themselves he may leave them there, but not assist them or hire a non-Jew oversee them. If one already has a non-Jew working for him, who is paid by the week, month, year, etc. (and is thus allowed to work on Shabbos and Yom Tov and Chol ha'Mo'ed also), he may assist him or hire an overseer on Chol ha'Mo'ed, but not on Shabbos or Yom Tov. Rebbe, however, permits a Jew to assist the farmhand in arranging this kind of fertilization on Shabbos as long as he does it for free, and on Yom Tov he may work for food, and on Chol ha'Mo'ed he may work for pay.
(R. Yosef): The Halachah is like Rebbe (in 4:c).
MISHNAH - A REPEAT OF THE FIRST MISHNAH, ONLY ABOUT WINE
If someone pressed his grapes (and the wine will spoil if not stored away quickly), but he was unable to store it because he became a mourner or because his workers didn't show up or some other good excuse, R. Yehudah says he may do the minimum to prevent the spoiling of the wine, and leave the rest for later.
R. Yosi says the entire barrelling process may be followed as usual. (Because once something is a Davar ha'Aved R. Yosi permits doing Melachah in the usual manner, without Shinui.)
GEMARA - SOME COMMENTS ON THE MISHNAH
It was necessary for the Mishnah to discuss both the case of oil and that of wine, because oil costs much more than wine. If we were only told about the disagreement between R. Yosi and R. Yehudah in the case of wine we might have thought that when it comes to oil R. Yehudah agrees to the lenient position. If we were only told about it in the case of oil we would have thought that when it comes to wine R. Yosi agrees to the stringent position.
Observation (R. Yitzchak bar Abba): If you ever find a Tana who requires a Shinui for a Davar ha'Aved on Chol ha'Mo'ed, you will know that it's not R. Yosi talking.
(R. Yosef): The Halachah is in accordance with R. Yosi.
Ruling (R. Papa): One may seal (Rashi) a beer barrel on Chol ha'Mo'ed, because it is a Davar ha'Aved.
Observation (R. Chama bar Guria): The laws of Chol ha'Mo'ed are like the laws of dealing with Cuthites (Samaritans): Each case is judged individually, and one cannot draw a conclusion from one case to another.
An example is lining a jug with pitch. Shmuel permitted it for a small jug, but not for a large jug (too much exertion).
R. Dimi of Neharde'a said the opposite - it is permitted for a large jug, but not for a small jug (not enough loss involved to justify the work).
Observation (Abaye): The laws of Chol ha'Mo'ed are like the laws of Shabbos, in that some things are completely permitted and others are not actually permitted but are not punishable offenses either. (It is not clear what cases Abaye is referring to; see Rishonim.)
HARVESTING ON CHOL HA'MO'ED
Rav Huna had his field harvested on Chol ha'Mo'ed, because the crop would have spoiled if he had waited until after Chol ha'Mo'ed
Question: There is a Beraisa that says that Melachos may be done on Chol ha'Mo'ed for a Davar ha'Aved only if they involved detached food; any work with crops that are still growing in the field is forbidden, even for Davar ha'Aved. (The Beraisa adds that if someone really doesn't have anything else to eat he may harvest, bundle, thresh - but not with an animal - winnow, etc.)
Answer: That Beraisa is a minority opinion, namely that of R. Yosi, as may be seen from another Beraisa.
Question: If the Beraisa expresses R. Yosi's opinion, why does one have to thresh without animals? We learned above (11b, #1, and 12a, #5) that R. Yosi does not require a Shinui for a Davar ha'Aved!
Answer: It is not because of Shinui that the use of animals is forbidden, because people thresh without animals very often. The reason animals are not allowed is because it would be too loud and noticeable.
DOING MELACHAH FOR THE HOLIDAY VS. FOR AFTER THE HOLIDAY
Beraisa: One may grind grain, cut wood and prepare beer for the holiday, but not for after the holiday. If leftovers happen to remain, however, they may be used after the holiday. It is forbidden to intentionally make enough for leftovers for after the holiday.
Question: This contradicts another Beraisa, which permits intentionally making enough beer for leftovers, by drinking from the new batches and leaving the old batches for later.
Answer: This issue is a disagreement between two Tana'im, as seen from yet another Beraisa. The Tana Kama forbids it, and R. Yosi bar Yehudah permits it.
CUTTING THINGS FROM THE GROUND ON CHOL HA'MO'ED
Story: Rav allowed his field to be harvested on Chol ha'Mo'ed. Shmuel became angry at him.
Question: Why was Shmuel angry? We established above (7) that according to the majority opinion it is permitted to harvest a crop if it is in danger of spoiling. Did Shmuel hold like the minority opinion?
Answer: It was a wheat crop, which would not have suffered at all if it had been left until after the holiday.
Question: If so, why did Rav harvest the crop?
Answer: He did not have anything else to eat, and in this case it is permitted, as above 7:b.
Question: If so, why was Shmuel angry at him?
Answer #1: Shmuel was unaware of the fact that Rav had nothing else to eat.
Answer #2: Shmuel was of the opinion that even though it is permitted in this case, an important rabbi should be more stringent for himself.
More about the need for an important rabbi to be extra stringent
Story: Rav Yehudah Nesi'ah went outside on Shabbos wearing a fancy signet ring. He also drank water that was boiled by a non-Jewish cook. R. Ami became angry with him.
Question: Why was R. Ami angry? Both of these practices are explicitly permitted.
Answer: R. Ami felt that an important rabbi should be more stringent than the basic requirements of the Halachah.
Chopping down trees on Chol ha'Mo'ed
Rav said that a tree may be cut down on Chol ha'Mo'ed even if one only needs a few chips of wood.
Abaye put a curse on anyone who would follow this practice.
Story: R. Ashi had a forest, which he went to chop down on Chol ha'Mo'ed. R. Shila reminded him about Abaye's curse. R. Ashi informed him that he disagreed with Abaye about this. After this he had a close call with an accident with the ax, and took it as an omen to stop chopping.
Rav Yehudah's three leniencies:
Rav Yehudah permitted picking flax, cutting hops, and picking sesames on Chol ha'Mo'ed
Question: There is a use on Chol ha'Mo'ed for flax (covering fruit) and hops (making beer), but of what use is raw sesame on Chol ha'Mo'ed?
Answer: You can press oil from the seeds.
R. Yannai's orchard
Story: R. Yannai once harvested his orchards on Chol ha'Mo'ed (because it was a Davar ha'Aved - Rabeinu Chananel). The next year everyone went and harvested their orchards on Chol ha'Mo'ed (though they were not Davar ha'Aved). R. Yannai punished himself (for being the source of a misunderstanding) and disowned his entire crop of that year.
MISHNAH - MORE EXAMPLES OF DAVAR HA'AVED
It is permitted to put away the harvested crop into storage if one fears theft.
It is permitted to remove flax from the water where it was soaking, to prevent loss.
All these leniencies of Davar ha'Aved may not be intentionally left to be done on Chol ha'Mo'ed. If someone does intentionally leave his work for Chol ha'Mo'ed, the products of his labor become banned as a punishment.
GEMARA - RESTRICTION OF THE LAW IN 10:a
Beraisa: When putting away the crop into storage it must be done discreetly.
Story: Rav Yosef once moved a pile of beams indoors on Chol ha'Mo'ed in broad daylight. Abaye asked him why he didn't do it at night, in accordance with above Beraisa (11:a). He answered that if the beams would be moved at night it would have made even more of a scene, with all the bonfires that would have been required for lighting.