1) MOVING "MUKTZAH" INDIRECTLY
OPINIONS: The Gemara concludes that one is permitted to move the body of a dead person, which is Muktzah, by way of "Tiltul Min ha'Tzad," indirectly moving Muktzah, in order to save it from being destroyed in a fire. The Rabanan permitted one to move the body out of concern that one might otherwise be tempted to extinguish the fire.
TOSFOS (DH d'Kuli Alma) infers from the Gemara's conclusion that "Tiltul Min ha'Tzad" in any other circumstance is forbidden. Tosfos, however, explains that there are two types of "Tiltul Min ha'Tzad," and only one of them is included in the prohibition:
1. One is permitted to lift an object which is not Muktzah, even though while one lifts the object it touches and moves a Muktzah object. This is permitted, because the person intends to move only the non-Muktzah object.
2. In contrast, when one wants to move the Muktzah object, he may not do so even if he moves it by way of moving a non-Muktzah object.
The ROSH writes that there is a third type of "Tiltul Min ha'Tzad":
3. One is permitted to move a Muktzah object with a part of his body (such as his elbows or feet) that one usually does not use for moving that object, even if his intention is to move the Muktzah object itself. (The CHIDUSHEI HA'RAN appears to disagree with this category of "Tiltul Min ha'Tzad" and suggests a different explanation for the Gemara upon which it is based.)
2) REMOVING OIL FROM A LAMP ON SHABBOS
QUESTIONS: The Gemara cites a Beraisa in which Rebbi Elazar b'Rebbi Shimon argues with his father, Rebbi Shimon. Rebbi Elazar states that a person may take and use oil from a lamp that went out, and he may even use oil that dripped from a lamp while the lamp is still aflame.
In what respect, though, does he argue with Rebbi Shimon? Rebbi Shimon agrees that when the lamp is no longer aflame, one is permitted to take oil from it and use it; when the lamp is still aflame, one is prohibited from taking oil directly from the lamp (because of the Melachah of extinguishing). In the case of oil that drips out while the lamp is lit, Rebbi Shimon does not say that he prohibits the oil.
(a) RASHI explains that when Rebbi Elazar says that one may use the oil "when the lamp goes out," he means that the lamp is in the process of going out, but it is still lit. Rebbi Elazar maintains that once it is clear that the candle will not be able to burn much longer, one may remove oil from the lamp and he does not transgress the Melachah of extinguishing. (Since the flame is going out and will not consume this oil anyway, removing the oil is not considered an act of extinguishing.) Rebbi Shimon, however, maintains that the oil is Muktzah because the candle is still burning; when a person lights a candle before Shabbos, he does not have in mind to use the oil that remains in the lamp as it is going out.
According to Rashi, it appears that both Rebbi Shimon and his son agree that when oil drips out of the lamp one is permitted to use that oil, since it is no longer in a burning candle. (See Maharsha and Sefas Emes to Rashi, and Rosh. See also Chart #9, footnote #2.)
(b) Other Rishonim (TOSFOS HA'ROSH, RITVA, TOSFOS 42b, DH b'Ein) explain that while the candle is burning, even if it is beginning to go out, one is prohibited, according to everyone, from taking oil from the lamp, because of the Melachah of extinguishing. The argument between Rebbi Shimon and Rebbi Elazar concerns oil that drips from the lamp while it is still lit. Rebbi Shimon prohibits using such oil, because a person does not consider before Shabbos the possibility of using the oil that drips while the lamp is aflame. Therefore, one may not eat or use the oil that dripped until after the candle goes out. (See Chart #9 for an elaboration of the details.)
3) THE "MUCHNI"
OPINIONS: The Gemara cites the Mishnah in Kelim (18:2) that says that a non-removable "Muchni" can protect utensils from becoming Tamei in an Ohel ha'Mes, a sheltered area in which a corpse lies. What is a "Muchni," and what is the case in which the Muchni can prevent utensils from becoming Tamei?
(a) RASHI seems to understand the case as follows. The Muchni or wagon wheel was attached to a wagon that was traveling in a graveyard. The wagon wheels were "taller than the height of the wagon" (the open, upper part of the side of the wagon). Some utensils that were loaded in the wagon protruded above the top of the wagon's side, but not higher than the top of the wheel. Tum'ah would come up and enter the top of the wagon from the side and be Metamei the utensils, if not for the wheel protecting them.
(b) TOSFOS challenges Rashi's explanation, because we have never heard of such a thing as Tum'ah creeping in from the side. Tosfos explains that the Mishnah is discussing a wooden vessel that holds a volume of at least forty Se'ah (as Rashi explains), and it is sealed tight (with a Tzamid Pasil) that protects everything inside from becoming Tamei.
However, the forty-Se'ah wooden vessel has a hole in it (either on the side or bottom), and the Muchni is covering the hole, making it less than a Tefach in diameter. The Muchni itself is a flat wooden wheel ("Peshutei Kli Etz") that cannot become Tamei. Since the Muchni is not covering the entire hole and it has left a space less than a Tefach in the hole of the wooden vessel, it can block Tum'ah from rising up into the vessel only if it has been affixed there permanently (see Bava Basra 19b, and Tosfos there (20a, DH Hi)). If the wheel is removable, then Tum'ah will enter the vessel through the hole and will be Metamei anything inside the vessel.
Alternatively, the Muchni itself is a wooden vessel (which holds less than forty Se'ah, and therefore it can become Tamei) that is covering the entire hole. If it is affixed permanently, then it is considered part of the larger wooden vessel (which holds more than forty Se'ah and is not Mekabel Tum'ah), and it, too, cannot become Tamei and it blocks Tum'ah from entering the hole. If it is removable, then it is not part of the larger wooden vessel, but it is an independent, small vessel, and it can become Tamei. Consequently, it does not block Tum'ah from entering the hole. (RAN, quoting "Yesh Mefarshim")
(c) The RITVA here and the BARTENURA in Kelim explain that Rashi does not mean that the wheel prevents Tum'ah from entering from the side. Rather, Rashi means that the wheels are underneath the wagon, and utensils protrude horizontally over the side of the wagon, above the wheels. If the wheel is not removable, then it is not Mekabel Tum'ah and it prevents the Tum'ah from reaching the utensils. If the Muchni is removable, then it does not prevent the Tum'ah from reaching the utensils, since the Muchni itself is Mekabel Tum'ah and it cannot prevent Tum'ah from spreading to other objects.
The Ritva's explanation of Rashi is difficult to reconcile with the words of Rashi. Rashi states that the wheels are "higher" than the walls of the wagon! In order to understand how the Ritva's explanation is evident in the words of Rashi, we must understand two other questions that the Rishonim ask on Rashi's explanation of the Mishnah:
First, according to Rashi's explanation, why does the Mishnah say "Muchni" ("wheel") in the singular form? A wagon has at least two wheels, one on each side!
Second, as the wheel rolls over the graveyard, it rests directly on top of the ground, and there is not a one-Tefach separation between the ground and the bottom of the wheel. How, then, can the wheel prevent the upward diffusion of Tum'ah? In order to stop Tum'ah from spreading, an object must be an Ohel. It is considered an Ohel only when there is a Tefach of empty space between it and the ground!
Perhaps Rashi understands that the Mishnah is discussing a wagon with one wide wheel underneath it that extends from one side of the wagon to the other side (like the wheel of a modern steam-roller). The long wheel is hollow in the middle with at least a Tefach of space inside, between the bottom of the wheel and the top. The Tefach space that is hollow inside the wheel serves as the Ohel to block the Tum'ah from ascending above the wheel.
When Rashi says that the "height" of the wheel is greater than the height of the wagon, he is referring to the length of the wheel (which, if stood upright, would be its height), as it extends from one side of the wagon to the other. That length -- or "height" -- is greater than the corresponding length of the wagon, such that part of the wheel protrudes beyond the wagon on each side. (Rashi calls this measure of the wheel its "height," describing it as a pillar lying horizontally, in contradistinction to its width, or diameter.) Accordingly, Rashi is saying exactly what the Ritva understands him to be saying. (M. KORNFELD)
4) MOVING AN OBJECT WITH "MUKTZAH" ON IT
QUESTION: The Gemara concludes that if the "Muchni" (wheel, see previous Insight) is permanently attached to the wagon, one may drag it on Shabbos even if there is money on the Muchni.
What difference does it make whether the Muchni is attached permanently or not? The Muchni serves as a "Basis l'Davar ha'Asur" -- a base for a forbidden object (money) -- and it should be forbidden to be moved!
(a) TOSFOS (DH Ein) explains that an object becomes a "Basis" only when the Muktzah item is on top of the primary part of the object. If it is on top of a secondary part of the object, the object does not become a "Basis."
(b) The RAMBAM (in Perush ha'Mishnayos) explains that the Muchni is not a wheel, but a drawer that slides in and out. When the Gemara says that one is permitted to move it when it has money on top, it means that one may slide the drawer in and out if it is permanently attached and cannot be removed. The reason is because when an object is a "Basis" for Muktzah, its status as a "Basis" only prohibits moving the entire object from its place; moving part of it is permitted. If the drawer is removable, then it is considered a separate utensil and moving it is like moving an entire object and is prohibited.
(c) The RITVA says that in the case in the Mishnah in Kelim, the object inside the wagon is not a Muktzah-object, and there is money (which is Muktzah) on top of the wheel. The Halachah is that an object that serves as a "Basis" for both a permissible object and a forbidden one may be moved (Shabbos 141a). If the Muchni is removable, it is not considered part of the wagon but has its own, individual identity, and thus it has only one object on top of it -- an object of Muktzah (the money). In contrast, if the Muchni is non-removable, then it is not considered an independent object, but rather it is part of the wagon. Consequently, it is considered to be a "Basis" for both a permissible object and a Muktzah object, and therefore it may be moved.