1) DRY BONES
QUESTION: In the Mishnah, Beis Shamai and Beis Hillel argue about how to remove bones and shells from the table on Shabbos. RASHI explains that the Mishnah refers to "hard bones that are not fit for a dog."
According to Rashi, why does Beis Shamai permit moving these items if they are not fit for any use at all? Everyone (even Rebbi Shimon) agrees that something that is totally unfit for use on Shabbos (like a rock) is Muktzah and may not be moved (Shabbos 46a)!
Furthermore, the Gemara here says explicitly that the Tana who permits moving bones and shells follows the view of Rebbi Shimon. However, Rebbi Shimon only permits moving such items when they are fit for animals (Shabbos 29a and elsewhere)! (TOSFOS DH Atzamos)
(a) Because of this problem, TOSFOS (and all other Rishonim) argue with Rashi and say that the Mishnah refers to soft bones that are fit for dogs.
(b) In an earlier manuscript of Rashi's commentary (cited by the DIKDUKEI SOFRIM), and in Rashi's commentary that appears on the Rif, the text of Rashi's wording is, "Hard bones that are fit for a dog."
Tosfos' version of Rashi obviously read "that are not fit for dogs." It seems that originally, Rashi wrote one explanation, and later he changed his mind (as we find in a number of places in Maseches Shabbos; see, for example, Rashi on 112b, DH Aval Tamei Maga, and Tosfos there, DH Sandal). The text of Rashi as it appears in the Gemara here is apparently from Rashi's first edition. Rashi changed his mind, though, and later wrote that the bones are indeed fit for dogs, as Tosfos explains.
(c) What did Rashi have in mind when he originally wrote that the bones are not fit for dogs? Why would Beis Shamai permit moving them if they are totally unfit?
It seems that Rashi was bothered by the fact that in the Gemara, Rav Nachman reverses the opinions of Beis Hillel and Beis Shamai from the way they appear in the Mishnah. Rav Nachman says that Beis Hillel is lenient and permits moving the bones, while Beis Shamai prohibits it. Perhaps Rashi questioned why Rav Nachman was justified in totally reversing the Mishnah and consequently changing Beis Hillel's ruling and the Halachic conclusion.
Rashi therefore understood the Mishnah differently. Beis Hillel certainly rules in accordance with Rebbi Shimon, even according to the original version of the Mishnah. Why, then, does he say that it is prohibited to move the bones directly? He must be referring to hard bones that are totally unfit for use, which Rebbi Shimon agrees is Muktzah. Beis Shamai, in contrast, permits moving such bones. Beis Shamai's opinion is an entirely new opinion (since both Rebbi Yehudah and Rebbi Shimon would prohibit moving such bones) that maintains that there is no Isur of Muktzah at all. Consequently, when Rav Nachman modifies the opinions in the Mishnah, he changes only the opinion of Beis Shamai. Beis Shamai is now Machmir and rules like Rebbi Yehudah, and the Mishnah refers to bones that are fit for animals. Beis Hillel's opinion remains the same (that is, Beis Hillel rules like Rebbi Shimon). When Rashi explained that the bones are hard, he was explaining the Mishnah according to the original text of the Mishnah (before Rav Nachman's revision).
(According to this approach, Rashi's comment on the Mishnah that Beis Hillel rules "like Rebbi Yehudah" is part of the second edition of Rashi's commentary. That is, it is consistent with what Rashi on the Rif says. We find a similar confusion of editions in Rashi on 112b, where the first and second editions of Rashi were combined; see Insights to 112:4:b.) (M. KORNFELD)
2) CARRYING A "MUKTZAH" ITEM TOGETHER WITH A PERMITTED ITEM
QUESTION: The Gemara teaches that date pits with no flesh on them are Muktzah and may not be moved. Shmuel would move them by placing them on top of bread and carrying them on the bread.
However, earlier (142b) Rav Yosef, Abaye, and Rava taught that one is not permitted to carry Muktzah on top of a permissible item. Does Shmuel argue with all of those Amora'im?
(a) TOSFOS (DH Rava, and in Beitzah 21b, DH Oseh Adam) explains that one is permitted to carry Muktzah on top of bread only when that Muktzah came into existence (Nolad) on Shabbos and was not in existence before Shabbos. The Gemara earlier refers to Muktzah that was in existence before Shabbos and could have been moved before the onset of Shabbos.
(b) The RAMBAN and RASHBA explain that the case of Shmuel differs from the case earlier. Earlier, the Gemara refers to carrying Muktzah which has a permissible item on top of it (that is, one actually grasps the Muktzah item). Here, though, Shmuel carried the permissible item with the Muktzah on top of it.
(c) The ROSH says that one may not carry a Muktzah item by placing it on bread. Only when the item is not really Muktzah, but one wants to be stringent, is he permitted to carry the item by placing it on top of a permissible item. The date pits in this case were not really Muktzah (because we rule like Rebbi Shimon who maintains that Nolad is not prohibited). However, since Shmuel was a prominent figure, he was stringent in this matter (as we saw earlier on 142b).
(This is similar to the Rosh's view elsewhere (Teshuvos 22:9), where the Rosh writes that a Kli she'Melachto l'Isur may be carried by placing bread on top of it. The Kli is not intrinsically forbidden to be moved since it may be moved l'Tzorech Gufo u'Mekomo; it is prohibited only to be moved for no purpose or for a forbidden purpose. Therefore, it may be carried on top of bread.)
(d) The ROSH in Beitzah (21b) explains that Shmuel did not place the date pits on top of bread. Rather, he spit them out into a basket that also contained bread, and then he carried the basket (which was a Basis l'Davar ha'Asur veha'Mutar).
HALACHAH: The SHULCHAN ARUCH (OC 308:5) cites the Rosh (c) with regard to moving a Kli she'Melachto l'Isur on top of bread, but the MISHNAH BERURAH (308:26) points out that many Rishonim do not agree with this ruling and prohibit moving a Kli she'Melachto l'Isur in such a way.
With regard to date pits, however, the SHULCHAN ARUCH (308:30) and MISHNAH BERURAH (308:124) explain that a prominent person is required to be stringent and move the pits only with a Shinuy, such as by placing them on top of bread, so that onlookers do not mistakenly think that they are permitted to carry similar items which are Muktzah.
3) HALACHAH: GATHERING FRUIT THAT FELL OUT OF A CONTAINER ON SHABBOS
QUESTION: The Beraisa teaches that if fruit falls out of a basket in a Chatzer, one may pick up the fruit one at a time and eat it, but he may not gather all the fruit into the basket the way he would do on a weekday.
The Gemara earlier (142a) teaches that if one has a basket with fruit and a stone in it and he wants to move the basket, he should spill out the fruit and stone from the basket, if possible, and then put the fruit back into the basket and carry it. However, once he shakes out the fruit, it should be forbidden for him to put it back into the basket! How are we to reconcile the Gemara earlier with the Gemara here?
(a) The RAMBAN explains that one is prohibited from putting fruit back into the basket only when they fall out in a Chatzer, because in a Chatzer they become mixed with dirt and pebbles, and while one gathers the fruit he will perform the Melachah of Borer. The Gemara earlier refers to shaking out the basket in a clean area inside of one's home.
(b) RABEINU YONAH, cited by the Ramban, explains that one is prohibited from gathering the fruit only when they fall over a large area. If they fall in one, concentrated area, one is permitted to pick them up (since it is not a weekday-type of activity).
(c) The RAMBAM (Hilchos Shabbos 21:12) writes that the "weekday activity" here is that one might inadvertently do an act of Imur. According to the Rambam, Imur is defined as pressing together sheaves or fruit in a basket. Here, there is a concern that one might press the fruit together in the basket. Accordingly, this applies only to soft fruit which can be pressed into one large body. Perhaps the Gemara earlier refers to hard fruit, and thus there is no concern in that case that one might do Imur.
HALACHAH: The SHULCHAN ARUCH (OC 335:5) rules in accordance with the stringent points of both the Ramban and Rabeinu Yonah. That is, a person may not gather fruit that is spread out over a large area (like Rabeinu Yonah), and he also may not gather fruit that is spread out in a small area which is dirty and rocky (like the Ramban).