Monday, August 7, 2017

Shabbos Hutrah #5 With A Number Of Links

לע"נ מרת אסתר בת ר' שמואל
חנה בת ר' יצחק יונה

The Maggid Mishna [Shabbos 2/14] says that we may be mechalel Shabbos for someone in danger even for things that he doesn't need to save his life. Once he is in danger - everything is permitted. Thus, it is permitted to burn a fire to warm him up if he let blood and needs heat, even if we could warm him up with clothing and avoid the chilul Shabbos. Why? Because once he is in a life threatening situation then all acts are permitted - even those not necessary to save him.  

What is his source? If an act of chilul Shabbos is not needed to save his life, how may we perform it??

The Tzemach Tzedek [note: there were two Tzemach Tzedeks. One known as צמח צדק הקדמון  and the other צמח צדק אחרון - this is the latter] explains that it is permitted to be מחלל שבת because Shabbos is הותרה with regard to pikuach nefesh and therefore one may do something that isn't necessary for the saving of life.

One could argue that the paramater of the category of הותרה to be מחלל שבת is only with regard to situations where the act of חילול שבת would save a life but who says that it applies even to מלאכות that won't save the life??

The Heilige Chelkas Yoav [סי' י"ד] asks on the Maggid Mishna that if one may do whatever is needed for a dangerously ill person, even if it won't save his life, then why on Yom Kippur do we try our best to avoid giving a forbidden shiur of food to an ill person and give smaller amounts??

He answers:

There is a difference between שבת and Yom Kippur. שבת is הותרה whereas Yom Kippur is דחויה. That explains why on Yom Kippur we give less than a shiur if we can but on Shabbos we don't worry about the חילול שבת at all.

This reminds us of the answer of the Tzemach Tzedek but then we once again may ask the same question: Yes, Shabbos is הותרה but only when we need to save a life but not with regard to other actions.

Rabbi Kagan [known to us as the "Chofetz Chaim" or "Mishna Brura" בביאור הלכה שכ"ח ד"ה כל שרגילים] discusses this issue at length and concludes that one may only be מחלל שבת in order to save a life and not for other needs against the Maggid Mishna and marshals a proof from the laws of Yom Kippur, where we see that if one is dangerously ill, we assess - called "אומד" - whether or not he will be able to handle the fast. But why? Once he is in that state it should just be a "free for all" and we should let him eat without assessment?! But we already saw the Chelkas Yoav who would argue that Yom Kippur and Shabbos are fundamentally different in this regard.

Reb Elchonon [the real one and not the fake one]  asks our question as follows: We only know that פיקוח נפש is דוחה שבת from the pasuk וחי בהם, so מהיכי תיתי, how can the Maggid Mishna claim that even where there is no וחי בהם you should be מחלל שבת??

He continues:

I am often impressed by the ability of great thinkers to find proofs from places that the average mind wouldn't go. Here is no exception. Says Reb Elchonon זי"ע, that on Shabbos there is a halacha that as long as one is on the process of performing a bris on the child, he may even cut off skin that is not מעכב the mitzva, affectionately known as ציצין שאינן מעכבין. In the same vein we can say that as long as one is involved in the mitzva of Pikuach Nefesh, even what is not necessary to actually save his life is permitted.


And with that we also can resolve the problem we raised from Yom Kippur - this law [about the bris] applies only to חילול שבת and not to eating on Yom Kippur so of course one would need אומד in order to eat on Yom Kippur.

Rav Nosson Geshtetner was a great Gaon and prolific author. He is impressed but not convinced by Reb Elchonon's tzushtel ["comparison" in Greek]. Cutting off the ציצין שאינן מעכבין is part and parcel of the mitzva of מילה and therefore may be perfomed on Shabbos. But חילול שבת for a non-critical need is not subsumed under the היתר of וחי בהם so we have no permission to do it!