Monday, January 30, 2006

Part 1: The Achiezer Explained

The Achiezer’s (4:8) heter (in 1938) to allow an eruv in Paris (1936, population 2,829,746, Encyclopedia Britannica, 1968 vol. 17 p. 355) which had a comparable population to Brooklyn is a major difficulty for the anti-eruv group. Since the Achiezer maintains that pirtzos esser is d’rabbanan and that we pasken lo asu rabbim u’mevatlei mechitzta, this would allow us to establish an eruv of mechitzos in Brooklyn as well. Therefore, the anti-eruv group had to develop these two rejoinders: 1) The Achiezer only intended this teshuvah as a bedieved (since people were carrying in Paris in any case). 2) The teshuvah was a major chiddush and is not meant to be relied upon. These claims were invented in the last five years, from the time of the establishment of the Boro Park eruv (see for instance Kerem Beyavnah, vol. 5, p. 330).

The fact is that the Achiezer never mentions a word in his teshuvah that the heter is only bedieved since it was based on the overwhelming majority of Achronim. These issues are accepted as halachah pesuka and not as great chiddushim (see The Overwhelming Majority of Achronim Maintain Lo Asu Rabbim U’Mevatlei Mechitzta and Pirtzos, Biblical or Rabbinical proscription?). If one were to read this teshuvah, they would clearly see that the Achiezer accepts as a given that pirtzos esser is a d’rabbanan and that we pasken lo asu rabbim u’mevatlei mechitzta. Additionally, since the Achiezer maintained that the situation in Paris was a matter of a d’Oraysa, he would definitely have stated that the heter for the eruv is only a bedieved. Therefore, these claims are fictitious.

It’s explicable that the anti-eruv group would wish this Achiezer out of existence; however, they found in it a redeeming value, the only support of their opinion of the criterion of shishsim ribo. The Achiezer really is the only posek who it would seem at first glance maintains that shishim ribo is conditional of the city. (This is different then Rav Moshe’s shitah that the requirement of shishim ribo is over an area of twelve mil by twelve mil containing a population of 3,000,000. More so, Rav Moshe maintained that eruvin were established in cities that contained a population of shishim ribo; see The Requirement of Shishim Ribo: Is It Conditional on a City or a Street). Therefore, I set out to illuminate what is really the Achiezer’s opinion regarding shishim ribo.

These are the words of the Achiezer (4:8), "והנה בודאי נראה שפריז היא רה"ר גמורה מה"ת שיש בה ששים רבוא בוקעים אע"פ שאין בה בכל רחוב ס' רבוא" “Paris is definitely a reshus ha’rabbim me’d’Oraysa since it contains shishim ribo traversing it even though not every street includes shishim ribo.” The Achiezer adds that the Bais Ephraim also declared that Paris was a reshus harabbim [of shishim ribo]. The Achiezer therefore wanted to establish that the riverbanks, which surrounded Paris on three sides, were sufficient as mechitzos thereby removing Paris from the category of a reshus harabbim.

Let’s explore this Bais Ephraim that the Achiezer mentions. The Bais Ephraim (O.C. siman 26 p. 45) states that the reason why some Rishonim only mention as the criteria of a reshus harabbim that a street would need to be sixteen amos wide and mefulash me’shar le’shar (and not shishim ribo) is because there were cities such as Paris, London, Vienna and Frankfort-on-Main that did contain shishim ribo. Therefore, the Bais Ephraim postulates these Rishonim only mentioned the criteria that pertained to them and allowed them to erect eruvin in these cities. [It’s important to note that the Bais Ephraim clearly maintains that shishim ribo is conditional of the street; see for instance his quoting of the question posed to the Chacham Tzvi, (siman 37), stating that the sratyas and platyas of England possibly had shishim ribo traversing them which obviously is referring to single thoroughfares. This is one of the proofs that the Bais Ephraim is of the opinion that shishim ribo is conditional of a street as opposed to the city (for an explanation of the Bais Ephraim’s shita see The Overwhelming Majority of Achronim Maintain That the Shishim Ribo Has to Traverse the Street Itself).]

This leaves us with a difficulty, why did the Achiezer only cite the Bais Ephraim regarding Paris being a reshus harabbim of shishim ribo and not utilize the Bais Ephraim’s heter enabling the establishment of an eruv in Paris and in other big cities by evaluating each street independently to see if it is less than sixteen amos wide or if it isn’t mefulash?

By clarifying the Achiezer’s position regarding shishim ribo, we will shed light on the entire teshuvah:
These words "אע"פ שאין בה בכל רחוב ס' רבוא" are the key to understanding the Achiezer. These words denote that the Achiezer necessitates at least one street that would need to meet the requirement of shishim ribo traversing it and only then would the entire city be classified as a reshus harabbim (for a similar ruling see Aishel Avraham, O.C. 345). Therefore, it’s incorrect to assert that the Achiezer’s position regarding shishim ribo is conditional of a city and not a street since at least one street would be required to have shishim ribo traversing it (see also Kovetz Ohr Yisroel, vol. 18, p. 18-19).

With this we can understand the entire teshuvah of the Achiezer. Since an eruv, utilizing the waterfront was to encompass the whole city of Paris, it would by default encompass a street that had shishim ribo traversing it. In order to utilize the Bais Ephraim’s suggestion, the Achiezer would need to evaluate that street: whether it was less than sixteen amos wide and not mefulash. If the street nevertheless met all these criteria of reshus harabbim (it was sixteen amos wide, mefulash and had shishim ribo traversing it), the Achiezer would have to require that they exclude that problematic street from the boundaries of the eruv. However, building the tzuras hapesachim to encompass Paris that would have allowed them to exclude a street that meets all the criteria of a reshus harabbim was not an option (the authorities didn’t even allow them to close the pirtzos with tzuras hapesachim and for this reason alone the eruv was never established; see Divrei Menachem, O.C. vol. 2, p. 39). The better alternative was to establish that Paris’s waterfront was halachically sufficient as mechitzos because in any case they would remove the city from the status of a reshus harabbim. Accordingly, the Achiezer maintained that one street in Paris had the status of a reshus harabbim of shishim ribo (which he understood from this Bais Ephraim), and until it was established that Paris had sufficient mechitzos (which he did confirm in this teshuvah), it would not be permissible to establish an eruv for the entire city of Paris because then it would have to include that problematic street in the given boundaries. Hence, the Achiezer called the whole of Paris a reshus harabbim.

Part 2b: Why Brooklyn Is Not a Reshus HaRabbim

Continued from Why Brooklyn Is Not a Reshus HaRabbim part: IIa

The statistical records of the Department of Transportation [DOT] show that Ocean Parkway, one of Brooklyn’s main thoroughfares, has fewer then 55,000 vehicles traversing it daily in both directions [with an average of 1.5 occupants per vehicle (NYSDOT, A Transportation Profile of NYS, 2004 p. 4)]. Therefore, even Ocean Parkway, the largest thoroughfare included in the parameters of the eruv, would not pose a problem for the establishment of an eruv of tzuras hapesachim. Some claim that since Ocean Parkway merges with other roadways, the collective traffic should be factored into the total count. Consequently, since almost all roads are connected at some point, they would then all be considered as one roadway. Following this illogical line of reasoning further, it would be impossible to erect eruvin in any city because all roadways would have, collectively, shishim ribo traversing them.

More so, this issue is a moot point according to most poskim since Ocean Parkway doesn’t continue straight [mefulash u’mechuvanim] into these other roadways and they are therefore not halachically considered as one. Furthermore, Hagaon Harav Moshe Feinstein zt”l maintained that in order for any section of an intercity road to be considered a reshus harabbim, shishim ribo would have to traverse that particular section of the road on a daily basis (Igros Moshe, O.C. 5:28:16.). Accordingly, we would not include vehicles entering the roadway at different points in the total count, as they are each traveling along different segments of the roadway. Since Ocean Parkway has much fewer than shishim ribo traversing it at any point, there is no question that Rav Moshe would not classify it as a reshus harabbim. Additionally, the poskim maintain that people traversing the road in both directions are only counted traveling in one direction and so the total for a roadway like Ocean Parkway is actually much less (Kuntres Tikkun Eruvin Manhattan, p. 108; Kinyan Torah, 4:40:7, and Rechovas Ha’ir, 23:2). Hence, we can conclude that Brooklyn does not have a street that has shishim ribo traversing it.

[Even more so, most poskim maintain that the occupants of cars are not tallied in the shishim ribo (see Are a Vehicle’s Occupants Included in the Shishim Ribo?).]

Since Brooklyn does not meet at least two of the four requirements of a reshus harabbim, an eruv of tzuras hapesachim can be erected.

These statistical records from the DOT show that Ocean Parkway, one of Brooklyn’s main thoroughfares, has fewer then 55,000 vehicles traversing it daily in both directions [with an average of 1.5 occupants per vehicle (NYSDOT, A Transportation Profile of NYS, 2004 p. 4)]

Thursday, January 26, 2006

Are There Rishonim Who Require a Daily Shishim Ribo?

The Mishnah Berurah notes (345:24) that he searched all of the Rishonim who maintain that shishim ribo is a criterion of a reshus harabbim and could not find any who mention that it is a daily requirement (see also Aruch HaShulchan, 345:26).

However, this statement by the Mishnah Berurah is puzzling since there are Rishonim whom the Mishnah Berurah knew of and they clearly state that the requirement is daily (albeit they don’t agree that shishim ribo is a criterion at all).

This is a list of Rishonim who clearly mention daily as part of the requirement of shishim ribo: Bahag, (Berlin edition) p. 131; Ran, Shabbos 26a; Ramban, Shabbos 57a; Ritva, Shabbos 57a; Meiri, Shabbos 57a; Rabeinu Pertz, Eruvin 6a; Rabeinu Yerucham, Toldot Adom V’Chavah 12:4, 12:17; Shiltei Giborim, Shabbos 2a, note 3; Sefer HaNeyar, Hilchos Eruvin p. 51.

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Eruvin in the News: Tenafly, NJ

The eruv controversy in Tenafly that started in 1999 has finally been settled. From today’s New York Times:

Town Votes for Marker Used by Jews

Published: January 25, 2006

TENAFLY, N.J., Jan. 24 - After five years of legal battles, the leaders of this Bergen County borough approved an agreement on Tuesday night that enables an eruv, a symbolic boundary for Orthodox Jews that allows them to do some work on the Sabbath, to remain in place. Read on …

Part 7: A Critical Analysis of Rav Yisroel Hirsch’s Critique of Eruvin in Brooklyn

Continued from part VI

Page 9 comment 32:
“It is true that such an opinion is maintained by many poskim [that pirtzos esser is d’rabbanan]. But it is far from unanimous. R’ Ahron devotes much space in his קונטרס to proving the veracity of the contrary position. Therefore, a primary concern of those who oppose the eruv was that Brooklyn remained a רה"ר since the pirtzos in its mechitzos were larger than 10 (or 16) amos.”

Our list proves that it is as close to unanimous as it gets. The overwhelming majority of poskim (see Pirtzos, Biblical or Rabbinical proscription?) including Rav Moshe zt”l maintain that pirtzos esser is d’rabbanan. It is unjustifiable to compel others to go against the accepted halacha pesuka that pirtzos esser is d’rabbanan. Rav Aharon zt”l and the Mishkenos Yaakov are just about the only poskim who maintain that pirtzos esser is d’Oraysa. (Brooklyn has the added benefit that since our mechitzos are at the waterfront, even Rav Aharon would admit that they are sufficient since there is no rabbim traversing them.) Additionally, Rav Hirsch is mistaken. 16 amos is a shiur reshus harabbim not a shiur pirtzah and even the Mishkenos Yaakov admits as such (Mishkenos Yaakov, O.C. 122 p. 144-45).

Page 9 comment 33:
Has already been discussed in comment 15.

Page 9 comment 34:
“All that is stated in this paragraph [that Rav Moshe agrees that there is almost no true reshus harabbim today] and the following one is meaningless. R’ Moshe was not matir [using a cane on Shabbos]; rather, he felt that it should be assur but conceded that today it is generally done. He agreed to leave that practice because “generally” there is no רה"ר.”

Rav Moshe zt”l’s final p’sak regarding using a walking stick on Shabbos is not the issue here at all. The issue is that Rav Moshe stated in three teshuvos (Igros Moshe, O.C. 3:94, 5:19, 5:24:10) that there is no reshus harabbim today and the distinction the anti-eruv group has always asserted is that Rav Moshe wasn’t referring to Brooklyn since he has stated that Brooklyn is a reshus harabbim. However, now that we know that one of these three teshuvos is referring to Boro Park (ibid., 5:24:10) there is no other explanation but that he agreed that the minhag is not like his shita in eruvin. The fact that they omitted from Rav Moshe’s teshuvos this important detail (Boro Park) is proof that there were some shenanigans within teshuvos Igros Moshe, particularly when it concerned eruvin.

Page 9 comment 35:
“This assertion [that Rav Moshe’s statement that no posek would allow an eruv in Brooklyn because Brooklyn, unlike Manhattan, wasn’t surrounded by mechitzos doesn’t pertain to us today since we have established that Brooklyn is encircled by mechitzos] is incomprehensible! R’ Moshe definitely states: “regardless of all the improvements that certain rabbis have or will implement.” The language could not be clearer that the matter is closed for discussion.”

Rav Hirsch is conflating Manhattan and Brooklyn. Nowhere did Rav Moshe zt”l state regarding a Brooklyn eruv that “regardless of all the improvements that certain rabbis have or will implement,” an eruv cannot be erected. Only in Manhattan did Rav Moshe sign on to the takanah of 1962. The inclusion of Brooklyn in the Manhattan issur is an invention of the 1979 Flatbush kol korei (see The 1979 Flatbush Kol Korei Exposed). [Regarding the Manhattan eruv, Rav Moshe agreed that the rabbanan can do as they please (Igros Moshe, O.C. 4:89 and HaPardes, 33rd year, vol. 9) but then signed on the 1962 takanah against an eruv. However, Rav Moshe stated (Igros Moshe, O.C. 4:86 and Addendum to O.C. 4:89) that he had signed against the Manhattan eruv because Rav Aharon Kotler zt"l and other members of the Agudas HaRabbonim had enacted a takanah against establishing an eruv in Manhattan.] In any case, Rav Hirsch would have to admit that this is either a gezeirah or a takanah and unless this is hora'as sha’ah, only a Sanhedrin has a right to implement this gezeirah forever or as Rav Moshe states that rabbanim may only enact a takanah for their particular locale and only for a short period of time (ibid., 4:49).

Page 9 comment 36:
“With this suggestion, the apex of absurdity has been achieved. R’ Moshe was alive and well when he published this addendum as a portion of his sefer in 1982. He never had a problem with it. No one had a problem with it. R’ Schwab considered it authentic, for he cites it authoritatively. I understand that the writers of this booklet have a big problem with it. But wishing it out of existence only exposes the great desperation that is driving their whole enterprise.”

It is a well known fact that Igros Moshe vol. 7 and 8 have been tampered with, and since there is no addendum in any other volume of Igros Moshe, there is no reason to believe the veracity of an addendum even in vol. 6. It’s no secret that Rav Moshe zt”l was surrounded by people who were vehemently against establishing an eruv in Brooklyn and who didn’t allow anyone supportive of an eruv to approach Rav Moshe. Additionally, there are questions regarding this addendum: To whom and when was it written? Rav Moshe admits therein that regarding a Manhattan eruv one can disagree with his chiddushim pertaining to shishim ribo so why can’t one disagree with him regarding shishim ribo in Brooklyn? Why did they insert it as an addendum and not wait for the next volume of Igros Moshe to be published since this was the practice with all of Rav Moshe’s teshuvos (by 1982 there was no rush to publish this teshuvah since the issue of the eruv had already ended)? All of this strongly suggests that this addendum is not from Rav Moshe’s hand.

Additionally, Rav Hirsch is mistaken that Rav Schwab zt”l quoted this addendum. Rav Schwab was discussing the Manhattan eruv and therefore he quoted the 1979 Flatbush kol korei since it contained the text of the 1962 Manhattan kol korei (this indicates that Rav Schwab didn’t have the 1962 Manhattan kol korei). The 1979 Flatbush kol korei was published prior to this addendum (Igros Moshe vol. 6, 1982) which makes it impossible for Rav Schwab to be referring to this addendum.

Page 9 comment 37:
“R’ Schwab (Maayan Beis Ha’shoeva, Va’yakhel) lists R’ Henkin as a signatory in opposition to the eruv (Manhattan). I trust R’ Schwab.”

The fact that Rav Schwab zt”l mentioned the 1979 kol korei in Maayan Bais HaSho’eivah does not attest to the validity of the claim that Rav Henkin zt"l signed on the 1962 Manhattan kol korei. He was just quoting the text of the kol korei (since, as stated above, Rav Schwab most probably didn’t have a copy of the 1962 Manhattan kol korei) and not affirming every word stated therein. In any case, the 1962 kol korei is extant and there is no signature of Rav Henkin to be found. We also know from Rav Henkin’s letters (Kisvei Hagriah Henkin, p. 33) and from family members that Rav Henkin was even in support of a Manhattan (and Brooklyn) eruv. Therefore, even if Rav Schwab did mentioned the 1979 Flatbush kol korei and he was attesting to the legitimacy of the text of the kol korei, he could only maintain that he was under the impression that Rav Henkin was against an eruv but not that Rav Henkin signed the kol korei since there is no signature to be found.

Page 10 comment 38:
“I do agree that a kol korah by itself carries little weight. It is what is behind the kol korah that is important. In this case, it is public knowledge that R’ Moshe was against any eruv for Brooklyn or Manhattan.”

Rav Hirsch deserves credit for admitting that kol koreis carry little weight. However, it’s surprising that he believes “public knowledge” (which in the case of eruvin is based on kol koreis since it seems that even the rabbanim ha’ossrim are not very familiar with Rav Moshe zt"l's teshuvos regarding eruvin since they only quote these kol koreis) carries more weight then a kol korei. Even more so, there is a teshuvah that contradicts this so called “public knowledge.” Rav Moshe clearly writes (Igros Moshe, O.C. 4:87) that he doesn’t want to mix in to the matter of eruvin in Flatbush at all, so why would he sign such a strident kol korei? Additionally, Rav Moshe told Rav Tuvia Goldstein zt”l that the Flatbush rabbanim can do as they please. Therefore, this so called, “public knowledge,” should carry very little weight as well.

Page 10 comment 39:
“The obvious difference is that in seeking to establish an eruv, one takes a position which is contrary to the status quo, whereas the cases cited, e.g. shavers, uphold the status quo. However, in no circumstance should physical harassment or verbal abuse be condoned.”

The status quo was not against erecting eruvin. On the contrary, there was an eruv established in 1905 in Manhattan and in Brooklyn people erected street eruvin for Succos prior to 1979. (Who upholds the status quo regarding modern shavers? Public knowledge, kol koreis?) Therefore, the kuntres made a valid point that there are other d’Oraysas, such as shaving, where no one is mocheh, and why should eruvin be any different? Rav Hirsch should be commended though for not condoning the anti-eruv campaign of verbally abusing people whom utilize the eruv.

Page 10 comment 40:
“This is a grossly inaccurate presentation of R’ Schwab’s views. He expressly states that no part of Manhattan, Brooklyn/Flatbush can affect the construction of an eruv. The oblique reference here cited is to all cities in which the implementation of an eruv would be possible!”

Rav Hirsch is incorrect. Rav Schwab zt”l posited (Maayan Beis HaSho’eivah, pp. 232, 234) that hopefully the future generations would be strong in Torah and at that point, with great joy, everyone would take part in erecting eruvin in Manhattan and in all cities. If one were to read Rav Schwab’s writing’s regarding eruvin, they would see that his main objection to eruvin was because of the lack of Torah observance. To claim that at this point in time this is still an issue shows a lack of understanding of Orthodox Jewish history in America.

In closing this series, as we have stated in the first post we have been told that after Rav Hirsch published his Critique of Eruvin in Brooklyn, a member of his congregation pressed him to answer what Rav Moshe Feinstein zt"l's shita was regarding mechitzos. After analyzing the way it was elucidated in Eruvin in Brooklyn, he admitted that what was stated therein was accurate. Additionally, the later edition of Eruvin in Brooklyn, The Community Eruv kuntres covered many of Rav Hirsch’s comments.

All of the above is testimony that while there is no doubt of Rav Hirsch’s erudition and vast Torah knowledge, when the issue is eruvin one’s opinion tends to become extremely subjective. Why would Rav Hirsch who is of the opinion that one can even argue on the Shulchan Aruch maintain that we can’t disagree with contemporary poskim (never mind that it’s likely that these contemporary poskim would allow an eruv today) if not for the fact that the issue is eruvin.

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Part 3: The Truth About Warsaw

Continued from The Truth About Warsaw part: II

On the Los Angeles eruv website it states that Rav Gustman zt"l was asked, “How did Warsaw continue to keep their Eruv, even after the population there grew, and exceeded 600,000. He answered that Warsaw did not have main streets like Paris or Brooklyn, wherein there were 600,000 people from all around using those streets. Warsaw expanded in a manner that the people from the various parts of the city did not use any single streets, and rather each neighborhood used the adjacent streets. At the time there were no cars or wide streets, hence no major thoroughfares used by 600,000 people.”

This story in the name of Rav Gustman zt”l is not credible. The fact is that Rav Shlomo Dovid Kahane zt”l, one of the main rabbanim of Warsaw before World War II, wrote (Divrei Menachem, O.C. vol. 2, pp. 42-43) that in Warsaw they didn’t want to rely on the criterion of shishim ribo at all (however he maintained that they relied on the universally accepted criterion of mefulash u’mechuvanim m’shaar l’shaar). Additionally, the story is questionable since there were trains and trolleys in Warsaw and those streets were heavily trafficked by commuters from other parts of the city (there were two bridges that crossed from Warsaw to Praga and people used to commute both ways there as well). Consequently, there is no difference between Warsaw and our cities and if an eruv was allowed in Warsaw there is no reason not to allow an eruv in Brooklyn as well (see also The Overwhelming Majority of Achronim Maintain That the Shishim Ribo has to Traverse the Street Itself).

Monday, January 23, 2006

Part 2a: Why Brooklyn Is Not a Reshus HaRabbim

Continued from Why Brooklyn Is Not a Reshus HaRabbim part: I

Since there is no street in Brooklyn that is traversed daily by 600,000 people ― there is no shishim ribo ovrim bo b’chol yom.

It was the mesorah through the ages that shishim ribo is dependent on a single street. The Divrei Malkiel (4:3) stated when writing to the people erecting an eruv in the city of Odessa, which had approximately shishim ribo, that, “the minhag is to erect eruvin even in the biggest of cities and it does not concern us that they have shishim ribo since the shishim ribo is dispersed over all the streets.” New York’s population in 1905 was much more than shishim ribo and the rabbanim who were involved with the eruv then relied on the fact that there was no street that had shishim ribo traversing it (Oznei Yehoshua, 1:18 and Tirosh VaYitzhar, siman 73). This is one of the reasons why in Eretz Yisroel eruvin are maintained in Yerushalayim and in the Gush Dan [Bnei Brak with all the interconnected neighborhoods] even though these regions have shishim ribo as well (Rav Yisroel Yaakov Fisher zt”l in Even Yisroel, 8:36 and Kinyan Torah, 4:40).

These are some of the additional poskim who maintain that shishim ribo is dependent on the street:
Pnei Yehoshua, Shabbos 5b; Bais Meir, Shabbos 5b; Bais Yaakov, Eruvin 6a; Yad Dovid, Eruvin 55a; Bais Ephraim, p. 46; Mishkenos Yaakov, p. 126; Chiddushi Harim, siman 4; Yeshuos Malko, siman 27; Mishnah Berurah, Shaar HaTzion, 345:25 [the Mishnah Berurah indicates this by the usage of the phrase, “derech hamavoi hamefulash,” ― it is important to note, the Mishnah Berurah’s (345:24) primary issue is whether the shishim ribo are required to traverse the street every day of the year or whether occasional use of the street by 600,000 people would be sufficient, see also Toldos Shmuel, 3:86:10]; Minchas Elazar, 3:4; Bais Av, 2:5:2; Maharshag, 2:25; Chazon Ish, 107:6; Mahari Stief, siman 68; V’yaan Yoseph, 131:1, 155:1, 195:2; Divrei Yatziv, 173:4; Rav Shmuel Wosner shlita in Shevet HaLevi, 6:41; Rav Elyashuv shlita, as cited in the sefer Yashiv Moshe p. 58; Rav Yechezkel Roth shlita, in Emek HaTeshuvah 5:19; (See also the sheilah to the Chacham Tzvi in siman 37).

Even Rav Moshe zt”l (Igros Moshe, O.C. 1:109) accepted as fact that shishim ribo is dependent on the street and only later (ibid., 1:139:5, 4:87-88, 5:28:5, 5:29) stated his chiddush that in a city, shishim ribo applied to an area of twelve mil by twelve mil. [In this chiddush, admittedly his own, Rav Moshe defines shishim ribo as meaning 3,000,000 people (see Part 1: Shishim Ribo According to Hagaon Rav Moshe Feinstein zt”l).] Even after he developed his chiddush, Rav Moshe declined to give the rabbanim of Flatbush a p’sak against eruvin, as he wrote that his chiddush was not stated in the Achronim and that the Aruch HaShulchan would not agree with him (ibid., 4:87). That is why when it came to issues concerning a reshus harabbim ― for example, men wearing gloves or a watch on Shabbos or bringing back home on yom tov a lulav or a shofar for a woman or a child in an area that is not enclosed by an eruv ― Rav Moshe maintained that we rely on the heter of shishim ribo in all cities (ibid., 3:94, 5:19, 5:24:10; see also Rav Moshe zt"l and the Walking Stick). Rav Dovid Feinstein shlita (Kuntres L’Torah V’Horaah, vol. 6, 1976) posited that the heter for a Succos block eruv is because we rely on the heter of shishim ribo. Although he was referring to lower Manhattan, which according to his father’s chiddush met the requirement of having shishim ribo (Igros Moshe, O.C. 1:139:5), Rav Dovid still allowed an eruv. In summation it is a given that shishim ribo is conditional of a street.

Thursday, January 19, 2006

Are a Vehicle’s Occupants Included in the Shishim Ribo?

Many don’t realize that most poskim maintain that the occupants of a car are not tallied in the shishim ribo (Bais Ephraim, O.C. 26; Maharsham, 1:162; Yeshuos Malko, siman 26-27; Harei B’samim, 5:73; Bais Av, 2:9:3; Mahari Stief, siman 68; Satmar Rav, Kuntres Meoz U’Mekedem p. 27; Divrei Yatziv, 2:172:13; V’yaan Yoseph, 1:155:1; Kuntres Tikkun Eruvin Manhattan, siman 12 p. 105; Kinyan Torah, 4:40:6, and Rabbi Eliezer Y. Waldenberg shlita, author of the Tzitz Eliezer, as cited in The Contemporary Eruv, 2002 p. 54 note 119). The reason is either because a vehicle in itself is considered a reshus hayachid and therefore its occupants are not part of the total or because we only include pedestrians (holchei regel) who traverse the street in the tally.

It’s important to note that the concept that only holchei regel creates a reshus harabbim is already mentioned in the Rishonim (Or Zarua, Hilchos Erev Shabbos siman 4 and Rabbeinu Avraham ben HaRambam in Birchas Avraham, siman 15).

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

History of City Eruvin − Part 2: The Eruv in Krakow

As stated in Part 1, by 1846 the walls of the Jewish quarters were mostly dismantled and it was necessary to erect tzuras hapesachim to enclose the areas where the Jews lived. In 1867, the Austrian parliament allowed greater autonomy for Galicia, and Krakow was emancipated, Jews were finally given permission to settle in Krakow proper. At this point only the Jews who lived in the old Jewish quarters of Kazimierz had the use of an eruv since the authorities did not permit them to include the other sections of Krakow.

Rav Chaim Libush Horowitz writes in his introduction to Tikkun Eruvin an account of what occurred afterwards (a letter in HaZefirah, December 23, 1887 number 274 [see below] and HaMagid, December 22, 1887, number 49 confirm this account). He states that the need to enclose the whole city with an eruv was great and the lack of one caused tremendous chilul Shabbos. Rav Horowitz continued that a year before he published his kuntres (1887) he analyzed the parameters of the city and realized that with the existing structures on the outskirts of the city there would only be the need to erect approximately eight tzuras hapesachim in order for the whole city to be encircled. However, at that time unbeknownst to him someone asked the civil authorities for permission to erect tzuras hapesachim outside of the Jewish quarters on Dietla street (this street sits on what used to be a branch of the Vistula River that demarcated Kazimierz from the rest of Krakow but was filled in around 1878-1880 and Dietla street was built upon it). The answer was a resounding no. All the entreaties from the head of the Jewish community fell on deaf ears. The authorities then began an investigation regarding the whole issue of eruvin and were told that in other large Galician towns eruvin were not allowed (Vienna, Prague, Lvov and Budapest; it’s interesting to note that when Vienna and Lvov established eruvin they also had to rely on existing structures to enclose the city). The authorities then demanded that the eruv be dismantled in the old Jewish quarters as well.

Rav Horowitz then states that that all his earlier work was in vain since at this point the government would definitely not have allowed the required tzuras hapesachim to be constructed. However, he states that B”H the military that summer (1887) erected new ramparts upon which they built tracks for trains and with these fortifications the city was then completely encircled with mechitzos. After consultation with other rabbanim of the city they concurred with his halachic ruling for an eruv for the whole Krakow.

The Second Krakow Eruv

On the east side of Krakow Rav Horowitz’s eruv consisted of the elevated train tracks from Galicia (number 9 on the maps below) which extended from the train bridge from Lemberg (number 1 on the maps below) to the train depot (number 10 on the maps below). These tracks were built on solid walls more than ten tefachim high. From the train depot the tracks were less than ten tefachim high so he relied on houses and fences which completed the rest of the east side of the city (number 8 on the maps below). On the north side of Krakow and on part of the west side he relied on ramparts (number 6 on the maps below) which ran until the Bridge to Zwierzynetz (number 4 on the maps below) over the Vistula River. [Rav Horowitz was at first going to use the Rudawa River (number 7 on the maps below) for part of the west side of the eruv; apparently, this would have required the erection of the tzuras hapesachim (Tikkun Eruvin, introduction p. 3).] The rest of the enclosure was completed by the Vistula River which enclosed part of the west and the entire south side of Krakow (number 5 on the maps below). Wherever a street created a gap through these enclosures, Rav Horowitz either relied on the delasos (gates) that the city erected or telegraph poles and wires.
This map of the boundaries of the Krakow eruv was published in Rav Horowitz’s sefer, Tikkun Eruvin (there is a similar map in Toras Rabeinu Shmuel Salant, vol. 1, p. 84).
The yellow line on this map of Krakow (1898) represents the boundaries of the eruv. The numbers correspond to those on Rav Horowitz’s map of the eruv.

Rav Horowitz then goes on to outline the halachic basis for his eruv in his sefer, Tikkun Eruvin (teshuvah 1-4, 9-11). He explains the heter of using riverbanks as walls and if the Vistula riverbanks are halachically sufficient. He then expounds on why it did not concern him that a river might later be obliterated by sediment and the concern that the river might freeze. He adds that since there are bridges connecting the other side of the Vistula River that even if the riverbanks on the Krakow side are not sufficient the riverbanks of the opposite side can be used as well. He then goes on to explain why there was no problem of karpeifos (an area larger then five thousand amos which can halachically be problematic since it is not designated for human habitation). He explains as well the rectifications of the pirtzos (such as the bridges and the roads that bisect the mechitzos) by utilizing the city gates at these openings (delasos) and his addition of a korah (pole) under the telegraph wires to removed the problem of tzuras hapesaech min hatzad. Rav Horowitz later published in his sefer, Chayei Aryeh (1890) an additional teshuvah (siman 18). He states that by the summer of 1888 there were a few facts on the ground that changed particularly regarding the Podgorze Bridge (number 2 on the maps above) and details his heter for the bridge.

In Tikkun Eruvin Rav Horowitz published responsa (5-8) written to him by the following poskim who agreed with his halachic ruling: Rav Meshulem Yissascher Horowitz (1808-1887), Av Bais Din of Stanislav (Stanislawow) and author of Bar Liva’e; Rav Shaul Horowitz (1831-1912), Av Bais Din of Tisminitz (Tysmienica) and author of Besamim Rosh, and Rav Chaim Elazar Wachs (1822-1889), Av Bais Din of Pietrkow and author of the Nefesh Chayah. Rav Yaacov Weidenfeld (1840-1894), Av Bais Din of Grimalov and author of Kochav Me’Yaakov ends his teshuvah that since the prior rabbanim of Krakow didn’t utilize Rav Horowitz heterim he couldn’t support the eruv (however, in Toras Eruvin p. 54, he states that since the Stanislaver, his rebbe, supported the eruv he can’t be against the eruv either). Rav Horowitz responded (see note on p. 27 of Tikkun Eruvin) that he was relying on new mechitzos that were not in existence previously and therefore the earlier rabbanim could not have utilized them as an eruv. Additionally, Rav Yaakov Yokel Horowitz (1834-1914), Av Bais Din of Dolotin wrote a teshuvah (Teshuvos Harivam, siman 11) agreeing to Rav Horowitz’s halachic ruling as well.

This letter in HaZefirah (December 23, 1887, number 274; a similar one was published in HaMagid, December 22, 1887, number 49) confirms the account regarding the eruv of Krakow as told by Rav Chaim Libush Horowitz in his introduction to Tikkun Eruvin.

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Shishim Ribo According to the Achronim: A Daily Requirement or Not

There are poskim who maintain that in order to classify the street as a reshus harabbim it is sufficient that the shishim ribo traverse the street most days of the year (Maharsham, 3:188; Minchas Elazar, 3:4, and Minchas Yitzchok, 8:32:1). However other poskim accept the simple reading of the Shulchan Aruch that the shishim ribo must traverse the street every day of the year, otherwise it would not be considered a reshus harabbim (Zivchei Tezdek, siman 102; Aishel Avraham 345:3; Kinyan Torah, 4:40:7, and Igros Moshe, O.C. 1:139:5, 4:87-88, 5:28:16).

Rav Moshe zt”l also understood the literal interpretation of the Shulchan Aruch as meaning shishim ribo traversing the road itself on a daily basis (ibid., 1:139:5, 4:87, 5:28:16). Rav Moshe posits that when the Shulchan Aruch states as one of the criteria of reshus harabbim that the street has to have 600,000 people traversing it daily, the Shulchan Aruch was also referring to an intercity road where the shishim ribo would have to traverse the same section of the road daily. Additionally, Rav Moshe states (ibid., 4:88) that although at times Brooklyn’s beaches might be host to a million people, this in itself is not reason enough to prohibit an eruv of tzuras hapesachim because he concludes that according to the Shulchan Aruch the requirement is that the shishim ribo has to traverse the streets on a daily basis (see also the end of Part 3: A Critical Analysis of Rav Yisroel Hirsch’s Critique of Eruvin in Brooklyn).

Monday, January 16, 2006

The Overwhelming Majority of Achronim Maintain That the Shishim Ribo Has to Traverse the Street Itself

The poskim concur that the shishim ribo must actually traverse the street. Therefore, just the possibility of shishim ribo traversing a street is not sufficient grounds for the street to be classified as a reshus harabbim (Bais Ephraim, O.C. 26; Mishkenos Yaakov, siman 121 as he explains the shitos of the Shulchan Aruch; Michtam L’David, siman 2; Divrei Chaim, Addendum 3; Zivchei Tezdek, siman 102; Maharsham, 3:188; Sefas Emes, Shabbos 6b; Yeshuos Malko, siman 27; Minchas Elazar, 3:4; Tuv Yehoshua, p. 8, and Igros Moshe, O.C. 1:139:5, 4:87).

Since the Shulchan Aruch uses the term shishim ribo ovrim bo it implies a thoroughfare in continuous use and not merely the presence of 600,000 people in the vicinity who would have the ability to utilize the street. Even Rav Moshe zt”l (ibid.) interpreted the criterion of shishim ribo ovrim bo to mean a thoroughfare in continuous use, such as an intercity road, which he maintained would need to have 600,000 people traversing the same section of the road (ibid., 5:28:16) on a daily basis in order for it to be classified as a reshus harabbim. Additionally Rav Moshe stated (ibid., 1:139:5, 4:87, 5:28:5, 5:29) that the criterion of shishim ribo ovrim bo when applied to a city would necessitate a population of at least 3,000,000 inhabitants (see Part 1: Shishim Ribo According to Hagaon Rav Moshe Feinstein zt”l). Only a city with such a sizable population could physically satisfy the condition of shishim ribo ovrim bo, 600,000 people collectively traversing its streets at one time. [However, Rav Moshe acknowledges that it is difficult to interpret shishim ribo ovrim bo as applying to a city (ibid., 1:139:5).]

Some claim that according to the Bais Ephraim (and other poskim as well) it’s sufficient if there is just shishim ribo in the neighborhood. This is incorrect. According to the Bais Ephraim these three conditions regarding shishim ribo must be met for the street to be classified as a reshus harabbim. The shishim ribo must: 1) Be present in the area (metzuyim shom). 2) Frequently use the street (ovrim v’shovim). 3) That they all could possibly traverse the street in one day (bechol yom). Therefore, to include neighborhoods that have nothing to do with each other is definitely not the Bais Ephraim’s shita since the shishim ribo do not frequent those streets. More so, the simple understanding of the Bais Ephraim is (Maharsham, 3:188 and Minchas Yitzchak, 8:32) that the shishim ribo would need to traverse the street itself for the street to be classified as a reshus harabbim (the only question regarding his position was whether the requirement of shishim ribo traversing the street is every day or would on most days suffice).

Thursday, January 12, 2006

Part 2: Shishim Ribo – A Mystery Solved

As we have mentioned in part 1, the Meiri (Shabbos 6a) cites a passage from Ulla that is not mentioned in our Gemara (but is mentioned in the Vatican codex Ebr. 127) that there is no shishim ribo in Bavel (Babylonia). This fits nicely with the Gemara in Berachos (58a) which states,” אמר עולה נקיטינן אין אוכלוסא בבבל”. The Gemara explains that אוכלוסא (multitudes) is not less than shishim ribo. It follows that since in Meseches Berachos Ulla maintained that there is no shishim ribo in Bavel, therefore (according to this version of Meseches Shabbos), Ulla stated there is no reshus harabbim in Bavel either. This as we explained is a probable explanation for the origins in Shas of the criterion of shishim ribo. However, the Meiri in Meseches Shabbos (57a) cites the Ramban that there is no mention of the requirement of shishim ribo in Shas at all. Why didn’t the Meiri, who was privy to this unique passage in Shabbos (6a), at least mention that that this could be the source for shishim ribo in Shas?

At first I thought that the answer could be that the Meiri is really a compendium and is just quoting the Ramban; this however didn’t fully satisfy me. I then perused all the manuscripts that relate to this issue and discovered something fascinating. Our passage from Ulla in Meseches Berachos (58a) which states "אמר עולה נקיטינן אין אוכלוסא בבבל. תנא אין אוכלוסא פחותה מששים רבוא" is different from the Paris codex manuscript of Meseches Berachos (Bibliotheque Nationale, Hebrew. MS. 671) where it just says "אמר עולה נקיטינן אין אוכלוסא פחותה מששים רבוא" and omits the mention of Bavel. This version of Ullas statement from the Paris codex seems to be the version that the Meiri had in Meseches Berachos (there are some other Rishonim that had this version as well). I therefore, posit that even though the Meiri had the passage from the Vatican codex of Meseches Shabbos (6a) where Ulla states that there is no reshus harabbim in Bavel he didn’t have the passage from the Paris codex of Meseches Berachos (58a) where Ulla states that there is no אוכלוסא (multitudes) in Bavel. Accordingly, he didn’t know of the connection between the two Gemaras which can be understood as being the source in Shas of the criterion of shishim ribo. Consequentially, the Meiri cites the Ramban’s objection to shishim ribo since there is no mention of it in his manuscript of Shas.

This facsimile above is of Meseches Berachos (58a) from the Paris codex (Bibliotheque Nationale, Hebrew MS. 671) and shows where Ulla’s words (the omission of Bavel) differ from the text in our Gemara.

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

The Overwhelming Majority of Rishonim Maintain that Shishim Ribo is a Criterion of a Reshus Harabbim

There was a famous debate between the Mishkenos Yaakov (O.C. 120) and the Bais Ephraim (O.C. 26) regarding the tally of Rishonim who pasken whether or not shishim ribo is a fundament of a reshus harabbim. The Mishkenos Yaakov sent a lengthy teshuvah to the Bais Ephraim arguing that the Taz (345:6) and Magen Avraham (345:7) are incorrect in their assumption that most Rishonim maintain that shishim ribo is a criterion of reshus harabbim since most Rishonim uphold otherwise. The Mishkenos Yaakov argued that there were only eight Rishonim who maintained that shishim ribo is a criterion of a reshus harabbim and that there were approximately 14 who upheld otherwise. The Bais Ephraim replied that one cannot argue against the accepted minhag established by the Chachmei Tzarfas and Ashkenaz and that he disagrees with the Mishkenos Yaakov’s tally of Rishonim. The Bais Ephraim goes on to argue his case and proves that the Taz and Magen Avraham are correct in their belief that most Rishonim maintain that shishim ribo is a criterion of a reshus harabbim.

The Aruch HaShulchan (345:17) and the Misnhnah Berurah (Bi’ur Halachah 345) cite the Mishkenos Yaakov’s count without mentioning that the Bais Ephraim disagreed with some on the list (however the Misnhnah Berurah obviously didn’t agree with three of the Rishonim on the Mishkenos Yaakov’s list – the Rif, Riaz and Ra’avin – since he omitted them from his list). The Aruch HaShulchan adds that some of the Rishonim whom the Mishkenos Yaakov cites were not yet published in the times of the Taz and Magen Avraham and therefore they didn’t have the actual count of Rishonim who pasken against the criterion of shishim ribo.
We therefore set out to count the actual number of Rishonim including those published recently who clearly pasken shishim ribo is a criterion of a reshus harabbim. The following list confirms that there are four Gaonim and 30 Rishonim (regarding the importance of the Gaonim see Kuntres Kaneh VeKinamon: Carrying and the Baal Nefesh, note 2). Therefore, since the overwhelming majority of Rishonim maintain that shishim ribo is a criterion of reshus harabbim (there are only 11 Rishonim who clearly maintain otherwise) there is no doubt that that the Mishkenos Yaakov and the Misnhnah Berurah would agree that shishim ribo is an accepted fundament.

1. Bahag, (Berlin edition) p. 131.[1] 2. Rav Amram Gaon, Halachos Pesukos Min HaGaonim, siman 70.[2] 3. Sar Shalom Gaon, Chemdah Genuzah, siman 70 and Sharei Teshuvah, siman 209.[3] 4. The Gaon mentioned in the Sefer Ha’itim, ois 206.[4]

5. Rashi, Eruvin 6a, 6b, 26a, 59a, 47a. 6. Tosfos, Eruvin 6a, 26a, 59a, and Shabbos 6b, 64b. 7. HaEshkol, Hilchos Tzitzis ois 31 and Hilchos Eruvin ois 64. 8. Sefer HaTrumah, ois 214, 239.[5] 9. Semag, Hilchos Shabbos p. 17. 10. Sefer Ha’itim, ois 92, 206, 209. 11. HaManhig, Hilchos Shabbos HaTzarichos ois 138. 12. Ra’avan, Shabbos 349.[6] 13. Piskei HaRid, Eruvin 6a, 59a, Pesachim 69a. 14. Rokeach, Hilchos Shabbos 175. 15. Ravyah, Hilchos Eruvin 379, 391.[7] 16. Riaz, Eruvin Perek 1:5, 5:5.[8] 17. HaAgudah, Perek 5:56. 18. Rivevan, Eruvin 6b, 59a. 19. HaAgur, siman 537. 20. Piskei Rabeinu Mendel Kloizner (Ramak), Shabbos 6a. 21. Rabeinu Yerucham, Toldot Adom V’Chavah 12:4, 12:17. 22. Or Zarua, Hilchos Shabbos siman 16, Eruvin 129. 23. Piskei Mahrach Or Zarua, Eruvin Perek 2 ois 57. 24. Maharam MeRotenberg, siman 31, Eruvin ois 9, 10. 25. Smak, Mitzvos Hatluyos B’Shabbos p. 296, 299. 26. Tsedah LaDerech, Perek 42, 46. 27. Machzor Vitri, Perek B'mah Isha, ois 31, 32. 28. Haitur, Hilchos Tzitzis, Shaar 3 Shaar Adom Chelek 1. 29. Rosh, Beitzah 24a, Eruvin 6a (see also Kitzur Piskei HaRosh, Perek 1:8). 30. Hagahos Ashri, Eruvin 6b, 20b. 31. Sefer HaNeyar, Hilchos Eruvin p. 51. 32. Hagahos Maimonios, Eruvin Perek 5:2, 5:4. 33. Mordechai, Shabbos 64b, 100a.[9] 34. Orchos Chaim, Hilchos Shabbos ois 284. 35. Tur, O.C. 345, 364, 392.

(We only included in this tally those Rishonim who clearly maintain that shishim ribo is a criterion of a reshus harabbim. However there are many other Rishonim who maintain that there is no reshus harabbim today and most of them must be referring to the criterion of shishim ribo as well.)


[1] דעת הגאון בעל "הלכות גדולות" (בה"ג) כבר מובא בתוספות (עירובין ו.) וז"ל "וכן יש ב'הלכות גדולות' דבעינן דריסת ס' רבוא". וברמב"ן (עירובין נט.) וז"ל "בכמה מקומות פירש [רש"י] שאין רה"ר גמורה אלא בעיר שיש שם ס' רבוא, ולא ידענא מנין לו לרש"י כן... אבל ב'הלכות גדולות' נמצא כן". ובחידושי הר"ן (שבת ו.) וז"ל דפירש רש"י ז"ל ובה"ג דלא הוי רה"ר אלא שיש ששים רבוא". ובמהר"ם מרוטנבורג (פסקים עירובין אות ט) "ובה"ג פירש נמי דבעינן ס' רבוא", ובתוס' הרא"ש (עירובין ו:) וז"ל "וכן מפורש בה"ג דבעינן דריסה של ס' רבוא".
אך המשכנות יעקב (סי' קכא) סבר דמכיון דלא מצא זאת בדברי הבה"ג עצמו ע"כ דעתו לא נחשבת, וז"ל בתשובתו השנית להגאון בית אפרים "אינני רואה בזה שום טעות כלל ח"ו ועיינתי בחושבנאי, לכן ראיתי לשוב כו' להתחיל על סדר בה"ג בזה אשר לא נמצא בהן מה שכ' התוס' בשמן דבעי ס' רבוא", ושוב חזר ע"ז בתשובתו שם וז"ל "והרי הר"ן והריטב"א והריב"ש וכל הפוסקים הביאו בשם רש"י ולא הזכירו שכן דעת 'הלכות גדולות' שדבריו דברי קבלה ואין נוחין לדחות בקל, אלא ודאי משמע שלא מצא הדברי בה"ג", עכ"ל המשכנ"י.
כידוע נמשך אחריו המשנה ברורה (סי' שמ"ה בביאו"ה ד"ה שאין ששים רבוא) וז"ל "ועתה נבוא להתבונן אודות מה שכתבו המג"א והט"ז דרוב פוסקים ס"ל כהי"א, הנה באמת כפי מה שהעתיק הב"י בקצור נמרץ את עקרי השיטות, דימו הם שרק אלו הם החולקים בזה, אבל כאשר חפשנו דבר זה בפוסקים מצאנו עוד הרבה מגדולי הראשונים המחמירים בענין זה. אכן מתחלה אחשב דעת המקילין בזה: ראשון לכולם הביא זה בשם בה"ג [ואינו בבה"ג שלפנינו]", עכ"ל.
אכן הקרה ה' לפנינו שבדורות האחרונים נמצא כת"י (אספמיא) של הבה"ג הנדפס בשנת תרנ"ב בבערלין ע"י חברת "מקיצי נרדמים", בעמוד 131: "רשות הרבים דוכתא דדשין בה שית מאה אלפי גוברין בכל יומא כדגלי מדבר". והם הם הדברים "דברי קבלה" של רבינו הבה"ג המובא בראשונים הנ"ל, וכבר כתב התוס' (חולין מד ע"א ד"ה כדי תפיסת היד) שדברי הבה"ג הם דברי קבלה ויש לסמוך עליהם, וכן כתב הרא"ש בשם הראב"ד (ברכות פ"ד אות יד), ובש"ך (יו"ד סי' כה ס"ק ב) וז"ל וכמה מצינו שהתוס' וכל הפוסקים חששו לדברי בה"ג אפילו היכא דלא מסתברא טעמיה, אפילו להקל, מפני שכל דבריו דברי קבלה".
[2] וז"ל רבינו עמרם גאון (הלכות פסוקות סימן ע) "מי שנפסקה לו ציצית בדרך בשבת, אם רשות הרבים היא, מקום שיש שם ס' רבוא בני אדם, אסור לטלטלה עד שתצא שבת".
[3] וז"ל רבינו שר שלום גאון (חמדה גנוזה סימן ע ושערי תשובה סימן רט) "מדינות ועיירות שאין בהם ששים רבוא, או יש בהם ששים רבוא ויש בהם חומה ודלתותיהן ננעלות בלילה, אין נעשות רשות הרבים ואין חייבין כרת וסקילה, מאי טעמא, דבעינן כדגלי מדבר". (נדפס גם בתשובות רב שר שלום גאון סימן לז ומובא גם בספר העתים אות צב בשם גאון).
[4] וז"ל ספר העתים (אות רו) "ובתשובות לגאון ד' רשויות לשבת מאי פירושה, כך אמרו חכמים ... ואיזו הוא רה"ר גמורה הי' לו מקום שיש בו ס' רבוא בני אדם ... סרטיא שווקים גדולים שממלאין ופתוחין למקום שיש בו ס' רובא ... ושנו חכמים המוציא מחנות לפלטיא ומבואות המפולשין לרה"ר והם מקום שיש בו ס' רובא."
[5] ודבריו הובאו בחידושי הר"ן עמ"ס שבת דף סד ע"ב, ובתוספות שבת שם, ובסמ"ג הל' שבת דף יח, ובאור זרוע הל' שבת סי' טז, ובהגמי"י שבת פרק יט אות ח ואות י, וברמב"ן עמ"ס שבת דף נז, ובמרדכי עמ"ס שבת פרק כל כתבי שצד, ובטור או"ח סי' ש"ג.
[6] ובערוך השולחן (סי' שמ"ה סעיף יז, בשם המשכנ"י) מונה את הראב"ן בין הראשונים האוסרים, דלא ס"ל התנאי דס' רבוא, אבל באמת הראב"ן הוא מהראשונים המקילין כמש"כ מפורש וז"ל "דהראשונים לא מיחו בנשים שלנו משום דסברי דעיירות שלנו כיון דאין רה"ר שבהן דומה לדגלי מדבר שאינו רחב ט"ז אמה... וגם אין בהם דריסת ששים רבוא כדגלי מדבר". וכנראה הרגיש בזה המ"ב (סי' שמ"ה בביאו"ה ד"ה שאין ששים רבוא) שלא הזכיר את הראב"ן במנין הראשונים האוסרים אשר נמנו במנין המשכנ"י.
[7] והובא בהגהות מרדכי שבת פרק יח.
[8] ובערוך השולחן (סי' שמ"ה סעיף יז, בשם המשכנ"י) מונה את הריא"ז בין הראשונים האוסרים, דלא ס"ל התנאי דס' רבוא, אבל באמת הריא"ז הוא מהראשונים המקילין כמש"כ מפורש וז"ל בפרק א אות ה "מבואות של כרכין המפולשין חוץ לעיר מצד זה ומצד זה, והן רחבין ט"ז אמה, והם מעבר לששים רבוא כדרך כרכין שכל באי העולם עוברים שם, הרי המבואות הללו רה"ר גמורה". וכנראה הרגיש בזה המ"ב (סי' שמ"ה בביאו"ה ד"ה שאין ששים רבוא) שלא הזכיר את הריא"ז במנין הראשונים האוסרים אשר נמנו במנין המשכנ"י.
[9] ובמשנה ברורה (סי' שמה בביאו"ה ד"ה שאין ששים רבוא) מונה את המרדכי בין הראשונים האוסרים, דלא ס"ל התנאי דס' רבוא, אבל באמת המרדכי הוא מהראשונים המקילין כמש"כ מפורש בפרק הזורק וז"ל "דאין לנו רה"ר וכל רחובות שלנו כרמלית הן, דלא מיקרי רה"ר אלא א"כ רחב ט"ז אמה ומפולש משער לשער וס' רבוא בוקעין בו".

Thursday, January 05, 2006

The 1981 Boro Park Kol Korei Exposed

This 1981 letter [Fig. a] − which was never printed in Igros Moshe and was only circulated as a flyer − is questionable. This letter purports that, according to Hagaon Harav Moshe Feinstein zt”l’s Shevat 1979 teshuvah (Igros Moshe, O.C. 4:88), Rav Moshe joined the Agudas HaRabbonim in prohibiting eruvin in Brooklyn. In fact, Rav Moshe never mentioned a word in that teshuvah about joining the Agudas HaRabbonim in prohibiting eruvin in Brooklyn; the teshuvah was written only to clarify his prior teshuvah (ibid., 4:87). Moreover, there never was any issur from the Agudas HaRabbonim against erecting eruvin in Brooklyn, only in Manhattan (see The 1979 Flatbush Kol Korei Exposed).

Furthermore, it is not plausible that Rav Moshe would have stated in this 1981 letter that, “those who rely on the eruv are considered a mechalel Shabbos.” We see he was uncomfortable with a comparable line that was utilized in the 1962 takanah against erecting an eruv in Manhattan since he omitted it from his teshuvah (Igros Moshe, Addendum to O.C. 4:89). Additionally, the subsequent line, “and those who erected the eruv are causing the rabbim to falter,” is questionable as well because three years earlier in his teshuvah (ibid., 4:87) to the rabbanim of Flatbush not only did Rav Moshe not censure them, he declined to issue a p’sak and acknowledged that the Aruch HaShulchan and other Achronim would disagree with him. In light of the aforementioned, Rav Menashe Klein shlita wrote (Oim Ani Chomah, siman 53) that there were Roshei Yeshivos who declared publicly that Rav Moshe never signed this letter. Moreover, it is interesting that only the date and the signature are handwritten on this flyer. [Although many people have asked to see the handwritten letter in its entirety, it has never been forthcoming.] Additionally, the signature on this letter is indistinguishable from the one on the haskamah to a booklet against erecting eruvin, and it’s impossible for two signatures to be exactly the same [Figs. b and c]. Furthermore, as this letter was typed on a manual typewriter almost twenty-five years ago, before one had the ability to type a letter with different font sizes, the two different sizes of type in this letter − Rav Moshe’s name as it was typed under his signature is smaller in size than the rest of this letter − strongly suggests that, in all likelihood, Rav Moshe’s signature was transferred from elsewhere. In light of the aforementioned inconsistencies in this letter, it follows that one can only be confident in what Rav Moshe actually stated in his teshuvos and not in what is merely written on a flyer.

It is important to note that all the objections to eruvin in Brooklyn are based on this 1981 letter and the 1979 kol korei (see The 1979 Flatbush Kol Korei Exposed), and as we have shown above, both are spurious documents and cannot be relied on. Finally, even if Hagaon Harav Moshe Feinstein zt”l had signed this letter and the signature on the 1979 kol korei was authentic, since Rav Moshe’s opposition to these eruvin was based on a totally different set of circumstances which does not pertain to us today, there is no question that he would have allowed our eruvin.

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Kuntres Kaneh VeKinamon: Carrying and the Baal Nefesh

תמונה נדירה של הגאון מהר"ש ענגיל זצ"ל אבד"ק ראדומישלא (מימין לשער ביתו בעיר קאשוי) מלוה את הגאון מוהרח"ה פאק הי"ד דומ"ץ קאשוי בעל זכרון יוסף


"...הנה בחידושי זכרון יוסף (אות ער"ה) הבאתי מס' בית מאיר, דבעל נפש יחמיר על עצמו שלא לטלטל בעיר המתוקן בצוה"פ, משום דברשות הרבים לא מהני צוה"פ, א"כ עיקר ההיתר לסמוך דבזה"ז ליכא רה"ר משום דאין ס"ר בוקעים בו, ע"כ בעל נפש צריך לחוש להפוסקים דהוי רה"ר בזה"ז, וא"כ לא מהני התיקון דצוה"פ. ואני כתבתי שם, דלפי המבואר בשו"ע הרב בעל התניא ז"ל דמה"ת מהני צוה"פ אף לרה"ר, א"צ להחמיר בזה עי"ש. ועי' בס' משנה ברורה סי' שס"ד דעושה מחלוקת הפוסקים אם מהני מה"ת צוה"פ לרה"ר עי"ש. ונראה דאע"פ כן אין צריך להחמיר, כיון דהוי ספק ספיקא, א' שמא אינו רה"ר, ב' את"ל דהוא רה"ר, שמא צוה"פ מועיל לרה"ר מה"ת, ותו מותר מספיקא דרבנן שמא אינו ר"ה, כמבואר ספק ספיקא זו בש"ך בכללי ס"ס אות ט"ז. ועי' בס' תוספות שבת סי' ש"ג סכ"ג ובחי' ליו"ד אות רפ"ב.

אולם האמת מה שכתבתי בחידושי שם אות עד"ר, דהעיקר בזה כרבינו התניא ז"ל, דלכ"ע מהני צוה"פ לרה"ר מה"ת... אך שם קצרתי בזה, ועל זה הקשה לי הה"ג מוה"ר יקתיאל יהודא הכהן גראס מק"ק סעליש יע"א, הרי המשנה ברורה לא כתב זאת מדעת עצמו רק מהרי"ף והרא"ש. ע"כ אבארו פה על נכון.

דהנה מדברי רבינו התניא ז"ל שם מבואר בפשיטות, דצוה"פ מהני לרשות הרבים מה"ת לכ"ע, כמו שהביא שם מקור לזה מסי' שס"ב, הרי מבואר דזה פשוט לדעתו הקדושה מהא דסי' שס"ב. והמשנה ברורה סובר דדוקא לדיעה ב' דסי' שס"ד דסגי בדלתות ראויות לנעול מועיל צוה"פ מה"ת, אבל לדיעה א' דצריך דלתות נעולות בלילה, לא מהני צוה"פ אף מה"ת עי"ש. ולכאורה לא אדע איך תלה זה בזה. אך נראה מדבריו שם כיון דפוסקים אלו הביאו לשון רבי יוחנן שאמר ירושלים אלמלא דלתותי' ננעלות בלילה חייבין עליה משום רה"ר. אולם עי' בתוס' דף כ"ב ד"ה והא, לפי תירוץ א' שם הי' לירושלים צוה"פ, אעפ"כ אלמלא דלתותי' ננעלות בלילה הי' חייב משום רה"ר משום דרבים העוברים מבטלים מחיצה דצוה"פ, אבל בסוף כתבו התוס' שם דלפי פי' אחר שפירשו בדף ו' ניחא. וכוונתם בזה, דלפי מה שהעלו שם דמבוי רחב י"ג אמה ושליש המפולש לאורך רה"ר דינו ממש כהרה"ר הרחב ט"ז אמות עי"ש, א"כ פסי ביראות דמפולש י"ג אמה ושליש לאורך ולרוחב הרי ע"כ מפולש לאורך רה"ר ודינו ממש כרה"ר רוחב ט"ז אמות, וא"כ שפיר מקשה עליו מירושלים. ולפ"ז באמת לירושלים לא הי' צוה"פ, אלא היתר דלתות בלא צוה"פ, ואם לא הי' ננעלות בלילה הי' הילוך רבים מבטל היתר זה, ולפ"ז הילוך רבים לא מבטל אלא היתר דלתות בלא צוה"פ, או פסי ביראות, אבל צוה"פ לא נתבטל ע"י הילוך רבים. וכן כתבתי בקצרה בחי' אות רע"ד דזה דעת רבינו התניא ז"ל.

ומעתה מכל הפוסקים שהעתיקו כרבי יוחנן ירושלים אילמלא דלתותי' ננעלות בלילה חייבין עלי' משום רה"ר, אין שום ראי' נגד דעת רבינו התניא ז"ל, דהרי לירושלים לא הי' צוה"פ כנ"ל, ואהא דמבוי ניתר בלחי וקורה או בצוה"פ כתבו הרי"ף והרא"ש אבל רה"ר לא מערבין אלא בדלתות [והיינו דמדרבנן לא מהני לה צוה"פ אלא דלתות], ואח"כ כתבו והוא דננעלות בלילה דאר"י ירושלים אילמלא דלתותי' ננעלות בלילה חייבים עלי' משום רה"ר, דמשם מוכרח דראויות לנעול לא מהני אלא ננעלות דוקא, ושם חייב משום דלא הי' צוה"פ, אבל אם יש צוה"פ אסור מדרבנן אם אין ננעלות, דעכ"פ מוכח דראויות לנעול לא מהני אלא ננעלות דוקא. ומעתה אין שום פוסק קדמון נגד דעת רבינו התניא ז"ל בזה [ובאמת לחשוב דהרי"ף והרא"ש ועוד פוסקים ראשונים במקום מקור הדין הם נגד דעת רבינו התניא ז"ל הס מלהזכיר ואין להעלות כן על דעת אנושי...].

והנה הרב הנ"ל הביא מדברי השלטי גבורים בשם ריא"ז פ"ק דעירובין. אולם המעיין שם יראה דמתחלה כתב מבואות של כרכים כו', הרי המבואות הללו הם רה"ר גמורה, ואח"כ כתב ואע"פ שעשו להם צוה"פ והעמידו בהם דלתות הרי הן רה"ר עכ"ל. הרי בזה לא כתב רה"ר גמורה כמו מתחילה, ע"כ שפיר י"ל דבזה לא הוי רה"ר מדאורייתא אלא מדרבנן.

עוד כתב לי הרב הנ"ל דבהגהות אשר"י כתב דאף לרש"י דלא הוי רה"ר, מ"מ לא ניתר אלא בדלתות. הנה אילו הי' כתוב כן בהגהות אשר"י, הי' דבריו תמוהים מאוד, דהרי מבואר להדיא ברש"י בכל הסוגיא דדף ו' דהא דרה"ר לא ניתר אלא בדלתות אינו אלא אם ס' ריבוא בוקעין בו. אך האמת דלא כתוב כן כלל בהג"א בהדיא ע"ש. ומעתה אחר שאין לנו שום פוסק קדמון מפורש נגד דעת רבינו התניא ז"ל בזה, בודאי דכן הלכה בפשיטות דרק מדרבנן לא מהני צוה"פ לרה"ר, וא"כ שפיר כתיבנא דלענין דרבנן אף בעל נפש יכול לסמוך על המקילין דאין לנו רה"ר.

ומעתה י"ל דכל האחרונים שחרדו בזה חרדה גדולה מכח המעבר לרבים, הוא משום שלא נחתו לסברת רבינו התניא ז"ל דצוה"פ לא נתבטל מה"ת מכח מעבר לרבים, ע"כ הי' להם בזה חשש איסור תורה, אבל לפי מה שגילה לנו רבינו התניא ז"ל דלכ"ע עכ"פ אין בזה חשש איסור תורה, באמת אין מקום להחמיר.

עוד כתב לי הרב הנ"ל, דבפוסקים כתבו דיחמיר לעצמו דהוי רה"ר, ועל כרחך הכוונה לענין הדבר המותר בכרמלית ואסור ברה"ר כגון בצוה"פ. והנה גם רבינו התניא ז"ל סימן שמ"ה ססי"א כתב דיר"ש יחמיר על עצמו, דאף בזמה"ז הוי רה"ר. ויראה נא בדבריו בסי' רנ"ב סי"ח שכתב, דבזה"ז אין איסור כלל לצאת עם חפץ ערב שבת סמוך לחשיכה משום דלא הוי רה"ר, ולא כתב שיר"ש יחמיר, רק אדרבה כתב אין איסור כלל. מבואר דשום אדם א"צ להחמיר. ובסי' שכ"ה ס"ד פסק בסתם, דבמקום מצוה מותר לומר לנכרי שיוציא מרה"י לרה"ר שלנו, משום דשבות דשבות מותר במקום מצוה. ובק"א לסי' רנ"ב ס"ק ב' כתב, דבהפסד מרובה מותר זאת, ושם צריך מקום מצוה או הפסד מרובה משום דשבות דשבות לא הותר אלא בזה. אבל אם יר"ש צריך להחמיר דהוי רה"ר, א"כ לא הוי שבות דשבות. ושם בק"א כתב דאף מי שירצה להחמיר ברה"ר שלנו כהפוסקים דהוא רה"ר, מ"מ כדאי הם המקילים לסמוך עליהם בהפסד מרובה שהמה הרבים ופשט המנהג כמותם עכ"ל. הנה כתב דמי שירצה להחמיר, ולא כתב כלל דיש מי שצריך להחמיר,[1] ועל כרחך דהוא כמו שכתבתי, דבדרבנן א"צ כלל להחמיר בזה.

עוד הביא לי הרב הנ"ל ראיה מכמה מקומות בשו"ע הרב בעל התניא ז"ל, דאף במילי דרבנן מחמיר. ובאמת אין ראי' מהם כלל, דשאני הכא דהמקילין רבים ופשט המנהג כמותם כנזכר לעיל מק"א [וכן מבואר בט"ז ומג"א סי' שמ"ה דהמקילים הם רוב בזה, והמשנה ברורה שם הוסיף להביא עוד פוסקים מחמירים בזה, אבל אף לפי חשבונו לא רבו המחמירים. ובאמת גם מקילים יש עוד שלא חשב, כגון תשובת גאון המובא באשכול].

ומעתה על כרחך מה שכתב רבינו התניא ז"ל סי' שמ"ה הנ"ל, דיר"ש יחמיר לעצמו, היינו רק לענין דאורייתא, כגון לטלטל לתוכה מקרפף, עי' ריש סי' שמ"ו, או לענין שביתת בהמה דמבואר במג"א סי' ש"ה דבכרמלית מותר וברה"ר הוי איסור תורה [אולם בזה עי' בחבורי זכרון יוסף אות קצ"ג], או לענין המבואר בסי' שי"א ס"ב ובסי' ש"ח סי"ח עי"ש. וכן י"ל בדעת שאר הפוסקים שכתבו להחמיר בזה לעצמו, ועכ"פ דעת התניא ז"ל ברור דהוא כן וכמו שנתבאר.

עוד האריך הרב הנ"ל בענין הלכה כדברי המיקל בעירוב, שאין זה אלא בדיעבד או בשעת הדחק. ובאמת אני לא באתי כלל מכח זה, דכ"ז אין צריך אלא ביחיד נגד רבים, אבל בזה לפי הנ"ל בק"א דהמקילין רבים והמנהג כמותם, הלא בכל התורה ואפי' באיסור תורה הלכה כרבים, והיכא דהמנהג כן הלכה אפילו כיחיד כנגד רבים אפילו באיסור תורה, כמבואר במג"א סי' תר"צ, וכ"ש כאן דהוי תרתי, "רבים" ו"מנהג" ו"לענין דרבנן". ובדברי התשו' תשורת ש"י שהובא בחי' אות ער"ה, בודאי פשוט וברור כמו שהבנתי, דהביא דברי הבית מאיר דבעל נפש יחמיר משום דשמא הלכה כפוסקים דאית לן רה"ר בזה"ז, ע"ז כתב כיון דיש פסק מגאון שלא נתפרסם דלית לן רה"ר, א"כ בודאי דכן הלכה עפ"י המבואר בחו"מ,[2] א"כ אין צריך להחמיר בשביל זה. אך כתב שאר טעמים להחמיר כמבואר בחיבורי שם, אולם אני כתבתי דבלאו הכי אין מקום להחמיר בזה מכח הפוסקים דהוי רה"ר, ומכח ג' טעמים אשר כל אחד בפני עצמו כדאי להתיר, א' דהפלוגתא בזה הוי בדרבנן, ב' דהמקילים הם הרוב, ג' דהמנהג כהמקילין וכנ"ל.

ובספר ברכי יוסף סימן שס"ג הובא תשב"ץ שכתב ומי שלבו נוקפו בתיקון עירוב, הדיוטות גמורה היא או מינות נזרקה בו עכ"ל. ולפמ"ש הדבר מובן, כיון דעפ"י חוט המשולש הנ"ל אין לחוש בזה להמחמירים כנ"ל, ע"כ מי שאף זה לא די לו ורוצה להחמיר, שפיר יש לחוש בו כנ"ל. ובס' שבילי דוד סי' שס"ג הביא דברי הברכי יוסף בשם תשב"ץ וכתב, אבל במקום שיש רה"ר מפולש[3] רחב ט"ז אמות מתוקן בצוה"פ, המחמיר קדוש יאמר לו עכ"ד. אולם מסתימת לשון תשב"ץ מבואר דמיירי בסתם תיקוני מבואות, וסתם מבואות היינו אפילו רחבים ט"ז אמות, וסתם תיקון הוא צוה"פ כנודע. ועל כרחך דהוא כמו שכתבתי.

[ועפ"י הנ"ל דדבר שאין בו חשש איסור תורה, הרוצה להחמיר נגד רוב פוסקים וגם נגד המנהג, יש בו חשש מינות, י"ל נמי בהא דמבואר בסוס"י רנ"ז דכל מי שאינו מאמין בדברי חכמים ואוסר אכילת חמין בשבת, חיישינן שמא אפיקורס הוא. ולכאורה קשה מאי קמ"ל בזה, הלא בהדיא מבואר ביו"ד סי' קי"ט ס"ז דמי שאינו מאמין בדברי חז"ל הוא מומר לכל התורה כולה. אך נראה דאף שכ' הרמ"א שם דהטמנה דידן שרי לכ"ע הוא לאו דוקא, דלהרמב"ם והמחבר אסור, דלשיטתם לא מהני טח בטיט כמבואר במג"א שם, אך כיון דעפ"י רוב הפוסקים והמנהג הוא מותר כמבואר ברמ"א סי' רנ"ד ס"א, וחשש איסור תורה לית בזה, ע"כ מי שרוצה להחמיר בזה חשיב אינו מאמין בדברי חכמים ויש בו חשש מינות].

ועיין בספר נימוקי או"ח סימן שצ"ד שהביא משער הכוונות שהקדוש האר"י ז"ל נשא בעצמו בצפת על סמך תיקון עירובין. גם הביא שם מכ"ק זקינו בני יששכר ז"ל שבכל עיר שהוחזק בטוב תיקון עירובין נשא בש"ק במכוון, שלא יהי' בכלל מי שאינו מודה בעירוב. ומעתה מי לנו בעל נפש גדול מגאונים וקדושים הנ"ל שלא חששו כלל להחמיר בזה, והיינו מטעם שביארתי.


דיוק זה דייק גם הגאון רבי אברהם חיים נאה ז"ל בספרו "קונטרס השולחן" וז"ל, "בדפוס קאפוסט תיבות 'וכל יר"ש יחמיר לעצמו' נדפסו בחצאי עיגול במאמר מוסגר. וכן בדפוס טשערנאוויץ נדפס ממש כמו בקאפוסט. ולפ"ז אפשר שהמאמר המוסגר הזה אינו מרבינו ז"ל אלא הוספה, ולכן אין עליו ציון במראה מקום בין כל המ"מ, אלא ציון מיוחד בכוכב שהוסיפו אח"כ המאמר והציון... ובקונטרס אחרון ב' בסי' רנ"ב כתב רבינו בזה"ל, 'ואף מי שירצה להחמיר ברה"ר שלנו כהאומרים שיש לו דין רה"ר', ולא כתב 'ואף שיש ליר"ש להחמיר' כו'. מכל זה נראה דמה שכתוב כאן 'וכל יר"ש יחמיר לעצמו' הוא מאמר מוסגר, כמו שנדפס בקאפוסט, והוא הוספת מהרי"ל [אחי רבינו]..."
סימן כ"ה ברמ"א סעיף ב' בשם מהרי"ק וז"ל, "אם נמצא לפעמים תשובת גאון ולא עלה זכרונו על ספר ונמצאו אחרים חולקים עליו, אין צריכים לפסוק כדברי האחרונים, שאפשר שלא ידעו דברי הגאון ואי הוי שמיע להו הדרי בהו". ובנידון דידן מלבד רבינו הבה"ג ומלבד אחד מן הגאונים המובא באשכול [שהוא רב האי גאון], הרי נמצאו עוד כמה גאונים דס"ל להדיא דס' רבוא הוא תנאי לרה"ר דאורייתא, ה"ה רב שר שלום גאון (חמדה גנוזה סי' ע'), רב עמרם גאון (הלכות פסוקות סי' ע'), רב נטרונאי גאון (שערי תשובה סי' ר"ט), וכן הובא בספר העתים (אות צ"ב) לרב יהודה אלברצלוני.
דהיינו שהרחוב יהיה גם "מכוון" כמבואר במג"א סימן שמ"ה סעיף ו' ובמ"ב ס"ק כ"א. אבל כידוע אין זה מצוי בכרכים הגדולים כמ"ש הגאון רבי שלמה דוד כהנא ז"ל לגבי עיר ווארשא הגדולה המתוקנת בעירוב.

Monday, January 02, 2006

Part 1: Shishim Ribo – A Mystery Solved

This post is based on a article published in HaPardes (27th year, vol. 6) by Rav Mordechai Yehudah Leib Zaksh (1906-1963), author of Dikdukei Sofrim LeTalmud Yerushalmi, among other seforim.

There is a well known difficulty cited in the Ramban (Shabbos 57a and Eruvin 59a) regarding Rashi’s shita that one of the requirements of a reshus harabbim is that there has to be shishim ribo traversing the street. The Ramban questions from where does Rashi know the criterion of shishim ribo; there is no mention of this requirement in Shas at all (see also Ritvah, 59a; Magid Mishna, Shabbos perek 14:1 and Rivash, siman 405).

The following explanation will clear up this difficulty: The Meiri (Shabbos 6a) cites a passage that is not mentioned in our Gemara, “לפי שאמרו בכאן אין רשות הרבים בבבל.” The Ravyah (siman 201, p. 276) refers to a similar passage that is not stated in our Gemara, “אמר עולה אין דרך רשות הרבים בבבל.” The Gemara in Berachos (58a) states,”.אמר עולה נקיטינן אין אוכלוסא בבבל” The Gemara explains that אוכלוסא (multitudes) is not less than shishim ribo. In Meseches Berachos, Ulla maintained that there is no shishim ribo in Bavel (Babylonia) and according to this version of Meseches Shabbos, Ulla stated there is no reshus harabbim in Bavel either. Therefore, it’s logical to conclude that since there was no shishim ribo in Bavel there was no reshus harabbim as well. Rashi, when he stated that one of the requirements of a reshus harabbim is that there has to be shishim ribo traversing the street, probably based his conclusion on a similar manuscript of the Gemara as did the Meiri and the Ravyah.

Incredibly, there is a manuscript of Meseches Shabbos (6a) in the Vatican Library (Bibliotheca Apostolica, Ebr. 127; see facsimile below) that actually has these additional lines that are not printed in our Gemara, “אמ' עולה אין רשו' הרבי' בבבל אמ' רבה בר בר חנה ירושלים אילמלא דלתותי נעולות בלילה חייבי משו' רשו' הרבי." Furthermore, Rav Mordechai Yehudah Leib Zaksh provides a fascinating bit of information that in the Munich codex (Bayerische Staatsbibliothek, Hebrew MS. No. 95; see facsimile below) on the margins of this daf (Shabbos, 6a) near the place of the insertion of this phrase in the Vatican codex there is a faint Addendum note that, although illegible, starts with an "א" (for אמ' עולה) and has precisely enough words to have been the same inclusion as the Vatican codex. (The Munich codex, which was completed in 1369, is the only complete extant manuscript of the Bavli; see Raphael Nossan Nata Rabbinovicz, Dikdukei Sofrim, p. 9. According to Breslauer Jahresbericht, 1905, p. 28, the Munich codex was based on a mid-ninth century manuscript.)

This facsimile above of Meseches Shabbos (6a) from the Vatican codex (Bibliotheca Apostolica, Ebr. 127) includes the additional phrase from Ulla. Note the placement of the passage from Rabbah bar bar Chanah also in Meseches Shabbos 6a and not just in Eruvin 6b as it is in our edition of the Gemara.


From this facsimile above of the Munich codex (Bayerische Staatsbibliothek, Hebrew MS. No. 95) we can discern the addition on the margins of an extra paragraph that is not included in our edition of Meseches Shabbos (6a).
l _________________________________________________
In a related vein, the Gra asked the following question on Rashi’s shita (Gaon Yaakov, Eruvin, 6b; see also Bais Meir, Eruvin 6a and Bi’ur Halachah 345:7). Ulla maintains (Eruvin, 6b) that the Babylonian Mechoza (see Kesubos 54a) would be classified as a reshus harabbim if not for the fact that there was delasos that closed because, as Rashi elucidates, there was shishim ribo therein. However, according to Ulla there was no shishim ribo in Bavel (Berachos, 58a). Rav Zaksh answers that there were two distinct entities − a city called Bavel and a country called Bavel. Ulla’s statement that there was no shishim ribo in Bavel was referring to the city of Bavel; however, according to Rashi the country called Bavel could have a city, such as Mechoza, with a population of shishim ribo (see also Bais Av, 2:5:1; for an alternative response see Minchas Pitim, siman 345:7). While Rav Zaksh doesn’t mention that Tosfos (Shabbos 36b) asks on Rashi that there is no city named Bavel only a country, the Maharitats (Even Ha’ezer 2:11), Maginei Shlomoh (Shabbos 36b), and Seridei Aish (3:38) muster considerable support otherwise.

Finally! Stamford Hill Joins the Club

Mazel Tov to the Jewish residents of Stamford Hill upon the establishment of their  eruv . Finally, the last bastion of opposition to the ...