Thursday, June 30, 2016

Part 3: Rebuttal of Hagaon Rav Yosef Heller Shlita’s Shiurim on Eruvin

The argument: Reb Shlomo Zalman Auerbach who was himself one of greatest geonim of our times said Reb Moshe is in another league completely than all other contemporary poskim. Reb Moshe could finish the entire mesechta Zevachim on a Friday night after the meal. I saw this myself; I was by him several times.
The rebuttal: This is irrelevant. No one is arguing about the gadlus of Rav Moshe.  The issue is if we follow all of Rav Moshe’s piskei halacha. Rav Shlomo Zalman zt”l was not always in agreement with Rav Moshe’s piskei halacha. Even regarding the criterion of shishim ribo, Rav Shlomo Zalman did not agree with Rav Moshe since it is apparent that he maintained that the criterion is conditional of the street (Minchas Shlomo, 2:35:19). Moreover, Chabad does not follow all of Rav Moshe’s piskei halacha. Why should eruvin be different?
The argument: If someone were to build a proper tzuras hapesach (wire eruv) around a reshus harabim it is only an issur drabanan to carry there (according to some opinions, while others say that it remains an issur d’orasia – Tzemach Tzedek Chidushim Eiruvin and Shut Divrei Nechemya 23). However, to make a proper tzuras hapesach you must know the halachos of eruvin well and you need to check the eruv properly. You cannot just check from a car, you have to walk by foot around the entire Crown Heights (not a short distance). You have to check every single inch of the way to make sure everything is in place. No one is giving testimony that this was done or by whom.
The rebuttal: According to some opinions? This is simply misleading. There is no doubt that the Alter Rebbe maintained that once a tzuras hapesach was established the issue was only a matter of a d’rabbanan. To mention here that it is only according to some opinions is inexcusable.
The Divrei Nechemya’s question if the Alter Rebbe actually maintains that a tzuras hapesach is sufficient on a d’Oraysa level is mitigated by the fact that the Tzemach Tzedek clearly understood that his grandfather upheld as such (Chiddushim, Eruvin, {perek 2:4 and} 59a).[6] [Moreover, the Divrei Nechemya only mentions that he was not sure about the Alter Rebbe’s stance and acknowledged that he said it without fully examining the issue, therefore the Tzemach Tzedek’s testimony definitely stands.]
That the Tzemach Tzedek in the end argued that a yorei shomayim should be stringent and not rely on this shita of the Alter Rebbe does not change the fact that the Alter Rebbe wrote in his Shulchan Aruch, without any qualifiers, that a tzuras hapesach is sufficient on a d’Oraysa level. Moreover, we know today that many Rishonim and most Achronim agree with this shita of the Alter Rebbe. [Furthermore, the Tzemach Tzedek would not classify Brooklyn as a reshus harabbim since no street is mefulash u’mechavanim to a sratya and a platya, and that Brooklyn is encompassed on three of its sides by mechitzos b’ydai adam.]
Rav Heller’s further declarations regarding checking an eruv on foot, is simply unsupported.
The argument: Even if great poskim would come and say that an eruv can be built, Anash are bound by the psak of Alter Rebbe and the Tzemach Tzedek. It’s not enough to say that the Rebbe said not to build, even though that it’s completely true, because they could answer that they’re not so mekushar to follow every hora’a of the Rebbe.
The rebuttal: Anash can rely on the following three reasons why Brooklyn would not be classified as a reshus harabbim: 1) Brooklyn would not be classified as a reshus harabbim since there is no street where 600,000 people traverse any section of it on a daily basis.
2) Even if one does not agree that the criterion of shishim ribo is conditional of a street, no part of Brooklyn would be classified as a reshus harabbim since there is no street that is mefulash u’mechuvan on one side to a platya and on the other side to a sratya.
3) Even if one would argue that the criterion of mefulash is only conditional of a walled city and that the criterion of shishim ribo is conditional of a city, nevertheless, the entire borough would be classified as a reshus hayachid me’d’Oraysa since the streets are encompassed (on four sides) by mechitzos habbatim, and, moreover, the borough is bounded on three of its sides by mechitzos which are omed merubeh al haparutz
Furthermore, even if one would allege that according to some poskim the above criteria would not remove from Brooklyn the classification of a reshus harabbim, nevertheless, they would have to agree that each issue is still at the very minimum a safek. Consequentially, we are dealing with a sfek sfek sfeika, and we would therefore go l’kula even if the matter was a d’Oraysa.[7] How much more so, according to the Alter Rebbe, once a tzuras hapesach was established the issue would not be a matter of a d’Oraysa only of a d’rabbanan.




[6] Furthermore, it would be a strange dichotomy; some of the greatest Polish and Hungarian poskim [Avnei Nezer, O.C. 283:2, C.M. 107; Prei HaSadeh, 2:81; Zichron Yosef, siman 274, and Mahari Stief, siman 68; see also Kaf HaChaim, O.C. 364:12] made use of the Alter Rebbe’s shita that a tzuras hapesach is sufficient on a d’Oraysa level but in Chabad they understood otherwise. 
[7] The Tzemach Tzedek states (Eruvin, 5:6) that since shitas Rashi was not accepted by most of the Rishonim and most poskim do not agree that a tzuras hapesach would reclassify a reshus harabbim as a reshus hayachid, a yorei shomayim should not employ these criteria. However, as I mentioned previously, the Rebbe assumed that we do rely on the criterion of shishim ribo. Moreover, today we know of additional Rishonim and that most Achronim maintain that a tzuras hapesach would reclassify a reshus harabbim as a reshus hayachid. Consequently, there is no reason not to enact these criteria as a sfek sfeka.
Furthermore, the Tzemach Tzedek would classify Brooklyn as a reshus hayachid because the streets are not mefulash u’mechavanim on one side to a sratya and on the other side to a platya. Moreover, even if one would argue that the Tzemach Tzedek would categorize our streets as sratyas and platyas, the fact that the borough is encompassed by mechitzos which are omed merubeh al haparutz would classify the city as walled and the Tzemach Tzedek would definitely require the streets to be mefulash u’mechavanim, as well.
Consequently, even if one would argue that these criteria are not applicable, they would have to admit that, at the minimum, the Tzemach Tzedek would accept that these issues are a sfek sfek sfeika, and thus, even (on requirements me'd'rabanan) a yorei shomayim can rely on the fact that Brooklyn would not be classified as a reshus harabbim