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It is Rabbinically prohibited to carry from one Torah domain to another (reshus harabbim to reshus hayachid or vice versa) on Shabbos via a makom petur (an insignificant domain) as a safeguard to prevent transgressing by carrying directly from one domain to another. The Shulchan Aruch 346:1 cites two opinions regarding carrying an object from a Rabbinically forbidden domain to another (karmelis to reshus hayachid or reshus harabim and vice versa) via a makom petur. The first opinion is that it is forbidden just like from Torah domains, but the second opinion maintains that the Rabbis did not enact this safeguard for Rabbinic domains.

The Shulchan Aruch (355:1) discusses carrying water from a water source that is a karmelis to a reshus hayachid, which, Rabbinically, is considered carrying from one domain to another and rules that although, usually, some measure of mechitzos (halachic barriers, albeit of lesser quality than is usually acceptable) are required to convert the area from which the water is drawn to a reshus hayachid, on a boat [where one cannot construct as on land], if its walls are ten tefachim above the surface of the water [necessitating lifting the water in the air over ten tefachim above the karmelis, which is a makom petur], he may extend even a small board over the top of the wall of the boat, and draw the water through a hole in the board.

The Biur Halachah (355:1 s.v. Avir) cites the Mogen Avrohom who explains that this leniency for a boat is even according to the stringent opinion regarding carrying from Rabbinic domains via a makom petur, because the required protrusion serves as a halachic differentiation from normal cases of carrying via a makom petur and is not subject to the safeguard. However, the Gra disagrees and holds that the leniency of drawing water via the protrusion on a boat is only according to the lenient view in Siman 346 who permits carrying from Rabbinic domains via a makom petur.

However, the Mishnah Berurah (355:3 §30) writes that the opinion of the Gra is that even those who permit carrying from Rabbinic domains via a makom petur require the object to 
‘rest’ in the makom petur before continuing to the second domain. If so, how can the Gra explain that these opinions permit drawing water via the protrusion over the walls of a boat because it is carrying from a Rabbinic domain via a makom petur – he does not seem to fulfill the requirement that the water ‘rest’ on the protrusion before entering the boat?

Answers to the questions will be published in Issue #56. Answers should be emailed to daf-hayomi-behalacha@dirshunj.org or faxed to 732-987-3949 by י' אדר ב' / March 17th to be entered into a raffle for a set of Dirshu Mishnah Berurah. When submitting your answers to the Question of the Month, please include your full name spelled in both Hebrew and English together with your address.
In Megilas Esther (4:5) it is written that when Esther was notified that Mordechai donned sackcloth and entered the courtyard of the king’s palace she sent him the following message; “ ladaas ma zeh v’al ma zeh ”- “what is this and what is this all about”. The Gemorah in Mesechta Megillah explains that her unusual choice of words implied a much deeper penetrating insight. Esther was alluding to the possibility that perhaps the Yidden transgressed an aveira prohibited in the Luchos, which were, “ mizeh umizeh haim kisuvim ”-“the words were engraved, piercing both sides of the tablet entirely”.

There are two questions that must be addressed. Firstly, why didn’t Esther pose a straightforward question, asking, “What sins did the Jews commit”? Secondly, what is the significance of the phrase utilizing the words ‘zeh’ and ‘ zeh ’ and the reference to the Torah as being ‘ zeh’ and ‘zeh’ ?

Rav Yosef Salant in his monumental sefer , Be’er Yosef , paints a picture of the social status of the Yidden during the era of Galus Bavel. The Yidden were subjugated to foreign masters, feeling alone and isolated facing nations who looked at them with scorn and derision. The prevailing attitude amongst the goyim was to regard them with contempt and as undesirables; more specifically, ‘deplorables’. The Jews perceived this. Their non-participation in the general culture and their limitations of social interaction imposed upon them by halachah set them distinctly apart. The Jews, sensing this animosity, were desperate to prop up their standing and to become accepted as part of the social fabric of their present homeland. They convinced themselves that refraining from participating in Achashveirosh’s grand feast would have been viewed as tantamount to treason, indicating dissatisfaction with Achashveirosh’s  joy and celebration. This then would have triggered his wrath with subsequent gezairos and punishment directed at them. In their minds, the ultimate solution to counteract this growing disdain was to assimilate and increase their desirability by partaking in their social events. Thus, they decided to ignore Mordechai’s call to refrain from joining the party. This concerted decision to join the nations of the world in the festivities was a calculated decision to outwardly display their alliance with them. Of course, in the privacy of their homes they maintained the halachos to its fullest.

The prevailing notion that association with the goyim would engender positive relations and fend off persecution was and is a huge fallacy. We Yidden must know that the heilige Torah is the blueprint for the creation of the universe and will never be subject to change. We must remember that the Torah is the unadulterated truth, relevant constantly and permanently through the ages until eternity. The Torah may never be adjusted or tampered with.

The Luchos that were pierced through in its entirety from both sides and was miraculously able to be read from both sides was to symbolize that there is no room for change. The letters were engraved in a style that indicates the impossibility to erase or add. The ability to read the words equally from all angles is symbolic of its relevance and constancy and inflexibility.

This was the meaning of Esther’s message to Mordechai that perhaps the Jews disobeyed the idea of ‘ mizeh u’mizeh’ ? Esther knew that the Yidden were committed to absolute Torah observance, however, she worried that for the sake of appeasement they were willing to outwardly sacrifice their standards. This was her underlying message of ‘ mizeh u’mizeh’ ; symbolic of the Luchos , given to withstand the test of time and the extended galus. The idea that adjustments to halacha would result in improved relations was mistaken at the core.

What a powerful message! The more we cling meticulously to every nuance of the Torah the safer we are. Tampering with this holy gift results in disaster….


Building a korah across an opening of an alleyway
It is forbidden mid’rabonon to carry in an alleyway that is only closed on three sides. There is however a way to rectify this situation. One method is for a person to place a beam across the top of the opening of the alley; it would then be permitted to carry in this alleyway. This is known as a korah. The korah serves as a reminder not to carry into the reshus harabim. The korah may be placed on top of the walls of the alley or on top of poles designed to support it. The korah serves as somewhat of a halachic roof for the alleyway, and therefore, it must be situated within the airspace of the alleyway as opposed to being built in front of the alleyway, since roofs are generally built on top of the actual building. 

[ שו"ע שסג, יד, משנ"ב מט-נא, וביה"ל ד"ה על; ביאורים ומוספים דרשו, 44-43]



A korah built for a different purpose

As mentioned, a korah serves as a reminder not to carry into the reshus harabim and therefore a korah must be built with the specific intention in mind to serve as a reminder in order to allow carrying in the alleyway. If the korah was erected for another reason it would not be valid. There is a discussion amongst the Rishonim regarding a korah that was not built to permit carrying, but is four tefachim wide. Some Rishonim argue that although it will not be a valid korah, it may create a halachically acceptable wall based on the concept of pi tikrah yored vsoseim. This means that the edge of the beam can project downwards in order to build a halachic barrier. The alleyway will now be closed on all four sides. Pi tikrah does not apply   on a rounded or slanted beam even if it is four tefachim   wide.
[ שו"ע שסג, טו, משנ"ב נג-נד, וביה"ל ד"ה פסולה; ביאורים ומוספים דרשו, 44 ,46 ו־47]



Building a lechi into the street


Another method which would allow carrying in an open alleyway is by building a lechi next to one of the walls at the opening. A lechi that is less than four amos long may be built as a continuation of one of the walls even if it is sticking out into the street. However, the lechi must be thinner than the wall so that it is noticeable as a lechi and not just as a continuation of the wall. A lechi that is four amos long may not be built in this way regardless of how thin it is.

שו"ע שסג, יג, ומשנ"ב מד, מה, מז ו־מח; ביאורים ומוספים דרשו, 41-40]

  • A lechi that was built for reasons other than to allow carrying in an alley is valid. One must decide before Shabbos that he wishes to use the structure as a halachic lechi.

  • A lechi that was created without intent is only valid if it is not four amos wide.

  • A forbidden object that is destined to be destroyed can be used as a lechi. For example, a lechi may be built using wood from a tree that was used for idol worship.


  • The dimensions of a korah




  • A circular korah




  • Calculating the width of a circle
PLEASE NOTE: The information in this email is for learning purposes only. Please review the Mishna Berura and Biurim U'Musafim before making a halachic decision. Hebrew words are occasionally transliterated to enable a smoother reading of the text. Common Ashkenazi pronunciation is generally used in these cases.
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