Talmud Tips

For the week ending 25 May 2013 / 15 Sivan 5773

Eruvin 79 - 85

by Rabbi Moshe Newman
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Although a person is traditionally identified by his name and the name of his father, we find an exception to this practice in our gemara.

“Rabbi Zeira said to Rabbi Yaakov the son of the daughter of Yaakov”, to make a detour during his travel to Eretz Yisrael to pose a question to a certain Amora there regarding eruvei techumin. Rabbi Yaakov’s father name is not mentioned in connection with his own name, explains Rashi, since his father was not good and proper.

  • Eruvin 80a

“Rabbi Yochanan said, ‘Giving money for something (movable) acquires it according to Torah Law; so why did the Rabbis say that meshicha – pulling and taking possession — is needed for acquiring? This is a gezera (Rabbinical decree) so that the seller will not say, ‘Your wheat burnt up in my attic’.”

Rashi explains that this was enacted to protect the buyer in the event a fire near the wheat (or any movable item) occurs after the money was given but before the wheat was moved from the seller’s domain. If we would rule that the money already bought the wheat, the seller would have no incentive to make great efforts to save the wheat he sold, since he already received payment and the wheat isn’t his. However, now that the Rabbis decreed that meshicha is needed for the sale, the buyer will not be in this predicament, since it will now be in his domain where he can care for it.

  • Eruvin 81b

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