The Reshus HaRabbim Issue part 3

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1. Shabbos 6a.

2. See Halachos of the Eruv Chap. 1, A:4.

3. See Biur Halacha, Orach Chaim 363:1, d.h. Asra Chachamim.

4. Eruvin 6b.

5. According to most Poskim, the reason delasos are required is because of the principle of asu rabbim u'mivatlei mechitzta - the passage of many people through a wall renders it invalid - we will discuss this concept b'ezras Hashem in Section 6 below. See also Rabbi Chaim Gedalya Tzimbalist's Avodas Avoda (Tel Aviv, 1973) on the Rashba's Avodas HaKodesh 3:1, footnote 2 and Tosefes Biur no. 1. It should be noted that this work is outstanding in its explanation of the various shittos in Messeches Eruvin.

6. See Nesivos Shabbos 23:1, footnote 2.

7. Defined in Eruvin 11b.

8. It should be noted that this is not the only source in the Gemara for the requirement of delasos for a reshus harabbim. We shall later see Poskim who hold that even had it not had doors, Yerushalayim would not have been a reshus harabbim. Even these Poskim, however, derive from other sources that a reshus harabbim d'oraysa requires delasos. See Nesivos Shabbos, ibid., footnote 1.

9. See Nesivos Shabbos, ibid., footnotes 9-10.

10. Yad HaChazaka, Hilchos Shabbos 14:1.

11. Eruvin 6a, d. h. R"H [reshus harabbim].

12. ibid., d.h. keizad me'arvin.

13. See Shemiras Shabbos K'Hilchasa 17:3 footnote 21.

14. Orach Chaim 345:23.

15. I have heard this view expressed in the name of Rabbi Aharon Soloveichik.

16. Igros Moshe, Orach Chaim 1:139.5. See, however, Aruch HaShulchan, Orach Chaim 345:26. In Bigdei Shesh on Bava Basra p. 310, note 71a, based on the Rashbam in Bava Basra 60a, this author presents an alternate interpretation of Rashi's definition, closer to the Aruch HaShulchan's opinion.

17. Shabbos 64b, d.h. Rabbi Anani.

18. Igros Moshe, Orach Chaim 4:87-89. Additional material relevant to no. 89 is included in a hashmata in that volume, p. 428.

19. These blocks must be drawn l'chumra. In other words, if we need to know if a certain area is a reshus harabbim, we need to extend these imaginary blocks in all the possible manners and directions. These blocks are also not limited by municipal boundaries. A block drawn in Tel Aviv, for instance, would extend into Bnei Brak and Petach Tikva, although these are distinct municipalities. This principle holds true even according to the most lenient approach - that we shall see below - that each street is measured independently. A street which traverses several towns is still regarded as one street in the halachic tally. See Techumin vol. 10, p. 139.

20. Orach Chaim 345:7.

21. ibid., 345:24.

22. See the Chiddushei HaRamban on Shabbos 57a, end of d.h. Masnisin Lo B'ChuteiTzemer and Rabbeinu Nissim on the Rif, Shabbos 26a (in the pagination of the Rif), d.h. Aval Kashe who hold like the Shulchan Aruch. See also Nesivos Shabbos 3:1, footnote 9; and Hilchos Eruvin, Appendix to Chap. 1, Section 4.

23. Rabbi Ephraim Zalman Margolios, Rabbi of Brody, Poland, niftar 1828. Orach Chaim 26 (p. 46a).

24. Rabbi Yaakov Schick, Rabbi of Karlin, Lithuania (one of the greatest talmidim of Rabbi Chaim of Volozhin), niftar 1845. Orach Chaim 109-111 (in some editions 120-122).

25. Hilchos Eruvin ibid.

26. I am indebted to Rabbi Chaim Twerski for correcting my original impression from Igros Moshe, Orach Chaim 4:87-88. The quotation in text here is from no. 87.

27. See Shulchan Aruch, Orach Chaim 364:1-2; and Mishna Berura, ibid. 345:27.

28. See Hilchos Eruvin, Appendix to Chap. 1, Section 5.

29. Igros Moshe, Orach Chaim 1:139.5.

30. Some Rabbanim have interpreted Reb Moshe's intent as follows: In reality, there is no specific shiur of 600,000. The true shiur is actually 2,400,000 to 3,000,000 people - the estimated total of the population in the Midbar. This interpretation leads them to an interesting kulla: Even where it can be proven that there are sometimes 600,000 people in the streets of a certain area, nonetheless, as long as the total population of that area does not exceed that shiur of 2.4 to 3 million, it cannot be classified as a reshus harabbim. The 600,000 figure, according to this approach, is a "siman" (proof) that 2.4 to 3 million people are present, not a "sibba" (reason) to consider an area a reshus harabbim. I do not believe that this interpretation is accurate. Careful reading of Reb Moshe's teshuva yields the opposite conclusion: The presence of a population of 2.4 to 3 million people in an area is a siman that 600,000 people may be found in that area's streets. It is the latter phenomenon that is the sibba that the area is considered a reshus harabbim. If, therefore, it can be proved that more than 600,000 people are in the streets of an area, it is to be considered a reshus harabbim, even if its population is less than 2.4 to 3 million.

31. Bava Basra 60a, d.h. Vayar es Yisroel.

32. Orach Chaim 345:26. The most respected Posek to differ was the Maharsham (1:161; 3:188). See Hilchos Eruvin, ibid., 5:4. See also Nesivos Shabbos 3:1, footnote 9 - who also cites the Shevet HaLevi's psak on cablecars!

33. ibid., at the end of the teshuva.

34. When, however, I recently asked the Tzitz Eliezer why the Yerushalayim eruv includes the Tel Aviv highway, one of the reasons he used to explain the practice was the opinion that travellers inside cars are not included in the tally of 600,000.

35. See Nesivos Shabbos, ibid., and Hilchos Eruvin, ibid., Section 7. Reb Moshe, ibid., holds that, on the contrary, within a city each specific street does not require its own shiur of 600,000. Its status is determined by the twelve square mil tabulation. A highway, on the other hand, must possess its own specific shiur of 600,000 to qualify as a reshus harabbim. Reb Moshe interprets the Shulchan Aruch in this vein.

36. Orach Chaim, Eruvin 107:5-8.

37. Eruvin 20a and 22a.

38. Eruvin 16b.

39. Biur Halacha, Orach Chaim 364:1, d.h. Ve'achar She'asa La. See also Avodas Avoda on the Avodas HaKodesh 2:4, footnote 46. The Aruch HaShulchan, Orach Chaim 353:50, seemsto hold that the amount of rabbim that is mivatlei mechitzta is the same amount as that which creates a reshus harabbim. This would mean that only a street that already has the problem of reshus harabbim will have the problem of asu rabbim u'mivatlei mechitzta. He seems, however, to contradict this sevara later (ibid., 354:1).

40. ibid.

41. ibid.

42. Eruvin 6b.

43. There is another Gemara about Yerushalayim that troubles the Chazon Ish. The Gemara in Eruvin 101a states that after the wall of Yerushalayim was broken in several places the city became a reshus harabbim. The Chazon Ish asks: Was the wall so broken that it was no longer omed merubeh? He proposes several approaches that are too technical in nature to explain here.

44. See Nesivos Shabbos 23:2, footnote 14.

45. See, for example, She'eilos U'Teshuvos Achiezer 4:8, in which Rabbi Chaim Ozer Grodzhenski notes that his heter to build an eruv in Paris (in 1938) is based in part on communications with the Chazon Ish. It should be noted, however, that this teshuva does not employ the chiddush of the Chazon Ish that we have discussed here. This teshuva, which is only found in the new (1987) editions of the Achiezer, is noteworthy for its discussion of the question of bridges that convey potential reshuyos harabbim over riverbanks that are halachically valid walls. Reb Chaim Ozer's conclusions in this regard differ from those of Reb Moshe in Igros Moshe, Orach Chaim 1:139. This issue, however, is beyond the scope of this kuntres. The teshuva is also noteworthy for its lenient approach toward cities surrounded by walls such as riverbanks and train embankments.

Converted by Andrew Scriven

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