Sunday, August 03, 2003

0 for 2!

It's time for another retraction! Last week, I declared that I thought Rav Kanievsky's explanation of a particular gemara (Yerushalmi Eruvin 3:2) was incorrect. I tried explaining the gemara on the basis of the context which was that a minor could deliver an eruv, so when the gemara said "R Yehoshua said, 'Why do we [/they] make an eruv chatzeiros?'" it meant why can minors make an eruv chatzeiros, rather than why do we need an eruv chatzeiros at all when we have shitufei muvaos.

It turns out the entire section of gemara occurs elsewhere in the gemara, divorced from the context of minors (the mishna actually discussed onas peutos and minors 3 mishnayos earlier). The mishna in Yerushalmi Eruvin 7:9 states "they only [instituted] to make an eruv chatzeiros so they don't forget the tinokos (babies) - [meaning that the children will not forget the laws of eruv].

Then we have the statement of R Yehoshua ben Levi and the story of the women who were enemies who made peace. This seems the origin of this cut of gemara, and it was cited earlier because it fit in the context. Rav Kaneivsky was obviously cognizant of this other yerushalmi when he wrote his perush, and I wasn't. I still have slight reservations, but Rav Kanievsky's explanation seems to be on the mark.

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