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The Laws of Trapping an Animal On Shabbos -- Part 1

On the Definition of the Melacha of Trapping

55 min

Class Summary:

The Laws of Trapping an Animal On Shabbos -- Part 1. On the Definition of the Melacha of Trapping

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  • L

    L.wineberg -12 years ago

    trapping people
    the subject is dealt with in shiur 3. hank you for your comment

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    • I

      Isaac -12 years ago

      Re: trapping people
      I heard class 3 but this subject was not there (to the best of my memory.) Please fill in by writing at least. Thanks!

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  • I

    Isaac -12 years ago

    Trapping peopletrapping people
    The Gemara in Masechet Shabbat (106) discusses the prohibition of "Tzad," trapping animals, which is included among the thirty-nine categories of forbidden activity on Shabbat. A number of different cases are addressed in the Gemara, such as hunting birds, deer and grasshoppers.

    Does this prohibition apply as well to trapping human beings?



    The Gemara establishes a rule limiting the prohibition of "Tzad" to the category of "She'be'mino Nitzod" – species that are commonly hunted. Deer, for example, is a special of animals that people frequently hunt, and so trapping a deer transgresses this prohibition. Ants, by contrast, are not normally hunted, and thus trapping ants does not violate the Torah prohibition of "Tzad." The question thus becomes whether human beings qualify for classification as "She'be'mino Nitzod," a species whose members are commonly captured.



    Some authorities argued that since human beings are taken captive and imprisoned during warfare, we do, indeed, consider a person a creature that is commonly "hunted," and thus capturing a human being would transgress the prohibition of "Tzad." The Avnei Neizer (Rabbi Avraham Borenstein of Sochatchev, Poland, 1839-1910), however, disagreed with this position, and distinguished between adults and children. Children, he held, are frequently restrained, and thus "trapping" a child would indeed constitute "Tzad." Adults, by contrast, are not normally restrained, and thus one would not violate this prohibition by capturing an adult human being.



    In light of these approaches, we might ask whether a parent may punish a child on Shabbat by locking him in his room. Since, as we have seen, "Tzad" applies to restraining children, and possible adults, as well, does one violate the Torah prohibition of "Tzad" by locking a child in his room?



    The Gemara establishes that a person who locks an animal in a pen on Shabbat does not violate the prohibition of "Tzad" if he could easily restrain that animal in a single lunge. An animal that could be so easily captured essentially lives in an existential condition of "captivity." Hence, locking it in a confined area does not constitute an act of trapping, given that the animal is already deemed "trapped." Several authorities extend this principle to children, whom a parent can generally restrain quite easily. They thus live at all times in a condition of "captivity," and locking a child in one's room thus does not transgress the prohibition of "Tzad."



    Summary: Some authorities maintain that the prohibition against trapping animals on Shabbat applies even to human beings, whereas others distinguish between adults and children, claiming that only capturing children would violate this prohibition. Nevertheless, locking a child in a room is not forbidden on Shabbat, since a parent can in any event easily restrain the child.

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  • Y

    Yitzchak -12 years ago

    Logic of Tur and Rama about Flies Trapped in a Box??
    I am not getting the logic of the Tur, the Rama and the Alter Rebbe (in 316:4) that when you open the box with the trapped flies they will fly away, hence there is no "trapping" in the first place when you seal the box with them inside. But that is true with ALL ANIMALS: If I trap a cat or a dog or a dear in a cage, and then I open the door, they will also run away?! If I trap a bear or a lion in a cage and then I open the door, will they not escape? Yet the point is that now they are trapped! So why are flies different?



    You might tell me because when I open the box the flies will escape and I can't prevent them from doing so, but that is also true with a lion, or a dear, or a strong animal, that when I open the door it will escape despite my attempts to prevent it? So what is the difference between them and a fly?



    The Alter Rebbe uses the words: "If when he opens the box to TAKE THEM from there they will escape," meaning that the man cannot take them, because they will fly away. Their being trapped in the box is only a definition visa-vi themselves, not visa-vi the human being who gains nothing from their being trapped. Because when he wants to open the box and take them they will fly away.



    But is that not true with a strong, fast dog, or lion, or dear? If I try opening the door, they will run and I can't catch them or hold them down?



    There is something I am not getting here. Please explain.

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  • I

    Izzy -12 years ago

    Gerama on Shabbos
    You asked why closing the door to trap the deer is liable on Shabbos, it is "Gerama," and the Talmud Shabbos 120 says there is no liability on Gerama.



    I don't understand your question:



    If "Gerama" is not liable on Shabbos, why is one liable when cooking? All the person did was place the dish on the fire, and the FIRE did the rest of the job? In Bava Kama 60b, the Talmud says that by Zoreh, winnowing, the wind does the job, hence it is also Gerama! Yet the Talmud explains there (the fourth answer of Reb Ashi) that "meleches machsheves asrah Torah," what is important in Shabbos is that it is a thought-out, purposeful work, and this is achieved even when the wind does the job because the person prepared the circumstances.



    If so: 1) What is the question by "tzad," there too there was "meleches machsheves," he closed the door to trap the deer? 2) What does the Gemarah mean (Shabbos 120) that Geramah is not liable on Shabbos?



    Also, where is the Reb Shimon Shkop you quoted? Please, if possible, to give the exact references to all quoted sources, so we can look them up. Rabbi, you have some very serious students... Don't take us for granted. Give us all the sources and the entire depth. Thanks so much. I enjoy your clssses very much.

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  • J

    Jacobi -12 years ago

    Small Correction
    Rabbi Wineberg, you mentioned Tanya ch. 30 discussing the escape from Egypt, since it has "trapped" the Jewish soul. I think you meant ch. 31.

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    • LW

      L. Wineberg -12 years ago

      Re: Small Correction
      thank you you are correct

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