Monday, January 28, 2008

Parshas Yisro: Eating and Working before Havdala

It is assur to eat or do any melacha before one makes havdala. The question is what is the geder of this issur? We find by mitzvos in general that it is assur to eat 1/2 before the zman of the mitzvah (ayin siman 235 by davening). However, if one had started eating b'heter it is mutar to continue. On the other extreme we find by Kiddush (siman 271) that even if one started eating b'heter one must stop for kiddush. The difference is that the seudah of Shabbos needs to be proclaimed a "Shabbos seudah" which one does by making kiddush therefore one must stop eating regardless of when you started. (ayin the Magan Avraham 271:6 and Rabbi Akiva Eiger for diff ways to explain this). The question is, what status does havdala have? In this we can possibly differentiate between doing work and eating.

Melacha before Havdala

The Griz Al HaRambam (Shabbos 29:5) writes that the geder of issur melacha before havdala is a machlokes Rishonim. The gemara in Shabbos 150B says one can say "Hamavdil bein kodesh l'chol" and do melacha. The Rif in Pesachim says you must make a full havdala and the Ran adds this includes making it over wine. The Brisker Rav writes that the Rif holds the issur melacha before havdala is like any other mitzvah-it is a gezeirah maybe you'll forget to do the mitzvah. Therefore, in order to do melacha a full fledged havdala must be made. This is also the Rambam's shitta since the Rambam equates the issur achila to issur melacha. It would appear the Rambam holds just like the issur achila is a gezeira maybe you'll forget to do the mitzvah, so too is the issur melacha. Other Rishonim hold that the issur melacha is an inyan of kavod Shabbos. Rahsi writes that you say "Hamavdil bein kodesh l'chol" as a way of escorting the king home. Making a clear break between Shabbos and Chol is a form of kavod Shabbos. This is enough to allow you to do melacha.

Achila before Havdala

From the Brisker Rav it seems he holds the issur achila is a gezeira maybe you'll forget to do the mitzvah. However, I saw in the Harirei Kedem (vol2 sman 67) that the issur achila is similar to issur achila before kiddush. The point of havdala is to differentiate between seudas Shabbos and seudas chol. Therefore, one can't eat his seuda of chol until he makes this distinction. He brings a raya from Pesachim 105 ayin sham.

nafka mina coming soon...

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