New Neighbours

Eiruvin (7:7) | Yisrael Bankier | 10 years ago

As we have learnt (7:8) the shituf mavoi is formulated by everyone contributing a grogeret’s size of food on behalf of their chatzer or house, with the total amount being capped at six beitzim. The food can in fact be contributed by one person for all the occupant of the mavoi (7:6) even without their knowledge, as it is objectively a benefit for them to have a shituf performed (7:11). This is based on the principle of “zachin la’adam she’lo befanav” – one may act in a person’s benefit in his absence. The Mishnah (7:7) is therefore surprising when it teaches that if a new person moves into the mavoi, one can add food for them, but must notify them that they are doing it. Why must the new neighbour be informed?

Rashi (Eiruvin 80b) explains that the Mishnah is teaching that you only need to notify the new people if you are adding to the shituf with their food. If however, one wishes to provide their own food for the neighbour then the principle of zachin holds true and the neighbour does not need to be notified. Note that this understanding requires us to split the sentence in the Mishnah in two: “[If] new occupants were added, he can add for them” – when using his own food – “and must notify them” – when using their food.

Bartenura however explains that the case we are referring to is where the new neighbour’s chatzer has two entrances; one to our mavio and another entrance to different one. If we include him in our mavoi, it prevents him from being included in the other mavoi. Such an outcome might not be to his liking, so he therefore must be notified. If however his chatzer only opened to one mavoi then the principle of zachin could be applied.

The Tosfot Yom Tov records an interesting discussion on the opinion of the Rambam.The Rambam (Eiruvin 5:6) rules according to the explanation we have just brought; one must notify a person whose chatzer has two different entrances before including him in his shituf mavoi.

The Raavad however has a difficulty with this explanation. Earlier (4:6) we discussed a case regarding a chatzer that is in between two chatzeirut, both of which open to the reshut ha’rabim.The Mishnah records a debate whether the central chatzer, can me’arev with the two outer chatzeirot separately. The Chachamim forbid it, as they are concerned that a person from one of the outer chatzeirot might wrongfully carry something to the other. R’ Shimon however does not share this concern and therefore permits it. The Raavad explains that we rule according to the opinion of R’ Shimon. That being the case, the new neighbour that has two entrances would be permitted to form a shituf with both mavoi s! Therefore it can only be considered a benefit to include him in a shituf – so why should he be notified?

The Maggid Mishneh explains that even though he may be allowed, it might still not be a benefit for him to do so. If he formed a shituf with both mavoi s his chatzer would be unique – it presents the only location the parties from each mavoi can both place their items. That being the case, the residents might take advantage of his chatzer,quickly making it a popular meeting place. He might not like this, so it would therefore certainly not be zechut. Consequently if we wish to include him on our shituf he must be notified.


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