The Shiur Required for Eiruvin

Eiruvin (8:2) | Yisrael Bankier | 6 years ago

Over the course of the masechet we have discussed different types of eiruvineiruv chatzerot, shituf mavoi and eiruv techum.1 There is an additional eiruv about which we will learn in the second perek of masechet Beitzaheiruv tavshulin. An eiruv tashilin enables one to cook on Yom Tov for the purpose of Shabbat.1 These eiruvin serve very different purposes and all involve setting aside particular quantities of food as the “eiruv”. Also, the amount of food required varies between the different Eiruvin.

We learn (8:2) that for an eiruv techum two meals must be set aside for each individual that will be relying on it. Contrast this with the earlier Mishnah (7:8) where we learn that for an eiruv chatzeirut only the volume of a grogeret (dried fig) is required for each person when the number of occupants in the chatzer is low. If however there are more than eighteen people, such that the total volume is more than is required for two meals, then it is sufficient to have two meals worth for everyone.

The Tifferet Yisrael (Boaz 7:1) explains that the volumes required for each of the eiruvin relate to the function they serve. For an eiruv tavshilin the minimum amount of a food is a kezayit. The reason is that the eiruvin tavshlin is related to consumption needs and the minimum shiur that generally3 relates to laws of consumption is a kezayit. An eiruv chatzeirut however comes to permit carrying. Consequently the minimum shiur that qualifies as carrying is the amount required for each person - a grogeret.

Regarding the requirement of two meals per person for an eiruv techumim, the Tifferet Yisrael finds difficult. The Bartenura (8:2) explains that since the individual is making his makom shevita (dwelling place) at that location, we need to place the meals he need for a Shabbat at that location. The difficulty with this explanation is that one is required to eat three meals over the course a Shabbat, so why do two meal suffice?

The Tifferet Yisrael (ad loc) provides two answers. The first (citing his father), is that we learn that one should not leave to travel at night, consequently only two meals are required. He also suggests that since for the third meal only slightly more than a kebeitzah is required, and not a full meal, the third meal was not considered when eiruv techumin was instituted.

The Tosfot Yom Tov also deals with this question. He initially notes that our Mishnah appears to support those that maintain that one can satisfy the requirement of the third meal even with minei targima (foods other than bread, e.g. meat) while presenting a difficulty for those that also require bread. He therefore explains that even though on Shabbat three meals are mandated, the shiur required here relates to the number that people would normally have on a daily basis. The fact that this is less, reflects the lenient approach applied to eiruv techumin we have seen in this masechet (see 5:5 in particular). For example, we find that when determining the volume that constitutes a meal, R’ Meir using the size of a weekday meal.2 So too here, the Chachamim were consistent with their lenient approach and required no more than one needs for a weekday.

1 Refer to the previous issues for an explanation of each of these eiruvin.

2 See Volume 8, Issue 37 for a detailed explanation of how eiruv tavshilin works.

3 The Tifferet Yisrael notes that the shiur for eating does vary in some cases, but that is when the requirement is different. To be satisfied the shiur is a ke’beitzah (size of an egg) and the size of a achilat keva (fixed meal) is three (Rambam) or four (Rashi) beitzim. One Yom Kippur the shiur that would make one liable is a ke’kotevet (size of a date) for in that case the shiur is related to the amount that would calm an individual making the person no longer be in the state of inui – which is more than a kezayit.

4 Note that the Tifferet Yisrael (Yavhin 8:8) understand that the debate between R’ Yehuda and R’ Meir regarding whether we uese the size of a Shabbat or weekday meal differently. He explains that R’ Meir opts to use a weekday shiur since the eiruv tavshilin is placed in its location on a weekday, while R’ Yehuda uses a Shabbat shiur since the eiruv tavshlin is placed for the needs of Shabbat.

The Tifferet Yisrael is aware that the Mishnah writes that both R’ Meir and R’ Yehuda intended to be lenient. Nevertheless, he asserts that they were not arguing which meal, weekday or Shabbat, was smaller. He explains that everyone agrees that a Shabbat meal is larger, but only because of the added delicacies. The poor however would not be able to afford these delicacies and since an additional meal is required on Shabbat their meals would be smaller. Consequently, Shabbat meals could be larger or smaller depended on the audience. This is why the Mishnah writes that both “intended” to be lenient, rather than both opinions ruled leniently. The real debate, according to the Tifferet Yisrael however is as explained above.


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