Friday, December 23, 2005

Tefisas Yad in the Mishkan and the Beis Hamikdash — Eruvin 85b

Tefisas Yad in the Mishkan and the Beis Hamikdash Eruvin 85b

תלמוד בבלי מסכת עירובין דף פה/ב

רבי יהודה אומר אם יש שם תפיסת יד של בעל הבית אינו אוסר

We already explained (above 66a):

The Rashba (Avodas HaKodesh, 4:3) writes:

When a non-Jew rents his property to another non-Jew, if the owner retains the right to remove the tenant whenever he wants, then sechiras reshus may be done from the owner - even if he has not removed the tenant yet. [There are two reasons why this is the Halacha,] because the sechiras reshus is itself a form of removal, and because [under such circumstances] the owner is the primary authority. If, however, the owner cannot remove the tenant, then the sechiras reshus must contracted with the tenant. It seems to me that if, however, the owner has some control over the property he has rented to the tenant, such as objects stored on that property, or even just the right to place objects on the property, then one may even rent the right to carry from the owner, who is then no worse than the employee or agent of the tenant.

The ruling of the Rashba is codified as accepted practice in the Shulchan Aruch (382:18,19. See the Mishna Berura there, §60-64 and §75-77). Control of an owner over property through the placement of objects is known as tefisas yad. (Literally: under the control of one’s hand).

The Yismach Moshe (Ki Sisa 189a) extrapolates from this Gemara a mystical interpretation of the purpose of the machatzis ha'shekel and its association with the Mishkan: Bnei Yisrael were each required to give a half of a shekel towards the building of the Mishkan. They gave these coins in the course of a census, individually — albeit giving the same, common sum. A census by its nature counts — identifies — individuals, each person remained an entity unto himself. However, because the coins went for the construction of the Mishkan, they were, in fact, bound together by the process. How so? By giving these coins, each person acquires a portion in the Mishkan. Each person, hence, has a tefisas yad hold in the Mishkan. Just as in terms of an eruv a tefisas yad creates a bond and a union, so too the common tefisas yad in the Mishkan bound and united the Bnei Yisrael together – and together with Hashem.

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