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Choreish 4 – Practical Examples 2 – Gezeiros (Klal 10 Siman 3) Hilchos Shabbos – S0331

D'var Halacha
D'var Halacha
Choreish 4 - Practical Examples 2 - Gezeiros (Klal 10 Siman 3) Hilchos Shabbos - S0331


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We are learning the melacha of choreish. We have finished the simanim of the Chayei Adam and will discuss some practical examples. 


We mentioned the concept of mashveh gumos, flattening the ground to make it more even for planting. In a world of dirt floors, flattening the floor was common as well. However, within a home, flattening the ground is considered a toldah of boneh rather than choreish, because it is an integral part of building a home to ensure that one has an even floor. 

Due to the concern of choreish in a field or boneh in a home, Chazal prohibited certain activities which may come to transgress these issurim. One example is sweeping a dirt floor, which fills the crevices of the floor when the dirt is moved around. While one is sweeping, they are intentionally attempting to make the floor more usable, so there is concern that one would want to fill in the depressions in the floor.


Another example is doing activities on the ground which require a flat surface, such as playing marbles. Such games require a flat surface, and Chazal were concerned that one would come to flatten the surface in order to play. They did not extend their gezeira to flat surfaces which are not the floor, such as tables. 


The question comes up regarding a floor which is tiled or has some other covering on it, such that there is no concern for leveling the dirt. In general, the assumption is that if one lives in a city in which there are exposed dirt floors, the gezeira applies even to the floors which are covered. If one lives in a city where all homes have coverings on their floors, we assume the gezeira does not apply and one may play on the floor. The same argument applies to sweeping. 


On a practical level, this issue is much more relevant to sweeping outside. If one has their sukkah on their patio, and wishes to sweep the patio, if there are no cracks between the tiles, theoretically the gezeira does not apply, because the patio was built in a way that they are not exposed to dirt. However, the issue of  the gezeirah applies due to other surfaces where it is relevant. Therefore, ina patio and if one places their sukkah on dirt or grass, since there are different areas outside upon which it is normal to place one’s sukkah, some of which are covered and some of which are not, the gezeira applies and one cannot sweep the area of their sukkah. 

Similarly, regarding children playing outside on the grass, if it is a game which requires a flat surface, Chazal’s gezeira applies, and they should not play the game outside. 



  • Chazal enacted some gezeiros out of concern for choreish. They include not sweeping dirt floors and not playing games on dirt floors. However, if all floors in the city have tile or covering, the gezeira will not apply. 

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