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Grama – 2 – Introduction – 2; Aisho Mishum Chitzav – (Klal 9) – Hilchos Shabbos – S0318

D'var Halacha
D'var Halacha
Grama - 2 - Introduction - 2; Aisho Mishum Chitzav - (Klal 9) - Hilchos Shabbos - S0318


Sponsorships for the upcoming Klalim, which discuss the 39 melachos of Shabbos, are available. Please contact Rabbi Reingold for more information at or 301.996.5910


We have finished Klal 9. The purpose of this Klal was to learn about broad klalim which come up regarding melachos of Shabbos. We will discuss a few other concepts not discussed by the Chayei Adam. We have discussed the concept of intent impacting the status of melacha, and today we will discuss grama.


We are discussing the concept of grama. We left off discussing the definition of grama, and the concept of aisho mishum chitzav. We will diverge to understand the role aisho mishum chitzav plays in nezikin, and then we will see if it applies to Shabbos.


There are many ways one can be mazik. We will discuss them, from most direct to least direct:


  1. The most direct damage is for one to use their body (generally, their hands) to physically break an item. They are chayav for destroying the item. 
  2. A level less direct is for a person to use an object, such as holding a bat to break a window. We look at the bat as an extension of the person, and it is considered that the person caused damage directly.
  3. A level less direct is a person taking the bat and throwing it into the window. Ostensibly, the person did not break the window, rather the bat broke the window. However, since it was the person’s energy which caused the bat to break the window, he is chayav. The Gemara calls this concept kocho kegufo, that one’s energy was put into the bat and is considered the person’s inherent action
  4. A level less direct is a person who shoots an arrow. One pulls the string of the bow backwards in order to propel the arrow forwards. The resistance of the bow requires the person’s energy, which is now transferred into the string. The string has potential energy, which is then transferred into the arrow, launches the arrow, and causes damage. This is also kocho kegufo
  5. A level less direct is if Reuvain puts the energy into the bow, but Shimon releases the arrow. Reuvain cannot be held responsible, although it is Reuvain’s koach. Rather, Shimon is chayav because the act of releasing the energy makes him responsible for the action. Thus, we see that even when the koach does not come from the person themselves, harnessing koach which exists will make one chayav. If so, it comes out that the chiyuv is not for the energy, but for releasing the existing energy.
  6. Similarly, the Gemara uses the case of a person who breaks open a dam when there is another person in front of it. The initial wave of water which rushes out is the energy of the water, and not of the person. Nevertheless, the person who released the water will be chayav for any nezek or retzicha resulting from the release of the water.

This final level is the concept of aisho mishum chitzav. Based on this case, Rav Yochanan holds that if one lights a fire and the fire goes forth and causes damage, the person who lights the fire is chayav, since the person who lit the fire released the energy of fire out into the world, equivalent to releasing the arrow.


Tosfos in Bava Kamma asks about a case the other way around, about a fire which already exists, and one brings items towards it. Tosfos concludes that:

  1. If one throws the items into the fire, the person is using the power of the fire to cause damage, and they are chayav.
  2. If one places the items near the fire, the person is equally responsible, due to the concept of aisho mishum chitzav.


Thus, all of these cases are considered chayav. We will learn how to apply these cases to hilchos Shabbos in the upcoming shiur, be’ezras Hashem.



  • Grama is the concept of indirect action. It is possibly assur miderabanan on Shabbos, even though in other places it is assur mideoraysa. 
  • Aisho mishum chitzav is the concept that one is chayav for nezek caused as a result of harnessing an already existing koach, even if the person themselves did not create that energy.

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