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Grama 8 – Meleches Machsheves 6, Sikum 2 (Klal 9) Hilchos Shabbos – S0324

D'var Halacha
D'var Halacha
Grama 8 - Meleches Machsheves 6, Sikum 2 (Klal 9) Hilchos Shabbos - S0324


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 now we are discussing grama.


We are learning about the concept of grama. We left off with a seeming contradiction between a Gemara in Bava Kamma (according to the Rashba) and a Gemara in Shabbos. In Shabbos, the Gemara teaches us that placing an animal in a pasture, where inevitably it will eat, is muttar on Shabbos and not considered the person’s action. In Bava Kamma, the Gemara teaches us that when one places an animal next to a pile of someone else’s grain, it is considered damage done by a person and they are chayav. 


The Chazon Ish explains this contradiction along the lines of the Achiezer. He writes that regarding Shabbos, one will be chayav for using an animal if a normal way to perform the melacha is with an animal. Then it is as if the person performed the action themselves, and meets the criteria of meleches machsheves. An example is the melacha of choresh. People use animals to accomplish choresh, so one will be chayav if her does so on Shabbos. However, kotzeir is not normally done with the medium of an animal, but rather by hand. As one does not usually use an animal to be kotzeir, when the animal is eating it is clear that it is not in order to accomplish kotzeir for the person, but just for the animal to eat. On the other hand, when it comes to nezikin, the primary chiyuv is not for the action but for the result. Since the person used the power of his animal to create the result, he is chayav.


There is a final element to defining meleches machsheves, which is that the results of the melacha must be recognizable. The Shmiras Shabbos Kehilchesa quotes Rav Shlomo Zalman (perek 23) regarding the use of Shabbos elevators on Shabbos. One of the concerns about a Shabbos elevator is that the elevator generates electricity while it moves, which means the person’s body weight is helping generate that electricity. Rav Shlomo Zalman considers this electricity as a grama (although others consider it a direct maaseh). 

However, practically speaking, there is electricity produced by the movement of the elevator due to the person inside. If so, we should apply the concept of meleches machsheves and assume using the elevator is assur. He explains that the elevator works in such a way that if the elevator is not generating its own electricity, it pulls from the electric grid. Thus, there is no noticeable difference before and after his “action”, so it is not a chashuve maaseh and not meleches machsheves. 


We will discuss a few halacha lemaaseh points in the upcoming shiur, be’ezras Hashem.



The concept of meleches machsheves can take an action which would otherwise be considered grama and make it chayav. However, there are five caveats:

  1. The process begins immediately following the action;
  2. The person is trying to do the action;
  3. The person wants the action;
  4. It is the normal method of performing the action.
  5. The results of the melacha are recognizable.

If any of these caveats are missing, the action reverts to grama.


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