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Mekalkeil 3 (Klal 9) Hilchos Shabbos – S0309

D'var Halacha
D'var Halacha
Mekalkeil 3 (Klal 9) Hilchos Shabbos - S0309
  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 are learning about the concept of mekalkeil, an action which is destructive and may affect whether a melacha is considered meleches machsheves or not. One question we need to discuss is whether a neutral action is considered mekalkeil or considered meleches machsheves. In other words, will it be patur because it is not mesakeinl, or will it be chayav because it is not considered a destructive act? Does a melacha need to be mesakein, constructive, in order to be considered meleches machsheves and chayav, or is it only that destructive melachos are patur but anything else–including neutral melachos–are chayav. Tosfos in Shabbos, 106a, seems to indicate that something neutral has the halachic status of mekalkeil. Tosfos’s point is not that mekalkeil is patur inasmuch as mesakein is chayav, and therefore something which is not mesakein, even if neutral, is patur.  Some achronim suggest differentiating within Tosfos between acts which are inherently destructive, such as koreah, and something which may not inherently be considered destructive, such as disassembly of a larger item. Similarly, Tosfos(73a) discusses the melachos of koshair and matir, where matir may be considered removing or undoing something, but is not inherently destructive. Since matir is not inherently destructive, possibly a neutral act of matir would be chayav, even if an action which is inherently destructive may be patur when it is neutral.   To clarify, there are certain actions which actively remove something existing in the world in a destructive way. In order for those melachos to be chayav on Shabbos, they need to be converted into a positive act, for otherwise they are considered mekalkeil and patur. Even if the sum of the melacha is neutral, it is halachically considered mekalkeil, because it is an inherently destructive action. There are other actions which remove something, but do not remove them in a way which is inherently destructive, so when the sum of the action is neutral, the action is not considered mekalkeil but rather chayav.    There is an opinion in the Gemara that there may be melachos where mekalkeil is actually going to be chayav. It is a machlokes rishonim how to pasken in these situations, and the assumption of the Mishnah Berurah is not to pasken in accordance with this opinion. Rather, we assume the concept of mekalkeil being patur applies to all melachos.    Summary
  • One is only chayav mideoraysa when the melacha is constructive; if it is mekalkeil it is patur but assur miderabanan.
  • A destructive melacha for the purpose of something constructive will be chayav mideoraysa, both whether the constructive purpose occurs inherently within the destructive action, or whether it will follow later.
  • Mekalkeil is only chayav when it is done on an action which is one of the 39 melachos. If it is not a melacha, there is no issur.
  • Regarding an action in which the outcome is neutral, Tosfos seems to hold that a neutral outcome is considered mekalkeil and patur. However, some achronim qualify that Tosfos is referring to actions which are inherently destructive. If the action is not inherently destructive, a neutral outcome will be chayav as if it were a positive outcome.
  • The patur of mekalkeil applies to all of the 39 melachos.

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