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Patur and Assur Miderabanan (Klal 9 Siman 10) Hilchos Shabbos – S0293

Siman 10 sponsored l’ilui nishmas Yitzchak Elimelech ben Akiva Ze’ev Halevi
D'var Halacha
D'var Halacha
Patur and Assur Miderabanan (Klal 9 Siman 10) Hilchos Shabbos - S0293
  We are beginning siman 10. The Chayei Adam writes that, as we move further in hilchos Shabbos, we must realize that any time the halacha is that one is patur, it means one is patur mideoraysa. However, it does not mean it is muttar, but rather it is an indication that it is assur miderabanan. Usage of the word patur in this manner is found in the Gemara, as the Gemara already says that whenever the Gemara uses the word patur, it means it is still assur miderabanan. When something is not assur miderabanan, the Gemara uses the term muttar. (The Gemara says there are three exceptions to this rule within Maseches Shabbos, but otherwise this rule applies unequivocally in hilchos Shabbos.)   The Chayei Adam asks that, practically, we no longer bring korbanos, so there would seem to be no difference whether something is assur mideoraysa or miderabanan. He explains that the practical difference is whether one can direct an non-Jew to perform the melacha. When something is an issur derabanan, Chazal allow–in certain circumstances–to ask a non-Jew to perform the melacha. Chazal (in general) do not allow for amira l’akum on an issur deoraysa. Having a non-Jew to perform the melacha adds a second layer on top of the fact that the issur is an issur derabanan. This is known as a shvus d’shvus.  To clarify, when one sets up an issur as a shvus d’shvus, it does not allow for a blanket permission for a Jew to perform something which is two  issurei derabanan. Rather, it applies only when one of the issurim is amira l’akum. Since the Jew is not performing the melacha, and the melacha in question is an issur derabanan, the combination of factors allow Chazal to permit it in certain situations.  Thus, knowing whether an action is assur deoraysa or derabanan will be necessary to know whether amira l’akum will be muttar or not. We will continue discussing this thought in the upcoming shiur, be’ezras Hashem.   Summary
  • In hilchos Shabbos, the term patur indicates something is not assur mideoraysa, but rather assur miderabanan. The term muttar indicates it is muttar both mideoraysa and miderabanan. 
  • It is necessary to know whether an action is assur mideoraysa or miderabanan in order to know whether it may be possible to perform the action via amira l’akum.

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