We are beginning siman 7. The Chayei Adam addresses the issue of traveling on erev Shabbos. Obviously, a person has to have the foresight to not get stuck in a situation in which they end up having to travel on Shabbos itself. A person has to calculate the amount of time necessary to arrive properly. When Chazal discuss travel on erev Shabbos, they do not even discuss the concern of making it in time, as it was obvious to them. It is something the rishonim and later poskim discuss. The Gemara discusses traveling on erev Shabbos out of concern for oneg and kavod shabbos. According to Rashi, the concern is that a person arrive early enough on erev Shabbos in order to prepare their food for Shabbos. Having enough time to prepare food is an issue of giving kavod to shabbos. It can also be an issue of oneg shabbos, because if a person does not have food to enjoy on Shabbos, their oneg is mitigated. A second explanation of the Gemara is that the Gemara is concerned that if one arrives too close to Shabbos, they will be too exhausted to properly enjoy Shabbos. Therefore, the Gemara is teaching that one must arrive early enough that they can rest from their journey and regain their energy for Shabbos. The Chayei Adam writes that on erev Shabbos, one should not walk more than three parsa. The Gemara says that the average person can walk 10 parsa in one day. A parsa is 4 mil, and a mil is 2000 amos. 2000 amos is between 3/5th-4/5th of a mile. If so, a parsa is about 2.5 miles, so one should not travel more than 7.5 miles by foot on erev Shabbos. The Rambam adds that this limitation applies from the beginning of the day, meaning, if a person starts walking at the beginning of the day, they will have about 2/3rd of the day left in order to prepare for Shabbos (since a person walks an average of 10 parsa per day, as we said above). The Chayei Adam continues, and writes that one needs to arrive with enough time that their host will be able to prepare for them. The Chayei Adam clarifies that this applies to when the host is not aware the person is coming, or the person is returning home from a trip. Since there was no communication, if a person arrives at a random host or their home too close to Shabbos, there may not be enough food for him. That being the case, nowadays, where we generally prepare more food than an exact amount of food, this concern may not be as relevant. We will discuss the applications of this halacha in the upcoming shiurim, be’ezras Hashem. Summary One should not travel on erev Shabbos out of the concerns
- that they will not have enough time to prepare for Shabbos and that their hosts may not be adequately prepared for them.
- that they may be too exhausted to properly enjoy Shabbos.
- It goes without saying that one must have to foresight not to travel in a way that may cause them to arrive after Shabbos has begun.