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Zoreiah 14 (Klal 11 Siman 5) Hilchos Shabbos – S0345

D'var Halacha
D'var Halacha
Zoreiah 14 (Klal 11 Siman 5) Hilchos Shabbos - S0345
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 completed Klal 11, and have a few points to clarify.   We learned that the melacha of zoreiah is defined as planting something or enhancing the growth of the plant. The most obvious enhancements are watering and pruning,as we have learned.   We need to discuss whether directing extra sunlight or air towards a plant would be considered zorieah. The plant uses the sunlight as a source of energy, which it converts into food and nutrients. Similarly, the plant grows better when it has air, because it benefits from the carbon dioxide. We need to discuss whether one can open the shades or window for house plants, or if it will be an issue of zoreiah.    If the person opens the window expressly for the purpose of enhancing the plant, it will fall under the issur of zorieah. The meleches machsheves behind the act of opening the window makes the action assur, even though the action of opening a window is not inherently a melacha. However, if they wish to open the window for sunlight or fresh air, we need to discuss whether it will be considered a psik reisha to open the window.  If the plants are not immediately adjacent to the window, such that when the window is first opened the sun or air are not directly in contact with the plants (for example, the sun is not high enough yet), the Gemara calls the action koach sheini and considers it a grama. A psik reisha through a grama is not assur, even when it is a psik reisha d’nicha lei (a psik reisha from which one appreciates the benefit). If, when the window is first opened, the plants come in direct contact with the sun or air, it would be considered a psik reisha, and should be avoided.    Summary
  • One cannot expressly open a window in order to direct air or sun onto plants.
  • One cannot open a window for their own purposes if it is a psik reisha that plants will directly benefit from the sun or air of the window. However, if the plants will only indirectly benefit, it is considered a grama, and it is muttar to open the window for one’s own purposes. 

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