Tuesday, January 06, 2015

"m'shum she'ne'emar" vs. "she'ne'emar"

It amazes me how R’ Ovadya can tease a general klal out of one line of gemara and a Rashi stuck in the middle of a sugya.

The Mishna (Gittin 26) says that R’ Eliezer does not allow gittin to be written in advance “she’ne’emar ‘v’kasav lah’ – lishma.” 
The gemara asks: the din of lishma applies m'doraysa only to writing the toref of the get, i.e. the names, the date, the place -- not the tofeis, the boilerplate language.  R’ Eliezer did not allow anything to be written in advance, including the tofeis.  How does the derasha explain why that’s not allowed? 

The gemara answers by amending the text of the Mishna to read “m’shum she’ne’emar” instead of just “she’ne’emar.” 
Explains Rashi: “she’ne’emar” implies that we are dealing with a din d’orasya – the derasha is the source for the halacha.  “M’shum she’ne’emar” means that the derasha is just the motivation behind a din derabbaban.  Since there is a derasha d’orasya that does not allow the toref to be written in advance, the Rabbanan extended that din and disallowed even the tofeis being written in advance.

If we can generalize this as a rule, then whenever the gemara or a Rishon quotes a din based on what sounds like a derasha, whether the source uses the term “she’ne’emar…” or “m’shum she’ne’emar” will clue you in as to whether it is a real din d’orasya or just an asmachta / din derabbanan.  The question, of course, is whether the generalization holds up in all places, and it helps to be a baki like R' Ovadya was to figure that out!


  1. Beginning of Lulav HaGazul, Omar R' Yochanan mishum Rashbi... that lulav hagazul is posul on yom sheini. And yet R' Yitzchok says it's kosher. How can R' Yitzchok argue on a tanna? אלא מאי, it's omar R' Yochanan mishum Rashbi, not omar R' Yochanan omar Rashbi...

  2. And BTW, because I am an OCY [the Y stands for Yekkeh], please fix your heading.

    1. Whoops! I fixed it.

      so now we should also check every time an amora quotes a tanna whether it is a "m'shum" or an exact quote. it helps in the pshat in that sugya, but do you think it works in all cases?

    2. Most cases I remember, it's agaddata. See, e.g., berachot end of 6b and on 7a. Also R' Yochanan mishum...