Lav SheB'Khlalot

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February 14 2006

The Talmud teaches that one does not receive lashes for violating a “Lav Sh’B’Khlalot” (different transgressions included within one prohibition). Accordingly, Tosafot (Sanhedrin 63a, s.v. al kulam) ask how it is possible to receive lashes for performing melakhah on Yom Tov, when the specific melakhot are not spelled out in the verse, which is phrased in general terms. They suggest that the phrase “melekhet avodah” constitutes an elaboration that has the effect of establishing the verse as “all melakhot that are of avodah”. The Ramban (Sefer HaMitzvot, 9; see also Tosafot, Makkot 18a, s.v. lilki) answers differently, noting that all the melakhot of Yom Tov share one title. R. Herschel Schachter (Eretz HaTzvi, 36) notes that the two answers provided may represent differing perspectives as to the definition of “Lav Sh’B’Khlalot”. On the one hand, the exemption from lashes of a Lav Sh’B’Khlalot might stem from its variance from the paradigmatic model of a prohibition that earns lashes (Lav D’Chasimah), which concerns a prohibition with a single application. A prohibition with a multiple application would thus be excluded from that model. This corresponds to the view of the Ramban; thus, he explains that Yom Tov actually comprises a single prohibition with multiple parts, and is hence not a Lav Sh’B’Khlalot. In the view of Tosafot, however, the model of Lav Sh’B’Khlalot would be different. The status would be applicable in a situation in which there is a verse that means one thing on a simple level (pshat), and carries another meaning when interpreted hermeneutically (drash). Thus, their answer focuses on the fact that a specific melakhah on Yom Tov is not the result of drash but is rather the explicit meaning of “melekhet avodah”. While in the first model, all relevant prohibitions would be exempt from lashes, in this model it is only “drash” interpretations that are exempted, in that they are classified as “Torah SheB’Al Peh” instead of “Torah SheB’Khtav”. (This approach appears to be evident in Tosafot, Pesachim 24a, s.v. ha, and Eiruvin, 17b, s.v. lav.)

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