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39 Melachos
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Avos and Toldos


Kilkeles Hashabos

The general concepts of the 39 Melachos A general translation of the work of R’ Yisrael Lipshitz

1- Av Melacha [literally the father of work] means all the different types of work involved in the mishkan. An example would be seeding ‘zoreia’ and planting trees. [In the Yerushalmi it says plowing was in the Mishkan when they plowed to plant {not the seed but the actual plant} the ‘samimanim’ plant used for dyes.]1 This is not like the Ramach brought in the Kesef Mishna that planting ‘noteia’ was not in the Mishkan. Also not like the Aruch that says ‘noteia’ is a tolda of seeding.] Not only if the melacha work was done in the Mishkan but as long as it is similar in ‘peula’ action and ‘tachlis’ outcome it is also considered an av. An example would be grafting ‘markiv’ and ‘mavrich’ { propagation – meaning you take a branch still attached to its source and you bury it to start a new plant} which are comparable to the ‘Av’ seeding in action that it takes something detached and attaches it to the ground. The outcome is also the same as the intent is that something should grow. If it is similar only in ‘tachlis’ but not in ‘peula’ action like ‘zomer’ pruning, in that you cut off branches with the intent that the plant should grow better which you are not dealing with the ground, even though it wasn’t in the Mishkan it is an ‘Av’.2 This is only true because at least the ‘peula’ was done with the same object as planting, working with the plant. However watering a plant even though the ‘tachlis’ is the same to make it grow the action is in the water not in the plant. Therefore watering is only a ‘tolda’. [Rambam perek 8 halacha 1,2] The same logic applies to the ‘Av’ melacha of ‘choresh’ plowing applies also to smoothing the ground from a pile of dirt as they both are doing something to the ground. However weeding around a tree is a ‘tolda’ because you are not working with the ground. [Rambam perek 8 halacha 1,2] If what you are doing is like the ‘Av’ in the action but not the ‘tachlis’ it is a tolda. If you smooth metal the action is like grinding a seed ‘tochein’ however the ‘tachlis’ is different as it is not done for eating3 so it is a ’tolda’. The same is true in mixing dirt and water to make mud that it is a tolda of kneading because the tachlis is different as it is not for eating purposes. [Rambam perek 8 halacha 15,16]For this reason making cheese is a tolda as it is like ‘binyan’ building as it is putting things together to create something else but the ‘tachlis’ is not like building. [Rambam perek 10 halacha 13]With this is answered the question of the Kesef Mishna on the Rambam Perek 10 halacha 13. There is no basic difference between an ‘Av’ and a ‘tolda’ 4 both are Biblical if you do them purposely with witnesses warning you, the punishment is ‘skeila’ stoning. If you do it purposely without warning the punishment is ‘kares’ being cut off and if you did them unintentionally you are obligated to bring a ‘chatas’. However if you did an av and its tolda or two toldos of the same av in one time of forgetfulness you only bring one ‘karbon’. This is just like if you did one av twice in one forgetfulness. However if you did two separate avos or two different toldos from two avos you are obligated in two korbanos.




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