ERUVIN (Heb. עֵרוּבִין), the second tractate of the order Mo'ed in the Mishnah, Tosefta, and in both the Babylonian and Jerusalem Talmuds. It deals with all aspects of the Sabbath eruv: eruv of Sabbath boundaries, the eruv of courtyards, and the eruv of the partnership of alleys (see eruv ). It is thus a continuation of the tractate Shabbat, and in fact, it appears that originally the two tractates were one, but in view of its length (24 and 10 chapters) it was divided into two. This is evidenced by the fact that the last chapter, the Mishnah of Eruvin, is a kind of supplement to both Shabbat and Eruvin and deals with several details of the law of the Sabbath. The Tosefta of Eruvin also concludes with a statement which applies to the Sabbath: "The halakhot of the Sabbath … are like mountains hanging by a hair, having few biblical verses and many halakhot that have nothing upon which they can be supported" (cf. Ḥag. 1:8). Eruvin contains traditions which relate to the realia of the Second Temple period. Thus chapter 1:10 states that soldiers proceeding to battle are exempted from four things: they are permitted to collect wood for fuel from any place – and it is not regarded as theft; they are exempt from washing hands before touching food; they do not have to tithe demai produce; and they are permitted to carry things from tent to tent and from the tent into the camp without an eruv. Chapter 10:11–15 similarly gives a collection of halakhot regarding activities generally forbidden because they conflict with the spirit of Sabbath rest but permitted in the Temple. The chief sources of the Mishnah of Eruvin in its present form are, as usual, the pupils of Akiva-Meir, Judah, Yose, Simeon, and Eleazar. It is said of Judah that wherever he teaches a Mishnah in Eruvin, the halakhah goes according to his teaching (Er. 81b). The first two chapters deal with the alley and with domains of a semi-private nature (karmelit), where the sages permitted carrying after minor modifications had been made. Chapters three to five deal with the limits of travel on the Sabbath and their extension by eruv. The next three chapters deal with the eruv of courtyards and of entrances owned jointly, and, as stated, chapter ten discusses various details of the halakhot of the Sabbath. According to Mishnah 6:1, if a Jew shares a courtyard with a non-Jew or with one who does not admit the validity of the eruv (such as a Samaritan or a Sadducee), he is thereby precluded from carrying articles from his house into the common alley on the Sabbath. The effect of this law was to limit joint residence with a gentile or sectarian in a building served by a common courtyard, or using the courtyard on Sabbaths (cf. Er. 62b: "lest he learn from his actions"). In the Jerusalem Talmud (Er. 7:9, 24c), however, Joshua b. Levi states: Why are eruvin made in courtyards? For the sake of peace, i.e., the carrying of the food before the Sabbath into the house of one of the neighbors for the eruv of courtyards promotes peace among the neighbors. The Jerusalem Talmud goes on to relate the case of a woman who was hated by her neighbor and sent her eruv through her son. When the neighbor saw the son she embraced and kissed him; on his return home he told his mother, who said, "She loves me so much and I did not know it," and as a result they were reconciled. The order of the chapters in the manuscripts differs from that in the printed text. In the Munich manuscript chapter five precedes chapter three, and in the Oxford manuscript chapter four follows chapter two and chapter five follows six, but the order of the Tosefta accords more with that of the printed texts even though in many halakhot its order is different from that of the Mishnah. The Tosefta in the printed texts and in the Vienna manuscript of Eruvin has eight chapters – in the Erfurt manuscript (Zuckermandel's edition) it is divided into 11 chapters – and supplements the topics dealt with in the Mishnah. Worthy of note are the collection of halakhot in chapter 4 (3): 5–9 which discuss war on the Sabbath. If gentiles come to attack Jewish cities, it is permitted to go out with arms and desecrate the Sabbath; this applies only if they are bent on hostilities which endanger lives, but if their purpose is only to take spoil, it is forbidden. If, however, they move against towns near the border, even if only to take chaff or stubble, it is permitted to go out against them with arms and desecrate the Sabbath. In the Babylonian Talmud tractate Eruvin is considered one of the most difficult tractates, apparently because of the mathematical calculations (see, e.g., 14a–b or 76a–b) as well as because of the difficulty in understanding the various designs of the domains and their mutual relationship, despite the fact that sketches are provided in order to illustrate them (starting with the later printed versions). Many scholars conclude from the discussion in Eruvin 32b, where there occurs the phrase, "Did you embody it in your Gemara?" that the amoraim already possessed a Gemara on the Mishnah which was methodically arranged (see the epistle of sherira gaon , ed. by B.M. Levin (1921), 63; Halevi, Dorot, 3 (1923), 117, et al.). It can also be seen from Eruvin 72a–b that there was an early editing of various discussions in the Talmud which preceded its final editing (see C. Albeck , Mavo la-Talmudim (1969), p. 578). Scattered throughout   Eruvin are many aggadot and ethical dicta. One tells how "for three years Bet Hillel and Bet Shammai disagreed, one school saying, 'the halakhah follows us,' and the other, 'the halakhah follows us.' A heavenly voice (bat kol ) was heard to say, 'Both are the words of the living God but the halakhah follows Bet Hillel.' Since, however, 'both are the words of the living God,' why did Bet Hillel merit to have the halakhah established according to them – Because they were genial and modest, and taught their own sayings and those of Bet Shammai. Furthermore, they put Bet Shammai's words before their own.… This teaches you that whosoever humbles himself the Holy One exalts, and whosoever exalts himself, the Holy One humbles" (Er. 13b). The method of learning and memorizing in the academy of Rabban Gamaliel of Jabneh and of Simeon b. Gamaliel is reflected in an anachronistic aggadic baraita, quoted in Eruvin 54b, that describes the "order of the Mishnah" which Moses received from the Almighty and its teaching to the elders and the nation (cf. Epstein, Tanna'im, 187). Among the many apothegms to be found in Eruvin are the following: "The numerical value of the word yayin ("wine") is 70 and that of sod ("secret") also 70, to teach that when wine enters, secrets are divulged" (65a); "A man's character can be recognized by three things; by his cup (kos), by his purse (kis), and by his anger (ka'as); some say also by his mirth" (65b). In addition to the many commentaries, editions, and translations available today, Abraham Goldberg has published a critical edition and commentary to Mishnah Eruvin, which discusses the historical levels in this tractate of the Mishnah, its relation to the Tosefta, and many of the traditions and interpretations found in the two Talmudim. -BIBLIOGRAPHY: Epstein, Tanna'im, 300–22; C. Albeck (ed.), Shishah Sidrei Mishnah, 2 (1958), 77ff. ADD. BIBLIOGRAPHY: Goldberg, The Mishnah Treatise Eruvin (1986). (Yitzhak Dov Gilat)

Encyclopedia Judaica. 1971.

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