Matters forbidden [to do] because of [the prohibition of] building and destroying on Shabbos.
The laws of breaking a vessel on Shabbos
The laws of destroying a vessel mentioned in the previous chapter were only with regards to disassembling vessels that are made of assembled parts. The following laws will discuss destroying a vessel that is not made up of individual parts, such as destroying a clay pot and the like.
Breaking vessels on Shabbos:
Breaking an incomplete [non-sturdy] vessel on Shabbos: It was already explained that there is no building or destroying [prohibition] by vessels which are not large enough to hold 40 seah and are not sturdy structures. Based on this if an earthenware barrel which does not hold the measurement of 40 seah shattered [before Shabbos] and then had its pieces glued back together with tar, it is permitted to break this vessel on Shabbos, whether using ones hand or whether using a vessel, in order to remove its content.
Why breaking the above vessel is not considered destroying: Doing so does not involve [the] destroying [prohibition] because [the barrel] is no longer [considered] a complete structure [since it broke and was glued back together].
The prohibition in intending to make an elegant opening for the vessel: [However this lack of the building prohibition is only] as long as that [upon breaking into the barrel] one does not intend to puncture it into a nice hole so that it be an elegant [looking] opening for [the barrel], as if one does do so then he has fixed the vessel [on Shabbos] and is liable for [the] “Making a Finishing Touch” [prohibition] as will be explained [in Halacha 17]. However if one does not intend [upon puncturing the barrel to make a nice hole] then he is allowed [to puncture it].
The reason it is permitted when there is no intent to make an elegant opening: No decree was made against doing so [even if one has no intent] due that one may come to intend to do so, because a barrel which is broken and glued back together with tar is degrading in one’s eyes and one [thus] does not think about making a nice hole in it when he returns [after gluing it back together] and punctures it.
The prohibition to break a complete/sturdy vessel on Shabbos: However if [the barrel] is whole [meaning it never broke to begin with] then it is forbidden to break it even in a way that one is not making for it a nice opening, because breaking a complete structure is forbidden even by vessels. Furthermore [another reason] is due to a decree that one may come to intend to puncture in it a nice hole in order that it contains an elegant opening.
The laws of puncturing a hole into a vessel on Shabbos
The previous law dealt with breaking a vessel to remove its content. The following laws will discuss making a hole in one’s wall, in a vessel, as well as removing the stopper of a hole and the like.
When a hole is made in a structure attached to the ground, such as a wall it involves the “Building“ prohibition, and when done to a vessel involves the “Finishing touch” prohibition .
The Biblical Prohibition to hammer a hole in the wall for building purposes:
One who hammers a peg into the wall in order to hang vessels and the like on it, is liable for [the] building [prohibition]. [Furthermore] even if one did not [yet] hammer the peg [into the wall] but drilled a hole in the wall in which the peg will be inserted into, he is liable for [the] building [prohibition] on this hole [that he drilled] since this hole is an accessory for the building, which is the inserting the peg.
Similarly one who makes a hole in the floor of his house to drain out the water is liable for [the] building [prohibition].
The Biblical prohibition in Making a hole for entering and exiting in an item detached from the ground: However one who makes a hole in an item that is detached [from the ground] he is not liable, unless the hole was made in order to have items entered through it and taken out from it. For example, the hole that is made in a chicken coop which is not attached to the ground, which is made in order to enter light and let out air, this hole is a complete opening and one is liable in making it for the “Fixing a vessel” [prohibition] which is an offshoot of the “Finishing Touch“ prohibition, as explained in chapter 302 [Halacha 5].
Whether one made a hole in [a plank of] wood or metal or in a vessel, he is liable on doing so for [the] “Finishing Touch” [prohibition] , if the hole is made in order to enter things through it and to take things out from it.
The Rabbinical prohibition in making a hole for entering or exiting: [The above was only with regards to the Biblical prohibition, however] the Sages decreed [against making] any hole [on Shabbos] even if it is made only for removing items from it or only for entering items into it. [The reason for this is] because [if this were to be allowed] one may come to make a [type] hole that he is liable on [which means a hole that is meant for entering and exiting].
Due to this [decree] one may not puncture a new hole in a barrel for the wine to flow from [this hole]. [Furthermore] even if it already has a hole and one [simply] wants to add to it and slightly widen it, it is forbidden.
Doing an action which inevitably causes a hole to be made unintentionally, such as removing a knife from a barrel: [However in this case it is only forbidden] when one intends to widen the hole, however if there was a knife jammed in the wooden barrel from before Shabbos in order for the wine to flow from the hole that is formed upon removing the knife then it is permitted to remove it and reinsert it on Shabbos.
The reason this is allowed: [Now], although it is impossible to avoid the hole from widening upon removing it, [nevertheless] this does not pose any [Halachic] problem since one has no intent to widen the hole. Now, although it is inevitable [for this widening to be avoided, and thus it should be prohibited even if one does not intend to widen it] nevertheless since even one who makes a new similar hole intentionally only transgresses a Rabbinical prohibition, being that [the hole] is only made removing [the wine] out from it [as opposed to also entering wine into it], therefore [the Sages] were not so stringent on this to prohibit even adding to [this type of] hole unintentionally.
Other Opinions: [However] there are opinions that argue and say that [the Sages] did not permit to remove the knife from the barrel on Shabbos unless one has already removed it once from before Shabbos. [The reason removing it one time before Shabbos suffices is] as then it is no longer inevitable to avoid widening the hole through removing it on Shabbos, and rather it is possible that [removing] it will not add [to the hole] at all, in which case even if it did [happen to] add [to the hole when removed on Shabbos] it poses no [Halachic] problem being that one did not intend to do so.
The Final Ruling: The main [Halachic] opinion is like the former opinion, although in a situation that there is not much need for one to remove the knife, it is proper to suspect for the latter opinion.
Removing a knife from a wall:
The custom in a case that a hole will inevitably be widened in a wall, such as when removing a knife jammed in a wooden wall: However a knife which was inserted into a wooden wall before Shabbos, then if it has been somewhat firmly inserted, the custom is to forbid removing it on Shabbos unless one had removed it already one time before Shabbos, as in such a case it is no longer inevitable to avoid widening the hole. However when one has never yet removed the knife out from this hole it is impossible to avoid widening the hole upon removing it on Shabbos, being that it was somewhat firmly inserted into the wall.
The reason for the above custom: [Now, although this hole is widened unintentionally, nevertheless the Sages] only permitted to widen [a hole] unintentionally by a barrel, being that even to initially make a hole intentionally [in a barrel] only involves a Rabbinical prohibition. However [since] one who makes a hole in a wall with intention is at times liable for a Chatas Offering, such as if he punctured it in order to insert a peg into [the wall], and even one who widens this hole the tiniest amount with intention is [also] liable, therefore it should receive the stringency not to add to [the hole] even if he has no intention in doing so, if it is inevitable to avoid.
The reason that from the letter of the law the above is allowed: This is the reason behind the [above] custom. However from the letter of the law this is not a clear prohibition being that even if one were to initially make a new hole in the wall in the exact same scenario as above when one widens the hole through removing the knife, which is done not for the sake of inserting a peg into, then doing so would not involve a Biblical prohibition being that [a)] it is an action which is not done for its use , as well as [b)] that he is damaging the wall, as well as [c)] that the widening of the hole made through removing the knife is an irregular way of making [a hole], and all [actions done] irregularly do not at all carry any Biblical prohibition even by a complete [form of forbidden] action [and certainly here that the action itself is not a complete prohibition due to reason a) and b)]. Therefore it should not be prohibited to widen [the hole] unintentionally just like it was not prohibited by a barrel in accordance to what was explained there that the main opinion is like those that permit doing so.
Must one be stringent like the custom: Nevertheless one may not be lenient against [following] this custom.
Removing a knife from a bench and the like:
If the vessel cannot hold 40 Seah: However a knife which is jammed into a bench or another detached item, is permitted to be removed on Shabbos [according to all opinions] even if it had never been removed beforehand.
The reason for this is: because making a hole in a detached item never carries with it the prohibition of building but rather [can be forbidden] only because of a decree [that one may come to] “fix a vessel“ if he makes an opening that is meant for entering or exiting. However when one is not making an opening at all for entering or exiting but rather it [just happens to] consequently be formed through removing the knife, then there is no prohibition at all in doing so. [This is opposed to the case of a barrel that the making of a hole serves that the wine flow from it, and therefore in that case there are opinions which prohibit one to remove the knife if it will inevitably widen the hole.]
If the vessel is large enough to hold 40 seah: [However] if [the knife] is jammed into a large barrel or other large vessels which hold 40 seah [and thus] carry with them the building and destroying [prohibition], then it has the same law as if it were jammed stuck in a wall [in which the custom is not to remove on Shabbos unless it had been previously removed before Shabbos].
Unplugging the hole of a barrel of wine:
A barrel [of wine] which had a hole that was plugged up, even if it was plugged with one’s hands, [or] with wood or another item, it is permitted to open it on Shabbos.
However this is only allowed when [the hole in the barrel] is above the [area of the] sediment [which lies on the bottom of the barrel], however if it is parallel to the sediment then it is forbidden to open it, (unless it is meant to be constantly opened and closed as is the case with the tap of a barrel).
The reason for this is because: since the [hole] is so low [in the barrel] all the weight of the wine rests on it, and one [thus] needs to plug it up well, [and] therefore when one opens it, it is considered like one is opening a new hole. However when [the hole] is above the sediment in which case one does not need to plug it well, it is not considered as if one is opening it for the first time.
Using a tool to drill a hole through a plugged up hole:
In [any] situation that it is allowed to open the plug of an old hole it is [also] allowed to puncture it [i.e. the plug] even with a [non-electric] drill. For example, if the tap of the barrel broke and one is not able to remove it, one may puncture it with a [non-electric] drill. It goes without saying that one is allowed to take another tap and bang it into the tap that is stuck [thus pushing in the broken tap and entering a new tap at the same time].
[The above however is only allowed to be done] if one wants to drink wine [from this barrel] on Shabbos, and only as long as that the tap is not parallel to the sediment, as was explained [in the previous Halacha].
Unplugging the hole of a wooden barrel: There are opinions which say that [the Sages] only permitted to unplug an old hole by an earthenware barrel being that the plugs [of such material] are not well firmed into the hole, however by a wooden barrel in which the hole is well firmed with the wood used to plug it and one [also] cuts the protruding part of [the wooden plug] with intent so it not be removed, then [removing or drilling through this plug] certainly appears like [making] a new hole and it is [thus] forbidden.
Other Opinions: [However] there are opinions that argue on this [and rather permit this to be done even by a wooden barrel].
The Final Ruling: One may rely on the latter opinion in a case of great need, to be lenient regarding a [disputed] Rabbinical prohibition.
Inserting a tap into the hole of a barrel on Shabbos:
It is permitted to insert a hollow rod or other [form of] tabs into a [previously made hole that is in a] barrel, in order to remove wine from it, even if it had never before been placed in the barrel and one [thus] does not know at all whether [the tab] will fit the size of the hole of this barrel.
We do not suspect that perhaps it will not fit into [the hole, being that the tab is too large] and one will [then come to] cut and grate down [the] circumference [of the tab] until it reaches the size [of the hole], and thus be liable for the cutting prohibition as will be explained [in Halacha 16].
Inserting a drain pipe into the barrel:
Made from a myrtle leaf: However it is forbidden to insert a myrtle leaf into the hole of a barrel in order to prevent the wine from flowing onto the walls of the barrel, and rather have it flow on the leaf which has been folded to form something similar to a drainpipe, due to a decree that one may come to affix a drainpipe for his wine so that the wine flow into it and travel a distance.
The reason this decree does not apply by a tap: The reason that this decree was not made against inserting a hollow rod [into the barrel] is because the rod has no modification done to it [when coming to place it in the hole] and is rather just [simply] inserted into the hole [the way it is], therefore [the Sages] did not decree [against doing so] due to suspicion that one may come to do a modification to connect a drainpipe to his wine. However by the leaf, in which a modification has been done to it being that he takes it and folds it like a drainpipe, since it appears like making a drainpipe the [Sages] decreed against it due to that one may come to attach an actual drainpipe to his wine.
Another opinion regarding why it is forbidden to attach a leaf to help drain the wine: However there are opinions which say that also by a leaf there was no decree made [that one may come to affix] a drainpipe, but rather it was decreed [against] because the leaf may get damaged and one will then come to pluck another leaf from the detached branch in order to place it into the hole of the barrel, and this removal [of the new leaf] is prohibited due to [the prohibition of] “fixing a vessel”. As any item which is altered on Shabbos so it be fit to be used for a given purpose carries with it [the prohibition of] “fixing a vessel” as will be explained in chapter 340 [Halacha 17].
The reason for why this is forbidden even if the leaf can be used for animal fodder: Even if the leaf is soft and is [thus] fit to be eaten by animals, nevertheless it is prohibited to pluck it due to “fixing a vessel”. As [the Sages] only said that [modifying] animal fodder [into a vessel] does not carry with it the prohibition of “fixing a vessel” being that they are soft and do not last, as will be explained in chapter 322 [Halacha 4], in a case that one modifies the food to become an independent vessel, such as cutting a piece of straw to use as a toothpick in which case it is not considered like one is fixing a vessel being that it is not at all common to initially make a vessel out of food, due to the fact that it does not last long. However it is common to [use food] to modify through it a vessel that is already made, such as to place the leaf in the hole of the barrel which is already made. Therefore when one plucks [the leaf out from the detached branch] for this purpose this removal carries with it [the prohibition of] “fixing a vessel”.
The practical ramifications of this opinion-It may be done if one has many leaves available: According to this opinion that it is only prohibited to insert a leaf into the hole of the barrel because one may come to pluck off [another leaf], [the Sages] did not prohibit [doing so] in a scenario that one has many leaves which had been plucked from before Shabbos, as in this case there is no need to worry that that one may come to pluck a leaf [from a branch] as even if one or two [leaves] were to ruin he still has more and we do not suspect that perhaps all his leaves will ruin.
The Final Ruling: By a dispute over a Rabbinical prohibition one may follow the lenient opinion.
Tearing the covering off of a bottle:
A person may tear the hide which [seals] the opening of a barrel of wine or other liquids, if he does so for the need of Shabbos. He need not worry [about any tearing prohibition involved in doing so], because tearing a detached item is allowed to be done even initially as will be explained [in Halacha 16].
[However this is only allowed] as long as one does not intend to make something similar to a drainpipe out of the torn skin [i.e. a funnel] being that doing so is considered like fixing a vessel.
Chopping off the top of a barrel:
A person may present a barrel of wine before his guests, and cut off its head (the definition of the head of the barrel is the area of the lid which is the [most] elevated area of the barrel when [the barrel] is resting [on its bottom] in which the surrounding area slants downwards from all sides) with a sword from underneath its lid. Meaning that one cuts the surrounding opening of [the barrel] together with the lid that is covering it.
The reason the above is allowed: Now although through doing this one makes a new opening in the barrel, [nevertheless] this does not pose a problem because for certain one has no intent to make a new opening [by doing so], being that it is not at all usual to make [an opening] this way, to chop off the head of the barrel in order to make an opening. Rather one intends [in doing so] to look good, to show off his generosity before the guests, by him widening for them the area that the wine can be taken from.
Restrictions on the above allowance: [However] this is [only allowed] if the barrel was broken and then glued back together with tar and also does not hold 40 seah, in which case doing so does not carry with it the destroying [prohibition] as explained above [in Halacha 1].
The prohibition to make a hole in the side of the barrel: However it is forbidden to make a hole in the body of the barrel even with a spear in which one makes a large hole that is not similar to an opening, because nevertheless he is for certain intending to make a hole [by doing so]. Meaning that since he does not want to open the lid on a constant basis for whatever reason that he has, therefore he has made this hole to remove the wine with at all times that he does not wish to open the lid, in which case this is a complete opening which is made for exiting purposes which the Sages prohibited.
The reason why here we do not say that he is doing so to show his generosity is because: if he had intended to [make the hole in order to] make himself look good then he should have opened the lid, being that through there one can take out a lot more wine then is able to be taken out through the hole that he made.
Making a hole in the lid of a barrel:
Making a hole on the top of the lid: However it is permitted to make a hole in the lid from above in order to take out wine through it, even if the barrel is whole [meaning was never broken and then glued back together].
The reason for this is: because it is not usual at all to make an opening in the lid from above, [as one] rather just takes off the lid. Therefore this hole which is on top is not apparent and is not considered to be an opening at all. Thus the [Sages] did not prohibit [making a hole] within the lid, as since even if one were to make a complete hole [in the lid,] [meaning that the hole was made] for entering wine into and to remove wine from it, one is [nevertheless] not Biblically liable as [opposed to the the law] for one who makes [such a hole] in the barrel itself [in which case he is liable]. [The reason for why one is not Biblically liable by a hole made in the lid is] because the lid is not considered attached to the barrel even when it is placed on the opening [of the barrel], rather it is an individual item. Therefore the hole [which is made in it] is not considered made to enter and remove [wine] through it, as when one removes and enters [wine] through this hole it is as if he is removing and entering it through the mouth of the barrel alone [without the lid being attached to it], as this hole in the lid] does not at all help one in removing and entering [wine into the barrel] being that even without this [hole] one would be able to enter and remove [the wine] through the mouth of the barrel. Now, although the mouth is sealed with the lid [nevertheless] this is not considered a complete sealing since the lid is not considered attached to the barrel [and thus we do not consider the hole in the lid to be of any real help]. Thus [being that making a hole in the lid is never Biblically prohibited even when made to enter and exit through] therefore [the Sages] were not overly strict to forbid even making a hole which is only made to remove [wine] from it, when made in an area that it is not common to make an opening from which [by a barrel refers to the area that] is above on its top.
Making a hole on the side of the lid: However it is forbidden to make a hole on the side [of the lid], meaning in the area where the barrel slants downwards.
The reason for this is: because it is common to occasionally make an opening on its side, such as when one wants the barrel to be open to constantly be able to remove wine from it and he does not want to remove the lid [permanently for this purpose] in order so dust or waste not fall in the wine, and he therefore makes an opening on its side.
Making a hole on the top of the actual barrel:
However to make a hole in the actual barrel is forbidden even on its top, even though it is not common to make an opening there, as since if [this hole] were to be made to enter and remove [wine] through it then he would be Biblically liable even though it was made on its top, therefore even when the hole is only made to remove [wine] through it, it is Rabbinically forbidden even when made in its top.
The prohibition of cutting an item to a required size, cutting an item to small pieces, and destroying vessels
The principal prohibition: One who cuts hide and is particular to cut it to the exact size that he needs, such as for example he is cutting it for straps and for sandals, this is a principal form of forbidden work, being that in the [process of building the] Tabernacle they would cut the skin of rams or techashim to an exact size to be made a cover for the tent.
The offshoot prohibition: Anyone who cuts any given item which is detached [from the ground] and is particular to cut it to a specific size, is [doing an action which is] an offshoot of [the primary] cutting [prohibition].
Examples: For example, one who cuts off the head of a feather, which is thin and soft and is [thus] fit to be used [to cushion] a pillow or a blanket with, then he is liable if he intends to [use it for this] being that one is particular to cut it to the exact size that is fit for him.
Similarly one who sands down the head of a wooden pole so that it is smooth and sharp, is liable for [the] cutting [prohibition].
The prohibition to cut an item into small pieces: [Furthermore] even if he is not meticulous on the sizes, if he cuts [wood] into very thin pieces in order to light the fire [with them], he is liable for [the] grinding [prohibition].
The prohibition of doing a mundane act even if no actual prohibited work is involved: However one who cuts [the wood] into big pieces and is not meticulous about their size, then it only contains a Rabbinical prohibition [which was prohibited] because it is a mundane action and [thus] disgraces the Shabbos. [This is prohibited even] when doing so does not contain the [prohibition of] moving Muktzah, such as by wood which was designated for a use and is [thus] prepared to be moved.
The conditions needed to be allowed to cut an item on Shabbos: However other detached items which cutting is not considered a mundane action are allowed [to be cut] as long as one does not have intent to cut them to a specific size and does not cut them into very small pieces, as well as that it is an item that does not contain [the prohibition of] fixing a vessel in cutting it as will be explained in chapter 340 [Halacha 17].
Cutting the strings wrapped around food: Based on this it is permitted to cut the knots of a spit which are tied around a lamb or chicken that are roasting on it. Similarly stuffed chickens which are sewed shut one is allowed to cut the string of the sewing.
Breaking the rope that secures the cover to its vessel: Similarly seals that are on vessels, such as a chest of drawers, box and portable tower which have their covering tied to them with a rope, it is permitted to cut the rope even with a knife or undo [the rope even] through taking apart its threads, in order to open [the box] to remove its content.
Undoing its knot: It goes without saying that it is allowed to undo the knot as it is not a permanent knot being that it is meant to be constantly removed.
The reason that this does not contain a destroying prohibition: Now, although the rope is made to attach the cover to the vessel, and thus when one cuts it or undoes it he is destroying this attachment, [nevertheless] this does not contain the [prohibition of] destroying, as the rope [only gives the cover] a weak attachment [to the vessel] being that it is not that strong, and thus when one destroys it one is destroying an incomplete [non-sturdy] vessel [which is allowed as the] destroying [prohibition] only applies by vessels when destroying a complete [sturdy] vessel.
The prohibition to break a lock on Shabbos: Based on the above [that a rope is only allowed to be cut because it is considered to give an non-sturdy attachment] it is thus only permitted to cut and undo a rope and the like, however locks made of wood and metal, which are strong [materials], are forbidden to be undone and broken [even] if one lost the key being that this is a complete destruction [meaning a destruction of a sturdy structure] which is forbidden even by vessels.
The prohibition to remove the door off its hinges on Shabbos: Similarly it is forbidden to remove the hinges that are behind the box (this refers to the pegs which attach the cover of the box to its walls behind it. [This is made by] inserting a peg into the small holes of the two parallel metal [bolts], one [bolt] being set on the cover and one by the wall, and through the peg that is inserted into both of them together they are attached and merge with each other. This peg has one head that is a little thick and its second head has a hole in which one inserts into it [another] small peg.)
The reason for this is: because the [pegs] are strongly inserted and [thus removing them] is a complete form of destruction.
The prohibition to remove the metal panels of a barrel: Similarly it is forbidden to remove the metal panels of a wooden barrel that is made of many beams of wood which are attached [to each other] through the metal panels that are on them, as when one removes these panels it is a complete form of destruction.
The allowance to ask a gentile to break a sturdy/complete vessel on Shabbos: Nevertheless through a gentile one may be lenient to [ask him] whether to break the locks and whether to remove the hinges and metal panels.
The reason for this allowance is: because there are opinions which say that there is no building and destroying [prohibition] by vessels including even to build a sturdy [complete] structure and to destroy a complete [sturdy] structure. [According to this opinion] it was only said that one who reassembles a chest of drawers and a box and portable tower in a strong way, and similarly that one who reassembles a vessel made up of individual parts in a strong way, that he is liable for a sin offering, because he has fixed a vessel and is [thus] obligated [for the offering] because [he has transgressed the prohibition of] “Making a finishing touch”, [and not because of the building prohibition]. Thus when one destroys an item that is firmly assembled, and even if he destroys and breaks a vessel made completely of a single part, this does not contain any prohibition when done for the sake of Shabbos, and one may rely on this opinion regarding asking a gentile to do so when needed to be done for a Shabbos need.
Breaking through woven palm leaf baskets in order to get the food inside:
Baskets that are used for figs and dates, which are vessels that are made from palm leaves and have placed in them figs or dates that have not [yet] ripened in the sun in order so they completely ripen in there [in the basket], then if the cover is tied to them with a rope, it is permitted to unravel the rope or cut it as explained [in the] above [Halacha].
[Furthermore] even the actual body of these vessels are permitted to be unraveled and cut, as the structure of these vessels which are made of palm leaves are a week structure which is not made to last long, and [thus] when breaking it, it is only considered as if one is breaking hazelnuts and almonds in order to get the food that is in them.
Breaking the ropes that tie a door to a pit:
Seals that are on the ground, such as the door of a pit which is tied to it with a rope is permitted to be untied being that the knot was not made to last long, as it is meant to be constantly untied. However if one is unable to undo the knot then it is forbidden to undo the threads of the rope or to cut it due to [the] destroying [prohibition], as every item attached to the ground has [a] building and destroying [prohibition] even if it is not a complete [sturdy] vessel.
The law by a door not made to last: However this only applies by a door that is made to last [on the pit] and not be removed on Shabbos, and thus when one wants to open the pit he unties the rope and opens the door [and then replaces it] and does not totally remove the door from there, as it is set to be there for some time. However if [the door] is not made to last at all then there is no destroying [prohibition] involved neither in unraveling the rope or cutting it, and not even in removing the actual door from it, unless it is a case that the door revolves on hinges and [to remove it] one must remove the hinge from its socket as explained in chapter 313 [Halacha 17].
Breaking the opening of the oven on Shabbos: For this reason it is permitted for one to remove the board that is placed in front of the oven and is plastered with clay from before Shabbos as written in chapter 259 [Halacha 7] being that it is not made to last at all but rather with intent to remove it on Shabbos. [However see there that the custom is to be stringent even in this case, and do so only through a gentile or child or with an irregularity.]
The prohibition of plugging a hole on Shabbos
The law: Just like it is forbidden to puncture any hole due to the decree of fixing a vessel as was explained above [in Halacha 3], so too it is forbidden to plug any hole being that this is similar to fixing a vessel.
Plugging it with wax, cloth, and a non-Muktzah rock: Therefore it is forbidden to plug the hole of a barrel even with a material that does not smear and that does not involve one coming to [transgress the] squeeze [prohibition], such as for example plugging it with a pebble or pieces of wood which was prepared for this use from before Shabbos and is thus not forbidden to be moved [i.e. is not Muktzah].
Plugging it with food and the like: However if one places a given food or anything of the like into the hole in order to hide it there, and this consequently also plugs up the hole, it is allowed.
Cunningly stuffing the hole with food: [Furthermore] it is allowed for a Torah Scholar to connive and use this loophole to plug the hole with a given food or anything of the like, and then tell to anyone he sees do this that he only intends to hide [the food in the hole] .
The reason why a Torah Scholar may do this is: because even if he would do this in a non-conniving way [meaning that] he would tell them [his true intentions that] he is doing so to plug it, [nevertheless] this would [still] only be a Rabbinical prohibition [and thus we do not prohibit him to connive in doing so].
As well [in addition to the above it is allowed] because being he is a Torah Scholar [allowing him to connive in doing this] will not lead him to [eventually] do it in a non conniving way.
May an ignoramus also cunningly stuff with food? However by an ignoramus [the Sages] did not allow him to connive [in doing this] because he may come to do so even in a non-conniving way, [meaning that] he will not say at all that he is doing so in order to hide [the food], but rather in order to stuff the hole.
Other Opinions: [However] there are opinions which allow this to be done even by an ignoramus.
The Final Ruling: One may rely on the latter opinion to be lenient by Torah Scholars, to allow them to connive in doing this even in today’s times that we no longer have people that are categorized as [true] Torah Scholars with regards to other issues.
Plugging a hole with a commonly used material: All the above is with regards to stuffing the hole with an item which is not common to stuff with, however it is permitted to plug it with [a type of] wood that is commonly used as a plug, such as to plug a tap into the hole made to take out wine through, even if it is not made to be opened and closed regularly but rather only on distant occasions
The reason for this is: because it does not appear like one is fixing a vessel with this stuffing since it is always commonly stuffed with this wood.
However an item which has not been made into a tap is forbidden to plug the hole which is made to remove the wine through [even] if the tap got lost, unless one is a Torah Scholar which is cunningly doing so as was explained.
The smearing prohibition:
One who smears a poultice, which means that he smoothes and levels the grooves that are in it, as well as one who smears wax or tar and anything of the like which is a material that can be smeared down until he smoothens its surface, then this is an offshoot of [the] “smoothing of hide“ [prohibition], which is [a prohibition against] scraping the wool or the hair off the hide until its surface is smooth, which is a primary prohibited action being that this was done in the Tabernacle as explained in chapter 302 [Halacha 15].
Plugging a hole with wax: Therefore one may not seal a hole with wax or similar things even if one does not enter the wax into the hole but rather only places it onto the opening of the hole in which case it does not appear like one is fixing a vessel with this stuffing being that the stuffing is not entering into the thickness of the walls of the vessel of the hole area and rather is only on the opening of the vessel on its back. Furthermore even if this wax is not prohibited to be moved such as in a case that it was prepared to be used from before Shabbos, nevertheless it is forbidden to seal with it due to a decree that one may come to smear the wax to attach it to the walls of the vessel which surround the hole to the point that he smoothens its surface there and will then be liable for “smoothening”.
Plugging a hole with fat or congealed oil: Even with fat or congealed oil it is forbidden to seal with due to a decree [that one may come to seal with] wax.
It is forbidden to connive here to [plug with the fat and congealed oil and tell others that] he only intends to hide [the fat in the hole] even if he is a Torah Scholar, as since with wax it is very easily possible for one to come to be liable for a sin offering, [meaning that it is very possible] that he will forget and will smear it in the way it is done usually during the week, in order so that the sealing be well firm, therefore [the Sages] also prohibited [sealing] with fat and oil due to a decree [that one may come to smear with] wax and the like.
 Lit. “Hitting with a hammer”. This refers to any finishing touch that one does to a vessel.
 and seemingly throw out the vessel.
 Vetzaruch Iyun from Halacha 14 that when such a hole is made on the cover a barrel one is not Biblically liable because it can be removed. Perhaps however this refers to making a hole in them for purposes of keeping items inside the hole and for removing them.
 Lit. Tov
 Meaning that one intentionally did so.
 Meaning that one may not plug in the drill, however he may use it while it is not plugged in being that it has the status of Muktzah Machmas Issur, which is allowed to be moved in order to use.
 Lit. Its head
 The case here is discussing even a leaf which is not Muktzah, such as that it was plucked off the tree before Shabbos to be used to smell.
 Meaning he may come to attach a pipe which will carry the wine to a further area.
 Meaning we do not suspect that one will come to pluck a leaf from a tree, however from a branch that had been previously cut off, we do suspect.
 Of the Michaber. This chapter of the Alter Rebbe’s Shulchan Aruch did not make it to print.
 Meaning the following: The lid is made in a way that it inserts within the top of the barrel, and is thus surrounded by the top area of the barrel. One then cuts off the entire lid by cutting the barrel from under the lid, thus consequently also cutting with it the top edge of the barrel that surrounded the lid.
 This implies that it was only permitted due to a joint of two reasons: a) that one would never be Biblically obligated on such a hole, and b) that it is unusual to make a hole in such an area. However if one of the above is lacking then it remains Rabbinically prohibited.
 Such as if it does not have a lid and rather is completely sealed on top and bottom, or if it has a lid and one wants to make a hole on its bottom side which is part of the barrel.
 See also chapter 308 Halacha 54 and 55
 As opposed to untying the actual knot, which will explained below.
 The idea here is that the cover is not attached to the wall through nails which are hammered into it and the like, but rather through the insertion of the pegs. Thus the novelty here is that even in such a case one may not remove the pegs.
 Such as soft wax and the like
 Meaning that it is not an absorbing material such as is a cloth, and thus it has no worry that one may come to squeeze it.
 A poultice is any ointment or dressing that is placed on a wound. It commonly is dressed onto a bandage which is then placed onto the wound.
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