SECTION 248 Laws Applying to One Who Sets Out on a Voyage by Ship or Travels in a Caravan with Regard to Shabbos (1-14)

סימן רמח דִּין הַמַּפְלִיג בִּסְפִינָה וְהַהוֹלֵךְ בְּשַׁיָּרָא בְּשַׁבָּת וּבוֹ י"ד סְעִיפִים:

1One should not set out on a ship that travels on saltwater seas1 less than three full days2 before Shabbos,3i.e., from [the evening preceding] Wednesday onward, [i.e.,] Wednesday itself is also included in the prohibition. [The rationale:] All those who depart on saltwater sea voyages experience discomfort, disorientation, and a change of [physiological] conditions.4 Their bodies become shaken5 by the rocking of the ship and their spirits do not return until three full days have passed. [Therefore,] if one sets out less than three days before Shabbos, he will not experience pleasure on Shabbos.6

When does the above apply? When one sets out on a voyage for his personal concerns.7 For the sake of a mitzvah,8 by contrast, it is permitted to set out even on Friday, even though [doing so will prevent] him from experiencing pleasure on Shabbos. [The rationale:] A person occupied in the observance of one mitzvah is exempt from another mitzvah.9

Nevertheless, as an initial preference, one should come to an arrangement with the non-Jewish [captain of the ship] to halt [the ship] and not proceed on Shabbos.10 If, afterwards, [the non-Jew] does not halt [the ship] on Shabbos, it is of no consequence.11 If, however, it is impossible to have him agree, i.e., even initially he says that he will not halt [the ship’s journey] on Shabbos, there are authorities who maintain that it is forbidden to depart until after Shabbos.12 (Nevertheless, if there is concern that the mitzvah that he is journeying to perform will not be able to be fulfilled because if he delays his journey, leniency may be shown. Similarly, if it is impossible for him to easily find a ship on which he could depart after Shabbos, leniency can be shown in a pressing situation.)

א אֵין מַפְלִיגִים בִּסְפִינָה א בְּיַמִּים הַמְּלוּחִים ב,1 פָּחוֹת מִג' יָמִים מֵעֵת לְעֵת2 קֹדֶם הַשַּׁבָּת3 דְּהַיְנוּ מִיּוֹם ד' וְאֵילַךְ וְיוֹם ד' בִּכְלַל הָאִסּוּר ג לְפִי שֶׁכָּל הַמַּפְלִיגִים בְּיַמִּים הַמְּלוּחִים ד יֵשׁ לָהֶם בְּכָל ג' יָמִים הָרִאשׁוֹנִים צַעַר וּבִלְבּוּל וְשִׁנּוּי וֶסֶת4 וְגוּפָם מִשְׁתַּבֵּר5 מִנִּעְנוּעַ הַסְּפִינָה ה וְאֵין רוּחָם חוֹזֶרֶת עַד לְאַחַר שְׁלֹשָׁה יָמִים מֵעֵת לְעֵת ו וְאִם יַפְלִיג פָּחוֹת מִג' יָמִים קֹדֶם הַשַּׁבָּת לֹא יִהְיֶה לוֹ עֹנֶג בְּשַׁבָּת.6

בַּמֶּה דְּבָרִים אֲמוּרִים כְּשֶׁמַּפְלִיג לִדְבַר הָרְשׁוּת ז,7 אֲבָל לִדְבַר מִצְוָה8 מֻתָּר לְהַפְלִיג אֲפִלּוּ בְּעֶרֶב שַׁבָּת ח אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁלֹּא יִהְיֶה לוֹ עֹנֶג בְּשַׁבָּת לְפִי שֶׁהָעוֹסֵק בְּמִצְוָה פָּטוּר מִמִּצְוָה אַחֶרֶת. ט,9

וּמִכָּל מָקוֹם לְכַתְּחִלָּה יִפְסוֹק עִם הַנָּכְרִי הַמּוֹלִיךְ הַסְּפִינָה שֶׁיִּשְׁבּוֹת וְלֹא יוֹלִיכֶנָּה בְּשַׁבָּת10 וְאִם אַחַר כָּךְ אֵינוֹ שׁוֹבֵת אֵין בְּכָךְ כְּלוּם י,11 (א) וְאִם אִי אֶפְשָׁר לוֹ לִפְסוֹק עִמּוֹ שֶׁגַּם עַכְשָׁו אוֹמֵר שֶׁלֹּא יִשְׁבּוֹת בְּשַׁבָּת יֵשׁ אוֹמְרִים יא שֶׁאָסוּר לוֹ לְהַפְלִיג עַד לְאַחַר הַשַּׁבָּת12 (וּמִכָּל מָקוֹם אִם יֵשׁ חֲשָׁשׁ שֶׁתִּתְבַּטֵּל הַמִּצְוָה שֶׁהוֹלֵךְ אֵלֶיהָ מֵחֲמַת אִחוּר דַּרְכּוֹ יֵשׁ לְהָקֵל וְכֵן אִם אִי אֶפְשָׁר בְּקַל לִמְצוֹא סְפִינָה לְאַחַר הַשַּׁבָּת לְהַפְלִיג בָּהּ יֵשׁ לְהָקֵל בִּשְׁעַת הַדְּחַק יב):

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2 If [only] a short journey is involved, e.g., from Tyre to Tzidon, in which instance, it is only a one-day journey if the winds are favorable, it is permitted to set out on Friday morning13 even for one’s own concerns. For it is possible that the winds will be favorable and he will arrive there before nightfall.

In a place where it is customary not to set out on a Friday at all, not even for a short journey, it is forbidden to deviate from the local custom, as will be explained in sec. 468[:9]14 and in Yoreh Deah, sec. 214.15

ב וְאִם הוּא דֶרֶךְ מוּעָט כְּגוֹן מִצֹּר לְצִידוֹן יג שֶׁאֵין שָׁם אֶלָּא מַהֲלַךְ יוֹם אֶחָד יד כְּשֶׁהָרוּחַ טוֹב טו מֻתָּר לְהַפְלִיג אֲפִלּוּ לִדְבַר הָרְשׁוּת בְּעֶרֶב שַׁבָּת בַּבֹּקֶר13 לְפִי שֶׁאֶפְשָׁר שֶׁיִּהְיֶה רוּחַ טוֹב וְיַגִּיעוּ לְשָׁם קֹדֶם הַלַּיְלָה טז וּבְמָקוֹם שֶׁנָּהֲגוּ שֶׁלֹּא לְהַפְלִיג בְּעֶרֶב שַׁבָּת כְּלָל אֲפִלּוּ דֶּרֶךְ מוּעָט אָסוּר לָהֶם לְשַׁנּוֹת מֵהַמִּנְהָג יז עַל דֶּרֶךְ שֶׁיִּתְבָּאֵר בְּסִמָּן תס"ח יח,14 וּבְיוֹרֶה דֵעָה סִמָּן רי"ד: יט,15

3 All the above applies with regard to sea [voyages, where people inevitably experience discomfort]. Those who undertake a riverboat journey, by contrast, do not suffer any discomfort.16 [Hence,] it is permitted to set out on such journeys even on Friday under all circumstances, if the boat is traveling for the sake of non-Jews.17

Even though the ship travels many parsaos18on Shabbos, doing so does not violate the prohibition against going beyond the Shabbos limits.19 [This ruling applies] even according to those authorities who maintain that the Shabbos limits of twelve mil are of Scriptural origin.20 [They derive this concept from] the verse:21 “No man may leave his place [on the seventh day].” [“His place”] refers to the camp of [the Children of] Israel [in the desert] which was twelve mil [long].22 Nevertheless, when one travels on the surface of the water, a Scriptural prohibition is not involved, since [the setting] is not comparable to that of the camp of [the Children of] Israel, which was on land.23

True, according to Rabbinic Law, there is a prohibition against going beyond the Shabbos limits even when traveling on water. Nevertheless, if the ship is traveling ten handbreadths above the riverbed, there is no prohibition, even according to Rabbinic Law. [The rationale:] There is uncertainty whether the prohibition against going beyond the Shabbos limits applies above ten handbreadths from the ground even when one journeys twelve mil24 on land, as will be explained in sec. 404[:1]. Since [even] the prohibition against going beyond the Shabbos limits on the surface of water, even when one travels twelve mil, is only of Rabbinic origin according to all opinions, [therefore, we follow] the general rule that when there is uncertainty regarding a Rabbinic prohibition, leniency is granted.25

If, however, the ship travels less than ten handbreadths [above the riverbed], i.e., there are less than ten handbreadths of water between the bottom of the ship and the riverbed, it is forbidden to travel on it during Shabbos beyond the Shabbos limits (see fig. 1 below). [This prohibition applies] even if one entered the ship three days before Shabbos, i.e., from Tuesday night and onward. The prohibition applies even if a large portion of the ship is submerged in the water, and thus the depth of the water on the side of the ship is more than ten handbreadths, but there are not ten handbreadths between the bottom of the ship and the riverbed. [The prohibition applies] even if [the passenger] is sitting in a high place [on the ship] and thus there are more than ten handbreadths between the place where he is sitting [and the riverbed].

There are authorities who permit [such a journey] if the person is sitting more than ten handbreadths [above the riverbed] and his feet do not extend closer than ten handbreadths [to the riverbed],26 provided the ship is traveling more than three handbreadths above [the riverbed].27 [According to these authorities,] the prohibition applies only when the person is sitting on the bottom of the ship and there are less than ten handbreadths between the bottom of the ship and the riverbed; or when he is sitting on another object, but there are less than ten handbreadths between [the bottom of] that object and the riverbed. One may rely on this opinion when necessary.28

ג וְכָל זֶה בְּיַמִּים אֲבָל בִּנְהָרוֹת כֵּיוָן שֶׁאֵין שׁוּם צַעַר לְהַמַּפְלִיגִין בָּהֶן כ,16 מֻתָּר לְהַפְלִיג בָּהֶם אֲפִלּוּ בְּעֶרֶב שַׁבָּת בְּכָל עִנְיָן אִם הַסְּפִינָה הוֹלֶכֶת בִּשְׁבִיל נָכְרִים. כא,17

וְאַף עַל פִּי שֶׁהוֹלֵךְ בְּשַׁבָּת כַּמָּה פַרְסָאוֹת18 אֵין בְּזֶה מִשּׁוּם אִסּוּר תְּחוּמִין כב,19 אֲפִלּוּ לְהָאוֹמְרִים דִּתְחוּם י"ב מִיל הוּא מִן הַתּוֹרָה כג,20 שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר כד,21 אַל יֵצֵא אִישׁ מִמְּקֹמוֹ דְּהַיְנוּ מִמַּחֲנֵה יִשְׂרָאֵל שֶׁהָיְתָה י"ב מִיל22 מִכָּל מָקוֹם כְּשֶׁמְּהַלֵּךְ עַל פְּנֵי הַמַּיִם אֵין בְּזֶה אִסּוּר מִן הַתּוֹרָה כה כֵּיוָן שֶׁאֵינוֹ דוֹמֶה לְמַחֲנֵה יִשְׂרָאֵל שֶׁהָיְתָה בַּיַּבָּשָׁה כו,23 וְאַף עַל פִּי שֶׁעַל כָּל פָּנִים יֵשׁ אִסּוּר תְּחוּמִין בְּמַיִם מִדִּבְרֵי סוֹפְרִים כז מִכָּל מָקוֹם אִם הַסְּפִינָה מְהַלֶּכֶת לְמַעְלָה מִי' טְפָחִים מִקַּרְקַע הַנָּהָר אֵין בְּזֶה אִסּוּר אֲפִלּוּ מִדִּבְרֵי סוֹפְרִים לְפִי שֶׁיֵּשׁ סָפֵק אִם יֵשׁ אִסּוּר תְּחוּמִין לְמַעְלָה מִי' טְפָחִים אֲפִלּוּ בְּי"ב מִיל24 בַּיַּבָּשָׁה כְּמוֹ שֶׁיִּתְבָּאֵר בְּסִמָּן ת"ד כח וְכֵיוָן שֶׁעַל פְּנֵי הַמַּיִם אֵין אִסּוּר תְּחוּמִין אֲפִלּוּ י"ב מִיל אֶלָּא מִדִּבְרֵי סוֹפְרִים לְדִבְרֵי הַכֹּל אִם כֵּן הֲרֵי זֶה סְפֵק דִּבְרֵי סוֹפְרִים שֶׁהוֹלְכִין בּוֹ לְהָקֵל25 בְּכָל מָקוֹם. כט

אֲבָל אִם הַסְּפִינָה מְהַלֶּכֶת לְמַטָּה מִי' טְפָחִים ל דְּהַיְנוּ שֶׁאֵין י' טְפָחִים מַיִם מִתַּחַת שׁוּלֵי הַסְּפִינָה עַד קַרְקָעִית הַנָּהָר אָסוּר לֵילֵךְ בָּהּ בְּשַׁבָּת חוּץ לַתְּחוּם לא אֲפִלּוּ נִכְנַס לַסְּפִינָה שְׁלֹשָׁה יָמִים קֹדֶם הַשַּׁבָּת לב דְּהַיְנוּ מִלֵּיל רְבִיעִי בַּשַּׁבָּת וְאֵילַךְ וַאֲפִלּוּ אִם הַסְּפִינָה מְשֻׁקַּעַת הַרְבֵּה בַּמַּיִם בָּעִנְיָן שֶׁאֵצֶל דָּפְנֶיהָ יֵשׁ בַּמַּיִם עֹמֶק י' טְפָחִים וְתַחַת שׁוּלֶיהָ אֵין שָׁם י' טְפָחִים הֲרֵי זֶה אָסוּר אֲפִלּוּ אִם הוּא יוֹשֵׁב לְמַעְלָה בָּעִנְיָן שֶׁמִּמְּקוֹם יְשִׁיבָתוֹ יֵשׁ יוֹתֵר מִי' טְפָחִים לג (ב) וְיֵשׁ מַתִּירִין לד כְּשֶׁהוּא יוֹשֵׁב לְמַעְלָה מִי' טְפָחִים וְאֵין רַגְלָיו תְּלוּיוֹת לְתוֹךְ מַטָּה מִי' טְפָחִים26 אִם הַסְּפִינָה מְהַלֶּכֶת לְמַעְלָה מִג' טְפָחִים27 וְאֵין אִסּוּר אֶלָּא כְּשֶׁיּוֹשֵׁב עַל שׁוּלֵי הַסְּפִינָה וְאֵין מֵעַל שׁוּלֶיהָ עַד הַקַּרְקַע י' טְפָחִים אוֹ שֶׁיּוֹשֵׁב עַל דָּבָר אַחֵר וְאֵין מֵעַל אוֹתוֹ דָבָר עַד הַקַּרְקַע י' טְפָחִים וְיֵשׁ לִסְמוֹךְ עַל דִּבְרֵיהֶם כְּשֶׁצָּרִיךְ לְכָךְ: לה,28

Fig. 1
a) the distance between the place where the person is sitting and the riverbed, more than ten handsbreadths
b) the distance between the river’s surface and the riverbed, more than ten handsbreadths
c) the distance between the bottom of the ship and the riverbed , less than ten handsbreadths
Fig. 1 a) the distance between the place where the person is sitting and the riverbed, more than ten handsbreadths b) the distance between the river’s surface and the riverbed, more than ten handsbreadths c) the distance between the bottom of the ship and the riverbed , less than ten handsbreadths

4 If a person is in doubt whether or not the ship is traveling ten handbreadths above [the riverbed], he is permitted [to journey on Shabbos]. For whenever there is uncertainty regarding a Rabbinic decree, leniency is granted.29 Stringency is required only when one definitely knows that a Rabbinic prohibition exists.

ד וְאִם הוּא מְסֻפָּק אִם הִיא מְהַלֶּכֶת לְמַעְלָה מִי' טְפָחִים אוֹ לְמַטָּה מִי' טְפָחִים הֲרֵי זֶה מֻתָּר שֶׁכָּל שֶׁיֵּשׁ סָפֵק בְּדִבְרֵי סוֹפְרִים הוֹלְכִין לְהָקֵל29 וְאֵין צָרִיךְ לְהַחֲמִיר אֶלָּא כְּשֶׁיָּדוּעַ בְּבֵרוּר שֶׁיֵּשׁ אִסּוּר מִדִּבְרֵי סוֹפְרִים: לו

5 If a person enters a ship30 three [full] days before Shabbos, i.e., on Tuesday or earlier, he is permitted to travel on beyond the Shabbos limits on Shabbos. [This leniency applies] even if he knows that [the bottom of the ship] is traveling less than ten — or even less than three — handbreadths [above the ocean bed or riverbed]. Since the prohibition against traveling beyond the Shabbos limits is only of Rabbinic origin, our Sages did not desire to impose such a stringency and forbid [travel even] when one entered the ship [more than] three days before [Shabbos].31 For [the passenger] is not performing any labor and it is the ship that is carrying him beyond the Shabbos limits.32

Entering the ship three days [or more] before Shabbos is permitted even if it is possible that doing so will require a Jew to violate the Shabbos prohibitions in conducting the ship — even the performance of labor forbidden by Scriptural Law — because of a danger to life.33 At the time he entered [the ship], he was permitted to enter, and after Shabbos commences and it becomes necessary for him to perform work because of a danger to life, he is permitted to do so. This is not considered as desecrating the Shabbos.

Within three days of Shabbos, however, it is forbidden for one to enter a ship, even when the ship travels more than ten handbreadths above [the ocean bed or riverbed], if he knows that he will have to violate the Shabbos laws because of a threat to life. [This restriction applies] even when the prohibition [he will be forced to transgress is only] Rabbinic in origin. For it appears that the person intentionally entered a life-threatening situation so that he will violate the Shabbos laws afterwards.

[One might ask: Why] is there no concern for this matter [when one enters the ship] three days before Shabbos? Because the first three days of the week are referred to as “the days following the previous Shabbos” and are not connected to the coming Shabbos.34 Therefore, one is not obligated to refrain from performing an action which he knows will require him to violate the Shabbos laws on the following Shabbos. When the Shabbos comes and it will be necessary for him to violate its laws because of the danger to life, he is permitted to do so and it is not considered as desecrating the Shabbos.

The three last days of the week, by contrast, are called “the days preceding Shabbos,”35 and they are associated with the coming Shabbos. Hence, one is obligated by Rabbinic Law to be careful not to perform any actions that he knows will require him to violate the Shabbos laws afterwards, so that it will not appear that his intent in performing this action is to violate the Shabbos laws afterwards.

ה וְאִם נִכְנַס לַסְּפִינָה30 קֹדֶם ג' יָמִים לִפְנֵי הַשַּׁבָּת דְּהַיְנוּ בַּשְּׁלִישִׁי בַּשַּׁבָּת אוֹ קֹדֶם לְכֵן מֻתָּר לֵילֵךְ בָּהּ בְּשַׁבָּת חוּץ לַתְּחוּם אַף אִם יָדוּעַ לוֹ שֶׁמְּהַלֶּכֶת לְמַטָּה מִי' טְפָחִים לז אוֹ אֲפִלּוּ לְמַטָּה מִג' טְפָחִים לח דְּכֵיוָן שֶׁאִסּוּר תְּחוּמִין אֵינוֹ אֶלָּא מִדִּבְרֵיהֶם (ג) לֹא רָצוּ לְהַחֲמִיר כָּל כָּךְ לֶאֱסוֹר כְּשֶׁנִּכְנַס לַסְּפִינָה קֹדֶם ג' יָמִים31 כֵּיוָן שֶׁהוּא אֵינוֹ עוֹשֶׂה כְּלוּם וְהַסְּפִינָה הִיא שֶׁמּוֹלִיכָה אוֹתוֹ מִחוּץ לַתְּחוּם. לט,32

וַאֲפִלּוּ אִם הוּא בָּעִנְיָן שֶׁאֶפְשָׁר שֶׁיִּצְטָרֵךְ הַיִּשְׂרָאֵל לְחַלֵּל שַׁבָּת בְּהוֹלָכַת הַסְּפִינָה מ אֲפִלּוּ בִּמְלָאכָה הָאֲסוּרָה מִן הַתּוֹרָה מִפְּנֵי פִּקּוּחַ נֶפֶשׁ33 אַף עַל פִּי כֵן מֻתָּר לוֹ לִכָּנֵס בְּתוֹכָהּ קֹדֶם ג' יָמִים שֶׁהֲרֵי עַכְשָׁו הוּא נִכְנָס בְּהֶתֵּר וּכְשֶׁיַּגִּיעַ הַשַּׁבָּת וְיִצְטָרֵךְ לַעֲשׂוֹת מְלָאכָה מִפְּנֵי פִּקּוּחַ נֶפֶשׁ מֻתָּר הוּא וְאֵין כַּאן חִלּוּל. מא

אֲבָל תּוֹךְ ג' יָמִים קֹדֶם שַׁבָּת אָסוּר לִכָּנֵס לְתוֹכָהּ מב אֲפִלּוּ אִם הִיא מְהַלֶּכֶת לְמַעְלָה מִי' טְפָחִים אִם יוֹדֵעַ שֶׁיִּצְטָרֵךְ לְחַלֵּל שַׁבָּת מִפְּנֵי פִּקּוּחַ נֶפֶשׁ אֲפִלּוּ בְּדָבָר שֶׁאֵינוֹ אָסוּר אֶלָּא מִדִּבְרֵי סוֹפְרִים מג לְפִי שֶׁנִּרְאֶה כְּנִכְנָס בְּכַוָּנָה לִמְקוֹם סַכָּנָה כְּדֵי שֶׁיְּחַלֵּל שַׁבָּת אַחַר כָּךְ. מד

וּמַה שֶּׁאֵין חוֹשְׁשִׁים לְכָךְ קֹדֶם ג' יָמִים הוּא לְפִי שֶׁג' יָמִים הָרִאשׁוֹנִים שֶׁבַּשָּׁבוּעַ הֵן נִקְרָאִים יָמִים שֶׁאַחַר הַשַּׁבָּת הֶעָבָר וְאֵינָם מִתְיַחֲסִים לְשַׁבָּת הַבָּאָה מה,34 לְפִיכָךְ אֵינוֹ מְחֻיָּב לִזָּהֵר בָּהֶם שֶׁלֹּא לַעֲשׂוֹת בָּהֶם דָּבָר שֶׁיּוֹדֵעַ שֶׁיִּצְטָרֵךְ אַחַר כָּךְ לְחַלֵּל שַׁבָּת הַבָּאָה שֶׁכְּשֶׁיַּגִּיעַ שַׁבָּת וְיִצְטָרֵךְ לְחַלְּלוֹ מִפְּנֵי פִּקּוּחַ נֶפֶשׁ מֻתָּר הוּא וְאֵין כַּאן חִלּוּל מו מַה שֶּׁאֵין כֵּן בְּג' יָמִים הָאַחֲרוֹנִים שֶׁבַּשָּׁבוּעַ שֶׁנִּקְרָאִים יָמִים שֶׁלִּפְנֵי הַשַּׁבָּת35 וּמִתְיַחֲסִים לְשַׁבָּת הַבָּאָה מְחֻיָּב הוא מִדִּבְרֵי סוֹפְרִים מז לְהִזָּהֵר בָּהֶם שֶׁלֹּא לַעֲשׂוֹת בָּהֶם דָּבָר שֶׁיּוֹדֵעַ שֶׁיִּצְטָרֵךְ אַחַר כָּךְ לְחַלֵּל הַשַּׁבָּת שֶׁלֹּא יְהֵא נִרְאֶה כְּאִלּוּ מִתְכַּוֵּן בַּעֲשִׂיָּתוֹ כְּדֵי לְחַלֵּל הַשַּׁבָּת אַחַר כָּךְ: מח

6 Even if [a traveler] knows that he will not have to violate the Shabbos laws at all, for non-Jews will perform all the necessary [tasks], nevertheless, if the ship is primarily journeying for the sake of Jews — e.g., most [of the passengers] are Jewish36 — it is forbidden to enter the ship37 within three days of Shabbos even if it travels ten handbreadths above [the riverbed]. For there is an absolute prohibition in having the non-Jews perform work in conducting the ship [to its destination] on Shabbos.

([The prohibition applies] even though they perform these tasks on their own initiative, without a Jew instructing them, and their intent is for their own benefit — to receive the wage agreed upon for them for their work in bringing [the passengers] to their destination. They are [consequently] considered as contractors for that [job], and [generally] it is permitted to allow a contractor to perform his work on Shabbos.38 Nevertheless, in this instance,) the Jew benefits on Shabbos from the actual work the non-Jew performs on that day for his sake. (In such an instance, the entire work is identified with the Jewish [passengers]. True, the non-Jew [also] intends to benefit from [performing the required task]. Nevertheless, since at the time the task was performed, the Jew benefitted from it, [it is considered to have been] performed for his sake more than for the sake of the non-Jew.

[To explain the distinction: In this instance,] the non-Jew intended to perform the task for the benefit of the Jew, but is doing so for the wage that [the Jew] will pay him.39 [Therefore,] he does not resemble a contractor who fixes articles for a Jew on Shabbos. In the latter instance, the Jew does not benefit on Shabbos itself from this actual work, only after Shabbos, when the articles are finished and [the Jew] uses them.)

[Based on the above,] there is never any license to travel on a ship that is traveling [primarily] for the sake of Jews. [An exception is made and] permission is granted only because of danger, because [the Jews] had already entered the ship [when it was permitted], and if the ship does not continue [its journey, the passengers] will be endangered. As such, one may enter [the ship] only [more than] three days before Shabbos,for the reason explained above.40

ו וַאֲפִלּוּ אִם יָדוּעַ לוֹ שֶׁלֹּא יִצְטָרֵךְ לְחַלֵּל הַשַּׁבָּת כְּלָל שֶׁהַנָּכְרִים עוֹשִׂים הַכֹּל מִכָּל מָקוֹם אִם עִקַּר הַהֲלִיכָה שֶׁל הַסְּפִינָה הוּא בִּשְׁבִיל יִשְׂרָאֵל כְּגוֹן שֶׁרֻבָּהּ יִשְׂרָאֵל מט,36 אָסוּר לִכָּנֵס בְּתוֹכָהּ37 בְּתוֹךְ ג' יָמִים שֶׁלִּפְנֵי הַשַּׁבָּת אֲפִלּוּ אִם הִיא מְהַלֶּכֶת לְמַעְלָה מִי' טְפָחִים לְפִי שֶׁמַּה שֶּׁהַנָּכְרִים עוֹסְקִים בְּהוֹלָכַת הַסְּפִינָה בְּשַׁבָּת יֵשׁ בָּזֶה אִסּוּר גָּמוּר נ (אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁהֵם עוֹסְקִים מֵעַצְמָם בְּלֹא אֲמִירַת יִשְׂרָאֵל וְהֵם מִתְכַּוְּנִים לְטוֹבָתָם לְקַבֵּל הַשָּׂכָר שֶׁקָּצְצוּ לָהֶם בְּעַד שֶׁיּוֹלִיכוּ אוֹתָם לִמְחוֹז חֶפְצָם וַהֲרֵי הֵם קַבְּלָנִים לְכָךְ וּמֻתָּר לְהַנִּיחַ לְקַבְּלָן שֶׁיַּעֲשֶׂה מְלַאכְתּוֹ בְּשַׁבָּת נא,38 מִכָּל מָקוֹם כַּאן) שֶׁהַיִּשְׂרָאֵל נֶהֱנֶה בְּשַׁבָּת עַצְמָהּ מִגּוּף הַמְּלָאכָה שֶׁעוֹשֶׂה הַנָּכְרִי בִּשְׁבִילוֹ בְּשַׁבָּת (הֲרֵי כָּל הַמְּלָאכָה נִקְרֵאת עַל שֵׁם הַיִּשְׂרָאֵל שֶׁאַף עַל פִּי שֶׁהַנָּכְרִי מִתְכַּוֵּן כְּדֵי שֶׁיַּגִּיעַ לוֹ טוֹבָה מִזֶּה מִכָּל מָקוֹם כֵּיוָן שֶׁעַכְשָׁו בִּשְׁעַת עֲשִׂיַּת הַמְּלָאכָה יֵשׁ לְיִשְׂרָאֵל הֲנָאָה מִמֶּנָּה הֲרֵי הִיא נַעֲשֵׂית בִּשְׁבִילוֹ יוֹתֵר מִבִּשְׁבִיל הַנָּכְרִי שֶׁהַנָּכְרִי גַם כֵּן מִתְכַּוֵּן בִּשְׁבִיל הַיִּשְׂרָאֵל אֶלָּא שֶׁעוֹשֶׂה כֵּן בְּעַד הַשָּׂכָר שֶׁיִּתֵּן לוֹ נב,39 וְאֵינוֹ דוֹמֶה לְקַבְּלָן הַמְתַקֵּן כֵּלִים לְיִשְׂרָאֵל בְּשַׁבָּת שֶׁאֵין הַיִּשְׂרָאֵל נֶהֱנֶה בְּשַׁבָּת עַצְמָהּ מִגּוּף מְלָאכָה זוֹ אֶלָּא לְאַחַר הַשַּׁבָּת נג כְּשֶׁיִּגְמְרֵם וְיִשְׁתַּמֵּשׁ בָּהֶם) וּלְפִיכָךְ אֵין הֶתֵּר לְעוֹלָם לֵילֵךְ בְּשַׁבָּת בִּסְפִינָה הַמְהַלֶּכֶת בִּשְׁבִיל יִשְׂרָאֵל אֶלָּא שֶׁמִּפְּנֵי הַסַּכָּנָה מֻתָּר הוּא כֵּיוָן שֶׁכְּבָר נִכְנְסוּ לְתוֹכָהּ וְאִם לֹא יֵלְכוּ בְּשַׁבָּת יִסְתַּכְּנוּ אִם כֵּן אֵין לִכָּנֵס לְתוֹכָהּ אֶלָּא קֹדֶם ג' יָמִים שֶׁלִּפְנֵי הַשַּׁבָּת מִטַּעַם שֶׁנִּתְבָּאֵר:40

7 All of the above applies when one travels for one’s personal concerns. For the sake of a mitzvah, by contrast, it is permitted to set out even on a Friday,41 even if:

a) the ship travels less than ten handbreadths above the riverbed;

b) when [the ship] draws near to the city, it is possible that he will have to journey beyond the Shabbos limits, because of the danger;

c) the ship is traveling for the sake of Jewish [passengers]; and

d) it will be necessary for him to perform actual labor that is forbidden by Scriptural Law.

Since [his actions] at the time of his departure are permitted, our Sages did not impose any decrees when he is journeying for the sake of a mitzvah, even if afterwards, he will be required to desecrate the Shabbos because of a danger to life.

Nevertheless, as an initial preference, he should come to an arrangement with the non-Jewish [captain of the ship for the ship] to halt and not proceed on Shabbos if there is no danger involved. If, afterwards, [the ship] does not rest and proceeds even when there is no danger, it is of no consequence.42

ז וְכָל זֶה כְּשֶׁהוֹלֵךְ לִדְבַר הָרְשׁוּת אֲבָל לִדְבַר מִצְוָה מֻתָּר לְהַפְלִיג אֲפִלּוּ בְּעֶרֶב שַׁבָּת נד,41 אֲפִלּוּ בִּסְפִינָה הַמְהַלֶּכֶת לְמַטָּה מִי' טְפָחִים אֲפִלּוּ הוּא בָּעִנְיָן שֶׁכְּשֶׁיַּגִּיעַ קָרוֹב לָעִיר אֶפְשָׁר שֶׁיִּצְטָרֵךְ לֵילֵךְ חוּץ לַתְּחוּם מִפְּנֵי הַסַּכָּנָה וַאֲפִלּוּ הַסְּפִינָה הוֹלֶכֶת בִּשְׁבִיל יִשְׂרָאֵל וַאֲפִלּוּ יִצְטָרֵךְ לַעֲשׂוֹת מְלָאכוֹת גְּמוּרוֹת הָאֲסוּרוֹת מִן הַתּוֹרָה דְּכֵיוָן שֶׁעַכְשָׁו מַפְלִיג בְּהֶתֵּר לֹא גָזְרוּ חֲכָמִים כְּשֶׁהוֹלֵךְ לִדְבַר מִצְוָה אַף שֶׁיִּצְטָרֵךְ אַחַר כָּךְ לְחַלֵּל שַׁבָּת מִפְּנֵי פִּקּוּחַ נֶפֶשׁ.

וּמִכָּל מָקוֹם לְכַתְּחִלָּה יִפְסוֹק עִם הַנָּכְרִי שֶׁיִּשְׁבּוֹת וְלֹא יֵלֵךְ בְּשַׁבָּת כְּשֶׁלֹּא יִהְיֶה אָז חֲשַׁשׁ סַכָּנָה בַּדָּבָר וְאִם אַחַר כָּךְ לֹא יִשְׁבּוֹת וְיֵלֵךְ אַף שֶׁאֵין חֲשַׁשׁ סַכָּנָה בַּדָּבָר אֵין בְּכָךְ כְּלוּם: נה,42

8 As will be stated in sec. 307[:12, even] for the sake of a mitzvah, our Sages did not permit the desecration of Shabbos, not even the violation of a shvus,43a Rabbinic ordinance — only a shvus of a shvus.44Therefore, if there is no danger involved in leaving the ship and not proceeding with [the others] beyond the Shabbos limits, one is forbidden to set out on that ship and journey with them on Shabbos, even if he is traveling for the sake of a mitzvah, if [the ship] journeys while less than ten handbreadths above the riverbed, unless he enters it [more than] three [full] days prior to Shabbos.

ח אֲבָל לְחַלֵּל שַׁבָּת לְצֹרֶךְ מִצְוָה אֲפִלּוּ בְּדָבָר שֶׁאֵין בּוֹ אֶלָּא אִסּוּר שְׁבוּת43 מִדִּבְרֵי סוֹפְרִים לֹא הִתִּירוּ אֶלָּא אִם כֵּן הוּא שְׁבוּת דִּשְׁבוּת44 כְּמוֹ שֶׁיִּתְבָּאֵר בְּסִמָּן ש"ז נו לְפִיכָךְ אִם אֵין שָׁם חֲשַׁשׁ סַכָּנָה כְּשֶׁיֵּצֵא מֵהַסְּפִינָה וְלֹא יֵלֵךְ עִמָּהֶם חוּץ לַתְּחוּם בְּשַׁבָּת אָסוּר לוֹ לְהַפְלִיג בָּהּ לֵילֵךְ עִמָּהֶם גַּם בְּשַׁבָּת נז אִם הִיא מְהַלֶּכֶת לְמַטָּה מִי' טְפָחִים אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁהוֹלֵךְ לִדְבַר מִצְוָה נח אֶלָּא אִם כֵּן נִכְנַס לְתוֹכָהּ קֹדֶם ג' יָמִים שֶׁלִּפְנֵי הַשַּׁבָּת: נט

9 Similarly, it is forbidden for a person to enter a ship on Shabbos itself,45 even if: a) he is journeying for the sake of a mitzvah; b) the ship travels ten handbreadths above the riverbed; and even if c) he is traveling [only] within the Shabbos limits; and even if d) [the ship] is traveling [primarily] for the sake of non-Jews.46

For it is forbidden to enter a ship on Shabbos at all, even if it is not traveling at all, but merely remains floating [in one place] on the water’s surface, as will be explained in sec. 339[:10. The rationale is that when one is on a ship,] it appears as if he is himself floating and swimming in the water. And it is forbidden to swim on Shabbos lest one make a swimmer’s barrel,47 i.e., a barrel used to teach oneself to swim in water.

If, however, one entered the ship on Friday, even though the ship will also proceed on Shabbos and thus it will appear as if he is floating [on Shabbos], our Sages did not issue a decree.48 For the person is not doing anything on Shabbos itself. He is floating as a natural consequence of having entered [the ship] on Friday, and at that time, he was permitted [to do so, and, indeed,] even to fashion a floater’s barrel. Accordingly, even if [the ship] sets off from the land on Shabbos itself, it is of no consequence, since he entered it on Friday. Nevertheless, if he [subsequently] left the ship, it is forbidden for him to reenter it on Shabbos, because entering it on Shabbos [violates] the prohibition against floating.

There are authorities who permit one to reenter [a ship] on Shabbos and embark [on a journey] if he established it as his place for Shabbos on Friday evening, i.e., he was on the ship from the beginning of bein hashamashos49until nightfall. Since he [established the ship] as his place for Shabbos when Shabbos commenced, it is considered as his home. Even though he departs from it and tarries for a lengthy time on land, and even if he [spends the night] sleeping there, he does not forfeit the designation of the ship as his place for Shabbos. He must, however, be mindful to return to the ship that he designated as his Shabbos place, and not to enter another ship.50

It has become the widespread custom in some locations [to follow the second view]. Although fundamentally, the halachah follows the first view, one should not admonish [others who do not follow this view,] since they have [competent] authorities on whom they can rely.

Nevertheless, after the ship has left the Shabbos limits [of the original city, its Jewish passengers] are forbidden to descend onto dry land, even if the ship entered within a city that was enclosed by a wall for the sake of residence, as will be explained in sec. 405[:7].

There are those who furthermore follow the practice of arranging their [Shabbos] table on the ship, lighting [Shabbos] candles there, and making Kiddush [there on Friday night] in order to publicize to everyone that they have made it their Shabbos place, and thus [even if they leave the ship and then return], no one will harbor suspicions about them when they [depart] during the daylight hours of Shabbos.

Nevertheless, those [who follow this practice] must be careful to remain aboard the ship throughout the entire duration of bein hashamashos until nightfall, without leaving the ship at all during that time. For there is [a halachic] uncertainty regarding each and every moment of bein hashamashos, concerningwhether it is considered the onset of night, [and thus the onset of Shabbos].51And at the moment of the onset of the [Shabbos] night, one must be on the ship, as explained above.

ט וְכֵן אָסוּר לוֹ לִכָּנֵס בַּסְּפִינָה בְּשַׁבָּת עַצְמָה ס,45 אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁהוֹלֵךְ לִדְבַר מִצְוָה סא אֲפִלּוּ מְהַלֶּכֶת לְמַעְלָה מִי' טְפָחִים וַאֲפִלּוּ לֵילֵךְ לְתוֹךְ הַתְּחוּם סב וַאֲפִלּוּ הִיא מְהַלֶּכֶת בִּשְׁבִיל נָכְרִים סג,46 לְפִי שֶׁאָסְרוּ לִכָּנֵס כְּלָל בִּסְפִינָה בְּשַׁבָּת אֲפִלּוּ אֵינָהּ מְהַלֶּכֶת כְּלָל אֶלָּא צָפָה עַל פְּנֵי הַמַּיִם כְּמוֹ שֶׁיִּתְבָּאֵר בְּסִמָּן של"ט סד לְפִי שֶׁנִּרְאֶה כְּאִלּוּ הוּא עַצְמוֹ צָף וְשָׁט עַל פְּנֵי הַמַּיִם סה וְאָסוּר לָשׁוּט בְּשַׁבָּת מִשּׁוּם גְּזֵרָה שֶׁמָּא יַעֲשֶׂה חָבִית שֶׁל שַׁיָּטִין סו,47 שֶׁמְּלַמְּדִין אֶת עַצְמָן לָשׁוּט בְּמַיִם עַל חָבִית. סז

אֲבָל כְּשֶׁנִּכְנַס לַסְּפִינָה מֵעֶרֶב שַׁבָּת אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁהוֹלֶכֶת גַּם בְּשַׁבָּת וְנִרְאֶה כְּשָׁט לֹא גָזְרוּ חֲכָמִים סח,48 כֵּיוָן שֶׁהוּא אֵינוֹ עוֹשֶׂה כְּלוּם בְּשַׁבָּת סט שֶׁמֵּאֵלָיו הוּא שָׁט עַל יְדֵי כְּנִיסָתוֹ לְתוֹכָהּ מֵעֶרֶב שַׁבָּת שֶׁהִיא שְׁעַת הֶתֵּר אֲפִלּוּ לַעֲשׂוֹת חָבִית שֶׁל שַׁיָּטִין ע וּלְפִיכָךְ אֲפִלּוּ אִם הִיא מַפְלֶגֶת מֵהַיַּבָּשָׁה בְּשַׁבָּת עַצְמוֹ אֵין בְּכָךְ כְּלוּם כֵּיוָן שֶׁנִּכְנַס לְתוֹכָהּ מֵעֶרֶב שַׁבָּת עא וּמִכָּל מָקוֹם אִם (ד) יָצָא מִמֶּנָּה לַיַּבָּשָׁה אָסוּר לוֹ לַחֲזוֹר לְתוֹכָהּ בְּשַׁבָּת עב לְפִי שֶׁבִּכְנִיסָה זוֹ שֶׁבְּשַׁבָּת יֵשׁ בָּהּ אִסּוּר מִשּׁוּם שָׁט. עג

וְיֵשׁ מַתִּירִין עד לִכָּנֵס בְּתוֹכָהּ וּלְהַפְלִיג בְּשַׁבָּת אִם קָנָה בָּהּ שְׁבִיתָה מֵעֶרֶב שַׁבָּת דְּהַיְנוּ שֶׁהָיָה בְּתוֹכָהּ מִתְּחִלַּת בֵּין הַשְּׁמָשׁוֹת49 עַד שֶׁחָשְׁכָה עה דְּכֵיוָן שֶׁבִּתְחִלַּת כְּנִיסַת הַשַּׁבָּת הָיְתָה שְׁבִיתָתוֹ בְּתוֹכָהּ נַעֲשֵׂית הִיא כְּבֵיתוֹ עו וְאַף שֶׁיָּצָא מִמֶּנָּה אַחַר כָּךְ וְשָׁהָה הַרְבֵּה בַּיַּבָּשָׁה וַאֲפִלּוּ לָן שָׁם עז לֹא הִפְסִיד בְּזֶה שְׁבִיתָתוֹ שֶׁבַּסְּפִינָה רַק שֶׁיִּזָּהֵר לַחֲזוֹר לְאוֹתָהּ סְפִינָה שֶׁקָּנָה בָּהּ שְׁבִיתָה וְלֹא יִכָּנֵס לִסְפִינָה אַחֶרֶת עח,50 וְכֵן נִתְפַּשֵּׁט הַמִּנְהָג בִּקְצָת מְקוֹמוֹת עט וְאֵין לִמְחוֹת בְּיָדָם פ אַף שֶׁהָעִקָּר כִּסְבָרָא הָרִאשׁוֹנָה כֵּיוָן שֶׁיֵּשׁ לָהֶם עַל מִי שֶׁיִּסְמְכוּ.

וּמִכָּל מָקוֹם לְאַחַר שֶׁהִפְלִיגָה חוּץ לַתְּחוּם אֲסוּרִים לָצֵאת לַיַּבָּשָׁה אֲפִלּוּ נִכְנְסָה לְתוֹךְ עִיר הַמֻּקֶּפֶת חוֹמָה לְדִירָה כְּמוֹ שֶׁיִּתְבָּאֵר בְּסִמָּן ת"ה. פא

וְיֵשׁ נוֹהֲגִין עוֹד לְסַדֵּר שֻׁלְחָן בַּסְּפִינָה וּלְהַדְלִיק שָׁם נֵרוֹת פב וְלַעֲשׂוֹת קִדּוּשׁ פג כְּדֵי שֶׁיִּתְפַּרְסֵם לַכֹּל שֶׁקָּנוּ בָּהּ שְׁבִיתָה פד וְלֹא יַחְשְׁדוּ אוֹתָם כְּשֶׁיַּפְלִיגוּ בָּהּ לְמָחָר בַּיּוֹם.

וּמִכָּל מָקוֹם צְרִיכִים לְהִזָּהֵר שֶׁיֵּשְׁבוּ שָׁם בַּסְּפִינָה כָּל בֵּין הַשְּׁמָשׁוֹת עַד שֶׁתֶּחְשַׁךְ וְלֹא יֵצְאוּ מִמֶּנָּה כְּלָל בְּאֶמְצַע בֵּין הַשְּׁמָשׁוֹת פה שֶׁבְּכָל רֶגַע וְרֶגַע שֶׁבְּבֵין הַשְּׁמָשׁוֹת יֵשׁ סָפֵק שֶׁמָּא הוּא תְּחִלַּת הַלַּיְלָה פו,51 וּבְרֶגַע שֶׁל תְּחִלַּת הַלַּיְלָה צָרִיךְ לִהְיוֹת בַּסְּפִינָה כְּמוֹ שֶׁנִּתְבָּאֵר:

10 Even if a festival falls on Friday, one may establish his Shabbos place on board [the ship],52 for this is not [considered a violation of the prohibition against] “preparing” [for Shabbos on a festival].53 Even if one already established [the ship] as his place before the festival [on Thursday], that act is not effective with regard to the Shabbos that follows [the festival]. Similarly, if one established [the ship] as his place for Shabbos on Friday, that act is not effective with regard to a festivalthat follows the Shabbos, and he must reestablish [the ship] as his place during bein hashamashos on the Saturday evening preceding the festival. The same laws apply with regard to the two successive days observed as festivals in the Diaspora.54 On the two days of Rosh HaShanah, by contrast, establishing [the ship] as one’s place on the day preceding the first day of the festival also suffices for the second day,55 as will be thoroughly explained in sec. 416.56

י וַאֲפִלּוּ אִם חָל יוֹם טוֹב בְּעֶרֶב שַׁבָּת יָכוֹל לִקְנוֹת בּוֹ שְׁבִיתָה פז,52 וְאֵין בְּזֶה מִשּׁוּם הֲכָנָה,53 וְאַף אִם קָנָה שְׁבִיתָה בְּעֶרֶב יוֹם טוֹב אֵינָהּ מוֹעֶלֶת לְשַׁבָּת שֶׁלְּאַחֲרָיו וְכֵן אִם קָנָה שְׁבִיתָה בְּעֶרֶב שַׁבָּת אֵינָהּ מוֹעֶלֶת לְיוֹם טוֹב שֶׁאַחַר הַשַּׁבָּת וְצָרִיךְ לַחֲזוֹר וְלִקְנוֹת שְׁבִיתָה בְּבֵין הַשְּׁמָשׁוֹת שֶׁל מוֹצָאֵי שַׁבָּת לְיוֹם טוֹב וְכֵן הַדִּין בְּב' יָמִים טוֹבִים שֶׁל גָּלֻיּוֹת54 אֲבָל בְּב' יָמִים טוֹבִים שֶׁל רֹאשׁ הַשָּׁנָה דַּי בִּשְׁבִיתָה שֶׁקָּנָה בְּעֶרֶב יוֹם טוֹב הָרִאשׁוֹן אַף לְיוֹם טוֹב הַשֵּׁנִי55 כְּמוֹ שֶׁיִּתְבָּאֵר כָּל זֶה בְּסִמָּן תט"ז: פח,56

11 All of the above applies when one sets forth [on a boat] on a river, when the boat journeys [primarily] for the sake of non-Jews, and travels more than ten handbreadths above [the riverbed].57

Even if the boat is being pulled by animals that walk along the riverbanks,58 that is of no consequence [and license is granted to travel aboard the boat]. The situation is not analogous to a carriage that is pulled by animals [on land], in which it is forbidden as a decree to travel [on Shabbos]even within a town’s Shabbos limits, lest one cut off a branch to use as a prod to direct the animals, as will be stated in sec. 305[:23. The rationale for the distinction:] A person sitting in a carriage is [sitting] near the animals and it is common practice for him to direct the animals at times.59 When, by contrast, one is traveling on a boat, he is far from the animals that walk along the riverbanks and pull the ship by means of long ropes.60 Thus, it is never the practice of [one sitting on the ship] to direct them.

יא וְכָל זֶה כְּשֶׁמַּפְלִיג בְּנָהָר וְהַסְּפִינָה הוֹלֶכֶת בִּשְׁבִיל נָכְרִים וּמְהַלֶּכֶת לְמַעְלָה מִי' טְפָחִים. פט,57

וְאַף אִם מוֹלִיכִים אוֹתָהּ עַל יְדֵי בְּהֵמוֹת הַמְהַלְּכִים בִּשְׂפַת הַנָּהָר58 אֵין בְּכָךְ כְּלוּם צ וְאֵינוֹ דוֹמֶה לְקָרוֹן שֶׁמּוֹלִיכִים אוֹתוֹ בְּהֵמוֹת שֶׁאָסוּר לְהַלֵּךְ בּוֹ אֲפִלּוּ בְּתוֹךְ הַתְּחוּם גְּזֵרָה שֶׁמָּא יַחְתּוֹךְ זְמוֹרָה לְהַנְהִיג בָּהּ הַבְּהֵמוֹת כְּמוֹ שֶׁיִּתְבָּאֵר בְּסִמָּן ש"ה צא לְפִי שֶׁהַיּוֹשֵׁב בְּקָרוֹן קָרוֹב הוּא אֵצֶל הַבְּהֵמוֹת וְדֶרֶךְ הוּא שֶׁלִּפְעָמִים הוּא מַנְהִיג הַבְּהֵמוֹת59 אֲבָל הַיּוֹשֵׁב בִּסְפִינָה רָחוֹק הוּא מִבְּהֵמוֹת הַמְהַלְּכוֹת בִּשְׂפַת הַנָּהָר וּמוֹלִיכִים אֶת הַסְּפִינָה עַל יְדֵי חֲבָלִים אֲרֻכִּים60 וְאֵין דַּרְכּוֹ לְעוֹלָם לְהַנְהִיג אוֹתָן: צב

Fig. 2: A Ship Pulled by Draft Animals
Fig. 2: A Ship Pulled by Draft Animals

12 In those places where it is customary to depart [on a ship] even on sea journeys (on Friday, or even on Shabbos, by establishing the ship as one’s Shabbos place on Friday), [even] if one is not traveling for a mere pleasure trip, but for commercial activity 61 or to see friends, he should not be admonished. [The rationale is that] there is an authority who maintains that whenever a person sets out on a commercial venture — even if he has enough food to eat and just wants to make more profit — or when he journeys to see a friend, he is considered as traveling for the sake of a mitzvah with regard to having a license to set out within three days of Shabbos. [License is granted] even though, [by undertaking the trip], he will nullify [the mitzvah of] enjoying Shabbos and, moreover, it may be necessary for him to have to perform a forbidden labor because of a risk to life.

[According to this opinion, traveling] for one’s personal concerns refers strictly to a [mere] pleasure trip.

יב וּבְמָקוֹם שֶׁנָּהֲגוּ לְהַפְלִיג אַף בְּיַמִּים הַמְּלוּחִים (מֵעֶרֶב שַׁבָּת (ה) אוֹ אֲפִלּוּ בְּשַׁבָּת עַל יְדֵי קְנִיַּת שְׁבִיתָה מֵעֶרֶב שַׁבָּת צג) אִם אֵינָם הוֹלְכִים לְטִיּוּל אֶלָּא לִסְחוֹרָה61 אוֹ לִרְאוֹת פְּנֵי חֲבֵרֵיהֶם אֵין לִמְחוֹת בְּיָדָם צד לְפִי שֶׁיֵּשׁ מִי שֶׁאוֹמֵר צה שֶׁכָּל מַה שֶּׁהָאָדָם הוֹלֵךְ לִסְחוֹרָה אֲפִלּוּ יֵשׁ לוֹ מְזוֹנוֹת וְהוֹלֵךְ לִסְחוֹרָה לְהַרְוָחָה צו אוֹ שֶׁהוֹלֵךְ לִרְאוֹת פְּנֵי חֲבֵרוֹ חָשׁוּב הַכֹּל דְּבַר מִצְוָה לְעִנְיָן זֶה שֶׁמֻּתָּר לוֹ לְהַפְלִיג בְּתוֹךְ ג' יָמִים לִפְנֵי הַשַּׁבָּת אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁיִּתְבַּטֵּל מֵעֹנֶג שַׁבָּת וְגַם אַף שֶׁאֶפְשָׁר שֶׁיִּצְטָרֵךְ לַעֲשׂוֹת מְלָאכָה גְמוּרָה בְּעַצְמוֹ מִפְּנֵי פִּקּוּחַ נֶפֶשׁ וְאֵינוֹ חָשׁוּב דְּבַר הָרְשׁוּת אֶלָּא מִי שֶׁהוֹלֵךְ (ו) לְטַיֵּל בִּלְבָד: צז

13 [The following laws apply to people] who journey with a caravan in the desert. Everyone knows that they will be required to violate the Shabbos [prohibitions], since they will not be able to tarry alone in the desert on Shabbos due to the danger involved. [Therefore,] they are forbidden to set out on a journey within three days of Shabbos for the reason explained above62 unless they set out for the sake of a mitzvah, e.g., to immigrate to Eretz Yisrael.63 In such an instance, if the opportunity to depart with a caravan arises, they are permitted to depart, even on Friday. As an initial preference, one should arrange with [the other travelers] that they will halt on Shabbos.64If, afterwards, when they are in the desert, they do not desire to rest, [a Jewish traveler] may go with them, [proceeding] beyond the Shabbos limits and even beyond twelve mil:65 a) if they are afraid of predatory animals; or even b) if he is afraid of robbers, lest they steal his animal and he will then be able to proceed only on foot, or they will take his money and thus he will not be able to survive in the desert, or they will take his clothes in the winter, and he will be in danger of dying from the cold.

All the above are considered as dangers to life, for which permission is granted to proceed with the caravan.

There are authorities who maintain that since one knows with absolute certainty that he will be required to desecrate the Shabbos, it is forbidden to depart on such a journey, even on Sunday and even for the sake of a mitzvah. License was granted to set out for the sake of a mitzvah [less than three days before Shabbos], or [if not for the sake of a mitzvah,] more than three days before Shabbos,only on a ship, where there is no absolute certainty that he will have to desecrate the Shabbos.66For it is possible that when Shabbos arrives, [the ship] will reach another port and remain there for the entire Shabbos. [In such an instance,] he will not desecrate the Shabbos by performing forbidden labor or by proceeding beyond the Shabbos limits. [Since there is a possibility of that occurring,] our Sages granted leniency [for one to set out] more than three days before Shabbos — and, for the sake of a mitzvah, even within three days [of Shabbos] — even though the water is not ten handbreadths deep,67 and even though it is almost certain that [the ship will not dock for Shabbos, and] one will have to desecrate the Shabbos. When, however, there is absolute certainty that one will have to desecrate the Shabbos, they did not show any leniency at all.68

One should be stringent and follow their ruling. Nevertheless, one should not admonish those who embrace the leniency, because they have a halachic authority on whom to rely.

One should not admonish even one who journeys to Eretz Yisrael [only] for commercial activity, but not to settle there, because there is an authority who maintains that this is also considered a purpose associated with a mitzvah, for our Sages state:69 “Everyone who walks four cubits in Eretz Yisrael is assured of a portion in the World to Come.”70

Nevertheless, if one travels within three days of Shabbos for commercial activity or to see a friend, he should be admonished, because there are many authorities who do not consider this a purpose associated with a mitzvah at all.

יג הַיּוֹצְאִים בְּשַׁיָּרָא בַּמִּדְבָּר וְהַכֹּל יוֹדְעִים שֶׁהֵם צְרִיכִים לְחַלֵּל שַׁבָּת כִּי מִפְּנֵי הַסַּכָּנָה לֹא יוּכְלוּ לְעַכֵּב לְבַדָּם בַּמִּדְבָּר בְּשַׁבָּת אֲסוּרִים לָצֵאת תּוֹךְ ג' יָמִים לִפְנֵי הַשַּׁבָּת צח מִטַּעַם שֶׁנִּתְבָּאֵר לְמַעְלָה צט,62 אֶלָּא אִם כֵּן הוֹלְכִים לִדְבַר מִצְוָה כְּגוֹן לַעֲלוֹת לְאֶרֶץ יִשְׂרָאֵל63 שֶׁאָז אִם נִזְדַּמְּנָה לָהֶם שַׁיָּרָא אֲפִלּוּ בְּעֶרֶב שַׁבָּת מֻתָּרִים לָצֵאת ק וּלְכַתְּחִלָּה יִפְסְקוּ עִמָּהֶם לִשְׁבּוֹת בְּשַׁבָּת קא,64 וְאִם אַחַר כָּךְ כְּשֶׁיִּהְיוּ בַּמִּדְבָּר לֹא יִרְצוּ לִשְׁבּוֹת יְכוֹלִים לָלֶכֶת עִמָּהֶם חוּץ לַתְּחוּם אֲפִלּוּ יוֹתֵר מִי"ב מִיל65 אִם מִתְיָרְאִים מִפְּנֵי חַיּוֹת רָעוֹת אוֹ אֲפִלּוּ אִם מִתְיָרֵא מִפְּנֵי לִסְטִים שֶׁלֹּא יִגְזְלוּ מִמֶּנּוּ בְּהֵמָה וְלֹא יוּכַל לָלֶכֶת בְּרַגְלָיו אוֹ אִם יִקְחוּ מָמוֹנוֹ וְלֹא יוּכַל לִחְיוֹת עוֹד בַּמִּדְבָּר אוֹ אִם יִקְחוּ מַלְבּוּשָׁיו בִּזְמַן הַקֹּר כִּמְעַט יָמוּת בִּקְרִירוּת כָּל אֶחָד מֵאֵלּוּ נִקְרָא פִּקּוּחַ נֶפֶשׁ וּמֻתָּר לוֹ לֵילֵךְ עִמָּהֶם. קב

וְיֵשׁ אוֹמְרִים קג כֵּיוָן שֶׁיּוֹדֵעַ בְּבֵרוּר גָּמוּר שֶׁבְּוַדַּאי יִצְטָרֵךְ לְחַלֵּל שַׁבָּת אָסוּר לָצֵאת אֲפִלּוּ בְּיוֹם רִאשׁוֹן אֲפִלּוּ לִדְבַר מִצְוָה וְלֹא הִתִּירוּ לִדְבַר מִצְוָה אוֹ קֹדֶם ג' יָמִים שֶׁלִּפְנֵי הַשַּׁבָּת אֶלָּא לְהַפְלִיג בִּסְפִינָה שֶׁאֵין שָׁם וַדַּאי גָּמוּר שֶׁיִּצְטָרֵךְ לְחַלֵּל שַׁבָּת66 שֶׁאֶפְשָׁר כְּשֶׁיַּגִּיעַ הַשַּׁבָּת יַגִּיעוּ לְנָמָל אַחֵר וְיַעַמְדוּ שָׁם כָּל הַשַּׁבָּת וַאֲזַי לֹא יְחַלְּלוּ בַּעֲשִׂיַּת מְלָאכָה (ז) וְלֹא בִּתְחוּמִין אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁאֵין בַּמַּיִם עֹמֶק י' טְפָחִים67 אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁקָּרוֹב לְוַדַּאי הוּא שֶׁיִּצְטָרֵךְ לְחַלְּלוֹ קד הֵקֵלּוּ חֲכָמִים קֹדֶם ג' יָמִים אוֹ לִדְבַר מִצְוָה אֲפִלּוּ בְּתוֹךְ ג' יָמִים אֲבָל כְּשֶׁהוּא וַדַּאי גָּמוּר שֶׁיִּצְטָרֵךְ לְחַלְּלוֹ לֹא הֵקֵלּוּ כְּלָל בְּשׁוּם עִנְיָן.68

וְיֵשׁ לְהַחֲמִיר כְּדִבְרֵיהֶם אֲבָל אֵין לִמְחוֹת בְּיַד הַמְּקִלִּין הוֹאִיל וְיֵשׁ לָהֶם עַל מִי שֶׁיִּסְמְכוּ. קה

וַאֲפִלּוּ מִי שֶׁהוֹלֵךְ (ח) לְאֶרֶץ יִשְׂרָאֵל לִסְחוֹרָה וְלֹא כְּדֵי לְהִתְיַשֵּׁב בָּהּ אֵין לִמְחוֹת בְּיָדוֹ לְפִי שֶׁיֵּשׁ מִי שֶׁאוֹמֵר שֶׁזֶּהוּ גַם כֵּן דְּבַר מִצְוָה שֶׁהֲרֵי אָמְרוּ חֲכָמִים קו,69 כָּל הַמְהַלֵּךְ ד' אַמּוֹת בְּאֶרֶץ יִשְׂרָאֵל מֻבְטָח לוֹ שֶׁהוּא בֶּן עוֹלָם הַבָּא. קז,70

וּמִכָּל מָקוֹם אִם הוֹלֵךְ בְּתוֹךְ ג' יָמִים לִסְחוֹרָה אוֹ לִרְאוֹת פְּנֵי חֲבֵרוֹ יֵשׁ לִמְחוֹת בְּיָדוֹ הוֹאִיל וְרַבּוּ הָאוֹסְרִים שֶׁאֵין זֶה חָשׁוּב דְּבַר מִצְוָה כְּלָל: קח

14 All the above applies as an initial preference. After the fact, however, once one has already set out on a caravan, even on Friday, and even [if merely] for a pleasure trip, [if] he reaches a place where there is a concern for danger should he separate from the caravan, he may proceed with them on Shabbos until he reaches a place where there is no concern for danger if he separates from them. There he must halt and not proceed [further] with them. Even if he is close to a town, he should not enter it, because he is only allowed to proceed four cubits, as is the law regarding one who goes outside the Shabbos limits.71

Even if he was concerned with danger until he entered the town,72 he is not permitted to proceed within it more than four cubits,73 even if the town is surrounded with a wall for the sake of habitation,74 since he went beyond [his Shabbos limits] without the license of the Sages.75 For they forbade a person from setting out with a caravan within three days [of Shabbos] for his personal concerns. In this context,76 even setting out for commercial activity or to see a friend is considered as one’s personal concerns, as explained above.77

Nevertheless, if a person sets out [with a caravan] because he is not familiar with the law and thinks that it is permitted for him to set out even for his personal concerns, he is permitted to walk throughout the entire town and 2000 cubits in all directions. [He is granted this leniency,] since initially, he did not set out to intentionally transgress, and afterwards, when Shabbos arrived, he was in a place of danger. Hence, [although] he journeyed beyond the Shabbos limits on Shabbos, he is governed by the laws pertaining to one who went beyond the Shabbos limits in order to save lives. [Such a person] is granted 2000 cubits in every direction, as will be stated in sec. 407[:1].

Therefore, even if there was no concern for danger before he reached the city, he is permitted to enter the town if he is within 2000 cubits of it.78 Needless to say, [this ruling applies] if he departed for a permitted purpose — i.e., for an actual mitzvah or more than three days [before Shabbos]. He is granted 2000 cubits in every direction [even] if, in the place he reaches, there is no concern for danger if he would leave the caravan.

יד וְכָל זֶה לְכַתְּחִלָּה אֲבָל בְּדִיעֲבַד שֶׁכְּבָר יָצָָא בְּשַׁיָּרָא אֲפִלּוּ בְּעֶרֶב שַׁבָּת וַאֲפִלּוּ לְטַיֵּל וְהִגִּיעַ לְמָקוֹם שֶׁיֵּשׁ לוֹ חֲשַׁשׁ סַכָּנָה לְהִפָּרֵד מֵהַשַּׁיָּרָא יָכוֹל לָלֶכֶת עִמָּהֶם בְּשַׁבָּת עַד שֶׁיַּגִּיעַ לְמָקוֹם שֶׁאֵין לוֹ חֲשַׁשׁ סַכָּנָה לְהִפָּרֵד מֵהֶם וְשָׁם יִשְׁבּוֹת וְלֹא יֵלֵךְ עִמָּהֶם וַאֲפִלּוּ הוּא סָמוּךְ לָעִיר לֹא יִכָּנֵס לְתוֹכָהּ לְפִי שֶׁאֵין לוֹ שָׁם אֶלָּא ד' אַמּוֹת כְּדִין הַיּוֹצֵא חוּץ לַתְּחוּם. קט,71

וְאַף אִם הָיָה לוֹ חֲשַׁשׁ סַכָּנָה עַד שֶׁנִּכְנַס לָעִיר72 אֵינוֹ רַשַּׁאי לְהַלֵּךְ בָּהּ יוֹתֵר מִד' אַמּוֹת73 אַף אִם הִיא מֻקֶּפֶת מְחִצּוֹת לְדִירָה74 כֵּיוָן שֶׁיָּצָא שֶׁלֹּא בִּרְשׁוּת חֲכָמִים קי,75 שֶׁאָסְרוּ לָצֵאת בְּשַׁיָּרָא תּוֹךְ ג' יָמִים לִדְבַר הָרְשׁוּת וַאֲפִלּוּ76 אִם יָצָא לִסְחוֹרָה אוֹ לִרְאוֹת פְּנֵי חֲבֵרוֹ הֲרֵי זֶה כְּיוֹצֵא לִדְבַר הָרְשׁוּת מַמָּשׁ לְעִנְיָן זֶה קיא כְּמוֹ שֶׁנִּתְבָּאֵר. קיב,77

וּמִכָּל מָקוֹם אִם יָצָא מֵחֲמַת שֶׁלֹּא הָיָה בָּקִי בַּהֲלָכָה וְהָיָה סָבוּר שֶׁמֻּתָּר לָצֵאת אַף לִדְבַר הָרְשׁוּת מֻתָּר לוֹ לְהַלֵּךְ בְּכָל הָעִיר וְאַלְפַּיִם אַמָּה לְכָל רוּחַ סְבִיבוֹתֶיהָ קיג כֵּיוָן שֶׁבִּתְחִלַּת יְצִיאָתוֹ לֹא יָצָא בְּאִסּוּר בְּמִתְכַּוֵּן וְאַחַר כָּךְ כְּשֶׁהִגִּיעַ הַשַּׁבָּת הָיָה בִּמְקוֹם סַכָּנָה וּמַה שֶּׁהָלַךְ בְּשַׁבָּת חוּץ לַתְּחוּם דִּינוֹ כְּיוֹצֵא חוּץ לַתְּחוּם כְּדֵי לְהַצִּיל נְפָשׁוֹת שֶׁיֵּשׁ לוֹ שָׁם אַלְפַּיִם אַמָּה לְכָל רוּחַ כְּמוֹ שֶׁיִּתְבָּאֵר בְּסִמָּן ת"ז קיד לְפִיכָךְ אַף אִם קֹדֶם שֶׁהִגִּיעַ לָעִיר לֹא הָיָה לוֹ שָׁם חֲשַׁשׁ סַכָּנָה רַשַּׁאי לִכָּנֵס לָעִיר אִם הוּא בְּתוֹךְ אַלְפַּיִם לָעִיר קטו,78 וְאֵין צָרִיךְ לוֹמַר אִם יָצָא בְּהֶתֵּר כְּגוֹן לִדְבַר מִצְוָה מַמָּשׁ קטז אוֹ קֹדֶם ג' יָמִים קיז שֶׁיֵּשׁ לוֹ אַלְפַּיִם אַמָּה לְכָל רוּחַ מִשֶּׁהִגִּיעַ לְמָקוֹם שֶׁאֵין בּוֹ חֲשַׁשׁ סַכָּנָה לְהִפָּרֵד מֵהַשַּׁיָּרָא: