SECTION 394 The Laws that Apply When the Validity of an Eruv is in Doubt (1-3)

סימן שצד סְפֵק עֵרוּב מַה דִּינוֹ וּבוֹ ג' סְעִיפִים:

1 When the [validity of an] eruv is in doubt, e.g., there is a doubt whether or not [the bread designated for the eruv] was intact [during] bein hashmashos,1it is permitted2 [to carry in the domain in question. The rationale is that] since [the matter concerns] a doubt [regarding a point of] Rabbinic Law, we rule leniently.

[The above applies] provided the person deposited [the eruv in its place] and [then] a doubt arose regarding its validity. [If,] however, there is a doubt whether or not [the eruv] was [initially] deposited there [in a valid manner], it is forbidden [to carry].

א סְפֵק עֵרוּב, כְּגוֹן סָפֵק אִם הָיָה קַיָּם בֵּין הַשְּׁמָשׁוֹת אִם לָאו1 – מֻתָּר,2 שֶׁסְּפֵק דִּבְרֵי סוֹפְרִים לְהָקֵל. א וְהוּא שֶׁהִנִּיחוֹ שָׁם וְאֵרַע בּוֹ סָפֵק,1 אֲבָל סָפֵק אִם הֻנַּח שָׁם אִם לָאו – אָסוּר: ב

2 During bein hashmashos, [the bread for] the eruv must be located in an accessible location, [i.e., a place from which] it can be taken and eaten. Therefore, if a rockslide fell on [the eruv] and [a person] could not take it unless he digs [it out] with a spade and a hatchet, the eruv is not valid. [The rationale is that] digging in this manner constitutes the performance of a labor forbidden by Scriptural Law.3 Thus, [digging out the eruv in this manner] is forbidden even during bein hashmashos. In contrast, a prohibitive decree was not instituted regarding an activity [forbidden merely as] a shvus when [performed] bein hashmashos for the sake of a mitzvah, as explained in sec. 261[:2.4 Establishing] an eruv is also [considered as an activity performed for] the sake of a mitzvah, i.e., [its purpose is] that people will not carry in a forbidden manner,5 as explained in sec. 366[:18].6

ב צָרִיךְ שֶׁיְּהֵא הָעֵרוּב בֵּין הַשְּׁמָשׁוֹת בְּמָקוֹם שֶׁרָאוּי לִטְּלוֹ וּלְאָכְלוֹ. לְפִיכָךְ אִם נָפַל עָלָיו גַּל, ג וְאֵינוֹ יָכוֹל לִטְּלוֹ עַד שֶׁיַּחְפּוֹר בְּמָרָא וְקַרְדֹּם ד – אֵינוֹ עֵרוּב,2 מִפְּנֵי שֶׁחֲפִירָה זוֹ הִיא מְלָאכָה גְמוּרָה שֶׁל תּוֹרָהה,3 וַאֲסוּרָה אֲפִלּוּ בְּבֵין הַשְּׁמָשׁוֹת. אֲבָל דָּבָר שֶׁהוּא מִשּׁוּם שְׁבוּת לֹא גָזְרוּ עָלָיו בֵּין הַשְּׁמָשׁוֹת לְצֹרֶךְ מִצְוָה, כְּמוֹ שֶׁנִּתְבָּאֵר בְּסִמָּן רס"א,ו,4 וְהָעֵרוּב גַּם כֵּן הוּא צֹרֶךְ מִצְוָה, כְּדֵי שֶׁלֹּא יְטַלְטְלוּ בְּאִסּוּר,ז,5 כְּמוֹ שֶׁנִּתְבָּאֵר בְּסִמָּן שס"ו:ח,6

3 [The following laws apply when a person] deposited [the bread for] the eruv in a closet and locked [the closet], and the key was [then] lost before nightfall:7 If it is impossible to remove [the bread] from [the closet] without performing [an activity that constitutes] a forbidden labor in a complete sense,8 it is as if [the bread] was lost [before the Shabbos commenced]. The eruv is invalid, since [the bread] cannot be eaten.

If the key is found on Shabbos, and it is located in a place from where it may be brought without [performing an activity that constitutes] a forbidden labor according to Scriptural Law,9 the eruv is valid. Although the key was not at hand [for the person during] bein hashmashos,10 [nonetheless,] since it is common [to find a lost key, and it could be expected] that [the person] would find it, when he [actually] does find [the key], it is retroactively considered as if [the key] was at hand [during bein hashmashos as well].

ג נְתָנוֹ בְּמִגְדָּל וְנָעַל בְּפָנָיו, וְאָבַד הַמַּפְתֵּחַ ט קֹדֶם שֶׁחָשֵׁכָה,7 אִם אִי אֶפְשָׁר לְהוֹצִיא מִשָּׁם הָעֵרוּב אֶלָּא אִם כֵּן יַעֲשֶׂה מְלָאכָה י גְמוּרָהיא,8 – הֲרֵי זֶה כְּמִי שֶׁאָבַד, וְאֵינוֹ עֵרוּב, שֶׁהֲרֵי אִי אֶפְשָׁר לְאָכְלוֹ.

וְאִם נִמְצָא הַמַּפְתֵּחַ בְּשַׁבָּת, אִם הָיָה בְּמָקוֹם שֶׁיָּכוֹל לַהֲבִיאוֹ בְּלֹא מְלָאכָה שֶׁל תּוֹרָה9 – הֲרֵי זֶה עֵרוּב.יב,2 וְאַף עַל פִּי שֶׁלֹּא הָיָה הַמַּפְתֵּחַ בְּיָדוֹ בֵּין הַשְּׁמָשׁוֹת,10 כֵּיוָן שֶׁמָּצוּי הוּא שֶׁיִּמְצָאֶנּוּ – אָנוּ חוֹשְׁבִים אוֹתוֹ כְּשֶׁמְּצָאוֹ כְּאִלּוּ הָיָה בְּיָדוֹיג לְמַפְרֵעַ: