לזכות הרב יצחק דוד בן גיטל לאה לבריאות השלימה
וכן לרב אברהם יוסף בן ר' משה חיים ושרה לאה בת רבקה
The Mishna [Shabbos 11] says that a tailor should not walk out before Shabos while carrying his needle, because he may forget and carry it out after nightfall. We must know; exactly what is he going to forget that would result in a Torah violation?
Tosfos gets involved with some very technical terms with which we must be familiar, in order to understand the material. מחשבת מלאכת - This is a term the Torah uses to describe the מלאכות of Shabos. Generally speaking it means that the action for which one is liable must be planned and executed as planned, without mistakes. One plans to do the m’lochoh but forgets that it is prohibited or that it is Shabos. It is only then that he is liable. However, if one performs a m’lochoh of Shabos inadvertently, meaning that he had no intention to do that m’lochoh or it came about as the result of an error, he is not liable for that m’lochoh. In view of this technicality, we must examine the meaning of the phrase “he might forget”. What might he possibly forget that could result in a chatos obligation?
אליבא דרבא לקמן ע"ב דאמר לא גזרי גזרה לגזרה אין לפרש שמא ישכח המחט דאפילו יצא ליכא איסור דאורייתא כדאיתא בפ"ב דבבא קמא כו הכיר בה ושכחה לענין שבת פטור מלאכת מחשבת אסרה תורה אלא שמא ישכח את המחט להצניעו עד שיהיה שבת ולבסוף כשיזכור את המחט ישכח שהוא שבת ויצא.
According to Rovo who says that we do not enact a rabbinic decree to prevent one from violating another rabbinic decree, the ruling of the Mishna must concern the possible violation of a Torah prohibition. One should not explain that the Mishna means, perhaps he will forget that he is carrying a needle and will walk out with the needle after nightfall, for even if he did walk out with the needle and did not realize that he was carrying it, there is no Torah prohibition, as the Gemara says in the second perek of Bovo Kamo (26b), where the Gemara is discussing a person who had a stone on his lap, and says: if he was aware of it, the stone, and he forgot it and stood up, thus causing the stone to roll from a private domain to a public domain, in regard to Shabos he is exempt, because מחשבת מלאכת – planned m’lochoh – is what the Torah prohibited, and since he was unaware that he had a stone on his lap when he stood up, the subsequent m’lochoh of rolling into the public domain was unplanned and the perpetrator is not liable. So too, in our Mishna, if the tailor forgot that he was holding a needle and then walked out with it, this would not be a Torah prohibition, because it was unplanned.
Rather, we must interpret the Mishna as follows: perhaps he will forget to pack away the needle until nightfall, when it will become Shabos, and finally when he will remember that he has the needle he will forget that it is Shabos and he will go out while carrying the needle. He will be aware that he is carrying, thus satisfying the requirement of מחשבת מלאכת but he will have forgotten that it is Shabos and will violate a Torah prohibition. [From Tosfos.com]
Rebbe Akiva Eiger [סימן ח] famously comments on this Tosfos that it would emerge that according to Abaye who holds that we DO make a גזירה לגזירה it would make sense that a tailor is not allowed to go out on Erev Shabbos lest he forget and take it out after nightfall. But why?? He would be soooo מתעסק?? He is completely unaware of what he is doing. So even if he goes out no harm done!!
So Rebbe Akiva Eiger establishes a principal: Namely, an aveirah done while מתעסק is still an איסור דאורייתא - there is just no חיוב קרבן!!
Remember that sweet friends!!! Even a מתעסק is assur!! That is why Tosfos mentions מלאכת מחשבת. If it is not a מלאכת מחשבת [because he didn't realize that he is carrying] then it is only an איסור דרבנן. But if מתעסק was no aveirah at all then we would have had a question [that even if he goes out we don't care] even according to Abaye [who holds that we do make a גזירה לגזירה]. So it comes out that מתעסק is an איסור דאורייתא with no korban, while a non מלאכת מחשבת is אסור דרבנן.
Our concern according to Abaye is that he will forget he is carrying the needle and go out, thus transgressing an איסור דרבנן while according to רבא our concern is that he will know he is carrying and forget that it's Shabbos and transgress a דאורייתא.
The Oneg Yom Tov [סימן כ] resolved Tosfos' question from the gemara in Bava Kamma [that says that if one forgot about the stone and caused it to go to the public domain it is only מדרבנן] by explaining that in that instance there was no מעשה and the stone rolled away automatically whereas in our case of the tailor, he did an actual מעשה of going out, so there would be an איסור דאורייתא [and that is why the mishna forbade a tailor to go out on Erev Shabbos - out of concern that if it happens on Shabbos there will be a איסור דאורייתא so even according to רבא who is not גוזר גזירה לגזירה there will be a problem].
This Oneg Yom Tov doesn't give one much Oneg. How can he say [במחילת כבוד תורתו הרמה מאד זכותו יגן עלינו] that in the case in Bava Kamma there was no מעשה?? He did a מעשה of standing up which caused the stone to roll away!!? So we can't distinguish between that case and the tailor case. It makes sense that Tosfos didn't subscribe to this distinction and they therefore explained that in our case of the tailor there is a potential איסור דאורייתא because he will remember he is carrying and forget that it's Shabbos. [See the Tal Nosson page 356 who talks about this!!]