וְהָתְנַן רַבִּי אֱלִיעֶזֶר אוֹמֵר: שְׁתַּיִם — יִכָּנֵס, שְׁלֹשָׁה — לֹא יִכָּנֵס. מַאי לָאו, רַבִּי אֱלִיעֶזֶר לְטַעְמֵיהּ דְּאָמַר וְהוּא בְּאֶמְצָעָן — Didn’t we learn in a mishna that Rabbi Eliezer says: If a person left his Shabbat limit by walking two cubits beyond it, he may reenter his original limit; but if he left his Shabbat limit by walking three cubits beyond it, he may not reenter. What, is it not that Rabbi Eliezer follows his standard line of reasoning, in that he said with regard to the four cubits a person is allotted wherever he is, he is set in the middle of them, i.e., he may walk two cubits in each direction?
וְאַרְבַּע אַמּוֹת דִּיהַבוּ לֵיהּ רַבָּנַן כְּמַאן דְּמִיבַּלְעָן דָּמוּ, וְקָאָמַר ״יִכָּנֵס״ — אַלְמָא הַבְלָעַת תְּחוּמִין מִילְּתָא הִיא. The Gemara explains that the four cubits that the Sages gave a person are regarded here as being subsumed within his original limit, and it is for this reason that he said: He may reenter his original limit. Apparently he is of the opinion that the subsuming of one Shabbat limit within another is something significant.
אֲמַר לֵיהּ רַבָּה בַּר בַּר חָנָה לְאַבָּיֵי: וּמִדְּרַבִּי אֱלִיעֶזֶר קָמוֹתְבַתְּ לֵיהּ לְמָר? אֲמַר לֵיהּ: אִין, דִּשְׁמִיעַ לִי מִינֵּיהּ דְּמָר: עַד כָּאן לָא פְּלִיגִי רַבָּנַן עֲלֵיהּ דְּרַבִּי אֱלִיעֶזֶר אֶלָּא לִדְבַר הָרְשׁוּת, אֲבָל לִדְבַר מִצְוָה מוֹדוּ לֵיהּ. Rabba bar bar Ḥana said to Abaye: Do you raise an objection against our Master, Rabba, from the statement of Rabbi Eliezer? But isn’t the halakha in accordance with the opinion of Rabbi Eliezer? Abaye said to him: Yes, as I heard from our Master himself that the Rabbis disagree with Rabbi Eliezer only with regard to one who went beyond his limit for a voluntary matter, but with regard to one who went out for a mitzva matter, they agree with him about the subsuming of limits, i.e., that if one limit is subsumed in another, it is permitted to pass between them. This demonstrates that the halakha recognizes the principle of the subsuming of limits.
וְכׇל הַיּוֹצְאִין לְהַצִּיל חוֹזְרִין לִמְקוֹמָן. וַאֲפִילּוּ טוּבָא? וְהָא אָמְרַתְּ רֵישָׁא: ״אַלְפַּיִם אַמָּה״, וְתוּ לָא! The mishna teaches: All who go out to save lives may return to their original locations on Shabbat. The Gemara asks: Does this mean that he may return to his original place even if he went out more than two thousand cubits beyond his limit? Didn’t the first clause say that a person who was permitted to travel beyond his Shabbat limit is allotted two thousand cubits, and no more?
אָמַר רַב יְהוּדָה אָמַר רַב: שֶׁחוֹזְרִין בִּכְלֵי זַיִין לִמְקוֹמָן. וּמַאי קוּשְׁיָא? דִּילְמָא לְהַצִּיל שָׁאנֵי! Rav Yehuda said that Rav said: What this means is that they may return with their weapons to their original locations, provided they are within two thousand cubits. The Gemara asks: What is the difficulty with returning home in this situation? Perhaps in the case where people went out to fight and save lives the law is different, and they are allowed to go home even if they went more than two thousand cubits beyond the limit.
אֶלָּא אִי קַשְׁיָא, הָא קַשְׁיָא: דִּתְנַן בָּרִאשׁוֹנָה לֹא הָיוּ זָזִין מִשָּׁם כׇּל הַיּוֹם כּוּלּוֹ. Rather, if there is a difficulty, this is the difficulty: As we learned in a mishna in tractate Rosh HaShana, at first they would take the witnesses who had come to Jerusalem from a distant place on Shabbat to testify that they had seen the new moon, and bring them into a special courtyard, and they would not move from there the entire day. This was in accordance with the law governing one who was permitted to go out beyond his limit, as once he fulfilled his mission, he was no longer permitted to move beyond four cubits.
הִתְקִין רַבָּן גַּמְלִיאֵל הַזָּקֵן שֶׁיֵּשׁ לָהֶן אַלְפַּיִם אַמָּה לְכׇל רוּחַ. וְלֹא אֵלּוּ בִּלְבַד אָמְרוּ, אֶלָּא אֲפִילּוּ חֲכָמָה הַבָּאָה לְיַלֵּד, וְהַבָּא לְהַצִּיל מִן הַגַּיִיס וּמִן הַנָּהָר וּמִן הַמַּפּוֹלֶת וּמִן הַדְּלֵיקָה — הֲרֵי הֵן כְּאַנְשֵׁי הָעִיר, וְיֵשׁ לָהֶן אַלְפַּיִם אַמָּה לְכׇל רוּחַ. However, Rabban Gamliel the Elder instituted that they should have two thousand cubits in each direction, so that witnesses not refrain from coming to testify. And it is not only these whom the Sages said are given two thousand cubits in the place that they have reached, but even a midwife who comes to deliver a child, and one who comes to rescue Jews from an invasion of gentile troops or from a river or a collapsed building or a fire; they are like the inhabitants of the town at which they arrive, and they have two thousand cubits in each direction.
וְתוּ לָא? וְהָא אָמְרַתְּ: כׇּל הַיּוֹצְאִין לְהַצִּיל חוֹזְרִין לִמְקוֹמָן — אֲפִילּוּ טוּבָא! The question may be raised: Are they given no more than two thousand cubits? Didn’t it say in the mishna: All who go out to save lives may return to their original locations on Shabbat, which indicates that they may walk even more than two thousand cubits?
אָמַר רַב [יְהוּדָה אָמַר רַב]: שֶׁחוֹזְרִין בִּכְלֵי זַיִין לִמְקוֹמָן, כִּדְתַנְיָא: בָּרִאשׁוֹנָה הָיוּ מַנִּיחִין כְּלֵי זֵיינָן בַּבַּיִת הַסָּמוּךְ לַחוֹמָה. In response, Rav Yehuda said that Rav said: We must not infer from the mishna that they may go home even if they went out more than two thousand cubits from their limit, but rather that they may return with their weapons to their original locations, provided that they are within two thousand cubits. As it was taught in the Tosefta: At first those returning from a rescue mission would place their weapons in the first house that they encountered upon their return, i.e., the house nearest the wall, to avoid carrying on Shabbat any more than necessary.
פַּעַם אַחַת הִכִּירוּ בָּהֶן אוֹיְבִים וְרָדְפוּ אַחֲרֵיהֶם, וְנִכְנְסוּ לִיטּוֹל כְּלֵי זֵיינָן, וְנִכְנְסוּ אוֹיְבִים אַחֲרֵיהֶן. דָּחֲקוּ זֶה אֶת זֶה, וְהָרְגוּ זֶה אֶת זֶה יוֹתֵר מִמַּה שֶּׁהָרְגוּ אוֹיְבִים. בְּאוֹתָהּ שָׁעָה הִתְקִינוּ שֶׁיְּהוּ חוֹזְרִין לִמְקוֹמָן בִּכְלֵי זֵיינָן. Once, their enemies noticed that they were no longer carrying their weapons, and they chased after them; and the defenders entered the house to take up their weapons and fight, and their enemies entered after them, causing great confusion. In the chaos, the defenders began to push one another, and they killed more of each other than their enemies killed of them. At that time the Sages instituted that they should return to their locations, i.e., their destinations, with their weapons.
רַב נַחְמָן בַּר יִצְחָק אָמַר: לָא קַשְׁיָא. כָּאן — שֶׁנִּצְּחוּ יִשְׂרָאֵל אֶת אוּמּוֹת הָעוֹלָם, כָּאן — שֶׁנִּצְּחוּ אוּמּוֹת הָעוֹלָם אֶת עַצְמָן. The Gemara cites an alternate resolution that Rav Naḥman bar Yitzḥak said: This is not difficult. Here, in the mishna in Rosh HaShana where they only permitted two thousand cubits, it is referring to a situation where the Jews defeated the nations of the world, i.e., the gentiles, in battle; in such a case there is no concern and they need not return to their original locations. Whereas here, in the mishna which indicates that the Sages permitted even more than two thousand cubits, it is referring to a situation where the nations of the world defeated themselves, i.e., the Jews, whom the Gemara refers to euphemistically as themselves; in such a case the Sages allowed the defeated soldiers to return to their original locations.
אָמַר רַב יְהוּדָה אָמַר רַב: נׇכְרִים שֶׁצָּרוּ עַל עַיְירוֹת יִשְׂרָאֵל — אֵין יוֹצְאִין עֲלֵיהֶם בִּכְלֵי זֵיינָן, וְאֵין מְחַלְּלִין עֲלֵיהֶן אֶת הַשַּׁבָּת. Since the Gemara discussed war on Shabbat, the Gemara cites Rav Yehuda, who said that Rav said: With regard to gentiles who besieged Jewish towns, they may not go out to fight against them with their weapons, nor may they desecrate Shabbat in any other way due to them, but rather they must wait until after Shabbat.
תַּנְיָא נָמֵי הָכִי נׇכְרִים שֶׁצָּרוּ וְכוּ׳. בַּמֶּה דְּבָרִים אֲמוּרִים, כְּשֶׁבָּאוּ עַל עִסְקֵי מָמוֹן, אֲבָל בָּאוּ עַל עִסְקֵי נְפָשׁוֹת — יוֹצְאִין עֲלֵיהֶן בִּכְלֵי זֵיינָן, וּמְחַלְּלִין עֲלֵיהֶן אֶת הַשַּׁבָּת. That was also taught in a baraita, with a caveat: With regard to gentiles who besieged, etc. In what case is this said? It is said in a case where the gentiles came and besieged the town with regard to monetary matters, i.e., banditry. However, if they came with regard to lives, i.e., there is concern that the gentiles will attack, they may go out against them with their weapons, and they may desecrate Shabbat due to them.
וּבָעִיר הַסְּמוּכָה לַסְּפָר, אֲפִילּוּ לֹא בָּאוּ עַל עִסְקֵי נְפָשׁוֹת אֶלָּא עַל עִסְקֵי תֶּבֶן וָקַשׁ — יוֹצְאִין עֲלֵיהֶן בִּכְלֵי זֵיינָן, וּמְחַלְּלִין עֲלֵיהֶן אֶת הַשַּׁבָּת. And with regard to a town that is located near the border, even if the gentiles did not come with regard to lives, but rather with regard to matters of hay and straw, i.e., to raid and spoil the town, they may go out against them with their weapons, and they may desecrate Shabbat due to them, as the border must be carefully guarded, in order to prevent enemies from gaining a foothold there.
אָמַר רַב יוֹסֵף בַּר מִנְיוֹמֵי אָמַר רַב נַחְמָן: וּבָבֶל, כָּעִיר הַסְּמוּכָה לַסְּפָר דָּמְיָא. וְתַרְגּוּמָא: נְהַרְדְּעָא. Rav Yosef bar Manyumi said that Rav Naḥman said: And Babylonia is considered like a town located near the border, and war may be waged there on Shabbat even if the gentiles came for financial gain. And this means the city of Neharde’a, which was located near the border.
דָּרֵשׁ רַבִּי דּוֹסְתַּאי דְּמִן בֵּירֵי: מַאי דִּכְתִיב: ״וַיַּגִּידוּ לְדָוִד לֵאמֹר הִנֵּה פְלִשְׁתִּים נִלְחָמִים בִּקְעִילָה וְהֵמָּה שׁוֹסִים אֶת הַגֳּרָנוֹת״. Rabbi Dostai of the town of Biri expounded: What is the meaning of that which is written: “And they told David, saying: Behold, the Philistines are fighting against Ke’ila, and they rob the threshing floors” (i Samuel 23:1), after which David asked God how he should respond.
תָּנָא: קְעִילָה עִיר הַסְּמוּכָה לַסְּפָר הָיְתָה, וְהֵם לֹא בָּאוּ אֶלָּא עַל עִסְקֵי תֶּבֶן וָקַשׁ, דִּכְתִיב: ״וְהֵמָּה שׁוֹסִים אֶת הַגֳּרָנוֹת״. וּכְתִיב ״וַיִּשְׁאַל דָּוִד בַּה׳ לֵאמֹר הַאֵלֵךְ וְהִכֵּיתִי בַּפְּלִשְׁתִּים הָאֵלֶּה וַיֹּאמֶר ה׳ אֶל דָּוִד לֵךְ וְהִכִּיתָ בַפְּלִשְׁתִּים וְהוֹשַׁעְתָּ אֶת קְעִילָה״. It was taught in a baraita: Ke’ila was a town located near the border, and the Philistines came only with regard to matters of hay and straw, as it is written: “And they rob the threshing floors.” And in the next verse it is written: “Therefore David inquired of the Lord, saying: Shall I go and smite these Philistines? And the Lord said to David: Go and smite the Philistines, and save Ke’ila” (i Samuel 23:2), which indicates that war may be waged in a border town on Shabbat, even with regard to monetary matters.
מַאי קָמִבַּעְיָא לֵיהּ? אִילֵּימָא אִי שְׁרֵי אִי אָסוּר — הֲרֵי בֵּית דִּינוֹ שֶׁל שְׁמוּאֵל הָרָמָתִי קַיָּים. The Gemara refutes this proof by asking: What is David’s dilemma? If you say that he had a halakhic question and was in doubt whether it was permitted or prohibited to fight the Philistines on Shabbat, it is possible to respond: But the court of Samuel from Rama was then in existence, and rather than inquire by way of the Urim VeTummim he should have inquired of the Great Sanhedrin.
אֶלָּא: אִי מַצְלַח אִי לָא מַצְלַח. דַּיְקָא נָמֵי, דִּכְתִיב: ״לֵךְ וְהִכִּיתָ בַפְּלִשְׁתִּים וְהוֹשַׁעְתָּ אֶת קְעִילָה״, שְׁמַע מִינַּהּ. Rather, he asked: Will he succeed or will he not succeed in his war? The Gemara comments: This is also precise in the language of the verse, as it is written in the response to David’s query: “Go and smite the Philistines, and save Ke’ila.” Learn from this, from the assurance that God gave David of his victory, that this was the subject of his inquiry.
מַתְנִי׳ מִי שֶׁיָּשַׁב בַּדֶּרֶךְ, וְעָמַד וְרָאָה הֲרֵי (זֶה) הוּא סָמוּךְ לָעִיר, [הוֹאִיל] וְלֹא הָיְתָה כַּוּוֹנָתוֹ לְכָךְ — לֹא יִכָּנֵס. דִּבְרֵי רַבִּי מֵאִיר. MISHNA: With regard to a person who was sitting along the road on Shabbat eve toward nightfall, unaware that he was within the city’s Shabbat limit, and when he stood up after Shabbat had already commenced, he saw that he was near the town, i.e., within its limit, since he had not intended to acquire his place of residence in the town, he may not enter it, but rather he measures two thousand cubits from his place; this is the statement of Rabbi Meir.
רַבִּי יְהוּדָה אוֹמֵר: יִכָּנֵס. אָמַר רַבִּי יְהוּדָה: מַעֲשֶׂה הָיָה וְנִכְנַס רַבִּי טַרְפוֹן בְּלֹא מִתְכַּוֵּין. Rabbi Yehuda says: He may enter the town. Rabbi Yehuda said: It once happened that Rabbi Tarfon entered a town on Shabbat without intention from the beginning of Shabbat to establish residence in the city.
גְּמָ׳ תַּנְיָא, אָמַר רַבִּי יְהוּדָה: מַעֲשֶׂה בְּרַבִּי טַרְפוֹן שֶׁהָיָה מְהַלֵּךְ בַּדֶּרֶךְ וְחָשְׁכָה לוֹ, וְלָן חוּץ לָעִיר. לְשַׁחֲרִית מְצָאוּהוּ רוֹעֵי בָקָר, אָמְרוּ לוֹ: רַבִּי, הֲרֵי הָעִיר לְפָנֶיךָ, הִכָּנֵס! נִכְנַס וְיָשַׁב בְּבֵית הַמִּדְרָשׁ, וְדָרַשׁ כׇּל הַיּוֹם כּוּלּוֹ. GEMARA: It was taught in a baraita that Rabbi Yehuda said: It once happened that Rabbi Tarfon was walking along the way on Shabbat eve, and night fell upon him, and he spent the night outside the town. In the morning, cowherds who came to graze their cattle outside the town found him and said to him: Master, the town is before you; enter. He entered and sat in the study hall and taught the entire day. This indicates that one is permitted to enter.
(אָמְרוּ לוֹ): מִשָּׁם רְאָיָיה? שֶׁמָּא בְּלִבּוֹ הָיְתָה, אוֹ בֵּית הַמִּדְרָשׁ מוּבְלָע בְּתוֹךְ תְּחוּמוֹ הָיָה. The other Rabbis said to Rabbi Yehuda: Do you bring proof from there? Perhaps he had it in mind the day before to acquire residence in the city, or perhaps the study hall was subsumed within his Shabbat limit. If the study hall was within two thousand cubits of the spot where he established residence, all agree that he may enter there.
מַתְנִי׳ מִי שֶׁיָּשַׁן בַּדֶּרֶךְ וְלָא יָדַע שֶׁחָשֵׁיכָה — יֵשׁ לוֹ אַלְפַּיִם אַמָּה לְכׇל רוּחַ, דִּבְרֵי רַבִּי יוֹחָנָן בֶּן נוּרִי. MISHNA: With regard to one who was sleeping along the road on Shabbat eve and did not know that night had fallen, he has two thousand cubits in each direction; this is the statement of Rabbi Yoḥanan ben Nuri, who maintains that knowledge and awareness are not necessary for one to acquire residence, but rather, a person’s presence in a given location establishes residence there.
וַחֲכָמִים אוֹמְרִים: אֵין לוֹ אֶלָּא אַרְבַּע אַמּוֹת. רַבִּי אֱלִיעֶזֶר אוֹמֵר: וְהוּא בְּאֶמְצָעָן. But the Rabbis say: He has only four cubits, as since he did not knowingly acquire residence, he did not establish a Shabbat limit. Rabbi Eliezer says: He has only four cubits total and he is in the middle of them, i.e., he has two cubits in each direction.
רַבִּי יְהוּדָה אוֹמֵר: לְאֵיזֶה רוּחַ שֶׁיִּרְצֶה יֵלֵךְ. וּמוֹדֶה רַבִּי יְהוּדָה שֶׁאִם בֵּירַר לוֹ, שֶׁאֵינוֹ יָכוֹל לַחֲזוֹר בּוֹ. Rabbi Yehuda says: He may walk four cubits in any direction he wishes. But Rabbi Yehuda agrees that if he selected for himself the direction in which he wants to walk those four cubits, he cannot retract and walk four cubits in a different direction.
הָיוּ שְׁנַיִם, מִקְצָת אַמּוֹתָיו שֶׁל זֶה בְּתוֹךְ אַמּוֹתָיו שֶׁל זֶה — מְבִיאִין וְאוֹכְלִין בָּאֶמְצַע, With regard to a case where there were two people in this situation, positioned in such a way that part of the four cubits of one were subsumed within the four cubits of the other, they may each bring food and eat together in the shared area in the middle,