According to the mishnah, who is allowed to do laundy on chol hamoed? Why do you think these people are allowed to do laundry? Is there something that the different people on the mishnah's list have in common?
Now, we will move on to the Gemara's discussion of this mishnah. The Gemara makes a basic assumption: The fact that the mishnah needed to say "These are the people who can launder on chol hamoed" means that the general rule is that people can't do laundry on chol hamoed.
Rabbi Yohanan adds a new category to the mishnah's list of exceptions: Someone with only one set of clothing. Why do you think he does so?
Rabbi Yirmeya objects to Rabbi Yohanan's new category: When the mishnah said "These are the people who can launder on chol hamoed", it meant "These people -and only these people - are the ones who can do laundry."
If the mishnah wanted to include people with only one set of clothes in its list of exceptions, then it would have listed them! The fact that it doesn't, meant that the mishnah made a conscious decision not to make an exception for them -and you can't just make up your own new category of "People with exceptions to the no laundry on chol hamoed" rule.
Rabbi Yaakov now reinterprets the mishnah in a way that works with Rabbi Yohanan's opinion. What the mishnah meant to say was: "These are the people who can launder -even if they have two sets of clothing". The mishnah's starting assumption is that anyone with only one set of clothing can do laundry, but as a general rule, people with 2+ sets of clothing can't, so it comes to tell us the exceptions to that rule.
Note how both Rabbi Yaakov and Rabbi Yirmeya's arguments hinge on interpreting the mishnah by filling in the blanks: Rabbi Yirmiyah interprets "These are the people" to mean "These are the only people", and Rabbi Yaakov interprets "These are the people" to mean "These are the people with 2 or more sets of clothing."
מטפחות ידים - שמנגבין בהן ידים משום דמאיס:
Rashi on 18a:
Hand towels - that people dry their hands on them, because they grow disgusting
According to Rashi, what is the reason for the exception for hand towels? What other reasons might hand towels be an exception? Going back to the original mishnah, are there other items on the list of exceptions that might be qualified as situations or materials that would be particularly disgusting if not laundered?
We now have a similar argument to the one above. Rabbi Yohanan adds another exception to the mishnah's list, saying that linen garments may be washed on chol hamoed. Rava replies that linen garments don't appear on the mishnah's list of garments that may be washed. If they don't appear on the list, it must be for a reason; we can't just make up a new exception to the rule.
רש"י, שם: כלי פשתן - דלא נפיש טירחא:
Rashi on 18b: Linen garments - that a person does not work hard (to launder them)
According to Rashi, what is the reason one might think that linen is an exception? How does this differ from the reason he gave for hand towels?
Abbaye interpets the mishnah so that it works with Rabbi Yohanan's opinion. The mishnah is saying, "Hand towels and barber's towels made out of any type of material" may be washed on chol hamoed, because its starting assumption is that all linen garments may be washed. Contrast this to Rava's interpretation of the mishnah, that "hand towels and barber's towels made out of linen" may be washed on chol hamoed, because its starting assumption is that in general, it's forbidden to wash linen garments on chol hamoed. As in the previous discussion, this discussion hinges on different interpretations of the original mishnah; each interpretation "fills in the blanks" by adding extra words that qualify the mishnah's statement.
Why does Bar Hedya tell his story?
Why does Abaye reject this story? Do you think the story is a good proof that linen may be laundered on Chol Hamoed? Why/why not?
Rambam -Mishnah Torah, Rest on a Holiday, 7:17
אֵין מְגַלְּחִין וְאֵין מְכַבְּסִין בַּמּוֹעֵד גְּזֵרָה שֶׁמָּא יַשְׁהֶה אָדָם עַצְמוֹ לְתוֹךְ הַמּוֹעֵד וְיָבוֹא יוֹם טוֹב הָרִאשׁוֹן וְהוּא מְנֻוָּל. לְפִיכָךְ כָּל מִי שֶׁאִי אֶפְשָׁר לוֹ לְגַלֵּחַ וּלְכַבֵּס בְּעֶרֶב יוֹם טוֹב הֲרֵי זֶה מֻתָּר לְכַבֵּס וּלְגַלֵּחַ בַּמּוֹעֵד:
Rambam -Mishnah Torah, Rest on a Holiday, 7:17
It is not permitted to shave or to do laundry on chol hamoed -a gezerah (ruling) lest one wait until chol hamoed (to shave and to do laundry), such that one is (still) disgusting when the first day of chag arrives. Therefore, anyone who cannot shave or do laundry on erev chag, is allowed to do laundry and to shave on chol hamoed.
According to Rambam, what is the reason for the rule against laundry on chol hamoed? Who does Rambam thinks is an exception to this rule?
One possible interpretation of the mishnah, according to Rambam, is that the mishnah's list of exceptions is simply a list of examples of people with no time to do laundry before the holiday, which was brought to demonstrate the principle of "If you had no time before chag, you can do laundry on cho".
Do you agree with this interpretation of the mishnah? Why/why not?
רמבם -שם 7:21 וּמִי שֶׁאֵין לוֹ אֶלָּא חָלוּק אֶחָד הֲרֵי זֶה מְכַבְּסוֹ בַּמּוֹעֵד. מִטְפְּחוֹת הַיָּדַיִם וּמִטְפְּחוֹת הַסְּפָרִים וּמִטְפְּחוֹת הַסְפָג הֲרֵי אֵלּוּ מֻתָּרִין לְכַבֵּס בַּמּוֹעֵד. וְכֵן כְּלֵי פִּשְׁתָּן מֻתָּר לְכַבְּסָן בַּמּוֹעֵד מִפְּנֵי שֶׁצְּרִיכִין כִּבּוּס תָּמִיד אֲפִלּוּ נִתְכַּבְּסוּ עֶרֶב יוֹם טוֹב:
Rambam, Mishnah Torah -Rest on a Holiday, 7: 21
And he who has only one set of clothes is allowed to wash it on chol hamoed. Hand towels, barber towels, and bath towels -these may be washed on chol hamoed. So too, linen garments may be washed on chold hamoed, because they are in constant need of laundering, even if they were laundered erev chag.
How does Rambam's halacik ruling compare to our gemarah? Which rabbinic opinions from our discussion does his ruling reflect? According to Rambam, what is the reason that one may launder linen on chol hamoed, and how does it compare to the reason given by Rashi? Why do you think, according to Rambam, that a person with only one set of clothes may launder it on chol hamoed?
Shulchan Arukh, Orach Chayim 534:1
אין מכבסין במועד ואלו שמכבסין הבא ממדינת הים והיוצא מבית השביה ומבית האסורין ומנודה שהתירו לו חכמים ברגל ומי שנדר שלא לכבס ונשאל ברגל והתירו לוומטפחות הידים ומטפחות הספרים ומטפחות הספג ובגדי קטנים ובעלת הכתם שנמצא במועד ומי שאין לו אלא חלוק א' וכלם מכבסין כדרכן ...בפרהסיא על גבי הנהר: הגה מיהו לא יכבסו רק הצריך להן דהיינו חלוק א' (מרדכי והגהות אשירי פ' אלו מגלחין) מיהו בגדי הקטנים ביותר דהיינו אותן שמלפפים בהם ומשתינים ומוציאין ריעי בהם
Shulchan Arukh: Orach Chayim 534:1
It is forbidden to do laundry on chol hamoed; and these are the people who can do laundry: one who arrives from a land [beyond] the sea, or from a house of captivity, or one released from prison, or an excommunicated person whom the Sages have released. So too, he who has consulted a Sage and been released [from a vow]. Hand towels, barber's towels, bath towels, childrens' clothing, and clothing where a stain (from genital bleeding) was found on chol hamoed, and he who has only one set of clothes -all of these can launder and be laundered in the normal manner...even in public, by the river.
Rama: But they should only be laundered on chol hamoed if he needs them, like in the case of one set of clothes; the clothing of small children refers to the clothing of very small children, who make a mess and urinate and defecate in them
How does the ruling in the Shulkhan Arukh compare to our original mishnah? Which rabbis in our Gemarah does the Shulkhan Arukh agree with? How is the Shulkhan Arukh's ruling different from that of Rambam? How is it similar? What do you think is the Rama's rationale? Does he agree or disagree with Rashi's rationales for exceptions to the "no laundy on chol hamoed" rule?
Shulkhan Arukh - Orach Chayim, 534:2
כל כלי פשתן מותר לכבסן ולא נהגו כן והוה ליה דברים המותרים ואחרים נהגו בהם איסור אי אתה רשאי להתירם בפניהם:
Shulkhan Arukh - Orach Chayim, 534:2
all linen garments may be laundered, but they did not implement this ruling in practice. These things are permitted, and others have taken on the custom of treating them as forbidden - you are not allowed to make them permitted to those who already have the practice to treat them as forbidden.
Which rabbi in our gemarah does the Shulkhan Aruch agree with when it comes to linen garments? Why do you think that this ruling was not implemented in practice?