Tuesday, August 21, 2018

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Fences


   by Reb Gutman Locks   
      Fences

 

     Someone asked, why don't we ride bicycles on Shabbos.

     There are a few reasons given for this prohibition, such as bike riding is a weekday activity, or because you may inadvertently ride outside the Shabbos limit, but the most common reason given is that it is a rabbinical fence put up to protect us from falling against a Torah prohibition. The rabbis were afraid if we were to ride bicycles on Shabbos the chain might come off, as they often do, and then we would fix it, and fixing the chain would transgress a Torah based rule of repairing on Shabbos.

     It is the same reason why we do not play musical instruments on Shabbos… lest we break a string and then repair the instrument on Shabbos.

     There are many rabbinical fences that protect us from coming against the actual Torah prohibitions. They are like the Torah's actual physical fence that we are commanded to put on our roof tops even if we never go near the edge of the roof. We are commanded to put a fence there just in case someone might go to the edge and fall and there would be loss of life.

     All of the fences come to help keep us away from transgressing a Torah prohibition, but they also give us someone to argue with, instead of arguing with the Torah itself.

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