October 1, 2021

Beitzah 31

Today’s daf (Beitzah 31b) raises the question of whether food may be taken on Yom Tov from a room that was previously sealed – which the Gemara initially understands to refer to a room that is literally sealed with bricks and mortar.
To give some background, the laws of mukzeh teach us that items that are ‘set aside’ and are not intended for use on Shabbat and Yom Tov may not be moved or used on Shabbat and Yom Tov. In this case, by virtue of the food being sealed in a room prior to Yom Tov, we would imagine that whatever is in that room is regarded as being mukzeh.
Based on this, the Gemara asks about the circumstances in which a room that is truly sealed somehow became accessible on Yom Tov, and it then informs us that while food had been sealed in a room, this room was merely constructed by bricks piled together without mortar. Consequently, since the room was not truly sealed, the food inside the room is not truly considered mukzeh, and in a situation where a wall of that room was (unintentionally) breached, נוטל ממקום הפחת, ‘one may take from the place of the breach’.
In life, we often think that certain dreams and aspirations are beyond the realms of possibility because unmovable and unbreachable walls stand in our way. Yet while, from a distance, the walls surrounding those dreams and aspirations look like they are built with brick and mortar, many times they merely have the appearance of a sealed wall and they are actually just bricks that have been piled together without mortar. And in such a situation, either through the slow but steady effort of removing those bricks, or the blessing of unexpected breaches in that wall, we can reach what we are striving towards.
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