Wunderkind Jacob Steinmetz, 5 Towns HAFTR Graduate and the Dvar Shmuel

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By Rabbi Yair Hoffman for 5tjt.com

17-year-old Jacob Steinmetz is six foot six, weighs 224 pounds, is a pitcher, and, as of this past Monday, is the first Orthodox Jew that has been drafted into Major League Baseball.

Rabbi Shmuel Abuhav zt”l (1610-1694), was the Av Bais Din of Venice Italy, one of the leading Rabbis of his generation, the leading patron of the Old Yishuv in Eretz Yisroel, and the author of the classic Rabbinic responsa work known as the “Dvar Shmuel” – published by his son in 1702 in Venice.

And it seems that our young Reb Jacob Steinmetz is making the Dvar Shmuel the topic of table conversation in Torah observant homes across the world, from Bnei Brak, Israel, to Lakewood, New Jersey, to Far Rockaway, New York and the Five Towns.

STARTING AT THE BEGINNING

This last sentence may seem confusing, so let’s start at the beginning – the very beginning.

“In the beginning, G-d Created the Heavens and the Earth.. And on the seventh day, G-d finished the work that He had been doing, and He ceased on the seventh day from all the work that He had done (Genesis 1:1, 2:2).”

In order to affirm that G-d created the world, observant Jews all over the world refrain from 39 specific creative acts once a week for a period of 25 hours, give or take 12 or 18 minutes, or so.  Orthodox Judaism believes that G-d is the Ultimate Giver, the source of all Good in the world, and that He rewards good and punishes evil.  The affirmation that G-d created the world in order to benefit mankind, and ceased Creating the world on the Sabbath is the reason why Orthodox Jews view the observance of Shabbos as so paramount.

Which creative acts do observant Jews refrain from performing?  Any of the main categories of productive acts that were necessary in building the tabernacle – G-d’s concentrated presence, so to speak, here on earth.  And one of those 39 specific acts is called, “Carrying.”

RABBINIC PROTECTIONS

Technically, carrying is restricted only in something called a public domain – an area with very specific definitional requirements.  It would be permitted in something called a “private domain.” However, the Rabbis, in order to protect the observance of the Sabbath established a new domain called a “Karmelis.”  A Karmelis is an area that is at least 4 by 4 handbreadths, and that is neither enclosed nor heavily populated.  Examples include most of suburbia,  the countryside, ponds, lakes, rivers, and oceans.  A Karmelis has the status and stringencies of both a public domain and a private domain according to Rabbinic law.  An Eiruv may be constructed in most Karmelis areas.

THE LITTLE-KNOWN AREA KNOWN AS A KARFEF

There is another type of area called a “Karfef shelo hukaf ledira.”  A Karfef is any large area of land that is neither used nor suitable for human residential dwelling.  Whether the area is naturally enclosed or if walls were built around it but not for living purposes, by Rabbinic decree, one may not carry within it’s confines.  The reason is that the sages determined that a Karfef appears too much like a Public Domain and one may come to erroneously carry in a public domain. If, however, there were people already living in that area and it was subsequently enclosed or if the plan was for someone to live there, but it did not happen yet – then this would not be considered walls built not for residential purposes – lo hukaf ledirah (see Mishna Brurah 358:19).

WHAT SIZE IS LARGE?    

What is considered a large uninhabitable area?  A Karfef is any enclosed uninhabitable area that equals more than Bais Saasayim, or 70.6 by 70.6 amos.  According to Rav Moshe Feinstein this would be 125.127 feet by 125.127 feet and according to the Chazon Ish it would be 134.254 feet by 134.254 feet. [See Eiruvin 90a and Shulchan Aruch OC 346:3 and TaZ and PMG for more details].

EXAMPLES OF A KARFEF

There are a number of examples of a Karfef:  large storage yards, large forested areas, large farms and large gardens during the growing season, lakes, creeks, rivers, swamps, wetlands, cemeteries, and yes, stadiums – according to a number of Poskim.  Rav Yitzchok Zilberstein, in fact, compares stadiums to a Karfef in his Chashuchei Chemed Meseches Shabbos 7a.  Some Poskim understand the Mishna Brurah’s requirement in Biur Halacha 358:1 “Dira” that the term “residential area” – makom dira must be constant as proof that the Mishna Brurah holds that such areas would also be considered a Karfef (see Rabbi Yehudah Spitz’s quote of Rav Dovid Feinstein cited in Vedibarta Bam 1:119 https://ohr.edu/5070#_edn1).

It is this issue of a Karfef which brings us to how our HAFTR graduate may have made a controversial responsum of the Dvar Shmuel a household term.  But more on this later.

ANOTHER KARFEF PROBLEM

As an aside, the existence of a Karfef also puts in jeopardy an entire eruv in which a karfef is included.  So not only may one not carry within a Karfef, but it could, theoretically wipe out an entire community Eruv.  There are cases left and right in which a late discovered Karfef killed an Eruv. It is possible, at times, to carve out the area of the Karfef and completely surround it in terms of halacha and thus exclude it from the Eruv.

BACK TO JACOB STEINMETZ

According to the New York Post, Jacob was selected in the third round (77th overall) by the Arizona Diamondbacks.

It also quotes him as saying that he does play during the Sabbath and on Jewish holidays, and for baseball tournaments, he has traveled ahead of time and arranged hotels within walking distance of the fields. The Post states that had explained to teams during the draft process how he could continue to juggle both his faith and baseball career.

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THE HALACHIC DILEMNA

According to what we have just explained, however, carrying in a Karfef would seem to be halachically problematic.  Baseball, perforce, involves various activities that would involve carrying.  Is there any possible leniency then?

ENTER THE CONTROVERSIAL POSITION OF THE DVAR SHMUEL

Rabbi Shmuel Abuhav in responsum Dvar Shmuel #259 explains that when one is dealing with a walled city, the city founders mean to include the area of the Karfef.  That being the case, the walls around the city can negate the Karfef area.  Although most cities are technically not walled per se, the surrounding highways often do have walls or fences around them.  Perhaps the highway walls or fences might be considered enough of a wall to fit into the Dvar Shmuel’s rationale – which would negate the surrounding walls of the stadium.

The Mishna Brurah (358:72), however, writes that one may only rely upon this Dvar Shmuel only B’shaas Hadchak – in a very pressing situation. There is also an indication from the Chofetz Chaim’s language that it does not apply to a Karfef that has its own Mechitzos. Rabbi Yitzchok Yoseph Shlita, the sixth son of Rav Ovadiah Yoseph zt”l, in his Yalkut Yoseph Shabbos Vol. V Haaros 345 footnote five cites a number of Poskim that do rely on the Dvar Shmuel along with other factors. Rabbi Spitz in the aforementioned article cites numerous Poskim both ways as to how to view the Dvar Shmuel.

OTHER HALACHIC ISSUES

There may be other halachic hurdles as well in regard to playing on Shabbos.  One issue is getting paid to perform it.  However, there is something called Havlaah – wherein the payment one receives for Shabbos work is included along with work that is done during the week.  On the other hand, some Poskim have ruled that it is a shadow of mekach umemkar – doing business on Shabbos and forbidden.

RUNNING ON SHABBOS

The Shulchan Aruch 301:1 discusses the prohibition of running on Shabbos when it does not involve the performance of a Mitzvah.  This is based upon the Gemorah in Shabbos 113b.  It could perhaps be argued that when one is doing it for enjoyment more than as working professionally, one may find a leniency.

GENERAL BALL-PLAYING ON SHABBOS

The Talmud Yerushalmi (Taanis 4:5) tells us of a great city named Tur Shimon with its very own Tomchei Shabbos that delivered 300 barrels of material to the poor each Friday. The Jerusalem Talmud, however, goes on to explain that this city was ultimately destroyed.

Why was it destroyed?  One opinion says that it was because of untoward activity. Another opinion says that it was on account of, yes, ball playing. Ostensibly, it was ball playing on Shabbos as most of the commentators explain. Indeed, Rav Huna in Midrash Aicha Rabasi explicitly states that the ball playing was on Shabbos. This Yerushalmi is cited by the Bais Yoseph (OC 308). Finally, there is a third opinion (See Rokeach Hilchos Shabbos 55) that they played ball on Shabbos and did not learn Torah.

What is remarkable is that nowhere in these sources (other than in the words of the Rokeach) is the exact problem with ball-playing on Shabbos fully or even partially explained.  What was the violation? There are, of course, an entire litany of halachic possibilities as to the exact nature of the problem (which, as the reader may have surmised, will be explored), but perhaps the very silence of the sources is instructive in and of itself.

Perhaps, the reason Tur Shimon was destroyed was that such a town — with such remarkable chessed going on in its midst should have utilized the Shabbos as a means to further their Dveikus Bashem — their cleaving to Hashem. Excessive ball-playing, or any other mundane activity can sometimes be indicative of a lack of such a relationship with Hashem — and that may very well have been the reason for Hashem not having saved this town from destruction. But let’s get to the possible halachic issues involved.

IS IT MUKTZAH?

Aside from the possibility of carrying or it possibly leading to carrying discussed above, there is a second possibility.  The Shevulei haLeket (Shabbos 121) considers balls as items of no purposeful utility and deems them to be Muktzah.  The Ramah (OC 518:1 and 308:45), however, rules that it is not considered Muktzah and that a ball would have utility.  The Shulchan Aruch (OC 308:45) rules that it is forbidden to play ball on Shabbos and on Yom Tov.

The Mishna Brurah explains that it is because he holds that the balls have no purposeful utility and are Muktzah. The Mishna Brurah adds that if children would not listen otherwise, it is best not to stop them because it is preferable that they sin inadvertently rather than on purpose. The Aruch HaShulchan tends to be stringent as well, in regard to ball playing on Shabbos.

ARE MODERN BALLS DIFFERENT?

It may be argued that even the Muktzah issue in our day and age is different because nowadays, the balls are manufactured for the express purpose of playing.  It could be argued that in the days of the Shulchan Aruch and before, the balls were made on an ad-hoc basis and, therefore, the issue of Muktzah was more acute.  The Shvus Yitzchok (p. 90), a contemporary Sefer on Muktzah makes this point in the name of Rav Elyashiv zt”l.

LEVELING THE GROUND

 

Another possible issue is the problem of leveling the ground.  The ball may inadvertently roll into an unpaved area and cause some ground leveling problems.  It would seem, however, that the ground leveling problem is limited to games where the ball is to be rolled on the ground as the purpose and method of game-playing (Rabbeinu Chananel would disagree with this, but Halacha seems to follow other opinions).  Baseball, however, may be different because the ground is often affected when sliding into home.

There also might be a distinction between soccer and basketball, at least in regard to the concern of levelling the ground.  The Poskim certainly forbid soccer on this account, but a distinction could be drawn regarding basketball. Some (e.g. the Shvilei HaLeket) are of the opinion that the Rabbis prohibited ball-playing even in areas that are paved.  There is also the possibility that the noises involved in ball playing may be halachically problematic too (ibid).  However, the views of the Shvilei HaLeket have not been cited authoritatively by the Poskim. On the stricter side, it is interesting to note that the Ramah’s own cousin, the Maharshal (Beitzah 1:34) questions the lenient position of his cousin and writes that if he had the ability he would forbid ball playing entirely.  The Maharshal is quoted by the TaZ (OC 518:2) and he labels it an “evil custom.”

Rav Shlomo Kluger (Ha’elef lecha Shlomo 339), however, is more lenient and strongly questions the attack on the Ramah by the Maharshal and TaZ.  The Aruch HaShulchan likewise questions the strong words attacking the Ramah and provides room for leniency. Rabbi Yom Tov Ben Moshe Tzahalon (1559-1638), author of the Maharitatz, in the new responsa (#202) discusses the question of a large city of Torah scholars that never had any ball playing and a group of gentiles came and began ball playing.  Eventually a group of young men arose and began playing on the Shabbos with gambling and betting and eating without rinsing of the hands.  Some wished to refrain from forbidding it on account of the position of the Ramah.  The Maharitatz blasted those who refrained from forbidding it and that those who violated it should seek acts of contrition and Teshuvah.

CONCLUSION

Many of us remember how enormously proud every Jew was when Sandy Koufax did not play the world series when it came out on Yom Kippur.  [A schoolmate, Doug Krainman used to remark how his grandmother used to babysit for him.] There is no question that Jews are proud that an Orthodox Jew will publicly be keeping Shabbos in his future in Major League Baseball.  We must also constantly make sure that we always strive to ramp up our observance and appreciation of the glorious gift we have in Shabbos.

The author can be reached at [email protected]

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28 COMMENTS

  1. A stadium should not be a karpef, since it is used by the players.

    “Dira” in this context does not mean actual residence, it means any human use. For instance an animal enclosure, a literal “dir”, counts as a dira, because people are always going in and out to take care of the animals, whereas a storage area does not, because people only enter once in a while, when they need to bring something in or take something out.

    The public areas of a park, no matter how large, is not a karpef, because people use it. Only areas from which people are excluded, such as flowerbeds, or lakes on which there is no boating, can be karpeifim if they’re big enough (and beis so’sayim is not that big). So a stadium, which is used by the players every time there’s a game, and which the public is allowed on to after the game, is not a karpef.

    As for working for pay on Shabbos, baseball players are not paid per game, so it’s not an issue at all. NOBODY has the slightest problem with working for pay on Shabbos. Every rov does so! So do caterers, waiters, mashgichim, etc. Why should a baseball player be any different? But even if for some strange reason he were being paid per game, the solution would simply be not to invoice after each game, but to wait until after a weekday game and invoice for all the games together. Or to include in the invoice the practice time before the game, just as chazonim and baalei koreh do.

    Digging the ground or smoothing out holes is not a problem for a pitcher. Pitchers don’t run on the field. They stand in one place on the mound, and throw the ball. This is not cricket; they do not take a run-up. So where’s the shaila?

    The opinion that balls are muktzeh is very strange. How could a ball manufactured specifically for its purpose, and used for that purpose, POSSIBLY be muktzeh? It’s just not possible. How could it possibly be distinguished from any other keli that is designated and used for some purpose? Therefore this opinion can ONLY be understood as referring to using a random object as a ball, one that either doesn’t have a toras keli, or that has one but it wasn’t designated for that purpose before Shabbos.

    For instance, the poskim discuss various possible issues with playing chess on Shabbos, but nobody suggests that the chessmen might be muktzeh. Now how are chessmen different from balls?

    Running is completely not an issue. The Shulchan Aruch EXPLICITLY permits young people, who naturally enjoy running, to do so on Shabbos. It is part of their oneg shabbos. Running is only forbidden once one has reached the age where it’s no longer a pleasure, and it becomes a chore that one does only if one is in a hurry to get somewhere, or for ones health. Basically if you have to motivate yourself to run then it’s forbidden on Shabbos, but if running is its own reward then it’s permitted.

    The only real issue is bittul torah, and that’s only an issue if he would otherwise have been using this time for torah. If he wasn’t going to be learning anyway, playing ball doesn’t make it any worse.

  2. Oftentimes, the halachic status of our actions becomes more or less theoretical and academic rather than practical because we already know it isn’t ratzon Hashem.

    Is it ratzon Hashem to play baseball on Shabbos? To play it professionally, not merely for leisure?

  3. I’m no expert in Baseball nor in Hilchos Shabbos. However I believe that pitchers use their cleats to work the mound for their benefit before pitching. This is intentional and beneficial, and I would assume is a full fledged Torah Prohibition of the highest degree.

    Also the very idea of wearing cleats intentionaly for walking on dirt is probably at the very least a Rabbinic Prohibition, and maybe even a Torah Prohibition.

    These two issues are probably more problematic than any mentioned in this article.

    The above is not to say that besides these problems there are no other Hashkafic & Nisayon problems.

  4. A well-learned Posek, looking to be Mekil for a pitcher who wanted to be Chozer b’Teshuvah and be Shomer Shabbos, was unable to Matir it since digging with one’s spikes in to the mound to purchase a push-off point is Chofer, an Isur d’Oraisa.

  5. תנא תלמיד ותיק היה ביבנה שהיה מטהר את השרץ במאה וחמשים טעמים.” (עירובין יג ב)

  6. @Milhouse For Rabonim, Balei Kriah, and Mashgichim there is actually a heter called Ldvar Mitzvah. If you know the Halacha I’m talking about then please don’t mention the 2nd half of the Mishna Berurah over there

  7. One can usually find a heter for almost anything, however one needs to ask if this is what Hashem wants the person to do. A frum Jewish boy should not be seeking a career of playing baseball where the least of the issues is being around prust goyim as well as the many Shabbos issues. After 120 when we face the bais din shel malah, we will be asked why we pursued something so damaging to our neshamos when we could have easily found a career that allowed us to live a more kosher life.

  8. With all the definite (or inevitable) חילול שבת outlined above, and adding all the היתרים you can think of, the bottom line – I would think – is that a דבר בפרהסיא , especially of this magnitude (and being televised?), is CERTAINLY NOT WITHIN the רוח של שבת קודש that our חכמים and תורה הקדושה has in mind.

    Or think of it this way: Will הקב’’ה be pleased with what we plan to do? Are we keeping his will — making HIM proud — or are we attempting to write our own ticket to do as we want so that WE feel good? This should be the true guiding light for all our choices in life.

  9. With so many tzadikim posting critical, judgemental comments – how is it that NO ONE is concerned with lashon hara or rechilus etc?

    Stop talking about this family and judging them in public!

  10. Any baseball fan, even not the biggest fan, who has even half a religious education can go to a baseball game, during the week of course, and write down so many issues with playing on Shabbos. Rabbi Hoffman mentioned many of them and tried to farenfir many as well, as if this kid went through the sugya like he should have.

    One of the posters above mentioned “working the mound,” actually something the player does by himself. This would be an issue. Even if he doesn’t do it before he pitches, as part of the pitching motion, he will be making a hole or a ditch in the mound. Granted it may not be an Av Malocha bec he is not planning on planting anything other than his foot on the follow through, but it is a problem.

    What about when he throws the ball and hits a player, something which inevitably does happen. He will be making a chabura.

    I could go on and on and I haven’t even begun.

    Let’s all be honest with ourselves. If we are here on Yeshiva world news, that this is something which is a major problem, a major major problem. This is not something we would want to do or CHV want our kids to do. Even if he knew AND FOLLOWED halocha 100%, there are far too many issues with this. And to water it down by claiming he’s Orthodox, according to the word as it is meant meaning somebody is shomer Shabbos, does no one any good.

    This is not something to be proud of and anyone who is proud of it is delusional. At least the other guy says he will not play on Shabbos or Yom Tov!

  11. Milhouse, your “teshuva” is filled with mistakes:
    1. Regarding schar Shabbos, “simply invoicing for several games” isn’t so simple if you are specifically being payed by the game. See Rema 306:4. I’m not saying that there is no way around it, but it isn’t “simple”.

    2. As others already mentioned, I’m not sure if you ever watched a baseball game before, but pitchers work the mound before they pitch. They don’t just “stand in one place”. This really might be an issur deoraisa.

    3. “The opinion that balls are mukztah is very strange”. It’s only strange if you haven’t learned mutzkah b’iyun. The Mechaber says that balls are muktzah (308:45). The opinions which holds balls are muktzah even when they are manufactured, is because they hold that “playing” is not considered a “shimush”. Yes, it could come out according to this opinion that chess pieces are also mukztah. See Menuchas Ahava vol. 1 12:50 where he explains this opinion and it’s basis very clearly. We Ashkenazim pasken like the Rema that playing is considered a shimush, so technically this wouldn’t be the issue for him, but your statement isn’t correct.

    4.”Running is completely not an issue”. As you mentioned, the heter is for those who enjoy it. What happens if he is scheduled to play that day but he isn’t in the mood or he isn’t feeling so well? I doubt they would give him the day off. Under contract he would still have to pitch, and running in such a case would be asur.

    5. “The only real issue is bitul torah”. Only? It says that a city was destroyed because of playing ball on Shabbos! “If he wasn’t going to learn anyway…” How do you know if he was going to learn anyway. Even if for one Shabbos one isn’t holding by learning, maybe he will get chizuk somewhere down the line and get motivation. If you sign a contract for several years, you are basically committing yourself to be in a position where you don’t learn on Shabbos, which would seem to be worse.

  12. Milhouse: I believe you are incorrect. While the usage of the karfif for human beings is sufficient it is clear that hula for l’dira requires that it is built adjacent to a place where it people actually live. See Aruch Hashulchan 328:7” Hukaf l’ dira means chatzairos in front of houses or storage areas behind houses “
    In sif katan vov he points out that the yard of a bais hakneses, a bais medrash, or a merchatz all are not considered to be hukaf l’dirah even though they are constantly used by people unless there is a place for the shammosh to sleep.
    In sif katan tes he contrasts the yard of A shul with the yard of a prison , the latter ,he explains ,is considered to be hukaf l’dira because there are prisoners who actually live there, Albeit against their will.
    I also did not follow the logic of the author of the article. The D’var Shmual, as the author recognizes, is discussing a walled city and whether the karfaf ruins that status. I don’t believe that there is any accepted view that an unwalled City does not require an Eiruv and it is permitted to carry in it because of the surrounding highways. Thus, the stadium, is a karfif shlo hukaf l’dira in an unenclosed area and it is clearly impermissible permissible to carry there.
    Several years ago there was a discussion in the FJJ about a Yid Who wanted to race his horse on Shabbos. At the time I wrote a two lengthy letters to the editor citing many more Maara m’komos on this issue.

  13. What about being broadcasted on television? The heter of walking around the kosel etc is that you’re not interested in veing videotaped; it’s a pesik reishah delo nicha lay, but here he definitely wants to be videotaped, since he’s on TV playing ball.

    What will happen when he’s asked by news reporters to be interviewed post game?

    Besides shabbos there are so many other issues which apply to the other boy as well, who to his credit seems to have a stronger yiddishe background.

    What will thet do when their teammates want to “party” r”l after a game?

    Baseball players are celebrities who are in a position to get whatever they want and are given hundreds of thousands of dollars

    Can a kid fresh out of high school really stay religious in such a situation?

  14. This comprehensively laid out this article leaves one bemused

    One might just compare the the concluding paragraph to chief justice Roberts Roberts decision on Obamacare
    he laid out all the reasons why it should be unconstitutional but then it’s okay to allow it just because

    same here

  15. Also, the term wunderkind is…misplaced in my opinion. A kid who is amazing at learning torah beyond his years is traditionally referred to as such.

    Throwing or hitting a ball is not something we value inherently. It is a “kosher” form of bitul zman at best.

    He’s not a wunderkind; he’s a boy who I feel sorry for because his nisyonos will be unnaturally difficult for someone his age, especially given his cavalier attitude towards shabbos.

  16. I question if it is correct to use this unfortunate nisayon of this individual as a platform for a public halachic discussion. Once it is up, I will attempt to correct the facts as much as possible. Karpef?? The field is enclosed together with the rest of the stadium… people eat drink etc. Definitely not a karpef. Doing something intentional in front of a camera knowing and intending that it is recorded and displayed on Shabbos – that seems like a serious issue. One kutzo shel yud of Shabbos is worth more than all the fame. Hashem yirachem.

  17. Jersey Jew,

    Since he finds the hole that he digs beneficial to anchor himself for future pitches, I believe that it is indeed a Melachah d’Oraisa.

  18. Aren’t professional baseball stadiums (and the ball field itself) entirely enclosed? Why would carrying on the ball field or in the stadium be an issue?

    As long as he doesn’t carry from the outside into the stadium, what’s the problem (as far as carrying is concerned)?

  19. mobico ,

    but for it to be one of the lamed tes, it has to be for that use … planting in the real meaning of the word, not the baseball meaning. STILL NOT GOOD!

  20. One of the things that hit me tonight was that he has little chance of becoming shomer shabbos while playing because he “committed” to playing on Shabbos. It wont go over well when BeH one day he will wizen up and decide to be an emesidika shomer shabbos. Hopefully when it beH happens if he is still in pro ball (the odds are VERY against him!), the team will be Ok with it.

    I really feel bad for the krumkeit he has been fed about this. Look at the video, they look like nice MO kids but HELLLLLLO LO ZU HADERECH !

  21. Jersey Jew,

    Pretty sure that any Chofer in which one wants the hole (not the dirt) for any constructive purpose is one of the Lamed Tes. And it’s not Zore’a – it’s Boneh.

  22. Mobico- could be a d’rabanan according to some rishonim as a melacha shaino tzricha l’ gufo.
    Shalom D. Any karfif is fully enclosed. Still needs to be hukaf l’dira.
    Good thing baseball officials now check pitchers for substances that they would rub on the ball. A spitball could be melaven and a little vasiline rubbed on a leather ball would be meabaid or m’ machaik.
    Just sayin….

  23. Sure there are problems. But I’m an elderly woman who has been a baseball fan all her life and I do feel proud of him and Kligman. And I guess none of you ever read “The Season of Pepsi Meyers.”

    In the end everyone has his or her level.

  24. dafbiyun – My point is that it IS Tzarich l’Gufo. The pitcher wants the hole to push off of it – that’s Tzarich l’Gufo.

  25. Mobico- I understood that. I meant that according to Tosfos’ view that tzarich l’ gufo requires the same purpose as the mishkan( not merely a positive benefit) it is not choresh .You are absolutely correct that with respect to boneh it would be an issur d’oiraisa. Although choresh is usually outside and boneh usually inside the pitchers mound is karkah which is not fit for planting and any type of positive benefit would be boneh d’oraisah according to all shitos. Sorry I did not read your posts more carefully.( feels good to be able to talk in learning again!)