Individual Postings 1st appeared(& were copied in html form) on the Email List Mail Jewish

From: rhendel@mcs.drexel.edu (Russell Hendel) Date: Sun, 2 Feb 1997 18:25:04 -0500 Subject: How Shabbath Melachas are Made:Cold Cream Mark Feldman asks the basis for Rabbi Soloveitchick holding that smoothing a paste is prohibited on Shabbath Biblically provided there is a new surface created. This affords the opportunity to demonstrate the methodology in analyzing the very complex world of Shabbath Melachas. The first step is to list the essential attributes of the so called FATHER prohibition. In this case (as Mark points out) the "Father prohibition" is the prohibition of "ERASURE" (Say the erasure of ink markings from wood). Erasure in turn seems to have 4 attributes: 1) It is created by a rubbing motion 2) It makes disappear an unwanted surface 3) It allows the emergence or appearance of a new surface 4) This new surface was an intrinsic part of the object(in fact covered by the old surface) I should hasten that different authorities may differ on the list of essential attributes in any particular "FATHER" prohibition. The above list are simply my own thoughts which seem to defend the Rav. The "CHILDREN" prohibitions (which are prohibited Bibilically) are simply prohibitions which have many of the attributes of the "FATHER" but not necessarily all. Let us consider applying a "cream". We see that 1) The motion use to apply it "resembles" that of the "erasure" motion 2) It makes disappear an unwanted surface (by covering it up) 3) A new surface emerges (if the cream doesn't get absorbed) 4) Obviously this new surface is an addition and NOT an already existing part of the old Since ERASURE and APPLYING a CREAM resemble each other in 3 of the 4 attributes we say APPLYING a CREAM is a CHILD of the FATHER erasure. Perhaps this was the Rav's reasoning.(Note:If the cream is absorbed all we really have in common is 1) and maybe 2)..so that the CHILD status does not happen) As to Rav Brown's comments on absorption: 1st) The skin smoothness is a new surface but comes after a while from physiological changes beneath the skin (so it is not like erasure). Also Mark may want to check Rambam, Property Damage, 13:12-13 where absorbed liquid is perceived as smoothing a surface..the point with spit may be that it is a small quantity). I hope this small introduction clarifies this rich but intricate topic Russell Hendel, PH.d,ASA, rhendel @ mcs drexel edu