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Shabbat Parashat Shelach| 5770

Hemdat HaDaf Hayomi: Defining a Person as a Resident in a City (112a)

Rav Ofer Livnat

    Sivan 17-23, Sanhedrin 107-113


This week in the Daf Hayomi, one of the issues the Gemara discusses is Ir Hanidachat, a city of idolaters. When an entire city god forbid worships idolatry, the punishment is different than the punishment for a single person who worships idolatry. Therefore, the Gemara raises the question of when someone staying in a city attains the status of a city resident.

The Gemara states that the criteria differ from issue to issue. In regards to the Halacha of an Ir Hanidachat, anyone who has stayed for thirty days is considered part of the city. However, regarding the obligation to take part in the expenses of the protection of a city, one attains the status of city resident only after living in the city for twelve months.

The Mishna in Baba Batra (7b) adds that, if a person buys a home in a city, he is immediately defined as a city resident. Therefore in order for one to be considered a city member regarding the protection of the city, one must either live in the city for twelve months or buy a residence there.

The Rishonim disagree as to how to understand these conditions. According to the Rivash (475), these conditions only reflect the intent of a person to stay in the city. However, if it is known that he moved with the intention of staying, even if he has yet to live there for twelve months, and did not buy a home, he still must partake in the protection expenses. So too, if he rented a home for twelve months, he is considered a city resident. In contrast, the Mordechai (Baba Batra 477) claims that only one who lived in the city for twelve months or bought a home there is considered a city resident. According to his opinion, intent is not enough to define someone as a city resident, and a more substantial act must be done.


Summary and Ruling:

The Shulchan Aruch (163, 2) rules that a person who lived in a city for twelve months or bought a home there must partake in the protection expenses. The Remma quotes the disagreement between the Rivash and the Mordechai as to whether one who comes with the intent of staying, or has rented a home for twelve months, is also considered a city resident. However, adds the Remma, if there is a custom in the city as to this issue, the custom must be followed.  


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This week’s Hemdat Yamim is dedicated in loving memory of

R' Meir ben
Yechezkel Shraga Brachfeld

Hemdat Yamim is endowed by
Les & Ethel Sutker of Chicago, Illinois in loving memory of
Max and Mary Sutker and
Louis and Lillian Klein, z”l.


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