Shabbos Page 12: Esoteric Debates with Graphic Facts

Shabbos page 12 has the famous debate between Rabbi Yehuda and Rebbi Shimon about  whether an act violates shabbos under the concept of a physical act which causes unintended consequences.  It is a difficult concept to explain. Rabbi Judah says if you do an act which causes an unintended consequences you violate the Sabbath. Rabbi Shimon says that if you do an act which causes unintended consequences you do not violate Shabbos.

The example is a person with  a spiritual disease known as a Zav. A Zav has an uncontrolled emission of fluid from his male organ.   The discussion is whether a Zav (the person with this disease) violates the Sabbath if he puts on a pouch around his male organ and then walks out into the public domain.  The real intention of wearing this pouch is to keep his clothes clean and spare embarrasement.  The unintended consequence is carrying somthing on Shabbos from one domain to another and therefore violates Shabbos. Rabbi Yehuda says liable and Rabbi. Rabbi shimon reasons, he wants to keep clean and not be embarrassed. He dosent want to carry.

Why did the Talmud have to take such a beautiful, theoretical  and esoteric debate and use such a gross disgusting example to illuminate. Clearly there a tons of otherr scenarios that the Talmud could have used.  Why this one?

The Shikkerdovid can answer the question from a shiur he heard Rabbi David Aron of Yeshiva orayata give in January.  The Shiur was on the Ashar Yatzar prayer that we say after relieving ourselves and leaving the lavatory.  Rabbi Aron said that in that prayer we mention “the seat of kavod” for Gd.  Rabbi Aron says we juxtapose hashem’s throne to this lowly act of man to show that the universe is seamless. There is no boundary or distinction between spiritual – lofty and physical. All is from Hashem. All is Torah.  HASHEM created us with needs, bodily functions and they too are holy.

The answer to why this esoteric debat uses this gross  example is the same. All intelletual and esoteric ideas are Torah along with the graphic, the disgusting, the extemely physical nature of man. Torah is not binary.  Torah encompasses the lofty and the lowly.

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