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The Melachah Of Soter - Destroying

The Daily Halacha Moment - Soter (Destroying) 🛠

״כל השונה הלכות בכל יום - מובטח לו שהוא בן העולם הבא״ (נידה עג ע״א, מגילה כח:)

“Anyone who studies Halachot every day is guaranteed that he is destined for the world-to-come” (Megilla 28b, Niddah 73a)


What is the Melachah of Soter?


As discussed in a previous Halacha Moment, in the melachah of Boneh, the main structure of the Mishkan was made up of wooden planks. These planks were periodically dismantled and transported as the Bnei Yisrael were travelling in the desert. Upon reaching their next stop, the Mishkan would then be reassembled. Thus, the Av melachah of Soter is accomplished through taking apart a structure with intention to rebuild it. [1]

The melachah of Soter is directly connected to the melachah of Boneh, and in general, what may not be assembled because of Boneh, may not be disassembled or undone because of Soter. [2]

The main melachah of Soter is destroying a structure with the intention to build something even better or improve it. However, if one is destroying something without any intention to improve it, or just with the intention of destroying it, then it is only rabbinically prohibited to do so. [3]


[1]. Gemara, Shabbat, 31b; Rambam, Shabbat, 10:15.

[2]. See Gemara Shabbat 122b, which implies that Soter is dependent on Boneh.

[3]. See Menuchat Ahavah, vol. 3, 23:48.

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