Torah Riddles Test #209

 2.      Question: Why does the prohibition of mechamer only apply to animals but not to slaves?


A. The melacha of Mechamer is the prohibition to command or lead your animal to do a melacha for you, for example instructing your donkey to walk while it has packages on it’s back or while a hoe is attached to it and inevitably the ground will be plowed.

B. There is a positive mitzvah on the owner to rest one’s animal and slave on Shabbos. The question is why doesn’t the negative mitzvah also apply for the slave?

C. A slave has free choice but an animal doesn’t, however when a slave does listen to the master it should be no different than the animal?

 D. The Ra”n and Rashba, arguing on the Minchas Chinuch hold that the prohibition of mechamer also applies to an animal which does not belong to you since it is doing a melacha on your command, you caused it to moved and it’s as if you did the melacha. But the Minchas Chinuch holds this only applies to your own animal because the verse says “and your animal”.

 Answer: Since a slave has free choice, even though he will do work on the owner’s command but it’s not like the owner itself is doing it, because the slave decides to listen to the command. But by an animal doing work on command of it’s owner or anyone’s command then it’s as if the person himself did the action because he caused the animal to do it without any other outside factors like a decision by the listener, so he transgressed the prohibition.