One of the ironies I thought about when learning Tractate Eruvin was that we are constantly told that in the are of Eruvin the Rabbis generally decide the law leniently. Clearly there was an intention, on the part of the Rabbis, to make life easier for the Jewish people. Indeed, today we see how Eruvin around the world allow people to go out in wheelchairs and children in buggies and yet when it comes to modern day Eruvin, my feeling is that we are far more stringent than the Rabbis of the Talmud would want us to be.
Which brings me to Tractate Pesachim, which we started yesterday. A theme in Pesachim is that we should not drive ourselves mad with cleaning our houses for Pesach. The first mishna tells us that we do not need to search for chametz in places where none was taken during the year. And yet we find that people practically redecorate their whole houses (with cling film and surface covers!) in the run up to Pesach. Whilst this might be a nice idea, to spring clean once a year, the Rabbis did not seem to require such stringency!
Mazal tov to all who finished Eruvin – enjoy Pesachim!