כ״ח באב ה׳תשע״ד (August 24, 2014)

Moed Katan 13a-b: Also on Hol HaMoed

Another activity that should not be scheduled for Hol HaMoed is moving one’s furniture from one house to another. The Mishna teaches that moving from one house to another is forbidden, although you can move furniture out of your house into the yard that is attached to it.

The Talmud Yerushalmi distinguishes between moving out of a house, and having new furniture, appliances, etc. delivered to your house. The latter case would be permitted, according to the Yerushalmi, since receiving these new furnishings is a happy occasion for someone, which matches the mood of the holiday.

Yet another concern expressed by the Mishna is a case where a craftsman has completed work on something that belongs to you. Can it be picked up from him on Hol HaMoed? According to the Mishna you should try to avoid doing so, but in the event that you are concerned about leaving it with the craftsman, it can be taken from his workplace and left outside in the yard. A baraita is quoted by the Gemara that allows for storing the finished product in a safer place, if necessary, and even allowing it to be brought home – in a discreet manner – if there is concern that it will be stolen, or even if one feels that the craftsman cannot be trusted and may ask to be paid for it a second time.

Several reasons are suggested by the rishonim in explanation of the rule forbidding finished products from being brought home from the craftsman’s shop –
According to Rashi the concern is the effort that needs to be expended in bringing it home.
The Ran and the Meiri suggest that it appears as though the work was given to – and performed by – the craftsman on Hol HaMoed.
The Ritva simply argues that this is a “profane” act, one that is more appropriate for a weekday than for a holiday.