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Two mishnayot have confused me. The first is in Pesachim, which states that if 14 Nisan was on Shabbat, no one left the Temple Mount with their Korban Pesach until nightfall. The second is in Sukkah, which states that if the first day of Sukkot was on Shabbat they would bring their lulavim and etrogim the night before.

Wasn't there an Eruv in Jerusalem? If there was, it seems to me that they could go home immediately with the Korban Pesach and go to the Beit Hamikdash on Shabbat morning with their lulav and etrog, avoiding a difficult and uncomfortable procedure.

  • Jerusalem probably couldn’t have an eiruv, because (IIRC) an eiruv can’t pass over a reshus harabim, meaning somewhere where a lot of people pass. There were definitely a lot of people passing in Jerusalem on pesach and sukkos – Lo ani Oct 14 at 18:06
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    But Jerusalem was a walled city. I thought a walled city wasn't a Reshut Harabim but a Carmelit. – Daniel Kagan Oct 14 at 19:40
  • It’s assur to carry in a Carmelit also, derabanan. – Lo ani Oct 15 at 9:54
  • True, but you can make an Eruv in a Carmelit (and not in a true Reshut haRabim) – Daniel Kagan Oct 15 at 18:10
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    Daniel, all the stories and discussions of the Talmudic era make it sound like Reshut HaRabbim was a real normal phenomenon. From the legal principles derived and codified in most later works, it is hard to understand how that was the case. This is the classic problem in Eruvin: either you say indeed most of our city Eruvin are no good, or you say they actually had very specific bizarre urban set ups that left no historical record, or you say they consciously acted as if a virtually non-existent situation was ubiquitous. There are no possible proofs any way – Double AA Oct 17 at 20:48
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In your question you assume there was an eruv in Yerushalayim, and therefore find it difficult to understand why they would not carry the Korban Pesach home until night, and why they would bring the 4 minim before Shabbos.

However, it is clear from the Gemara Eruvin 101a that no eruv was made in the streets of Yerushalayim. Rav Moshe Feinstein [in Igros Moshe AH 1 - 139 pg 440 SV וגם], suggests a reason why even though Yerushalayim was a karmalis and an eruv could have been made, no eruv was made there. Since people come from all over to yerushalayim, there was a concern that some would go back home and make an eruv without all the conditions needed to do so.

  • If I recall correctly, Rav Feinstein was against using an eruv anywhere, for he felt that it would make people more lax in Shabbat observance and not appreciate the intense holiness of Shabbat. Perhaps, he used Yerushalayim as proof to support this thinking. Offhand, this seems as his analysis. Does he mention support for his thinking, or it is his theory? – DanF Oct 24 at 20:16

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