What is the practical difference between actions considered Pesik Reshe Delo Niha Le, Pesik Reshe Delo Ichpat Le, and Melecha She'en Sarich Legufa? What is an example that can demonstrate the difference between the three?

(Sources, of course [see the Rashash on Tosafot Ketuvot 6a])

  • According to Tosafos (Shabbos 103a, s.v. lo tz'richa), there is no difference between פסיק רישא דלא ניחא ליה and פסיק רישא דלא איכפת ליה. Rashi's position is less clear. See here for a brief overview of opinions. Regardless, p'sik reisha involves an incidental but unavoidable m'lacha that occurs as a result of an activity, while m'lacha she'eina tz'richa l'gufa involves a non-incidental m'lacha which is the basis for an activity...
    – Fred
    Commented May 22, 2013 at 6:09
  • ... but that was not performed for the same type of purpose as that m'lacha was performed in the mishkan. For example, digging a hole to get dirt rather than to create a furrow would be eina t'zricha l'gufa but still nicha leih. This is an oversimplification of the topic, so hopefully someone will post a proper, thorough answer.
    – Fred
    Commented May 22, 2013 at 6:13
  • IIRC Reb Chaim touches on this in Hilchot Shabbat 10:17
    – Double AA
    Commented May 22, 2013 at 12:06
  • "the practical difference": do you mean the difference in the person's action (which action is considered enah t'zricha l'gufah and which is p'sik resha) or the difference in law (what the level of prohibition of a m'lacha sheenah t'zricha l'gufah is and what the level of prohibition of a p'sike resha is)?
    – msh210
    Commented Jun 21, 2013 at 14:55
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    @SethJ My pleasure. Thanks for your holy contributions to the site!
    – Lee
    Commented Jun 21, 2013 at 16:55

3 Answers 3


As mentioned in the comments פסיק רישא דלא ניחא ליה is probably equivalent to פסיק רישא דלא איכפת ליה. The Big Question is regular פסיק רישא vs. מלאכה שאינה צריכה לגופה

There is double machlokes that comes up between R.Shimon and R. Yehuda. R.Shimon holds "דבר שאינו מתכוון is muttar (Beitza 2:10), while R.Yehuda holds its assur. R. Shimon holds מלאכה שאינה צריכה לגופה is assur (rabbinically) while R.Yehuda holds it d'oraysa.

The Categories
דבר שאינו מתכוון - when you do one act, and another secondary action also takes place. E.g. if you drag a light bench to bring somewhere, and it might cause a furrow to be dug, (the melahca of plowing). The shulchan aruch et.al. hold this is muttar (like R.Shimon), even if the secondary act is beneficial.

A פסיק רישא is a davar sh'eino miskavein where the secondary act is for sure going to happen. E.g. if you drag a heavy bench somewhere, and it will definitely cause a furrow to be dug (which is also beneficial). This is forbidden even according to R. Shimon, and many views hold it is assur d'oraysa.

A פסיק רישא דלא ניחא ליה is simply a פסיק רישא where the secondary act is not beneficial (or worse). For example, if you get no benefit from the furrow your bench creates. While there were some who permitted this, most hold it is rabbinically forbidden (see שו"ע או"ח סימן שכ:יח).

The standard case of מלאכה שא"צ לגופה is if you blow out a candle to make the room dark, but not to get ashes (the purpose of the melacha in the mishkan). I.e. you do a melacha but not לגופה, for its "purpose". The Shulchan aruch et.al. again hold like R.Shimon, though some (the Rambam) hold like R.Yehudah.

מלאכה שא"צ לגופה also comes up when you dig to get dirt, but it results in a hole being built (melacha of boneh). This leads to various complexities and there are many different interpretations on how it differs from פסיק רישא.
According to a standard explanation, when you do an action (digging) for a different purpose (getting dirt) we can show its in a different form than the melacha in the mishkan, but when you do a different action (dragging a bench), you're intent no longer matters, and it may be d'oraysa (of plowing). There are still some difficulties, so there are other explanations and divisions between d'oraysa and derabanan.


In Hilchos Shabbos 1:7 of the Mishnah Torah, The Kesef Mishna brings HaRav Avraham Hachasid (Rambam's son) and explains psik reisha doesn't need the actual melacha, he brings the case of closing a door on a deer.By melacha shaina tzricha it is the melacha you want but not its purpose, ayin sham.

  • I dont know why you all call it psik raisho. The correct term is dovor shaino miscavain which as you correctly say he is not 'mechavain' for the m'locho.
    – user2800
    Commented Jun 21, 2013 at 12:53
  • @annex did you see the source?
    – sam
    Commented Jun 21, 2013 at 18:32
  • No, but while youre at it. Is misaseik for which one is potur a maase aveira or not. If one east matsa as misaseik is one yotsai since if one eats 'cheilev' one is chayev. If the 'hano'oh' makes it into a maase then maybe he is. If it is a maaseh anyway only potur when there is no hanooh. Then just because he is chayev with a hanooh it doesnt follow that with matsa, a mitsva, he is yotsai.
    – user2800
    Commented Jun 23, 2013 at 0:42
  • It comes into present daf yomi psochim. The question being why must one search for chomets. If he has any its no worse than misasaik.
    – user2800
    Commented Jun 23, 2013 at 0:43
  • Yes, this is the answer I was looking for but you could have explained a little better in my opinion. Commented Aug 30, 2013 at 21:15

I based this off one of the Aharonim I just don't remember right now which Aharon (I think it was the Rashash Ketuvot 6a).

By Melacha Sheen Sarich Legufa: the actual action is a Melacha even if you don't want to do the Melacha it is inevidble because the action itself is a Melacha.

By Pesik Reshe Delo Niha Le: The action itself isnt a Melacha but there is an inevidble Melacha that comes along with it.

Now this is based off a few other Mefarshim:

Pesik Reshe Delo Niha Le- is that he specifically doesn't want the Melacha that is occuring to occur because it's unncessary but it is inevidable

Pesik Reshe Delo Ichpat Le- he doesn't care if it happens but it is inevidable.

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