The mishna Shabas, daf 65 in the Bavli:

Medeans [may go out on Shabas] with p'rifa. Anyone [may], but the rabbis spoke about what occurs.

That is, Medeans do p'rifa, so the rabbis mentioned that they can go out like that on Shabas. Rashi explains the p'rifa was a sort of button: one would wrap a hard object, like a stone, in one edge of a garment and a strap to the other edge, put the garment around herself, and wrap the strap around the hard object to keep the garment in place.

The mishna continues:

One may do p'rifa with a stone, a nut, or a coin, so long as she does not do p'rifa first on Shabas.

The g'mara there (amud 2) notes the obvious problem with "so long as she does not do p'rifa first on Shabas":

But you said in the earlier clause that "one may do p'rifa"!?!

Abaye (there) resolves the difficulty:

In the later clause, we come to a coin.

That is — Rashi explains — the prohibition on p'rifa applies to a coin, which is muktze and cannot be handled on Shabas, whereas the permission immediately preceding it applied to things that are not muktze.

Huh?? The entire relevant difference, it seems, between the second-to-last and last clauses — the entire reason that the former permits and the latter forbids — is that "in the later clause we come to a coin". But the second-to-last, permitting clause explicitly mentions a coin!

  • I think he's saying you can walk around with a pre prifad shirt with a coin if the coin was set up as such before shabbat. Everything else you can even set up on shabbat itself. There's no two opinions. (just a thought haven't looked inside yet) – Double AA Jul 12 '15 at 5:36

Rashi explains that the question is based on the understanding that פורפת means she may wrap it on Shabbos, for if the Mishna would merely be telling us here that she may go out with what was already wrapped we've already seen that in the Reisha where it says in general Medians may go out with the button.

The Gemara assumes that בלבד is a condition on what was just mentioned. Abaye's answer is not to make בלבד into a new division of the Mishna. He is saying that it only goes back on the coin. The rest (prepared stone, almond) remain as understood, that she may wrap it on Shabbos.

פורפת doesn't inherently mean to wrap on Shabbos, for we see from Rashi that this understanding is based on context rather than definition. That context is true for most but not for coins, which is explicitly excluded.

The Mishna is to be read: Medians may go out with the button. They may wrap stones and almonds. They may go out with wrapped coins as well, but not to wrap it on Shabbos.

There would be a Chidddush in each case. The first two may even be wrapped in Shabbos, and coins — of which preparation doesn't remove its Muktza status — may also be used.

  • +1, sounds very plausible, and I thank you. But do you have any evidence that this is the explanation? or is there someone your learned this explanation from? – msh210 Jul 12 '15 at 15:51

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