A בא במחתרת (one who tunnels into someone else's domain) assuming he is not the father of the homeowner has a חזקה (status) of אין לו דמים ("has no blood" = can be killed by anyone).

What happens though when during his breach into the homeowner's house (while still in the tunnel) rubble falls onto the tunneler (בא במחתרת) and now he is pinned down under the rubble? The Gemara lets us know the answer to this if the tunneler was יש לו דמים ("has blood" = can't be killed). The Gemara says we must save this tunneler's life even on Shabbat. The Gemara doesn't mention though what happens in a case of אין לו דמים.

Regarding the case of אין לו דמים I have the following question.

The tunneler came into the tunnel with 2 חזקות.

  1. He is alive (physically).
  2. אין לו דמים.

My question is as follows:

When it comes to a חזקה most of the time the ruling is as so: If the חזקה is in question, we maintain the original חזקה until we are sure of his new status. But there is also an idea of חזקה שהורעה: this is a weakened חזקה about which we hold (מדרבנן) that we are strict and we do not maintain the previous חזקה.

Example: I threw a marriage document and we aren't sure whether it fell close enough to the woman to have her married. The rabbis say she cannot maintain her previous status of single since they hold it's a חזקה שהורעה.

Final question: Once the rubble fell we aren't sure if the tunneler is alive (in this case), if he's alive we will hold that he's not a threat to us since he's pinned down by the rocks. He had 2 original חזקות (mentioned above) but now those חזקות are in question for if he's alive then we hold he's no longer a threat and would be liable to be saved, on the other hand maybe he died אין לו דמים. Are these חזקות under the category of חזקה שהורעה or are they a regular חזקה for which we would hold its original status during this time of ספק? And why?

  • Perhaps at the moment during which he is blocked in rubble, he is not dangerous. Thus "Yesh Lo Damim"???
    – kouty
    Mar 14, 2016 at 23:20
  • Question is about חזקה whether חזקה שהורעה applies here and why
    – huddie96
    Mar 15, 2016 at 5:09
  • The Ba beMachtereth is KO, and when the real world is known, we don't need Chazakoth. Hazaka is an instrument that says what to do when the situation is unknown. Do we understand each other?
    – kouty
    Mar 15, 2016 at 12:12


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