Shabbat 49 - Elisha with the dove's wings

Continuing with the list of materials that may be used to wrap, or insulate hot food before Shabbat - one can use clothing, produce (such as wheat or beans), dove's feathers, carpenter's sawdust, and flax combings - because all these don't add heat, an thus there is no danger that using them one can also start using ashes and then even rake the coals.

Actually, any feathers can be used, but dove's feathers are mentioned because they were more common and because of a story that follows. What was Elisha's relationship with dove's wings? Once the Roman government passed an edict that anyone who dons tefillin will have his brain under tefillin taken out. Nevertheless, this person named Elisha was wearing them in the marketplace. A certain Roman quaestor saw him; Elisha fled from him, and the officer pursued. As the officer caught up, Elisha took the tefillin off and held them in his hand. "What is in your hand?" - asked the officer. Elisha answered, "Dove's wings". He opened his hand, and indeed they were found to be dove's wings, and that is how Elisha got his nickname.

Why did Elisha refer specifically to a dove? - Because of its connection to the Jewish people, who is protected with good deeds just as the dove is protected with wings. Why was Elisha not required to sacrifice his life, and on the other hand, how was he allowed to put his life in danger in the first place - these questions are also discussed.

One may insulate the food with hides, and even move them, because even unprocessed hives can be used for reclining. However, there is still a question about the hides of a craftstman, who plans to sell them - perhaps they are not designated for use on Shabbat and may not be handled, as muktzeh.

Art: Franz Werner von Tamm - Doves