IF A MAN LEFT HIS HOME TO PROCEED TO A TOWN WITH WHICH [HIS HOME TOWN DESIRED TO BE] CONNECTED BY AN ‘ERUB, BUT A FRIEND OF HIS INDUCED HIM TO RETURN HOME, HE HIMSELF IS ALLOWED TO PROCEED TO THE OTHER TOWN BUT ALL THE OTHER TOWNSPEOPLE ARE FORBIDDEN; SO R. JUDAH. R. MEIR RULED: WHOSOEVER IS ABLE TO PREPARE AN ERUV AND NEGLECTED TO DO IT IS IN THE POSITION OF AN ASS-DRIVER AND A CAMEL-DRIVER.
Love that last expression, which appears several times. Camels can only be pulled from in in front, donkeys can only be driven from behind. Someone who is both “an ass-driver and a camel-driver” is stuck. Can’t move forward, can’t move back.
Even more clear in the Gemora:
Whose view is followed in the ruling of Ulla that if a man set out on a journey and a friend of his induced him to return, behold he is regarded as having returned and as having set out? (But if he is regarded as ‘having returned’ why is he described as ‘having set out’? And if he is regarded as ‘having set out’ why is he described as ‘having returned’? — It is this that was meant: Although he has actually returned he is regarded as one who had set out).
And there’s even more:
MISHNAH. HE WHO WENT OUT BEYOND HIS SABBATH LIMIT EVEN ONLY A DISTANCE OF ONE CUBIT MUST NOT RE-ENTER. R. ELIEZER RULED: [IF A MAN WALKED] TWO CUBITS BEYOND HIS SABBATH LIMIT HE MAY RE-ENTER, [AND IF HE WALKED] THREE CUBITS HE MAY NOT RE-ENTER.
The difference between 2000 cubit limit and 2000 + 2 limit difference is that the person has a 4 cubit space in which he can move. The debate is whether you add half that limit or not.
Still, somewhere there is a limit. What then?
GEMARA. R. Hanina ruled: If a man had one foot within his Sabbath limit and his other foot without that Sabbath limit, he may not re-enter, for it is written in Scripture: If thou turn away thy foot from the sabbath,(Isaiah 58:13) the written form being ‘thy foot’.
This is based on the Isaiah text:
If you restrain your foot because of the sabbath, from pursuing your business on my holy day; and call the sabbath a delight, the holy day of the Lord honorable; and shall honor it, not doing your own ways, nor pursuing your own business, nor speaking of vain matters; (K) Then shall you delight yourself in the Lord (Is. 58:13-14a)
But, there is a disagreement in the text. Some read one foot, others read two!
Some there are who read: R. Hanina ruled: If a man had one foot within his Sabbath limit and his other foot without, he may re-enter, for it is written in Scripture: If thou turn away thy foot from Sabbath which is read as ‘thy feet’.
One foot, two foot. . .? We can solve it another way:
But was it not taught: He may not re-enter? — He maintains the same view as ‘Others’, it having been taught: A man is deemed to be where the greater part of his body is.
Well, as least we know where we stand (Ha!)