THOUGHTS ON THE DAILY DAF
brought to you by Kollel Iyun Hadaf of Har Nof
Rosh Kollel: Rav Mordecai Kornfeld
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BEITZAH 26, 27, 28, 29 - dedicated by Yitzchak Gross of
Brooklyn, NY, l'Iluy Nishmas his father, Menashe Yehudah ben
Matisyahu, and his mother, Dina bas Yisroel.
1) 300 BARRELS OF "BIRUREI HA'MIDOS"
QUESTION: The Gemara relates that Aba Shaul ben Botnis, while selling wine,
once collected 300 barrels of wine from the "Birurei ha'Midos" (when he
poured wine into the buyer's jugs, the wine would foam up, preventing the
full measure from being filled).
One Girsa in the Mishnah (cited by Rashi) says that Aba Shaul ben Botnis
used to fill up the jugs at night on Chol ha'Mo'ed, so that the buyers who
would come to take the jugs the following day would receive a full measure
with no foamed-up wine (see Rashi, DH Tana Af). According to that Girsa, he
was very stringent not to be left with "Birurei ha'Midos," but to make sure
that every buyer received his full money's worth of wine. If so, how could
he have filled up 300 barrels of wine from "Birurei ha'Midos?"
ANSWER: Even after all of his cautiousness, Aba Shaul ben Botnis still
collected wine from "Birurei ha'Midos" from those who did not leave their
jugs with him the night before, but who came during the day to get wine from
Alternatively, he became cautious only *after* this incident occurred, when
he discovered how much "Birurei ha'Midos" he was actually getting.
2) HALACHAH: RE-SIFTING FLOUR ON YOM TOV
OPINIONS: The Beraisa records a Machlokes regarding "Shonin" -- re-sifting
flour (sifting it a second time) on Yom Tov in order to improve its
appearance, when it was already sifted once prior to Yom Tov. Everyone
agrees, though, says the Beraisa, that if a pebble or splinter fell into the
flour, then it is permitted to re-sift the flour in order to remove it. An
Amora reported to Ravina a Beraisa that says that if a pebble or splinter
fell into the flour, one may remove it with one's hand. Ravina responded
that such an action should certainly be Asur, because it resembles the
Melachah of Borer.
What is the Halachah regarding "Shonin" (re-sifting flour on Yom Tov), and
removing a pebble or splinter?
(a) The RAMBAM (Hilchos Yom Tov 3:14) rules like the practice of the wives
of Rav Yosef and Rav Ashi, who re-sifted flour with a Shinuy. Therefore,
when re- sifting, one should do it either on the back of an upside-down
sieve (as was the practice of Rav Yosef's wife), or he should do it onto a
table instead of into a mixing bowl (as was the practice of Rav Ashi's wife,
according to Tosfos' explanation).
HALACHAH: The SHULCHAN ARUCH (OC 506:2) rules like the Rosh, that flour may
be re-sifted on Yom Tov but with a slight Shinuy, such as sifting it on top
of a table. The REMA permits sifting flour for the first time when done with
a Shinuy, like the Rashbam, but says that in practice one should only rely
on this opinion if a *non-Jew* is sifting for him. The PRI CHADASH, cited by
the MISHNAH BERURAH (506:16) says that one should not even have a non-Jew
sift flour for him with a Shinuy. The Mishnah Berurah adds that if the non-
Jew sifts with a gross Shinuy, such as with an upside-down sieve, then
perhaps even the Pri Chadash would permit having a non-Jew do it.
(b) The ROSH (3:16) asks why the RIF cites both the incident of Rav Yosef,
who told his wife *not* to re- sift the flour with a Shinuy but to do it
normally, and the incident of Rav Ashi, who commended his wife for doing it
with a Shinuy. They seem to be contradictory incidents, so why does the Rif
cite both when writing the Halachah?
The Rosh explains that they are both correct. On one hand, one should not
use a gross Shinuy, such as using an upside-down sieve, because then it does
not sift so well and the bread will not taste so good. On the other hand,
one should use a slight Shinuy, such as sifting the flour onto a table.
(c) TOSFOS (DH Agav) cites the RASHBAM who says that a Shinuy helps not only
for re-sifting flour, but also for sifting flour for the first time on Yom
The Rishonim point out that the Rashbam had a different Girsa in his Gemara.
Instead of the words, "Kamah Mahulta *Hadran* b'Neherda'a" (see how many
sieves are "going around" Neherda'a -- being used for re-sifting), his Girsa
read, "Kamah Mahulta *Rakdan* b'Neherda'a" (see how many sieves are
"sifting" in Neherda'a -- i.e. first-time sifting).
Regarding the removal of a pebble or splinter that fell into the flour on
Yom Tov, since it was impossible to remove it before Yom Tov, there is
reason to permit sifting it on Yom Tov. The same applies when one crushes
Matzos on Yom Tov and wants to sift it to remove the clumps; there is reason
to permit it since it was not possible to sift it before Yom Tov. The
MISHNAH BERURAH (506:9) rules that it is Mutar to separate the splinter with
a sieve if one does so with a Shinuy, since it is not a type of Melachah
that is done for large quantities at one time, and thus it is not a Melachah
that is Asur on Yom Tov when done for Ochel Nefesh.
The REMA writes that regarding removing the pebble with one's hands, some
are stringent since that is Borer, for that is the way Borer is done all the
time. According to this, it comes out that it is permitted to be Borer the
pebble with a utensil (a sieve), but it is prohibited to do it by hand,
which is the opposite of what we are accustomed to learning. The reason for
this unusual ruling is because everything depends on the normal manner of
sifting the flour to remove pebbles. Since during the week it is normally
done by hand, that is considered the manner in which it is Asur to do it on
The Girsa of the RE'AH and the ME'IRI here, though, implies the opposite
conclusion. According to their Girsa, Ravina told the Amora that separating
the pebble from the flour with a *sieve* is Asur because of Borer, and
instead one should separate it by hand. According to this Girsa, our Gemara
is expressing the usual Heter, that it is Asur to do with a utensil and
Mutar to do by hand.