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Beitzah 29

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.


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 him.

Alternatively, he became cautious only *after* this incident occurred, when he discovered how much "Birurei ha'Midos" he was actually getting.


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).

(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 Tov.

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).

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.

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 Yom Tov.

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.

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