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Bava Metzia, 90


QUESTION: The Gemara quotes two Beraisos which state that one does not transgress the Isur of "Lo Sachsom" when he muzzles his cows that are "Merachsos" -- stamping soaked barley grains to remove the chaff. RASHI (DH ha'Merachsos) says that the reason is because the grain has already become obligated to have Ma'aser removed from the time that the grain was threshed ("Dishah"), which is considered the final stage of processing ("Gemar Melachah") with regard to Ma'aser.

Why does Rashi say that the grain becomes obligated in Ma'aser at the time of threshing? All other produce becomes obligated in Ma'aser from the time of "Miru'ach" -- the leveling of the pile of produce! (YAD DAVID)


(a) The YAD DAVID answers that the Beraisa here is referring to grains of barley that were soaked in water and then oven-dried, and which are now being stamped upon by the cows in order to remove the chaff, as Rashi explains (89b, DH ha'Merachsos ba'Tevu'ah). It is not the manner to do this process with a large quantity of barley, but rather with a small quantity, and thus there is no "Miru'ach" since there is not enough grain to make a pile. Consequently, the "Gemar Melachah" is the time of threshing.

(b) The RITVA (89b, DH Tanu Rabanan Paros) cites Rashi's explanation of the process of "Merachsos." He then writes that the reason one does not transgress the Isur of "Lo Sachsom" is "because the grain has already been leveled in a pile and thus has become obligated in Ma'aser." According to the Ritva, it is not the "Dishah" which is the "Gemar Melachah" that makes the grain obligated in Ma'aser, but it is, indeed, the "Miru'ach," in contrast to Rashi's explanation. (I. Alsheich)

OPINIONS: The Beraisa states that one does not transgress the Isur of "Lo Sachsom" when he muzzles his cow that is threshing produce of Terumah and Ma'aser. However, one should place a handful of the same type of produce with which the cow is working into a feedbag and hang it around the cow's neck so that people not suspect the owner of muzzling the cow unlawfully. Raban Shimon ben Yochai rules that one should hang Karshinim (a type of bean) around the cow's neck, "because Karshinim are the healthiest of all foods" for the cow.

Is Raban Shimon ben Gamliel arguing with the Tana Kama, or is he explaining the words of the Tana Kama?

(a) The RITVA in the name of his Rebbi (the RE'AH) writes that Raban Shimon ben Yochai is explaining the words of the Tana Kama. Even though the Tana Kama requires that one feed to the cow the same type of produce with which the cow is working, and not a different type of produce, nevertheless one may feed the cow Karshinim even though it is not working with Karshinim, because of the superior health benefits of Karshinim.

He proves this from the Gemara later which asks whether it is permitted to muzzle a cow which experiences digestive problems when it eats. Does the Torah prohibit muzzling the animal because muzzling the animal is detrimental to its health, and thus where *eating* would be detrimental to its health it would be permitted to muzzle it, or does the Torah prohibit it because the animal sees the food and experiences distress when it cannot eat the food, and thus even when the animal would get sick by eating the food, it is Asur to muzzle it since it sees the food and experiences distress? Rav Sheshes answers this question from the words of Raban Shimon bar Yochai in the Beraisa, who says that one should feed his cow Karshinim because it is the healthiest food. From here we see that the Isur of "Lo Sachsom" is because of concern for the animal's health.

If Raban Shimon ben Yochai is arguing with the Tana Kama, then how could Rav Sheshes answer the Gemara's question with the view of Raban Shimon bar Yochai? His view is a minority opinion with which the Chachamim argue, and we would have to conclude that the Gemara's question is the subject of a Machlokes Tana'im between the Tana Kama and Raban Shimon bar Yochai! It must be, therefore, that Raban Shimon bar Yochai is explaining the view of the Tana Kama, and no one argues.

(b) The ROSH (7:6) writes that the Tana Kama and Raban Shimon ben Yochai are arguing. Raban Shimon bar Yochai holds that one should hang Karshinim around the cow's neck because of its superior nutritional value. While the Tana Kama agrees with Raban Shimon bar Yochai regarding the nature of the Isur of "Lo Sachsom" (i.e. that it is for the sake of the health of the animal), the Tana Kama argues and holds that one may *not* feed the cow Karshinim when it is working with another type of produce, because others will suspect that he is transgressing the Isur of "Lo Sachsom."

This also seems to be the view of TOSFOS (DH Amar), who writes that the Rabanan (the Tana Kama) do not argue with Raban Shimon bar Yochai with regard to the nature of the Isur of "Lo Sachsom." This implies that they *do* argue with regard to another issue -- they hold that the owner may *not* feed the cow Karshinim, but only the type of produce with which the cow is working. The TOSFOS SHANTZ cited by the Shitah Mekubetzes writes this explicitly. (See, however, the MINCHAS CHINUCH (Mitzvah 596).) (I. Alsheich)


QUESTION: Rebbi Yochanan and Reish Lakish argue about a case in which one prevents his cow from eating by yelling at it, without doing any action. RASHI (DH Chasmah b'Kol) explains that refers to a when the animal was bending down to eat and the owner yells at it and stops it from eating. Rebbi Yochanan considers the movement of owner's mouth when he yells to be an action (and thus it is a "Lav she'Yesh Bo Ma'aseh"), while Reish Lakish exempts the owner because he holds that yelling is not considered an action.

RAV ELCHANAN WASSERMAN (in Kovetz Shemu'os) asks why is this form of muzzling considered to be a "Lav she'Ein Bo Ma'aseh" according to Reish Lakish? When the owner then guides the animal and threshes with it, he is doing an action with the "muzzled" animal! The Isur of "Lo Sachsom" is that it is prohibited to work with a muzzled animal, and the owner is now working (threshing) with a muzzled animal! (He proves this from the fact that had the owner muzzled the animal and someone else worked with the animal while it was muzzled, the second person would transgress the Isur and not the first. See TOSFOS RID (90a).)

ANSWER: Rav Elchanan Wasserman answers that the Gemara is discussing a case in which someone else threshes with the animal while the owner yells at it and prevents it from eating. This act is also prohibited by the Isur of "Lo Sachsom." Just like it is prohibited to work with an animal that is muzzled, it is also prohibited to muzzle an animal while it is working. Accordingly, the owner transgresses the Isur of "Lo Sachsom" without performing any action, but merely by yelling. (See also DARCHEI DAVID.) (I. Alsheich)

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