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Chagigah, 19

CHAGIGAH 19 & 20 - anonymously dedicated by an Ohev Torah and Marbitz Torah in Ramat Beit Shemesh, Israel.


QUESTIONS: The Gemara cites the Mishnah in Mikva'os (5:6) which states that if a wave with forty Se'ah of water rushes out of the sea and falls onto a person, the person becomes Tahor. The Gemara explains that this form of Tevilah is only valid if the person is at the "head" (Roshin) of the wave, meaning that the wave meets him as it hits the ground, and not that the crest of the wave passes over him while it is still lifted above the ground (Kipin). The latter is not a valid form of Tevilah, the Gemara says, since it is like immersing "in the air."

The Gemara explains that we might have thought that the Rabanan prohibited Tevilah even in the Roshin of a wave in order that a person not think that it is permitted to immerse in a "Chardalis," a waterfall, or rushing stream, of rainwater.

RASHI explains that the reason why immersing in a Chardalis of rainwater is not a valid Tevilah is because the stream is at a steep incline, or "Katafras," and water on an incline cannot be viewed as a single cohesive unit of water. That is, a Chardalis is viewed as a collection of individual drops of water, and as such it lacks the minimum required volume of a Mikvah (forty Se'ah). The Gemara is saying that we might have thought that if it is permitted to immerse in a wave which contains forty Se'ah of water, one might come to immerse in a Chardalis with forty Se'ah of water (which is certainly not a valid Tevilah, since the water is not considered joined together to make forty Se'ah).

When Rashi discusses the identical Sugya in Chulin (31b), he stops at this point. Here in Chagigah, though, he adds that there is an additional problem with immersing in a stream of rainwater. Besides the problem of Katafras, the water of a Chardalis cannot be Metaher a person because it is "Zochalin," flowing, and rainwater must be stationary and gathered in one place in order to be Metaher.

We may ask a number of questions on this Sugya:

First, why is it that immersion in a wave is a valid Tevilah? Why is there no problem of Zochalin, since the wave is flowing, and why is there no problem of Katafras, since the water in the wave is descending at a slant? Zochalin might not be a problem, because the Mishnah (Mikva'os 5:4) says that oceanwater is like springwater, and not like rainwater. It is Metaher a person even when it is flowing. Since the wave is coming from the sea, it can be Metaher even when it is Zochalin. However, the problem of Katafras still remains -- how can the forty Se'ah in the wave (either Rosh or Kipah) be considered a full forty Se'ah?

Second, why did Rashi mention that immersing in a Chardalis is not valid because of Katafras? Since the Chardalis is rainwater, it is obvious that such a Tevilah will be invalid because it is *Zochalin*, flowing, and there is no need for Rashi to add the additional reason of Katafras! Yet, in Chulin (31b), Rashi omits this reason altogether, while here he adds it only as an afterthought! (TOSFOS in Chulin asks this question on Rashi.)

Third, in general, why is it necessary to for the Chachamim to tell us that rainwater that is flowing, Zochalin, may not be used for Tevilah? Every instance of flowing rainwater should also be invalid for Tevilah for another reason -- it is a Katafras, and is not considered to have in it forty combined Se'ah of water!

ANSWERS: There appears to be a basic argument between Rashi and Tosfos how to understand the Mishnah of "Gal she'Nitlash," immersing in a wave, which affects the answers to all of our questions.

The Acharonim point out that the Mishnah of "Gal she'Nitlash" seems to contradict itself. On one hand, Tevilah in the wave, while it is Zochalin, is valid, apparently because the oceanwater of the wave is considered like springwater (which is valid for Tevilah even while flowing). On the other hand, springwater is Metaher even with *less* than forty Se'ah, and yet the Mishnah says that the wave is Metaher because it has *forty Se'ah* in it! If it is considered like springwater, then it should be Metaher with less than forty Se'ah. This implies that it is not considered like springwater, but like rainwater, and if so, why is it Metaher when it is Zochalin?

The Acharonim offer different approaches to resolve this question. The TAZ (YD 201:5) explains that the wave is really part of the sea, since it is still attached to the sea, and it is considered like springwater which is valid for Tevilah while flowing. It does not really need forty Se'ah; however, it does have to cover the person entirely in order to be Metaher him. Since, normally, forty Se'ah are required to cover a person with water, the Mishnah mentions forty Se'ah, as a practical consideration. (See also ME'IRI here.)

The SHACH (ibid.) argues. He maintains that the case of "Gal she'Nitlash" refers to a wave that is *entirely* separated from the sea. Since it is no longer part of the sea, it needs forty Se'ah, like rainwater. However, it is Metaher b'Zochalin since it is similar to springwater in the sense that its natural tendency is to move; that is, it has inherent energy moving it, in contrast to rainwater, which just falls and collects. (See also TOSFOS YOM TOV on this Mishnah, in the name of the MAHARIK.) (Other answers to this question are offered by the RASHBA (in Toras ha'Bayis, Hilchos Mikva'os, and cited by TOSFOS YOM TOV, ibid., from the ROSH), TOSFOS CHADASHIM, MISHNAH ACHARONAH and others.)

The answer to this question seems to be at the core of the argument between Rashi and Tosfos.

(a) Rashi learned the first way -- that the wave is still considered springwater. The first question is answered easily; there is no problem of Katafras or Zochalin in a wave since it is considered like springwater, which is Metaher with less than forty Se'ah (i.e. even if it is a Katafras and its volume of water may not be combined into one large forty-Se'ah Mikvah) and with Zochalin.

As for our second question, why Rashi says that the reason Tevilah in a Chardalis is invalid is because of Katafras, TOSFOS (DH Nigzor) quotes RABEINU ELCHANAN who explains Rashi's logic. If the water in the wave is normally Metaher b'Zochalin like springwater, then why should we have thought that a person will confuse oceanwater with a Chardalis of rainwater, and use rainwater that are Zochalin? If we would make such a Gezeirah, we should *never* permit the use of springwater that is Zochalin lest one use rainwater that is Zochalin! It must be that we thought Tevilah in a wave would lead to Tevilah in a *Katafras*, but not in rainwater that is Zochalin. Thus, Rashi is once again following the opinion of the Taz, that a wave is part of the ocean and is identical to normal springwater.

How, though, is it possible to immerse in a Katafras of rainwater that is not invalid for Tevilah because it is *Zochalin*? If it is Katafras, it is also Zochalin! The answer is that we find such a scenario in a case similar to the case at the end of this Amud, where there is a proper Mikvah (with forty Se'ah) at the top of a hill, and a Chardalis descending from it. If the water flowing in a Chardalis is considered to be attached to the water in the Mikvah at the top of the hill, then one may immerse in the stream because it is considered to be *part of the Mikvah* (which is not flowing) at the top of the hill, even though it is a Katafras (TIFERES YAKOV in Chulin 31b). When Rashi here adds that in addition to Katafras, one cannot immerse in a Chardalis because it is Zochalin, he is referring to a *normal* Chardalis of rainwater (which is not connected to a Mikvah -- similar to the wave in our Gemara). Since it is not important to know that Halachah in order to understand our Gemara, Rashi leaves it out altogether in Chulin.

As for our third question, the difference between the Pesul of Katafras and of Zochalin, Rashi (DH Chardalis; Avodah Zarah 72a, DH Katafras; Shabbos 31b, DH Chardalis) emphasizes that a Katafras is a *very steep* slope. He seems to be distinguishing between Katafras and Zochalin based on the gradient of the slope; a slight slope, which causes the water to run but not to rush swiftly, is Zochalin but not Katafras. This sums up Rashi's opinion.

(b) TOSFOS (in Chulin 31b) disagrees with Rashi and explains that Chardalis is not valid for Tevilah simply because it is Zochalin. He will answer all of our questions differently that Rashi, because he explains the Mishnah about Gal she'Nitlash differently. He understands (like the Shach) that the wave of the Mishnah is *entirely* separated from the sea, and no longer is considered to be springwater. Since it has been cut off from the sea, it is considered like rainwater and needs forty Se'ah to be Metaher a person. The reason it is nonetheless Metaher with Zochalin is because it is naturally propelled with its own force, unlike rainwater (which simply falls). Anything that carries its own force is able to be Metaher even while flowing (see also TOSFOS in Shabbos 109a, DH Rebbi Yosi). Thus, wave-water is an exception to the normal rule: it is a form of non-springwater that is nevertheless Metaher while flowing. Since it is not springwater, it is indeed a possibility that the Rabanan would prohibit Tevilah in a rushing wave, lest one permit immersing in a Chardalis of rainwater that is rushing past, thinking that there is no difference between a wave that is rushing past and a rain-water stream that is rushing past; anything that is rushing past in its natural course is Metaher b'Zochalin. (In truth, the rainwater stream is not Metaher b'Zochalin, since its force derives solely from the pressure of the water above it, again resorting to the force of gravity rather than tidal or other water-jet forces.) This is why Tosfos could learn that one might confuse immersing in a wave with immersing in normal rainwater b'Zochalin.

According to Tosfos, why is there no problem of Katafras when immersing in a wave? Since he holds that the wave *must* indeed carry forty Se'ah of water, and is considered like rainwater, the fact that it is falling from the air -- Katafras -- should invalidate if for Tevilah.

It appears from Tosfos in Chulin 31b (see RASHASH there) that all of the water *in the slope of a Katafras itself* is considered attached; it is just that the standing water above or below the slope is not considered a part of the water in the Katafras. Consequently, if there are forty Se'ah in the slope, it would be permitted to immerse in a Katafras, if not for the additional problem of Zochalin. Since a wave carrying forty Se'ah of water does not have the problem of Zochalin (as explained above), one may immerse in a wave, and Katafras does not invalidate it for Tevilah. This answers our first question, why the wave itself is not invalid because it is a Katafras.

The answer to the third question is now obvious as well. What does the Pesul of Zochalin add to the Pesul of Katafras? It invalidates Tevilah *in the water on the slope* if there are forty Se'ah of water on the slope. (Tosfos himself explicitly writes this in Chulin, ibid.)

(c) We have presented the ways that Rashi and Tosfos in our Sugya answer our third question (what the difference is between the Pesulim of Zochalin and Katafras). It is interesting to note that an entirely new approach to this subject appears in the HAGAHOS HA'GRA (YD 201:6) in the name of the RIVASH. According to that approach, the two Pesulim of Katafras and Zochalin are indeed one and the same! The reason rainwater cannot be Metaher while flowing is because a flowing body of water is invalid for Tevilah because it is Katafras. Its forty Se'ah cannot be combined to produce one cohesive Mikvah; instead, it is like thousands of tiny droplets of water (that happen to be next to each other). Tevilah in Zochalin is like Tevilah in a Mikvah that lacks forty Se'ah of water.

Springwater, though, is Metaher b'Zochalin. Since it is not necessary to have forty Se'ah of springwater for Tevilah, and even the smallest amount that covers the object being immersed suffices, one may immerse in springwater that is flowing. Katafras (meaning Zochalin) cannot invalidate it for Tevilah, since Katafras just breaks it up into drops of water less than forty Se'ah each, and forty Se'ah is not necessary when immersing in springwater!

(RASHI himself in Shabbos 109a, DH Kol ha'Yamim, appears to cite a similar explanation to that of the Rivash. After a lengthy explanation of the Gemara, he says "I have not learned this way." It is not clear which part of his explanation he is rejecting. According to what we have explained here, he might be rejecting the approach of the Rivash, who equates the Pesulim of Zochalin and Katafras.)

OPINIONS: The Gemara concludes that when washing one's hands for Chulin, one's Netilas Yadayim is valid for Chulin even if he does not have Kavanah. What is the Halachah with regard to eating bread of Chulin after washing one's hands without Kavanah, such as when a pail of water fell on one's hands and he did not have intention that he was washing his hands in order to eat bread?
(a) The BEIS YOSEF (OC 159) writes that most of the Rishonim and Poskim maintain that one does not need Kavanah during the Netilas Yadayim in order to eat bread, and the Netilas Yadayim is valid if a pail of water falls on one's hands.

(b) The RASHBA (Toras ha'Bayis 6:4 and Mishmeres ha'Bayis there; Teshuvos 1:510) writes that the Gemara and Tosefta imply that one *does* need Kavanah for his Netilas Yadayim to be valid. He cites the Gemara in Chulin which says that one may wash one's hands in the morning and have in mind to eat much later in the day, as long as one stipulates that he plans on eating later with this Netilas Yadayim. It goes without saying that this Netilas Yadayim remains valid for later only when the person is careful not to touch anything that would make his hands Tamei, for otherwise it would not help to make any stipulation (Rashi, Rambam). Why, then, does he have to stipulate at the time that he washes his hands in the morning that he plans on eating later? If no Kavanah is necessary for Netilas Yadayim, then even without a stipulation, his Netilas Yadayim should be valid, for even if water just fell on his hands, he would be able to eat later in the day as long as he kept his hands Tahor! It must be that in order for the Netilas Yadayim to be valid and enable him to eat bread, he must have explicit intention that the purpose of his washing is in order to eat bread.

In addition, the Tana Kama in the Tosefta (in Yadayim) says that if one person poured water on the hands of another person, and either one of them had in mind that the washing was in order to eat bread, it is a valid Netilas Yadayim. Rebbi Yosi there argues and says that it is not a valid Netilas Yadayim. We see from there, says the Rashba, that even the Tana Kama requires that at least one of them have Kavanah.

How does the Rashba address our Gemara, though, which says that one does *not* need Kavanah when washing one's hands for Chulin? The Rashba suggests several answers:

1. In his TESHUVOS (ibid.), the Rashba suggests that our Gemara is discussing one who wants to handle Chulin Al Taharas Terumah; that is, he wants to conduct himself in a stringent manner and treat all of his Chulin as if it were Terumah. In such a case, the Rabanan were not so stringent as to give this Chulin the full status of Terumah so that it require Kavanah for Netilas Yadayim. In contrast, when one wants to *eat* bread of Chulin (whether or not it is being treated like Terumah), the Rabanan enacted that one wash his hands because of "Serach Terumah" (practicing for Terumah), and they gave it a status similar to that of Terumah (which needs Kavanah), but not completely like Terumah (which requires the Kavanah of both the person pouring the water and the person having his hands washed, whereas Chulin requires only the Kavanah of one of them).

2. In TORAS HA'BAYIS, the Rashba adds that the Gemara here follows the opinion of Rebbi Akiva who says that a person's hands can become a Rishon l'Tum'ah (for example, when one places his hands into a Bayis afflicted with a Nega of Tzara'as), and thus they need to be washed because they are a Rishon and can be Metamei other Chulin (and not because of "Serach Terumah" or because they are Stam Yadayim, which are only a Sheni). Thus, in a case where one's hands are a Rishon l'Tum'ah, even when *touching* (and not just eating) Chulin one needs Netilas Yadayim because a Rishon will be Metamei an item of Chulin. In such a case (to permit *touching* Chulin) one does not need Kavanah.

3. The ME'IRI explains that when this Sugya, as well as the Mishnah, refers to Netilas Yadayim of Chulin, it is not discussing the common Netilas Yadayim which is done before eating bread at a meal, for that has nothing to do with the subject of the Mishnah which is discussing Tum'ah and Taharah. Rather, the Me'iri says that the Mishnah means that even Chulin could become Tamei from a Sheni l'Tum'ah when a person starts to eat the bread of Chulin and his hands are Tamei (with Sheni l'Tum'ah). When he starts eating the bread of Chulin, that food can then become Tamei. (It has nothing to do with the laws of washing in order to eat a Se'udah, but with the laws of Tum'ah and Taharah. See Insights to 18:2.)

Although the RA'AH in BEDEK HA'BAYIS argues with the Rashba, the RITVA (Chulin 106b) does mention that the Netilas Yadayim for a meal of Chulin needs Kavanah.

HALACHAH: The SHULCHAN ARUCH (OC 159:13) rules that l'Chatchilah, one must have Kavanah that he is washing for eating bread when he washes Netilas Yadayim, like the Rashba. The BI'UR HALACHAH refers to the REMA (OC 158:7) who says that although one should be stringent like the Rashba, one should not recite a Berachah if one needs to wash a second time because he did not have Kavanah the first time.


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