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Chulin, 9

CHULIN 9-10 - Two weeks of study material have been dedicated by Mrs. Estanne Abraham Fawer to honor the fourth Yahrzeit of her father, Reb Mordechai ben Eliezer Zvi (Weiner), who passed away 18 Teves 5760. May the merit of supporting and advancing Talmud study during the week of his Yahrzeit serve as an Iluy for his Neshamah.


QUESTION: Rav Yehudah in the name of Rav says that a Talmid Chacham must learn three things: Kesav, Shechitah, and Milah. Rav Chananya bar Shelamya in the name of Rav adds that a Talmid Chacham must also be familiar with the tying of the knot of the Tefilin, Birkas Chasanim, and the tying of Tzitzis.

The Gemara asks why Rav Yehudah does not mention the three things that Rav Chananya mentions. The Gemara answers that "these are more common."

What is the Gemara's answer? Does it mean that the ones in Rav Yehudah's list are more common, or that the ones in Rav Chananya's list are more common? How does one being more common answer why Rav Yehudah omitted the ones in Rav Chananya's list?


(a) RASHI explains that the ones listed by Rav Chananya are more common (tying of the knot of the Tefilin, Birkas Chasanim, and the tying of Tzitzis). Since they are so common, there is no need to tell a Talmid Chacham to learn them, because everyone learns them over the course of time.

(b) TOSFOS in Menachos (35b) takes the opposite approach. The things listed by Rav Yehudah are more common (Kesav, Shechitah, and Milah). Since they are more common, it is necessary for a Talmid Chacham to study them in order to be proficient in them.

(c) The ROSH (1:12) in the name of RABEINU TAM explains that the things in Rav Chananya's list (Tefilin, Birkas Chasanim, and Tzitzis) are more *available*. One who needs them can easily find professional services that offer them at a fee, and therefore it is not the Talmid Chacham's responsibility to learn them. This is also the intention of TOSFOS here.

(It is unlikely that these three opinions are arguing about the facts in reality. They probably all agree that the need for the things of both lists may arise equally. Rashi's intention is that the first three (Kesav, Shechitah, and Milah) require more than basic textbook knowledge. They require physical dexterity, which is impossible to acquire without actually practicing. It is these three that must be actively "learned" (i.e. practiced). Tosfos seems to understand that the "Kesav" mentioned refers to the skill of "Safrus," writing Sifrei Torah, Tefilin, and Mezuzos (unlike Rashi). Accordingly, the three things in Rav Yehudah's list require the proficient knowledge of a large section of Halachah, while the three things in Rav Chananya's list require no such knowledge. Even unlearned Jews can learn the technical details of knotting Tefilin and Tzitzis, and memorize the text of the Sheva Berachos blessings, while the first three things are limited to the domain of the scholarly. Due to the difficult and complex nature of the first three things (Safrus, Shechitah, and Milah), these things are in great demand from Talmidei Chachamim, and in that respect they are "more common." The ROSH learns that the second group (Tefilin, Birkas Chasanim, and Tzitzis) were more commonly available for the same reason.) (M. Kornfeld)

QUESTION: The Gemara teaches that a Shochet must examine the animal after Shechitah to ensure that he cut the Simanim properly. When the Shochet failed to examine the Simanim after Shechitah, the Tana'im argue whether the animal is considered a Tereifah or a Neveilah. According to both views, however, the Shechitah is considered to be invalid and the meat of the animal may not be eaten.

What is the Halachah in a case in which the Shochet forgot to examine the Simanim of an animal that he slaughtered for someone else, and then the Simanim became lost? Since the animal is rendered unfit to be eaten, is the Shochet obligate to reimburse the owner for the animal?

ANSWER: A similar case is discussed by the Poskim. We know that the Shochet is also obligated to examine his knife before the Shechitah in order to make sure that it is not blemished in any way. If the Shochet slaughters an animal without examining his knife first, and then, after the Shechitah, he finds that the knife is blemished, the Shechitah is considered invalid and the animal unfit to eat. The LEVUSH (YD 18) and TAZ (ibid.) write that in such a case the Shochet is obligated to pay the owner of the animal for the damage caused by his negligence in rendering the animal unfit to eat, even if he was slaughtering the animal for free. (The Taz argues with the Levush regarding a case in which multiple animals were slaughtered, and the Shochet examined the knife before the first Shechitah but not before the Shechitah of each subsequent animal, and then, after the last Shechitah, he found the knife to be blemished. See the Taz and BE'ER HEITEV at length.) The Shochet's action is considered as though he was "Mazik b'Yadayim" (he directly damaged the animal with his hands).

Does the same Halachah apply in the case of our Gemara?

The DARCHEI TESHUVAH (YD 25:2) writes that the two cases are different. In the case of a Shochet who failed to examine his knife before the Shechitah, his act of Shechitah is considered tantamount to cutting apart the animal with a knife, and not slaughtering it properly. However, in the case of a Shochet who failed to examine the Simanim after the Shechitah, the Shechitah itself was performed properly and we cannot consider his act of Shechitah to be an act of "Mazik b'Yadayim." Although his failure to examine the Simanim after the Shechitah rendered the animal unfit and causes a loss to the owner of the animal, it is a *passive* act of damage, and he cannot be obligated by Beis Din to pay for such an act of damage (although the Shochet is obligated to pay in b'Dinei Shamayim). The Darchei Teshuvah compares this case to the case of a witness who withholds testimony in a monetary case, causing a defendant to have to pay money that he would not have had to pay had the witness testified for him. In that case, the SHULCHAN ARUCH (CM 28:1) states that the witness cannot be obligated to pay by Beis Din (but he is obligated to pay b'Dinei Shamayim).

However, the Darchei Teshuvah retracts this approach and writes that the case of our Gemara is *not* comparable to the passive damage done by a witness who does not testify. In our case, when the Shochet performs the act of Shechitah, his act is done with the condition that he will also examine the Simanim afterwards to make sure that the animal was slaughtered properly. Since the Shochet did not fulfill this condition, it turns out that his act of Shechitah was not done with the permission of the owner. His Shechitah is considered, therefore, to be an act of direct damage, "Mazik b'Yadayim," and he is obligated to pay. The Darchei Teshuvah adds that he later found this ruling in the YESHU'OS YAKOV (YD 2:4). (Y. Montrose)

OPINIONS: The Gemara teaches that a Shochet must examine the animal after Shechitah to ensure that he cut the Simanim properly. When the Shochet failed to examine the Simanim after Shechitah, the Tana'im argue whether the animal is considered a Tereifah or a Neveilah. The Gemara explains that both Tana'im agree that unless we know that the animal was properly slaughtered, there is a "Chezkas Isur" -- the animal is presumed to be forbidden to be eaten, since, when it was alive, it was forbidden to be eaten.

The Rishonim argue about what Isur gives the animal its Chezkas Isur.

(a) RASHI (DH Behemah) maintains that the Chezkas Isur is based on the Isur of Ever Min ha'Chai, eating part of a live animal. While the animal is alive, it is forbidden to be eaten because of the Isur of Ever Min ha'Chai.

TOSFOS (Beitzah 25a, DH b'Chezkas) questions Rashi's explanation. The Isur of Ever Min ha'Chai departs as soon as the animal dies. How, then, can that Isur be the basis of a Chezkas Isur that remains even when the animal is dead, after the Isur of Ever Min ha'Chai certainly no longer applies? The RASHBA here comments that Tosfos' question on Rashi's explanation is not so strong. Perhaps we apply the principle of "Machzikin m'Isur l'Isur," which means that when an animal was once prohibited for any reason, and it is possible that it is still prohibited even due to a different reason, then the rules of Chazakah still apply. The animal remains Asur until we have proof that it is Mutar.

(b) TOSFOS (ibid.) maintains that the Chezkas Isur of a live animal is based on the Isur against eating any animal that was not properly slaughtered. This Isur is an "Isur Aseh" that stems from the Mitzvas Aseh of "Tizbach v'Achalta" -- "You shall slaughter and eat" (Devarim 12:21), which prohibits us from eating meat that is not slaughtered properly. This Isur obviously does not leave the animal just because it is dead. (The RITZBA, however, as quoted by Tosfos in Shevuos 24a, DH ha'Ochel, questions the existence of such an Isur Aseh.)


QUESTION: The Gemara discusses a vessel filled with water that was designated to be used for the Mei Chatas (the water used in the sprinkling of the ashes of the Parah Adumah). The vessel was left uncovered, and then it was found to be covered. The water inside the vessel is deemed Tamei and may no longer be used as Mei Chatas, because we must assume that a Tamei person placed the cover on the vessel, rendering its contents Tamei. TOSFOS (DH she'Ani Omer) asks that we find the opposite ruling in the Gemara in Nidah (4a). The Gemara there discusses a case of bread that was left on a shelf. Immediately below the shelf was clothing that was Tamei. The bread was later found on the floor, and it is clear from the way in which the bread had been situated on the shelf that the bread would have had to touch the clothing if it fell from the shelf to the floor. Nevertheless, the Gemara there rules that the bread is considered Tahor, because we assume that a Tahor person came by and placed the bread on the floor! Why does the Gemara there assume that a Tahor person moved the bread, while the Gemara here assumes that a Tamei person covered the vessel?


(a) TOSFOS answers in the name of RABEINU TAM that in the case of our Gemara, the reason why the water is declared to be Tamei is because the Chachamim decreed that when a vessel is involved, it should be considered Tamei. In the case of the Gemara in Nidah, only food is involved, and when only food is involved it is considered Tahor. What is the reason for this difference?
1. TOSFOS in Nidah (4a, DH she'Ani Omer) explains this answer. Since vessels can be purified by being immersed in a Mikvah, the Chachamim were stringent in cases involving vessels, since there is a way to make them Tahor. Food, in contrast, cannot be immersed in a Mikvah, and thus the Chachamim were not stringent with regard to food.

The RAMBAN in Nidah asks that there some types of vessels as well that cannot become Tahor by being immersed in a Mikvah, such as earthenware vessels. Such vessels should not become Tamei when there is a doubt about who placed the cover on them. However, we do not find that earthenware vessels are excluded from the decree of the Chachamim. The RAN answers the Ramban's question on Rabeinu Tam's understanding of the difference between vessels and food. Although earthenware vessels would indeed be ruined irreparably if the Chachamim decreed them to be Tamei, nevertheless the Chachamim did not want to make an exception, and therefore they included all vessels in their decree.

2. The Ramban therefore gives a different explanation for the difference between vessels and food. He explains that a person is not particular where he leaves a vessel, while a person is particular where he leaves food. A person will place food only in a place where it will not get dirty or ruined. Since vessels are usually handled in any manner, the Chachamim decreed that, in a situation of doubt, any vessel is Tamei, even if it is a vessel which is carefully handled and kept only in the house. In contrast, food is usually handled carefully and only by people who are Tahor, and therefore, in a situation of doubt, we assume that food was handled by a Tahor person. (The Ramban adds that the decree of Tum'ah was not applied to fruit that falls in the middle of the street, because no one eats such fruit anyway.)

(b) Alternatively, Tosfos explains that each case is judged based on the assumption that the item was indeed moved by a person (as things do not move by themselves), and based on the other circumstances of the specific case. In the case in Nidah, if the person who moved the bread was Tamei, then why would he have moved the bread to the floor, and not place the bread on the Tamei clothing? What difference does it make to him if he places the bread on a surface that is Tamei? We assume, therefore, that the fact that the bread is on the floor indicates that it was moved by a person who is Tahor.

The RITVA here adds that in the case of our Gemara, in which the water originally was uncovered and then it was found to be covered, we assume that it was covered by a person. However, a person who is Tamei would also want to cover the water, because he knows that it is dangerous for water to be left uncovered, and he will cover it despite the fact that he knows that people want to use it for Mei Chatas. (It seems that the Ritva maintains that the Tamei person can reasonably assume that someone might eventually use the water for drinking.)

The Ramban here rejects this answer. In the case in Nidah, it is possible that a Tamei ignoramus who thought he was Tahor handled the food. He, too, would deposit the food in a place where he thought it would not become Tamei, when, in fact, the food is Tamei. (Y. Montrose)

QUESTION: RASHI (DH Safek Mayim Megulin) writes that the reason why water that was left uncovered during the night is prohibited is because of the possibility that a snake drank from it, leaving some of its venom in the water.

Why does Rashi mention specifically that the water was left uncovered "during the night"? The Gemara (10a) and the Mishnah (Terumos 8:4) make no mention of this prohibition applying only to water left uncovered at night! Rather, the Gemara implies that water left exposed at any time may not be consumed. (PRI CHADASH YD 116)


(a) The PRI CHADASH suggests that Rashi's intention is to say that the water was left exposed and *unsupervised*. He mentions the night only as an example of water that is left unsupervised, since it is not possible to properly watch the water at night (due to the darkness).

(b) Perhaps Rashi maintains that when a person (who is awake) is nearby, or even if he is "Yotzei v'Nichnas" (going in and coming out), the water left uncovered is not prohibited because of "Giluy," as the Yerushalmi (Terumos 8:4) says (in contrast to the opinion of the Pri Chadash). Consequently, the Isur of Mayim Megulin is uncommon, and normally applies only at night. (SHA'AREI DIM'AH, Hilchos Giluy 6:3)

QUESTION: Abaye proves that we are more lenient with regard to a Safek Isur than with regard to a Safek Sakanah (physical danger) from the principle of "Safek Tum'ah b'Reshus ha'Rabim Tahor." This principle teaches that in a case of doubt concerning Tum'ah in a public domain, we rule that the object is not Tamei (see Insights to Sotah 28:2). In contrast, in a case of a doubt regarding a physical danger, we rule that the object may not be consumed regardless of where it is. This shows that a Safek Sakanah is treated more stringently than a Safek Tum'ah. Similarly, it is treated more stringently than a Safek Isur.

Rava refutes this proof by pointing out that this rule regarding a Safek Tum'ah in Reshus ha'Rabim applies only to a Safek involving Tum'ah, but not to a Safek involving any other Isur, and certainly not to a Safek involving a Sakanah.

How does Abaye learn this rule? Does he maintain that we are lenient with regard to every other Safek Isur? Does he not accept the rule of "Safek d'Oraisa l'Chumra"?


(a) The SHEV SHEMAITSA (1:4) explains that indeed Abaye and Rava argue regarding the rule of "Safek d'Oraisa l'Chumra." Abaye maintains that this rule is only mid'Rabanan. The Torah permits us to eat something that is not known to be forbidden, but about which there is a doubt, but the Chachamim enacted a decree that whenever there is a doubt regarding an Isur d'Oraisa, it is forbidden to eat the item. Therefore, the rule of "Safek Tum'ah b'Reshus ha'Rabim Tahor" is not limited to Tum'ah. The leniency applies to any case of a Safek, which, mid'Oraisa, is l'Kula. The only difference between a Safek Tum'ah and a Safek concerning any other Isur is that the Chachamim decided not to apply their Gezeirah to a Safek Tum'ah in Reshus ha'Rabim.

Rava, however, maintains that the rule of "Safek d'Oraisa l'Chumra" is mid'Oraisa. The Torah itself prohibits eating an item that is in doubt. Consequently, we need a special source in order to be lenient with regard to a Safek Tum'ah in Reshus ha'Rabim. (See Insights to Kidushin 73:1.)

The Shev Shemaitsa concludes that this Gemara is the source for the opinion of the RAMBAM (Hilchos Avos ha'Tum'ah 16:1), who maintains that the rule of "Safek d'Oraisa l'Chumra" is mid'Rabanan.

(b) The RASHBA offers a different explanation. Abaye maintains that when there is a doubt whether or not an object is Asur, we normally rule l'Chumra and say that the object is Asur. However, when there is a Chazakah that the object was permitted until now, we permit the object.

In the case of our Gemara, there is a Chazakah that if a proper Shechitah was performed, the animal is assumed to be fit and is not a Tereifah. Similarly, Taharos left in Reshus ha'Rabim have a Chazakah that they are still Tahor and we assume that nothing happened to them to make them Tamei. (See AVI EZRI, end of Hilchos Shechitah, and Insights to Sotah, ibid.) (Z. Wainstein)

OPINIONS: The Gemara quotes a Beraisa that teaches that if an animal drank from water that was designated to be used for the Mei Chatas (the water used in the sprinkling of the ashes of the Parah Adumah), the water becomes invalid and may not be used.

Why may water from which an animal drank not be used for the Mei Chatas?


(a) RASHI (DH Im Yecholah) explains that water from which an animal drank is considered to be water that was "used" for another purpose. The Torah requires that the water used for the Mei Chatas be water that was not used for any other purpose. Water that was used for another purpose may not be used with the ashes of the Parah Adumah. (See RASHI to Gitin 53a, DH Mei Chatas, for the source for this Halachah.)

TOSFOS (DH Im Yecholah) questions this explanation. The animal does not "use" the water when it enters its mouth but is not swallowed.

(b) Rashi and Tosfos both suggest another explanation. The water used for Mei Chatas must be brought directly from the lake or natural water source. It may not be poured into another vessel *before* sprinkling the ashes of Parah Adumah upon it. When the water enters the mouth of the animal, and then returns to the original vessel, it is not considered to be coming directly from the natural water source when the ashes of the Parah Adumah are later sprinkled upon it.

However, the RASH SIRILIEU (Yerushalmi Terumos 8:4) points out that the Tosefta says clearly that one may fill water in two different vessels and pour them both into a third vessel before sprinkling the ashes of Parah Adumah upon the water. This seems to contradict the explanation of Rashi and Tosfos.

(c) The Rash Sirilieu suggests that when an animal drank some of the water and then spit it back, the water may not be used, since water may be used for the Mei Chatas only if it was drawn from its source or from the vessel (that drew it from its source) with a valid Kli, and not with an animal's mouth.

(d) TOSFOS explains that the water may not be used because it is not pure water; it contains saliva from the mouth of the animal that drank from it. A small amount of saliva can invalidate the entire vessel of water from being used for the Mei Chatas.

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