THOUGHTS ON THE DAILY DAF
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Rosh Kollel: Rav Mordecai Kornfeld
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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.
1) THE THINGS THAT A TALMID CHACHAM MUST LEARN
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
2) HALACHAH: A "SHOCHET" WHO PERFORMS AN INVALID "SHECHITAH"
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
(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.
3) THE "CHEZKAS ISUR" OF AN ANIMAL
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
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
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
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
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.)
4) A DOUBT ABOUT WHO MOVED AN OBJECT
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
5) THE PROHIBITION OF "MAYIM MEGULIN" AT NIGHT
(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
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.
(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 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.)
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
6) ABAYE'S OPINION REGARDING THE RULE OF "SAFEK D'ORAISA L'CHUMRA"
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.
7) USING WATER FROM WHICH AN ANIMAL DRANK FOR "MEI CHATAS"
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
(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
(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
(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.