THOUGHTS ON THE DAILY DAF
brought to you by Kollel Iyun Hadaf of Har Nof
Rosh Kollel: Rav Mordecai Kornfeld
Ask A Question about the Daf
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) LOSING THE KNIFE AFTER "SHECHITAH"
OPINIONS: The Gemara discusses a case in which some time after performing
Shechitah, the Shochet discovered a dent in the knife. When he examined the
knife before Shechitah, he found no dents on it. Do we assume that the knife
became blemished during the Shechitah and invalidate the Shechitah, or do we
assume that it became blemished after the Shechitah? Rav Huna rules that the
Shechitah is invalid, even if the Shochet had used the knife to cut bones
after he used it for Shechitah. We assume, out of doubt, that the knife
became blemished during the Shechitah, thereby tearing the Simanim instead
of properly cutting them. Rav Chisda rules that the Shechitah is valid,
since we assume that the dent in the knife came from the bones which were
cut after the Shechitah.
2) A DOUBT IN THE VALIDITY OF THE KNIFE
According to Rav Huna, is the Shechitah invalid because a dent was found in
the knife, or because the Shochet failed to examine the knife after
Shechitah to determine that it had no dents? The difference between these
two reasons is a case in which the knife became lost after the Shechitah
before the Shochet had a chance to examine it. According to the first
reason, no dent was found on the knife, and thus we should assume that the
Shechitah was valid. According to the second reason, it was not determined
that the knife was perfectly smooth, and thus we must be concerned that
perhaps it had a dent.
(a) The RAMBAN says that in a case in which the knife became lost before it
was checked, Rav Huna would rule that the Shechitah is invalid. This is
evident from the words of the Gemara here, which discusses the reasoning of
each opinion. The Gemara says that we understand Rav Huna's reasoning, for
he follows his earlier teaching (9a) that an animal is considered prohibited
until we know for certain that a valid Shechitah was performed. This implies
that the knife must be checked after the Shechitah in order to determine
that the animal was slaughtered properly, and without such an examination,
we may not eat the meat of that animal.
(b) RABEINU YONAH argues that Rav Huna would consider the animal to be
properly slaughtered in a case in which the knife became lost after the
Shechitah. When Rav Huna states earlier that such an animal is prohibited
until we know for certain that a valid Shechitah was performed, he is
referring only to a case in which the object had no Chezkas Kashrus (an
acceptable assumption that the object is permitted), such as when the
Simanim were not checked after the Shechitah and thus we have no reason to
assume that they were slaughtered properly. The knife, which was examined
before the Shechitah, has a Chezkas Kashrus until it is shown to be dented.
According to Rabeinu Yonah, when the Gemara explains Rav Huna's ruling here
based on his statement earlier that an animal is forbidden until we know for
certain that the Shechitah was performed properly, its intention is as
follows. Without Rav Huna's previous statement, we would have thought that
Rav Huna also rules that the Shechitah is valid, and we assume that the
bones dented the knife after the Shechitah was performed. However, since Rav
Huna says that an animal is forbidden in the case of any Shechitah that is
not known to be definitely valid, we cannot say the animal slaughtered with
a knife that was later found to be dented is Kosher, since we do not know
for certain that the knife was valid at the time of Shechitah, and it no
longer has a Chezkas Kashrus. When, however, the knife was lost after the
Shechitah before it was examined, there is no evidence to ruin the Chezkas
Kashrus, and thus the Shechitah is assumed to be valid. This is also the
opinion of the YAM SHEL SHLOMO (#18).
The SHITAH MEKUBETZES notes that RASHI seems to agree with the view of
Rabeinu Yonah. This is apparent from Rashi's statement (in DH k'Shematei)
that "this animal developed a Safek during the Shechitah," and that is why
Rav Huna invalidates the Shechitah. Apparently, Rashi's intention is to
explain that Rav Huna's statement applies only when a positive Safek occurs,
and not when there never arose any reason to think that the knife was
dented, such as a case where the knife became lost.
However, two other statements of Rashi imply that he agrees with the view of
the Ramban. Rashi (DH ha'Shochet) states that the case the Gemara is
discussing is one in which the knife was not checked immediately after the
Shechitah. This implies that we need to know for certain that there was no
dent in order to validate the Shechitah. Similarly, Rashi (DH Afilu) says
that even if bones were broken with the knife "between the Shechitah and the
last examination of the knife," the Shechitah is invalid. This implies that
it is necessary to check a knife after slaughtering, and we do not rely on a
Chezkas Kashrus. (Perhaps we could suggest that Rashi is saying merely that
one *should* check the knife, according to Rav Huna, but the lack of such an
examination does not render the Shechitah invalid.) The Shitah Mekubetzes
concludes that it is difficult to discern Rashi's opinion in this matter.
QUESTION: Rava attempts to disprove the opinion of Rav Chisda from a Beraisa
that states that when a person immerses himself in a Mikvah and afterwards
finds an intervening substance on his body, his Tevilah is considered
invalid. We assume that the substance was on his body during the Tevilah.
Similarly, we should assume that the dent that was found on the knife after
Shechitah was there during the Shechitah.
3) A DOUBT CONCERNING WHEN AN ANIMAL BECAME A "TEREIFAH"
The Gemara rejects Rava's proof by pointing out that in the case of Tevilah,
the validity of the person's Tevilah was compromised due to the substance
that was found on his body afterwards. In contrast, in the case of the knife
that was found to have a dent after the Shechitah, the validity of the
*knife* was compromised, but not the Kosher-status of the animal.
The Gemara's logic is not clear. If the knife has a dent in it, then that
should create a doubt in the Shechitah of the animal as well! A doubt about
the validity of the knife should constitute a doubt about the validity of
(a) RASHI (DH Behemah) implies that since the knife was used to cut bones
after the Shechitah, we are able to dissociate that status of the knife from
the status of the Shechitah of the animal. We can give the animal a "Chezkas
Shechutah," a Chazakah that it was slaughtered properly, and deal with the
nicked knife as a problem that arose after the animal had a "Chezkas
Shechutah." In contrast, in the case of Tevilah, even though we know that
the person, after his immersion, worked with the substance that was later
found on his body, this fact does not enable us to give him a "Chezkas
Tavul," because the substance was found on his *body*, the same body that
immersed in the Mikvah. Since the substance was found on his body, it cannot
be dissociated from the person himself and dealt with separately (as the
knife can be dealt with independent of the Shechitah) and it must be part of
the deliberation concerning the status of the person's Tevilah. Since the
person did not have a "Chezkas Tavul" at the time that the Safek arose, his
Tevilah is deemed to be invalid. (This approach needs further elucidation.)
(b) TOSFOS (DH Sakin) suggests a novel approach. Perhaps the Gemara means
that even if the knife had a nick at the time of the Shechitah, this does
not necessarily invalidate the Shechitah. Even if the knife had a nick at
the time of the Shechitah, perhaps the Shechitah was done with the part of
the knife that was smooth! Since there is this additional doubt (and there
is a Sfek Sfeika), we are able to be more lenient in the case of Shechitah
than in the case of Tevilah, where an intervening substance -- that was on
his body during the Tevilah -- *always* makes the Tevilah invalid.
QUESTION: The Beraisa states that if the Shochet cuts the Veshet (esophagus)
of a bird and then notices that the Gargeres (trachea) is out of place, the
validity of the Shechitah depends on when the Gargeres moved out of its
place. If it moved before the Shechitah, then the Shechitah is invalid and
the bird may not be eaten. bird may not be eaten. If it moved after the
Shechitah, then the Shechitah is valid and the bird may be eaten. If there
is a doubt when the Gargeres moved out of its place, then the bird may not
RABEINU YONAH rules, based on the Gemara here, that when there is a doubt
whether the wing or leg of a bird was broken before the Shechitah (rendering
it a Tereifah) or after the Shechitah, we must assume that it was broken
before the Shechitah and we may not eat the bird. (See Shulchan Aruch YD
However, Rabeinu Yonah rules differently in a similar case. In a case in
which cheese was made from milk that came from an animal that was later
discovered to be a Tereifah, Rabeinu Yonah rules we are lenient and assume
that the animal became a Tereifah immediately before the Shechitah, and the
cheese is permitted. We assume that it became a Tereifah at the latest
possible moment, and, until that moment, it was a Kosher animal. (See
Shulchan Aruch YD 81:2.)
Why do we not use the same principle to resolve the doubt in the first case?
We should assume that the bird became a Tereifah at the latest possible
moment (that is, after the Shechitah), and the bird may be eaten. Why do we
say that it became a Tereifah before the Shechitah, rendering the bird unfit
ANSWER: The SHEV SHEMAITSA (5:9) explains the reasoning of Rabeinu Yonah as
follows. When we are in doubt whether the *meat* of an animal is prohibited
because it might have been a Tereifah, 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 due to a different
reason, then the rules of Chazakah still apply. Since the animal had a
Chezkas Isur when it was alive (because of "Ever Min ha'Chai" or because of
"Eino Zavu'ach" -- see Insights to Chulin 9:3), when we have a doubt whether
or not the animal is now permitted, it retains its Chezkas Isur even though
it might be Asur now for a different reason (because of the Isur of
In contrast, when we are in doubt whether the *milk* of an animal is
permitted or not, we rule leniently, because the milk never had a Chezkas
Isur. Consequently, it had no Isur from which to be "Machzikin m'Isur
l'Isur." Instead, we apply the principle that most animals are not Tereifah,
which creates a Chezkas Heter, and we assume that if the animal is now a
Tereifah, then it must have become a Tereifah at the latest possible moment.
(See also KEREISI U'PLEISI YD 50, SHA'AREI YOSHER 3:17, Insights to Kesuvos
9:III.) (Z. Wainstein)
4) A KNIFE FOUND TO BE BLEMISHED AFTER THIRTEEN ANIMALS WERE SLAUGHTERED
QUESTION: The Gemara (10a) originally suggests that Rav Chisda's reason for
validating the Shechitah when a nick is found is because "Ein Safek Motzi
Midei Vadai" -- a doubt does not override a certainty. We know for certain
that when the Shochet began the Shechitah, the knife was valid, since he
examined it before the Shechitah and found it to be unblemished. There is a
doubt whether the knife became blemished during the Shechitah or after the
Shechitah. That doubt does not override the certainty that the knife was
valid when the Shechitah began.
5) HALACHAH: CAN THE VERTEBRA DENT A KNIFE?
The Gemara here (10b), though, relates that Rav Chisda permitted the animals
in a case in which a nick was found in a knife after thirteen animals had
been slaughtered with the knife. How, though, does the rule of "Ein Safek
Motzi Midei Vadai" apply here to permit all of the animals? Why do we assume
that the knife became blemished definitely after the last animal was
(a) RASHI (DH Michdei) tells us that at this point, the Gemara assumes that
Rav Chisda does not really mean that his reason is because of the rule of
"Ein Safek Motzi Midei Vadai." Even without that logic, he permits the
Shechitah because of the logic of "Sakin Isra'i, Behemah Lo Isra'i" -- the
doubt involves the status of the knife and not the status of the animal (see
previous Insight). (The Gemara later retracts this assumption, as Rashi
later (DH Lo k'Rav Chisda) writes.)
(b) TOSFOS (10a, DH Sakin) suggests (in one answer) that the knife
*definitely* must have been nicked after the last Shechitah, because every
Shochet is very careful not to let his knife hit the Mifrekes (the animal's
neck bone, or vertebra) when he still has more animals to slaughter with
QUESTION: The Gemara concludes that in a case in which the Shochet finds a
nick in his knife after slaughtering an animal, the Shechitah is valid when
the Shochet cut bones with the knife after the Shechitah, because we assume
that the bones caused the nick. When the Shochet did not cut any bones with
the knife after the Shechitah, then the Shechitah is invalid, because we
assume that the knife was blemished at the time of the Shechitah. Even if
the knife hit a vertebra in the neck ("Mifrekes") at the end of the act of
Shechitah, after it had already cut the two Simanim, we still must assume
that the knife was blemished at the time of the Shechitah and it was not the
vertebra that blemished the knife.
6) THE SOURCE FOR THE PRINCIPLE OF "ED ECHAD NE'EMAN B'ISURIN"
Why do we not assume that a vertebra dented the knife, just as we assume
that bones cut after Shechitah dented the knife?
ANSWER: The RASHBA explains that the vertebra cannot dent a knife. The
vertebra is too soft to cause a nick in the knife, and, moreover, the
vertebra is cut with a sawing motion and not with a cutting motion (with
which the Shechitah is performed).
However, when the Shochet examined his knife, slaughtered an animal, hit a
vertebra at the end of the Shechitah, slaughtered other animals, and then
lost the knife before checking it for dents, we suspect that perhaps the
vertebra *did* dent the knife and we invalidate the Shechitah of the second
and subsequent animals (SHULCHAN ARUCH YD 18:1, 12).
OPINIONS: The Gemara says that we do not require that the Shochet give his
knife to a Chacham to examine every time he performs Shechitah, because we
trust the Shochet to examine the knife. Even though he is a single witness
testifying to the validity of the knife, we trust him because of the
principle of "Ed Echad Ne'eman b'Isurin" -- a single witness is believed
with regard to matters of prohibitions.
7) THE SOURCE FOR RELYING ON THE STATUS QUO
What is the source for the principle of "Ed Echad Ne'eman b'Isurin"?
(a) Rashi in Yevamos (88a, DH v'Amar) writes that the source for this
principle is the fact that the Torah permits a person to eat at his friend's
house, as well as a man to eat in his own home (without witnessing the
preparation of the food). The RITVA in Gitin (2b) quotes a Yerushalmi as
Rashi's source. How, though, do we know that the Torah permits a person to
eat food prepared by another person? Rashi here (DH Ed Echad) answers this
question when he writes that the Torah permits the Kohanim to eat the meat
of a Korban, even though the Torah also explicitly permits any person to
perform the Shechitah of a Korban, without requiring two witnesses. This
clearly shows that the Torah permits us to eat food prepared by another
person based on his own testimony.
(b) TOSFOS in Gitin (2b, DH Ed Echad) questions Rashi's opinion and asserts
that we cannot prove from Shechitah that an Ed Echad is believed in other
cases of Isur. Shechitah is different because it is "b'Yado," it is within
the person's ability to make an animal permissible by slaughtering it
properly. A person is believed to say that something is Asur or Mutar when
it is in his ability, "b'Yado," to make it Asur or Mutar himself.
According to Tosfos, the source for the principle of "Ed Echad Ne'eman
b'Isurin" is the law that a woman who is a Nidah is trusted to count her
days of Taharah and Tum'ah by herself, as the Torah says, "v'Safrah"
The BEIS HA'LEVI explains Rashi's opinion. Rashi maintains that "b'Yado" is
not a reason to believe the Ed Echad in the case of Shechitah, because once
the Shechitah has been performed, it is no longer within the person's
ability to slaughter it again. (Z. Wainstein)
QUESTION: Rebbi Shmuel bar Nachmeni in the name of Rebbi Yonasan said that
the source for relying on a Chazakah is the Torah's law that a Kohen is to
examine a house that has Tzara'as, exit the house, and close the door,
giving the house the status of a house with Tzara'as, a "Bayis ha'Menuga."
It is clear from that law that we rely on a Chazakah, the status quo,
because if we do not rely on a Chazakah, then we should suspect that before
the Kohen closes the door to the house, the Tzara'as diminishes in size,
becoming less than the minimum size required to make a house into a Bayis
ha'Menuga. It must be that we rely on the Chazakah of the house as the Kohen
saw it before he exited the house.
Rav Acha bar Yakov rejects this proof, saying that perhaps the Kohen left
the house while walking backwards, and he was able to see the Tzara'as until
he actually closed the door.
The Gemara cites support for Rebbi Yonasan from a Beraisa. The verse states,
"v'Yatza ha'Kohen Min ha'Bayis" -- "and the Kohen will exit the house"
(Vayikra 14:38). We might have thought that the Kohen may leave the house,
return to his own home, and then return later to close the door. Therefore,
the verse continues, "El Pesach ha'Bayis" -- "to the entrance of the house."
The Kohen must go directly to the doorway to close the door. The Beraisa
later says that even if he did go to his own home first, the house
nevertheless is considered a Bayis ha'Menuga, because the verse says,
"v'Hisgir Es ha'Bayis" -- "and he will close the house," teaching that it
attains the status of a Bayis ha'Menuga whenever the door is closed, whether
the Kohen followed the proper procedure or not.
The Gemara's proof against Rav Acha bar Yakov is that the house becomes a
Bayis ha'Menuga even when the Kohen went home first, returned, and then
closed the door. How do we know that the Tzara'as in the house still has the
minimum size? The Kohen certainly cannot see the Tzara'as from his own
house! It must be that we rely on the Chazakah and assume that it still has
the required size.
How, though, does this disprove Rav Acha bar Yakov? Perhaps the Beraisa
means that when the Kohen went home, he returned to the house and
re-examined the Tzara'as and found that it still had the required size!
(a) TOSFOS and the ROSH in Nedarim (56b) explain that the Beraisa is
discussing a case in which the Kohen does not actually return to the
afflicted house, but rather he closes the door of the afflicted house while
he is still in his own home, by way of a long rope that is attached to the
door of the afflicted house. Alternatively, he sends an emissary to close
the door. (The RAN in Nedarim mentions only the case of the rope, while the
MEFARESH there (DH Yachol) mentions only the case of the emissary.)
(b) RASHI here seems to contradict himself when explaining the case.
Originally, Rashi (DH Yachol) writes that the Beraisa is discussing a case
in which the Kohen goes home, and then he returns to close the door of the
afflicted house. Later, though, Rashi (DH Halach) writes that the Kohen
closes the house using a long rope which is attached to the Bayis ha'Menuga!
The SHITAH MEKUBETZES explains that the last case, in which the Kohen closes
the door via a rope, is the Gemara's question on Rav Acha bar Yakov. In this
case, the Kohen must rely on a Chazakah that there is still a minimum size
of Tzara'as in the house, since he cannot see the Tzara'as from his own
Why, then, does Rashi explain the case in two different ways?
1. The MAHARSHAL (cited in the margin of the Gemara) writes that the correct
text of Rashi should have both explanations in the same passage of Rashi (in
DH Yachol). Preceding the second explanation, the text of Rashi should read,
"Iy Nami," introducing an alternative explanation.
The Maharshal apparently understands that the case of the Kohen actually
returning to the afflicted house to close the door implies that the Kohen
does not take a second look at the Tzara'as in the house (unlike the opinion
of the Shitah Mekubetzes), because if he did look at the Tzara'as again,
then the Gemara has no proof against Rav Acha bar Yakov.
2. The MAHARAM and MAHARSHA assert that the text of Rashi does not need to
be corrected. The first case of the Beraisa is meant to teach us only that
it is forbidden for the Kohen to go anywhere before he closes the Bayis
ha'Menuga. By stating the first case, Rashi is telling us that this is
forbidden, even if the Kohen comes back and closes the door in the normal
manner. The second part of the Beraisa is telling us that the house is still
considered a Bayis ha'Menuga even though the Kohen did not follow the proper
Halachic procedure. Rashi here writes the case of the rope in order to tell
us that even if the Kohen closes the door in an unusual way, and he is not
even standing near the door, the house is still considered "closed."
The Maharam continues and explains that Rashi maintains that both cases are
intrinsic parts of the Beraisa. As stated above, it is apparent that the
Beraisa is stressing that the Kohen is not supposed to leave, even
temporarily, before closing up the house. This is the source for Rashi's
first explanation of the case, that the Kohen left only temporarily and then
returned. The second case is equally necessary, since without the second
explanation there seems to be no question on Rav Acha bar Yakov, as we
stated above in the name of the Shitah Mekubetzes. (Y. Montrose)