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Chulin, 25


OPINIONS: Rebbi Yonasan (end of 24b) teaches that a Kli Cheres (an earthenware vessel) that is Tamei causes a food item that enters its airspace to become Tamei ("Metamei b'Aviro"), as we learn from the verse, "Everything that is inside it shall become Tamei"(Vayikra 11:33) -- even something as small as mustard seeds.

It seems clear from the Gemara that mustard seeds are Mekabel Tum'ah even though each one is less than the size of a k'Beitzah. What is the minimum size necessary for a food item to become Tamei?

(a) RASHI in Pesachim (33b, DH b'k'Beitzah) quotes the Toras Kohanim which implies that even the smallest piece of food is Mekabel Tum'ah mid'Oraisa. (In order to cause something else to become Tamei, however, the food item needs to be at least a k'Beitzah, as Rashi here (DH v'Afilu) says.) The Gemara here supports this opinion.

(b) TOSFOS in Pesachim (33b, DH l'Eimas) maintains that the Toras Kohanim is teaching only an Asmachta for a Halachah d'Rabanan. A piece of food smaller than a k'Beitzah is Mekabel Tum'ah only mid'Rabanan. Mid'Oraisa, the food must be at least a k'Beitzah in order to become Tamei.

asserts that Rashi himself in Chulin (82a, DH v'Amar) retracted his opinion and agrees that a food item must be at least a k'Beitzah in order to become Tamei. Tosfos here (24b, DH ha'Torah) explains that when the Gemara says "even mustard seeds" become Tamei in the airspace of a Kli Cheres, it is referring only to Tum'ah mid'Rabanan, and that mid'Oraisa, the Kli Cheres is Metamei everything in it, even *eggs*.

(c) The RASHBA (Shabbos 91a) maintains that a food item that is less than a k'Beitzah does not become Tamei at all, even mid'Rabanan. (Z. Wainstein)

OPINIONS: The Torah teaches that a Kli Cheres is unlike other types of vessels; it becomes Tamei when a Tamei object enters its airspace, but not when a Tamei object touches the outside of the vessel's wall. The same is true with regard to how a Kli Cheres transmits Tum'ah. A Kli Cheres transmits Tum'ah to objects that enter its airspace, while other vessels transmit Tum'ah only through contact with an object.

The Gemara points out that the Torah mentions the word (or a variation of the word), "Toch" ("inside"), four times, and it teaches what we learn from each occasion of the word, "Toch." One of the things we learn is that only the inside of a Kli Cheres becomes Tamei, and not the "inside of the inside, even a Kli Shetef." A "Kli Shetef" refers to a vessel made out of wood, metal, or bone, which can become Tahor by being immersed into a Mikvah (in contrast to a Kli Cheres). It is called a "Kli Shetef," or "washable vessel," since it can be immersed in a Mikvah and made Tahor, unlike a Kli Cheres which can only become Tahor by being broken.

What does the Gemara mean when it says that the "inside of the inside" of a Kli Cheres does not become Tamei, and not even the "inside of the inside" of a Kli Shetef?

(a) RASHI (DH Tocho v'Lo Toch Tocho) explains that the "inside of the inside" refers to a case in which a Kli Cheres has another vessel inside of it, and the inner vessel's rim extends above the rim of the Kli Cheres. Rashi explains that when a Tamei object is in the airspace of the outer vessel (between the wall of the outer vessel and the wall of the inner vessel) but not in the airspace of the inner vessel, foods in the inner vessel do not become Tamei, because they are in the "inside of the inside" of the Kli Cheres.

Why does the Gemara add that this apples "even" when the inner vessel is a Kli Shetef? Rashi explains that when the inner vessel is also a Kli Cheres which only becomes Tamei from the *inside* (and not from the outside), it is obvious that the food inside of it does not become Tamei. Since the Tum'ah is presently outside of the vessel, it is logical that the wall of the inner vessel is considered a separation between the food inside of it and the Tum'ah outside of it. The Gemara is saying that even when the inner vessel is a Kli Shetef, which can become Tamei when a Tamei object touches the *outside* of its wall, its wall is still considered a separation between the food inside of it and the Tum'ah in the airspace outside its wall.

Rashi adds that the Gemara's question involves only the food inside the inner vessel. The inner vessel itself does not become Tamei in any situation, as the Gemara teaches in Pesachim (20a).

TOSFOS (DH v'Afilu Kli Shetef) challenges Rashi's interpretation. One of the questions he has is that once we know that the Gemara in Pesachim (20a) teaches that ordinary vessels do not become Tamei by being in the airspace of a Kli Cheres, it is logical that even if the inner vessel is a Kli Shetef, the vessel's wall should be considered a valid separation between the food inside of it and the Tum'ah in the Kli Cheres. What does the Gemara mean when it says this applies "even" to a Kli Shetef? If this is logical, why do we need a verse to teach it?

(b) Tosfos therefore explains that the Gemara is teaching the following law. There is a rule that "Lo Minah Lo Machriv Bah" -- an object of one type cannot "ruin" the effectiveness of an object of a different type. According to this rule, a Kli Shetef, which is made from a different material than a Kli Cheres, should not be able to obstruct the effectiveness of the Kli Cheres in making whatever is inside of its walls become Tamei, and the food inside the Kli Shetef (which is inside the Kli Cheres) should become Tamei as if the food was inside of the outer, Tamei vessel. The Gemara here is teaching that we learn from the verse of "Toch" that even a Kli Shetef is considered to have its own airspace.

This seems to be the understanding of the Gemara in Zevachim (3b; see Insights to Zevachim 3:2). The Gemara there teaches that even though a Korban Chatas that is slaughtered with intent to be a different Korban is invalidated and cannot be offered at all, nevertheless, if it is slaughtered with intent to be eaten as Chulin, then the wrong intent does not invalidate the Korban Chatas. The Gemara explains that this is because "Lo Minah Lo Machriv Bah" -- having intent to slaughter the animal as an entirely different entity, with a thought that does not relate to the status of a Korban, does not have any effect, and is considered as if it is slaughtered "Setama" and is valid. The Gemara then asks that we should apply the same principle to the laws of a Kli Cheres. When there is a Kli Cheres that is Tahor situated inside of an outer Klei Cheres that is Tamei, and the food enters the inner Kli Cheres, the food does not become Tamei. The reason for this is because the inner Kli Cheres (the rim of which protrudes above the rim of the outer Kli Cheres) protects the food from the air of the outer Kli Cheres which is Tamei. The Beraisa teaches that even if the inner Kli is not a Kli Cheres, but a Kli Shetef, the food in the inner Kli still remains Tahor. The Gemara asks that the food in the inner Kli should not be Tahor according to the principle that "Lo Minah Lo Machriv Bah," since a Kli Shetef is an entirely different type of utensil than a Kli Cheres, and therefore its presence should be disregarded.

The Gemara there answers that there is a special verse of "Toch" that teaches that the food inside of the inner Kli, even a Kli Shetef, remains Tahor. It seems that the Gemara there understands that, logically, only a Kli Cheres should be able to interrupt the airspace of another Kli Cheres, even without the verse of "Toch." The verse of "Toch" is necessary only to include a Kli Shetef.

(c) The RAMBAN explains that the Gemara is not teaching that the inner vessel should serve as a separation because the vessel itself does not become Tamei. As Tosfos implies, if this was logical, then there would be no need for a verse of "Toch." Rather, the inner Kli does not become Tamei only because the verse tells us that it is considered a separation. The reason why we cannot rely on logic to tell us this is because the entire concept of Tum'ah of the airspace of a Kli Cheres is a novel concept. Once the Torah teaches the concept of Tum'ah of the airspace of a Kli Cheres, we would have assumed that anything in its airspace becomes Tamei, even something inside of an inner vessel (that remains Tahor) inside of the Kli Cheres! The verse of "Toch" teaches that this is not true; the "inside of the inside of the vessel" is never Tamei. Since the Torah excludes this area of the vessel from the Tum'ah of the airspace, this exception applies regardless of whether the inner vessel is made of Cheres or of another material.

When the Gemara says "even" a Kli Shetef, it is merely stating that we see that all types of inner vessels serve as a separation, and that the Torah is not telling us a specific Halachah about the Kli Shetef that it did not need to teach about a Kli Cheres. Both an inner Kli Cheres and an inner Kli Shetef protect their contents from the Tum'ah of the airspace of the outer vessel by cutting off their contents from the airspace of the outer Kli Cheres. (However, the Ramban agrees that Tosfos' explanation is the primary explanation in the Gemara.) (Y. Montrose)

OPINIONS: The Mishnah states that Klei Matchos, metal utensils, are Mekabel Tum'ah. The Torah lists six types of metal utensils -- utensils made from gold, silver, copper, iron, tin, and lead -- that become Tamei and that can be made Tahor by being immersed in a Mikvah (Bamidbar 31:22). The fact that the verse mentions six different names of metals and does not use a general term for all of them (such as "utensils made of metal") implies that the intention of the verse is that only these metals become Tamei and require Tevilas Kelim, and we cannot derive through a Binyan Av that other metals become Tamei and require Tevilah.

Aluminum is a new metal that was discovered relatively recently and that was unknown at the time the Torah was given and during the times of the Gemara. Does the verse that list the six metals exclude other metals, such as aluminum?

(a) RASHI in Rosh Hashanah (beginning of 19b, DH va'Chachamim) writes that the only types of metal that can become Tamei mid'Oraisa are the six metals listed in the verse. No other type of metal can become Tamei mid'Oraisa. (Rashi there implies that had we been able to learn a Binyan Av from these metals, then even glass would have been included, since it, like metal, can be molten; see RASHASH there.)

Similarly, the TIFERES YISRAEL (in his introduction to Seder Taharos, #44) quotes the VILNA GA'ON who asserts that only the six metals mentioned in the Torah are Mekabel Tum'ah.

(b) However, the TIFFERES YISRAEL himself argues and maintains that any metal which has similar qualities to those mentioned in the Torah is considered metal with regard to becoming Tamei. Similarly, the ARUCH HA'SHULCHAN rules that all metals require Tevilah mid'Oraisa in order to become Tahor, and require Tevilas Kelim when acquired from a Nochri. RAV MOSHE FEINSTEIN zt'l (IGROS MOSHE YD 2:164) writes that it is more logical to assume that since the Torah lists only six metals, only those six are Mekabel Tum'ah. However, even though, mid'Oraisa, only those six metals are Mekabel Tum'ah, we find that the Rabanan instituted Tum'ah for glass, because it has qualities that are similar to metal. Therefore, it is logical to assume that all other forms of metals should at least be considered like glass and be Mekabel Tum'ah mid'Rabanan.

However, RAV MOSHE STERNBUCH, shlit'a, in TESHUVOS V'HANHAGOS (1:449) suggests that aluminum would not become Tamei even mid'Rabanan (accordingly, there would be no requirement, even mid'Rabanan, to immerse aluminum utensils purchased from a Nochri; see Insights to Avodah Zarah 75:1:b:2). We find that the Rabanan decreed that only glass is like metal, and therefore we have no grounds to assume that any other material is included in their enactment.

Nevertheless, there may be another reason why aluminum can be Mekabel Tum'ah mid'Oraisa. Perhaps the six metals in the verse are mentioned only to exclude other materials which existed *at that time* (such as glass, which, we might have thought, should have been included in the same category, since it can be melted). The verse does not intend to exclude materials that might be discovered in the future and that have similar characteristics to these six metals. (M. Kornfeld)


OPINIONS: The Mishnah and Beraisa teach that small bitter almonds are obligated in Ma'aser, while large bitter almonds are exempt. Large sweet almonds are exempt from Ma'aser, while small sweet almonds are obligated. RASHI (DH Ketanim, DH Mesukim, and DH Ketanim) explains that of the bitter almonds, only the small ones are obligated in Ma'aser, since they are harvested for eating before they grow large and bitter. Sweet almonds, in contrast, are harvested for eating when they are large and fully grown, and thus only large ones are obligated in Ma'aser. The Gemara continues and says that Rebbi Yishmael b'Rebbi Yosi said in the name of his father, "Zeh v'Zeh Liftor" -- "this and this to exempt," while others say that he said, "Zeh v'Zeh l'Chiyuv" -- "this and this to obligate." Rebbi Chanina is quoted as ruling like the first version of Rebbi Yishmael's statement.

What does the Gemara mean when it says, "Zeh v'Zeh"?

(a) RASHI (DH Zeh v'Zeh) writes that "Zeh v'Zeh Liftor" means that both types of small almonds, bitter and sweet, are exempt from Ma'aser. Similarly, "Zeh v'Zeh l'Chiyuv" means that both types of large almonds, bitter and sweet, are obligated in Ma'aser. He understands that this is what the Gemara means when it asks, according to this opinion, what use do large almonds have (meaning large bitter almonds), and it answers that they can be sweetened through fire and eaten.

TOSFOS (DH Zeh v'Zeh Liftor) rejects Rashi's explanation for several reasons. First, the first part of the Beraisa separates the categories into bitter almonds and sweet almonds, and not small almonds and large almonds. We should assume that the statement of "Zeh v'Zeh" -- which seems to be addressing the Beraisa's categories -- is referring to the same categories as the Beraisa! Second, according to Rashi's approach, when the Gemara asks what use do large almonds have, the Gemara should have specified large *bitter* almonds, and not merely large almonds!

(b) Tosfos therefore explains that "Zeh v'Zeh Liftor" means that both large and small bitter almonds are exempt, while "Zeh v'Zeh l'Chiyuv" means that both large and small sweet almonds are obligated. Since there is only one type of large almond (sweet) that is obligated according to the opinion of "Zeh v'Zeh l'Chiyuv," the Gemara's question concerning what use do large almonds have, can be addressing only the large sweet almond. RASHI in Eruvin (28b, DH Zeh v'Zeh Liftor) explains the Gemara there like Tosfos (see LEV ARYEH to our Gemara for why Rashi explains the Gemara here differently). The words of the Gemara here are quoted by the BEHAG (see ROSH to Berachos 6:3) when discussing what Berachah one should recite when eating almonds. The Behag learns the Gemara like Tosfos and says that we should follow Rebbi Chanina who rules that "Zeh v'Zeh Liftor," meaning that all bitter almonds are exempt from Ma'aser. Accordingly, one should recite the Berachah of "Borei Pri ha'Etz" for a small bitter almond (see Rosh (ibid.) at length who discusses whether or not the Berachah of "Shehakol" should be recited). The BEIS YOSEF (OC 202:5) explains that although the small almonds are bitter, their desirability is their outer skin, which is not bitter when they are small. When eating a large bitter almond (which is even more bitter than the small bitter almond), one recites no Berachah, since its bitterness makes it unfit (and unhealthy) for consumption. This is also the opinion of RABEINU YONAH and the RASHBA in Berachos (36a). (Y. Montrose)

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