THOUGHTS ON THE DAILY DAF
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Rosh Kollel: Rav Mordecai Kornfeld
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CHULIN 31 - This Daf has been sponsored by Dr. and Mrs. Shalom Kelman of
Baltimore, Maryland, USA. May Hashem bless them with long years filled
with Torah, Chidushei Torah, and Nachas!
1) HALACHAH: PREPARING DIRT FOR "KISUY HA'DAM"
OPINIONS: The Gemara teaches that when performing the Mitzvah of Kisuy
ha'Dam, one must place dirt both beneath the blood, and on top of the
blood, of the slaughtered bird or Chayah. Does this mean that one must
actively designate dirt by picking it up and placing it on the ground to
be used for Kisuy ha'Dam?
2) THE STATUS OF A WAVE
(a) RASHI (DH d'Mazmin) implies that the dirt must be literally *placed*
underneath the blood, or at least *pronounced* as dirt of Kisuy. If dirt
just happens to be where the blood falls, the Mitzvah has not been
fulfilled. Rashi's source is the statement in our Gemara that Rebbi Yonah
bar Tachlifa had to "prepare" the dirt in the valley for Kisuy.
The SHULCHAN ARUCH (YD 28:5) records both opinions. The SHACH points out
that if one did not prepare the dirt verbally before the Kisuy, there is
no need to perform another Kisuy. (M. Kornfeld)
(b) TOSFOS (Chulin 83b, DH Tzarich) and the ROSH (2:8, 6:10) find Rashi's
assertion difficult to accept. They maintain that as long as there is dirt
underneath the blood, the Mitzvah has been fulfilled, and there is no need
to specifically designate the dirt for that purpose.
QUESTION: 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 valid only 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 case 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.
We know that there are two types of valid Mikva'os. The first is a
"Ma'ayan," a natural spring, which does not need forty Se'ah of water to
be a valid Mikvah, and its waters may be flowing ("Zochalin"). The second
is a stationary collection of water, or a "Mikvah," which must contain
forty Se'ah of water in order to be a valid Mikvah, and the water may not
Into which category does a wave fall? If a wave is considered a Ma'ayan,
then why does the Mishnah require that it contain forty Se'ah of water,
when a Ma'ayan does not need forty Se'ah? On the other hand, if a wave is
considered a Mikvah, then it should not be able to be Metaher while it is
in motion! (See also Insights to Chagigah 19:1.)
ANSWER: The SHACH (YD 201:20) understands that a wave is considered a
Ma'ayan. He explains that even though a Ma'ayan does not need forty Se'ah
in order to be a valid Mikvah, a wave is different. Since a wave has
become detached from its source, it loses its status of a Ma'ayan with
regard to the amount of water that it needs in order to be Metaher.
Nevertheless, it retains its status of Ma'ayan with regard to its ability
to be Metaher while in motion.
Why does a wave have the status of a Ma'ayan with regard to being Metaher
while in motion, but not with regard to the amount of water that it needs?
If becoming detached from its source removes its status of a Ma'ayan with
regard to the amount of water that it needs, then it should also remove
its status of a Ma'ayan with regard to being Metaher while in motion!
RAV CHAIM SOLOVEITCHIK (Hilchos Mikva'os 9:6) explains that there are two
characteristics of a Ma'ayan: the place in which the water is located is a
natural spring, and the water in that place is spring water.
(a) The *place* in which the water is to be found is a Ma'ayan.
(b) The *water* in that place is a Ma'ayan.
Rav Chaim Soloveitchik explains that the Halachah that a Ma'ayan is
Metaher with less than forty Se'ah applies to a *place* which is
categorized as a Ma'ayan. The Halachah that a Ma'ayan's water is Metaher
even while in motion applies to *water* that is categorized as spring
This is logical, since the quantity of water contained in the place
describes the *place*, while the action that the water is performing (i.e.
flowing or staying still) describes the *water*.
A wave that becomes detached can no longer be classified as a *place* that
is a Ma'ayan, because it is no longer in its place. However, its *water*
is still considered to be the water of a Ma'ayan, since nothing essential
about the water (other than its place) has changed. Therefore, forty Se'ah
are required because the place is not a Ma'ayan, but since the water is
still considered to be the water of a Ma'ayan, it can be Metaher while in
motion. (Z. Wainstein)
3) THE LOGIC BEHIND THE CONCEPT OF "HECHSHER"
QUESTIONS: The Gemara discusses the Halachah that a food can become Tamei
only when it was first "Huchshar l'Tum'ah" by becoming wet, and the owner
of the food is pleased that his food became wet. This is learned from the
verse, "v'Chi Yutan Mayim Al Zera..." -- "If water has been placed on
seeds and then the dead body [of a Sheretz] fell upon them, the seeds are
Tamei" (Vayikra 11:38). The word "Yutan" in the verse is written without a
"Vav," just like the word "Yiten" -- "he places." From this we learn that
when water or other liquids fall on the food it is considered to be
Huchshar only if their presence is desirable to the owner of the food
(i.e. it is as though he himself applied them).
4) SPECIFIC INTENT FOR "TEVILAH"
(a) Is there any logical explanation for this requirement that the owner
be pleased that his food became wet in order for them to become Tamei?
(b) If someone else, other than the owner, is pleased that the food became
wet, does this constitute "Ki Yiten" such that the food is Huchshar to
(a) The SEFER HA'CHINUCH (#160) explains that even though this requirement
of "Ki Yiten" is a Gezeiras ha'Kasuv, we may offer a logical explanation
for it. In general, the laws of the Torah that involve foods apply only to
foods that are finished products. For example, the obligation to separate
Terumos and Ma'aseros from fruit applies only after the fruit has been
harvested. Similarly, the obligation to separate Chalah from dough applies
only after the dough has been kneaded.
Since most people eat fruit only after it has been washed, fruit is not
considered a "finished" food until it has been rinsed.
This is also why Rebbi Shimon (Chulin 33a) maintains that Shechitah makes
the animal fit to become Tamei. As RASHI (33a, DH Huchsheru) explains,
since the Shechitah permits the animal to be eaten, it makes the flesh
into a "finished food" with regard to being Huchshar to become Tamei.
"Hechsher" comes when the object attains the status of a "finished food."
(b) The Rishonim dispute whether the consent of the owner is necessary, or
anyone's consent suffices.
1. From the fact that the Gemara does not specify who it was who put his
hands into the water to take out the fruit that fell in, the RASHBA (DH
Peiros) learns that the consent of the *owner* of the fruit is not
necessary in order to be Machshir the fruit. The consent of anyone
2. The RAMBAM (Hilchos Tum'as Ochlin 12:1) rules that the seven liquids
that cause food to become Huchshar for Tum'ah are Machshir only when they
are placed on the fruit with the consent of the *owner* of the fruit. This
is also the view of the SEFER HA'CHINUCH (ibid.). (Z. Wainstein)
QUESTION: The Gemara (31a) records a Machlokes between Rav and Rebbi
Yochanan regarding whether the immersion of a Nidah who was forced to
immerse in a Mikvah is valid or not. Rav maintains that her Tevilah is
effective in permitting her to her husband. Rebbi Yochanan maintains that
it is not valid. Rav derives from the laws of Shechitah that Kavanah,
specific intent, is not necessary. According to Rebbi Nasan, specific
intent for Shechitah is not necessary at all, while according to the
Rabanan, intent to cut the Simanim suffices. Similarly, in the case of
Tevilah done without intent, Rebbi Nasan will maintain that the Tevilah is
valid even if the woman fell off of a bridge into the water. The Rabanan
will maintain that the Tevilah is valid as long as the woman had intent to
immerse in water, even though she did not have intent to immerse "l'Shem
Rebbi Yochanan derives from the verse that discusses Tevilah for garments
afflicted with Tzara'as that Tevilah needs specific intent even when
immersing non-sanctified (Chulin) items. Therefore, he rules that a woman
who immerses against her will, without intent, is not valid.
The Gemara explains that if "her friend made her immerse," then the
specific intent of her friend suffices and her Tevilah is valid according
The OR SAM'EACH (beginning of Hilchos Mikva'os) asks that the Halachah
regarding the writing of a Get is that the Get must be written Lishmah,
with specific intent that it is being written for the Gerushin of this man
and this woman. If the Get is not written Lishmah, it is invalid, even if
someone was standing over the scribe telling him to have Kavanah to write
it Lishmah. The reason it is invalid in such a case is because of the
principle that a person who has freedom of choice does his actions on his
own accord and not according to the will of another person.
Accordingly, the woman's Tevilah should be invalid unless she has Kavanah
herself. The Kavanah of the one who causes her to immerse should not help!
The OR SAME'ACH writes that according to Rebbi Yochanan, who
derives from the Tevilah of afflicted garments that a woman's Tevilah
needs Kavanah, the Gemara is not problematic. In the case of the Tevilah
of clothing, the Torah requires the Kavanah of the person immersing the
clothing in the water. Similarly, for the Tevilah of a woman, the Kavanah
of the person immersing the woman in the water will suffice.
According to Rav, who derives the Halachah of Kavanah from the laws of
Shechitah, the question remains. The Kavanah of the person who immerses
the woman in the water should not be effective, just as the Kavanah of a
person telling the scribe to write the Get with Kavanah does not help.
The OR SAME'ACH answers that in every Tevilah, there are two parts -- the
Tovel (the person or object being immersed), and the Matvil (the person
immersing the object or the person). When the Torah requires Kavanah for
Tevilah, is it referring to the object that is being immersed, or to the
one who is immersing it?
In the case of Shechitah, it is clearly the one performing the Shechitah
who must have Kavanah. Therefore, according to Rav, who learns the law of
Kavanah of Tevilah from Shechitah, the one who is immersing the object or
other person must have Kavanah, and not the one being immersed. In
contrast, in the case of a Get, the one writing the Get must have Kavanah,
because he is the one doing the action of writing the Get.
(b) The MAHARACH OR ZARU'A seems to have a different understanding. He
writes that even the Kavanah of one who is merely observing the Shechitah
or the Tevilah is effective. Why, then, is the Kavanah of the one writing
the Get necessary, and the Kavanah of one observing is not effective?
The Maharach Or Zaru'a seems to learn that there is a difference between
Kavanah to do something "Lishmah," and Kavanah of specific intent to
perform an act. "Lishmah" is a designation -- the Get must be designated
for the Gerushin of this woman. Similarly, a Korban must be slaughtered
with intention that it is designated for a particular type of Korban. In
contrast, Shechitah (of Chulin) and Tevilah need no specific designation.
Rather, the Torah wants these actions to be done with a specific intent
merely to perform the action, but not to effect any particular change.
Kavanah is merely an additional requirement (that is, one must perform
Shechitah with Kavanah, but the Shechitah does not have to be inherently
done for the sake of a certain purpose). Any Jew suffices to provide this
type of Kavanah, and it does not have to be the person performing the act
who has the Kavanah. (Mordechai Zvi Dicker)