THOUGHTS ON THE DAILY DAF
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Rosh Kollel: Rav Mordecai Kornfeld
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CHULIN 46 - dedicated by Avi Berger of Queens, N.Y. in memory of his
father, Reb Pinchas ben Reb Avraham Yitzchak, on the day of his Yahrzeit.
1) AN ANIMAL BORN WITHOUT A LIVER
OPINIONS: The Mishnah (42a) states that one of the Tereifos is an animal
whose liver has been removed and nothing remains of it. The Gemara infers
from this that if something does remain of the liver, even if it is less
than a k'Zayis, then the animal is not a Tereifah. The Gemara asks that
this seems to contradict the Mishnah later (54a) that states that if the
liver was removed but a k'Zayis remains, the animal is Kosher. The Mishnah
there implies that if less than a k'Zayis remains, then the animal is a
The Gemara answers that the Mishnayos indeed are arguing. One Mishnah is
following the view of Rebbi Shimon bar Rebbi, while the other Mishnah is
following the view of Rebbi Chiya (see two explanations in RASHI DH Matvil
The Mishnah here and the Mishnah later discuss only the status of an
animal whose liver has been removed ("Nital"). Does the same Halachah
apply to an animal that was *born* without a liver ("Chaser")?
(a) The RAMBAM (Hilchos Shechitah 8:24) rules that in any case in which
the Gemara says that an animal is a Tereifah when it is missing a certain
limb from birth ("Chaser"), the animal is also a Tereifah when that limb
was removed later ("Nital"). However, in any case in which the Gemara says
that an animal is a Tereifah when a limb was removed ("Nital"), the animal
is *not* a Tereifah when the limb was missing from birth ("Chaser"). The
Rambam rules this way because without this distinction there would be no
difference between the cases of "Chaser" and "Nital," and yet the Gemara
(43a, in the name of Ula) counts them as two separate types of Tereifos.
Accordingly, an animal born without a liver is Kosher.
(b) The RASHBA rules that an animal born without a liver is considered a
Tereifah, like an animal whose liver was removed.
The OR SAME'ACH (Hilchos Shechitah 8:24, DH v'Hineh) writes that the
Gemara's question here seems to support the Rashba's ruling. If, as the
Rambam rules, an animal is Kosher when it has a liver that is small (less
than a k'Zayis) from birth, then the two Mishnayos do not contradict each
other. The second Mishnah, that says that an animal is a Tereifah when it
has less than a k'Zayis left of its liver, is referring only to an animal
born with a normal-sized liver, and some of it was removed. In order for
the animal not to be a Tereifah, at least a k'Zayis of its liver must
remain. The first Mishnah, that says that an animal is a Tereifah when
none of its liver remains, is including even an animal that has a small
(less than a k'Zayis) liver from birth. When part of the liver is removed
from such an animal, it logically does not become a Tereifah just because
the liver is now smaller than a k'Zayis, because even when it had its
whole liver, its liver was smaller than a k'Zayis. Regarding such an
animal, the Mishnah states that it will be a Tereifah only when its entire
liver is removed. It must be that there is no difference between an animal
born with a normal liver and an animal born with a small liver; in either
case, if the liver (or remaining part of the liver) is less than a
k'Zayis, the animal is a Tereifah.
(See Or Same'ach there who explains how the Rambam understands the Gemara
here.) (D. Bloom)
2) THE REASON WHY A "SIRCHAH" RENDERS THE ANIMAL A "TEREIFAH"
OPINIONS: Rava states that when there is a Sirchah (a growth of fibrous
flesh that connects one part of the lung to another, or to part of the
wall of the chest cavity) on the lung between two lobes, it is not
possible to examine the lung for a perforation, and thus the animal is
considered to be a Tereifah. However, this applies only when the Sirchah
is between two lobes that are not directly next to each other. A Sirchah
between two adjacent lobes does not render the animal a Tereifah, because
it is considered to be a natural part of the growth of the lung.
What exactly is a Sirchah and why does it render an animal a Tereifah?
(a) RASHI (DH Leis Lehu) explains that the Sirchah forms as a result of a
hole in the lung. The lung absorbs various fluids, and the fluids thicken
inside the lung. Some of the thickened fluid emerges through the hole in
the lung and becomes hard, forming a membrane that blocks the hole. Even
though the membrane seals the hole so that no air escapes through it, the
rule is that a membrane that develops in the lung does not prevent the
animal from becoming a Tereifah, because the membrane will disintegrate
later (see Insights to 43a).
The HAGAHOS MORDECHAI (#739) asks -- according to Rashi's explanation that
every Sirchah has a hole beneath it -- whether or not this rule applies to
a Sirchah on another organ. For example, what is the status of an animal
that has a Sirchah protruding from the gall bladder, or from the tick part
of the spleen? Does this also indicate that there is a hole in that organ?
Perhaps Rashi says that only a Sirchah on the lung is always indicative of
a whole, because the lungs absorb all sorts of fluids that harden and form
Sirchos. Sirchos on the other organs, though, do not develop from hardened
fluids, and, therefore, they do not indicate that the animal is a
The TERUMAS HA'DESHEN (1:163) also discusses the status of Sirchos on
other organs. He writes that perhaps the reason Rashi gives for why a
Sirchah on a lung is a sign of a Tereifah does not mean that a Sirchah
formed from a hole is a phenomenon exclusive to the lung. Rather, Rashi
gives this reason in order to explain why Sirchos are so much more common
on the lungs that on other organs. Because the lung absorbs so much fluid,
it is common that Sirchos develop at holes in the lung. However, it could
be that Sirchos develop for the same reason in other organs that are moist
and absorb fluids (such as the intestines, spleen, heart, and liver). The
Terumas ha'Deshen concludes that we should not be lenient with the
prohibition of Tereifah, since we find that the authorities are very
strict with regard to this prohibition.
(b) TOSFOS (DH Hayenu) questions Rashi's explanation. If the presence of a
Sirchah indicates that there is a hole in the lung, then why is the animal
Kosher when the Sirchah is between two adjacent lobes? There still is a
hole beneath the Sirchah that should render the animal a Tereifah!
Therefore, Tosfos gives a different explanation. Tosfos explains that a
Sirchah is not the result of a hole in a the lung, but rather it is the
*cause* of a hole in the long. Since the animal's lungs absorb various
fluids, it is common for a Sirchah to develop even when there is no hole
in the lung. A Sirchah between two non-adjacent lobes renders the animal a
Tereifah because the Sirchah eventually will tear off, pulling a part of
the lung with it and leaving a hole in the lung. Even though the lung has
not yet been pierced as long as the Sirchah is intact, nevertheless since
it will eventually become pierced it is considered to already have a hole.
In contrast, a Sirchah between adjacent lobes does not pull at the lung,
because this is the natural way that the animal develops, and a Sirchah in
such a place will not cause a hole in the lung.
(Tosfos later suggests -- in defense of Rashi's explanation -- that a
Sirchah between two adjacent lobes does not render the animal a Tereifah
because even though there is a hole beneath the Sirchah, the membrane that
forms in that place will be an effective seal, since the lobes lie
naturally together and, therefore, the membrane becomes a strong seal.)
The PRI MEGADIM (introduction to YD 39, DH v'Yesh Lachkor) writes that
according to Tosfos, who says that a Sirchah renders an animal a Tereifah
because it eventually will make a hole in the lung, it follows that this
Tereifah is a definite Tereifah, and not merely a Tereifah out of doubt.
However, according to Rashi's explanation, it could be that this Tereifah
is only a Tereifah out of doubt, and Rashi's statement, "There is no
Sirchah without a hole," is not a statement of certainty, but rather it
means that since there is a Sirchah, we must be stringent because of a
doubt that there might be a hole beneath it.
Alternatively, perhaps the statement, "There is no Sirchah without a
hole," is a statement of certainty, but nevertheless perhaps only the
outer membrane was pierced and the animal is still Kosher (as the Gemara
earlier concludes that a hole in the lung is considered a Tereifah only
when both the outer and inner membranes were pierced).
The Pri Megadim concludes, however, that because the lungs absorb so much
fluid, Sirchos are very common, and we must assume that it is certain that
the Sirchah formed from a hole beneath it. (See also TESHUVOS REBBI AKIVA
EIGER 2:21.) (D. Bloom)
(See Insights to Chulin 49:1 regarding the practical Halachos of Sirchos
found on lungs, and for the definition of what is commonly referred to as
"Glatt Kosher" meat.)