THOUGHTS ON THE DAILY DAF
brought to you by Kollel Iyun Hadaf of Har Nof
Rosh Kollel: Rav Mordecai Kornfeld
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1) "KOL SHI'UREI CHACHAMIM L'HACHMIR"
OPINIONS: Rebbi Avahu says in the name of Rebbi Yochanan, "All of the
amounts established by the Chachamim were in order to be stringent, except
the Gris for Kesamim, which is to be lenient." This means that whenever the
Chachamim established an upper (or lower) limit for an amount regarding a
certain Halachah, that limit is *included* in the stringency of the Halachah
("Ad v'Ad Bichlal"), except for the Shi'ur of a blood stain the size of a
Gris bean. In the case of a stain, the stain is only considered Dam Nidah
when there is *more* than the size of a Gris. The limit of a Gris is *not*
included in the stringency of the Halachah.
Does this mean that all Shi'urim are included in the Chumra element of the
Halachah, or is Rebbi Avahu in the name of Rebbi Yochanan referring only to
a specific category of Shi'urim?
(a) TOSFOS (DH Kol) clearly learns that when Rebbi Avahu says "Kol Shi'urei
Chachamim," he is referring to "*all* amounts" established by the Chachamim.
Tosfos questions Rebbi Avahu's statement from the Gemara in Berachos (27a).
Rebbi Yehudah maintains that one may recite Musaf until *and including* the
seventh hour of the day. Accordingly, when Rebbi Yehudah says that one may
recite Shacharis until the fourth hour, he must mean that one may recite
Shacharis until and including the fourth hour. How, though, can Rebbi
Yehudah say that the latest limit for praying is *lenient* and includes that
hour, if, as Rebbi Avahu says, all of the Shi'urim of the Chachamim are
l'Chumra? Tosfos answers that Rebbi Yehudah's ruling is also a stringency,
because he is ruling that a person is *obligated* to pray through the fourth
and seventh hours if he has not yet prayed. It is clear that Tosfos learns
that Rebbi Avahu's rule refers to all types of Shi'urim, whether they are
mid'Rabanan or mid'Oraisa.
The TIFERES YAKOV is perplexed by the answer of Tosfos. A "Chumra" means
that a certain object has a status that limits its use. It is not a Chumra
to say that a person is obligated to pray, since most people want to pray
and do not view the obligation to pray as a limitation. Any normal person
who wants to do the Mitzvos looks at the ability to continue praying passed
a certain hour as a leniency, and not as a stringency! We certainly do not
consider the opinion of the Chachamim in Berachos (26a), who say that one
may recite Musaf all day, as an exceptionally stringent opinion! (See the
Tiferes Yakov who has a different approach to the Gemara in Berachos.)
(b) The RASHBA argues that Rebbi Avahu means something else entirely. Rebbi
Avahu is referring only to amounts that are relevant to a Halachah
mid'Oraisa. Regarding a Halachah mid'Rabanan, the amounts were given in
order to be lenient.
According to this explanation, though, why does Rebbi Avahu himself say that
the amount of a Gris with regard to Kesamim is an exception and is lenient?
The Halachah of Kesamim (that a woman is considered a Nidah when she finds a
stain and is unsure where it came from) is mid'Rabanan. If Rebbi Avahu
maintains that *all* Shi'urim regarding rabbinic laws were given to be
lenient, then he should have said simply that all amounts of the Chachamim
are stringent except for those that apply to laws that are mid'Rabanan! Why
does he mention only the exception of Kesamim?
The Rashba explains that this actually is Rebbi Avahu's intention with his
statement. He mentions a Gris of Kesamim merely as an example of all amounts
that apply to Halachos mid'Rabanan.
The ARUCH LA'NER in Nidah (58b) says that the Rashba understands that this
is the opinion of RASHI (DH Chutz). Rashi explicitly states that the reason
for Rebbi Avahu's Halachah is because the law of Kesamim itself is
mid'Rabanan. The ROSH YOSEF here writes that he found that this is also the
understanding of the RAN. Accordingly, all of these opinions are not
bothered with Tosfos' question from Berachos, since the Gemara in Berachos
is referring only to amounts that involve Halachos mid'Rabanan. (Y.
2) THE CRUCIAL AMOUNT OF SKIN
OPINIONS: In the Mishnah (54a), Rebbi Meir and the Chachamim argue with
regard to the status of an animal that has had its skin removed ("Geludah").
Rebbi Meir says that the animal is Kosher, while the Chachamim say that the
animal is a Tereifah. The Gemara here teaches that Rebbi Meir eventually
retracted his opinion and agreed with the Chachamim.
The Gemara discusses how much skin of the animal must be removed in order
for it to be considered a Tereifah due to Geludah. Rebbi Tarfon is quoted as
saying that if an amount of skin the size of a Sela (coin) remains on the
animal, then the animal does not have the status of a Geludah. The Gemara
asks where on the animal must this Sela of skin remain in order for the
animal not to be a Tereifah. The Gemara records a number of opinions.
Shmuel says that a width of Sela of skin must cover the entire spine. Rabah
bar bar Chanah says that a Sela must cover the vertebrae and the joints.
Rebbi Elazar ben Antignos says that it must cover the navel. Rav says that a
Sela of skin anywhere on the body makes the animal Kosher, except over the
Beis ha'Perasos (the feet, below the knee), and Rebbi Yochanan says that
even skin over the feet makes it Kosher.
Which opinion does the Halachah follow?
(a) The Rif quotes the BEHAG who rules like Rav, that an amount of skin the
size of a Sela on any part of the animal prevents it from having the status
of a Geludah, except for the skin on the legs, below the knee. One of the
proofs of the Behag is that Rebbi Yochanan himself retracted his opinion and
agreed with the opinion of Rav.
(b) The RIF argues with the Behag and maintains that the Halachah should
follow the view of Shmuel, that as long as there is a strip of skin along
the entire spine of the animal which is not less than a width of a Sela at
any point, the animal is not a Geludah. He says that there is no proof that
we should rule like any particular opinion, and there is no indication in
our text that Rebbi Yochanan retracted his opinion and agreed with Rav.
Therefore, we should follow the most stringent opinion, which is that of
It is clear from the words of the Rif that he understands that all of the
other opinions in the Gemara are not stating a specific part of the body
where skin must remain in order for the animal to survive, but rather they
are giving the most lenient place where such an amount of skin could save
the animal. Thus, the opinion that says, for example, that the skin must
cover the navel, maintains that a Sela of skin at the navel will prevent the
animal from being a Tereifah, and certainly skin over the spine will prevent
it from being a Tereifah (as Shmuel says).
(c) The ROSH (3:47) rules like the Behag that an amount of skin the size of
a Sela on any part of the animal prevents it from having the status of a
Geludah. However, while the Behag says that skin on the lower legs does not
help, the Rosh rules that skin even in this area counts towards the amount
of skin the size of a Sela.
(d) The RAMBAM (Hilchos Shechitah 9:7) learns differently. He rules that in
order to avoid the status of a Geludah, an animal must have skin in all of
the places mentioned by all of the opinions in the Gemara. The KESEF MISHNEH
explains that the Rambam, like the Rif, is in doubt about whom the Halachah
follows. However, in contrast to the Rif, the Rambam learns that each
opinion in the Gemara is saying that the animal will live *only* when there
is skin in this particular area. Therefore, the Rambam rules that the animal
must have skin in all of these areas in order to avoid being a Geludah. This
is also the opinion of the RASHBA, RAN, SHULCHAN ARUCH (YD 59:1), ARUCH
HA'SHULCHAN, and most of the Poskim. (Y. Montrose)