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 66-68 - sponsored by Dr. Lindsay A. Rosenwald of Lawrence NY, in
honor of his father, David ben Aharon ha'Levy Rosenwald of blessed memory.
1) CUTTING OFF THE SPLEEN OR KIDNEYS
QUESTION: The Mishnah states that when the spleen (Techol) or kidneys
(Kelayos) of an animal are excised from the animal but left inside of the
animal, the subsequent Shechitah of the animal does not permit those organs
to be eaten. They are forbidden because of the Isur of Ever Min ha'Chai,
since they were cut off while the animal was alive. This is in contrast to a
fetus inside the animal, which is permitted by the Shechitah even if it is
cut up before the Shechitah.
RASHI (DH Asur) explains that the reason why the Mishnah gives the example
of the spleen or kidneys being cut is because the removal of these organs do
not render the animal a Tereifah.
These words of Rashi are difficult to understand in light of the Gemara
earlier (55a). In the Gemara there, Rav Avira states that even though an
animal is not a Tereifah when it is lacking a spleen, when it possesses a
spleen but the spleen has a puncture in it, the animal *is* a Tereifah. The
Gemara there questions Rav Avira's statement from the Mishnah here, which
implies that even when the spleen or kidneys themselves are forbidden, the
animal is permitted. The Gemara there answers that in fact the animal itself
is also prohibited because of the puncture in the spleen or kidney. The
Mishnah says only that the spleen and kidneys are forbidden in order to
contrast and distinguish them from the fetus in the first part of the
Mishnah, which is permitted when it is cut up inside the womb.
Why, then, does Rashi say that the animal does not become a Tereifah when
the spleen and kidneys are cut? The Gemara earlier clearly says that the
animal is a Tereifah and is forbidden to eat when the spleen and kidneys are
(The TOSFOS YOM TOV actually rejects Rashi's explanation on the basis of
this question. He explains instead that the reason why the Mishnah mentions
specifically the spleen and kidneys is because those organs are frequently
cut. The Mishnah is merely discussing the most common case.)
(a) The RASHBA answers that Rashi here is following the second answer given
in the Gemara earlier. In its second answer, the Gemara there says that only
a puncture in the spleen renders the animal a Tereifah; cutting off the
spleen does not render the animal a Tereifah.
The Rashba adds that perhaps Rashi explains the Mishnah here according to
the second answer of the Gemara earlier not because he rules like that
answer, but rather because the most straightforward reading of the Mishnah
here is that the animal is Kosher when the spleen and kidneys are cut. (See
also TOSFOS YOM TOV to Pe'ah 2:2 who explains that it is the style of Rashi,
as we find in many places, to explain the Mishnah according to the initial
understanding of the Gemara, even when the Gemara's conclusion is
It could be that Rashi is in doubt about whether the Halachah follows the
first or second answer of the Gemara earlier. The Rashba writes that since
there are two answers in the Gemara and the Gemara does not state which one
the Halachah follows, we must be stringent in practice, since an Isur
d'Oraisa (of Tereifah) is involved, and we should not eat an animal from
which the spleen or kidneys were removed before Shechitah.
(b) Even though the Tosfos Yom Tov rejects Rashi's explanation (as mentioned
above), in the MA'ADANEI YOM TOV (4:1:1) he gives an answer for Rashi. He
writes that the Gemara earlier (55b) states that the Halachah does not
follow the view of Rav Avira, who says that a hole in the spleen renders the
animal a Tereifah. However, the Gemara there adds that if the hole was at
the thick end of the spleen, then the animal *is* a Tereifah. The animal is
Kosher only if the hole is in the thin end of the spleen. Accordingly, when
Rashi here says that a spleen that was cut does not render the animal a
Tereifah, he is referring to a spleen that was cut at its then end. Such a
cut does not render the animal a Tereifah.
The Ma'adanei Yom Tov cites support for this answer from the words of the
RAN (end of 16b of the pages of the Rif). The Ran writes that once the
Gemara distinguished between a hole in the thin part and a hole in the thick
part, it is no longer necessary to distinguish between a cut and a puncture
(as the second answer of the Gemara there does). (D. Bloom)
2) A FETAL LIMB THAT PROTRUDED FROM THE WOMB
OPINIONS: The Mishnah (68a) states that when part of an unborn animal
protruded from its mother's womb and then returned to its place before the
Shechitah of the mother, "it is permitted to be eaten."
Rav Yehudah in the name of Rav (68a) says that only the fetus inside of the
mother is permitted, but the limb that emerged is prohibited, even when it
withdrew back into the womb. Ula in the name of Rebbi Yochanan (68b) says
that the limb itself is permitted when it returned to the womb.
The Gemara records a second version of the argument between Rav and Rav
Yochanan, according to which Rav says that "Yesh Leidah l'Evarim" -- a limb
that leaves the womb is considered to have been born. Rebbi Yochanan says
that "Ein Leidah l'Evarim" -- a limb that leaves the womb is not considered
to have been born.
The Gemara asks, "What is the difference between them?" It answers that the
difference is in a case in which a majority of a limb emerged, but a
minority of the limb remained inside of the womb.
There are a number of approaches in the Rishonim to understanding the second
version of the argument between Rav and Rebbi Yochanan (and the subsequent
questions and answers of the Gemara) and what the Gemara means when it
discusses "the difference between them."
(a) The RIF and most Rishonim explain that according to the second version,
Rebbi Yochanan agrees that the limb remains prohibited when it is retracted
back into the womb. According to this version, the argument involves a case
in which a majority of the limb exited, while part of it remained inside the
womb. Does the majority of the limb that exited cause the part of the limb
that remains inside of the animal to become prohibited? Rav maintains "Yesh
Leidah l'Evarim," and thus the entire limb is considered to have emerged
from the womb (because of the majority that exited) and it is prohibited
(even the minority that remains inside the animal), even when the majority
returns to the womb. Rebbi Yochanan maintains "Ein Leidah l'Evarim," and
thus the only part that is prohibited is the part that actually exited, but
not the part that remains inside the womb.
According to this approach, when the Gemara asks, "What is the difference
between them," it is asking what the difference is between Rav and Rebbi
Yochanan in the second version (but not what the difference is between the
first version and the second version).
It seems that there are two ways to understand the opinion of Rav, who says
that the minority of the limb that is inside the womb becomes prohibited
even when the majority reenters the womb. First, the minority becomes
prohibited because of the principle of "Rubo k'Chulo." Since the majority
exited, it is considered as though the minority left inside the womb also
exited. Second, from the words of Rav that "Yesh Leidah l'Evarim," it seems
that Rav maintains that there is a concept of birth for a single limb. Just
as the fetus itself is considered to have been born once a majority (or the
head alone) exits the womb, and the law of "Ben Paku'a" no longer applies
even to the minority of the fetus that remains in the womb because the fetus
is no longer considered part of its mother (but not because of the law of
"u'Vasar ba'Sadeh Tereifah Lo Sochelu"), so, too, the status of "being born"
applies to a limb whose majority left the womb. (See KUNTRUS ATERES ZEKENIM,
#6-9, by Rav Moshe Pogrow.)
(b) RASHI explains that Rebbi Yochanan's opinion in the second version is
the same as his opinion in the first version. Rebbi Yochanan says that the
limb that exits the womb and then returns to it is not prohibited. Rav's
opinion, though, is different in the second version. Rav maintains that not
only does the limb that exited remain prohibited when it returns to the womb
(as he says in the first version), but the part of the limb that never
exited also becomes prohibited when a majority of the limb exited (again,
either because of "Rubo k'Chulo," or because there is a concept of "birth"
for a single limb).
According to Rashi, when the Gemara says that the difference between the two
versions is a case in which a majority of the limb exited, it is teaching
the difference between the first version of Rav and the second version of
Rav (as Rashi says explicitly in DH Mai Beinaihu).
(c) The RAMBAN records a third approach, according to which the second
version of the argument between Rav and Rebbi Yochanan is entirely unrelated
to the first version. The first version discusses whether or not retracting
the limb back into the womb makes it permitted. The second version
discusses -- when the limb did not go back into the womb -- whether or not
the part of the limb that remains inside the womb is prohibited; does a
minority become prohibited because of the majority? Rav says that the part
inside of the womb becomes prohibited, while Rebbi Yochanan says that it
does not. (The ROSH YOSEF adds that according to this explanation, both Rav
and Rebbi Yochanan agree that when the part of the limb that was outside of
the womb comes back into the womb, the part that never emerged is certainly