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) "SHECHITASO METAHARASO"
QUESTION: The Chachamim in the Mishnah say that when one slaughters an
animal and finds inside a live, nine-month-old fetus in the womb, the fetus
may be eaten without slaughter, because "Shechitas Imo Metaharso" -- the
Shechitah of its mother makes it Tahor.
Why do the Chachamim say that the Shechitah of the mother "makes [the fetus]
Tahor," if they permit the fetus to be *eaten*? They should say instead that
"Shechitas Imo *Matiraso*" -- "it *permits* it"!
ANSWER: Perhaps the Mishnah is hinting to the Halachah mentioned in the
Gemara later (75b), which teaches that although the fetus of a Tereifah is
not permitted to be eaten just as its mother is not permitted to be eaten,
the fetus nevertheless is Tahor (just as its mother is Tahor). We see that
there are times when the Shechitah of the mother only makes the fetus Tahor,
but does not permit it to be eaten. (M. Kornfeld)
2) A LIVE CALF FOUND INSIDE A COW THAT WAS NOT SLAUGHTERED
QUESTION: The Mishnah states that when a cow is cut open (without first
being slaughtered with Shechitah) and a live, nine-month-old calf is found
inside it, the calf required Shechitah in order to be permitted to be eaten,
since the mother did not yet have Shechitah.
3) A FETUS AT FULL TERM
This seems obvious. What is the Mishnah teaching?
ANSWER: The CHASAM SOFER explains that the Mishnah is discussing a situation
in which the mother was cut open while still alive in such a way that its
calf is exposed. Even though the mother is then slaughtered with Shechitah,
the fetus is no longer permitted through the Shechitah of the mother, since
it has become exposed to the world and is no longer concealed within the
womb. (Z. Wainstein)
QUESTION: The Mishnah (74a) states that when one slaughters an animal and
finds inside a living or dead eight-month-old fetus, or a dead
nine-month-old fetus, the fetus may be eaten without Shechitah as long as
its blood is removed. When a live, nine-month-old fetus is found, Rebbi Meir
maintains that it requires Shechitah, and the Chachamim maintain that the
Shechitah of the mother suffices.
4) THE STATUS OF A FETUS WITH REGARD TO OTHER LAWS
RASHI in the Mishnah (DH Kor'o, and DH Ta'un) mentions that Rebbi Meir
considers a fetus to be an independent being (at least with regard to
Shechitah) as soon as the full term (nine months) of pregnancy has arrived,
even before the fetus is born (see also RASHBA).
However, in the Gemara, Rashi (DH li'Me'utei, and end of DH Chelbo) writes
that no one considers an animal to be born (and its Chelev prohibited) until
both the full term of pregnancy has passed, *and* the calf has been exposed
to the air (i.e. birth)! How are we to reconcile the words of Rashi?
ANSWER: Rashi in the Gemara adds the condition that the calf must be exposed
to the air because he is discussing the Isur of Chelev. It is true that an
animal does not need to be born in order to be considered an independent
entity according to Rebbi Meir. However in order for its fats to be
prohibited, the Chelev must be extracted from the animal and exposed to the
air. As TOSFOS (75a, l'Divrei) points out (based on the Gemara on 103a),
until the Chelev of a fetus is exposed to air it is not prohibited. (M.
OPINIONS: In the first version of his statement, Rebbi Elazar in the name of
Rebbi Oshiya says that the discussion of the Mishnah regarding the status of
a nine-month-old fetus applies only to Shechitah. The Gemara infers from
this statement that Rebbi Meir and the Chachamim do not argue with regard to
the prohibitions of Chelev and Gid ha'Nasheh. In the second version of his
statement, Rebbi Elazar in the name of Rebbi Oshiya says that the discussion
of the Mishnah applies only to eating the fetus without Shechitah, and
eating its Chelev and Gid. The Gemara infers from this statement that Rebbi
Meir and the Chachamim do not argue with regard to the prohibition of having
relations with an animal and the prohibition of making it work with a
5) REDEEMING A FIRSTBORN DONKEY WITH A "BEN PEKU'AH"
When the Gemara says that Rebbi Meir and the Chachamim do not argue with
regard to these other laws, what does it mean?
(a) RASHI (in both DH Lo) explains that the Gemara is saying that the with
regard to Chelev and Gid, or Revi'ah and Kilayim, even the Chachamim
consider the fetus a separate entity.
(b) RABEINU GERSHOM, however, suggests an entirely different approach. He
explains that Rebbi Meir considers a fetus to be an independent animal only
with regard to Shechitah. With regard to Chelev and Gid, or Revi'ah and
Kilayim, he agrees that the fetus is not considered a separate entity, but
rather it is part of the mother, and thus these laws do *not* apply to a
How, though, does Rabeinu Gershom understand the Gemara later? The Gemara
says that according to Rebbi Meir, since a fetus inside of a slaughtered cow
requires Shechitah, it obviously may be used for the Pidyon of a firstborn
donkey, since it is a separate animal. According to Rabeinu Gershom, Rebbi
Meir considers it an animal only with regard to Shechitah, but not with
regard to any other law!
Perhaps Rabeinu Gershom means that only while the fetus is still inside of
its mother is it not considered a separate entity with regard to the other
laws. He agrees, though, that once it exits the mother's womb, it is like
any other animal. The Gemara that says that a fetus may be used for Pidyon
is discussing a fetus that has left the mother's womb. (M. Kornfeld)
QUESTION: The Mishnah (74a) states that when a live, nine-month-old fetus is
found inside of the mother after the mother was slaughtered, Rebbi Meir
maintains that it requires Shechitah, because it is considered an
independent animal. The Chachamim maintain that it is not considered a
separate entity, and thus the Shechitah of the mother suffices to permit the
The Gemara asks whether a live, nine-month-old fetal lamb found inside of
the mother may be used for the redemption of a firstborn donkey ("Pidyon
Peter Chamor"). The Gemara says that there is no question according to Rebbi
Meir, since a fetus inside of a slaughtered animal requires Shechitah, it
obviously may be used for the Pidyon of a firstborn donkey, since it is a
separate animal. Rather, the question is according to the Chachamim. Since
the Shechitah of the mother is effective to permit the fetus, perhaps the
Ben Peku'ah is considered "like meat in a bag" and is considered as though
it was slaughtered, even though it is alive. The Mishnah in Bechoros (12a)
states that one may not perform Pidyon with a slaughtered animal. On the
other hand, perhaps since the Ben Peku'ah is physically alive and running
around, we do not consider it to have been slaughtered (with regard to using
it for Pidyon) and, therefore, it may be used for Pidyon.
Mar Zutra answers that it may not be used for Pidyon, while Rav Ashi answers
that it may be used.
Rav Ashi challenges Mar Zutra by pointing out that Mar Zutra's reasoning for
disqualifying the Ben Peku'ah must be because of the Gezeirah Shavah that
compares the "Seh" of Pidyon to the "Seh" of Korban Pesach. Just as a Ben
Peku'ah cannot be used as a Korban Pesach, so, too, it cannot be used for
Pidyon. Rav Ashi asks that according to this reasoning, we should also
require a male, one-year-old, unblemished animal for Pidyon, just as those
conditions are required for the Korban Pesach, and yet we find no such
requirements for the animal used for Pidyon!
RASHI (DH d'Gamar) explains that the reason why a Ben Peku'ah may not be
used as a Korban Pesach is because any animal that does not exit through the
womb of its mother ("Yotzei Dofen") is disqualified from being brought as a
Korban, because the verse says, "Ki Yivaled" -- "when it will *be born*"
There are a number of difficulties with the Gemara. First, Rav Ashi -- who
says that a Ben Peku'ah may be used for Pidyon -- obviously maintains that
there is no Gezeirah Shavah comparing Pidyon to Korban Pesach. However, this
Gezeirah Shavah is taught explicitly in a Beraisa in Bechoros (12a), and it
is discussed in Yoma (49b), where no one argues with it! Not only is it
difficult to understand the view of Rav Asi, who says that according to the
Chachamim a Ben Peku'ah may be used for Pidyon, but it is also difficult to
understand the view of Rebbi Meir, who says that a Ben Peku'ah certainly may
be used for Pidyon! How can it be used for Pidyon if the Gezeirah Shavah
from Korban Pesach teaches that it cannot be used? (TIFERES YAKOV; see also
TOSFOS DH d'Gamar.)
ANSWER: The TIFERES YAKOV explains that everyone agrees that we learn the
laws of Pidyon from the Gezeirah Shavah to Korban Pesach. However, there is
another verse -- "Tifdeh" -- that includes other types of Seh for Pidyon
(which may not be used for the Korban Pesach). Mar Zutra says that even
though the Gezeirah Shavah teaches that a Ben Peku'ah may not be used for
Pidyon, the word "Tifdeh" teaches that the Seh does not have to be male,
one-year-old, an unblemished animal.
Similarly, Rebbi Meir (and the Chachamim according to Rav Ashi) learn from
the word "Tifdeh" that a Ben Peku'ah may be used for Pidyon. What, then, do
they learn from the Gezeirah Shavah? They learn that when the Seh is an
ordinary, normal Seh, it may be used for Pidyon even though its birth was
not natural (it is a "Yotzei Dofen"); the manner in which it was born does
not affect its validity. The Gezeirah Shavah applies to things that change
the actual Seh itself (a "Shinuy Gadol"), such as the law that the Korban
Pesach must be a Seh and not an Egel, it must not have been slaughtered, and
the law that it cannot be a Tereifah.
Rav Ashi and Mar Zutra argue as follows. Mar Zutra maintains that since a
Ben Peku'ah does not need Shechitah to permit it to be eaten, it is "like
meat in a bag" that was already slaughtered. This is significantly different
from a Korban Pesach, which must not have been slaughtered before being
brought as a Korban. We learn from the Gezeirah Shavah that just as the
Korban Pesach must not have been slaughtered, so, too, the Seh used for
Pidyon must not have been slaughtered.
Rav Ashi maintains that since the Ben Peku'ah is alive and running around,
it is an ordinary Seh, and it is like a "Yotzei Dofen," which we do not
learn from Korban Pesach and disqualify (it is not a "Shinuy Gadol"). The
fact that it is Halachically considered as slaughtered is not an obvious,
observable feature of this Seh. Rav Ashi therefore asks Mar Zutra that if we
apply the Gezeirah Shavah to even indistinguishable features of the Seh,
then it should also need to be male, one-year-old, and unblemished! Mar
Zutra responds that "Tifdeh" teaches that these conditions do not apply to
the Seh used for Pidyon. Rav Ashi counters that "Tifdeh," then, should
permit any Seh to be used, even a Ben Peku'ah. Rather, "Tifdeh" teaches only
that a Seh without a "Shinuy Gadol" can be used (such as a Seh that is not
male, one-year-old, or unblemished, and, likewise, a Ben Peku'ah).
Mar Zutra responds that it is more appropriate to include a Ben Peku'ah in
the Gezeirah Shavah, since it is considered like an animal that was
slaughtered. (Alternatively, he maintains that the fact that a Ben Peku'ah
is permitted without Shechitah is more of a "Shinuy Gadol" than a Seh that
is not male, one-year-old, or unblemished.)