THOUGHTS ON THE DAILY DAF
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1) RELYING ON "SIMANIM" TO PUT A PERSON TO DEATH
QUESTION: The Gemara proves that Tevi'us Ayin is a stronger means of
identification than providing Simanim from the fact that a murderer who is
identified by two witnesses through Simanim is not put to death, while a
murderer who is identified by witnesses who recognize him with Tevi'us Ayin
is put to death.
2) A "GID HA'NASHEH" AS A "BIRYAH"
TOSFOS (DH Pelanya) asks that we find that a person can be put to death
based on the proof of Simanim as well. When a woman's husband disappeared,
and witnesses testified that they saw him dead, identifying him based on
Simanim, the woman may remarry. If she is then unfaithful to her second
husband and commits adultery, she is punished with death. We assume that her
second marriage was fully valid (and that is why she is Chayav Misah), even
though her second marriage was valid only based on Simanim!
(a) TOSFOS answers that even though we permit a woman to remarry based on
Simanim, as described above, nevertheless her marriage is considered a
Safek-marriage, a marriage in doubt, for the rest of her life. Hence, if she
later commits adultery she we will not be punished with death.
(b) The RAMBAM (Hilchos Sanhedrin 16:6) rules that in order to administer
corporal punishment for transgressing a prohibition of the Torah, the
testimony of two witnesses is necessary. Nevertheless, when a single witness
testified that a piece of meat was Chelev, and then a person ate that piece
of meat (in front of two witnesses), the person is punished with Malkus,
since we have established that the piece of meat is Chelev. The SHEV
SHEMAITSA (4:9) understands that the RAMBAM'S ruling also applies to
transgressions that are punishable with the death penalty (not all Acharonim
agree with this assertion).
According to the Rambam, we may suggest that the case of a woman who
remarried based on Simanim is not comparable to the case of the Gemara. Once
we have established that the husband is dead based on Simanim, and we allow
the woman to get married, the husband's death is now an established fact.
When she commits adultery and is put to death, it is not considered as
though the identification based on Simanim is the cause of her punishment.
QUESTION: The Rabanan maintain that one who eats an entire Gid ha'Nasheh is
punished with Malkus even when the Gid is less than the size of a k'Zayis,
because it is a "Biryah."
A "Biryah" literally means an independent, living creature (such as an ant,
as in Makos 16b) that is considered significant in itself and needs no
minimum Shi'ur to make it significant. Why is a Gid ha'Nasheh considered a
"Biryah"? A Gid ha'Nasheh certainly is not an independent, living creature!
(a) TOSFOS (DH Mai Taima) explains that when the Torah prohibits a specific
object (such as the Gid ha'Nasheh, or a non-Kosher bird or other animal),
the Torah means that one is Chayav for eating it regardless of its size.
When, however, the Torah does not specify a particular object but gives only
a Halachic description of an object(such as Neveilah, Tereifah, Chelev,
etc.), one is Chayav only when he eats a k'Zayis. TOSFOS in Makos (17a, DH
v'Rabanan) explains that any object that has a title that applies to it only
when it is whole (such as the Gid ha'Nasheh, or a particular type of
non-Kosher bird) is considered a Biryah. In contrast, forbidden objects such
as Neveilah, Tereifah, or Chelev, have titles that apply even to *pieces* of
(b) The RASHBA (98b) writes that three conditions are necessary in order for
an object to be considered a Biryah.
First, the object must be prohibited from when it came into being. A
prohibited object that became prohibited only after it was formed, such as a
Shor ha'Niskal or Neveilah, does not fulfill this condition (the authorities
discuss whether or not every prohibited animal is indeed considered a
Biryah, since every animal was forbidden at the moment it was born because
of Ever Min ha'Chai).
Second, the object must have come from a living creature.
Third, the object loses its title (which is commonly used to refer to it)
when it is cut up and is no longer whole, even if that title is not related
to the nature of its prohibition (such as a piece of Neveilah, which has the
title of "cow" when it is whole; this is in contrast to the requirement of
Tosfos that the object, when cut up, must lose the title that the *Torah*
uses when it prohibits the object). This excludes Chelev, which is still
called Chelev even when it is cut up. The SHULCHAN ARUCH (YD 100:1) rules
like the Rashba.
The RAN agrees with the first two conditions listed by the Rashba, but
argues with the third criterion. He maintains that even an object that loses
its common title when it is cut up can still be considered a Biryah. The Ran
says that the reason why a piece of Chelev is not considered a Biryah is bec
ause the Isur of Chelev does not refer to a single block of fat, but rather
it refers to fats from various places in the animal.
Nevertheless, all of the Rishonim agree that an object must be whole, and
not in pieces, in order to be considered a Biryah. (Z. Wainstein)
3) LIKE MEAT COOKED WITH TURNIPS
QUESTION: The Mishnah teaches that when a Gid ha'Nasheh is cooked with meat,
if the taste of the Gid is discernible in the meat, then the meat is
prohibited. The Mishnah says that we determine whether the taste of the Gid
is in the meat by viewing the meat as the Gid and the Gid as turnips. If the
taste of the meat would be discernible in the turnips, then the Gid
ha'Nasheh prohibits the meat in the mixture.
4) A "GID HA'NASHEH" COOKED WITH THE THIGH
Why does the Mishnah tell us to compare the Gid ha'Nasheh to turnips? What
do turnips have to do with the Gid ha'Nasheh?
(a) RASHI (DH k'Basar) explains that the Mishnah is teaching a Halachah
l'Moshe mi'Sinai that this is how to measure the extent of the taste of the
Gid in meat. This law is included in the category of the laws of Shi'urim
that were taught through a Halachah l'Moshe mi'Sinai (Sukah 5b).
Rashi's explanation, however, is problematic. Rashi writes later (98a, DH
u'Sheneihem, and 98b, DH l'Ta'am) that according to Torah law, every object
of Isur is Batel b'Shishim (it becomes annulled in a mixture in which the
permitted food is sixty times greater than the prohibited food), whether or
not its taste is discernible in the mixture! This implies that it is only
mid'Rabanan that the presence of the taste of the Isur prohibits the
mixture. How, then, can Rashi say that such a law is a Halachah l'Moshe
Moreover, the Halachah does not follow the statement of the Mishnah. A Gid
ha'Nasheh does *not* prohibit the meat that is cooked with it, because we
rule that "Ein b'Gidin b'Nosen Ta'am" -- the Gid is not considered like meat
but rather like an inedible bone (Chulin 89b, 100b). If the law of the
Mishnah is a Halachah l'Moshe mi'Sinai, then how can it be that we do not
follow that law as the Halachah?
The SHOSHANIM L'DAVID (quoted in the Likutim on Mishnayos) explains that the
Halachah l'Moshe mi'Sinai was not said specifically with regard to the Isur
of Gid ha'Nasheh. Rather, the Halachah l'Moshe mi'Sinai was said with regard
to *any* Isur whose taste can prohibit a food with which it is mixed. The
only foods whose taste can prohibit other foods according to the Torah are
Kodshim (as Rashi on 98b mentions); the Halachah l'Moshe mi'Sinai was said
with regard to them, and it teaches that their taste in a mixture can be
measured by viewing the meat of Kodshim in the mixture as though it were
meat giving taste to turnips The Mishnah is applying that Halachah l'Moshe
mi'Sinai to Gid ha'Nasheh.
(b) The RAMBAM (Perush ha'Mishnayos) explains that a Gid ha'Nasheh does not
prohibit the meat when only a slight taste of the Gid can be discerned.
There must be a strong taste of Gid, such as the taste of meat in turnips.
(c) TOSFOS (97b, DH Kol) explains the Mishnah in the opposite manner. A Gid
ha'Nasheh does not lend much taste to the meat. Consequently, we may measure
meat (which does not lend much taste to turnips) mixed with turnips in order
to determine whether or not the taste of the Gid is in the meat. (Rashi
later (99b, DH b'Roshei) also seems to take this approach, when he says that
the taste of meat is *not* easily discerned in turnips.)
(d) The ROGATCHOVER GA'ON gives a novel explanation of the Mishnah here by
comparing it to the case mentioned in the Gemara later (112a). The Gemara
teaches that the taste of fat ("Shuman") cannot be discerned in turnips
(implying that the taste of meat ("Basar"), is discernible). The Mishnah
here is teaching that when determining the extent of the taste of the Gid
ha'Nasheh in the meat with which it was cooked, we are to measure only the
amount of taste given by the actual *meat* of the Gid, and not the taste of
the Shuman of the Gid, which is prohibited only mid'Rabanan (see Chulin
What, though, is the reason for measuring only the taste of the Gid itself,
and not the taste of its fat?
The RAMBAM (Hilchos Orlah 2:1) explains that when a prohibited food gives
taste to a permitted food in a mixture, the mixture is prohibited regardless
of how much permitted food there is in the mixture. If, however, two
different Isurim are mixed with a permitted food, and the taste of one of
the two is no longer discernible (for example, it is the same type of food
as the permitted food ("Min b'Mino")), the other Isur becomes Batel as well.
In the case of a Gid ha'Nasheh that was cooked with meat, both the taste of
the Gid and the taste of its Shuman enter the meat and should prohibit it.
However, the taste of the Shuman is the same as the taste of the meat
(Rashi, Pesachim 30a, DH Amar Rava; Rif, Chulin 97b), making it
indiscernible in the meat. Accordingly, we might have thought that the
Rambam's rule would permit the meat, since the taste of the Gid ha'Nasheh
should become Batel, even though its taste is discernible in the meat.
Therefore, the Mishnah tells us that we view the Gid as "meat in turnips."
We ignore the Shuman ha'Gid (which is prohibited only mid'Rabanan), and
prohibit the mixture until the taste of the Gid (which is Asur mid'Oraisa)
can no longer be tasted in the meat.
QUESTION: The Mishnah teaches that when a Gid ha'Nasheh is cooked with the
thigh, if the Gid is large enough to impart its taste to the thigh, then the
entire dish is prohibited.
The words of the Mishnah imply that when the Gid is large enough to impart
its taste to the thigh, the entire dish is prohibited even when there are
other items in the pot together with the Gid and thigh. We do not take into
account these other items and say that since the Gid is not large enough to
impart its taste to the total amount of permitted food it is permitted, but
rather we ignore all of the other items in the pot as if they were not there
(see HAGAHOS ASHIRI).
However, this seems to contradict the statement of Rebbi Chanina (97b).
Rebbi Chanina says that when there is prohibited food in a pot, when we
assess whether there is sixty times more permitted food than prohibited food
in the mixture, we take into account all of the gravy, congealed fat, pieces
of meat, and the pot itself to reach the figure of sixty in order to annul
the Isur. Why does the Mishnah here not include the other permitted items,
besides the thigh, that are in the pot, when assessing the total amount of
permitted food in the pot?
ANSWER: The SHACH (YD 100:8) cites a number of Rishonim who infer from the
Mishnah the principle that an "Isur Davuk" -- a prohibited food that is
attached to a permitted food -- is annulled only when the permitted food to
which it is attached is at least sixty times greater. This principle teaches
that when the Isur is in its natural place, next to the Heter, that it was
in while the animal was alive, we do not include the rest of the food in the
mixture when determining whether there is sixty times more permitted food
The DARCHEI MOSHE (YD 92:1) cites the ISUR V'HETER who quotes the Mishnah
later (108a) that states that when a drop of milk fell on a piece of meat,
and the drop is large enough to impart taste into the meat, the meat is
forbidden. TOSFOS there (DH Tipas) writes that the Mishnah's law applies
only when the piece of meat is outside of the gravy. When the piece of meat
is inside of the gravy, then all of the contents of the pot can be included
to reach the measure of sixty times more meat than milk to annul the drop of
milk. However, this applies only to a drop of milk or some other Isur that
fell onto the piece of meat. When, however, an unsalted heart or liver
(which are forbidden because of their blood content), or a piece of Chelev,
is connected naturally to the meat, the rest of the contents of the pot are
not included in the measure of sixty in order to annul the Isur. We are
concerned that since the Isur is "Davuk" to the Heter, at one time the two
items may have been outside of the gravy, or the Isur remained alone with
the Heter in the pot, in which case the Isur makes the Heter forbidden,
because, at that time, there was not sixty times more permitted food than
Isur. (See TIFERES YAKOV to Tosfos 96b, DH Im. The Tiferes Yakov points out
that according to this explanation, even when the pot is stirred and
covered, as mentioned in the Mishnah (108a), when the liver is "Davuk" the
stirring of the mixture is not effective to be Mevatel the Isur.)
Therefore, in the case of the Mishnah here, since the Gid is naturally
attached to the thigh, it is considered an Isur Davuk and the thigh is
permitted only when it is sixty times larger than the Gid. It does not
suffice for there to be sixty times more permitted foods in the rest of the
mixture. (See also BI'UR HA'GRA YD 73.26.) (D. Bloom)