THOUGHTS ON THE DAILY DAF
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CHULIN 101-102 - Sponsored by a generous grant from an anonymous donor.
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1) "EVER MIN HA'CHAI" OF A BIRD
QUESTION: The Tana'im argue whether the Isur of Ever Min ha'Chai applies to
the limb of a non-Kosher species of animal, or only to the limb of a Kosher
species. Rav Gidal says that the Tana'im argue only with regard to a Jew;
they all agree that a Nochri is forbidden to eat the Ever Min ha'Chai of a
non-Kosher species. Rav Shizbi cites support for Rav Gidal's assertion from
the Mishnah in Taharos (1:3), which says that one who eats Ever Min ha'Chai
of a non-Kosher species of bird is not punished with Malkus, and Shechitah
does not permit the bird. The Gemara explains that this must be referring to
a Nochri (since it is obvious that Shechitah will not permit a Tamei bird to
be eaten). The Mishnah is teaching that a Nochri may not eat a bird after it
has been slaughtered while it is still twitching, presumably because it is
considered Ever Min ha'Chai. We see from the Mishnah that the Ever Min
ha'Chai of a non-Kosher bird is forbidden to a Nochri.
The RAMBAM (Hilchos Melachim 9:10-11), however, rules that "a Nochri is
Chayav for eating even the smallest amount of Ever Min ha'Chai... but it
seems to me that a Nochri is not Chayav for eating the Ever Min ha'Chai of a
bird." The Rambam's ruling apparently contradicts the Gemara here, which
concludes that a Nochri is *not* permitted to eat the Ever Min ha'Chai of a
(a) The RA'AVAD writes that there seems to be a printing error in the text
of the Rambam. The Rambam is actually saying that a Nochri is not Chayav for
eating the Ever Min ha'Chai of a *Sheretz*.
The RADVAZ disagrees with the Ra'avad's emendation of the text of the
Rambam. The Rambam writes, "v'Yir'eh Li" -- "it seems to me." This wording
is not appropriate if the Rambam is discussing the Ever Min ha'Chai of a
Sheretz, because the law that an Ever Min ha'Chai of a Sheretz is not
prohibited to a Nochri is written explicitly in a number of places.
(b) The Radvaz explains that the Rambam agrees that a Nochri is prohibited
from eating the Ever Min ha'Chai of a bird. He means only that a Nochri is
not Chayav Misah, punished with death, for eating it. (Even though the
transgression of every Mitzvah that a Nochri has is punishable with Misah
(Sanhedrin 57a), this does not apply to the Isur of Ever Min ha'Chai of a
bird, since that Isur is not written explicitly in the Torah.) (Z.
2) THE STATUS OF "EVER MIN HA'CHAI" AS A "BIRYAH"
QUESTION: Rav (102a) says that in order to transgress the Isur of eating
Ever Min ha'Chai, one must eat at least a k'Zayis. The Gemara asks that Rav
taught elsewhere that when one eats a live Kosher bird he is Chayav for Ever
Min ha'Chai, regardless of how small it is, while one is Chayav for eating a
dead bird (Neveilah) only when he eats a k'Zayis. This seems to contradict
Rav's teaching that one must eat a k'Zayis in order to transgress the Isur
of Ever Min ha'Chai.
3) THE STATUS OF FLESH REMOVED FROM A LIVE ANIMAL
The Gemara answers that when Rav says that one is Chayav for eating a live
bird of any size, he means that the *flesh* may be any size (even less than
a k'Zayis). The bird, however, is indeed a k'Zayis with regard to Ever Min
ha'Chai, since we include its bones and sinews.
RASHI (DH b'Misasah) explains that with regard to most forbidden foods, one
must eat a k'Zayis in order to be Chayav, because the Torah uses a form of
the word "Achilah" with regard to each Isur, and "Achilah" ("eating") is
defined as eating at least a k'Zayis. The only Isur for which one is
punished for eating less than a k'Zayis is the Isur of Ever Min ha'Chai. The
Torah includes even an Ever Min ha'Chai that is less than a k'Zayis in the
Isur for which one is Chayav.
However, Rashi in his following comment (DH Teme'ah) explains that the
reason why one is Chayav for eating any amount of a non-Kosher species of
bird, whether it is alive or dead, is because it is considered a "Biryah,"
an independent entity that is significant in itself. Why does Rashi not give
this reason for why one is Chayav for eating any amount of an Ever Min
ANSWER: Rashi apparently maintains that only an independent entity that is
presently alive, or at one time was alive, can be considered a Biryah. An
Ever Min ha'Chai, was never an independent, living creature, and thus it
cannot be considered to be a Biryah (just as the Chelev of an animal is not
considered a Biryah). (See Insights to Chulin 96:2.)
Rashi explains, therefore, that the reason why one is punished for eating
less than a k'Zayis of Ever Min ha'Chai is because the Torah specifically
includes such an amount in the Isur (by repeating the Isur of Ever Min
ha'Chai in two different verses (Shemos 22:30, Devarim 12:23), as the Gemara
later points out). Although Ever Min ha'Chai is called a Biryah with regard
to the Halachah d'Rabanan that a Biryah is not Batel, the Torah does not
consider it a Biryah with regard to punishing one who eats less than a
k'Zayis of it. (M. Kornfeld)
QUESTION: Rebbi Yochanan states that the verse, "Do not eat meat that is
torn (Tereifah) in the field" (Shemos 22:30), teaches that it is forbidden
to eat flesh (and not just a limb) that was taken from a live animal, and
that it is forbidden to eat the flesh of a Tereifah animal.
How can Rebbi Yochanan compare eating flesh from a live animal, and eating
flesh of a Tereifah animal? A Tereifah is an animal that has some anatomical
deficiency and will not survive for twelve months. How, then, can the Isur
of eating the flesh from a live, healthy animal be derived from the verse
that specifically refers to a "Tereifah"?
(a) TOSFOS (DH u'Vasar) explains that the Isur of eating flesh from a live
animal is derived from the word "ba'Sadeh" -- "in the field" -- which
implies that the flesh has left its place of origin (that is, it has become
detached from the body of the animal). Accordingly, this Isur is *not* being
derived from the Isur of Tereifah mentioned in the verse.
(b) The RAMBAM (Hilchos Ma'achalos Asuros 4:10) writes that when one cuts
flesh off of a live animal (of a Kosher species), the flesh is considered to
be a Tereifah, and one who eats it receives Malkus because of the Isur of
Tereifah. His reasoning is that this flesh came from an animal that was not
slaughtered (and thus it is not Kosher), and that did not die on its own
(and thus it is not Asur as Neveilah). There is no difference whether a wild
animal tore off the flesh, or whether it was cut off with a knife, and there
is no difference whether the entire animal was cut up or only a part of it.
Once the animal becomes "meat that is torn in the field," it is a Tereifah.
The CHIDUSHEI CHASAM SOFER writes that the Rambam understands the verse in
the way that TARGUM ONKELOS translates it: "Do not eat flesh that is pull
off from a live animal." The Rambam, like Onkelos, understands that the
verse is saying that the flesh pulled off by a wild animal is Tereifah.
Similarly, if the flesh was pulled off by other means (such as being cut off
by a person with a knife), it is also Tereifah (the Torah is merely
describing the most common scenario). This is clearly stated by the Rambam
elsewhere (Hilchos Ma'achalos Asuros 4:8, and Hilchos Shechitah 5:1).
We find a similar ruling elsewhere in the Rambam. The Rambam (Hilchos
Ma'achalos Asuros 4:17) writes that one who eats half of a k'Zayis of
Neveilah and half of a k'Zayis of Tereifah receives Malkus because "a
Tereifah is the beginning of the process that leads to Neveilah." This shows
that Tereifah and Neveilah are considered to be a similar Isur (see Insights
to Chulin 75:4). The LECHEM MISHNEH explains that the Rambam is consistent
with his opinion that flesh from a live animal is Tereifah, as this is the
beginning of the process of death. Just as Tereifah is the beginning of the
process of Neveilah, flesh from a live animal is Tereifah because some of
the life-force of the animal is removed when the flesh is cut off, in the
same way that an animal that is a Tereifah is lacking part of its
The AVNEI MILU'IM (Teshuvos, end of volume 4, DH Amnam Nosei, cited by
TESHUVOS ACHIEZER 2:6:5) found a source in the Torah for the similarity
between Tereifah and Neveilah. On the verse, "You shall not eat any
Neveilah" (Devarim 14:21), the Sifri states that from the word "any" ("Kol")
we derive the Isur of Tereifah as well. From that verse we learn thaIsur of Tereifah is an extension of the Isur of Neveilah. (D. Bloom)