THOUGHTS ON THE DAILY DAF
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Rosh Kollel: Rav Mordecai Kornfeld
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CHULIN 107 (18 Iyar) - dedicated by Avi and Lily Berger of Queens, NY, in
memory of Lily's father, Mr. Benny Krieger (Chananel Benayahu ben Harav
Yisrael Avraham Aba), zt"l, after the passing of one year since his Kevurah.
Mr. Krieger exemplified Ahavas Chesed, Ahavas Torah and Ahavas Eretz
1) A VESSEL WITH A HOLE
QUESTION: Rav Papa states that one may not wash the hands before eating
bread from an "Arisa d'Dala'i." RASHI (DH Hai and DH Ein) explains that
this refers to a pipe (or channel) that carries water from the river to
the fields for irrigation. One may not wash his hands by placing them in
the pipe and allowing the water to flow over them, because the flow of the
water is not considered to come as a result of a person's action (of
taking the pipe and diverting the water towards the fields), but rather
the water is flowing on its own accord (through gravity). For Netilas
Yadayim, the water must come upon the hands through "Ko'ach Gavra," the
force of a person.
2) HALACHAH: HOW MANY TIMES MUST ONE POUR WATER ON EACH HAND
Rav Papa adds, however, that if one puts his hands close to the place
where the water is taken from the river and poured (by a person) into the
pipe, then this is a valid Netilas Yadayim.
This Gemara seems to contradict the ruling of the ROSH here (8:15), cited
by the SHULCHAN ARUCH (OC 159:2). The Rosh rules that when a vessel has a
hole but can still contain a Revi'is of water below the hole, one may wash
his hands by pouring the water out through the hole onto the hands.
However, one may not wash one's hands by pouring the water from the top of
the vessel above the hole, because the part of the vessel above the hole
is not considered to have the status of a valid vessel, since the hole
Even though the part above the hole is not considered a proper Kli,
nevertheless it should not be different than the pipe discussed by Rav
Papa. Since the water pours onto the hands as a result of the person's
action of pouring it from the part of the vessel below the hole, this
should be considered "Ko'ach Gavra" and the Netilas Yadayim should be
ANSWER: The CHAZON ISH (OC 21:8) answers as follows. Perhaps the person's
act of tilting the vessel to pour out the water only provides enough force
for the water to flow over the hole into the top area of the vessel. In
order to flow out over the top, further force is necessary. This
additional force comes about when the person tilts the vessel even more.
However, at that point it is the upper part of the vessel that needs to be
tilted in order for the water to come out, because the water is already
above the hole. However, the part of the vessel above the hole is not a
valid Kli for Netilas Yadayim; the Netilas Yadayim is being performed from
an invalid Kli.
The Chazon Ish writes further, though, that this is not sufficient reason
to invalidate the Netilas Yadayim. Perhaps since the water lower down in
the vessel -- in the valid part of the Kli -- is pushing the water near
the top, the water is considered to be leaving the vessel through "Ko'ach
Gavra" and may be used for Netilas Yadayim.
The Chazon Ish writes that, therefore, it is possible that when the Rosh
and Shulchan Aruch rule that one may not do Netilas Yadayim from water in
the top of the vessel, they are referring only to when one fills the
vessel with water above the level of the hole. When, however, the water
starts off below the hole and then one pours it out from the top of the
vessel, the Netilas Yadayim is valid.
However, the Chazon Ish concludes that from the words of the earlier
Poskim, it seems that they were not lenient in this matter, and the
question requires further elucidation.
(See also Chazon Ish to Kelim 22:5, where he writes that since the water
would not come out if the vessel would not be tilted, the water is
considered to be emerging from the broken part of the vessel and the
Netilas Yadayim is invalid. In contrast, the case of Arisa d'Dala'i is
valid when the hands were near the river, because the force of the water
comes only from the one pouring it. This seems similar to the Chazon Ish's
first line of reasoning in OC 21:8.) (D. Bloom)
QUESTION: The Gemara discusses various laws of washing the hands before
eating bread. The Gemara teaches that the water must be poured from a
vessel (as opposed to water that is flowing forth from a pipe), and that
the vessel must contain at least a Revi'is of water.
3) HALACHAH: WASHING THE HANDS FOR LESS THEN A "K'BEITZAH" OF BREAD
How much water must be poured on the hands in order to fulfill the
requirement of Netilas Yadayim?
ANSWER: TOSFOS (DH d'Lo) writes that it is necessary to pour water three
times on each hand. The first pouring is in order to remove any dirt or
other foreign particles that might be stuck to his hands (this first
pouring presumably would not be necessary if one's hands are already
clean). The second pouring is in order to be Metaher the hands from their
Tum'ah. The third pouring is in order to be Metaher the previous water
that was poured on the hands, which became Tamei upon contact with the
The ROSH (8:18) writes that it is necessary to pour water only two times
on each hand (as the Mishnah in Midos says). However, he seems to be
referring to the second and third times that Tosfos mentions, and the
reason he omits the first pouring (which Tosfos says is done in order to
remove dirt from the hands) is because it is obvious that the hands must
first be clean of any foreign substance before they can be washed to
become Tahor. This is written clearly by the TUR (OC in the name of the
HALACHAH: The SHULCHAN ARUCH (OC 162:2) writes that one should first pour
on the hand part of the Revi'is in the vessel in order to remove the dirt,
and then pour a second time in order to remove the Tum'ah from the hands,
and then a third time in order to be Metaher the water on the hands. The
Shulchan Aruch continues and writes that if there is no dirt on the hands,
then one should pour the entire Revi'is at one time, and that suffices.
The Shulchan Aruch is discussing one who washes with a vessel that
contains exactly a Revi'is a water. When one's hands are dirty, he must
use part of the Revi'is to clean off the dirt, and he is left with less
than a Revi'is. Since he has less than a Revi'is, he must pour two times
-- one to be Metaher his hands, and one to be Metaher the water. When one
does not need to use part of the Revi'is to remove dirt from the hands,
then it suffices to pour the entire Revi'is on the two hands at one time,
in one pouring. This is because a Revi'is of water is considered a "Mikvah
that is Metaher" -- it is Metaher the hands without becoming Tamei itself.
According to the ruling of the Shulchan Aruch (and the REMA, who agrees
with this ruling), when one has a vessel that contains more than a Revi'is
(which is the case with the common washing-cup found today in Jewish
homes), and one's hands are clean (or after removing the dirt from one's
hands there is more than a Revi'is of water left), then it is not
necessary to pour the water two times on the hands. Rather, it suffices to
pour a full Revi'is (or more) on the two hands at one time (or, in the
case of our large washing-cups, to pour a full Revi'is on each hand
However, the MISHNAH BERURAH (162:21) points out that according to some
Rishonim, even when one pours a full Revi'is on each hand, he must still
pour water a second time on each hand. This is because they maintain that
a Revi'is of water is not able to be Metaher itself. The Mishnah Berurah
cites the CHAYEI ADAM who rules that this is the proper way to conduct
oneself -- to wash with a Revi'is on each hand, and then to pour a second
pouring of water on each hand.
QUESTION: The Gemara asks whether or not one may eat bread by wrapping a
cloth around his hands, without washing (see following Insight). Are we
concerned that he will come to touch the food or not? The Gemara attempts
to answer this question by citing the conduct of Rebbi Tzadok, who was
given less than k'Beitzah of bread to eat. He held it in a cloth, ate it
outside the Sukah (on Sukos), and he did not recite Birkas ha'Mazon after
eating it. The Gemara infers that the only reason he held it in a cloth
and did not wash his hands is because it was less than a k'Beitzah, but
had it been a k'Beitzah, he would have washed his hands before eating it.
The Gemara's assumption implies that one is not required to wash his hands
before eating a piece of bread that is less than a k'Beitzah. What is the
ANSWER: The BEIS YOSEF (OC 158) quotes the opinion of the ROKE'ACH who
rules that for less than a k'Beitzah of bread it is questionable whether
or not one must wash his hands not. Therefore, one should wash his hands
without a Berachah. The Beis Yosef suggests that the doubt of the Roke'ach
is that since food does not become Tamei with Tum'as Ochlin when it is
less than a k'Beitzah, perhaps the Chachamim did not require Netilas
Yadayim for such a small piece of bread. This is consistent with the view
of the RASHBA, who maintains that less then a k'Beitzah of food cannot
become Tamei with Tum'as Ochlin at all (see Insights to Chulin 25:1 for
the various opinions of the Rishonim regarding what size of food is
Mekabel Tum'ah). However, the MISHNAH BERURAH (OC 158:9) explains that the
Roke'ach agrees that a piece of food can become Tamei even when it is less
than a k'Beitzah, but its Tum'ah is only mid'Rabanan. Since its Tum'ah is
mid'Rabanan, perhaps the Chachamim did not institute the requirement for
HALACHAH: The SHULCHAN ARUCH (OC 158:2-3) quotes the Roke'ach's opinion
and adds that for less than a *k'Zayis*, some say that there is no need to
wash with Netilas Yadayim at all. The Mishnah Berurah (158:10) explains
that this opinion maintains that eating less than a k'Zayis is not
considered to be an act of eating, and therefore it does not require
Netilas Yadayim. The Mishnah Berurah concludes, however, that when eating
either less than a k'Beitzah or less than a k'Zayis, one should wash his
hands with Netilas Yadayim, but without a Berachah. (Z. Wainstein)
4) HALACHAH: EATING BREAD WITHOUT WASHING THE HANDS
OPINIONS: The Gemara asks whether or not one may eat bread by wrapping a
cloth around his hands, without washing. The Gemara concludes with the
statement of Rav Tachlifa in the name of Shmuel, "They allowed Terumah to
be eaten with covered hands, but not Chulin that is Tahor."
5) EATING MILK AND MEAT AT THE SAME TABLE
How does this answer the question whether or not one may eat bread by
wrapping a cloth around his hands?
(a) The ROSH (end of 8:18) explains that if the Chachamim did not allow
eating Tahor Chulin with covered, unwashed hands, then certainly they did
not allow eating ordinary Chulin with covered, unwashed hands, since a
person will not be careful not to touch the Chulin with his bare hand.
Only the Kohanim are permitted to eat Terumah with covered, unwashed
hands, because Kohanim are always careful to guard the Taharah of their
HALACHAH: The SHULCHAN ARUCH (OC 163:1) rules that only in extenuating
circumstances may one eat bread by covering his hands (or with a fork or
spoon), without washing. When one is far from a water source, he may wrap
his hands with cloth in order to eat bread. If one is traveling and
estimates that there is no water within four Mil ahead of him, or within
one Mil behind him, then he may wrap his hands in a cloth and eat bread
(one Mil is the distance that it takes 18 minutes to walk; see Insights to
Pesachim 94:2 for the various Halachic opinions). The MISHNAH BERURAH
(163:3) adds that if one is in his home and has no water, he does not have
to travel up to four Mil to get water, but rather if he estimates that
there is no water within one Mil, he may eat bread by covering his hands.
The Mishnah Berurah (163:2) points out that when water is available, it is
prohibited to eat bread without washing with Netilas Yadayim.
Based on the words of the Rosh, the TUR (OC 163) rules that it is
forbidden to eat bread without washing one's hands with Netilas Yadayim,
even if one covers his hands or eats with a fork or spoon.
(b) The RAMBAM (Hilchos Berachos 6:18) rules that it is permissible to
cover one's hands with a cloth and eat bread (or a food dipped in a
liquid; see Insights to Chulin 106:4) even if one has not washed his
hands. The BEIS YOSEF explains that the Rambam's logic is that since the
reason for the requirement of Netilas Yadayim is "Serach Terumah," and
Terumah may be eaten without Netilas Yadayim as long as the hands are
covered, certainly the law concerning Chulin should be the same.
Similarly, one who is unable to wash his hands because they are bandaged
(with a bandage that is not easily removed) may eat bread without washing,
because there is no concern that he will remove the bandage and touch the
bread with his bare hands (Rosh, ibid.; Shulchan Aruch OC 162:10).
However, if any part of the hand is exposed, he should be careful to wash
that area, and if that is not possible, he should wrap it in a cloth
(Mishnah Berurah 162:62).
OPINIONS: The Beraisa quotes Raban Shimon ben Gamliel who says that when a
man from the north is a guest in an inn, and a man from the south lodges
at the same inn, they may eat at the same table, one eating his cheese and
the other eating his meat. The Chachamim prohibited eating together at the
same table only in a case of "Tefisah Achas." What does "Tefisah Achas"
6) HALACHAH: TWO PEOPLE EATING MEAT AND DAIRY PRODUCTS AT THE SAME TABLE
(a) TOSFOS (DH k'Ein), in his first explanation, writes that "Tefisah
Achas" means that the two guests came together, as one group. Since they
are acquainted with each other, we are concerned that they might share
food, and therefore it is prohibited for them to eat at the same table
when one is eating milk and the other is eating meat.
(b) In his second explanation, Tosfos writes that "Tefisah Achas" means
that the table was set as though one group would be eating there (with no
noticeable separations). Tosfos points out that the present custom is to
place a jug or loaf of bread between the two people, or to use separate
tablecloths for each person. In this way the table is no longer considered
to have been set for one group.
The REMA (YD 88:2) points out that a loaf of bread is considered a
separation only when it is not being eaten, while a jug is considered a
separation even when it is being used, as long as it would not ordinarily
be on the table.
(c) The ROSH (8:20), after quoting Tosfos, writes that there are those who
explain "Tefisah Achas" to mean that the two people eating at the table
are sharing the cost of the food. In such a case, they may not rely on any
separation, but must eat at different tables.
The BEIS YOSEF concludes that since TOSFOS and the ROSH mention that the
custom is to rely on separations, we rule in accordance with the
explanation of Tosfos that permits such barriers. (Z. Wainstein)
QUESTION: The Gemara teaches that one who is eating dairy foods is not
permitted to eat at the same table as one who is eating meat foods, since
we are concerned that one might eat from the other's food and transgress
the Isur of eating meat with milk.
This Halachah seems to contradict the Halachah taught in the Gemara in
Nedarim (41b). The Gemara there says that if a person makes a Neder
prohibiting his friend from having pleasure from him, the two may eat at
the same table but not from the same plate.
Since one who is prohibited by a Neder to derive pleasure from his friend
is prohibited from eating his friend's food, why are they allowed to eat
at the same table? We should be concerned that the Mudar Hana'ah will eat
his friend's food and thereby transgress the Isur d'Oraisa of violating a
(a) The RASHBA answers that the Isur of transgressing a Neder is
especially severe, and thus a person is very careful to avoid
transgressing a Neder. Therefore, one will not accidentally come to eat
the prohibited food on the table. (See also Insights to Chulin 103:2.)
HALACHAH: The SHACH (YD 88:2) writes that it is only prohibited for a
person (Reuven) to eat at the same table with someone else (Shimon) who is
eating food that is prohibited to him (Reuven) when *one* of the following
(b) The ROSH answers that we may assume that two people who made a Neder
not to have any pleasure from each other are not on friendly terms. It is
likely that they loathe each other. Therefore, there is no concern that
one will eat from the other's food. In fact, in such a case they may even
eat meat and dairy foods at the same table.
1. Shimon is eating something that is permitted to others but not to
Reuven (for example, Shimon is eating dairy products while Reuven is
2. Shimon is eating food that is not inherently prohibited to Reuven, but
is only prohibited because of a Neder.
3. The other person is eating bread that is prohibited. (Since bread is a
basic staple, there is greater likelihood that Reuven will inadvertently
eat from Shimon's bread.)
4. The other person is eating Chametz on Pesach (even if it is not bread).
We are more stringent on Pesach, since even a minute amount that might
fall into Reuven's food will prohibit it from being eaten.
If Reuven does not know the other person (and thus is not likely to reach
over and eat the other person's food), then it is permitted to eat with
him at the same table, unless the other person is eating Chametz on
Based on these conditions, it is *permitted* to eat at the same table as
one who is eating non-Kosher food, as long as the bread that he is eating
is Kosher. If one does not know the other person, then he is permitted to
eat with the other person even if his bread is not Kosher.