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CHULIN 128-130 - dedicated by Mrs. Rita Grunberger of Queens, N.Y., in
loving memory of her husband, Reb Yitzchok Yakov ben Eliyahu Grunberger.
Irving Grunberger helped many people quietly in an unassuming manner and
is dearly missed by all who knew him. His Yahrzeit is 10 Sivan (which
coincides with the study of Chulin 128 this year).
1) HOLDING AN ANIMAL BY A PIECE OF FLESH HANGING FROM IT
OPINIONS: In the Mishnah (127b), Rebbi Meir states that once an animal is
slaughtered, any limb that was dangling from it becomes Huchshar for Tum'ah
(because of the blood of Shechitah). Abaye (end of 127b) explains that Rebbi
Meir maintains that the dangling limb is still considered part of the
animal, because the limb will be lifted when the rest of the animal is
lifted, even though the rest of the animal will not be lifted when the limb
itself is lifted.
2) WHAT IS "MACHSHIR" ACCORDING TO REBBI SHIMON
The Gemara says that Rebbi Yochanan also understands this to be the intent
of Rebbi Meir. Rebbi Yochanan points out that another statement of Rebbi
Meir seems to contradict his statement here in the Mishnah. In the Mishnah
in Tevul Yom (3:1), Rebbi Meir says that when a piece of a Terumah food was
cut and is dangling from the rest of the food, "if one can grasp the smaller
piece and the larger piece is lifted with it, then they are considered like
one" (and if a Tevul Yom touches either one, both pieces become Pasul). This
clearly contradicts Rebbi Meir's statement here (according to Abaye), where
he says that even if the larger part of the animal cannot be lifted up by
the smaller part, the smaller part is still considered part of the animal!
Rebbi Yochanan answers that "Muchlefes ha'Shitah," the opinions must be
switched. What does Rebbi Yochanan mean by this, and how does it resolve the
(a) RASHI (DH Muchlefes) explains that Rebbi Meir generally rules that the
two pieces are considered one even when the smaller piece cannot support the
larger piece. In the case of Tevul Yom, though, Rebbi Meir "changes his
opinion" and maintains that, in the case of food of Terumah, the smaller
piece is considered attached only when the larger piece can be lifted by
picking up the smaller piece. Rashi does not explain the reason for Rebbi
Meir's exception in the case of Tevul Yom.
The RASHASH questions Rashi's explanation from the following words of the
Gemara. The Gemara asks why Rebbi Yochanan answers "Muchlefes ha'Shitah,"
when he could have answered that perhaps Rebbi Meir differentiates between
Tevul Yom and all other forms of Tum'ah. According to Rashi, that is exactly
what Rebbi Yochanan is answering -- Rebbi Meir rules differently in the case
of Tevul Yom than in the cases of all other forms of Tum'ah!
(b) TOSFOS (DH Rebbi Meir) points out that the Girsa in our text of the
Mishnah in Tevul Yom is different than the text quoted by the Gemara here.
The Girsa in our Mishnayos reads, "... if one can grasp the *larger* piece
and the smaller piece is lifted with it, then they are considered like one."
If this is the correct text, then there clearly is no contradiction at all.
Rebbi Meir does not require that the small piece support the larger piece;
he requires only that the larger piece be able to lift the smaller piece.
Accordingly, the TOSFOS YOM TOV (Tevul Yom 3:1) explains that "Muchlefes
ha'Shitah" means that we must correct the statement quoted in the name of
Rebbi Meir in the Mishnah in Tevul Yom. The text in our edition of the
Mishnayos indeed is based on the correction suggested by Rebbi Yochanan.
QUESTIONS: In the Mishnah (127b), Rebbi Meir and Rebbi Shimon argue about
whether a limb that was dangling from an animal becomes Huchshar for Tum'ah
once the animal is slaughtered. Rebbi Meir maintains that once an animal is
slaughtered, any limb that was dangling from it becomes Huchshar for Tum'ah
(because of the blood of Shechitah). Rebbi Shimon maintains that the limb
does not become Huchshar for Tum'ah. The Amora'im suggest a number of
explanations for the Machlokes between Rebbi Meir and Rebbi Shimon.
3) A "YAD" FOR AN "EVER"
Rav Acha brei d'Rav Ika suggests that Rebbi Meir and Rebbi Shimon argue
about a case in which the blood of Shechitah was wiped off of the animal's
neck after the first Siman was cut, before the Shechitah was completed.
Rebbi Meir maintains "Yeshnah li'Shechitah mi'Techilah v'Ad Sof" -- "the
entire act of slaughtering from beginning to end (and not just the final bit
of the Shechitah) constitutes Shechitah." Accordingly, the blood that was
wiped off is considered "Dam Chalalim," which is Machshir. Rebbi Shimon
maintains "Einah li'Shechitah Ela leva'Sof" -- "the act of Shechitah is not
considered to be Shechitah until the end," and only the final bit of the
Shechitah constitutes Shechitah. Accordingly, the blood that was wiped off
is "Dam Makah," which is not Machshir.
(a) The Gemara earlier (35b, quoted by Rashi here, DH Rav Ashi) cites a
Beraisa in which Rebbi Shimon maintains that blood is *not* one of the
liquids that are Machshir. Consequently, even if Rebbi Shimon agrees that
the blood that was wiped off is Dam Chalalim, it still should not be
Machshir! Why, then, does Rav Acha say that Rebbi Meir and Rebbi Shimon
argue about "Yeshnah li'Shechitah mi'Techilah v'Ad Sof"?
(b) A similar question may be asked on all of the other explanations given
by the Amora'im (except for that of Rav Acha) to explain the Machlokes
between Rebbi Meir and Rebbi Shimon. The Amora'im agree that Rebbi Shimon
maintains that only the act of Shechitah is Machshir the animal to become
Tamei, but not the blood that comes from the Shechitah, and therefore only
the animal itself, and not the dangling limb, becomes Muchshar through
Shechitah. According to Rabah, the limb does not become Muchshar because the
animal cannot be a Yad for the limb. However, if it could be a Yad for the
limb, then the limb, too, would become Muchshar for Tum'ah. Similarly,
according to Abaye, the limb does not become Muchshar because the animal
cannot be lifted by picking up the dangling limb. However, if the animal
could be lifted by picking up the limb, then Rebbi Shimon would agree that
the Shechitah is Machshir the limb as well.
However, the dangling limb is forbidden to be eaten, even after the animal
is properly slaughtered. Therefore, the act of Shechitah should not be
Machshir the limb, regardless of whether the animal is considered a Yad for
the limb (according to Rabah), or whether the animal can be lifted by the
limb (according to Abaye)! How, then, does the limb become Huchshar?
(a) TOSFOS (127b, DH u'Mar Savar) explains that Rav Acha was not aware of
the Beraisa earlier (35b) when he gave his explanation for the Machlokes
between Rebbi Meir and Rebbi Shimon. He assumed that Rebbi Shimon agrees
that blood *is* Machshir.
(b) Tosfos explains that all of the other Amora'im may have been aware of
the Beraisa earlier, but they maintain that Shechitah could be Machshir a
dangling limb according to Rebbi Shimon, because the prohibition against
eating the limb is only an Isur d'Rabanan.
OPINIONS: Rabah asks whether a live animal can be considered a "Yad" for an
Ever. The Gemara leaves his question unresolved.
What is the meaning of Rabah's question?
(a) RASHI (DH Ba'i Rabah) explains Rabah's question as follows. Rabah
earlier explains that Rebbi Meir maintains that the body of an animal can be
a Yad for a limb dangling from it, so that the Shechitah of the animal is
Machshir not only the animal to become Tamei, but it is also Machshir the
limb that is dangling from the animal. Rabah now asks whether, according to
Rebbi Meir, an animal can be a Yad to transfer Tum'ah itself to a dangling
limb (and not only to transfer Hechsher for Tum'ah). In a case in which the
dangling limb had become Huchshar (through water falling on it) while the
animal is alive, and a dead Sheretz touched the animal's body, does the
animal's body serve as a Yad to transfer the Tum'ah to the dangling limb --
even though the animal itself does not become Tamei (since it is alive)? The
basis for the doubt is that we find that a bone that has no meat on it does
not become Tamei, but it nevertheless serves as a Yad to transfer Tum'ah to
meat that is attached to it.
(Rashi maintains that, normally, a Yad not only transfers Tum'ah to the food
to which it is attached, but it also becomes Tamei itself.)
(b) TOSFOS (DH Behemah) asks why should Rabah have any doubt whether an
animal can be a Yad? Although animals cannot become Tamei, there is no
reason for that to prevent them from being a Yad! A Yad always serves only
to transfer Tum'ah to the food to which it is attached, it does not become
Tamei itself. (Tosfos is consistent with his opinion that the Yad itself
never becomes Tamei. See Insights to Chulin 118:1.)
Later in the Gemara, Rebbi Yirmeyah asks whether one half of a gourd is
considered a Yad to transfer Tum'ah to the other half, when half was
worshipped as Avodah Zarah. RASHI (128b, DH Mahu, in "Lishna Acharina")
explains that the question is whether the half of the gourd that is an
Avodah Zarah can transfer its Tum'as Avodah Zarah through the other half.
TOSFOS (128a, DH Harei) strongly disagrees with Rashi and asserts that it is
obvious that the half that is not Avodah Zarah should be considered a Yad to
transfer Tum'ah to other foods. Tosfos says that Rebbi Yirmeyah's question
is according to Rebbi Shimon, who maintains that a food that is not fit to
eat (such as the half of the gourd that was worshipped as Avodah Zarah) does
not become Tamei with Tum'as Ochlin. Rebbi Yirmeyah is asking whether the
half that was worshipped serves as a Yad to transfer Tum'ah (if it is
touched by a dead Sheretz) to the other half of the gourd.
It seems that Rashi and Tosfos are consistent with their respective views
regarding a Yad. Rashi maintains that a Yad becomes Tamei itself; since it
is used to handle food, this secondary usage for food gives the Yad a status
of food itself. According to Rashi, Rebbi Yirmeyah is asking whether such a
concept exists for an object of Avodah Zarah. Is something that is attached
to Avodah Zarah and is used to handle Avodah Zarah considered Avodah Zarah
itself? It is clear that the question of whether a Yad is considered "food"
and whether a Yad is considered "Avodah Zarah" are two different questions.
Tosfos, on the other hand, maintains that a Yad itself never becomes Tamei.
It merely serves to pass on Tum'ah to whatever it touches. It therefore
makes no difference whether the Tum'ah is that of Avodah Zarah or any other
Tum'ah. (M. Kornfeld, Z. Wainstein)
4) THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN REBBI AND REBBI AKIVA?
OPINIONS: The Gemara quotes a Beraisa in which Rebbi Yosi ha'Glili says that
Basar Min ha'Chai is Tahor. He derives this from the verse that says, "v'Chi
Yamus Min ha'Behemah" (Vayikra 11:39), which teaches that just as Tum'as
Neveilah applies to a dead animal that cannot become alive again, so, too,
it applies only to parts of the animal's body that do not grow back. Rebbi
Akiva says that just as Tum'as Neveilah applies to a dead animal, which has
bones and sinews, so, too, it applies only to things that have bones and
sinews. Rebbi says that just as Tum'as Neveilah applies to a dead animal,
which has meat, bones, and sinews, so, too, it applies only to things that
have meat, bones, and sinews.
5) THE "TUM'AH" OF A PIECE OF MEAT CUT OFF OF A LIMB
The Gemara asks what is the difference between the views of Rebbi Akiva and
Rebbi, and it answers that they argue with regard to the knee. In what way
is the knee the subject of their argument?
(a) RASHI and TOSFOS (DH Bein) explain that the knee has bones and sinews,
but no meat. According to Rebbi Akiva, such a limb can become Tamei. Rebbi
maintains that the knee (or any other limb that has bones and sinews, but no
meat) is not considered an Ever Min ha'Chai and cannot become Tamei, because
it has no meat on it.
(b) Tosfos quotes the RIVA who explains that Rebbi agrees that the knee bone
is Metamei even though it has no meat, since that is its natural form. Rebbi
argues with Rebbi Akiva with regard to a limb that *had* meat on it, but the
meat came off. Rebbi does not consider such a limb to be an Ever Min
ha'Chai, while Rebbi Akiva does. (The Girsa of the Riva's text of the Gemara
says that the difference between Rebbi Akiva and Rebbi is "Basar," and not
"Arkuvah" as appears in our text.)
OPINIONS: The Gemara discusses a case of one who cuts a k'Zayis of meat from
an Ever Min ha'Chai. If he first cut the meat and then thought about using
it as food, it is Tahor (from Tum'as Neveilah). If he first thought about
using it as food and then cut it, it is Tamei. RASHI (DH Chatcho and DH
Tahor) explains that the case is one in which the Jew wants to feed the meat
from the Ever Min ha'Chai to a Nochri. We know that the Torah prohibits
eating only an Ever Min ha'Chai, but not Basar Min ha'Chai. There is no
problem in feeding meat from such a limb to a Nochri; it is forbidden only
to feed him a limb which has sinews and bones attached to it. Therefore,
when a person cuts off the meat before he thinks about using it as food, it
is not yet inherently Tamei. However, when he thinks of it as food before he
cuts off the piece of meat, it becomes Tamei when it is attached to the
Rashi (DH ha'Chotech) makes an interesting statement. He says that although
the Gemara is discussing a case in which one cuts off a k'Zayis of meat from
the limb, the Tosefta (Uktzin 3:2) does not mention a k'Zayis. Rashi
explains that the Tosefta is referring to a case in which there is a
k'Beitzah of meat. What object is Rashi referring to when he says that it
must be a k'Beitzah, and why?
(a) The MAHARSHA says that Rashi here is retracting his opinion that there
is no minimum amount necessary for a food to be Tamei with Tum'as Ochlin
(see Insights to Chulin 25:1, and see TOSFOS to Chulin 118b, DH Ein Yad). By
explaining that the amount of meat cut off must contain a k'Beitzah, Rashi
is agreeing to the opinion of RABEINU TAM and others who say that food must
be at least a k'Beitzah to become Tamei with Tum'as Ochlin (and not only to
be Metamei other food). Only when the food item previously was the size of a
k'Beitzah can the piece that is cut from it be Tamei with Tum'as Ochlin (if
he intends to use it as food). We find similarly that Tosfos in Pesachim
(33b, DH l'Eimas) asserts that Rashi retracted his opinion, although Tosfos
there does not quote Rashi here as his source.
The MISHNEH L'MELECH gives an explanation for the words of Rashi that helps
us understand the Maharsha. The Mishneh l'Melech (Hilchos Kelim 23:9)
questions why Rashi mentions that the meat must be a k'Beitzah. He first
explains, like the Maharsha, that Rashi is referring to the amount that is
cut off, and he holds that only when it is a k'Beitzah can it become Tamei
with Tum'as Ochlin. He continues, however, and says that this explanation
seems unnecessary, because there is no need for the piece of meat that is
cut off to be a k'Beitzah, as long as the meat from which it is cut is a
k'Beitzah. The piece that is cut off would be Tamei because it was Mekabel
Tum'as Ochlin before it was cut! The Mishneh l'Melech says that the only
reason Rashi would explain the Beraisa in such a manner is if he held that
the amount which the person is cutting off must be the entire amount that he
wants to eat. Since only a piece that is a k'Beitzah can become Tamei with
Tum'as Ochlin (assuming Rashi retracted his earlier opinion), it must be
that the person thought of eating a k'Beitzah of meat, and then cut off that
amount from a larger piece of meat. The piece cut off therefore must be a
k'Beitzah in order to become Tamei (see Mishneh l'Melech there at length).
(b) The LEV ARYEH has difficulty with the Maharsha's proof that Rashi
retracted his opinion. Rashi is not discussing the amount of meat that is
cut off, but rather he is saying that the entire limb must be a k'Beitzah
*before* anything is cut off from it. The reason Rashi requires that the
entire limb must be a k'Beitzah is because in order for something to have
Tum'as Ochlin and be able to *transfer* that Tum'ah, Rashi requires that the
food be a k'Beitzah. Since the reason why this small piece of meat is Tamei
is because it received the Tum'ah from the piece of meat to which it was
attached, it retains its Tum'ah only if the original piece was a k'Beitzah.
This argument affects how we are to interpret the first part of Rashi as
well. According to the Maharsha, when Rashi says that the Tosefta does not
state an amount, he is introducing the fact that no minimum amount is
necessary for food to become Tamei with Tum'as Ochlin. The Lev Aryeh
interprets Rashi in the opposite manner. Rashi is telling us that the piece
of meat which is cut does not require any minimum amount, as stated
correctly by the Tosefta. The only amount required is that of the original
piece, which must be a k'Beitzah. (Y. Montrose)