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Chulin, 129

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).


QUESTION: Abaye quotes a Beraisa in Pesachim (45b) that says that a large block of Se'or (heavily leavened dough) that one designated as a seat may be kept in one's home on Pesach, because it is now considered a utensil and not a food of Chametz. Abaye adds that even though a normal chair becomes Tamei mid'Oraisa with Tum'as Moshav Zav when a Zav sits on it, this block of Se'or becomes Tamei only mid'Rabanan. Abaye's proof is that if it would become Tamei mid'Oraisa, then it would be a case of a food becoming Tamei with a Tum'ah Chamurah, which is not possible.

TOSFOS (DH Tum'asah) asks that if, mid'Oraisa, the block of Se'or is not considered a chair but rather it still has the status of a food, then it should also retain its status of Chametz and be forbidden to remain in one's home on Pesach!

ANSWER: The TOSFOS HA'ROSH answers that with regard to the prohibitions of Bal Yera'eh and Bal Yimatzei, Bitul alone suffices to permit one to keep Chametz in his home. Therefore, designating the Se'or as a chair is considered sufficient Bitul with regard to Bal Yera'eh and Bal Yimatzei, even though it does not suffice to make the Se'or into a chair mid'Oraisa with regard to Tum'as Moshav Zav.


OPINIONS: In the Mishnah, Rebbi Meir states that a limb or flesh that dangles from a living person is Tahor. If the person dies, then the dangling flesh remains Tahor, and the dangling limb becomes Tamei only as Ever Min ha'Chai (a limb that was detached from a living person), but not as Ever Min ha'Mes. Rebbi Shimon argues and says that the limb remains Tahor.

What is the basis of the argument between Rebbi Meir and Rebbi Shimon?

(a) RASHI (DH k'Zayis Basar) and TOSFOS (DH Bein Tana Kama) explain that Rebbi Meir maintains that there is only one difference between an Ever Min ha'Chai and an Ever Min ha'Mes, though we are unsure of the exact difference to which Rebbi Meir refers. We know that there is an opinion (that of Rebbi Eliezer, as quoted by the Gemara here) that a k'Zayis of flesh that was formerly attached to a limb that fell off a living person is Tamei, just as the limb itself is Tamei. This same opinion is lenient with regard to a piece of bone the size of a barley grain that fell off the same limb, saying that the bone is Tahor. There is another opinion (that of Rebbi Nechunya) who argues and says that the opposite is true -- the k'Zayis of flesh that falls off is Tahor, while the bone that falls off the limb is Tamei.

Accordingly, Rebbi Meir's final statement in the Mishnah -- that a limb is Tamei only because of Ever Min ha'Chai and not because of Ever Min ha'Mes -- can mean one of two things. It can mean that a k'Zayis of flesh, *or* a bone the size of a barley grain, that falls off of an Ever Min ha'Chai is Tamei, as opposed to an Ever Min ha'Mes where *both* a k'Zayis of flesh and a bone the size of a barley grain that fall off are Tamei. Rebbi Shimon argues that in both of these cases, the object that falls off is Tahor when it comes from an Ever Min ha'Chai, as opposed to when it falls from an Ever Min ha'Mes (in which case Rebbi Shimon agrees with Rebbi Meir that in both cases the object is Tamei).

(b) The RAMBAM (in Perush ha'Mishnayos) and the BARTENURA explain that Rebbi Meir maintains that in both the case of flesh and the case of a bone, the object is Tahor when it fall off an Ever Min ha'Chai. Only when it falls off an Ever Min ha'Mes are they Tamei. Rebbi Shimon maintains that the Halachah in all of the cases -- whether the k'Zayis of meat, or bone the size of a barley grain, fell from an Ever Min ha'Chai or from an Ever Min ha'Mes -- the object is Tahor.

The RASHASH questions the opinion of the Rambam and Bartenura, because we never find such an argument anywhere in the Gemara. Moreover, he asks, why would Rebbi Shimon say that a k'Zayis of meat or a bone the size of a barley grain that came from the *limb* of a deceased person be any different than if it came from the *body* of a dead person? In both cases, it comes from something that is Tamei with Tum'as Mes! It appears that his question assumes that Ever Min ha'Chai is obviously more lenient, since the person himself who is still alive may indeed be Tahor. We say that his limb is Tamei only because we learn from the verse (see Nazir 53b) that a limb that falls off a living person is Tamei, but we do not have to extend this Halachah to small parts of his limb which become detached.

The TOSFOS YOM TOV seems to address the question of the Rashash. He says that one should not be bewildered by the explanation of the Rambam and Bartenura. We find in Eduyos (6:2) that Rebbi Eliezer maintains that an Ever Min ha'Mes that is less than a k'Zayis is not Tamei, even though an Ever Min ha'Chai that is less than a k'Zayis is Tamei. Rebbi Eliezer apparently maintains that there is a stringency with regard to Ever Min ha'Chai, which is something that we do not see according to any opinion in our Mishnah. The point of the Tosfos Yom Tov is apparently that the Rashash's logic that something that comes from a Mes is always Tamei is not universally accepted, because even a whole limb from a Mes can be considered Tahor if it is not the size of a k'Zayis.

However, the LEV ARYEH rejects the Tosfos Yom Tov's statement. Rebbi Eliezer says that an Ever Min ha'Mes is not Tamei only because the Ever is smaller than a k'Zayis; just as flesh of a dead person which is less than a k'Zayis is not Tamei, so, too, a limb from a Mes which is less than a k'Zayis is not Tamei. Only in the case of an Ever Min ha'Chai is there a Halachah that something is Tamei (even if it is smaller than a k'Zayis) solely because it is a limb in itself. Therefore, Rebbi Shimon's statement in our Mishnah (according to the Rambam) that a k'Zayis of meat from the limb of a dead person is Tahor remains difficult. (See Lev Aryeh at length.) (Y. Montrose)

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