THOUGHTS ON THE DAILY DAF
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Rosh Kollel: Rav Mordecai Kornfeld
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ERUVIN 37 - was generously dedicated by an anonymous donor in Los Angeles.
1) WHETHER "BEREIRAH" WORKS OR NOT
QUESTION: Rava says that Rebbi Shimon holds of the principle of Bereirah
("Yesh Bereirah"), and that the only reason why it does not work to
separate Terumah by saying, "The wine which I separate tomorrow from the
rest is now Terumah," is because the Terumah right now is not
distinguishable from the rest of the wine. In order for Terumah to be
separated, it must be distinguishable from the rest of the produce from
which it was taken ("Reishis she'Sheyareha Nikarin"). If one cannot
actually see the Terumah as detached from the rest, one's declaration to
separate Terumah is meaningless.
Abaye challenges Rava's assertion that the Terumah must be distinguishable
at the time that it is separated. If a person has two pomegranates of
Tevel and he says that the one on the left will be Terumah for the one on
the right if it rains tomorrow, and the one on the right will be Terumah
for the one on the left if it does not rain tomorrow, one of them is
certainly Terumah even though at the time of his declaration, the Terumah
is not distinguishable.
What is Abaye's question on Rava? Prior to Rava's explanation, we assumed
that Rebbi Shimon was of the opinion that Bereirah does *not* work ("Ein
Bereirah"), because of his ruling in the case of the Terumah in the wine.
If Rebbi Shimon holds "Ein Bereirah," though, the same problem with the
pomegranates will exist! Abaye's question is not only on Rava's way of
understanding Rebbi Shimon, it is on *any* way of understanding Rebbi
Shimon! (TOSFOS DH ELA)
(a) The TOSFOS HA'ROSH answers that the Gemara thought that if Rebbi
Shimon holds "Ein Bereirah," that is only when the future contingency is
dependent upon the *person's own* future action. When, however, it is
dependent upon another's action, or the weather, then perhaps Rebbi Shimon
will agree that Bereirah works (such as in the case of the pomegranates).
(The Gemara in Gitin 25b is the source for such a distinction.)
QUESTION: According to the Mahari and Rashi, how do we understand the
Gemara earlier? The Gemara said that Rebbi Yosi cannot hold "Ein
Bereirah," because we find that Rebbi Yosi rules that in a case where
someone says "the Ma'aser will be Mechulal on whichever coin that will
come up in my hand," the Chilul takes effect on whichever coin comes up.
The Gemara understands from there that it must be that Rebbi Yosi holds
that Bereirah works. How does the Gemara know that? According to the
explanation of the Mahari and Rashi, even if he holds that Bereirah does
*not* work, the Ma'aser is certainly Mechulal -- we just do not know on
which coin it is Mechulal! Why does the Gemara say that since Rebbi Yosi
says the Ma'aser is Mechulal then he must hold of Bereirah?
(b) TOSFOS RABEINU PERETZ adds that perhaps even if Rebbi Shimon holds
"Ein Bereirah," that applies only if one makes the event dependent on
something that *man can accomplish*. But if one makes it dependent on
something that occurs by natural causes, such as rain, then everyone will
agree that Bereirah works.
(c) TOSFOS (DH Ela) answers in the name of the MAHARI that the view of
"Ein Bereirah" does not mean that the present event does *not* take effect
at all, regardless of whether or not the future contingency occurs.
Rather, it *does* take effect, but in such a way that we do not know *how*
or on *what* it takes effect.
Therefore, in the case of the two pomegranates, if Bereirah works, then
when tomorrow comes (and it rains or does not rain) we will know exactly
which fruit is Terumah. If Bereirah does not work, then once again one
pomegranate is certainly Terumah for the other, but we do not know *which
one* is Terumah. Therefore a Kohen may certainly eat the pomegranates,
because one of them is Terumah and the other is Chulin, and neither one is
Tevel anymore. However, if there is a requirement that the Terumah be
distinguishable in order to be Terumah, then the Terumah does not take
effect *at all* because the requirement of "Reishis she'Sheyareha Nikarin"
was not fulfilled, and both fruits are still Tevel. That is why Abaye's
question was only on Rava, for according to Rava, in the case of the
pomegranates the Terumah does not take effect at all and even a Kohen
cannot eat them.
RASHI in a number of places appears to be of this opinion. If Bereirah
does not work, then the action that the person wants to take effect *does*
take effect, but we are not sure in which way it takes effect. (On 37a, in
the case of a person who separates Kinim, Rashi DH l'Eizeh says that if
Bereirah does not work, we do not say that neither bird is a Chatas nor an
Olah, but rather we say that perhaps the one that he thinks is a Chatas is
really an Olah, and vice versa. Rashi says this more clearly in Chulin
14a, DH Osrin, and other places.)
ANSWER: RASHI (DH Rebbi Yosi Omer) implies that when the person says
"whichever coin that comes up" will be Ma'aser, he does not mean that
*any* coin in his pocket may become Ma'aser Sheni and whichever one he
happens to pick out is the one that becomes Ma'aser Sheni. Rather, he
means, "I have a few coins in my pocket that I want to be used for Chilul
Ma'aser Sheni; if one of them comes out of my pocket the first it should
be Mechalel the Ma'aser. However, I have other coins in my pocket which I
do not want to be used for Ma'aser at all. Even if these come out of my
pocket first I do not want them to become Ma'aser."
As a result, the question is not only on *which* coin the Ma'aser was
Mechulal, but whether it was Mechulal *at all*, since there is a
possibility that he will take out a coin which he did not want to become
Ma'aser at all. Since Rebbi Yosi holds that Chilul of the Ma'aser does
take effect, it must be that he indeed holds "Yesh Bereirah." (M.