(Permission is granted to print and redistribute this material
as long as this header and the footer at the end are included.)


brought to you by Kollel Iyun Hadaf of Har Nof
Rosh Kollel: Rav Mordecai Kornfeld

Ask A Question about the Daf

Previous daf

Nazir, 35


QUESTION: The Gemara says that both the Tana'im who normally use the approach of "Ribuy u'Mi'ut" and the Tana'im who use the approach of "Klal u'Prat" agree that when the verse mentions a limiting phrase, then a general phrase, and then another limiting phrase, the verse is learned as a "Prat Klal u'Prat," which is a Limud that teaches us to include all items that are similar to the Prat (and to exclude items that are not similar to the Prat) -- "Marbeh k'Ein ha'Prat." According to the Tana'im who use the approach of "Ribuy u'Mi'ut," when the verse mentions just a general phrase and then a limiting phrase, the verse is learned as a "Ribuy u'Mi'ut," which is a Limud that teaches us, also, to include all items that are similar to the Prat -- "Marbeh k'Ein ha'Prat."

Why, then, did the Torah need to mention the first limiting phrase when it writes a "Prat Klal u'Prat?" It could have left out the first Prat, and then the verse would be mentioning a general phrase and a limiting phrase which we would learn as a "Ribuy u'Mi'ut," and we would still be Marbeh k'Ein ha'Prat! (GA'ON AVRAHAM, cited by the ARZEI HA'LEVANON fn. 53*)

TOSFOS (35b, DH Ika) asks a similar question regarding a "Ribuy Mi'ut u'Ribuy," a Limud which teaches us to include everything except for one item. Tosfos asks why did the Torah write the first Ribuy? It could have written just the second and third phrases, the Mi'ut and the Ribuy, and that Limud of "Mi'ut v'Ribuy" would also teach us to include everything except for one item! Tosfos answers that indeed the first Ribuy is not necessary; the Torah adds it only because it is the normal manner of the verse to open with a Ribuy. Hence, the Limud of "Ribuy Mi'ut u'Ribuy" and the Limud of "Mi'ut v'Ribuy" are really one and the same.

That answer will not suffice, however, to answer our question. If the first limiting phrase (of a "Prat Klal u'Prat") is included in the verse just because it is the manner of the verse ("Orchei d'Kra"), then really we *are* viewing the next two terms as a "Ribuy u'Mi'ut" and not as a "Klal u'Prat." The Gemara should then call it a "Mi'ut Ribuy u'Mi'ut" in which the first Mi'ut is a disregarded-Mi'ut, instead of calling it a "Prat Klal u'Prat" and saying that in this case all opinions agree that we cannot view it as a "Mi'ut Ribuy u'Mi'ut!" It must be that when we view it as a "Prat Klal u'Prat," it actually teaches us something different than it would have taught us had we viewed it as a "Ribuy u'Mi'ut." In what way, though, is it different?

ANSWER: A "Ribuy u'Mi'ut" teaches us to include any item that is similar to the Prat ("Marbeh k'Ein ha'Prat"), even if the item in question is similar to the Prat in just *one* respect ("Tzad Echad"). In contrast, when the verse is learned as a "Prat Klal u'Prat," it teaches us that we may include only an item that is similar to the Prat in *two* respects (like the Gemara mentions on 35b).


QUESTION: The Gemara introduces the concept of "Heter Mitztaref l'Isur." We know that in order to transgress the Torah's commandments against eating a forbidden item, that item must be of a minimum size. "Heter Mitztaref l'Isur" means that a permissible item can join with the forbidden item to reach that minimum size. Rebbi Avahu in the name of Rebbi Yochanan says that only with regard to the Isurim of Nazir does "Heter Mitztaref l'Isur" apply, but not to any other Isur in the Torah. An example of "Heter Mitztaref l'Isur" is when a Nazir dips his bread (which is permitted to him) into wine (which is forbidden to him) and eats it, and together the bread and the wine have a total volume of a k'Zayis, then he is Chayav (Tosfos, DH Chutz mi'Nazir).

We know that there is concept of "Ta'am k'Ikar" -- if an Isur is absorbed in a permissible food item, the entire item becomes Asur if the taste of the Isur is palpable. When a Nazir dips bread into wine, the bread should become Asur because of "Ta'am k'Ikar," since the taste of the forbidden wine is spread throughout the bread. What, then, is the concept of "Heter Mitztaref l'Isur" adding? The permissible item would be Asur even without this Halachah of "Heter Mitztaref l'Isur!" It would be Asur because of "Ta'am k'Ikar!"

It cannot be that when the bread was dipped into wine the taste of the wine was *not* noticeable in the bread, because in such a case the wine would be Batel (nullified) completely and "Heter Mitztaref l'Isur" would not apply. If this would not be the case, then, as the RAMBAN (Milchamos in Pesachim 43b) points out, why does the Gemara (Pesachim 30a) state that when even a tiny amount of Chametz is mixed with another food item ("Ta'aruvos Chametz"), it is Asur *mid'Rabanan*. The concept of "Heter Mitztaref l'Isur" should make it Asur mid'Oraisa, because the permissible food should add to the fractional Shi'ur of the Chametz to make a k'Zayis! It must be that mid'Oraisa, the small amount of Chametz in the mixture is Batel, and that when an Isur is Batel, the concept of "Heter Mitztaref l'Isur" does not apply. On the other hand, when the Isur is not Batel (that is, the taste of the Isur is palpable in the mixture), then the mixture is Asur because of "Ta'am k'Ikar." If so, when is there ever a need for the concept of "Heter Mitztaref l'Isur?"


(a) RASHI in Pesachim (44b, DH mi'Pas) understands that when a forbidden object gives its taste to a permitted object, the taste of the Isur makes the entire permissible item in which it is absorbed become an object of Isur. (This is known as "Chatichah Na'aseh Neveilah" -- the forbidden taste of Neveilah in a Kosher piece of meat makes the entire piece of meat forbidden as if it were a piece of Neveilah. According to Rashi, "Chatichah Na'aseh Neveilah" is mid'Oraisa and is part of the concept of "Ta'am k'Ikar." See Chulin 100a.)

Based on this, Rashi concludes that the concept of "Heter Mitztaref l'Isur" is needed for a case where part of the Heter did *not* absorb the taste of the Isur. According to the rule of "Ta'am k'Ikar," that part of the Heter is *not* included in the Shi'ur of the Isur. According to the rule of "Heter Mitztaref l'Isur," though, that part of Heter *does* count towards the Shi'ur of Isur, and is added to the Heter which *did* absorb the taste of the Isur. Therefore, when a Nazir dipped his bread into wine, the part of the bread that did not absorb the wine is Mitztaref to the part of the bread that did absorb the wine. In such a case, "Ta'am k'Ikar" does not apply to the entire k'Zayis, because the taste is not present throughout all of the k'Zayis, but is present in only less than a k'Zayis of the bread. The reason of "Heter Mitztaref l'Isur," though, does apply.

For this reason, Rashi (Pesachim 43b, DH Ein Heter) writes that even if one takes two *separate* objects (one of Isur and one of Heter) and places them into his mouth at the same time, he is Chayav because of "Heter Mitztaref l'Isur."

(b) The RAMBAN (Milchamos, loc. cit.) writes that "Ta'am k'Ikar" applies even to a mixture in which the Isur is not "b'Ein" -- where there are no physical pieces of Isur evident in the mixture, but only the *taste* of the Isur is absorbed into the food, such as when grapes are soaked in water for their juice. If the taste of Isur in the Heter is equivalent to the taste conveyed by a k'Zayis of Isur that is ground into the Heter, then "Ta'am k'Ikar" applies (but not "Heter Mitztaref l'Isur"). However, only if there is *a k'Zayis of Ta'am* within "k'Dei Achilas Pras" (the time that it takes to eat half a loaf of bread), can he be punished with Malkus. That is the principle of "Ta'am k'Ikar."

The principle of "Heter Mitztaref l'Isur," on the other hand, applies when the Isur itself is *visibly* absorbed in the Heter (such as wine absorbed in a piece of bread). The law of "Heter Mitztaref l'Isur" teaches that in such a case, *even if there is not enough of the Isur* in the Heter for one to eat a k'Zayis of it within "k'Dei Achilas Pras," one will still be Chayav. This also appears to be the opinion of TOSFOS and most of the Rishonim. (That is, most Rishonim argue with Rashi and do not hold that "Chatichah Na'aseh Neveilah" is an inherent part of the principle of "Ta'am k'Ikar.")

Next daf


For further information on
subscriptions, archives and sponsorships,
contact Kollel Iyun Hadaf,