ANSWERS TO REVIEW QUESTIONS
prepared by Rabbi Eliezer Chrysler
Kollel Iyun Hadaf, Jerusalem
Previous daf Nazir 52
(a) To be Chayav for eating a complete live ant - it can be any size.
(b) Rav asks whether someone who eats an ant whose legs are missing is
Patur - because it is not complete (its Shiur is deficient), or whether he
is nevertheless Chayav - because, seeing as it can still live without its
legs, it is still considered a Beryah.
(c) The Torah writes in Shemini (with regard to Sheretz) "Asher Yipol Meihem
el Tocho" (implying even part of the Sheretz) and "Asher Yiga Bahem
be'Mosam" (implying the whole Sheretz, and not just part of it). The Beraisa
explains this apparent contradiction - by limiting the minimum Shiur for
Tum'as Sheretz to a k'Adashah (the size of a lentil).
(d) Chazal fixed this Shiur - because it is the size of a snail (the
smallest of the eight Tamei insects) at birth.
(a) Rav Yehudah from Diskarta tries to resolve Rava's She'eilah from this
Beraisa - because it is evident from there that the Shiur given by the Torah
must remain complete (not less than a 'k'Adashah'), so too, must the Shiur
of 'Beryah' for eating remain complete.
(b) Rev Sh'mayah rejects his proof however - on the basis of the fact that
since a snail less than the size of a 'k'Adashah' cannot live, even a dead
one (to which Tum'ah applies) is therefore not Chashuv; whereas an ant
without legs can survive, in which case it is Chashuv even when it has no
(a) We learned in our Mishnah that a Nazir is obligated to shave on a
'Shedrah and Gulgoles' - which might mean if he touches them when they are
both together, or it might mean if he touches either of them.
(b) The same She'eilah also pertains to the Mishnah in Ohalos, which lists
them among the things that are Metamei be'Ohel ha'Meis.
(a) The Tana of the Beraisa says that a spinal cord of a human being which
has the majority of its ribs broken - is not Metamei.
(b) In a similar case ...
1. ... with regard to the spinal cord of a Kasher animal - he would render
(c) We cannot infer from the Beraisa that if most of the ribs would not be
broken, the spinal cord (even without the skull) would be Metamei (thereby
resolving our She'eilah) - because the Tana may well be speaking when the
skull was there too.
2. ... if the Meis was lying in a grave - it would be Metamei anyway
(because the grave would combine them).
(a) Rebbi Yehudah cites six cases where Rebbi Akiva was initially Metamei,
and the Rabbanan were Metaher (which will be explained shortly). The same
Beraisa cites the case where they brought a box- full of bones to the Shul
of the coppersmiths - which they hung in the air (in an area where there was
no roof [to safeguard the Kohanim who came to Daven in the Shul]).
(b) Todos the doctor and all the doctors arrived at the conclusion - that
there was not even a complete spinal cord of one corpse in the box.
(c) We cannot prove from there that even a spinal cord or a skull alone are
Metamei -because what they might have meant was that there was not even a
spinal cord from one corpse in the box, certainly not a spinal cord plus a
(d) Despite the fact that the bones appear to have all been broken anyway
(and bearing in mind what we learned earlier, that the limb must be whole
for the Nazir to shave on it), it was essential to know whether there was
the spinal cord of one Meis or not - because it is speaking when someone was
Ma'ahil on the bones when they were still lying in the grave, in which case
they are Metamei even when they are broken (as we learned above) Tosfos.
(a) The six things that Rebbi Akiva was initially Metamei are 'Eiver min
ha'Meis ha'Ba mi'Sh'nei Meisim, Eiver min ha'Chai ha'Ba mi'Sh'nei B'nei
Adam', Chatzi Kav Atzamos ha'Ba mi'Sh'nei Meisim, Revi'is Dam ha'Ba
mi'Sh'nayim, ve'al Etzem ki'Se'orah she'Nechlak li'Sh'nayim, ve'ha'Shedra
ve'ha'Gulgoles'. We reconcile this Beraisa, which states '*Chatzi* Kav
Atzamos ha'Ba mi'Sh'nei Meisim' with the Mishnah in Ohalos, which gives the
Shiur of Tum'as Ohel as 'Revi'is ha'Kav ... ' - by establishing that Mishnah
by the Din of Tum'as Ohel, whereas we are speaking about a Nazir having to
(b) 've'al Revi'is Dam ha'Ba mi'Sh'nayim'. A Revi'is Dam from only *one*
Meis is certainly Metamei - Rebbi Akiva never retracted from that (Tosfos).
(c) The Rabbanan argue with Rebbi Akiva even in a case of *Chatzi* Log Dam
that comes from two Meisim - and the Tana only mentions a *Revi'is* because
of Rebbi Akiva (Tosfos).
(d) We try to prove from this Beraisa that 'Shedrah and Gulgoles must mean
both together - because otherwise the list will comprise seven things and
(a) We refute the above proof (that the Tana must be referring to the
Shedrah and the Gulgoles together, in a number of ways. We might refute
'Etzem ki'Se'orah she'Nechlak' because it is only a Yachid (Rebbi Yochanan
ben Nuri) who disputes him (whereas all the other cases, it is the
Chachamim). We might ...
1. ... also omit 'Etzem ki'Se'orah she'Nechlak' - because a Nazir only
shaves for touching or for moving it, but not for Tum'as Ohel (like he does
in all the other cases listed by Rebbi Akiva).
(b) Rebbi Akiva seems to have had a stronger Kabalah in this latter case
than in the other six cases in the Beraisa. He also has a source from a
Pasuk - "ve'al Kol Nafshos Meis" (as we discussed earlier in the Perek).
2. ... omit 'Eiver min ha'Chai' - because the Tana is only concerned with
cases concerning a dead person, and not a live one.
3. ... omit 'Revi'is Dam ha'Ba mi'Sh'nei Meisim' - because Rebbi Akiva did
not retract from it, and the Tana only lists those cases from which Rebbi
(c) Rebbi Shimon's teeth turned black from all the fasts that he initiated,
following the remark that he made about his Rebbe (Rebbi Akiva) which he
subsequently considered disrespectful. He said - that Rebbi Akiva certainly
did not retract during his lifetime and that he did not know whether or not,
he retracted after his death.
(a) In a Mishnah in Iduyos, Beis Shamai say 'Rova Atzamos min Atzmin O
mi'Sh'nayim O mi'Sh'loshah'. Beis Hillel say - Rova min ha'Gevi'ah me'Rov
Binyan O me'Rov Minyan'.
(b) Rebbi Yehoshua in a Beraisa reconciles Beis Shamai and Beis Hillel so
that they are not actually arguing - by pointing out that Beis Shamai refers
to Rov Binyan, and that Beis Hillel comes to add Rov Minyan.
(a) A hundred and twenty-five bones is considered 'Rov Minyan'?
(b) When Beis Shamai says ...
1. ... 'mi'Sheloshah' - he means two thigh-bones and one calf (and possibly
the thigh and the calf plus the foot).
(c) One will find almost the entire majority of bones - in the hands and the
feet (six in each finger, making thirty on each hand) and six in each toe
(making thirty on each foot, a total of one hundred and twenty bones).
2. ... 'mi'Sh'nayim' (assuming that he means it literally) - he means the
calf including the foot (which he counts as one because they are relatively
small) and the thigh-bone.
(a) We try to resolve our She'eilah (whether one needs both the spinal cord
and the skull for a Nazir to have to shave, or whether one of them will
suffice) from Shamai, who says 'Afilu Etzem min ha'Shedrah O min
ha'Gulgoles' - in which case, the Rabbanan presumably follow suit and
require the entire spinal cord or the entire skull.
(b) We refute this proof on the grounds that Shamai is different, because he
is stringent - he obligates the Nazir to shave even on a Rova from one of
the two, whereas the Rabbanan will require both the Shedrah and the Gulgoles
for the Nazir to have to shave.
(c) We cannot however, prove that the Rabbanan, who are not strict, require
both the spinal cord and the skull - because they might well argue with
Shamai in the way that we thought at first (that they require either a whole
spinal cord or a whole skull).
(d) The Rabbanan say 'Shedrah ve'Gulgoles' (and not 'Shedrah O Gulgoles') -
either because they did not find it necessary to explain it (like the way of
Tana'im) or because they rely on Shamai, who did say it (Tosfos).
(a) The Shiur for bones for which a Nazir has to shave is half a Kav. Rami
bar Chama however, thinks that a quarter of a Kav might suffice for bones
from a spinal cord and from the skull - because they are more stringent,
inasmuch as they do not need to come from Rov Binyan or Rov Minyan to be
Metamei, like all other limbs do.
In fact we answer, Rava only made his second statement on the Mishnah in
Ohalos, after he learned Rebbi Akiva's ruling ('Shedrah ve'Gulgoles
me'Sh'nei Meisim', indicating that it is possible to find a spinal cord and
a skull of less than a quarter of a Kav. Before that, he believed that such
a thing did not exist (and that is when he brought his proof from our
(b) Rava resolves Rami bar Chama's She'eilah from our Mishnah, which states
'ha'Shedrah ve'ha'Gulgoles' which, he assumes, is never less than a quarter
of a Kav - and if even broken bones from them would be Metamei (as Rami bar
Chama suggests), why did the Tana write 'ha'Shedrah ve'ha'Gulgoles'
(implying that they are complete).
(c) We query Rava's proof however, from another statement of his (though it
is initially unclear where) - 'Lo Nitzrecha Ela le'Shedrah ve'Gulgoles
she'Ein Bahen Rova'.
(d) In that case - even a quarter Kav of bones from a Shedrah and Gulgoles
could be Metamei, and the Tana is coming to teach us that if they are whole,
then they are Metamei even if they are less than a quarter of a Kav (as Rava