(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

Pesachim 21

PESACHIM 21 - sponsored by Heshy Follman, of New York, N.Y.


QUESTION: The Mishnah says that one may feed Chametz to a Behemah (domesticated animal) and to a Chayah (wild animal) immediately prior to the time that Chametz becomes forbidden.

The Gemara explains that it was necessary for the Mishnah to mention both Behemah and Chayah. If the Mishnah had only said that it is permitted to give Chametz to a Behemah, we would have thought that it is prohibited to give Chametz to a Chayah, because a Chayah has a tendency to store and hide some of its food. If it hides away some of the Chametz, one will not be able to destroy it (and will transgress having Chametz in his possession on Pesach, or will be tempted to eat it). On the other hand, explains the Gemara, if the Mishnah had mentioned only Chayah, we would have thought that it is permitted to feed Chametz only to a Chayah, because it hides away whatever it leaves over, whereas a Behemah does not hide whatever it leaves over.

The first statement in the Gemara is understood -- if the Chayah tends to leave over and hide its food, then one will transgress Bal Yimatzei by having Chametz in his possession. What, though, is the meaning of the Gemara's second statement, that it is permitted to give it to a Chayah because it hides away the Chametz that it leaves over. Why is that a reason to *permit* giving it to a Chayah more than a Behemah? That seems to be a reason to prohibit giving it to a Chayah!


(a) TOSFOS and many Rishonim explain that if one does not know the whereabouts of Chametz, one does not transgress Bal Yimatzei even if there is Chametz in his possession. It is only forbidden to have Chametz in one's possession when one knows, or suspects, that it is in a certain place.

The Gemara is suggesting that perhaps when one feeds Chametz to a Chayah, one does not expect the animal to leave anything over, and even if the Chayah leaves some Chametz over it hides it away and one is not aware of it. For this reason, one does not transgress Bal Yimatzei. A Behemah, though, is different. Although one does not expect the Behemah to leave any Chametz over, if it does leave some over it leaves it out in the open and does not hide it. Since the Chametz will be seen, one transgresses Bal Yimatzei when he finds out about it (by seeing it) or if he forgets to destroy it before Pesach.

(The Gemara earlier (4b) says that the obligation of Bedikas Chametz *is* mid'Oraisa when one has not done Bitul, even though one does not know if there is any Chametz in one's house or where the Chametz is. However, that obligation applies only to a place where it is *very likely* that there is Chametz there, a "Makom she'Machnisim Bo Chametz.")

(b) RABEINU DAVID explains that our Gemara is discussing a case where the person was Mevatel his Chametz. Bitul, though, works only for Chametz that one has not seen and does not know where it might be. Bitul does not work for Chametz that one has seen and expects to be in its place. The Gemara is suggesting that if the Chayah hides it away, although one did not fulfill the obligation of Bedikah, of getting the Chametz out of one's house, one does not transgress any Isur d'Oraisa of having Chametz in his possession because he was Mevatel it. This does not apply to the Chametz left over by a Behemah. Since a Behemah leaves its food in its place, if one forgets to clean up after the Behemah, Bitul will not save him from transgressing Bal Yera'eh because he knows where the Chametz was placed and the Chametz is not hidden.

(c) One reading of RASHI, cited in the margin of the Gemara, explains that even when Chametz is hidden away by a Chayah, one transgresses Bal Yimatzei, however he will not transgress Bal *Yera'eh* since the Chayah hides it away and it cannot be "seen." A Behemah, on the other hand, leaves its Chametz out in the open, and one will transgress both Bal Yimatzei and Bal Yera'eh, if he forgets to clean up after the Behemah.

(The question of whether or not Bal Yera'eh applies to Chametz that is hidden, or "Tamun," is debated by the Rishonim earlier in the Maseches. Rabeinu David (a disciple of the Ramban), after citing the Beraisa on 5b which prohibits "Chametz Tamun" even when it is not in a person's house but in his area (bi'Gevulecha), discusses whether this prohibition is learned solely from the verse which mentions "Gevulecha" (that is "Lo *Yimatzei*"), or whether the mention of Gevulecha in that verse *reveals* that even the other prohibition of Lo Yera'eh also applies to Gevulecha.)


QUESTION: Rebbi Avahu and Chizkiyah argue about the source for the prohibition of deriving benefit (Hana'ah) from Chametz on Pesach. Rebbi Avahu says that when the verse says, "Do not eat Chametz," it includes both a prohibition against eating and against deriving benefit from Chametz. Rebbi Avahu maintains that wherever the Torah says, "Do not eat...," it comprises a prohibition against deriving Hana'ah as well (this principle is learned from the verses discussing Neveilah). Chizkiyah maintains that normally, when the verse says, "Do not eat...," its intention is to forbid *only* eating and not Hana'ah. With regard to Chametz, though, the Torah changes its normal terminology and says "Lo Ye'achel" -- "Chametz *shall not be eaten*," instead of simply saying, "Lo Tochlu" -- "*you shall not eat* Chametz." The change in terminology suggests the prohibition of deriving Hana'ah from Chametz. (The Gemara concludes that Chizkiyah's source for this understanding of the verse is from another verse which discusses eating Sheratzim, as mentioned on Daf 23a).

The Gemara explains at length the sources of each opinion and why they disagree with each other. However, two important points seem to be left unaddressed:

(a) The Gemara cites an argument between Rebbi Meir and Rebbi Yehudah to demonstrate the source for Rebbi Avahu's principle. Rebbi Meir says that *any* type of benefit may be derived from a Neveilah (that is, it may be sold *or* given to both a Ger Toshav -- who does not serve idols -- and a gentile -- who does). The verse that permits deriving specific benefits from a Neveilah, then, is unnecessary (that is, I would have known without a verse that Hana'ah *may* be derived from it, since no verse forbids it). The Gemara explains that according to Rebbi Avahu the verse is teaching that it is only permitted to have Hana'ah from Neveilah but *not* from any other item which is forbidden to eat. According to Chizkiyah, who disagrees with this premise and maintains that it is not forbidden to derive benefit from every item that cannot be eaten, why is the verse necessary according to Rebbi Meir?

(b) Chizkiyah derives the Isur Hana'ah from the fact that the verse uses an unusual terminology. According to Rebbi Avahu, why does the verse change from the normal pronunciation? There are other places where Halachos are derived from similar changes in words (such as Chagigah 3a; "Yir'eh/Yera'eh") and no one argues.

(a) RASHI and TOSFOS disagree about the way Chizkiyah will explain Rebbi Meir:
1. RASHI (22b, DH l'Mai) explains that according to Chizkiyah, the verse that Rebbi Meir cites teaches that *giving* the Neveilah to a Ger is preferable to *selling* it to a gentile. The verse, then, is necessary to teach the order of preference.

2. TOSFOS (21b, DH b'Sheleima) disagrees with Rashi because according to Rebbi Avahu, Rebbi Meir also derives this from the verse. If so, the order of preference apparently does not entirely "use up" the verse, as it were, so this will not explain entirely why this verse is necessary, according to Chizkiyah. Therefore, Tosfos (22a, DH Rebbi Shimon) suggests that Chizkiyah admits Rebbi Meir's follows the opinion of Rebbi Avahu, that every Isur Achilah includes an Isur Hana'ah as well. Chizkiyah, though, is arguing about what *Rebbi Yehudah* holds. Rebbi Avahu asserts that even Rebbi Yehudah agrees to his principle that wherever it says "Do not eat" it also means to prohibit Hana'ah, while Chizkiyah claims that Rebbi Yehudah learned Isur Hana'ah from the word "Ye'achel."

(b) To answer the second question, it appears that the other teachings derived from changes in the normal pronunciation of a word are more unanimous because in the other cases (such as "Yir'eh -- Yera'eh" in Chagigah), both words use the same number of letters. It must be that the Torah changed and used one and not the other in order to teach a new Halachah. Here, though, to use the standard terminology ("Lo Tochlu") would have required writing an extra letter, and therefore Rebbi Avahu asserted that the change to "Lo Ye'achel" was in order to shorten the word, and not to indicate any Halachah. (M. Kornfeld)
Next daf


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