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Pesachim 24


OPINIONS: Rebbi Yochanan states that one who eats a forbidden item in an unusual manner is Patur. The Gemara records two versions of Rebbi Yochanan's teaching. In the first version, Rebbi Yochanan says that one gets Malkus only for eating something in the normal manner of eating, and not for *eating* something in an abnormal way -- such as eating Chelev when it is raw. In the second version, Rebbi Yochanan says that one gets Malkus only for *deriving benefit* in the normal manner of getting Hana'ah, but not for an abnormal way of deriving benefit -- such as smearing the Chelev of a Shor ha'Niskal as a salve on one's wound. Certainly, the Gemara concludes, according to this second version one does not get Malkus for *eating* a forbidden item in an unusual manner, such as eating raw Chelev.

It is clear from the Gemara that the second statement provides for a broader range of exemption. What exactly is the point of argument between the two versions? That is, what types of actions will be included in the exemption according to the second version, but will not be included in the exemption according to the first version?

(a) From RASHI (DH Ika d'Amri) it may be inferred that the first version is only discussing Isurei Achilah which are Mutar b'Hana'ah -- items which are forbidden to be eaten but from which it is permitted to derive benefit, such as Neveilah. If something is Mutar b'Hana'ah, then only an act of "Achilah" is prohibited. Eating it in an abnormal way is not called an "Achilah," even though it might still be a Hana'ah, and therefore one is Patur for eating it in such a way. However, if an object is also Asur b'Hana'ah one will not be Patur for eating it in an abnormal way, because one has still derived benefit from it.

The second version, though, holds that even if an item is Asur b'Hana'ah as well, one is still Patur if he either eats the item in an abnormal manner or has Hana'ah from it in an abnormal fashion.

(b) The MISHNAH LA'MELECH (Hilchos Yesodei ha'Torah, beginning of 5:8), though, rejects this logic (without noting that it has a basis in Rashi's words). Instead, he suggests another explanation. The only normal use of Chelev, according to Rashi (DH Chelev), is to burn it as fuel or to rub it into hides. Therefore, if one eats raw Chelev one is doubly modifying its normal usage. First he is not burning or smearing it, but eating it, which is not the normal form of Hana'ah that one gets from Chelev. Second, even those few who deviate from the normal usage of Chelev and eat it do not eat it raw; they cook it first. Hence, a person who *eats* *raw* Chelev is deviating in two ways from the normal usage.

The first version of Rebbi Yochanan's statement requires one to make a double change in order to be Patur. The *type* of Hana'ah that one gets must be one that is not normally had from this item, and the *way in which* he gets that type of Hana'ah must also be unusual.

The second version maintains that even if there is only one deviation from the norm, such as using the forbidden item for a different *type* of usage than normal, that suffices to exempt him, even though the *way in which* he gets that type of Hana'ah does not deviate from the norm.

(c) The MISHNAH LA'MELECH suggests another approach based on the words of the RAMBAM (Hilchos Ma'achalos Asuros 14:10) and on the MAGID MISHNAH (Ibid. 8:16). According to the first version of Rebbi Yochanan, one is Patur only if he eats or has Hana'ah in a different way than normal. The second version holds that if something is fit to be eaten, then *any Hana'ah at all* other than eating is considered she'Lo k'Derech Hana'aso. One does not have to change the normal manner in which he gets Hana'ah; the very fact that he is getting Hana'ah in any way other than eating is already considered to be an "unusual way" of deriving benefit.

(According to this understanding, when the Gemara says that if one is Patur for smearing Chelev on a wound then certainly one is Patur for eating Chelev Chai, even though one is getting Hana'ah by *eating* the item in the latter case, the Gemara means that eating something in an *unusual* way, she'Lo k'Darcho, has more reason to be Patur than deriving benefit from it in a *usual* way.)

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