(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

Yoma 79

YOMA 59-88 have been dedicated to the memory of the late Dr. Simcha Bekelnitzky (Simcha Gedalya ben Shraga Feibush) of Queens N.Y. by his wife and daughters. Well known in the community for his Chesed and Tzedakah, he will long be remembered.


QUESTION: Rav Papa asks whether the date mentioned in our Mishnah (73b) as the minimum Shi'ur for which a person is Chayav for eating on Yom Kipur refers to the date with its pit or without its pit.

What is Rav Papa's question? The Mishnah clearly states, "One who eats [the amount of food equal to] a fat date, *it and its pit*, is Chayav!"


(a) RASHI (DH b'Gar'inisah) explains that Rav Papa is asking about the meaning of the words in the Mishnah. Does the Mishnah mean to say that the Shi'ur is the size of a fat date *together with* its pit, or does the Mishnah mean to say that the Shi'ur is the size of a fat date *or* the size of its pit (both being the same size)? (We find in many places that the letter "Vav" means "or.") That is Rav Papa's question.

(b) TOSFOS (DH Koseves) rejects Rashi's explanation, because if those were the two sides of Rav Papa's question, he would not have asked such a question. He would have surely assumed that the Mishnah means the size of a date *together with* its pit. It is not possible that the Mishnah would be saying the size of a date *or* the size of its pit, because it is impossible for the two to be exactly the same size, and thus the Mishnah should have said that whichever one is the smaller of the two is the Shi'ur for which one is Chayav, and we would know that certainly if one ate the larger of the two he would be Chayav.

Therefore, Tosfos suggests a different explanation for Rav Papa's question. Rav Papa is not questioning the words "and its pit" in the Mishnah, but the word "a fat date." When the Mishnah says that one who eats the amount of food equal to "a fat date... and its pit" is Chayav, perhaps when it says "it (a fat date)," that *already* refers to a complete date, together with its pit, and when it says "and its pit" it means a *second* pit, effectively making the Shi'ur *one Koseves and two pits* (its own pit, plus an extra pit). The other possibility is that when the Mishnah says "a fat date," it means the Koseves by itself, not including its pit. When the Mishnah then adds "and its pit," it means a single edible date and a single pit.

(c) Tosfos cites the ARUCH who gives another explanation in the name of RAV NISIM GA'ON, based on the Yerushalmi (this is also the preferred explanation of the BACH in OC 612:1). The Yerushalmi says that when the Mishnah says that the Shi'ur of Achilah on Yom Kipur is like "a date and its pit," its intention is to exclude the *hollow space* in the date. Dates tend to have a hollow space between the flesh of the fruit and the pit. If we were to include that space in the Shi'ur, then the Shi'ur would be larger. The Mishnah is telling us a Chumra -- one is Chayav for eating the smaller Shi'ur of a date and its pit without the hollow space.

Rav Papa in our Gemara was asking whether the hollow space mentioned in the Yerushalmi is including. When the Mishnah says that the Shi'ur is the size of a date and its pit, does it mean to exclude the hollow space between the date and the pit (that is, only "the date together with its pit"), or does it mean "without its pit" -- that is, the date *without being snugly attached* to its pit, but with a hollow space separating between them?

The BA'AL HA'ITUR also explains that Rav Papa was in doubt whether the Mishnah means to include the hollow space in the size of a Koseves or not. However, he explains the wording of Rav Papa in exactly the opposite manner. When Rav Papa asks whether the Shi'ur is "a fat fig *along* with its pit," that means *with* its hollow space, because it refers to the fig the way that it grows naturally. When he says that perhaps it refers to "a fat fig without its pit," that means that the fig and the pit have been separated from each other, and the Shi'ur of Achilah is ascertained by *combining* the fig with its [removed] pit -- which means that the hollow space is *not* taken into account.

The NETZIV (Meromei Sadeh) suggests that this is also the intention of Rashi. (He is Gores at the end of Rashi "k'Kamoha *u'*Kegar'inasa.")

HALACHAH: The Poskim (except for the Ba'al ha'Itur) do not mention either side of Rav Papa's question and make no mention of the pit of the date. Rather, they say that the Shi'ur of Achilah on Yom Kipur is "the size of a fat Koseves, which is a little less than a k'Beitzah" (RAMBAM, Hilchos Shevisas Asor 2:1; TUR OC 612:1 (the Tur leaves out the word "a little"); SHULCHAN ARUCH 612:1), which is the conclusion of the Gemara (79b).

The TAZ explains that since the Gemara concludes that the Shi'ur is just less than a k'Beitzah, it is no longer necessary to explain whether or not the Shi'ur of a Koseves includes the pit (or the hollow space), since we already know the size. (The reason the Poskim mention at all that the Shi'ur is "the size of a Koseves," if they tell us that it is the size of just less than a k'Beitzah, is merely to be consistent with the terminology of the Mishnah, as the LEVUSHEI SERAD points out.)


Next daf


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