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Yoma 83

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.


OPINIONS: The Mishnah says that we are permitted to feed any type of food, even that which is forbidden, to someone who has become ill with "Bulmus," a dangerous illness which results from hunger (Rashi). The Gemara cites a Beraisa which says that when there is no permissible food available and the only choice is to feed him a very severe Isur or a less severe Isur, we feed him the less severe Isur. For example, if the only foods that are available are a food which is Tevel and another food which is Neveilah, we feed him the Neveilah, because Neveilah is only forbidden with a Lav and is punishable with Malkus, while Tevel is punishable with Misah b'Yidei Shamayim. This Halachah applies to any sick person in mortal danger.

According to this straightforward rule, it would seem that in a case where the choice is giving the sick person Neveilah to eat and desecrating Shabbos (to properly slaughter an animal), we should give him Neveilah to eat, because Neveilah is only forbidden with a Lav, while desecrating Shabbos is forbidden with Sekilah. However, the Rishonim rule otherwise and say that it is preferable to desecrate Shabbos rather than to feed him Neveilah. (This is also implied by the Gemara in Chulin (14b) which permits slaughtering an animal for a sick person on Shabbos and does not specifically limit that allowance to when there is no gentile available to kill the animal.) Why should this be so? It seems to contradict the ruling of our Gemara.

(a) The RA'AVAD (cited by the ROSH and the RAN) explains that the allowance to give a sick person an Isur to eat applies to the specific Isur that is keeping him from eating the food. When, on Shabbos, a person needs to eat because of Piku'ach Nefesh, it is not the fact that a Neveilah is prohibited that is preventing him from eating. Rather, it is the Isur of slaughtering an animal on Shabbos that is stopping him from eating, since if it were not Shabbos he would simply slaughter an animal and eat it. Therefore it is the Isur of slaughtering on Shabbos which is pushed aside for the sake of the sick person.

The RAN, however, takes issue with the Ra'avad's ruling. If there is a Neveilah available on Shabbos, then *both* the Isur of Neveilah and the Isur of slaughtering on Shabbos stand in his way of eating. Why should the Isur of Neveilah not be pushed aside -- it is the less severe Isur!

Perhaps the Ra'avad means that an Isur which applies only at certain times (or in a limited fashion) is always pushed aside before an Isur that is constant. We view the limited Isur as the Isur that is standing in his way, since it "didn't have to be there." Therefore, the Isur of slaughtering on Shabbos must be pushed aside before the Isur of eating a Neveilah. (M. Kornfeld)

(b) The ROSH gives an entirely different reason why it is permitted to slaughter an animal for a sick person on Shabbos instead of feeding him Neveilah. He says that if we give Neveilah to the sick person, he might not eat it because he is so disgusted by it, and his life will be in more danger. Therefore, it is better to slaughter an animal for him.

(c) The RAN explains that in this case, the Isur of Neveilah *is* more severe than the Isur of slaughtering on Shabbos. When the sick person eats Neveilah, he transgresses another Lav with each additional k'Zayis of meat that he eats, whereas when a person performs Shechitah on Shabbos, he transgresses an Isur Kares only once. Therefore, it is preferably to slaughter an animal on Shabbos for the sick person than to feed him Neveilah.


QUESTION: The Gemara says that it is prohibited mid'Rabanan to separate Terumah and Ma'aseros on Shabbos because doing so involves "Tiltul Muktzah," handling Muktzah (because Tevel is Muktzah). Why does the Gemara say that the reason is because of Tiltul? The Gemara in Beitzah (37a) implies that the reason is because of a Gezeirah to prevent one from conducting business transactions (Mekach u'Memker), because when one is Makdish an item to Hekdesh, one transfers its ownership to Hekdesh. Separating Terumos and Ma'aseros is also prohibited for that reason. RASHI in Beitzah (9a, DH Ochel v'Holech) gives another reason to prohibit it; he says that the act of separating Terumos makes the produce edible, and thus it is prohibited because it appears like one is fixing an item (Metaken). Why does the Gemara here say that it is prohibited because of Tiltul? (GILYON HA'SHAS of Rebbi Akiva Eiger -- Rebbi Akiva Eiger refers to the Gemara in Yevamos (93a) which also prohibits separating Terumah and Ma'aser because of "Tiltul.")

ANSWER: The TOSFOS YOM HA'KIPURIM says that both prohibitions exist. The Isur of Metaken is necessary for a case when one does not need to pick up or handle the Tevel (such as when the fruit is already separated into two piles, and one merely has to designate one of the piles as the Terumah fruits), in which case there is no Tiltul.

Why, though, does the Gemara mention the smaller problem of Tiltul, if Metaken is all-encompassing and applies in every case?

The Gemara is saying that the although the Isur d'Rabanan of Tiltul is a very strong Isur which is on par with an Isur d'Oraisa (as the TOSFOS YESHANIM says in Beitzah 3b), nevertheless it is certainly preferable to transgress that Isur than to transgress an Isur d'Oraisa. In contrast, it goes without saying that the Isurim of Metaken and Mekach u'Memkar are certainly pushed aside in order not to transgress an Isur d'Oraisa. The point the Gemara is making is that we should not think that Tiltul, which is Asur mi'Divrei Kabalah (Shabbos 123b), is considered equivalent to an Isur d'Oraisa. The same logic applies to the Gemara in Yevamos that Rebbi Akiva Eiger quotes, which is trying to prove that the Isur of separating Terumah is entirely Rabbinic and has no source in the Torah. (M. Kornfeld)

AGADAH: The Beraisa lists five characteristics of a mad dog, so that one will know when he sees one to stay far away from it. Those characteristics are (1) its mouth hangs open and (2) spittle drips down, (3) its ears hang low, (4) its tail rests between its legs, (5) it walks along the far side of the road, and some add that it barks but its voice is not heard.

Shmuel says that the danger of a mad dog is the Ru'ach Ra'ah that rests upon it. The Gemara cites a Beraisa in support of Shmuel. The Beraisa says that when one attempts to kill a mad dog, he must only do so from afar (such as by throwing something at it), so that he not be harmed by the Ru'ach Ra'ah that rests on the dog. The Beraisa continues and says that one who rubs against a mad dog will become endangered, and his only remedy is to throw off his clothes immediately and run away. If a person is bitten by a mad dog, the person will surely die (Abaye, though, describes an antidote to the bite of a mad dog).

The CHAFETZ CHAIM (in SHEMIRAS HA'LASHON, Sha'ar ha'Zechirah, ch. 4) cites the Midrash (Yalkut Shimoni, Parshas Ki Setzei) which compares one who speaks Lashon ha'Ra to a person who is bitten by a mad dog. The Chafetz Chaim points out that just like our Gemara says that there is no remedy for the bite of a mad dog, similarly the Gemara in Erchin (16b) says that one who is accustomed to speaking Lashon ha'Ra, G-d forbid, has no atonement. Why, though, is someone who speaks Lashon ha'Ra compared specifically to someone who was bitten by a mad dog?

The Chafetz Chaim shows how one who speaks Lashon ha'Ra has all of the attributes of a mad dog as described in our Gemara. When a person is bitten by a mad dog, the Ru'ach Ra'ah that rests on the dog and causes it to have the above-mentioned characteristics rests on the person, giving the person all of the attributes of the mad dog. Someone who speaks Lashon ha'Ra also has those attributes, as if a Ru'ach Ra'ah rests upon him.

(1) His mouth hangs open. Similarly, the mouth of the person who speaks Lashon ha'Ra is always open, waiting to find a listener, no matter who it might be, to listen to his gossip.

(2) His spittle drips down. The dog is always angry and is ready to attack anyone it meets up with, as is indicated by his constantly dripping spittle. So, too, the person who speaks Lashon ha'Ra is eager to speak about anyone who comes up in conversation. In addition, the spittle of a dog is most disgusting, especially that of a mad dog, and it the mad dog leaves a path of spittle behind wherever it goes. So, too, the disgusting speech of the person who speaks Lashon ha'Ra leaves its impact wherever he goes.

(3) Its ears hang low. By hanging its ears, the mad dog makes himself look uninterested in attacking anyone. That way, no one will be afraid to come near the dog, and he will be able to pounce on his unexpecting prey. For the same reason (4) its tail rests between its legs; it walks slowly and does not run excitedly. Likewise, (5) it walks along the far side of the road so that it appears to be walking far from the central flow of people and is uninterested in anyone. Some add that it barks but its voice is not heard -- this is another guise that it engages in order for people to think that it is a quiet, happy, kind-hearted dog, so that no one will take any measures of caution when they see it, assuming it to be a harmless canine. And then it viciously attacks its victim.

The same attributes exist in one who speaks Lashon ha'Ra. He walks humbly, away from other people, so that they think he is not interested in their affairs and that he is not one who goes around spreading gossip. Furthermore, when he speaks Lashon ha'Ra, he does it in such a sly way that at first, it is not evident that any Lashon ha'Ra is being spoken. His ears are down as if he is not listening to anyone else's business, and he walks along as if he is minding his own business, all so that no one will put up their guard when he comes to attack with his vicious Lashon ha'Ra. And just like some say that a mad dog barks and no voice is heard, the one who speaks Lashon ha'Ra does damage that is not noticeable right away, for he speaks in private about a person.

Just like one who rubs against a mad dog must immediately throw off his clothes and run away, one who comes near someone known to speak Lashon ha'Ra should run away immediately, even at the cost of much embarrassment.

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