THOUGHTS ON THE DAILY DAF
brought to you by Kollel Iyun Hadaf of Har Nof
Rosh Kollel: Rav Mordecai Kornfeld
Ask A Question about the Daf
ZEVACHIM 2-4 - Dedicated to the leaders and participants in the Dafyomi
shiurim at the Young Israel of New Rochelle, by Andy & Nancy Neff
1) LACK OF SPECIFIC INTENT WHEN WRITING A "GET"
QUESTION: Rava asserts that a Get written without specific intent is Pasul.
The Gemara attempts to prove Rava's assertion from the Mishnah that teaches
that a man (who has two wives with the same name) cannot divorce one of his
wives with a Get which was initially written with intent for whichever wife
he would decide later to divorce. Since the husband did not have in mind any
specific wife when the Get was written, the Get was *not* written she'Lo
Lishmah, and nevertheless the Get is Pasul. The Gemara refutes this proof,
saying that perhaps that case is worse than a case of "Setama" (no specific
intent), and is comparable to specific intent she'Lo Lishmah because of the
principle of "Ein Bereirah."
The principle of "Ein Bereirah" is normally understood to mean that if it is
not clear at the present time which Kinyan or change of status the person
wants to take effect, then a future occurrence has no bearing on the Kinyan
and the Kinyan or change of status does not take effect. How, then, can this
Get be worse than a Get that was written with *no* Kavanah? If "Ein
Bereirah" teaches that the Kavanah of the husband has no effect, then the
Get was written without any Kavanah and is "Setama," and if it is Pasul,
then this shows that a Get written "Setama" is Pasul! (KOVETZ SHI'URIM,
(a) The KOVETZ SHI'URIM points out that RASHI here applies a different
understanding of the principle of "Ein Bereirah." Rashi writes that
according to the opinion which maintains "Ein Bereirah," the Get was not
written "Setama," because perhaps at the time that the Get was written, the
husband "intended for the Get to be written for one of his wives." Later,
when he gives the Get to the other wife, for her it is a Get that was
written she'Lo Lishmah.
What does Rashi mean when he says that the husband "intended for the Get to
be written for one of his wives?" The case is one in which the husband
stated explicitly that he wants the Get to take effect for whichever wife he
later chooses to divorce ("Eizo she'Ertzeh Agaresh")!
Apparently, Rashi means that according to the opinion that maintains "Ein
Bereirah," future events are not considered "destined" to occur at an
earlier time. Therefore, when the husband attempts to make something
dependent on a future event, his words are meaningless, unless he intends to
make this dependent on what the circumstances *now* seem to show what will
happen in the future. In the case of our Gemara, the man's stipulation is
interpreted to mean that he wants the Get to take effect for the woman whom
he presently plans to divorce at a later date. Since we cannot be sure which
woman he planned to divorce at the time that he made this statement, the Get
is considered to be a "Safek she'Lo Lishmah."
It is clear from Rashi that "Ein Bereirah" does not mean that *no* Kavanah
takes effect. Rather, it means that a Kavanah does take effect, but we can
never know which Kavanah it was that took effect. This is evident from
Rashi's words elsewhere, and is consistent with the way he explains Bereirah
in general. In many places (Gitin 24b, DH l'Eizo, and in all of the Sugyos
of Bereirah -- see in particular Gitin 73b, DH u'Meshani, and Chulin 14a, DH
Osrin), Rashi explains that even if we rule "Ein Bereirah," the Kinyan still
takes effect, but the details which were dependent upon the outcome of the
future event remain in doubt (see Insights to Eruvin 37:1, Gitin 25:1, and
Gitin 73:2). This is also the opinion of the MAHARI quoted in Tosfos to
Eruvin (37b, DH Ela).
However, as we mentioned elsewhere (see Insights loc. cit.), this does not
appear to be the view of TOSFOS. Tosfos and other Rishonim maintain that
"Ein Bereirah" means that *nothing* takes effect when a Kinyan or intent is
linked to a future event. How, then, does Tosfos understand our Gemara?
(b) The KOVETZ SHI'URIM suggests that the Gemara's initial assumption is
consistent with the view of Tosfos. Initially, when the Gemara tries to
prove from this Mishnah that a Get written "Setama" is Pasul, the Gemara
already knows that the Mishnah is based on the position of "Ein Bereirah."
The Gemara's question was that even if we maintain "Ein Bereirah," the Get
is no worse than "Setama," since it was written with no intent, as Tosfos
explains the principle of "Ein Bereirah." The Gemara rejects this, saying
that perhaps "Ein Bereirah" indeed means that the Kavanah of "Lishmah" does
take effect, and the Get therefore is a "Safek she'Lo Lishmah."
The Gemara eventually concludes that a Get *is* Pasul if it was written
"Setama," and thus we return to the original assumption of the Gemara that
"Ein Bereirah" makes a Get considered to have been written "Setama."
However, it is difficult to propose that the Gemara is questioning the basic
meaning of "Ein Bereirah" without making any open reference to it. The
simple understanding of the original assumption of the Gemara is that the
Gemara thought that a Get written in such a manner is comparable to
"Setama," since the husband knew that he might divorce either one of his two
wives (see Tosfos DH Kasav).
(b) Perhaps Tosfos is following his own opinion expressed in Gitin (24b, DH
l'Eizo). Tosfos there explains that when the Gemara uses the words "Ein
Bereirah" with regard to a Get, the Gemara is not referring to the normal
opinion that maintains "Ein Bereirah." Rather, the Gemara means that even if
we normally rule "*Yesh* Bereirah," there still is a Gezeiras ha'Kasuv which
teaches that the "Lishmah" of a Get cannot be determined by future events.
Therefore, even though we see retroactively that the Get was written for the
woman to whom it was given, this retroactive clarification will not suffice
to make the Get considered to have been written "Lishmah."
According to this, the Gemara can be understood easily. The Gemara does not
mean that the Get is Pasul because no intent of Lishmah took effect. Rather,
the Gemara means that the Get is Pasul because the *wrong type* of intent of
Lishmah took effect -- an intent which was clarified only retroactively.
Since this type of intent Lishmah is not valid for a Get, it is considered
like a Get that was written she'Lo Lishmah for another woman, even though in
this case it was actually written for the woman to whom it was eventually
2) "LO MINAH LO MACHRIV BAH"
QUESTION: The Gemara (3a) teaches that even though a Korban Chatas that is
slaughtered with intent to be a different Korban is invalidated and cannot
be offered at all, nevertheless if it is slaughtered with intent to be eaten
as Chulin, then his wrong intent does not invalidate the Korban Chatas. The
Gemara explains that this is because "Lo Minah Lo Machriv Bah" -- having
intent to slaughter the animal as an entirely different entity, with a
thought that does not relate to the status of a Korban, does not have any
effect, and is considered as if it is slaughtered "Setama" and is valid.
The Gemara asks that we should apply the same principle to the laws of an
earthenware vessel (Kli Cheres). We know that, normally, any Tahor food item
that enters a Kli Cheres that is Tamei becomes Tamei. Nevertheless, when
there is a Kli Cheres that is Tahor situated inside of an outer Klei Cheres
that is Tamei, and the food enters the inner Kli Cheres, the food does not
become Tamei. The reason for this is because the inner Kli Cheres (the rim
of which protrudes above the rim of the outer Kli Cheres) protects the food
from the air of the outer Kli Cheres which is Tamei. The Beraisa teaches
that even if the inner Kli is not a Kli Cheres, but a Kli Shetef (that is, a
utensil made out of wood, metal, or bone, which can become Tahor by being
immersed into a Mikvah), the food in the inner Kli still remains Tahor. The
Gemara asks that the food in the inner Kli should not be Tahor according to
the principle that "Lo Minah Lo Machriv Bah," since a Kli Shetef is an
entirely different type of utensil than a Kli Cheres, and therefore its
presence should be disregarded (and the food inside of it should become
Tamei as though it were inside of the outer, Tamei Kli Cheres).
We find in numerous places (Yoma 58a, Sukah 37b, Sotah 45b, Zevachim 110a,
Bechoros 9b) that when the Gemara discusses the laws of Chatzitzah, the
Amora'im argue whether or not the law of a Chatzitzah applies to "Min
b'Mino" -- two items of the same type. However, all Amora'im agree that
items of different types *are* considered a Chatzitzah to each other. This
seems to contradict the assumption of our Gemara that items of different
types do *not* interfere with each other as much as items of the same type!
How are we to reconcile the principle of "Min b'Mino Eino Chotzetz" with the
principle of "Lo Minah Lo Machriv Bo?"
(a) RASHI alludes to the answer to this question. He writes (3a, DH d'Lav
Minah) that our Gemara means that when a Korban was slaughtered for the sake
of being Chulin, the status ("Shem") of Chulin does not take effect on the
Korban to uproot its present status. That is, the principle of our Gemara
was not said with regard to Chatzitzah, cases where physical contact is
necessary, but only with regard to cases which involve a change of Halachic
status. A thought that is entirely unrelated to the present status of the
item cannot change the item's status. Similarly, with regard to food inside
of the inner Kli Shetef, if the Kli Shetef is considered to be a different
type of a Kli, then its presence cannot affect the status of the food inside
of it such that the food should no longer be considered to be within a Kli
Cheres. On the other hand, if the food was inside an inner Kli *Cheres*,
then the food is no longer considered to be in the airspace of the outer Kli
Cheres, but rather its status is that it is inside of the inner Kli (and is
thus Tahor). However, when physical contact is necessary, a dissimilar
material certainly is considered a Chatzitzah, while a similar material
might not be considered a Chatzitzah since it is considered to be a
continuation of the object to which it is similar.
The Rishonim indeed apply the principle of "Lo Minah Machriv Bah" in a
number of other situations which deal with a question of a change of status,
as opposed to physical separation. For example, the RAN in Rosh Hashanah (9b
of the pages of the Rif) explains that although one fulfills his obligation
when he hears someone blow the Shofar with intent to make music,
nevertheless if he hears someone blow the Shofar in order to perform the
Mitzvah of teaching children how to blow, then he does not fulfill his
obligation. The reason is because the Kavanah for making music can be
ignored because of the rule of "Lo Minah Lo Machriv Bah." Therefore, it is
as though the Shofar was blown without any Kavanah. In contrast, when one
blows the Shofar with intent for a different Mitzvah, then it changes the
status of the Teki'ah to a Teki'ah for a different Mitzvah, which is worse
than a Teki'ah without any Kavanah.
The RASHBA applies the principle of "Lo Minah Lo Machriv Bah" in Rosh
Hashanah (34a) to explain why a mis-blown Teki'ah can be considered an
interruption in a set of Teki'os, while a Teki'ah for a song is not
considered an interruption. This, too, is because the Teki'ah that is not
blown for the Mitzvah cannot change the status of the ensuing Teki'os to
make them unrelated to the first half of Teki'os in the set.
(b) However, the RASHBA (in Teshuvos 3:282) applies the principle of our
Gemara to a question of physical Chatzitzah as well. The Rashba proves that
the Tefilin Shel Yad does not have to be placed directly on the skin, but it
may be placed on top of the sleeve of one's shirt. The Rashba asks that this
seems to contradict the Gemara in Erchin (3b), which teaches that the
Kohanim cannot don the Tefilin Shed Yad, because the Bigdei Kehunah will be
Mafsik between the Tefilin and the flesh. The Rashba answers that since
there is a Mitzvah to wear Bigdei Kehunah just as there is a Mitzvah to wear
Tefilin, while there is no Mitzvah to wear a sleeve on one's arm, the
principle of "Lo Minah Lo Machriv Bah" applies.
According to the Rashba, why do we not apply the principle of "Lo Minah Lo
Machriv Bah" in the case of every Chatzitzah and, consequently, conclude
that "Min b'Mino" is a *greater* form of interruption than "Min b'she'Eino
The answer might be that when the Gemara discusses Chatzitzah, it normally
refers to a situation in which two items must touch each other but are being
prevented from doing so. In such a case, the principle of "Lo Minah Lo
Machriv" would not affect the situation (and would not make the two items
considered to be touching each other), because even if the object which is
"Lo Minah" is ignored, there is empty space between the two items that are
supposed to be touching each other (i.e. the space where the "Lo Minah" item
is). The only way to make the two objects touch each other in a case of a
Chatzitzah which is Min b'Mino is by suggesting that Min b'Mino is
considered a single, unified object.
However, in our Gemara, if we ignore the Kli Shetef and considered it to be
like empty space, then the food inside of it indeed has nothing but empty
space separating it from the Kli Cheres, and this suffices to make the food
Tamei. If, on the other hand, the inner Kli is a Kli Cheres, then the inner
Kli Cheres *is * Mafsik and we do not apply the principle of "Min b'Mino
Eino Chotzetz," because the inner Kli Cheres cannot be considered a single,
unified object with the outer Kli Cheres. It stands by itself and is not
resting entirely on the outer Kli.
The Rashba, who applies this principle to the laws of Tefilin, proves from
another Gemara that a sleeve is not considered a Chatzitzah between the
Tefilin and the skin. Accordingly, the laws of Tefilin do not require that
the Tefilin touch the skin, but rather that the Tefilin be placed opposite
the Zero'a of the arm. Therefore, if we ignore the sleeve, the Tefilin is
separated from the arm only by air, and this is a proper placing of Tefilin.
The shirt of the Kohen, however, cannot be ignored (since it is a Mitzvah to
wear it) and therefore it is considered a Chatzitzah.
Perhaps these two different views of the principle of "Lo Minah Machriv Bah"
are dependent on the Machlokes between the Rambam and Ra'avad with regard to
the Tum'ah of the airspace of a Kli Cheres. The RAMBAM (Hilchos Metamei
Mishkav u'Moshav 8:4) writes that although a Sheretz which falls into the
airspace of a Kli Cheres is Metamei the Kli, a Zav who puts his arm into the
airspace of a Kli Cheres (without touching the Kli itself) is *not* Metamei
the Kli, because only the arm entered and not the entire Zav. The RA'AVAD
argues with the Rambam, saying that if the airspace of a Kli Cheres is
Metamei with Maga (through touching it), then why should there be any
difference between a Zav that touches the Kli on its inner surface and a Zav
that touches the airspace in the inside of the Kli?
RABEINU CHAIM HA'LEVI explains that the Rambam and Ra'avad are arguing about
the basic understanding of the law of "Tum'as Avir Kli Cheres." The Ra'avad
understands that the air of a Kli Cheres is considered the same as the inner
surface of the Kli Cheres. A Kli Cheres does not become Tamei when a Tamei
object touches its outer surface, but it does become Tamei when a Tamei
object touches its inner surface. The air of the Kli Cheres is the same as
its inner surface, and therefore one who touches the airspace is considered
to have touched the inner surface. The same principle applies to a Kli
Cheres, which is Tamei, into which food is placed. If food touches the
airspace of the Kli Cheres, it is considered as though it has touched the
inner surface of the Kli Cheres.
The Rambam, however, understands that the Tum'ah of the airspace of a Kli
Cheres is not a Tum'as Maga. Rather, there is a Gezeiras ha'Kasuv that if
something *enters* and is *inside* the airspace of the Kli Cheres, the Torah
gives it the same Halachah as though a Kli Cheres had touched it. (This is
similar to Tum'as Mes, which can be transferred either by touching a Mes, or
through serving as an Ohel over a Mes, without touching it.) Therefore, the
Rambam rules that the Zav can be Metamei the Kli only if the entire Zav
enters the Kli Cheres; that is when the Torah applies the rule that a Tamei
object that is fully contained within a Kli Cheres can spread Tum'ah to the
The same principle may be applied to food which is inside a Kli Cheres.
According to the Rambam, the food is Tamei not because it is touching the
air of the Kli Cheres, but because it has the *status* of being *inside* of
a Kli Cheres. Accordingly, our Gemara -- which applies "Lo Minah Lo Machriv
Bah" to the airspace of a Kli Cheres -- has nothing to do with Chatzitzah.
Rather, it has to do with a change of status (like our first answer above).
However, according to the Ra'avad, the airspace of the Kli Cheres is Metamei
the food because the food is touching the air. Hence, the inner Kli must act
as a Chatzitzah between the airspace of the Kli Cheres and the food. If we
apply the rule of "Lo Minah Lo Machriv Bah" in this case, then it is evident
that this rule can be invoked even with regard to laws involving the
Chatzitzah, as the Rashba writes.