THOUGHTS ON THE DAILY DAF
brought to you by Kollel Iyun Hadaf of Har Nof
Rosh Kollel: Rav Mordecai Kornfeld
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1) KILLING ALL OF THE ANIMALS IN THE HERD
QUESTION: The Mishnah (70b) discusses the law regarding a case in which an
ox that was sentenced to death became mixed with a group of animals that
were set aside as Korbanos. The Mishnah states that "they all must die." The
Gemara explains that an animal is something that is intrinsically
significant ("Chashuv") and therefore is not Batel in the mixture.
2) A "SFEK SFEIKA" OF AN "ISUR" THAT IS NOT "BATEL"
A similar ruling is taught in our Gemara regarding a ring used for Avodah
Zarah that became mixed with other, permitted rings. All of the rings in the
mixture become prohibited. The RAMBAM (Hilchos Avodah Zarah 7:10), however,
rules that if one of the rings in the mixture falls into the ocean, the rest
of the rings become permitted. The reasoning for this is because all of the
rings in the mixture are now only a "Safek Isur" (since it is possible that
the ring that fell into the ocean was the ring of Avodah Zarah), and a
"Safek Isur" is Batel in the mixture. This is in accordance with Rav's
ruling in our Gemara.
The Acharonim question the Rambam's ruling from the fact that he also rules
like our Mishnah. The Mishnah (70b) says that all of the animals must be put
to death. Why, though, should we have to kill all of them? Once the first
animal is killed, all of the others become a "Safek Isur" which is Batel in
the mixture, and they should thus be permitted!
ANSWER: The CHIDUSHEI HA'RIM answers that there are some Poskim who
understand that the Rambam's ruling (that a Safek Isur is Batel) applies
only when we did not know that the prohibited ring had fallen into the batch
of permitted rings ("Lo Noda"), and we found out about it only after one of
the rings in the mixture fell into the ocean. If, however, we knew
originally ("Noda") that a prohibited ring had become mixed with the
permitted rings, the mixture does not become permitted because it has
already acquired a status of "Asur," and this status cannot be changed by
one ring falling into the ocean.
Nevertheless, the Halachah follows the Poskim who maintain that even when is
was known that a prohibited ring had fallen into the permitted rings, the
entire mixture becomes permitted when one ring falls into the ocean. This is
because there was never a formal ruling that all of the rings in the mixture
are prohibited; each ring did not become intrinsically Asur. Rather, the
rings may not be used only because we must avoid using all of the rings lest
we use the ring of Avodah Zarah. If, however, the circumstances change such
that it is no longer a certainty that the Isur is still in the mixture, then
we may use the rings.
In the case of our Mishnah, the prohibited item that became mixed with
permitted items is an animal that is Chayav Sekilah (see Sanhedrin 80a). We
cannot issue a ruling to permit all of the other animals in the herd by
removing (i.e. killing) one of them, because doing so would constitute
deliberately causing an Isur to become annulled, and it is forbidden to
deliberately cause an Isur to become annulled ("Ein Mevatlin Isur
l'Chatchilah"). Therefore, the ruling is that all of them must be killed,
and this ruling cannot be altered after one of the animals has been killed
(and the others left in the herd are all only a Safek Isur). (M. Dicker)
QUESTION: The Gemara discusses whether or not we may permit a secondary
mixture (a Sfek Sfeika) involving an item of Isur which is normally not
Batel in a large amount of Heter. The Gemara suggests that this is the
subject of a Machlokes Tana'im in a Beraisa. The Beraisa discusses a case of
Rimonei Badan (one of the six items listed earlier (72b) which are not Batel
even in a large amount of Heter) of Orlah or Terumah that fell into ten
thousand permitted Rimonim, and then one Rimon from that mixture fell into
another group of ten thousand permitted Rimonim. Rebbi Yehudah says that
*all* of the mixtures are forbidden, even the second mixture. Rebbi Shimon
ben Yehudah says in the name of Rebbi Shimon that only the original mixture
(the first ten thousand Rimonim into which the original Isur fell) is
prohibited. If, however, one Rimon from that mixture fell into three other
permitted Rimonim, and then one Rimon fell from those four into another
group of Rimonim, then the third group is permitted because of a Sfek Sfeika (i.e. perhaps the one that fell
from the ten thousand was not the Isur, and even if it was, perhaps the one
that fell from the second group was not the Isur).
Why does Rebbi Shimon need to mention a *third* step of one Rimon falling
from the second group of Rimonim? It would suffice to say that if one Rimon
fell out of the first group into a second group, then each Rimon in that
second group is permitted because of a Sfek Sfeika!
TOSFOS (DH Piresh) and the ROSH (Chulin 7:37) explain that a third
step is mentioned in order to show that there is a difference between the
third group and the second group. The three Rimonim in the second group may
*not* be eaten all at once, but only one at a time. The Rimonim in the third
group, on the other hand, may be eaten all at once. The reason for this
difference is that the second mixture is permitted because of a Sfek Sfeika
that perhaps the one that fell from the ten thousand was not the Isur, and
even if it was, perhaps the one that one is eating now is not the Isur. The
second Safek of this Sfek Sfeika will not exist if one eats all of the
Rimonim in the second group at one once, because one definitely will be
eating the Rimon that fell from the first mixture (which has only one
Safek). The Rimonim in the third mixture, though, may be eaten all at once,
because it has a different Sfek Sfeika -- perhaps the one that fell from the
ten thousand was not the Isur, and even if it was, perhaps the one that fell from the second group was
not the Isur. Thus, there are two Sfeikos that say that the Rimon that fell
into the third mixture is not the Rimon of Isur.
(b) RASHI (DH Rebbi Shimon) writes that when one Rimon from the mixture
falls into three other permitted Rimonim and then one Rimon from those four
falls out, the Sfek Sfeika permits the three remaining Rimonim to be eaten.
Rashi clearly requires that one of the Rimonim in the second mixture to fall
out of the mixture in order to permit eating the Rimonim of that group.
Rashi is following his own view expressed in Avodah Zarah (74a) that in
order to permit an Isur in a mixture, we must first throw out one of the
items. Here, too, before we permit the Rimonim in the second mixture with a
Sfek Sfeika, one of the Rimonim must first be removed from the mixture
(BI'UR HA'GRA, YD 110:10).
(c) The RA'AVAD (in Hasagos on the Rambam, Hilchos Avodah Zarah 7:10)
maintains that *only* the third mixture is permitted, like the
straightforward reading of the Beraisa. He maintains that there is no valid
Sfek Sfeika to permit the Rimonim of the second mixture.
(d) The RAMBAM (Hilchos Avodah Zarah 7:10) rules that even the second
mixture is permitted. However, the Rambam elsewhere (Hilchos Ma'achalos
Asuros 16:10) rules that only the third mixture is considered to be a Sfek
Sfeika, like the Ra'avad rules.
The KESEF MISHNEH understands this to be a contradiction in the Rambam, and,
therefore, he rules in the Shulchan Aruch (YD 140) that only the third
mixture is permitted, and not the second mixture.
The BI'UR HA'GRA (YD 110:10) reconciles the two contradictory rulings of the
Rambam as follows. When the Gemara teaches that a ring of Avodah Zarah is
not Batel b'Rov, it is not because of its importance. Rather, it is a
stringency, a Chumra, in the laws of Avodah Zarah that an item that is a
Safek Avodah Zarah remains Asur. If, however, an additional Safek is
involved, such as a second mixture, then the mixture is permitted because a
*Sfek Sfeika* of Avodah Zarah is Mutar; the stringency of "Safek Avodah
Zarah Asur" does not extend to a Sfek Sfeika. In contrast, when an item is
not Batel b'Rov because of its importance (it is a "Davar Chashuv"), the
Chachamim decreed that the first mixture into which it falls is Asur because
it is considered a *Vadai* Isur (and not that a Safek is Asur). Only when
one item from the first mixture falls into a second mixture do we consider
there to be a Safek whether or not the Davar Chashuv is in mixture. Since
there is only a single Safek, the Davar Chashuv is still not Batel b'Rov. Only when one item from the
second mixture falls into a third mixture do we permit the items in that
mixture, because now there is considered to be a Sfek Sfeika. Accordingly,
with regard to Avodah Zarah, the Rambam rules that a ring of Avodah Zarah
(which is not a Davar Chashuv) is Batel in the second mixture. In Hilchos
Ma'achalos Asuros, in contrast, he rules that a Davar Chashuv becomes permitted only in a third
mixture. (M. Dicker)
3) "HE HOLDS LIKE REBBI ELIEZER"
QUESTION: The Gemara (74a) asks which Tana is Shmuel following when he says
that an item of Avodah Zarah is not Batel even in a secondary mixture where
there is a Sfek Sfeika, but any other item of Isur *is* Batel in a secondary
mixture. The Gemara answers that he is following the view of Rebbi Yehudah
(who says that a Sfek Sfeika does *not* permit an Isur that is not Batel
b'Rov) with regard to Avodah Zarah, and he is following the view of Rebbi
Shimon (who says that a Sfek Sfeika does not permit an Isur that is not
Batel b'Rov) with regard to all other Isurim.
The Gemara then quotes the words of Rebbi Shimon in the Beraisa and asks why
the second group into which one of the items in the first group falls must
contain *three* Rimonim. Even if it falls into a group of *two* Rimonim,
there is still a Rov of Heter in the mixture! The Gemara answers that when
the Beraisa says that one Rimon from the first group falls into "three"
Rimonim, it means that it falls into a group of two Rimonim such that
*after* it falls, it is now a mixture of three Rimonim.
The Gemara then offers an alternative answer and says, "v'Iy Ba'is Eima,
Savar Lah k'Rebbi Eliezer...." The straightforward meaning of the Gemara is
that it is giving a second answer for the question that it asked immediately
before (why does the Beraisa say that the Rimon from the first mixture fell
into three, and not two, Rimonim). The Gemara is answering that the Beraisa
is following the view of Rebbi Eliezer, who maintains that when a prohibited
item becomes Batel in a mixture, it is only permitted to use two of the
items at a time, but not one item (see RASHI on 77b, DH Ela Shenayim, who
explains the reasoning behind this). Therefore, the Beraisa gives a case in
which all of the Rimonim in the second mixture will be able to be used (i.e.
there is an even number of Rimonim after the questionable Rimon falls in),
and that is why it says that one Rimon falls into a group of three, and not
into a group of two (in which case one Rimon would be left unusable).
RASHI, however, explains that the Gemara is giving an answer to its earlier
question of which Tana does Shmuel follow. The Gemara is saying that Shmuel
follows the view of Rebbi Eliezer when he says that a Sfek Sfeika of an Isur
of Avodah Zarah is Asur, while a Sfek Sfeika of any other Isur is permitted.
In Avodah Zarah (49b), Rebbi Eliezer says that when a piece of wood of
Avodah Zarah becomes mixed with other wood, and then a piece of that mixture
becomes mixed with other wood, the subsequent mixture is prohibited. Rashi
says that this is the preferred explanation of the Gemara.
Why does Rashi deviate from the straightforward flow of the Gemara, which
clearly implies that this is a second answer to the Gemara's question why
the Beraisa mentions three Rimonim and not two? (See TOSFOS, who asks a
number of other questions on Rashi's explanation.)
ANSWER: RAV ZAFRANI, shlit'a, in VA'YIZRA YITZCHAK, explains as follows.
Rebbi Eliezer's allowance to use two items of the mixture at once, as
expressed earlier (74a; see also 77b), was said only in a case in which one
item from the mixture has been removed (it fell into the sea, or, in the
case of animals designated as Korbanos, it was offered as a Korban). The
Gemara here, though, is discussing a different case -- the status of the
second mixture into which an item from the first mixture fell. In the first
case (when one item fell into the sea), Rashi explains that the Heter to use
the remaining items is *not* due to a Sfek Sfeika, but rather it is because
we are lenient and say that it was the Isur that fell into the sea, and the
remaining items are permitted. Since this Heter is based on a leniency,
Rebbi Eliezer necessitates using the items in pairs, so that at least one of
them will certainly be one that is permitted. In the case that the Gemara is
now discussing, on the other hand, the Heter is due to a normal Sfek Sfeika, and thus there is no reason to
necessitate using the items in pairs. Therefore, Rashi here explains that
the Gemara is referring to the view of Rebbi Eliezer in Avodah Zarah, and it
is addressing the earlier question of which Tana Shmuel follows.
Tosfos, however, understands that in the earlier case, the Heter is also
based on a Sfek Sfeika -- perhaps the Isur fell into the sea, and even if it
was not the Isur that fell into the sea, perhaps the item that is being used
now is not the item of Isur. Even though the Heter is based on a Sfek
Sfeika, Rebbi Eliezer still necessitates using the items in pairs.
Therefore, Tosfos understands the Gemara in its most straightforward
sense -- it is giving an answer for why the Beraisa mentions three Rimonim
and not two, and it is teaching that even in a secondary mixture (which is
Mutar because of a Sfek Sfeika), the items in the mixture are permitted only
when used in pairs.
Rav Zafrani points out that the RASHBA also seems to understand that the
earlier Heter (of a mixture from which one item fell into the sea) is not
due to a Sfek Sfeika, the same way as Rashi understands it. The Rashba (in
TORAS HA'BAYIS HA'ARUCH) rules that when one item from the mixture falls
into the sea, it is permitted to eat all of the remaining items at one time.
If the Heter is based on a Sfek Sfeika, then by eating the entire mixture at
one time there is only a single Safek (perhaps the item that fell was the
Isur), and the mixture should be prohibited! It must be that the Rashba
understands that the Heter is based on a special leniency that allows us to
assume that the item that fell out of the mixture was the item of Isur.
There is also another view that supports the approach of Tosfos. The ROSH in
Chulin (7:37) quotes the RI who argues with the Rashba and clearly prohibits
eating the entire mixture at once. This is because he understands, like
Tosfos here, that the Heter in the case of the item that fell into the sea
is due to a Sfek Sfeika that perhaps it was the Isur that fell out, and even
if it was an item of Heter, perhaps the item that one is eating now is not
the item of Isur. Accordingly, it is prohibited to eat all of the items left
in the mixture at one time. (M. Dicker)