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
1) ONE WHO THINKS THAT IT IS PERMITTED TO BE "MEVATEL ISUR L'CHATCHILAH"
QUESTIONS: Abaye (end of 22a) attempts to prove to Rav Dimi that Tum'ah that
has become Batel cannot be revived. He quotes the Mishnah in Terumos (5:2)
that discusses a case of one Se'ah of Terumah that is Tamei that falls into
one hundred Se'ah of Chulin that is Tahor. Rebbi Eliezer maintains that one
must remove one Se'ah from the mixture and leave it to rot, because we say
that the one that fell in is the one that is removed. The Gemara (23a) asks
what is the status of the remaining produce, according to Rebbi Eliezer. The
Gemara answers that the remaining produce must be eaten dry, parched,
kneaded with fruit juice, or divided into small pieces of dough (with less
than the size of a k'Beitzah in one place). All of these possibilities do
not allow the Chulin to become Huchshar for Tum'ah, and thus the Chulin
cannot become Tamei from the piece of Terumah Teme'ah.
Ula explains that the reason why the remaining one hundred Se'ah of Chulin
are not considered to be entirely Chulin once one Se'ah is removed (which,
according to Rebbi Eliezer, is presumed to be the Se'ah of Terumah that fell
in) is because of a Gezeirah. If we would permit the remaining Chulin, one
might bring a Kav of Chulin that is Tamei and mix it with slightly more than
a Kav of the Chulin that was in the mixture with the Terumah, with intention
that the majority of Tahor produce be Mevatel the Tamei produce. This would
be ineffective, because, in Rebbi Eliezer's mixture, there is one part of
Terumah Teme'ah in one hundred parts of Chulin, and when the Kav of Chulin
that is Tamei combines with the slightly more than a Kav of Chulin of Rebbi
Eliezer's mixture, the original Tum'ah that became Batel will be revived and
combine with the Kav of Chulin that is Tamei, making the contents of the
mixture be half-Tamei and half-Tahor, effectively rendering the entire
mixture Tamei (see RASHI DH Gezeirah).
TOSFOS (DH Savar) asks why are we concerned that a person will think that he
may place a Kav of Chulin that is Tamei into slightly more than a Kav that
is Tahor? The Gemara in Beitzah (4b) clearly states that it is forbidden to
be Mevatel an Isur l'Chatchilah -- it is forbidden to add permitted objects
into forbidden ones in order to be Mevatel the Isur! Moreover, the Gemara in
Gitin (54b) cites an opinion that even if one inadvertently (b'Shogeg) adds
Heter to Isur, the Isur does *not* become Batel, even b'Di'eved. Tosfos
concludes that the Gemara here must be following the opinion in Gitin that
maintains that, b'Di'eved, the Isur does become Batel, and that the Gemara
here is discussing a case of "Omer Mutar," mistakenly thinking that a
certain prohibited act is permitted, and that such a case is considered like
a case of Shogeg.
(a) Why does Tosfos assume that "Omer Mutar" is considered like Shogeg? Rava
in Makos (7b) maintains that one who thinks that it is permissible to murder
("Omer Mutar") is considered to be like "Mezid," and not like "Shogeg"! (See
RAMBAM, Hilchos Retzichah 6:10, who rules in accordance with Rava's
(b) The TAZ (YD 99:9) cites the words of Tosfos as proof that even according
to the opinion in Gitin that the Rabanan penalized one who is Mevatel an
Isur even inadvertently, they did *not* penalize one who does so thinking
that it is permitted ("Omer Mutar"). In such a case, everyone agrees that
b'Di'eved the mixture is permitted.
How do the words of Tosfos prove this? Tosfos says merely that "Omer Mutar"
is considered like Shogeg according to the opinion in Gitin that maintains
that the Rabanan did *not* penalize one who inadvertently is Mevatel an
(a) The CHASAM SOFER (Teshuvos, YD #88, DH Rishon) answers that a
distinction must be made between "Omer Mutar" with regard to murder, and
"Omer Mutar" with regard to other transgressions. One who thinks that murder
is permitted clearly is acting negligently and maliciously; murder is very
severe and it is not reasonable that a person should make such a grave
mistake as to think that it is permitted. In contrast, other Isurim -- such
as eating food that is Tamei -- are not regarded to be as severe as murder,
and thus it is feasible that one would mistakenly think that it is
permitted. Accordingly, a case of "Omer Mutar" may be considered even less
severe than a case of Shogeg.
(b) The Chasam Sofer answers that the Taz either possessed a different text
of Tosfos that the text that we have, or he simply understood that Tosfos'
intention is to say that "Omer Mutar" is considered an even lighter form of
transgression than Shogeg, and, accordingly, even according to the opinion
that penalizes the person in a normal case of Shogeg, we are more lenient
with regard to a case of "Omer Mutar." (D. Bloom)
2) HALACHAH: AN ANIMAL THAT IS NURSING A CALF
QUESTION: In the Mishnah, Raban Shimon ben Gamliel states that when one buys
an animal from a Nochri and finds that it is nursing a calf, we do not
suspect that the calf is the offspring of another cow. Rather, we assume
that the young calf is the offspring of the nursing mother, and any
subsequent birth is not subject to the laws of Bechor.
3) HE SAID IT WHILE HE WAS SLEEPING
Earlier (20b), Rebbi Akiva states that most animals do not have milk unless
they have already given birth. What, then, is Raban Shimon ben Gamliel
adding here with his statement? From the words of Rebbi Akiva we learn that
we treat a nursing animal as one that has already given birth!
In addition, why does Rav us that the Halachah follows Raban Shimon ben
Gamliel, when we already know that the Halachah follows Rebbi Akiva?
(a) The ROSH (3:2) quotes RABEINU TAM who explains that from the fact that
the Gemara quotes Rav who finds it necessary to state that the Halachah
follows Raban Shimon ben Gamliel, it must be that we do not rule like Rebbi
Akiva. This implies that Raban Shimon ben Gamliel and Rebbi Akiva are
arguing. What, though, is their argument?
HALACHAH: The RAMBAM (Hilchos Bechoros 4:8) rules that when we see an animal
nursing a calf, or when we see that an animal has milk, we assume that the
next calf born is not a Bechor.
With regard to the prohibition of killing a mother animal and its offspring
on the same day, the SHULCHAN ARUCH (YD 16:5) rules that when a calf
persistently follows a cow, we may assume that it is following its mother,
and it is forbidden to slaughter the two of them on the same day. The
KEREISI U'PLEISI adds that since there still exists a slight doubt whether
the cow is indeed the mother, one who transgresses and slaughters them on
the same day does *not* receive Malkus.
Raban Shimon ben Gamliel maintains that nursing a calf is a sign that a cow
has already given birth, but the presence of milk alone does not serve as
proof that it has given birth. Rebbi Akiva argues and maintains that the
presence of milk alone suffices to prove that the cow has given birth in the
(b) The RAMBAN suggests that the Halachah does follow Rebbi Akiva. Raban
Shimon ben Gamliel is adding to Rebbi Akiva's ruling and saying that when we
find an animal that has milk but we do not know of any calf that it has
borne, when, after some time passes, we see it nursing a calf, we may assume
with certainty that the calf is its own offspring, and the next birth is
exempt from Bechorah (because an animal would not nurse a calf unless it had
QUESTION: When Rav Sheshes heard Rav's ruling, he responded by saying, "When
Rav was napping and falling asleep he said this teaching!"
How could Rav Sheshes, one of the holy Amora'im, say such a seemingly
derogatory remark about Rav?
(a) The CHAVOS YA'IR (#152) explains that Rav Sheshes' statement was not one
of derision, G-d forbid, but rather one of great adulation and praise to
Rav. He was saying that Rav was so great that he never could have much such
an error unless he stated his ruling while he was falling asleep. (See also
YOSEF DA'AS to Yevamos 24b.)
(b) The IMREI BINAH (Hakdamah, end of footnotes) quotes the RAMA MI'PANO
(end of YONAS ILEM) who asserts that Rav was Rav Aba, who was the closest
and most esteemed disciple of Rebbi Shimon bar Yochai, the Tana who mastered
the hidden, innermost parts of the Torah. Rav Sheshes knew that all of the
words of Rav were based on the hidden parts, the inner essence, of the
Torah, even those statements that seemed to be based on the revealed parts
The ARIZAL writes that the concept of sleep was created by Hashem so that a
man's Neshamah would leave him and be able to fathom the profound secrets of
the upper worlds, which would be impossible for a person to comprehend while
his Neshamah was confined to his body.
Rav Sheshes understood this, and he said that since he cannot understand the
words of Rav, undoubtedly Rav must have said these words while he was
sleeping, when his Neshamah was able to fathom the profound secrets of the
inner-essence of the Torah which cannot be understood by man while he is
awake and while his Neshamah is confined within his body. (See also Insights
to Zevachim 25:2, Bava Metzia 20:5, Bava Kama 65:2.)