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prepared by Rabbi Eliezer Chrysler
Kollel Iyun Hadaf, Jerusalem

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Bechoros 23



(a) Abaye asks on Rebbi Yirmiyah (who extends the principle ‘Matza Miyn es Miyno ve’Niy’ur’ to Tum’ah) from a Beraisa which discusses Kasher ashes of a Parah Adumah that became mixed with regular ashes. The problem there is – whether someone who touches the mixture or who carries it becomes Tamei or not.

(b) The Tana rules that we go after the majority. We ask from there on Rebbi Yirmiyah – that even if the majority consists of regular ashes, someone who carries it ought to be Tamei (seeing as, according to him, the Tamei article remains intact).

(c) In answer, Rav Dimi cites Rebbi Yossi b’Rebbi Chanina – who establish the Tana specifically by Tum’as Maga, but not by Tum’as Masa (and whoever carries the mixture is Tamei).

(a) Abaye queries Rebbi Yossi b’Rebbi Chanina however, from a statement by Rav Chisda, who maintains that whereas Neveilah becomes Bateil in Shechutah, Shechutah does not become Bateil in Neveilah – because it can never adopt the Din of Neveilah ...

(b) ... because even though it can become Tamei by touching a Sheretz – it will not be Metamei be’Masa, or even to render Tamei Adam ve’Keilim (like Neveilah).

(a) On the other hand, it is possible for Neveilah to shed its Tum’ah, like Shechutah – when it goes off and begins to stink ...

(b) ... creating a problem with Rebbi Yossi b’Rebbi Chanina (and Rebbi Yirmiyah), according to whom it ought still to be Metamei be’Masa (as we explained).

(c) We counter this by quoting a Beraisa cited by Rebbi Chiya ‘Neveilah u’ Shechutah Beteilos Zu ba’Zu’ - which Rebbi Yossi b’Rebbi Chanina restricts to Tum’as Maga, but as far as Tum’as Masa is concerned, the mixture is Metamei.

(d) When Abaye queried Rebbi Yirmiyah from Rebbi Eliezer ben Ya’akov in our Mishnah ‘Beheimah Gasah she’Shaf’ah Chararas Dam, Harei Zu Tikaver’, on which Rebbi Chiya cited a Beraisa ‘Einah Metam’ah Lo be’Maga *ve’Lo be’Masa* ’ Rav Dimi had nothing to say, so he responded – with silence.

(a) We are able to reconcile Rebbi Yirmiyah with the Beraisa however, according to bar Pada, who draws a distinction between Tum’ah Chamurah and Tum’ah Kalah. ‘Tum’ah ...
1. ... Chamurah’ is – Tum’as Masa.
2. ... Kalah’ is – Tum’as Maga.
(b) When bar Pada says ‘Tum’ah ...
1. ... Chamurah ad le’Ger’, he means – that once a food is no longer fit for a Ger to eat (i.e. human consumption), it is no longer Metamei be’Masa.
2. ... Kalah ad le’Kelev’, he means that in the previous circumstances, the food is still Metamei be’Masa, until it becomes unfit for canine consumption. The Chararas Dam too, is unfit for human consumption, and is therefore not Metamei be’Masa either.
(c) We cannot reconcile him with Rebbi Yochanan however- who requires food to become unfit for canine consumption in order not to be Metamei Tum’as *Masa*.

(d) The problem is – that the Chararas Dam is fit for canine consumption, yet Rebbi Chiya’s Beraisa declares it Tahor from Tum’as Masa, too.




(a) bar Pada learns from the Pasuk “Lo Sochlu Kol Neveilah, la’Ger ...” – that once a Neveilah becomes unfit for human consumption, it is no longer called a Neveilah (and is therefore not Metamei be’Masa).

(b) Rebbi Yochanan learns from there – that if it initially stinks, and is unfit for human consumption, it is not Metamei (even though a dog will eat it).

(c) bar Pada argues – that whatever is initially unfit for human consumption is like dust of the earth, and does not require a Pasuk to permit it.

(a) Again in connection with Rebbi Chiya’s Beraisa (‘Einah Metam’ah Lo be’ Maga ve’Lo be’Masa’), based on what we just said in Rebbi Yochanan, the problem with Rebbi Yochanan’s attributing it to Bitul be’Rov is – that it ought to be Tahor anyway, because a Chararas Dam is surely not fit for human consumption from its inception.

(b) And we answer that it is – before it emerges, together with the rest of the animal, of which it is part.

(a) Rebbi Eliezer in a Mishnah in Machshirin states that Tahor brine belonging to an Am ha’Aretz with which one performed Hashakah, and into which a little water fell, is Tamei. Rav Nachman Amar Rabah bar Avuhah extrapolates from there – that Amei ha’Aretz must then add as much as half water to the brine which, when one adds to it the bit of water that fell in afterwards, makes up a majority ...

(b) ... and it is Tamei – because of the principle ‘Matza Miyn es Miyno, ve’ Niy’ur’.

(c) Abaye (who does not hold of ‘Matza Miyn es Miyno ... ‘) explains – that the little water that fell in after the Hashakah belonged to the Am ha’Aretz (in which case it is ‘Tum’ah arousing Tum’ah’, as we explained earlier [see also Tosfos DH ‘she’Nafal’).

(a) We ask that even if he added a little less than a half water, it ought to be Tamei – because then, together with the bit of Tamei water, it will still add up to half water, which is not Bateil.

(b) In the first answer we amend Rav Nachman’s statement to read ‘ad Palga’. Alternatively, we answer – that both Tum’as Am ha’Aretz and Tum’as Mashkin are only mi’de’Rabbanan, and that , in such a case, the Chachamim only decreed Tum’ah in the case of Rov, not of Mechtzah al Mechtzah.

(a) Raban Shimon ben Gamliel in our Mishnah rules that someone who purchases a feeding animal from a Nochri – can assume that they are mother and baby (in which case the next baby to which the mother gives birth will not be a Bechor), and not that it is a baby to which the animal has merely taken a fancy.

(b) It might be possible for the animal not to have given birth before (and for the baby to be the child of another animal), in spite of the fact that it has milk – because, as we have already learned, some animals have milk even before they have ever given birth.

(c) Raban Shimon ben Gamliel then rules that someone who enters his herd and finds both the animals that have given birth for the first time, and those that have not, all feeding babies – can assume that all the babies belong to the mothers who are feeding them, so that he knows exactly which animals are firstborn and which ones are not.

(a) When Rav Sheishes heard Rav comment that the Mishnahs throughout this Perek are Halachah, except for those that contain a Machlokes, he commented – that Rav must have been asleep when he said that.

(b) Rav’s main statement cannot be referring to the first Mishnah (‘ha’Loke’ ach Beheimah min ha’Akum, ve’Eino Yode’a Im Bichrah ... ’) where Rebbi Yishmael and Rebbi Akiva argue, nor the last one, where Akavya ben Mahalalel and the Rabbanan argue. Neither can it have been referring to ...

1. ... the previous Mishnah (‘Rebbi Eliezer ben Ya’akov Omer Beheimah Gasah she’Shaf’ah Chararas Dam ... ‘) – because we already know that from the principle ‘Mishnas Rebbi Eliezer ben Ya’akov Kav ve’Naki’ (meaning that he rarely speaks in the Mishnah, but when he does, it is always Halachah).
2. ... the current Mishnah of Raban Shimon ben Gamliel – because the Rabbanan argue with him in a Beraisa.
3. ... the next Mishnah of Rebbi Yossi ben ha’Meshulam” – because he has already ruled like him in an independent statement.
(c) We answer that in fact, Rav is referring to our Mishnah, despite the fact that the Rabbanan argue with Raban Shimon ben Gamliel in a Beraisa – and Rav is coming to teach us that a Machlokes in a Beraisa is overridden by a S’tam Mishnah (otherwise, we would rule like the Rabbanan, who are a majority opinion).

(d) Having concluded that Rav is referring to our Mishnah, he nevertheless found it necessary to rule like Rebbi Yossi ben ha’Meshulam in the next Mishnah – because if he hadn’t, we would have thought that his first statement refers to that Mishnah, and we would then have not been able to draw the conclusion that we did regarding a S’tam Mishnah and a Machlokes in a Beraisa.

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