ANSWERS TO REVIEW QUESTIONS
prepared by Rabbi Eliezer Chrysler
Kollel Iyun Hadaf, Jerusalem
Previous daf 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
(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
(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
(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
(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
(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.
(b) When bar Pada says ‘Tum’ah ...
2. ... Kalah’ is – Tum’as Maga.
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.
(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
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.
(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
(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’
(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
(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).
(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
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.
(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