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CHULIN 91 - Dedicated for a Refu'ah Shelemah for Yehoshua Heschel ben
Ayeleth. May the Talmud Torah d'Rabim sponsored in his honor protect him
and gain him a full and speedy recovery.
1) THE "GID HA'NASHEH" FROM THE RIGHT AND LEFT LEGS
QUESTION: The Gemara (90b) teaches that Rebbi Yehudah maintains that the
Isur of Gid ha'Nasheh applies to one of the legs of the animal, and logic
dictates that it is the right leg. The Gemara asks whether it is obvious to
Rebbi Yehudah that the Isur applies to the Gid of the right leg, and the
logic referred to is "Da'as Torah," or whether Rebbi Yehudah is actually in
doubt whether it is the right or left leg, but he is *inclined* logically to
say that it is the right leg.
2) THE MITZVOS PERFORMED BY THE AVOS
The Gemara attempts to answer this question from a Beraisa. The Beraisa
states that one who ate the Gid ha'Nasheh from two different animals is
punished with two sets of Malkus according to the Tana Kama. Rebbi Yehudah
in the Beraisa argues and says that is punished with only one set of Malkus.
The Gemara points out that the Machlokes between the Tana Kama and Rebbi
Yehudah is expressed only in a case in which a person ate two Gidim from
*two* animals. According to the Tana Kama, who maintains that the Gidim of
both the right and the left legs are forbidden, it would have sufficed to
discuss a case in which a person ate two Gidim from *one* animal. The reason
why the Beraisa discusses two Gidim from two animals is to teach that Rebbi
Yehudah maintains that Malkus is administered. The Gemara adduces a
conclusive proof from this Beraisa that it is obvious to Rebbi Yehudah that
the Isur applies only to Gid of the right leg, because if Rebbi Yehudah
would have been in doubt, then one who eats two Gidim would not receive any
Malkus at all according to Rebbi Yehudah! (See RASHI DH ul'Rebbi Yehudah.)
The Gemara then asks that if it is obvious to Rebbi Yehudah that the Isur
applies to the Gid of the right leg, then why does he say that one who eats
two Gidim from two animals receives only one set of Malkus? If he ate two
Gidim from two right legs, then he should receive two sets of Malkus!
The Gemara implies that this question is a question only because we
concluded that it is obvious to Rebbi Yehudah that the Isur applies only to
the Gid of the right leg. If Rebbi Yehudah is in doubt whether the Isur
applies to the right or left leg, then there is no question on the Beraisa.
However, this is certainly not so; the Beraisa is even more difficult if
Rebbi Yehudah is in doubt, for why should one receive Malkus at all? He
might have transgressed no Isur!
ANSWER: The RASHBA answers that when the Gemara says, "Iy Peshita Lei" --
"If it is obvious to him [that one receives Malkus for eating the Gid of the
right side]," the Gemara is not actually questioning whether or not the
conclusion reached on the basis of the Beraisa (that it is obvious to Rebbi
Yehudah) is in fact the correct one. This conclusion has been decided
already and is no longer a matter for discussion. Rather, the intention of
the Gemara is that even though we must conclude from the Beraisa that it is
certain that the right Gid is Asur, it nevertheless remains difficult why he
does not receive two sets of Malkus, since he committed two separate
forbidden acts of eating with a warning for each one. (The RITVA adds that
it is clear that there were two warnings, because otherwise the Tana Kama
would not say that he receive two sets of Malkus.) (D. Bloom)
QUESTION: Rebbi Yosi b'Rebbi Chanina quotes the verse, "u'Tevo'ach Tevach
v'Hachen" (Bereishis 43:16), from which he derives that Yosef removed the
Gid ha'Nasheh before the eyes of his brothers when serving them meat. He
says that this verse supports the view that maintains that the Gid ha'Nasheh
is forbidden to Nochrim.
3) THE REQUIREMENT OF "NECHIRAH" FOR "NOCHRIM"
How does the conduct of Yosef prove that the Isur of Gid ha'Nasheh applies
to Nochrim? Rebbi Yosi also derives from the verse that Yosef showed his
brothers that he had slaughtered the animal properly, and yet we do not
infer from here that the requirement of Shechitah applies to Nochrim as
well! RASHI (DH u'Fara) explains that we do not infer from Yosef's conduct
regarding Shechitah that Shechitah applies to Nochrim, because the children
of Yakov observed the Mitzvos even though they were not yet commanded to do
so (this is in contrast to the opinion of the RAMBAN in Bereishis 26:5 and
Vayikra 18:25, who maintains that they observed the Mitzvos only in Eretz
Yisrael). If this is true, though, then how can the Gemara infer from
Yosef's conduct regarding Gid ha'Nasheh that the Isur of Gid ha'Nasheh
applies to Nochrim? Just as he observed the other Mitzvos of the Torah, he
also observed the Isur of Gid ha'Nasheh; it was not because he was a Nochri,
but because he was a son of Yakov! (TOSFOS DH k'Man)
(a) The MAHARAL (Chidushei Agados; Gur Aryeh to Bereishis 46:10) explains
that Rashi means to differentiate between a Mitzvas Aseh and a Lo Sa'aseh.
Rashi is saying that the Avos observed all of the Mitzvos Aseh before the
Torah was given, but not the Mitzvos Lo Sa'aseh. One is rewarded for
observing Mitzvos Aseh even when he is not obligated to observe them, but
there is no reward for observing a Lo Sa'aseh when one is not obligated to
do so. One is rewarded for refraining from an act only when that act is
forbidden; when there is no temptation to do the act, refraining from it is
not a cause for merit.
(b) Perhaps the Gemara's inference is not from the verse but from the
wording of Rebbi Yosi b'Rebbi Chanina who expounds the verse. When
discussing Shechitah, Rebbi Yosi explains that Yosef told his servants "to
reveal *for them* (Lahen) the slaughtered neck," which implies that he was
doing it only for them, for they observed the Torah as Jews. In contrast,
with regard to Gid ha'Nasheh he says that Yosef told his servants, "Remove
the Gid *in front of them* (Bifneihem)." He does not say "for them," which
would have implied that it was only for them that he was removing the Gid
ha'Nasheh. Rather, "in front of them" implies that he, too, as a Nochri (the
brothers did not know that he was Yosef) was obligated to observe the Isur.
(However, according to the Girsa of the DIKDUKEI SOFRIM here, who adds the
word "Bifneihem" so that the phrase reads, "Fera Lahen Beis ha'Shechitah
(c) TOSFOS (DH k'Man) offers two other answers. First, he suggests that the
word "v'Hachen" implies that it was an act that *must* be done in the
preparation of an animal, and it was not just a personal custom of the sons
(d) Second, Tosfos suggests that even as Nochrim, Yosef needed to show his
brothers the slaughtered neck. Although Nochrim are not required to perform
Shechitah, they must perform a Nechirah, an act of killing the animal (as
opposed to eating an animal that died on its own). (See following Insight
for a discussion of this answer.)
QUESTIONS: TOSFOS (DH k'Man) explains that Yosef showed his brothers the cut
in the slaughtered animal's neck because Benei Noach may eat only from an
animal to which Nechirah was performed. The animal must have died through
human intervention, and not on its own. RASHI (92b, DH b'Makulin) makes a
similar statement. He says that one of the Mitzvos that Benei Noach observe
even today is the Mitzvah not to eat meat from an animal that died by
itself. This implies that Nochrim are obligated to eat meat only from killed
4) THEIR MONEY IS MORE PRECIOUS THAN THEIR BODIES
(a) Where is it written that a Nochri is forbidden to eat meat without
(b) The Torah states, "You shall not eat anything that dies by itself
(Neveilah); you shall give it to the stranger who is in your gates, that he
may eat it, or you may sell it to a Nochri" (Devarim 14:21). This verse
clearly implies that a Nochri is permitted to eat an animal that died by
(a) There are several approaches to answer the first question.
1. The verse says, "Every moving thing that lives shall be food for you"
(Bereishis 9:3). The Pesikta Zutresa explains that this verse forbids Benei
Noach from eating Neveilah.
(b) The ROSH YOSEF explains that Tosfos does not mean to say that a Nochri
must perform Nechirah. Rather, he means merely that Yosef showed his
brothers that the animal was *dead* before its limbs were severed, and the
meat was not Ever Min ha'Chai, which Nochrim are forbidden from eating.
2. The verse in Devarim (14:21) that implies that a Nochri may eat a
Neveilah is referring to an animal that died through an invalid Shechitah,
but not to an animal that died by itself. This is explicit in the TARGUM
YONASAN who translates "Neveilah" as "d'Mekalkela b'Nichsa" ("[an animal
whose Kashrus] was ruined through an improper Shechitah").
Rashi (92b, DH b'Makulin) might also be referring only to the prohibition of
Ever Min ha'Chai. When he writes that Nochrim may not eat "Basar ha'Mes,"
the meat of an animal that died by itself, he may mean that the *meat*, but
not the animal, died by itself; that is, the limb was removed from the
animal when the animal was still alive. (Accordingly, "Basar ha'Mes" is an
expression that refers to Ever Min ha'Chai.) (M. Kornfeld, Z. Wainstein)
QUESTION: The Gemara says that we learn from the conduct of Yakov Avinu that
"the money of the righteous is more precious to them than their bodies."
What does this mean? Is it a good trait to be willing to give up one's life
for his money? (See RASHI to Bereishis 19:16.)
ANSWER: The Gemara in Berachos (61b) quotes a Beraisa in which Rebbi Eliezer
explains the meaning of verse (that we recite as part of Keri'as Shema),
"You shall love Hashem your G-d with all of your heart, with all of your
soul, and with all of your might (money)." Once the verse commands us to
love Hashem with all of our soul, why must it command us to love Him with
all of our money? Rebbi Eliezer explains that there are those who love their
bodies more than their money; to them the Torah says, "With all of your
soul." Others love their money more than their bodies; to them the Torah
says, "With all of your money."
The VILNA GA'ON asks why must the Torah address people who are not normal,
who find their money more dear to themselves than their own lives? The Vilna
Ga'on answers that Rebbi Eliezer is not explaining "b'Chol Nefshecha" to
refer to one's physical body. Rather, it refers to physical exertion. Some
people prefer to pay money than to exert themselves physically, while others
prefer to save money and exert themselves. (Rebbi Eliezer is not discussing
giving up one's life for the Mitzvos at all. When the Gemara in Pesachim
(25a), Yoma (82a), and Sanhedrin (74a) cites his words as a proof that one
must forfeit his life for the sake of the Torah, the proof is actually from
the continuation of the Beraisa, in which Rebbi Akiva explains the verse
differently.) (KOL ELIYAHU, Parshas Va'eschanan, from SHENOS ELIYAHU, end of
Berachos; see also NIFLA'OS ELIYAHU pp. 19-20.)
It is obvious that according to the Vilna Ga'on the statement that "the
money of the righteous is more precious to them than their bodies" should be
understood in a similar manner. Righteous people prefer to exert themselves
physically to attain their goals than to spend their hard-earned money and
avoid exerting themselves.
5) A TALMID CHACHAM SHOULD NOT GO OUT ALONE
QUESTION: Rebbi Yitzchak learns from the verse that says that Yitzchak was
left alone and was injured (Bereishis 32:25) that a Talmid Chacham should
not go out at night by himself. RASHI (91a, DH mi'Kan) implies that a Talmid
Chacham should not go out alone at night because of the risk of being harmed
(by the forces that roam at night).
6) RAV'S SOURCE THAT A TALMID CHACHAM SHOULD NOT GO OUT ALONE
Rashi later, however, gives a different reason. Rebbi Aba bar Kahana says
that we learn that a Talmid Chacham should not go out alone at night from
Naomi's advice to Ruth that she would find Boaz in the silo at night (Ruth
3:2). Rashi (DH Hineh) explains that Naomi told Ruth that she would find
Boaz in the silo because it was below his dignity as a Talmid Chacham to
walk home at night. Why does Rashi give a different reason here for why a
Talmid Chacham should not go out alone at night?
ANSWER: The MAHARSHA (91a, Chidushei Agados) explains that Rashi understands
that danger alone would not have prevented Boaz from going out at night and
returning to his home, since he could have taken his workers along with him.
Rashi therefore says that the reason he did not go out was because it was
below his dignity to go out at night, even when escorted, lest he be
suspected of engaging in immoral behavior at night. Similarly, as Rashi
explains (DH va'Yashkem), Avraham did not leave his home at night even with
an escort. (Z. Wainstein)
QUESTION: After quoting a number of sources for the warning that a Talmid
Chacham should not go out alone at night, the Gemara says that Rav derives
this rule from the verse, "va'Yizrach Lo ha'Shemesh" -- "The sun rose for
him... and he was limping on his thigh" (Bereishis 32:32).
7) AGADAH: THE FIGHT AMONG THE STONES
How does this verse imply that a Talmid Chacham should not go out alone at
night? If Rav learns this rule from the fact that Yakov was harmed by the
angel when he was left alone, then Rav merely is repeating the source of
Rebbi Yitzchak (91a)!
(a) The MAHARSHA explains that Rav's source is different from Rebbi
Yitzchak's. Rav is learning this rule from the words, "The sun rose for
him." Why does the verse emphasize that Hashem made the sun shine
specifically for Yakov? Hashem must have done this in order to protect
Yakov, who was traveling alone, from the harm caused by the Mazikim.
(b) The MAHARAM SHIF explains that Rav's source is not from the verse
itself, but rather from Rebbi Akiva's interpretation of the verse. According
to Rebbi Akiva, the sun set early in order for Yakov to go to sleep in Beis
El. This implies that Yakov would stop traveling at the moment the sun set.
Why would he stop traveling? It must be because he knew that a Talmid
Chacham should not travel alone at night.
(c) Perhaps Rav's source is from the conclusion of the Gemara later. The
Gemara later says that Hashem stood on the ladder in Yakov's dream, as it
were, in order to protect Yakov from being harmed by the jealous angels.
From here we see that a Talmid Chacham should be afraid of the jealousy of
angels, as Rashi mentions in Berachos (end of 54b, DH Chasan). (Although the
Gemara could have quoted the verse that describes Hashem's protection of
Yakov without quoting the lengthy Derashah about Yakov's dream, the Gemara
records the entire Derashah because the story of the dream is related to the
sun that rose for Yakov after his thigh was injured.) (M. Kornfeld)
QUESTION: The Gemara explains that the stones upon which Yakov slept fought
with each other for the privilege of being the stone upon which Yakov would
rest his head. Hashem therefore made all of the stones intone one.
8) "MAL'ACHIM" ASCENDING AND DESCENDING
Why was it so important to the stones to have Yakov rest his head upon them?
(a) The MESILAS YESHARIM explains that when a Tzadik uses an object to do a
Mitzvah, he elevates both himself and the object. The stones fought because
each one wanted to be used by Yakov in order to be elevated by him.
(b) The RAMBAN (Bereishis 28:17) quotes from Pirkei d'Rebbi Eliezer that
Yakov took the twelve stones which comprised the Mizbe'ach on which the
Akeidah took place and placed them by his head. This symbolizes that he
would give birth to twelve tribes (in the merit of the Akeidah). Their
fusion into one stone symbolized that the twelve tribes would form one
QUESTION: The Gemara says that the ladder in Yakov's dream was wide enough
to contain four Mal'achim at the same level -- two Mal'achim ascending and
two descending. This implies that the Mal'achim that were going up were not
the same ones that were going down. Similarly, RASHI (to Bereishis 28:12)
explains that the Mal'achim of Eretz Yisrael who had escorted Yakov were
going up, while the Mal'achim of Chutz la'Aretz were coming down to escort
him in Chutz la'Aretz.
9) AGADAH: "THE LAND UPON WHICH YOU ARE LYING"
However, the Gemara later quotes a Beraisa that asserts that the Mal'achim
went up the ladder, saw the image of a man (whose countenance resembled
Yakov) on the Merkavah of Hashem, and then came down to see the countenance
of Yakov in this world. This implies that the Mal'achim who ascended were
the ones who descended!
ANSWER: TOSFOS (DH Olin) explains that the two statements indeed argue with
each other concerning this point. The MAHARSHA points out that the Midrash
on this verse cites two opinions that clearly argue whether the same pair
went up and down or whether there were two different pairs of Mal'achim. (Z.
QUESTION: Hashem promised Yakov that He would give him the land on which he
was lying, for himself and for his descendants (Bereishis 28:13). The Gemara
explains that the entire land of Eretz Yisrael was folded up underneath him,
"in order that it be easier for his descendants to conquer." How did this
make it easier for his descendants to conquer the land?
(a) The ROGATCHOVER GA'ON in TZAFNAS PANE'ACH (to Bereishis 28:13) explains
that this was the method by which Yakov acquired the legal rights of
ownership of Eretz Yisrael. The RASHBAM in Bava Basra (53b) rules that one
who makes a bed and lies down on a piece of ownerless land thereby makes a
Kinyan and the land becomes his.
(b) The RAMBAN (Bereishis 12:6) explains that a prophecy which is
accompanied by a physical act symbolic of that prophecy is a "more certain"
prophecy. This explains why Hashem had Yakov sleep on the entire land of
Eretz Yisrael "in order that it be easier for his descendants to conquer."
The RAN (Derashah #11) explains that there are two types of prophecy that
need to be made "more certain" in such a manner. The first type is a
prophecy that was told personally to the Navi and was not given to him to
deliver to the people. This is the case with the prophecies of the Avos. The
second type is a negative prophecy, one that foretells doom.