THOUGHTS ON THE DAILY DAF
brought to you by Kollel Iyun Hadaf of Har Nof
Rosh Kollel: Rav Mordecai Kornfeld
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YOMA 59-88 have been dedicated to the memory of the late Dr. Simcha
Bekelnitzky (Simcha Gedalya ben Shraga Feibush) of Queens N.Y. by his wife
and daughters. Well known in the community for his Chesed and Tzedakah, he
will long be remembered.
1) GIVING AN "ISUR" TO A SICK PERSON
OPINIONS: The Mishnah says that we are permitted to feed any type of food,
even that which is forbidden, to someone who has become ill with "Bulmus," a
dangerous illness which results from hunger (Rashi). The Gemara cites a
Beraisa which says that when there is no permissible food available and the
only choice is to feed him a very severe Isur or a less severe Isur, we feed
him the less severe Isur. For example, if the only foods that are available
are a food which is Tevel and another food which is Neveilah, we feed him
the Neveilah, because Neveilah is only forbidden with a Lav and is
punishable with Malkus, while Tevel is punishable with Misah b'Yidei
Shamayim. This Halachah applies to any sick person in mortal danger.
According to this straightforward rule, it would seem that in a case where
the choice is giving the sick person Neveilah to eat and desecrating Shabbos
(to properly slaughter an animal), we should give him Neveilah to eat,
because Neveilah is only forbidden with a Lav, while desecrating Shabbos is
forbidden with Sekilah. However, the Rishonim rule otherwise and say that it
is preferable to desecrate Shabbos rather than to feed him Neveilah. (This
is also implied by the Gemara in Chulin (14b) which permits slaughtering an
animal for a sick person on Shabbos and does not specifically limit that
allowance to when there is no gentile available to kill the animal.) Why
should this be so? It seems to contradict the ruling of our Gemara.
(a) The RA'AVAD (cited by the ROSH and the RAN) explains that the allowance
to give a sick person an Isur to eat applies to the specific Isur that is
keeping him from eating the food. When, on Shabbos, a person needs to eat
because of Piku'ach Nefesh, it is not the fact that a Neveilah is prohibited
that is preventing him from eating. Rather, it is the Isur of slaughtering
an animal on Shabbos that is stopping him from eating, since if it were not
Shabbos he would simply slaughter an animal and eat it. Therefore it is the
Isur of slaughtering on Shabbos which is pushed aside for the sake of the
The RAN, however, takes issue with the Ra'avad's ruling. If there is a
Neveilah available on Shabbos, then *both* the Isur of Neveilah and the Isur
of slaughtering on Shabbos stand in his way of eating. Why should the Isur
of Neveilah not be pushed aside -- it is the less severe Isur!
Perhaps the Ra'avad means that an Isur which applies only at certain times
(or in a limited fashion) is always pushed aside before an Isur that is
constant. We view the limited Isur as the Isur that is standing in his way,
since it "didn't have to be there." Therefore, the Isur of slaughtering on
Shabbos must be pushed aside before the Isur of eating a Neveilah. (M.
(b) The ROSH gives an entirely different reason why it is permitted to
slaughter an animal for a sick person on Shabbos instead of feeding him
Neveilah. He says that if we give Neveilah to the sick person, he might not
eat it because he is so disgusted by it, and his life will be in more
danger. Therefore, it is better to slaughter an animal for him.
(c) The RAN explains that in this case, the Isur of Neveilah *is* more
severe than the Isur of slaughtering on Shabbos. When the sick person eats
Neveilah, he transgresses another Lav with each additional k'Zayis of meat
that he eats, whereas when a person performs Shechitah on Shabbos, he
transgresses an Isur Kares only once. Therefore, it is preferably to
slaughter an animal on Shabbos for the sick person than to feed him
2) THE REASON FOR THE PROHIBITION OF SEPARATING TERUMOS AND MA'ASEROS ON
QUESTION: The Gemara says that it is prohibited mid'Rabanan to separate
Terumah and Ma'aseros on Shabbos because doing so involves "Tiltul Muktzah,"
handling Muktzah (because Tevel is Muktzah). Why does the Gemara say that
the reason is because of Tiltul? The Gemara in Beitzah (37a) implies that
the reason is because of a Gezeirah to prevent one from conducting business
transactions (Mekach u'Memker), because when one is Makdish an item to
Hekdesh, one transfers its ownership to Hekdesh. Separating Terumos and
Ma'aseros is also prohibited for that reason. RASHI in Beitzah (9a, DH Ochel
v'Holech) gives another reason to prohibit it; he says that the act of
separating Terumos makes the produce edible, and thus it is prohibited
because it appears like one is fixing an item (Metaken). Why does the Gemara
here say that it is prohibited because of Tiltul? (GILYON HA'SHAS of Rebbi
Akiva Eiger -- Rebbi Akiva Eiger refers to the Gemara in Yevamos (93a) which
also prohibits separating Terumah and Ma'aser because of "Tiltul.")
3) THE MAD DOG AND LASHON HA'RA
ANSWER: The TOSFOS YOM HA'KIPURIM says that both prohibitions exist. The
Isur of Metaken is necessary for a case when one does not need to pick up or
handle the Tevel (such as when the fruit is already separated into two
piles, and one merely has to designate one of the piles as the Terumah
fruits), in which case there is no Tiltul.
Why, though, does the Gemara mention the smaller problem of Tiltul, if
Metaken is all-encompassing and applies in every case?
The Gemara is saying that the although the Isur d'Rabanan of Tiltul is a
very strong Isur which is on par with an Isur d'Oraisa (as the TOSFOS
YESHANIM says in Beitzah 3b), nevertheless it is certainly preferable to
transgress that Isur than to transgress an Isur d'Oraisa. In contrast, it
goes without saying that the Isurim of Metaken and Mekach u'Memkar are
certainly pushed aside in order not to transgress an Isur d'Oraisa. The
point the Gemara is making is that we should not think that Tiltul, which is
Asur mi'Divrei Kabalah (Shabbos 123b), is considered equivalent to an Isur
d'Oraisa. The same logic applies to the Gemara in Yevamos that Rebbi Akiva
Eiger quotes, which is trying to prove that the Isur of separating Terumah
is entirely Rabbinic and has no source in the Torah. (M. Kornfeld)
AGADAH: The Beraisa lists five characteristics of a mad dog, so that one
will know when he sees one to stay far away from it. Those characteristics
are (1) its mouth hangs open and (2) spittle drips down, (3) its ears hang
low, (4) its tail rests between its legs, (5) it walks along the far side of
the road, and some add that it barks but its voice is not heard.
Shmuel says that the danger of a mad dog is the Ru'ach Ra'ah that rests upon
it. The Gemara cites a Beraisa in support of Shmuel. The Beraisa says that
when one attempts to kill a mad dog, he must only do so from afar (such as
by throwing something at it), so that he not be harmed by the Ru'ach Ra'ah
that rests on the dog. The Beraisa continues and says that one who rubs
against a mad dog will become endangered, and his only remedy is to throw
off his clothes immediately and run away. If a person is bitten by a mad
dog, the person will surely die (Abaye, though, describes an antidote to the
bite of a mad dog).
The CHAFETZ CHAIM (in SHEMIRAS HA'LASHON, Sha'ar ha'Zechirah, ch. 4) cites
the Midrash (Yalkut Shimoni, Parshas Ki Setzei) which compares one who
speaks Lashon ha'Ra to a person who is bitten by a mad dog. The Chafetz
Chaim points out that just like our Gemara says that there is no remedy for
the bite of a mad dog, similarly the Gemara in Erchin (16b) says that one
who is accustomed to speaking Lashon ha'Ra, G-d forbid, has no atonement.
Why, though, is someone who speaks Lashon ha'Ra compared specifically to
someone who was bitten by a mad dog?
The Chafetz Chaim shows how one who speaks Lashon ha'Ra has all of the
attributes of a mad dog as described in our Gemara. When a person is bitten
by a mad dog, the Ru'ach Ra'ah that rests on the dog and causes it to have
the above-mentioned characteristics rests on the person, giving the person
all of the attributes of the mad dog. Someone who speaks Lashon ha'Ra also
has those attributes, as if a Ru'ach Ra'ah rests upon him.
(1) His mouth hangs open. Similarly, the mouth of the person who speaks
Lashon ha'Ra is always open, waiting to find a listener, no matter who it
might be, to listen to his gossip.
(2) His spittle drips down. The dog is always angry and is ready to attack
anyone it meets up with, as is indicated by his constantly dripping spittle.
So, too, the person who speaks Lashon ha'Ra is eager to speak about anyone
who comes up in conversation. In addition, the spittle of a dog is most
disgusting, especially that of a mad dog, and it the mad dog leaves a path
of spittle behind wherever it goes. So, too, the disgusting speech of the
person who speaks Lashon ha'Ra leaves its impact wherever he goes.
(3) Its ears hang low. By hanging its ears, the mad dog makes himself look
uninterested in attacking anyone. That way, no one will be afraid to come
near the dog, and he will be able to pounce on his unexpecting prey. For the
same reason (4) its tail rests between its legs; it walks slowly and does
not run excitedly. Likewise, (5) it walks along the far side of the road so
that it appears to be walking far from the central flow of people and is
uninterested in anyone. Some add that it barks but its voice is not heard --
this is another guise that it engages in order for people to think that it
is a quiet, happy, kind-hearted dog, so that no one will take any measures
of caution when they see it, assuming it to be a harmless canine. And then
it viciously attacks its victim.
The same attributes exist in one who speaks Lashon ha'Ra. He walks humbly,
away from other people, so that they think he is not interested in their
affairs and that he is not one who goes around spreading gossip.
Furthermore, when he speaks Lashon ha'Ra, he does it in such a sly way that
at first, it is not evident that any Lashon ha'Ra is being spoken. His ears
are down as if he is not listening to anyone else's business, and he walks
along as if he is minding his own business, all so that no one will put up
their guard when he comes to attack with his vicious Lashon ha'Ra. And just
like some say that a mad dog barks and no voice is heard, the one who speaks
Lashon ha'Ra does damage that is not noticeable right away, for he speaks in
private about a person.
Just like one who rubs against a mad dog must immediately throw off his
clothes and run away, one who comes near someone known to speak Lashon ha'Ra
should run away immediately, even at the cost of much embarrassment.