THOUGHTS ON THE DAILY DAF
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1) HALACHAH: DRINKING "MEI RAGLAYIM" OF A DONKEY
OPINIONS: Rav Sheshes was asked if it is permitted to drink the Mei
Raglayim of a donkey. The Gemara explains that since the Mei Raglayim is
thick and resembles milk, perhaps this shows that it was formed from the
body of the animal and is forbidden. On the other hand, perhaps the Mei
Raglayim is nothing more than water than the animal drank and expelled and
thus is permitted. The fact that the Mei Raglayim is thick is merely
because of the heat (and decay, as Rashi explains) of the animal's flesh.
(The CHAZON ISH (YD 12:6) explains that the reason it should be forbidden
is not because the water that the animal drank became mixed with its body
fluids, but rather because the water entered the body and merged with the
body, becoming part of it. When it later exits the body, it is considered
as something that is "Yotzei Min ha'Tamei," something that emerges from a
forbidden animal, which is therefore forbidden itself. On the other hand,
perhaps it does not absorb properly into the body, and thus it is like
water that enters and exits and is permitted.)
In the Gemara's first version of his answer, Rav Sheshes replies that the
Mishnah implies that since the Mei Raglayim emerges from a "Min," species,
of non-Kosher animal, it is forbidden even though it was not actually
absorbed into the animal. (See RASHI to 7b, DH mi'Tamei and DH v'Hachi
In the Gemara's second version, the Gemara says that there was never any
question whether the Mei Raglayim of horses and camels is permitted. Such
Mei Raglayim is unfit for human consumption and is never consumed, and
thus it is not considered a food and is not prohibited. The question
involves only the Mei Raglayim of a donkey. Since some people drink this
liquid, and since it has medicinal properties (it is used to cure
jaundice), perhaps it is considered a food and is thus prohibited. Rav
Sheshes answers that it indeed is prohibited.
What is the Halachah with regard to the Mei Raglayim of a donkey?
(a) The RAMBAM (Hilchos Ma'achalos Asuros 4:20) rules that Mei Raglayim of
a donkey is *permitted* to drink. The RA'AVAD disagrees, pointing out that
the Gemara here clearly concludes that it is forbidden.
HALACHAH: The SHULCHAN ARUCH (YD 81:1) cites both opinions. However, since
he cites the stringent opinion first, this implies that he rules in
accordance with that opinion (see SHACH, end of YD 242, Kitzur b'Hanhagos
The MAGID MISHNEH explains the Rambam's position. The Rambam does not rule
like Rav Sheshes, because the Halachah follows the opinion that only what
emerges from the flesh of the non-Kosher animal is forbidden; the Mei
Raglayim does not emerge from the flesh, but rather it merely passes
through the body. Proof for this ruling is the statement of Rav Huna (7b)
that the "skin opposite the face" of a donkey is permitted, because it is
"Pirsha b'Alma," it is like waste material that is not considered part of
the donkey. RASHI (DH Or) explains that this "skin" is a form of placenta
in which the donkey is born. It is apparent from here that the Halachah
does not follow Rav Sheshes, who inferred from the Mishnah that even
something that does not actually emerge from the flesh itself is also
(b) Most Poskim, however, rule like Rav Sheshes that Mei Raglayim of a
donkey is forbidden.
The SHACH (end of YD 81:3) points out that the Gemara's discussion
involves only the status of Kashrus of the Mei Raglayim. In practice, it
is prohibited to drink Mei Raglayim because of the Isur of "Bal Teshaktzu"
(Vayikra 11:43, 20:25), the prohibition against doing repulsive practices
(see Insights to Makos 16:3 regarding the nature of this Isur).
The Shach (YD 81:2) also writes that even a sick person is forbidden to
drink Mei Raglayim of a non-Kosher animal unless his life is in danger.
The Shach asserts that it is clear from the Gemara that even though some
people (presumably Nochrim) drink the Mei Raglayim as a cure for jaundice
(which apparently is not a life-threatening condition), it is prohibited
for a Jew to do so. The Gemara mentions that some people drink the Mei
Raglayim as a cure for jaundice only in order to prove that it has the
status of a food that is fit for consumption (in contrast to the Mei
Raglayim of horses and camels). Since the Gemara concludes that it is
forbidden, it follows that it is forbidden even in order to cure jaundice.
However, the Shach cites the BACH who quotes the MORDECHAI (Shabbos #383)
who says that a sick person whose life is not in danger is permitted to
drink the Mei Raglayim of a donkey. The Shach points out that the
Mordechai there actually says that "since some people drink it for
jaundice, it is [considered a food and thus is] forbidden."
The PRI MEGADIM (Sifsei Da'as 81:2) refutes the Shach's proof from the
Gemara that it is forbidden to drink Mei Raglayim of a donkey to cure
jaundice. Perhaps when the Gemara says that some people drink it for
jaundice, and then says that it is forbidden, the Gemara means that some
people drink it as a *preventative* measure against contracting jaundice.
This is implied by the words, "u'Ma'alu l'Yarkona," which mean, "and it is
good (healthy) for jaundice," suggesting that it is healthy people who
drink it as a preventative measure. It might be permitted, though, to
drink it in order to cure jaundice. (See also Sifsei Da'as YD 103:2, and
CHAZON ISH YD 12:6, DH v'Ha.) (D. Bloom)
2) HALACHAH: A NON-KOSHER FISH FOUND INSIDE A KOSHER FISH
QUESTION: The Mishnah states that when a Kosher fish swallowed a
non-Kosher fish, the non-Kosher fish remains forbidden to be eaten.
TOSFOS (DH Dag Tahor) asks that the Mishnah in Ohalos (11:7) teaches that
when a bird or fish eats a k'Zayis of flesh from a dead person, the flesh
inside of the bird or fish is no longer Tamei once enough time passes such
that had the flesh fallen into a fire, it would have been completely
destroyed. In that amount of time, the flesh becomes digested and no
longer exists. Accordingly, the non-Kosher fish that was swallowed by the
Kosher fish should also become nullified by being digested in the stomach
of the Kosher fish!
3) HALACHAH: A KOSHER FISH FOUND INSIDE A NON-KOSHER FISH
(a) TOSFOS answers that while digestion nullifies Tum'ah, it cannot
nullify an Isur.
HALACHAH: Tosfos points out that this issue has additional practical
relevance. What is the Halachah in a case in which a chicken is
slaughtered and cooked on Pesach, and a grain of wheat found in the
stomach of the cooked chicken? According to the first answer of Tosfos,
the chicken is forbidden. According to the second answer, if the time
period for digestion has passed, then the chicken is permitted.
The SHULCHAN ARUCH (YD 83:10) writes that a non-Kosher fish found inside a
Kosher fish is forbidden, and he makes no distinction between whether the
time for digestion has passed or not. He apparently follows the view of
the first answer of Tosfos.
(b) RABEINU TAM cited by Tosfos says that the Mishnah in Ohalos is
expressing the view of Rebbi Shimon. Rebbi Yehudah ben Beseirah argues and
says that a 24-hour period is required for digestion. The Mishnah here is
expressing the view of Rebbi Yehudah ben Beseirah, and it is discussing a
case in which the 24-hour time period for digestion has not passed.
(c) The ROSH quotes RABEINU MOSHE of PONTOISE who answers that food is
considered digested only when it has been chewed. If it was swallowed
whole, then it is not considered to be digested.
QUESTION: The Mishnah states that when a non-Kosher fish swallowed a
Kosher fish, the Kosher fish remains permitted to be eaten.
Why, though, is the inner fish not forbidden because of the rule of
"Yotzei Min ha'Tamei" -- anything that comes from a non-Kosher animal is
also non-Kosher? This rule prohibits the urine of a non-Kosher animal,
even though it is nothing more than water that has passed through the
animal's body, as Rav Sheshes rules earlier. (TOSFOS DH Rov)
(a) TOSFOS explains that secretions of a non-Kosher animal (which are not
produced by the animal but simply pass through it) become prohibited only
when they *leave* the body of the animal. This fish was found *inside* of
a non-Kosher fish, and it never was discharged by the host fish.
HALACHAH: The Halachah follows the view of Rav Ashi, who rules that even
when one did not see the non-Kosher fish swallow the Kosher fish, it may
be eaten, because we assume that the reason why the Kosher fish is inside
of the non-Kosher fish is because it was eaten, and not because it grew
there. Since most fish breed their own type, it is unlikely that the
Kosher fish was bred by the non-Kosher fish. This is the way TOSFOS, the
ROSH, and the SHULCHAN ARUCH (YD 83:9) rule.
(b) Tosfos answers further that the Kosher fish certainly has no physical
connection at all to the non-Kosher fish in which it was found. Rather,
just as it entered, it left. In contrast, excretions such as urine pick up
fluids from the body of the non-Kosher animal, and it is these fluids that
prohibit the urine.
The SHACH (YD 83:9) permits the fish even when it is found inside the
*womb* of the non-Kosher fish (which indicates that it was bred by the
non-Kosher fish). However, the TAZ and PRI CHADASH forbid the fish in such
a case, because its presence in the womb indicates that the non-Kosher
fish produced it; it is not possible to get inside the womb through the