BACKGROUND TO THE DAILY DAF
in memory of Reb David ben Aharon Ha'Levi Rosenwald z"l
Rosh Kollel: Rabbi Mordecai Kornfeld
[17a - 37 lines; 17b - 36 lines]
1) [line 2] "כי ירחק ממך המקום אשר יבחר ה' אלקיך לשום שמו שם, וזבחת מבקרך ומצאנך" "KI YIRCHAK MIMCHA HA'MAKOM ASHER YIVCHAR HASH-M ELOKECHA LA'SUM SHEMO SHAM, V'ZAVACHTA MI'BEKARCHA UMI'TZONCHA" - "If the place which HaSh-m your Elokim has chosen to put His Name there is too far from you, then you shall slaughter of your herd and of your flock [which HaSh-m has given you, as I have commanded you, and you shall eat in your gates, to your heart's desire.]" (Devarim 12:21)
2) [line 5] בשר נחירה BESAR NECHIRAH - meat that comes from an animal that was killed through Nechirah (NECHIRAH)
Nechirah refers to killing an animal not by Shechitah, by rather by sticking a knife into its nostrils ("Necherei") and cutting its throat, all the way down to its chest (RASHI here, DH ve'Hanocher, and to Bava Kama 78b DH ha'Nocher). (Although Rashi later (85b, DH Nochro) explains that Nechirah involves "strangling" the animal, it is clear from Rashi's words on the Mishnah (15b, DH she'Hem) that "strangling" refers to any form of asphyxiation, including the tearing of the animal's trachea. See also ARUCH (Erech Nachar), and RASHBA in Teshuvos (3:363).)
3) [line 13] "ושחט את בן הבקר..." "V'SHACHAT ES BEN HA'BAKAR [LIFNEI HASH-M V'HIKRIVU BENEI AHARON HA'KOHANIM ES HA'DAM...]" - "And he shall slaughter the bull [before HaSh-m, and the sons of Aharon, the Kohanim, shall bring the blood...]" (Vayikra 1:5). From this verse, written with regard to the Korbanos of the dedication ceremony of the Mishkan, that the Mitzvah of Shechitah was given in the Midbar.
4) [line 15] "הצאן ובקר ישחט להם" "HA'TZON U'VAKAR YISHACHET LAHEM" - "Shall sheep and cattle be slaughtered for them?!" (Bamidbar 11:22) - Moshe Rabeinu spoke these words when HaSh-m told him that in response to the complaints of the people, He would give them meat to eat "until it comes out of your nose" (11:2). We see from here that the Mitzvah of Shechitah was given in the Midbar.
5) [line 17] נחירה שלהן זו היא שחיטתן NECHIRAH SHELAHEN ZU HI SHECHITASAN - their Nechirah (see above, entry #2) is their Shechitah (that is, before the Mitzvah of Shechitah was given, the act of Nechirah served as the proper manner of slaughtering an animal)
6) [line 18] השוחט ונתנבלה בידו HA'SHOCHET V'NISNABLAH B'YADO - one who slaughters an animal and causes it to become a Neveilah (for example, the knife was blemished)
7) [line 19] והמעקר VEHA'ME'AKER - and one who tears apart the Simanim and detaches them from their root, killing the animal
8) [line 20] הואיל ואיתסר איתסר HO'IL V'ITSAR ITSAR - since it has become forbidden [to eat], it is forbidden [and there is no requirement to perform the Mitzvah of Kisuy ha'Dam, covering the animal's blood after Shechitah]
9) [line 22] "אך כאשר יאכל את הצבי ואת האיל, כן תאכלנו" "ACH KA'ASHER YE'ACHEL ES HA'TZEVI V'ES HA'AYAL KEN TOCHALENU..." - "Just as the deer and the gazelle are eaten, so may you eat it..." (Devarim 12:22)
10) [line 27] בשבע שכבשו B'SHEVA SHE'KAVSHU - during the seven years that they conquered the land. In the times of Yehoshua, it took seven years for the Jewish people to conquer Eretz Yisrael. It took another seven years to divide it among the tribes.
11) [line 27] דבר טמא אישתרי להו DAVAR TAMEI ISHTERI LEHU - a non-Kosher food was permitted to them (see Insights)
12) [line 28] "ובתים מלאים כל טוב" "U'VATIM MELE'IM KOL TUV" - "And houses filled with everything good" (Devarim 6:11)
13) [line 28] כתלי דחזירי KASLEI D'CHAZIREI - (O.F. bacons) bacon (dried pieces of meat from the sides of swine)
14) [line 30] שלל של עובדי כוכבים SHALAL SHEL OVDEI KOCHAVIM - the spoils of the idolaters
15) [line 30] תיקו TEIKU
The Pri Megadim (in his Igeres preceding his introduction to Orach Chaim, #9) quotes and discusses various explanations for the word Teiku:
1. It is sealed in its container ("Tik") (ARUCH, Erech Tik).
2. Tehei Ka'i - "Let it (the question) stand" (MUSAF HA'ARUCH).
3. Tishbi Yetaretz Kushyos v'Ibayos - "Eliyahu ha'Navi will answer difficulties and questions" (TOSFOS YOM TOV, end of Eduyos).
16a) [line 31] שנית SHANISA - it was taught
b) [line 31] מאי משנית ליה MAI MESHANIS LEI - why is it taught
17) [last line] פגם ושדר PAGAM V'SHADAR - he blemished a knife (with a certain type of nick) and he sent it (to Eretz Yisrael to be examined, in order to learn what types of nicks invalidate the knife for Shechitah)
18) [last line] שלחו ליה SHALCHU LEI - they sent back to him
19) [last line] כמגירה שנינו KI'MEGEIRAH SHANINU - we have learned [that the type of nick in a knife that invalidates the knife] is like a saw. This means that the outer point of the indentation in the blade can be felt by running one's fingernail from the beginning of the blade (near the handle) to the end of the blade, and the inner point of the indentation can be felt as well by running one's fingernail in the opposite direction (RASHI; see illustration in SEFER SICHAS CHULIN, p. 20)
20) [line 1] פגימות PEGIMOS - nicks
21a) [line 2] אוגרת OGERES - a knife with a nick that catches the fingernail in either direction (see entry #19)
b) [line 3] מסוכסכת MESUCHSECHES - (O.F. enmesler) a knife with a nick that catches the fingernail only in one direction (the rest of the blade is filed down such that the bottom of the nick does not rise suddenly, but rises slowly at an incline until the end of the knife (see illustration in SEFER SICHAS CHULIN, p. 21) (RASHI; see, however, explanation of the RIF according to the ROSH, and the RIF according to the RAN, as illustrated in SEFER SICHAS CHULIN, p. 25-26)
22a) [line 4] אוגרת משתי רוחות OGERES MI'SHTEI RUCHOS - it is nicked (lit. it catches/gathers [the fingernail]) from two sides
b) [line 5] מסוכסכת מרוח אחת MESUCHSECHES ME'RU'ACH ACHAS - it is nicked (lit. it snares [the fingernail]) from one side
23a) [line 6] מחליש MACHLISH - (O.F. atenvist) it thins [the hide and flesh above the Simanim]
b) [line 7] בזע BAZA - tears
24) [line 7] חורפא דסכינא CHURFA D'SAKINA - the sharpness of the knife
25) [line 12] עולה ויורד בסכין OLEH V'YORED B'SAKIN - the blade rises and falls (the blade is curved either in a concave or convex manner)
26) [line 16] דמיא לסאסאה DAMYA L'SASE'AH - similar to the bristles (O.F. areste) of a grain kernel, the edges of which are rough (O.F. aspre)
27) [line 17] "[ויאמר, 'פצו בעם ואמרתם להם, 'הגישו אלי איש שורו ואיש שיהו,] ושחטתם בזה ואכלתם, [ולא תחטאהו לה' לאכול אל הדם'.' ויגשו כל העם איש שורו בידו הלילה, וישחטו שם.]" "[VA'YOMER SHAUL, 'PUTZU BA'AM VA'AMARTEM LAHEM, 'HAGISHU ELAI ISH SHORO V'ISH SEYO,] U'SHECHATETEM BAZEH VA'ACHALTEM, [V'LO SECHET'U LA'SH-M LE'ECHOL EL HA'DAM'.' VA'YAGISHU CHOL HA'AM ISH SHORO B'YADO HA'LAILAH, VA'YISHCHATU SHAM.]" - "[And Shaul said, 'Scatter among the people and say to them, 'Each man should bring to me his ox and each man his lamb,] and you shall slaughter them with this and you shall eat them, [and not sin to HaSh-m to eat on the blood'.' And every man of the nation brought his ox with him that night, and they slaughtered there.]" (Shmuel I 14:34) (When the People "Ate on the Blood")
(a) The army of King Shaul had fought intensely all day, and succeeded in a tremendous victory over the Pelishtim. Moreover, Shaul had forbidden them under oath from eating all day. As a result, the people were ravenous, so they took some of the sheep and cattle that they had captured from the Pelishtim and slaughtered them.
(b) Rashi suggests that the sin to which the verse refers is that of slaughtering a mother animal and her baby on the same day. Chazal explain it literally: after declaring the animals Shelamim, they proceeded to slaughter them and eat them immediately before the blood had been sprinkled. That explains why Shaul called for a boulder to be set up, which he turned into a Bamah, on which he began to sprinkle the blood of the animals that they subsequently slaughtered before they had a chance to eat them.
(c) The Gemara here derives from the words, "u'Shechatetem Bazeh" - "and you shall slaughter them with this," that Shaul examined a knife before the Shechitah. From this we learn the obligation to examine a knife before it is used for Shechitah.
28) [line 20] אסמכתא בעלמא הוא ASMACHTA B'ALMA HU - it is merely an Asmachta (ASMACHTA)
(a) At times, when Chazal make a Derashah (extrapolate a Halachah or other teaching) from a word in the Torah, it happens that the Halachah or teaching is not mid'Oraisa at all, but rather mid'Rabanan. When this happens, the Gemara usually states that the Halachah is mid'Rabanan, and "Kera Asmachta b'Alma," i.e. that the verse is only cited as a "support" for the Halachah mid'Rabanan, but its source is not actually from the Torah. (TOSFOS to Bava Basra 66b DH Michlal d'She'ivah writes that in many instances, Derashos of Chazal in the Midreshei Halachah, such as Toras Kohanim, which appear to be from the Torah, are only Asmachta'os.)
(b) A second type of Asmachta applies even to a Halachah which actually is mid'Oraisa. When Chazal find a hint in the Torah to a Halachah that has its basis in the Oral Tradition, they call this an Asmachta as well (Eruvin 5a, Chulin 77a).
(c) The Rishonim argue as to the reason why Chazal, in these instances, used verses to support their teachings.
1. From the words of the RAMBAM (Introduction to his Perush ha'Mishnayos) it appears that Asmachta'os are only mnemonic devices. (It is possible that he writes this only with regard to the latter type of Asmachta, Asmachta'os for Isurei Torah.)
2. MAHARIL (in Likutei Maharil) writes that Chazal used the device of Asmachta in order to make people regard certain Halachos mid'Rabanan as if they were actually mid'Oraisa, so that they should not treat them lightly.
3. The RITVA (to Rosh Hashanah 16a, see Be'er ha'Golah of the MAHARAL, Be'er #1) states that when Chazal present an Asmachta, it means that the Torah meant to suggest that it is fitting to implement such a Halachah, but that it did not choose to make it obligatory. The Torah empowered the Chachamim to enact it should the need for it arise. Similarly, the SHELAH (in Torah she'Be'al Peh, entry titled "Rabanan") writes that when the Chachamim utilized a hint from a verse, it means that they learned a particular approach of reasoning from this verse. Accordingly, it appeared to them that there was a need to decree this particular Halachah.
4. The MESHECH CHOCHMAH (Parshas Shoftim) claims that when Chazal present an Asmachta, it means that after Chazal instituted a particular Halachah or enacted a particular decree, they studied the Torah and found that the Torah had already hinted to that future decree in its eternal wisdom.
(d) There are those who write that a Halachah mid'Rabanan that is learned from an Asmachta, and which has a hint in the apparent meaning of the verses, is more stringent than an Isur mid'Rabanan for which an Asmachta from the Torah is not offered. These Halachos were given the status of Halachos of the Torah in certain respects, for example, with regard to the requirement to be stringent in the case of a Safek (PRI MEGADIM, Introduction to Shulchan Aruch Orach Chayim 1:2:d)
29) [line 20] במערבא B'MA'ARAVA - in Eretz Yisrael (lit. in the west)
30) [line 20] בדקי לה בשימשא BADKEI LAH B'SHIMSHA - they examine it (the knife) in the sun, either (a) by holding it up to the sun to see if there are any nicks in the blade through which the sun's light passes, or (b) by holding it in the sun and looking at the shadow that it makes to see if there are any nicks in the blade through which the sun's light passes (RASHI)
31) [line 20] בנהרדעא B'NEHARDE'A - in Neharde'a, a town in Babylon, seat of the Yeshiva founded by Shmuel
32) [line 20] בדקו לה במיא BADKU LAH B'MAYA - they examine it (the knife) in water, either (a) by running the blade over water, to see if there are any nicks that make grooves in the water as the blade moves, or (b) by holding the blade upwards and placing drops of water with one's finger on the end of the blade, to see if the water flows down to the other end of the blade and does not get caught in a nick (RASHI)
33) [line 22] צריכא בדיקה אבישרא ואטופרא ואתלתא רוחתא TZERICHAH BEDIKAH A'BISRA V'A'TUFRA V'A'TELASA RAVCHASA - [the knife] needs to be examined on the flesh (of the finger), and on the nail, and on three sides (the blade, and the two sides of the blade)
34) [line 30] יישר וכן אמר רב כהנא YEYASHER V'CHEN AMAR RAV KAHANA - "You did well, and so said Rav Kahana!"
35) [line 31] ליבן סכין LIBEN SAKIN - a person heats up a knife until it is white-hot
36) [line 33] מרווח רווח MIRVACH RAVACH - [the incision in the neck] widens [as the knife goes in, and only the edge of the blade touches the Simanim, and not the sides]
37) [line 34] שלש פגימות הן SHALOSH PEGIMOS HEN - there are three types of nicks (that are judged with the same size)
38) [line 34] פגימת עצם בפסח PEGIMAS ETZEM BA'PESACH - a nick of a bone of the Korban Pesach (that constitutes a transgression of the prohibition against breaking a bone of the Korban Pesach; see Background to Chulin 11:16)
39) [line 35] פגימת אוזן בבכור PEGIMAS OZEN BI'VECHOR - a nick in the ear of a first-born animal (BECHOR)
(a) The Kedushah of Bechor rests on every first-born male of an ox, goat or sheep when it comes out of its mother's womb. Nevertheless, there is a Mitzvah for a person to sanctify it himself (Erchin 29a, based on Devarim 15:19). He must then give it to a Kohen; it may not be redeemed.
(b) If the animal has no Mum (blemish), the Kohen must bring it as a Korban during its first year. After its blood and Emurim (see Background to Yevamos 7:8 and 100:9) are offered on the Mizbe'ach, its meat is eaten in Yerushalayim during the following two days and the intervening night.
(c) If the animal has or develops a Mum, it becomes the property of the Kohen. It must be slaughtered and eaten during its first year. If it developed a Mum after the first year, it must be slaughtered and eaten within thirty days. The Kohen can give it away or sell it, even to a non-Kohen. However, it may not be sold in a meat market or weighed in the usual manner. It may not be redeemed with money.
(d) Now that there is no Beis ha'Mikdash, a Kohen must care for a Bechor until it develops a Mum. Alternatively, he can sell it, even if it has no Mum, to a non-Kohen, who may eat it after it develops a Mum. It may not be bought, however, in order to be sold for a profit (Sefer ha'Chinuch #393, #445).
40) [line 35] פגימת מום בקדשים PEGIMAS MUM B'KODASHIM - a nick that constitutes a blemish of an animal of Kodashim, disqualifying it from being offered as a Korban
41) [last line] כדי פגימת המזבח KEDEI PEGIMAS MIZBE'ACH - the size of a nick that disqualifies the Mizbe'ach from being used