INSIGHTS INTO THE DAILY DAF
Rosh Kollel: Rabbi Mordecai Kornfeld
QUESTION: According to the Mishnah, a food that is already fully cooked may be soaked in hot water on Shabbos. The Gemara wonders what sort of food is put into hot water after it is already fully cooked. The Gemara answers that the chicken of Rebbi Aba was treated in such a manner.
Why indeed was the chicken of Rebbi Aba soaked in hot water if it was already fully cooked?
(a) RASHI seems to say that in Rebbi Aba's recipe, the chicken needed to be cooked in this manner in order to give it prophylactic properties. The chicken was soaked in hot water not to cook it, but so that it would fully dissolve in the water, making a healthy, thick chicken soup.
(b) The PISKEI RID explains that since Rebbi Aba's chicken was fed to sick people, it had to be made extremely soft. Therefore, it was soaked in hot water even though it was already fully cooked.
(c) RABEINU CHANANEL explains that Rebbi Aba's cooked chicken was very salty. It was soaked in water in order to wash off some of the salt.
QUESTION: Rebbi Yochanan says that all of the fish that were exiled from Eretz Yisrael to Bavel returned to Eretz Yisrael, except for tuna the Kulyas ha'Ispenin. Rav explains that underground inclines of Bavel bring water to Ein Eitam, but since this fish lacks a strong spine, it was unable to return through these inclines.
What is the significance of the fact that the "Kulyas ha'Ispenin" did not return to Eretz Yisrael?
(a) The Musar masters explain that in Galus, a Jew must be stubborn in his commitment to Torah and Mitzvos in order to survive the scorn of the nations. One who is not able to "swim against the current" is vulnerable to being washed away from the destiny of his brethren.
(b) On a deeper level, the ARUCH (noted in the margin of the Vilna Shas) explains that "Kulyas ha'Ispenin" is another name for the Shivuta fish (see 110b, 119a). The Gemara in Chulin (109b) relates that the marrow of a fish called "Shivuta" tastes exactly like Chazir (pork). The Shivuta, then, is an allegorical reference to Jews who, like the Chazir, "show off their split hooves" but are not committed to Torah in their hearts. Their marrow (i.e., what is hidden deep inside of their hearts) is likened to a Chazir. (The word "Kulyas" may be related to the word "Kulis" (with the letter "Tav"), which means "a bone that contains marrow.")
If a Jew in Galus is not committed to Torah in his heart, even though he practices the Mitzvos as he should, his family will not be able to resist the perilous currents of the world around him. (M. KORNFELD)