CHULIN 31-43 - Two weeks of study material have been dedicated by Mrs. Estanne Abraham Fawer to honor the Yahrzeit of her father, Rav Mordechai ben Eliezer Zvi (Rabbi Morton Weiner) Z'L, who passed away on 18 Teves 5760. May the merit of supporting and advancing Dafyomi study -- which was so important to him -- during the weeks of his Yahrzeit serve as an Iluy for his Neshamah.
1) CAN A "TEREIFAH" LIVE?
QUESTION: The Mishnah lists the types of defects and wounds that render an animal a Tereifah and concludes by saying, "This is the rule: any animal that cannot live in such a state is considered a Tereifah." RASHI (DH Kol she'Ein) writes that any animal that has suffered a wound the likes of which no animal could survive is considered a Tereifah.
The Gemara says that the Torah alludes to the fact that a Tereifah is an animal that cannot live in the verse, "This is the Chayah that you may eat" (Vayikra 11:1). This verse implies that it is permitted to eat only an animal that will live ("Chayah"), but not an animal that will not live. The fact that the Torah prohibits a Tereifah indicates that it cannot live.
The Gemara then explains the verse according to the dissenting opinion that maintains that a Tereifah is capable of living. That opinion derives from the verse, "This is the Chayah that you may eat," that only this form of living animal may be eaten (that is, an animal that is not a Tereifah), but another form of living animal (a Tereifah) may not be eaten.
These opinions disagree about whether a Tereifah is able to live. How, though, is it possible that the Chachamim argued about such a point? This dispute seems to be resolvable by experimentation, by examining animals that are Tereifos and seeing if they live.
ANSWER: The RAMBAN explains that perhaps the Chachamim noticed -- upon studying the different Halachos they received through the transmission of Torah from Sinai and examining animals that fit the descriptions of Tereifos -- that animals with such conditions consistently did not survive for more than twelve months. Nevertheless, through their wisdom and keen observation, or through the tradition they received from their teachers, they realized that a Tereifah indeed can live more than twelve months. They did not declare that a Tereifah is an animal that cannot survive for twelve months because they understood that no absolute rule can be determined by the fact that most of the Tereifos that they observed died within twelve months. The Ramban cites the Gemara later (54a) that states that even though an animal that is hit in the Gid ha'Nasheh will always die, nevertheless the blow does not render the animal a Tereifah because the Chachamim knew that if a certain drug would be administered to the wound, the animal would live. Similarly, the opinion in the Gemara that maintains that a Tereifah can live understands that the fact that we observe that all Tereifos die is not sufficient to declare that a Tereifah cannot live, because it is possible that there is a cure (of which we are presently unaware) for the Tereifah's condition.
The Ramban cites the Yerushalmi (Chulin 3:1) that records a dispute about whether the outside of the cucumber ("Kishus") is considered bitter or not (see also Yevamos 89a, Bava Basra 143a, and TOSFOS there, DH Ein). Ben Levi asked, "How is it possible that the Chachamim differed about something that is possible to verify by experimentation? It must be that the dispute concerned how conclusive the result of the experimentation was." Similarly, with regard to a Tereifah, even though experimentation demonstrates that Tereifos always die within twelve months, the dispute among the Chachamim was whether this empirical evidence is sufficient to determine the Halachah for all ensuing generations.
The Ramban comments that because the Halachah follows the opinion that a Tereifah cannot survive for twelve months, we rule that in a case of a "Safek Derusah" -- in which a wolf entered a herd of animals and we do not know if it mortally attacked one of the animals (see 43b, and RASHI there, DH l'Safek) -- any animal that survives for twelve months is not a Tereifah.
(See also the SHACH (YD 57:48) who rules like the YAM SHEL SHLOMO that even though the Halachah is that a Tereifah cannot live, this means only that the vast majority of Tereifos cannot live. A small minority of Tereifos can live for twelve months. However, even though they can live, the Halachah still is that it is forbidden to eat them because of the Isur of Tereifah.) (D. BLOOM)
2) COUNTING DIFFERENT CASES AS ONE TYPE OF "TEREIFAH"
QUESTION: Tana d'Vei Rebbi Yishmael (42a) derives from a verse that 18 types of Tereifos were taught to Moshe Rabeinu at Har Sinai. The Gemara asks why the Tana says that there are only 18 types of Tereifos. There are seven more ("Shev Shemaitsa"), as the Amora'im describe. The Gemara answers that eight cases listed in the Mishnah are Tereifos caused by a hole in an organ. Accordingly, these eight cases can be considered one type of Tereifah, and thus the seven additional types ("Shev Shemaitsa") replace those seven cases that are all included in one case of Tereifah.
The Gemara proceeds to ask that if all types of Tereifos caused by perforations are considered only one type of Tereifah, then similarly all types of Tereifos caused by "Pesukah" -- the cutting of a limb or organ -- should be considered one type of Tereifah! Why does the Mishnah list the Tereifah of "Pesukas ha'Gargeres" (the majority of the width of the trachea is cut) and the Tereifah of "Nishberah ha'Shidrah v'Nifsak ha'Chut Shelah" (the spine and spinal cord are cut) as two separate types of Tereifos?
The RAMBAM (Hilchos Shechitah 3:19) maintains that "Nekuvas ha'Veshet" (an animal with a hole in its esophagus) and "Pesukas ha'Gargeres" (the majority of the width of the trachea is cut) are both "Neveilah me'Chayim," which means that after they are slaughtered with Shechitah, they will be Metamei as Neveilah. (In contrast, an ordinary Tereifah does not become a Neveilah that is Metamei after it is slaughtered with Shechitah.)
What is the source for the Rambam's ruling? The Mishnah and Gemara here do not mention that "Nekuvas ha'Veshet" causes the animal to become a Neveilah.
ANSWER: The OR SAME'ACH demonstrates that the Rambam's source indeed is the Gemara here. He explains as follows.
The Gemara's question seems difficult to understand. Why does the Gemara compare a cut trachea to a cut spinal cord? There is a fundamental difference between the two. Performing Shechitah on an animal that has a cut spinal cord would render it only a Tereifah, while Shechitah on an animal that has a cut trachea would render it a Neveilah (and cause it to be Metamei). This is because the Mishnah earlier (32a) teaches that an animal that becomes prohibited because of the Shechitah itself becomes a Neveilah, while an animal for which a proper Shechitah was done -- but some other factor prohibits the animal -- becomes only a Tereifah. If the trachea was cut before the Shechitah, then the Shechitah itself is invalid, because the point of Shechitah is to remove the life of the animal by cutting the Simanim. If one of the Simanim was unfit before Shechitah, then the Shechitah was not done properly. How can the Gemara suggest that the Tereifah of "Pesukas ha'Gargeres" and the Tereifah of "Nifsak Chut ha'Shidrah" be counted as one type of Tereifah when there is an essential difference between the two cases?
It must be that when the Gemara earlier compares all of the cases of Tereifos caused by holes, it teaches that these two cases may be compared as well. The Gemara says that the only way for the Mishnah to include all of the Tereifos (the "Shev Shemaitsa") is by counting all of the Tereifos caused by holes ("Nekuvei") as one type of Tereifah. The Gemara asks that this will not explain the Mishnah, because if all of the "Nekuvei" cases of Tereifos are counted as one, then all of the "Pesukei" cases (Tereifos caused by the cutting of a limb or organ) should also be counted as one, and yet the Mishnah does not count "Nifsak ha'Gargeres" and "Nifsak Chut ha'Shidrah" as one type of Tereifah.
Why does the Gemara insist that if all of the "Nekuvei" cases are considered one type of Tereifah, then all the "Pesukei" cases also are considered one type? Perhaps the "Nekuvei" are all one type since they are all the same; they all cause the animal to become a Tereifah. The "Pesukei," however, are not all the
same. "Pesukas ha'Gargeres" renders the animal a Neveilah, while "Pesukas Chut ha'Shidrah" renders the animal a Tereifah. Perhaps that is why the Mishnah counts them as two different types.
The Or Same'ach proves from here that the Rambam is correct. "Nekuvas
ha'Veshet" is also a Neveilah, and that is why the Gemara asks that the cases of "Pesukei" should be counted as one. Since the Mishnah counts all of the
"Nekuvei" as one, it obviously does not distinguish between Neveilos and
Tereifos, and thus it should also count all of the "Pesukei" as one. (D. BLOOM)