1) "BITUL" OF MONETARY VALUE
QUESTION: Rabah and Rav Chisda disagree about the Halachah in a case of onions that were replanted after Ma'aser was separated from them. Rabah says in the name of Rebbi Yochanan that when the onions grow and the new growth is larger than the original onions, even the original onions become obligated in Terumos and Ma'aseros (again). Rav Chisda asks, "Where did the Heter go?" -- Ma'aser was already separated from the original onions and only the new part should be obligated in Ma'aser. Rav Chisda maintains that the Gidulin, which are obligated in Ma'aser, cannot annul the Ikar which is exempt from Ma'aser (since Ma'aser was already separated from that part).
The RAN points out that the previous pages of the Gemara contain a lengthy discussion about whether Gidulin can annul the Ikar. Why does the Gemara here begin a new discussion about this topic?
Moreover, the Gemara has already concluded that the Gidulin do annul the Ikar wherever the consequence would be a Chumra (stringency), and here it certainly is a Chumra if the Gidulin annul the Ikar.
The Ran answers that the dispute between Rabah and Rav Chisda is not related to whether the Gidulin annul the Ikar. Both Rabah and Rav Chisda agree that the Gidulin annul the Ikar. Accordingly, if the Ikar is Asur and the Gidulin are Mutar, one is permitted to eat the entire onion since the Ikar does not add any taste to the rest of the onion.
What, though, is the basis for the dispute between Rabah and Rav Chisda? Why does Rabah rule that the onions that were replanted become completely forbidden (obligated in Ma'aser), while Rav Chisda rules that the Ikar remains permitted (exempt from Ma'aser) and only the Gidulin are forbidden?
The dispute is whether the concept of Bitul applies to Halachos that involve monetary value and not Isur and Heter. The requirement to separate Ma'aser from produce is a question of monetary value. Does the Ikar become Batel to the Gidulin so that it becomes obligated in Ma'aser like an ordinary case of Bitul, or since the value of the Ikar with relation to the Gidulin in the mixture is known it suffices to separate Ma'aser for the Gidulin alone, because the Mi'ut does not acquire the same status as the Rov (the Mi'ut is insignificant in comparison with the Rov with regard to taste, and therefore the Mi'ut is not taken into account)?
The Gemara continues and cites a dispute between the Tana Kama and Raban Shimon ben Gamliel in the case of an onion of the sixth year that was replanted in the Shevi'is year. The Tana Kama maintains that the entire onion becomes sanctified with Kedushas Shevi'is. This Kedushah affects the monetary value of the onion: if one exchanges the onion for other (non-Shevi'is) produce, the value of the new produce which corresponds to the value of the onion becomes sanctified. Raban Shimon ben Gamliel argues and maintains that only the new part that grew (the Gidulin) has Kedushas Shevi'is but not the original part. The Gemara suggests that the Tana Kama and Raban Shimon ben Gamliel argue about he same issue as Rabah and Rav Chisda.
According to the Ran, the Gemara compares the two arguments because in the case of Shevi'is, it wants to apply Bitul to the value of the produce and not just to its status of Isur or Heter (whether or not it may be eaten). The Ran (DH v'Ad Kan), however, questions how Raban Shimon ben Gamliel can say that the Gidulin do not annul the Ikar if everyone agrees (as the Ran asserts at the beginning of the Sugya on 57b and reiterates throughout the Sugya) that the Gidulin do annul the Ikar when they do not have the same status as the Ikar.
The Ran offers two reasons for why the Gidulin do not annul the Ikar in this case. The first reason is that the Ikar is Heter in this case and "it is not the manner of Heter to become Batel." The second reason is that that the person did not do an action to bring about a Bitul of the Ikar; rather, the Ikar becomes Batel by itself. When one does no action, the Gidulin do not annul the Ikar.
Why is the Ran bothered specifically with the opinion of Raban Shimon ben Gamliel? Raban Shimon ben Gamliel says the same thing as Rav Chisda, and the Ran himself already explained why, according to Rav Chisda, the Gidulin do not annul the Ikar -- because the Bitul does not involve an Isur of Achilah but the monetary value of the object!
Conversely, according to the Ran here (59b), if the reasoning of Raban Shimon ben Gamliel is that Heter cannot become Batel, why does the Ran not give the same explanation for the view of Rav Chisda, who says that the Ikar does not have a Chiyuv of Ma'aser even though the Gidulin do? (KEREN ORAH)
Also, why does the Ran suggest that Raban Shimon ben Gamliel's reasoning is that the person did not perform an action to annul the status of the Ikar? Rav Chisda says the same thing as Raban Shimon ben Gamliel -- that the Ikar is not Batel -- and yet he discusses a case in which the person certainly did an action (by burying the onions)!
ANSWER: The RAN apparently intends to offer an alternative explanation to the one he suggests earlier for the dispute between Rabah and Rav Chisda. There, the Ran explains that the Machlokes involves whether the value of an item can become Batel (i.e. whether the Mi'ut acquires the status of the Rov in such a case). Here, the Ran explains that the Machlokes is whether the Mi'ut is transformed into the Rov and acquires the status of the Rov, or whether its quality of Isur simply loses its power to render the food prohibited from eating.
The Ran's third explanation is that Raban Shimon ben Gamliel is discussing a case in which the person did not do an action to cause the Rov to annul the Mi'ut. Although Rav Chisda clearly applies Raban Shimon ben Gamliel's ruling to a case in which a person did an action to create a Rov and to cause Bitul, the Ran suggests that the previous Sugya (in which the Gemara assumes that the Rov always annuls the Mi'ut when one performs an action) follows the opinion of Rabah and not Rav Chisda, that the Rov cannot annul the Mi'ut even if one performs an action.
2) "BITUL" OF "HETER"
OPINIONS: The RAN suggests (in one explanation; see previous Insight) that only an object of Isur can become Batel to an object of Heter, but Heter cannot become Batel to Isur. This is also the opinion of the RAMBAN and the RAN in Avodah Zarah (73a). The MISHNEH L'MELECH (Hilchos Me'ilah 7:6) suggests that for this reason, if an object of Heter becomes mixed with a Rov of Isur, one who eats part of the mixture will not be punished with Malkus. Since the Heter remains Mutar and cannot become Batel to the Isur, he might have eaten the Heter. (It appears from the Gemara here that this applies only when he performed no action to cause Bitul. If, however, he performed an action to cause Bitul, the Heter indeed becomes Batel, according to Rabah.)
What is the Ran's logic for his assertion that Heter cannot become Batel in Isur?
(a) The OR SAME'ACH (Hilchos Ma'achalos Asuros 15:10) and the ONEG YOM TOV (OC #4) explain that Bitul applies only to an object which bears a title. Through Bitul, an object loses its title (of Isur or Chiyuv). An object which is Mutar, however, bears no title, and thus it cannot become Batel. Since Bitul serves only to make an object lose its title and not to acquire a title, the Heter remains Heter. (See SHA'AREI YOSHER 3:15.)
(b) The CHIDUSHEI HA'RIM (YD #9) explains that Bitul occurs only when the candidate for Bitul is an opposing entity to the Rov in the mixture (as the Ran explains on 52a). A Mi'ut of Isur in a Rov of Heter is considered an opposing entity, since the Isur will prohibit the entire food if it does not become Batel. However, when the Rov is Isur, the Mi'ut of Heter does not oppose that Isur because it is not trying to cause the entire food to become permitted; the Rov will remain Asur even if there is some Heter in it. Since the Mi'ut of Heter does not challenge the Rov, it does not become Batel. (This logic explains the first explanation of the Ran on 59a, that Bitul applies only to permit an object for Achilah but not to annul the Mi'ut with regard to its monetary value, as the value of the Mi'ut affects only the Mi'ut and not the Rov.)
3) ANNULMENT OF A "DAVAR SHE'YESH LO MATIRIN"
QUESTION: Rabah proposes that when a person makes an effort (performs an action) to cause Bitul, he is able to annul even Heter (or monetary value) in Rov. The Gemara asks that if a person's effort can cause the Rov to annul the Mi'ut, why does the Rov not annul the Mi'ut in the case of a person who replants produce of Ma'aser Tevel? In that case, the quantity of Gidulin exceeds the quantity of original fruit, and the Gidulin have the status of ordinary Tevel and not Ma'aser Tevel -- and yet the original fruit that was planted is still obligated in Terumas Ma'aser and is not Batel to the Gidulin (i.e. it does not become ordinary Tevel)!
Why does the Gemara suggest that the original fruit should be Batel? The original fruit, which is Ma'aser Tevel, is a "Davar she'Yesh Lo Matirin" like all Tevel, as the Gemara mentions earlier (58a); the owner can separate Terumah from other produce ("mi'Makom Acher") on behalf of the Ma'aser Tevel. Since a "Davar she'Yesh Lo Matirin" does not become Batel, why does the Gemara need a special Gezeiras ha'Kasuv to teach that Ma'aser Tevel is not Batel? (See GILYON HA'SHAS, 60a.)
(a) The rule that a "Davar she'Yesh Lo Matirin" does not become Batel applies only when the Ikar (with a status of Isur) is insignificantly small and therefore does not contribute taste to the Rov. In the case of Ma'aser Tevel, when the original fruit is still present it is not Batel because it is a "Davar she'Yesh Lo Matirin" and thus it prohibits the entire mixture. However, when a person makes an effort to cause Bitul of the Mi'ut, the Gemara understands that such a Bitul may apply even to matters which involve the value of the Mi'ut (or when the Mi'ut is Heter). In such cases, the Mi'ut itself changes status and attains the status of the Rov, and even if it is a "Davar she'Yesh Lo Matirin" it should be Batel because it loses the title of Tevel altogether. (M. KORNFELD)
(b) The ROSH explains that the original fruit remains Ma'aser Tevel even mid'Oraisa (see Rosh here, and end of 58b). Accordingly, the fact that the Ikar is a "Davar she'Yesh Lo Matirin" does not suffice to prevent it from becoming Batel since, mid'Oraisa, a "Davar she'Yesh Lo Matirin" is Batel and it was the Rabanan who decreed that it is not Batel. (See, however, the RAN, who points out that all foods that are "Ein Zar'o Kalah" are only obligated in Ma'aser mid'Rabanan.)