1) HALACHAH: TRADE WITH NON-KOSHER LIVESTOCK
QUESTION: The Gemara cites the Mishnah in Shevi'is (7:4) that states that one may not derive profit through the trade of Tamei animals and creatures, even if one sells them only to Nochrim. Only if one happens to come across a Behemah Teme'ah by chance may he sell it, but he may not make a business out of it.
Does this mean that a Jew may not sell horses, donkeys, dogs, cats, and other non-Kosher animals?
ANSWER: TOSFOS cites the Yerushalmi which says that one is permitted to sell animals such as horses, donkeys, dogs, and cats, because they are not used for eating. The prohibition applies only to making a business out of selling animals which are eaten, but not to selling animals that are normally used for other purposes.
This Halachah has practical ramifications for Jews who work in the commodities industry, as well as for owners of shares in companies that profit from selling non-Kosher animals. RAV MOSHE STERNBUCH shlit'a (Teshuvos v'Hanhagos 2:392) responds to the question of a Ba'al Teshuvah who asked whether he must leave his company that trades in Neveilos, in which he is a primary shareholder. Rav Sternbuch writes that a Jew is forbidden from dealing in non-Kosher animals. However, he points out that there is a dispute among the Poskim with regard to a Jew who operates a partnership with a non-Jew. The IMREI ESH and MAHARAM SHIK maintain that a Jew is forbidden from trading in non-Kosher animals even in a partnership with a non-Jew. The DEVAR MOSHE (cited by the BIRKEI YOSEF 117:7) permits a Jew to trade in non-Kosher animals in partnership with a non-Jew, with the condition that the Jew is not present in the shop or market at all.
HALACHAH: Rav Sternbuch concludes that it is best to follow the opinion of those who forbid trading in non-Kosher animals even in a partnership with a non-Jew. He says, however, that if one is already significantly invested in a partnership, he may rely on the lenient opinion, especially when the company is called by the name of the non-Jewish partner and not by the name of the Jew. The Jew may maintain his involvement in the business only on condition that he is not present at all in the store, and he is not involved at the consumer level (wholesale or retail) of buying and selling, but he is involved only in the upper administrative and executive levels. He concludes that a Jew should make an effort to leave the business of trading non-Kosher animals in any case.
2) REBBI YEHOSHUA BEN LEVI'S SOURCE FOR THE "ISUR HANA'AH" OF CHAMETZ
QUESTION: The Gemara concludes that Chizkiyah derives from the unusual wording of "Lo Ye'achel" that Chametz and Shor ha'Niskal are Asur b'Hana'ah, and that the verse that permits one to derive benefit from Tereifos teaches that non-sanctified animals that were slaughtered in the Azarah (Chulin she'Nishchatu ba'Azarah) are Asur b'Hana'ah. Rebbi Avahu, on the other hand, does not derive anything from the wording "Lo Ye'achel." Rather, he learns that Chametz and Shor ha'Niskal are Asur b'Hana'ah from the verse which permits deriving benefit specifically from Neveilos (or Tereifos, according to Rebbi Yehudah). That is, the verse with regard to Neveilos is necessary to teach that only Neveilos are Mutar b'Hana'ah, but everything else which is Asur b'Achilah is also Asur b'Hana'ah. Rebbi Avahu does not need a verse, according to Rebbi Yehudah, to teach that non-sanctified animals that were slaughtered in the Azarah are Asur b'Hana'ah, because he maintains that such animals are not prohibited by the Torah to be eaten.
RASHI (DH Chulin ba'Azarah) explains that Rebbi Avahu's statement that the words "do not eat" include an Isur Hana'ah as well applies only according to Rebbi Meir. According to Rebbi Yehudah, the words "do not eat" do not include an Isur Hana'ah.
Rashi's words are difficult to understand. The Gemara earlier (21b) clearly states that Rebbi Avahu makes his statement even according to Rebbi Yehudah! Moreover, Rashi himself, in his previous comment, says that Rebbi Avahu's statement applies even according to the view of Rebbi Yehudah (and that he argues with Chizkiyah over that point, as mentioned above). Why does Rashi here say that Rebbi Avahu makes his statement only according to Rebbi Meir?
ANSWER: It appears that these comments of Rashi are out of place. They should not be placed here, but rather a few lines later, in the conclusion of Rashi's explanation (in DH Chulin she'Nishchatu ba'Azarah) of the following Sugya. Rashi's intention with these words is as follows.
In the Gemara, Rebbi Yehoshua ben Levi cites a new source for the Isur Hana'ah of Chametz. Why does he cite a new source, when Chizkiyah and Rebbi Avahu already give two valid sources? Rebbi Yehoshua ben Levi does not seem to argue with them, because he does not say, "I have a new source," but he merely asks, "What is the source," as if to say that he has not heard of any other source. Furthermore, when the Gemara later (24a) refutes the source that he suggests, other Amora'im suggest other verses as the source for the Isur Hana'ah. The Gemara seems to be grappling with a question that heretofore has gone unanswered.
Rashi explains that these Amora'im maintain that Rebbi Avahu's statement was said only according to Rebbi Meir, and they argue with the previous Sugya which understood that Rebbi Avahu was explaining Rebbi Yehudah as well. These Amora'im, led by Rebbi Yehoshua ben Levi, assert that according to Rebbi Avahu, Rebbi Yehudah does not agree that the verse with regard to Tereifah is the source that every Isur Achilah includes an Isur Hana'ah as well. Consequently, we are left with a question: what is the source for the Isur Hana'ah of Chametz according to Rebbi Yehudah, in Rebbi Avahu's opinion? To answer this question, Rebbi Yehoshua ben Levi and the other Amora'im suggest alternative sources for the Isur Hana'ah of Chametz. (M. KORNFELD; see MENACHEM MESHIV NEFESH for an alternative approach.)