OPINIONS: Rebbi Yochanan teaches that a Nochri who learns Torah is Chayav Misah. The Gemara questions his statement from a Beraisa in which Rebbi Meir says that a Nochri who learns Torah receives reward like a Kohen Gadol. The Gemara answers that Rebbi Meir refers to a Nochri who learns the Mitzvos which he is obligated to fulfill, the seven Mitzvos of Bnei Noach, while Rebbi Yochanan refers to all other areas of Torah.
Accordingly, the Torah-learning of a Nochri falls into two categories of opposite extremes. A Nochri is "Osek ba'Torah" in the seven Mitzvos of Bnei Noach is likened to a Kohen Gadol. A Nochri who learns any other area of Torah is Chayav Misah.
This law is relevant not only to what a Nochri is permitted to learn, but also to what a Jew is permitted to teach. The Gemara in Chagigah (13a) relates that there is a prohibition against teaching Torah to Nochrim. Does this prohibition include all areas of Torah, or does it include only areas of Torah other than the seven Mitzvos of Bnei Noach? Is there any other area of Torah that they are permitted to learn? (This issue is relevant only for a Nochri who has no intention to become Jewish. Many Poskim are lenient with regard to teaching Torah to a Nochri who intends to convert.)
(a) The BE'ER SHEVA (in BE'ER MAYIM CHAYIM) notes that although the RAMBAM (Hilchos Melachim 10:9) rules that Nochrim are not permitted to learn Torah, he is unsure why the Rambam and other Poskim make no mention of the Gemara in Chagigah (13a) that prohibits a Jew from teaching Torah to Nochrim. He suggests the possibility that the Gemara in Chagigah, which says that an independent prohibition other than the prohibition of "Lifnei Iver" prohibits one from teaching Torah to Nochrim, might disagree with the Gemara in other places. For this reason, the Poskim do not record the prohibition mentioned in Chagigah, and they rule only that teaching Torah to Nochrim is forbidden when there is a prohibition of "Lifnei Iver." (See TOSFOS in Chagigah there, DH Ein Mosrin.) However, the Be'er Sheva concludes that one who is careful to guard his soul will stay far away from doing such a thing as teaching Torah to Nochrim.
Some Acharonim note that the Be'er Sheva's question seems inaccurate. The SHULCHAN ARUCH (YD 267:71) explicitly rules that one may not teach Torah to an Eved Kena'ani (besides the Mitzvos which he is commanded to observe). If this is the law with regard to an Eved Kena'ani -- who undergoes Tevilah in a Mikvah and is commanded to observe time-bound positive Mitzvos like a Jewish woman, then how much more so this law applies to an ordinary Nochri. For this reason, a number of Acharonim reject the Be'er Sheva's question, and there seem to be no authorities that take his approach (which the Be'er Sheva himself did not sanction in practice).
(b) The MAHARSHAL in YAM SHEL SHLOMO (Bava Kama 4:9) records the ruling of the Gemara here as the Halachah, and he writes, "Woe to those" who teach Torah to Nochrim, as Hash-m gave the Torah to Moshe Rabeinu to teach to Yehoshua to teach to the Zekenim, and then to the Jewish people, "and he did not allow Torah she'Ba'al Peh to be written down, so that they should not turn into heretics." He concludes with regard to those who teach Torah to Nochrim, "In my humble opinion, their sin is greater than they could possibly bear, and they will not see the redemption of Zion."
The words of the Yam Shel Shlomo is quoted by the TZITZ ELIEZER (16:55) as one of the earliest sources that one is permitted to teach Torah sheb'Kesav to Nochrim. The Tzitz Eliezer points out that the Yam Shel Shlomo's opposition focuses solely on transmitting Torah she'Ba'al Peh to Nochrim. This opinion is also expressed by the MAHARATZ CHAYOS (Sotah 35b, see there at length) and the NETZIV in MESHIV DAVAR (YD #77).
(c) However, the SHILTEI GIBORIM in Avodah Zarah (6a of the pages of the Rif) writes that one is not permitted to teach Nochrim the Chamishah Chumshei Torah. However, he rules that one is allowed to teach Nevi'im and Kesuvim to Nochrim, since they will see from there the comforting words which Hash-m has communicated to the Jewish people (that is, that they eventually will be redeemed), and they will learn to believe in Hash-m.
The contemporary Poskim, such as RAV MOSHE FEINSTEIN zt'l (in IGROS MOSHE YD 3:90) and RAV ELIEZER YEHUDAH WALDENBURG (in TZITZ ELIEZER 16:55) do not decide conclusively between the opinions of the Maharshal and the Shiltei Giborim. Their words imply that l'Chatchilah one should not teach Torah sheb'Kesav to Nochrim, although one who does so has grounds on which to rely. One who teaches Nevi'im and Kesuvim to Nochrim, according to these Poskim, definitely has grounds on which to rely.
However, it is important to note that RAV YOSEF SHALOM ELYASHIV shlit'a in KOVETZ TESHUVOS (vol. 3, YD 142) quotes the Zohar which implies that one is forbidden to teach any part of Torah sheb'Kesav to Nochrim as well as Torah she'Ba'al Peh, other than the seven Mitzvos of Bnei Noach. He apparently concludes that this is the Halachah. (It is not clear why he does not quote the opinion of the Shiltei Giborim in his Teshuvah, and he quotes only the Yam Shel Shlomo to support the ruling that one may not teach Torah she'Ba'al Peh to Nochrim.) (Y. MONTROSE)


QUESTION: Rav Yehudah says in the name of Rav that Adam ha'Rishon was not allowed to eat meat. He derives this from the last words of the verse, "Lachem Yiheyeh l'Achlah" -- "for you it should be for food" (Bereishis 1:29), and the first words of the next verse, "ul'Chol Chayas ha'Aretz" -- "and to all the animals of the land." Rav Yehudah understands that implicit in the first verse is that Adam may eat vegetation, but not what is listed in the next verse, "all the animals of the land."
If Adam ha'Rishon was commanded not to eat meat at all, then what was the purpose of prohibiting him from eating Ever Min ha'Chai, a limb from a live animal?
(a) TOSFOS (56b, DH Achol Tochal) explains that the prohibition against eating meat was against killing animals for their meat. Adam ha'Rishon was allowed to eat meat from dead animals, as long as they died on their own and he did not kill them. Accordingly, the prohibition against Ever Min ha'Chai was necessary to prohibit Adam ha'Rishon from eating the limb of an animal which had already been torn off of the animal, even though the animal remained alive. This also is implicit in the words of RASHI (57a, DH l'Mishri Basar).
The ARUCH LA'NER provides more information about this prohibition, apparently following the explanation of Tosfos. Although Adam was prohibited from killing animals to eat their meat, he was not prohibited from killing animals for other purposes, such as using their hides and for offering Korbanos. According to the Aruch la'Ner, there was no actual prohibition against eating meat, and there was no actual prohibition against killing animals. The animals were not a "Cheftza d'Isura," an object of prohibition, and killing the animals involved no action of Isur, unless Adam wanted to kill the animal in order to eat its meat.
The YAD RAMAH (59b) challenges this explanation. The Gemara says simply that Adam ha'Rishon was not permitted to eat meat. This implies that whether the animal was alive or whether it was dead, he was not permitted to eat it. Moreover, if Rav Yehudah maintains that Adam ha'Rishon was prohibited specifically from killing animals for their meat, then he should have said that Adam ha'Rishon was prohibited from killing animals and not that he was prohibited from eating meat. Finally, the Gemara later questions Rav Yehudah's statement from the Beraisa which says that the angels roasted meat for Adam ha'Rishon. The Gemara answers that the meat which the angels roasted came from the heavens. Why does the Gemara not answer simply that the meat came from an animal which died on its own?
(b) The YAD RAMAH therefore explains that prior to Rav Yehudah's teaching, the assumption was that Adam ha'Rishon was not permitted to eat anything unless Hash-m specifically permitted him to eat it. He compares Adam ha'Rishon to a servant in his master's home who is not permitted to eat anything in the house without explicit permission of his master.
This is the intention of Rav Yehudah. Rav Yehudah is teaching what Hash-m explicitly permitted to Adam ha'Rishon to eat, which happened not to include meat. (The Yad Ramah asserts that fish and grasshoppers were also not included in the list of permitted foods.) However, Hash-m never prohibited him from eating meat; He merely did not include it in the list of permitted foods. What is the difference whether it was not permitted or whether it was explicitly forbidden? The Yad Ramah explains that the difference is the severity of the punishment. Had Adam ha'Rishon transgressed the explicit prohibition against Ever Min ha'Chai, he would have been liable for the death penalty if he. In contrast, had he eaten meat when meat was not a permitted food item, he would not have been liable for such a severe punishment.
The KLI CHEMDAH (Bereishis #3) questions the explanation of the Yad Ramah. The Torah relates that Hevel offered sheep as a Korban to Hash-m. There is a rule in the laws of Korbanos that states that only an animal which one is permitted to eat may be offered as a Korban ("Min ha'Mutar b'Fichah"). If Hevel was prohibited from killing an animal and eating its meat, then why was he permitted to offer it as a Korban? According to the explanation of Tosfos, this question poses no difficulty. Tosfos maintains that meat was not forbidden to Adam; Adam was prohibited only from killing the animal in order to eat its meat. Animals were not considered a "Cheftza d'Isura," an object of prohibition," and thus they fulfilled the condition of "Min ha'Mutar b'Fichah." According to the Yad Ramah, however, all meat was always forbidden to Adam, whether he killed it or whether it died by itself. Why, then, was Hevel's Korban considered "Min ha'Mutar b'Fichah"?
The Kli Chemdah answers that the meat was never forbidden to Adam ha'Rishon (or to his son, Hevel). Although he was not supposed to eat meat because Hash-m did not include it in the list of permitted food items, the fact that it was not explicitly prohibited meant that it still fit the description of "Min ha'Mutar b'Fichah." The Kli Chemdah adds that this is particularly true according to the Yad Ramah's logic for why the meat was prohibited to Adam. There was no explicit prohibition against eating meat. Rather, it was comparable to the prohibition of "Hekdesh," which states that one may not eat an object which is set aside for Hash-m. If an animal is dedicated to the Beis ha'Mikdash, the animal itself does not actually become forbidden. Rather, its status as Hekdesh prohibits man from eating it, and it indeed becomes permitted for man when it is redeemed from Hekdesh. The sheep of Hevel, therefore, were still considered "ha'Mutar b'Ficha" even though he could not eat them. (Y. MONTROSE)