THOUGHTS ON THE DAILY DAF
brought to you by Kollel Iyun Hadaf of Har Nof
Rosh Kollel: Rav Mordecai Kornfeld
Ask A Question about the Daf
1) SLAUGHTERING WITH AN ANIMAL'S NAIL
QUESTION: The Gemara concludes that one may not perform Shechitah with a
"Tziporen" (fingernail) while it is still attached.
2) FILING DOWN THE SERRATED EDGE OF A SICKLE
The SHULCHAN ARUCH (YD 6:2) rules, "If one slaughters with an object that is
attached to the ground or attached to a body, such as a tooth or nail that
is attached to an animal, the Shechitah is invalid."
REBBI AKIVA EIGER (in Chidushim to Shulchan Aruch 6:2, and in Teshuvos, #51)
questions this ruling. How does the Shulchan Aruch know that a tooth or nail
that is attached to an *animal* is invalid for Shechitah? Perhaps the Gemara
here is dealing exclusively with the tooth or nail that is attached to a
*person*. Perhaps only a person is considered "Mechubar," since the verse
compares a person to Karka -- "ve'His'nachaltem Osam" (Vayikra 25:46; see
Sanhedrin 16a, and SHACH end of CM 95). Consequently, only something
attached to a person is considered "Mechubar l'Karka." Something attached to
an animal is not considered to be "Mechubar," but rather it should be
considered "Talush." Therefore, a Shechitah performed with an animal's tooth
or nail should be valid!
ANSWER: The Shulchan Aruch's ruling is based on the words of RASHI (DH
Mechuberes), who states clearly that even a tooth attached to an *animal*
cannot be used for Shechitah. Rashi understands that when the Gemara calls a
tooth or nail that is attached "Mechubar," it is not referring to the
general rule of "anything that is attached to land is considered like land."
Rather, when the Gemara says that it is considered "Mechubar" and is thus
invalid for Shechitah, it means that it is not a freely mobile implement.
Accordingly, there is no logical distinction between a tooth or nail that is
attached to an animal and a tooth or nail that is attached to a person.
Rashi's source may be the Gemara in Gitin (39a) that teaches that something
that is about to be detached no longer has the status of "Mechubar" ("Kol
ha'Omed Ligzoz, k'Gazuz Dami"). Nevertheless, the Gemara here implies that
Shechitah may not be performed with an attached object even if it is about
to be detached. It must be that what makes "Mechubar" unfit for Shechitah is
*not* that it is part of the ground, or that it is called "land." Rather, it
is unfit for Shechitah because it is not freely mobile.
Moreover, the concept that a person is compared to Karka applies only to
monetary matters. Regarding Halachos such as Shechitah, Tum'ah, or the
writing of a Get (see Gitin 21a), there is no logical reason to compare a
person to Karka. (See Hagahos of TZEMACH DAVID on TESHUVOS REBBI AKIVA EIGER
#51.) (Z. Wainstein)
QUESTION: The Mishnah teaches that if one files down the serrated blade of a
sickle, making it smooth and sharp, it is a valid knife for Shechitah.
3) CUTTING AT ANY RING OTHER THAN THE TOP
What is the Mishnah teaching? It is obvious that a sickle may be used for
Shechitah if its serrated edge was filed down and it was converted into an
ordinary Shechitah knife!
ANSWER: The TIFERES YISRAEL explains that the Mishnah is teaching that such
a knife is permitted, even though we might have thought that there should be
an Isur d'Rabanan against using such a knife. Perhaps such a knife should be
prohibited in order to prevent people from making a mistake and thinking
that a sickle may be used for Shechitah even before its jagged edge is filed
down (since all of its points are bent in the same direction).
OPINIONS: Rebbi Yosi b'Rebbi Yehudah maintains that if a majority of the cut
of Shechitah was performed without Hagramah (slanting the cut above the
point that delimits the part of the neck upon which Shechitah may be
performed), the Shechitah is valid. Rav and Shmuel assert that this applies
only to Shechitah performed at the top ring of cartilage surrounding the
trachea (the cricoid cartilage), and not to Shechitah performed at any of
the other rings.
Do Rav and Shmuel mean that one may not perform Shechitah at any other ring,
or merely that the leniency of cutting a majority does not apply to
Shechitah done at any other ring?
(a) RASHI explains that Rav and Shmuel mean that one may not perform
Shechitah at all at the other rings, because they surround only the majority
of the circumference of the trachea and not its entire circumference.
Consequently, the rings are not considered to be part of the trachea and one
must cut between them.
Rashi adds that even though we rule in accordance with the principle of
"Rubo k'Kulo" (the majority is like the entirety) in a case where the
majority of the Shechitah was below the top ring, we do not use the logic of
"Rubo k'Chulo" to make the lower rings, which surround only *most* of the
trachea, considered to be part of the windpipe. (Rashi to 18b, DH Hachi,
accedes that this opinion is not accepted as the Halachah.)
We can better understand Rashi's reasoning based on the teaching of RAV
CHAIM SOLOVEITCHIK, who proposes that the principle "Rubo k'Chulo" applies
only to an *action* that is done to most of an object (such as cutting most
of the trachea during Shechitah). "Rubo k'Chulo" tells us to consider the
action as though it was done to the entire object. In contrast, "Rubo
k'Chulo" cannot define an *object* itself and tell us that since most of the
object is in a certain place, the entire object is considered to be in that
(b) TOSFOS and other Rishonim argue with Rashi and explain that Shechitah
may be performed even at the other rings. The only difference between the
other rings and the top vertebra is that when cutting at the lower rings, it
does not suffice to cut through *most* of their thickness; one must cut
through the entire thickness of the rings. In contrast, it suffices to cut
through *most* of the top ring, because when one cuts through most of the
top ring, he cuts through most of the trachea as well (which is not the case
with the other rings that do not surround the entire trachea, and cutting
through most of their thickness would not cut most of the trachea). (See
also RASHI to 18b, DH Hachi, in his second explanation of the Gemara.) (Z.
4) HALACHAH: FOLLOWING THE "MINHAG" OF THE PLACE
OPINIONS: The Gemara relates that when Rebbi Zeira came to Eretz Yisrael, he
ate meat from an animal slaughtered in a manner which Rav and Shmuel
maintain is invalid because of "Hagramah" (see previous Insight). The Gemara
asks how could Rebbi Zeira eat such meat, when there is a rule that one must
observe the stringencies of both the place to which one comes, and the place
from which one left (Mishnah, Pesachim 50a). Since, in Rebbi Zeira's
hometown, the practice was to follow the stringent ruling of Rav and Shmuel,
how could Rebbi Zeira act leniently when he came to Eretz Yisrael?
Abaye answers that this rule does not apply when one travels from Bavel to
Eretz Yisrael. One who travels from Bavel to Eretz Yisrael is not obligated
to observe the Minhagim of Bavel (because Bavel is subordinate to Eretz
Rav Ashi answers further than Rebbi Zeira had no intention to return to
Bavel. Therefore, he was no longer bound by the Minhagim of his former
Which of these answers does the Halachah follow with regard to the Minhagim
that a person must observe when he travels to Eretz Yisrael?
(a) The Rishonim in Pesachim (51a) maintain that the Halachah follows the
second answer. Accordingly, one who travels to a new place and does not
intend to return to his former place of residence is not obligated to
observe the Minhagim of his former place. If, on the other hand, one does
intend to return to his hometown, then he must continue to observe the
Minhagim of his hometown, and in public he must observe the stringencies of
the place he is visiting in order to prevent contention, but he need not
observe those stringencies in private (RAN, Pesachim 50b).
(b) The ROSH adds that one is not allowed to publicly depart from the
customs of the place he is visiting even if he wants to act more stringently
than the people of that place, for doing so may also cause contention. (See
also Insights to Pesachim 52:1-2).