THOUGHTS ON THE DAILY DAF
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Rosh Kollel: Rav Mordecai Kornfeld
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CHULIN 41-43 - sponsored by Dr. Lindsay A. Rosenwald of Lawrence NY, in
honor of his father, David ben Aharon ha'Levy Rosenwald of blessed memory.
1) A HOLE THAT BECOMES SEALED
OPINIONS: Rabah states that when an animal had a hole in the esophagus that
rendered it a Tereifah, and the hole later healed and became sealed with a
membrane ("Kerum"), the animal is still a Tereifah. Such a membrane is not
considered an effective seal. RASHI (DH Eino Kerum) explains that even when
thick flesh sealed the hole, the animal remains a Tereifah, because the seal
will not last ("Einah Miskayemes") and the hole will open up again.
Rashi cites the Gemara in Yevamos (76a, and as cited later on 48a) that
states that a hole in a lung renders an animal a Tereifah, and the animal
does not become Kosher when a membrane seals the hole.
However, we find a number of cases that seem to contradict the ruling of
Rabah and the ruling of the Gemara in Yevamos. The Gemara earlier says that
when there is a hole in the gall bladder that is sealed by the liver, the
animal is Kosher. Similarly, the Gemara later (48a) says that when there is
a hole in the lung that becomes sealed by the chest, the animal is Kosher.
In addition, the Gemara later (50a) says that a hole in the wall of the
rectum (Chalcholes) does not render an animal a Tereifah, because the thighs
block the hole. What is the difference between those cases, in which holes
that become closed up do not render the animal a Tereifah, and the case of
the Gemara here and in Yevamos, in which a hole in the esophagus and a hole
in the lung still render an animal a Tereifah even when it is sealed?
(a) RASHI explains that the cases in which a hole can effectively be sealed
are all cases in which the "sealing was from the beginning" ("Setimah
me'Ikara"). The SHACH (YD 36:6) explains that Rashi means that when the hole
first develops, there is something present that blocks it up immediately.
Consequently, the hole never had the status of a hole that renders the
animal a Tereifah (see TAZ YD 36:4). Thus, in the case of the chest that
seals the hole in the lung, the liver that seals the hole in the gall
bladder, and the thighs that seal the hole in the rectum, there was
something that sealed the hole from the beginning of the hole's development.
In contrast, in the case of the hole in the esophagus, the membrane that
seals the hole develops only later, and thus the hole still renders the
animal a Tereifah. (This is either because, as Rashi says, the membrane is
not considered to be a strong, permanent sealant for the hole, or because,
as the Gemara later (68b) says, once an animal becomes a Tereifah it remains
forbidden and can never become permitted again. See PRI MEGADIM in his
"Introduction to the Checking of the Lung" (DH Od Ra'isi) who cites this
reason in the name of the RASHBA in MISHMERES HA'BAYIS.)
The Shach also cites the DERISHAH who understands Rashi's words differently.
When Rashi says that the other cases involve a "Setimah me'Ikara," this
means that the limb that seals the hole was present when the animal was
The TEVU'OS SHOR (36:14) cites support for the Derishah's understanding of
Rashi from the words of Rashi himself later (48a, DH d'Eino Kerum). Rashi
there says that the reason why the chest is effective in sealing the hole in
the lung is because it is a "Setimah Ma'alyasa" -- a good sealing. The
Tevu'os Shor points out that this implies that according to Rashi's words
there, even if the sealing did not appear immediately when the hole began to
develop, the animal would still be Kosher (in contrast to the Shach's
understanding of Rashi). The reason the sealing is valid is because the hole
is blocked up with a part of the animal that was created in order to make a
permanent sealing. In contrast, the membrane that forms over a hole in the
esophagus or lung was created only to be a temporary sealant and it will not
endure. (See SIMLAH CHADASHAH there, #6.)
The PRI MEGADIM (ibid., and in MISHBETZOS ZAHAV YD 36:4) points out that
Rashi's words here seem to support the approach of the Derishah and Tevu'os
Shor. Rashi here first writes that the reason why the membrane covering the
hole in the esophagus is not effective is because that membrane does not
last ("Einah Miskayemes"). Rashi then writes, however, that the reason why
the other forms of sealants of holes are valid is because they are a
"Setimah me'Ikara." Why does Rashi not say that they are effective because
they *do* last? Moreover, Rashi implies here that even if the membrane over
the hole in the esophagus would last, it still would not be effective
because it is not a "Setimah me'Ikara"! Why, then, does Rashi earlier say
that the reason it is not effective is because it does not last?
According to the Derishah and Tevu'os Shor, Rashi's words are clear. The
reason why the membrane covering the hole in the esophagus does not last is
because it was not created naturally with the animal, when the animal was
According to the Shach's understanding of Rashi, though, Rashi's words seem
to be contradictory. The Pri Megadim suggests that in order to reconcile the
apparent contradiction in the words of Rashi according to the Shach, we must
say that Rashi's intention when he says "Einah Miskayemes" is not that the
skin will not last, but rather the *animal* will not survive for twelve
months, because it acquired the status of a Tereifah.
(b) The RE'AH, cited by the Pri Megadim (ibid.), argues with Rashi and says
that only a hole in the lung and esophagus cannot be sealed. Holes in other
organs can effectively be sealed, preventing the animal from becoming a
Tereifah. The Pri Megadim says, however, that the Halachah follows the view
of Rashi. (D. Bloom)
2) A THORN STUCK IN THE ESOPHAGUS
QUESTIONS: Ula rules that when a thorn is found in an animal's esophagus,
the animal is Kosher and we are not concerned that perhaps it was "Hivri."
(a) What exactly is the case in which Ula permits an animal when a thorn is
found in its esophagus?
(b) What is the meaning of "Hivri"?
(a) RASHI and TOSFOS argue about the case that Ula is discussing.
1. RASHI (DH Yashav) explains that Ula's case involves an animal that ate a
thorn that became lodged in the esophagus. It is not visible from the
outside of the esophagus, and there is no sign of blood on the inside of the
(b) There are a number of explanations for the word "Hivri."
2. TOSFOS (DH Yashav) disagrees with Rashi and maintains that even if there
is a spot of blood on the inside of the esophagus, the animal is still
Kosher according to Ula, as long as there is no blood on the outer side of
the esophagus. We are not concerned that the thorn penetrated to the other
side. Blood on the inside of the esophagus is a sign of a Tereifah only when
the esophagus was pierced with a hole from the outer side to the inner side
The RASHBA explains why Tosfos disagrees with Rashi and explains that Ula
permits the animal even when there is a spot of blood on the inside of the
esophagus. We see from the continuation of the Gemara that the Halachah does
not follow Ula's ruling, but rather the Halachah is that we must suspect
that the animal might be a Tereifah. If Ula permits the animal only when
there is no blood on the inside of the esophagus, then this means that
according to the Halachah (which is more stringent that Ula's ruling) the
animal would be a Tereifah if a thorn was stuck in the esophagus even if no
blood was present at all. This, however, is inconsistent with the ruling of
the Gemara later (50b, 51a). The Gemara there says that if a needle was
found in the wall of the recticulum (Beis ha'Kosos) and there was no blood
on the needle, the animal is Kosher, because had there been blood there,
some of it would have remained on the needle. Similarly, if the thorn
pierced the esophagus before the Shechitah, then we would have found blood
on the thorn. The absence of blood is clear proof that there was no hole
before the Shechitah, and thus the animal is Kosher. Since Ula is more
lenient that the Halachic opinion, it must be that Ula permits the animal
even when blood was found on the inside of the esophagus.
1. In his first explanation, RASHI (DH Ein Chosheshin) says that we are not
afraid that the thorn made a hole in the esophagus and the hole later healed
(and is no longer visible). Such a hole would still render the animal a
Tereifah (see previous Insight). According to this explanation of Rashi, the
word "Hivri" means "it healed" (from the word "Bari," or "healthy").
The RASHBA questions this explanation. We see from the continuation of the
Gemara that the Halachah does not follow Ula's ruling, but rather the
Halachah is that we must suspect that the animal might be a Tereifah.
According to Rashi, this means that the Halachah is that we *are* concerned
that the thorn made a hole in the esophagus and that the hole later healed.
However, this conclusion is not consistent with the ruling of the Gemara
later (48b) that says that when a needle is found in the lung of an animal,
the animal is Kosher if, when we blow up the lung, we see that no air comes
out of any punctures in the lung. The Gemara there rules that we are *not*
concerned that there was a hole in the lung that later healed!
The Rashba therefore sides with Rashi's second explanation (below).
2. In his second explanation, Rashi says that we are not afraid that the
thorn made a hole in the esophagus that is still present (but is not
discernible because of its small size). Rashi explains that the word "Hivri"
means "it made a hole," as in the verse, "... and pierce (u'Varei) them with
their swords" (Yechezkel 23:47).
3. The ARUCH explains that we are not concerned that the thorn penetrated to
the outside of the wall of the esophagus. The word "Hivri" means "went
through to the outside" (from the word "Bera," or "outside" in Aramaic).
This also seems to be the understanding of Tosfos (DH Yashav), who says that
we are not concerned that the thorn penetrated to the outer side of the
esophagus, and blood on the inside of the esophagus is a sign of a Tereifah
only when the esophagus was pierced with a hole from the outer side to the
inner side (43a). (D. Bloom)