A Daf A Day (daf yomi)

A daf yomi blog for discussion, questions and comments on the daily daf.

Sunday, July 22, 2007

This blog is history

I think it's been long enough that it's time I officially say that I won't be posting anymore on this blog. I also started a new blog (nothing to do with daf yomi though). It was fun while it lasted but it was a lot of work and I failed to keep it going. There is a really good daf yomi blog that is everything I wish this blog could have become. There are insightful posts frequently and lots of good commenters. Check out dafnotes when you get a chance.

Monday, February 20, 2006

The juice is just contained in the grape (Pesachim 33b)

The gemara on 33b says that according to one opinion the juice inside the grape is separate so when the grape becomes tamei the juice does not automatically become tamei. The gemara though says that if the grape was truma that became tamei we don't allow you to take the juice out of the grape and use it for fear that it may lead "lidei takala" - you may accidentally eat the truma temeia. Therefore the gemara says you need to burn it immediately. The thing that bothered me about this is: How can we burn the entire grape if the juice inside of it is tahor? You're not allowed to burn truma tehora and that's what the juice inside of the grape is!?!

Normally, in Pesachim whenever I've had a question I've just checked the Tzlach and he often asks the question and answers it. So that was the first place I checked but he didn't ask my question this time. He did ask another question though. Rashi in d"h "ksavar mashkin mifkad pakid" explains why the juice doesn't become tamei from the grapes while it's inside. The grape should be a rishon and that should make the juice a sheni. So Rashi says that the reason it doesn't become tamei is because it's not considered food until it actually comes out. The Tzlach asks why is Rashi forced to give this explanation, why couldn't he just simply explain that the juice can't become tamei because the solid in the grape is less than a k'beitza so it can't be metamei the juice? He does not answer the question but leaves it as a "tzaruch iyun."

I was thinking that my question and the Tzlach's could answer the other. The reason you're allowed to burn the liquid inside of the grape is because it's not considered food until it comes out. That's why Rashi wanted to stress that point right at the beginning of the gemara so that you wouldn't be bothered by my question. It's not truma when you're burning it so you're burning the solid of the grape which is truma temeia together with the liquid which isn't truma at all.

Friday, February 03, 2006

Could food and drinks be av hatuma? (Pesachim 17a)

I was a little confused throughout the gemara if liquids could be an av hatuma. I had always assumed that food and liquids could only be a rishon l'tumah or lower but I wasn't really sure what that was based on. The thing that bothered me with that is what happens if the food or liquid comes in direct contact with a dead body - is it still only a rishon? Is that possible to just skip a level of tuma? On the other hand, if it really is an av hatuma then why do we always say that food and drink can't make humans and utensils tamei? (I'm not talking about R' Yehuda's opinion in the braisa - I assumed that he must hold that the liquid is an av hatuma and it makes the keilim into a rishon.)

Tosafos (d"h revii) on 17a quotes an imaginary (see Gilyon Hashas who says that he may be referring to the last daf in Eruvin) gemara in nida 28b that says that anything that doesn't have tahara in the mikva can't be an av hatuma. He suggests though that doesn't mean literally that it can't be an av hatuma but just that it can't transmit tuma to humans and utensils. So even though technically it's an av hatuma in that if it touches other food or drinks it makes them into a rishon, it's not a full-fledged av hatuma to make humans and utensils tamei. This pshat is necessary to understand Rashi's explanation of Ravina that the meis made the bread into an av hatuma so the case in the gemara is only talking about a shlishi. Tosafos doesn't like Rashi's pshat though for other reasons so he may understand in the end that food and drinks can never be av hatuma.

Monday, January 30, 2006

Stam mishna against R' Yehuda (Pesachim 13a)

The gemara asks how Rav Nachman could pasked like Rav Yehuda that you can't eat chametz at four hours on Erev Pesach and you can't get hanaah (benefit) at 5 hours against R' Meir when we have a stam mishna on daf 21a that supports R' Meir. The mishna there says that "As long as you can eat you can give to eat." This seems to support R' Meir that the isur of hanaah and the isur of achila both come at the same time - at 5 hours. The gemara answers that (summary courtesy of Kollel Iyun Hadaf), "[We prove on Daf 21A that] that Mishnah is not Stam, because it says '[as long as it is] permitted [to eat', as opposed to 'as long as one may eat'], i.e. some people are permitted at the same time that others are forbidden - it is like R. Gamliel, who permits [Kohanim to eat] Terumah and forbids [Yisraelim, who eat only] Chulin in the fifth hour."

Tosafos asks what I think is the obvious question: That means that this stam mishna is like R' Gamliel and definitely not like R' Yehuda. So the gemara's initial question still remains: How could R' Nachman pasken like R' Yehuda? Tosafos gives a forced answer which really doesn't solve anything (see the Maharsha). The Ran and Pnei Yehoshua also offer suggestions. The Tzlach though has an answer that I enjoyed so I'll post it here.

The Tzlach says that the gemara there is really saying that from the fact that it says "mutar" in the mishna it proves that we're talking about two different types of people or two different types of things. Once we say that then the mishna can be like R' Yehuda also. Even though we don't see clearly from our gemara that R' Yehuda makes any distinction between different people or different types of chametz we can logically deduce that he does. Why does he say that you get an extra hour for hanaah than you get for eating? It must, says the Tzlach, because eating is an isur kares whereas hanaah is only a lav. Therefore, all things for which there is no kares the prohibition only begins at 5 hours. For example chametz nukshe (inedible chametz). I just googled chametz nukshe and it looks like we actually pasken that way that you can eat it until the end of the fifth hour. So then the mishna on 21a works out according to R' Yehuda: "As long as you can eat chametz nukshe then you can feed all chametz to the animals." Now we no longer have a stam mishna against R' Yehuda.

Thursday, January 26, 2006

Chazaka beats rov (Pesachim 9a)

The gemara on daf 9a says that when you find fruit from a talmid chacham you can assume he took off trumos and maasros because it's not merely a rov but it's a chazaka that he took it off. This implies that a chazaka is stronger than a rov. There is the general rule though that ruba v'chazaka ruba adif - rov is stronger than chazaka. Which is it?

The answer is that there are many different types of chazaka. You could probably divide it into many different categories. I saw that Encyclopedia Talmudis describes it as five different types so I'll base this on that. The terms though are my own so they may not be completely accurate:

1. Acquisition - this is the way to acquire certain things like land. If you do something to the land to show your ownership.
2. Status quo - this is the most common type of chazaka. If something was one way then we assume it remains that way. Like we can assume the eruv is up since we know it was up when Shabbos started. Of course certain things can weaken the chazaka or ruin it but in general we assume the status quo remains. Rov is stronger than this type of chazaka.
3. Common knowledge - you weren't at this couple's wedding but yet you assume they're married.
4. Habit - Once something happens three times (or two) then this establishes it as the normal way.
5. Probability - Something happens this way almost all the time so we can assume it happened this way. That's the type of chazaka we're talking about in our gemara. Talmidei chachamam almost always take off trumos and maasros right away so we can assume it happened here also. This really is a rov - just a really, really strong rov.

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Bedika using sunlight (Pesachim 8a)

The gemara on daf 8a quotes Rava who says that if a room is completely open so the sun lights up the entire room then you can check by the sunlight. Rashi says that this means that you don't need to use a candle at night but you can just check it during the day. The gemara on daf 4a says that we should check at night because that's when people are around and candlelight is good for bedika.

So the Tzlach asks how can our gemara say you can check by the sunlight if the light is good? You still need to do the bedika at night because that's when people are around!

He suggests that the gemara isn't giving two different reasons why you need to do the bedika the night of the 14th. First of all the gemara says you should do it when people are around which would exclude a regular workday. The gemara then answers the question it doesn't ask - everyone is around on the 14th in the morning so why can't you do the bedika then? So the gemara answers that the light from candle is better so we'd prefer to do it at night. Now the gemara is saying that's not always true. If it's a room which is completely open then the sunlight is just as good (or better) so you can check during the day on the 14th.

Sunday, January 22, 2006

Burning chametz on the 15th (Pesachim 5a)

The gemara quotes R' Akiva's explanation that it must be that the mitzva of burning the chametz is on the 14th and not the 15th because the Torah couldn't possibly tell you to do it on the 15th when there is an av melacha of burning on Yom Tov. How does that prove anything? Maybe there is normally an av melacha of burning on yom tov but the Torah is telling you here that this is an exception and here you have a special mitzva to burn it on the 15th!

The Pnei Yehoshua answers that R' Akiva agreed with the limudim from earlier on the amud that "rishon" (either here or generally) could mean the day before. His only question was if it means the 14th only or the 14th and the 15th. He proves that it can't be the 15th also from the fact that you're not allowed to burn on yom tov. If it meant the 14th and 15th then it would mean that you'd have a choice and it would become a "davar she'efshar laasoso m'esmol" (something you could have done yesterday) so you would never be able to burn it on the 15th. Ergo, the Torah must have meant only the 14th.

Friday, January 20, 2006

Shorter or Cleaner? (Pesachim 3b)

From the conclusion of the gemara on daf 3b, it sounds as though ideally one should talk using clean speech (lashon nekiya) but if it's shorter the other way then you should choose the shorter way of speaking (lashon ketzara). I think that two things in our gemara contradict this point:
1. We have two pesukim in the Torah quoted on 3a where the Torah chose the longer way of speaking because it was lashon nekiya.
2. The two students who were in front of their rebbe and one asked "lama moskin b'tuma" and the other said, "lama ein moskin b'tahara." The rebbe praised one of them. The simple way of understanding is that he praised the one who spoke b'lashon nekiya but shouldn't the other one have been praised because he used less words?

There are really tons of answers in the Rishonim on these questions (it's amazing how many Rishonim there are on Pesachim) but I'll just quote a couple for each question. The Chidushei haRan says that we need both pesukim to teach us different things. Rabeinu Dovid and the Baal Hameor answer that there are actually three levels. There is "clean" talking, "unclean" talking and then something in the middle. So you should go the shorter method unless it's unclean so in the pasuk quoted about the "mikreh layla" that would be unclean to say tamei so it uses the clean lashon there even though it's longer. However when talking about a woman riding, it's not unclean to say "rocheves" instead of "yosheves" but it's just nicer to use the latter. So if they're equal then we'll go with the cleaner language but we won't go out of our way for that.

To answer the second question the Ran says that the problem is that by asking why do we harvest b'tuma, it's actually unclear because it makes it sound like you must harvest b'tuma and that's obviously not true. Therefore, shorter is better but if it's going to blur the meaning then you should choose the one that is more clear. The Ran in the name of Tosafos (I don't see a Tosafos that says that) says the praise was really for the one who used the shorter language even though it was less clean he was right to speak in the shorter method.

The Maharsha answers both questions that if the cleaner way is longer then you have the choice which one to use. The reason the second student was praised was because he changed from the normal way of talking (similar to the gemara in Brachos 38a which says that R' Zeira wasn't impressed with R' Zvid because he said motzi instead of hamotzi - and motzi was obviously OK but he should've said it in the less obvious way). So the other student did nothing wrong but Rebbe (or Hillel) realized that the one who changed was destined for greatness.

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Ohr means night (Pesachim 2)

Why does the term "Ohr", which literally means light, refer to night?

Tuesday, January 17, 2006


I heard a couple people ask this question when we learned it a few weeks ago so yesterday when I saw this from Kollel Iyun Hadaf I figured that I'd post it here also.
Eric Haas asked:

Something that occurred to me - R. Yosef establishes the case he couldn't
remember as having partitions around the walls of the roof. Doesn't a flat
roof have to have a maakeh of ten tefachim according to halacha, so how
could the case be otherwise?

Eric Haas, Philadelphia, USA
The Kollel replies:

The case could be this way for a variety of reasons. One reason may be
that the surface on top of the roof might be a Chatzer for Jews, while the
building itself is owned by a Nochri, which would make the Jews exempt from
Mitzvas Makeh. Or the building is owned as a partnership between a Nochri
and a Jew which might also be a reason that it could be Patur from Makeh
(see Minchas Chinuch Mitvzah 546:7).

All the best,
Yaakov Montrose
I had thought of a couple other possible answers: In Choshen Mishpat 425:1, it says that only a beis dira requires a maake. So maybe here we're talking a case where it's not a beis dira under it.

Also, it's a machlokes Rishonim how high the maake has to be. The Rambam paskens that it must be 10 tefachim all the way around but the Raavad argues. So according to the Raavad it may not be a question.

Thursday, January 05, 2006

Gud Asik according to Shmuel (Eruvin 90)

On 89a Shmuel takes the position that you say Gud Asik even by mechitzos she'ainan nikaros-covered walls. Accordingly, in the shitas Chachomim one can carry throughout an individual roof by a gog bein hagagin, as long as he doesn't transfer an object from one roof to another. This is because through Gud Asik the walls of each individual property are viewed as extending upwards, thereby providing a seperation between each adjoining roof.

On 90a Shmuel holds, in shitas R. Meir that one is allowed to carry from roof to roof bu gog bein hagogin, that all the roofs combine to form one reshus that is greater than a beis saseim shelo hukaf l'deira and therefore the combined reshus takes on the status of a carmelis and one can only carry four amos on the roof.

The seemingly glaring difficulty with this second opinion of Shmuel is as follows: Why don't we say Gud Asik on the walls of each of the individual residences, as Shmuel said on 89a, thereby providing a seperation between each individual roof. This would then make each roof a seperate enclosed area of (assuming) less than a beis saseim which would allow free range of carrying all across the roofs (since each roof would now be considered a reshus hayachid and according to R. Meir one can carry from one roof to another)?

This question bothered me greatly because it seems from the two opinions of Shmuel that Gud Asik is a concept that is applied arbitrarily , which with all the imaginary aspects of eruv that are already employed, to then add the element of arbitrariness is too much.

The Chazon Ish answers that Shmuel really doesn't hold of Gud Asik by mechitzos she'ainan nikaros at all. That is why in fact the gogin, on 90a, join to make one large gog greater than a beis sasaim and turn the reshus into a carmelis, disregarding each individual residence's seperating walls beneath. On 89a Shmuel is explaining within the shitas Chachomim that we say "just like the residences are seperated below so too they are seperated above". Since the Chachomim view the inhabitants below as being transposed above, thereby prohibiting anyone from carrying from one gog to another, it only makes sense to view the seperating walls as being transposed upwards as well. In other words, Shmuel is saying on 89a that if the Chachomim view the individual residents below as living seperately above, then you also must view the walls below as providing a seperation between each gog above.
It isn't a Gud Asik issue, it is in fact a consistency issue, the very issue that I was bothered with in the first place.

(A side issue as well is do we say Gud Asik on interior walls of an individual residence. If Gud Asik by mechitzos mechusos is an absolute fact according to Shmuel, then why not say it even regarding the walls of each room in a residence. Yet by gog gadol next to gog katon we seem to disregard interior walls. I won't elaborate here. With the Chazon Ish's take this isn't a question.)

Friday, December 23, 2005

Eruv Between Two Balconies (Eruvin 79a)

The mishna on 78b says that two balconies can join in one eruv. Rashi says that the Mishna is teaching us that they can join even if they're far apart as long as you put a four tefach wide board to connect the two that people can comfortably walk across. Tosafos says that the case of the Mishna is that the two balconies are within four tefachim of each other they can combine because it's like a ditch less than four between them and they can easily get over it. So far so good.

Then Rava on 79a says that this is only true if they are less than three tefachim apart either horizontally or vertically. That means that they're not directly across from each other but if you would draw a straight line from the edge of one across to the other side it would be within three tefachim of the edge of the other one. Or the same thing vertically. That explanation probably wasn't great but if you don't get it then try to check one of the picture books. Anyway, if it's more than 3 tefachim then the two balconies can't combine. That's where I have a problem with Rashi and Tosafos.

Tosafos actually has a problem with Rashi. According to Rashi why should it matter that it's more than three tefachim away, there is a four tefach board going across between the two balconies and we said a few blatt ago that a person isn't afraid to walk on top of the wall if it's at least four tefachim across. The way I understood Rashi (and the way the Ran explains it) is that the reason this is worse is because the person is afraid to walk on a plank if it's on a steep slope or a sharp angle. My problem is that if that is true shouldn't we measure the angle and not the distance? In other words, if the two porches are 10 tefachim away from each other across and one is three tefachim higher than the other then you'd have a somewhat steep slope but if you push them to 20 tefachim apart from each other and keep one three tefachim higher than the other then the slope would be much, much less steep. So why shouldn't that be good? We should be looking at the slope!

I also have a problem with Tosafos' explanation. He said that there are four tefachim betwen the balconies and then Rava said that they're 3 tefachim apart which means that there is now actually a 5 tefach distance between the two. Why is that still good? We said that a person can only walk across four tefachim not five?

Thursday, December 15, 2005

Wine and Oil (Eruvin 71a)

Rav explains that the beginning of the mishna is talking about when the wine is in one utensil but if the wine is in two utensils it would not be good. Rava then tries to bring a proof that must be true from our Mishna and Abaye says that Rava's proof is no good. I think that the simple understanding of the gemara (especially when considering that Rava and Abaye were from the same generation - a few years later than Rav) is that the only machlokes is if the mishna can be used as a proof but Abaye does not intend to argue on Rav's statement. The Ritva though actually quotes it as two opinions and according to some Abaye is actually arguing on Rav.

Then on amud beis, Rav Yosef explains that the machlokes between R' Shimon and the Chachamim is if wine and oil mix or not. This makes it seem that he's definitely arguing with Rav and that's how the Maharsha explains it. Rav says the machlokes has nothing to do with the substance but the only thing that matters is if it's one utensil or two and Rav Yosef seems to say that the only thing that matters is the substance.

The Sfas Emes (it's very short but this is at least how I understand it) says that he disagrees with the Maharsha and he says that it could be that Rav Yosef and Rav agree. According to them the Chachamim hold that if it's wine then it depends if it's in one utensil or two but if it's wine and oil then it's no good even if they're both in one utensil. That also seems to be how the Ritva understands it.

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Can a tziduki be part of the eruv? (Eruvin 69a)

The mishna quotes a machlokes if a tziduki can be relinquish his rights in the courtyard - mevatel reshus (R' Gamliel) or if he's like a non-Jew and he can't be mevatel reshus (tanna kama). However, the gemara never seems to address the question if the tziduki can be part of the eruv in the first place. I think that there are three possibilities:
1. Everyone would agree that he can't be part of the eruv.
2. It would be the same machlokes - if you hold that he can't be mevatel then he can't be part of the eruv otherwise he could be part of the eruv.
3. Everyone would agree that he can be part of the eruv.

I think that Rashi would hold of option 1. In the mishna (on 61b) Rashi says that a tziduki can't be mevatel reshus because we're afraid he's going to carry there on purpose and thereby nullify his bitul. We don't have that fear if he's actually part of the eruv so that would be permissible. The Rambam (hilchos Eruvin 5:16) though seems to pasken like option 3. He paskens that a tziduki could be mevatel reshus but he can't be part of the eruv. I think that pashut pshat in the gemara is like option 2