CHULIN 48 (8 Shevat) -ֲ Dedicated in honor of the birthday of Gila Linzer.
1) A LUNG THAT ADHERED TO THE RIBCAGE
OPINIONS: Rav Yosef bar Minyomi says in the name of Rav Nachman that when the lung of an animal is "near" the inner surface of the animal's body, the animal is Kosher. RASHI (DH ha'Semuchah) explains that this refers to a case in which the lung adheres to the inner surface of the ribs. (The RAN adds that this also refers to a case in which the lung is slightly connected to the inner surface of the ribs through a Sirchah.) Rashi (DH Ein) explains that the Gemara is teaching that there is no concern that the lung has a hole in it (and fluid thickened inside the hole, causing the lung to stick to the ribs). Rather, it is assumed that it became stuck to the ribs because there was a wound in the ribs, and when the wound healed it bonded the lung to the rib. However, if the lung developed "Tzemachim" (swellings), then we must be concerned that perhaps there is a hole in the lung that was caused by a wound to the lung.
Mar Yehudah in the name of Avimi argues with Rav Yosef bar Minyomi and says that in both cases we must be concerned that there might be a hole in the lungs. Rava quotes Ravin bar Sheva who explains that we carefully remove the lungs and examine the ribcage for signs of a wound. If there is a wound on the ribs, then we assume that the adhesion of the lung to the ribs was caused by that wound, and not by a hole in the lung, and the animal is Kosher. If, however, there is no wound on the ribs, then we must assume that there is a hole in the lung that caused it to adhere to the ribs, and the animal is a Tereifah.
The Gemara relates that Rav Nechemyah brei d'Rav Yosef "examined it with lukewarm water." That is, he put the lung in lukewarm water and blew into it in order to observe whether or not bubbles formed in the water that would indicate the presence of a puncture in the lung.
Was Rav Nechemyah being lenient and permitting the animal (by examining the lungs by inflating them) in a case in which no wound was found on the ribs, or was he bring stringent and requiring that the animal be examined even when a wound was found on the ribs?
(a) RASHI (DH Badik) explains that Rav Nechemyah performed his examination on the lung when a wound was found on the ribs near the lung. Mar Yehudah in the name of Avimi ruled that the animal is Kosher in such a case, but Rav Nechemyah was stringent and required that the lung be checked.
The RASHBA questions Rashi's explanation. The Gemara continues and says that Mar Zutra said to Ravina that Rav Nechemyah did not perform this examination to a lung that had adhered to the wall of the ribcage. Rather, he used this examination in a different case -- when a Sirchah was found between two upper lobes of the lung. Rava ruled that in such a case the animal is a Tereifah and no examination is effective. Rav Nechemyah argued and ruled that if the lukewarm water placed on the lung does not bubble up when the lung is inflated, then that suffices to prove that there is no hole in the lung and the animal is Kosher.
According to Mar Zutra, Rav Nechemyah's examination was a leniency to permit the animal that Rava prohibited as a Tereifah. If, as Rashi explains, the Gemara's initial way of understanding Rav Nechemyah's examination was that it applied to the animal that Avimi ruled to be Kosher, then Rav Nechemyah is ruling stringently. Accordingly, Mar Zutra should have emphasized in his statement to Ravina that Rav Nechemyah's test was not to be stringent, but rather to be lenient.
(b) The RAN disagrees with Rashi's explanation. He maintains that Rav Nechemyah was not being stringent in a case in which there was a wound on the ribs. If this was Rav Nechemyah's intention, then the Gemara would have said, "Rav Nechemyah required an examination," and not "Rav Nechemyah would perform an examination." Moreover, the Gemara's wording implies that Rav Nechemyah was being lenient, and not stringent.
Rather, Rav Nechemyah was discussing a case in which no wound was found on the ribs. While Avimi ruled that when there is no wound on the ribs we must assume that the lung adhered to the rib due to a hole in the lung (and the animal is a Tereifah), Rav Nechemyah was lenient and permitted the animal if an examination shows that there is no puncture in the lung. (D. BLOOM)
2) A NEEDLE IN THE LIVER OF AN ANIMAL
QUESTION: The Gemara discusses the case of a needle found in the liver of an animal. Mar brei d'Rav Yosef wanted to rule that the animal is a Tereifah, but Rav Ashi said to him that this case is no different from the case of a needle found in the flesh of the animal, in which case the animal certainly is Kosher. Rav Ashi instead ruled that the status of the animal depends on the direction in which the needle was facing when it was found. If the eye of the needle was facing outwards, away from the liver towards the abdominal cavity, and the point of the needle faces inwards towards the flesh of the liver, then the animal is a Tereifah. We assume that the needle entered the body through the esophagus and then pierced the small intestine (Dakin) and entered the abdominal cavity, and then became imbedded in the liver. The animal is a Tereifah because any hole in the small intestine render it a Tereifah (50a).
If, however, the eye of the needle faces the flesh of the liver and the point faces outwards, then the animal is Kosher. We assume that the needle entered the body through the respiratory tract and entered the liver through its blood vessel, and it did not travel through (and puncture) the digestive tract. Since the needle did not make a hole in any of the organs that render the animal a Tereifah when pierced, the animal is Kosher. (Regarding the exact path that the needle took through the body in order to get to the liver, see SICHAS CHULIN, pp. 262-263, and footnote 137 there. See also SEFER TEMUNEI CHOL, p. 168.)
Why, though, is the animal Kosher when the eye of the needle is facing the inside of the liver, and its point is facing outwards? We should still be concerned that the needle, in its present position, punctured one of the surrounded organs (such as the lungs, heart, or intestines) which render the animal a Tereifah when pierced! Indeed, in the Gemara later (53b; see RASHI there, DH b'Kotz), Rav Nachman rules that when a thorn is found inside of an animal, the animal is a Tereifah if the thorn reached the abdominal cavity, because we must be concerned that the intestines were pierced (and it is not possible to discern such a small hole). Why are we not concerned for the same thing with regard to the needle that is found in the liver?
(a) The RASHBA (cited by the Ran) answers that perhaps the Chachamim ruled that only a thorn in the abdominal cavity renders the animal a Tereifah, but not a needle. A thorn enters the flesh from outside powerfully, and thus we are concerned that it might have punctured an organ when it entered. In contrast, a needle enters the body through the blood vessels, and it moves slowly and gradually as it works its way deeper into the guts of the animal, until it gently pierces the liver. Therefore, we are not concerned that it punctured any other organs.
The Rashba cites proof for this approach from the Gemara later (52a) that teaches that when only a minority of ribs are broken, the animal is Kosher. The Gemara there does not distinguish between broken rib fragments that point outwards and fragments that point inwards. It is apparent that the Gemara is not concerned that the broken ribs might have punctured the digestive tract, lungs, or heart. Rather, only a thorn makes holes in other organs, while a needle and broken ribs do not.
(b) The RAN cites "Yesh Mi she'Kasav" who answers that we are concerned that the needle might have punctured other organs; when the point is facing the abdominal cavity, the animal indeed is assumed to be a Tereifah. When Rav Ashi says that the animal is Kosher when the point of the needle faces outwards, he is referring to a case in which the needle is imbedded entirely in the liver, and none of it protrudes out of the liver (unlike Rashi's explanation of the Gemara). In such a case, when the point faces the outside of the liver, the animal is Kosher, because we assume that the needle entered the liver from the blood vessel. When the point faces the inside of the liver, the animal is a Tereifah, because we assume that the needle entered the liver from the abdominal cavity. (D. BLOOM)