1) IMMERSING A VESSEL WITH A LONG HANDLE
QUESTION: The Gemara cites the Mishnah in Mikva'os (10:5) that teaches that when a person intends to shorten the long handle of vessel, he must immerse the vessel only until the point on the handle at which he plans to cut it.
The Rishonim ask that if he is planning to remove the additional length of handle, then that length constitutes a "Mi'ut ha'Makpid" -- a small, intervening substance that one is conscientious about removing. Accordingly, it is a Chatzitzah when one immerses the vessel in a Mikvah, and the immersion should be invalid. (The RASHBA here leaves this question unanswered.)
(a) TOSFOS (DH Matbil) answers that the Mishnah in Mikva'os is discussing a vessel that has a handle comprised of numerous links, like those in a chain, and thus there is no Chatzitzah between each link.
(b) The RASH and ROSH (Mikva'os 10:5) understand that the Mishnah there is discussing a vessel that has a handle that is one unit, and not links. They explain that with regard to vessels, there is no law of a Chatzitzah for Beis ha'Setarim (that is, the part of the vessel that is covered by the intervening substance is concealed).
(c) The OR ZARU'A (Hilchos Nidah #462) answers that only a foreign substance constitutes a Chatzitzah, such as dough under one's fingernails. In contrast, additional parts of the same material as the object being immersed does not constitute a Chatzitzah. (This is why one's fingernail, in theory, could be any length and the additional length would not be considered a Chatzitzah for the Tevilah.)
(d) The CHIDUSHEI HA'RAN (DH Matbil) explains that an object is considered a Chatzitzah only when the person is conscientious about it at the time of the Tevilah. If, however, he is planning to remove the addition only later, then he is not considered "Makpid" and the object is not a Chatzitzah. (Z. Wainstein)
2) COMPARING A DANGLING LIMB TO A PROTRUDING LIMB
QUESTION: In the Mishnah (72a), Rebbi Meir and the Chachamim disagree about whether the Shechitah of the mother removes the Tum'ah of the fetus (from which a protruding limb was cut after the Shechitah). Reish Lakish and Rebbi Yochanan argue about the extent of the dispute between Rebbi Meir and the Chachamim. In the Gemara's first version of the argument between Reish Lakish and Rebbi Yochanan, Reish Lakish asserts that the Machlokes Tana'im applies to an "Ever ha'Meduldal" (a limb dangling from a live animal) as well. Just as Rebbi Meir maintains that the Shechitah of the mother is not Metaher the fetal limb that was protruding, he maintains that the Shechitah of an animal is not Metaher the limb that dangles from it. Rebbi Yochanan maintains that the Machlokes applies only to the case of the limb of a fetus; both Rebbi Meir and the Chachamim agree that Shechitah renders a dangling limb Ever Min ha'Chai ("Nipul"). It is considered as if it fell off while the animal was alive, and it is Tamei.
Rebbi Yochanan's reasoning is that in the case of a protruding limb, the Shechitah of the mother is Metaher the limb because it could have become permitted had the fetus returned the limb to the womb before the Shechitah. In contrast, a dangling limb is irreversible, and thus everyone agrees that it is considered Neveilah.
RASHI (DH b'Chazarah) explains that Rebbi Yochanan is consistent with his own view earlier (68b) that when a protruding limb returned to the womb before Shechitah, the Shechitah permits it to be eaten.
Rashi himself is consistent with his explanation of Rebbi Yochanan's opinion there. Rashi there (see Insights to Chulin 68:2
) explains that Rebbi Yochanan's opinion in the second version is the same as his opinion in the first version. Rebbi Yochanan says that the limb that exits the womb and then returns to it is not prohibited.
However, the other Rishonim (see Insights there) explain that in the second version, Rebbi Yochanan agrees that the limb remains prohibited when it is retracted back into the womb. How, then, do they explain Rebbi Yochanan's reasoning here? The protruding limb should be no different from the dangling limb, since it will never become permitted!
(a) The RASHBA (68b, DH b'Pumbedisa) asks this question. He quotes "Raboseinu Ba'alei ha'Tosfos" who suggest that perhaps Rebbi Yochanan here means that even though its return to the womb would not permit the limb to be eaten, it would remove Tum'as Neveilah from the limb.
The RASHBA rejects this approach, because Rebbi Yochanan here is discussing the view of the Chachamim. He says that the Chachamim would be Metamei an Ever ha'Meduldal, even though they maintain that the protruding limb becomes Tahor when the mother is slaughtered. The Chachamim maintain that the Tum'ah of the protruding limb is removed with the Shechitah of the mother, even without it having to return to the womb! The RASHBA leaves the question unresolved.
(b) The ROSH (4:1) explains that when the Gemara here says that Rebbi Yochanan maintains that the limb becomes permitted to be eaten when it returns to the womb, the Gemara is following only the first version of Rebbi Yochanan's opinion earlier (68b). (Accordingly, the Gemara here is not in accordance with the Halachic opinion. This is not problematic, because this version of the argument between Reish Lakish and Rebbi Yochanan is not the conclusive version.)
3) THE PROHIBITION OF "EVER HA'MEDULDAL"
OPINIONS: The Gemara cites a Beraisa that derives from the verse, "Do not eat meat that is torn in the fields" (Shemos 22:30), that even "a limb and flesh that dangles" of a domesticated animal, wild animal, or bird that is slaughtered is forbidden. Rabah bar bar Chanah in the name of Rebbi Yochanan says that there is "only a Mitzvah to separate from it" ("Mitzvas Perosh Bilvad").
What is Rebbi Yochanan's intention when he says that there is a "Mitzvas Perosh Bilvad"?
(Hilchos Ma'achalos Asuros 5:6) writes, "The Ever ha'Meduldal of an animal -- if it cannot return to the animal and heal, even when it became detached entirely only after Shechitah -- is forbidden, but one does not receive Malkus for eating it." As the MAGID MISHNEH
(Hilchos Ma'achalos Asuros 5:11) explains, the Rambam maintains that the Isur of Ever ha'Meduldal is mid'Oraisa, but since it is derived from a Derashah and is not written explicitly in the Torah, there is no punishment of Malkus (see Insights to Nedarim 15:2:b
). When the Gemara says that there is a "Mitzvas Perosh Bilvad," this means that there is an Isur d'Oraisa to eat an Ever ha'Meduldal, but there is no Malkus for one who does.
(b) RASHI earlier (73a, DH v'Es Ever) explains that an "Ever ha'Meduldal" is a limb that was cut off but still remains partially joined to the animal. Such a limb is forbidden to eat, even after a proper Shechitah is done to the animal.
Rashi here (74a, DH Ein and DH Ela) explains that when Rebbi Yochanan says that there is a "Mitzvas Perosh Bilvad," he means that the Ever ha'Meduldal is not forbidden by the Isur of Ever Min ha'Chai, but rather it is forbidden only mid'Rabanan. The Derashah from the verse that the Gemara here quotes is only an Asmachta.
TOSFOS (DH Mai) also maintains that the Isur to eat an Ever ha'Meduldal is only mid'Rabanan.
This is also the ruling of the SHULCHAN ARUCH (YD 55:5) who writes that an Ever ha'Meduldal is Asur mid'Rabanan. The SHACH (YD 55:11) writes that since it is Asur mid'Rabanan, one may be lenient in a case of doubt.
The Shach writes further that there are Poskim who rule that one may not give an Ever ha'Meduldal to a Nochri, since it is forbidden to him because of Ever Min ha'Chai. However, the RASHBA and RAN maintain that since the Isur for a Jew is only mid'Rabanan, for a Nochri there is no Isur at all.
The ruling of the Rashba and Ran seems to contradict the Gemara later (129a) in which Rebbi Yochanan says that according to Rebbi Shimon, an Ever ha'Meduldal is Tahor. It is Tahor because only food that one may feed to others (i.e. Nochrim) is considered food (that can become Tamei). Since an Ever ha'Meduldal may not be fed to Nochrim, it cannot become Tamei with Tum'as Ochlin. How can it be that Rebbi Yochanan says both that there is a "Mitzvas Perosh Bilvad," and that it is forbidden to give an Ever ha'Meduldal to a Nochri? (See CHIDUSHEI REBBI AKIVA EIGER to 73b.)
The CHAZON ISH (YD 4:20) answers that Rebbi Yochanan's statement there (129a) according to Rebbi Shimon means that "Shechitah Osah Nipul" -- through Shechitah, it is considered as though the limb of the animal fell off while the animal was still alive, and is thus considered Ever Min ha'Chai. However, the Halachah follows the opinion that "Ein Shechitah Osah Nipul" (see RAMBAM, Hilchos She'ar Avos ha'Tum'os 2:5), and thus an Ever ha'Meduldal is not an Ever Min ha'Chai, and it is permitted for Nochrim.
(According to this answer, it appears that the Tosefta at the end of Avodah Zarah (9:4) that says that an Ever ha'Meduldal is prohibited to a Nochri is following the view that "Shechitah Osah Nipul," which is not the Halachah.) (D. BLOOM)