1) THE SOURCE THAT ONE MUST USE "TALUSH" FOR "SHECHITAS CHULIN"
QUESTIONS: The Gemara quotes Rebbi who teaches that the instrument used for Shechitah must be "Talush," detached from the ground. He learns this from the verse that describes the knife that Avraham Avinu intended to use, which states, "va'Yikach Es ha'Ma'acheles li'Shechot" -- "and he took the knife to slaughter" (Bereishis 22:10).
TOSFOS (DH Minayin) asks that the Gemara in Zevachim (97b) and in Menachos (82b) says that this verse is the source that Kodshim -- animals offered as Korbanos -- must be slaughtered with a "utensil" (meaning a knife, as opposed to a rock). The Gemara there understands that the verse refers specifically to Kodshim, in accordance with Yitzchak's status as a Korban Olah. If the verse is discussing Kodshim, then how can Rebbi learn from there the laws of how Chulin -- which are treated more leniently than Kodshim -- must be slaughtered?
(a) TOSFOS quotes RABEINU TAM who answers that Rebbi can learn from the verse that a knife that is Talush must be used for Chulin, because the wording of the verse is "li'Shechot Es Beno" -- "to slaughter his son," and it does not say, "li'Shechot Es ha'Olah" -- "to slaughter the Olah." However, since his son was also considered an Olah, the verse also teaches that a utensil must be used for the Shechitah of Kodshim, just as a utensil (Kli) is necessary for the other Avodos of the Korban.
The SHITAH MEKUBETZES explains that Tosfos' answer is based on the premise that it is logical that an object attached to the ground should not be used for any Shechitah. If a verse5/9/2011 possibly could allude to Chulin, and it prohibits Shechitah with an object attached to the ground, then we may assume that the verse refers to Chulin as well, since such a Halachah is logically sound. (The logic alone is not enough to prohibit using an attached object, because one might think that perhaps the Shechitah done properly with the attached object should be valid, at least b'Di'eved. Therefore, a verse still is necessary to prohibit such a Shechitah.) This is why Rebbi assumes that the verse of "va'Yikach Es ha'Ma'acheles" is discussing Chulin as well, and that had it been referring only to Kodshim it would have said "li'Shechot Es ha'Olah."
In contrast, there is no logical premise to assume that an object that is not a Kli should be invalid for the Shechitah of Chulin. Therefore, the fact that Avraham Avinu took a Kli for the Shechitah teaches that a Kli is required for Kodshim (just as the other Avodos of Kodshim require a Kli), but not that a Kli is required for Chulin.
Rabeinu Tam adds a seemingly cryptic statement. He says that the verse's use of the word "va'Yikach" ("and he took") and not "va'Yachin" ("and he prepared") teaches that one must use an object that is Talush, detached, for Chulin. Moreover, the verse's use of the word "Ma'acheles" ("knife") and not "ha'Mechatech" ("the thing that cuts") teaches that one must use a Kli for slaughtering Kodshim. What is Rabeinu Tam adding? He has already explained how the verse teaches that Shechitah of Chulin requires Talush and Shechitah of Kodshim requires a Kli!
1. The Shitah Mekubetzes explains that Rabeinu Tam is addressing an unspoken question in Tosfos. Just because there is reason to assume that the verse includes a logical law regarding Chulin from the fact that the verse does not refer to Yitzchak as an Olah does not teach that this logical law is Shechitah with an object that is Talush! Perhaps the verse intends to teach a different law, such as the requirement of "Ko'ach Adam" (a person's direct power) when performing Shechitah! What indication is there that the verse intends to teach the specific law of Talush?
Rabeinu Tam answers this question as follows. If the verse did not intend to teach Talush is necessary, it would have said that Avraham Avinu "prepared" the instruments he planned to use. This wording, "prepared," includes no implication that Talush is necessary. The wording which the verse actually uses, "and he took," implies that the object was able to be picked up and taken, and was not attached to the ground. It must be that the verse is teaching that an object that is "Mechubar," attached to the ground, may not be used for the Shechitah of Chulin. However, because of the strong implication of the verse that Chulin may not be slaughtered with an object that is Mechubar, one might think that the verse refers only to Chulin. How does the verse imply that a Kli must be used for Kodshim? Rabeinu Tam explains that when the verse says "ha'Ma'acheles" instead of "ha'Mechatech," it is teaching that a Kli must be used for the Shechitah of Kodshim.
2. The MAHARAM proposes a slightly different approach. Once the Gemara has established that the verse is teaching that even Shechitah of Chulin must be done with Talush, and that only Shechitah of Kodshim requires a Kli, it is necessary to discern which words in the verse indicate these specific Halachos. Rabeinu Tam therefore identifies the exact words in the verse from which these two Halachos are derived. While "ha'Ma'acheles" seems to be the source for both laws (Talush and a Kli), one word cannot teach two Halachos (and one cannot suggest that the Talush aspect of "ha'Ma'acheles" applies to Chulin, while the Kli aspect of "ha'Ma'acheles" applies only to Kodshim). It must be that there is another word in the verse which teaches that Talush is required for Chulin. For this reason, Rabeinu Tam explains that Talush is derived from "va'Yikach," and not from "ha'Ma'acheles," which teaches that a Kli is required for Kodshim. (Y. MONTROSE)
2) LEARNING A LAW FROM THE CONDUCT OF AVRAHAM AVINU
QUESTION: The Gemara quotes Rebbi who teaches that the instrument used for Shechitah must be "Talush," detached from the ground. He learns this from the verse that describes the knife that Avraham Avinu intended to use, which states, "va'Yikach Es ha'Ma'acheles li'Shechot" -- "and he took the knife to slaughter" (Bereishis 22:10). This verse is also the source for the requirement to use a utensil (a knife, and not a rock) for the Shechitah of Kodshim (see previous Insight).
There Gemara here seems to derive practical Halachah from the conduct of Avraham Avinu. However, the RAMBAM writes that practical Halachah cannot be derived from those who lived before the giving of the Torah. In the beginning of Hilchos Avel (1:1), the Rambam rules that only the first day of the seven days of Aveilus is mid'Oraisa. He writes that "even though we find that the Avos observed seven days of Aveilus, as it is written, 'And he mourned for his father for seven days' (Bereishis 50:10), [those days of Aveilus were observed before the giving of the Torah, and] only when the Torah was given was the Halachah established (Nitnah Torah v'Nischadshah Halachah)." (See also Rambam in Perush ha'Mishnayos to Chulin 100b.)
TOSFOS in Moed Katan (20a, DH Ma) quotes a similar principle from the Yerushalmi. The ARUCH (Erech Shachar, based on the Gemara in Yoma 28b) records this principle as well.
If Halachah cannot be derived from events that took place before the Torah was given, then why does the Gemara derive the law that the knife used for Shechitah must be Talush from the knife of Avraham Avinu?
ANSWER: The MAHARATZ CHAYOS explains that there is a difference between the acts that the Avos did on their own accord, and the acts that Hash-m commanded the Avos to perform. Any act that Hash-m commanded the Avos to perform may be used as a source for a Halachah. Since Hash-m gave the commandment to bring Korbanos even before the time of Avraham Avinu (see Bereishis Rabah 16:5), Avraham's use of a certain type of knife may serve as a source for what type of knife one is supposed to use when slaughtering a Korban.
The words of the SEFER HA'CHINUCH (#3) support this answer. The Sefer ha'Chinuch writes that the source for the prohibition against eating the Gid ha'Nasheh is the verse, "Therefore, Bnei Yisrael do not eat the Gid ha'Nasheh" (Bereishis 32:33). He then adds, "This verse is not simply a narrative of what our forefathers did. Rather, it is an explicit commandment from Hash-m not to eat the Gid ha'Nasheh." This implies that Halachah may be derived from what the Avos were commanded by Hash-m to do before the giving of the Torah, but not from what they practiced on their own accord. (See also CHASAM SOFER to Yerushalmi Moed Katan, ch. 3; TOSFOS to Moed Katan 8b, DH Lefi.) (Z. Wainstein)
3) RAVA'S QUESTION ABOUT AN OBJECT THAT WAS "TALUSH" AND THEN WAS ATTACHED TO THE GROUND
QUESTION: Rava asks whether Shechitah may be performed with an object that was originally detached ("Talush") from the ground and then was attached ("Chibro") to the ground.
What is Rava's question? The Gemara earlier (15b) already clarified this issue. According to Rebbi Chiya, even an object that was always attached to the ground ("Mechubar") may be used. According to Rebbi, an object that was originally detached and then was attached may not be used l'Chatchilah, but a Shechitah performed with such an object is valid b'Di'eved. What, then, is Rava's question? (See RASHBA to Yevamos 12b, as cited here by the YOSEF DA'AS.)
(a) RASHI and the BA'AL HA'ME'OR explain that the Gemara earlier (15b) is discussing a case of an object (that was detached and then attached) that one intends to remove from the ground. Rebbi accepts a Shechitah performed with such an object. Rava is asking about an object that a person attached to the ground permanently, with no intention to remove it.
(b) TOSFOS and the RAMBAN (in Milchamos) explain that Rava argues with the earlier Gemara that explains that the Mishnah is expressing the view of Rebbi. Rava maintains that the Mishnah is expressing the view of Rebbi Chiya, who permits Shechitah even with an object that is Mechubar. Therefore, he is asking how Rebbi would in the case of an object that was detached and then attached to the ground.
The RAMBAN (in Milchamos) explains that the Gemara concludes that even an object that was detached and then attached to the ground permanently may be used for Shechitah. This is also the view of the RIF and RAMBAM, as well as the Halachah as recorded by the SHULCHAN ARUCH (YD 6:2). The SHACH (YD 6:6), however, quotes the opinion of many authorities who are stringent not to use such an object for Shechitah. (Z. Wainstein)
4) THE PROHIBITION AGAINST EATING MEAT BEFORE ENTERING ERETZ YISRAEL
OPINIONS: The Gemara discusses the statement of the Mishnah (15b), "ul'Olam Shochtin." The Gemara first suggests that the Mishnah is expressing the view of Rebbi Yishmael, who maintains that the Jewish people were forbidden to eat meat during their sojourn in the Midbar, before they entered Eretz Yisrael, unless the animal was offered as a Korban. When they entered Eretz Yisrael, they became permitted to eat meat that was not from a Korban. However, now that the Jewish people are in Galus, one might have thought that the prohibition to eat meat other than a Korban returns. The Mishnah therefore teaches, "ul'Olam Shochtin" -- we may slaughter animals and eat meat even today.
What is the source for Rebbi Yishmael's statement that the Jewish people were forbidden to eat meat while in the Midbar unless it was part of a Korban?
(a) RASHI (DH Ne'esar) explains that according to Rebbi Yishmael, the source of the prohibition is the verse that prohibits slaughtering Kodshim outside of the Mishkan (Vayikra 17:4). The verse states that such an act is punishable with Kares.
TOSFOS (DH shebi'Techilah) has difficulty with Rashi's explanation. The verse that Rashi quotes is discussing only the act of slaughtering Kodshim outside of the Beis ha'Mikdash. It is not discussing the act of slaughtering ordinary animals of Chulin.
However, the Midrash provides explicit proof for Rashi's explanation. The Midrash (Devarim Rabah 4:6) says that Hash-m prohibited many things to the Jewish people, and then He permitted those things. He prohibited them from slaughtering and eating unless the animal was brought (as a Korban) to the Ohel Mo'ed, as it says, "And he does not bring it to the entrance of the Ohel Mo'ed, to offer an offering to Hash-m" (Vayikra 17:4; this is the verse that Rashi quotes). Later, Hash-m permitted this to them, as it says, "Whenever your soul desires you may eat meat" (Devarim 12:20). The Midrash clearly seems to be expressing the opinion of Rebbi Yishmael. This is stated explicitly by the RAMBAN (to Vayikra 17:4).
(b) TOSFOS explains that Rebbi Yishmael derives his prohibition from the verse that permits eating meat after the entry into Eretz Yisrael (Devarim 12:20-21). This verse implies that there was a prohibition against eating such meat before the entry into Eretz Yisrael.
The RASHBA explains that Rashi actually agrees with Tosfos that the source of Rebbi Yishmael's prohibition against eating meat in the Midbar is the verse that permits eating of meat in Eretz Yisrael. However, while Tosfos remains with the implication of the verse as his source, Rashi applies the implication to the verse in Vayikra (17:4) which prohibits the slaughter of Kodshim outside of the Mishkan. The verse in Vayikra discusses a person who slaughters a Korban outside the Mishkan, "And he does not bring it to the entrance of the Ohel Mo'ed, to offer an offering to Hash-m" (Vayikra 17:4). Once the verse in Devarim teaches that ordinary meat of Chulin was forbidden in the Midbar, it must be that the verse in Vayikra also includes the slaughter of Chulin. This is why Rashi quotes only the verse in Vayikra. Since the implication of the verse in Devarim prohibits eating properly slaughtered meat of Chulin, it is clear that the explicit prohibition in Vayikra against slaughtering an animal outside the Beis ha'Mikdash applies to Chulin as well. (See HE'OROS B'MASECHES CHULIN.)
However, the mechanism of the prohibition still needs explanation. How can Rashi assert that these two prohibitions (the Isur of Shechutei Chutz, and the Isur of slaughtering Chulin in the Midbar) are included in the same verse? They are two separate prohibitions which need two separate verses!
The CHIDUSHEI HA'RAN explains that once the Torah proscribes the slaughter of an animal which is not a Korban, when one slaughters an animal his act of Shechitah is tantamount to an explicit declaration that the animal is dedicated to Hekdesh. RAV ELYASHIV shlit'a in HE'OROS B'MASECHES CHULIN comments that this is likely the intention of the Rashba as well, who writes that "according to Rebbi Yishmael, once the Torah forbids even eating animals of Chulin unless they became Hekdesh, they are also included in the category of Kodshim." (Y. MONTROSE)