WE FOLLOW A MAJORITY
Question: What is the source to follow the majority?
Question: This is obvious! It is "after the majority, to tilt (the verdict)"!
Answer: That teaches to follow a majority d'Isa Kaman (in front of us, i.e. it can be counted). E.g. nine of the 10 stores in the city sell Kosher meat, and we found meat, and do not know which store it came from. Alternatively, we follow the majority opinion of judges on a Sanhedrin;
The question was, what is the source to follow a majority d'Leisa Kaman (a statistical majority), e.g. that a boy or girl is not a Seris or Ailonis (one who will not develop like a normal male/female)?
Answer #1 (R. Elazar): We learn from the head of an Olah - "you will dissect the Olah into its (designated) sections", but you do not cut its sections into smaller pieces.
Since we may not cut open the head, we cannot check if the membrane around the brain is pierced, which would make it a Treifah. (We must rely on the majority of animals, which are not Treifah!)
Rejection: Perhaps one tears the skull, but leaves it connected, in order to check!
It is forbidden only to cut a section into separate pieces.
Answer #2 (Mar brei d'Ravina): We learn from the Isur to break a bone of the Korban Pesach;
Since we may not cut the head (at all), we cannot check if the membrane around the brain is pierced, which would make it a Treifah.
Rather, we rely on the majority of animals, which are not Treifah!
Rejection: Perhaps we put a hot coal on the skull to burn through, in order to check!
(Beraisa): The prohibition of breaking bones does not apply to sinews, nor to burning a bone.
Answer #3 (Rav Nachman bar Yitzchak): We learn from the Alyah (tail, of a sheep of a Chatas or Shelamim, which is offered intact on the Mizbe'ach).
We cannot check if the spinal cord was cut (which would make it a Treifah). We must rely on the majority!
Suggestion: Perhaps we cut the Alyah towards the bottom. If the spinal cord was cut there, the animal is Kosher!
Rejection: It says "by the Atzeh (spine)", i.e. near the kidneys, the place of Etzah (counsel).
Rejection: Perhaps one tears the Alyah, but leaves it connected, in order to check!
It is forbidden only to cut it into pieces.
(PARTIALLY) SUCCESSFUL ANSWERS TO THE QUESTION
Answer #4 (Rav Sheshes brei d'Rav Idi): We learn from Eglah Arufah (a calf beheaded for atonement when a murdered corpse is found).
"You will break its neck", but it should remain whole, so we cannot check if it was Treifah. We must rely on the majority!
Question: Perhaps it makes no difference if it is Treifah!
Answer (d'Vei R. Yanai): It says "atonement" regarding the calf, similar to Korbanos. (Therefore, a Treifah calf is invalid.)
Answer #5 (Rabah bar Rav Shilo): We learn from the Parah Adumah - "He will slaughter... he will burn" - just like it is slaughtered whole, it is burned whole;
Since it is burned whole, we cannot check if it was Treifah. We must rely on the majority!
Suggestion: Perhaps it makes no difference if it is Treifah!
Rejection: The Torah calls it 'Chatas'. (Therefore, a Treifah is invalid.)
Answer #6 (Rav Acha bar Yakov): We learn from the goat sent to Azazel.
Question: "The two goats" teaches that they must be the same. We/ should be concerned lest one is Treifah!
Answer: Rather, we rely on the majority of goats that are healthy.
Question: Why is it a problem if one (the one sent to Azazel) is Treifah? (Why should we say that they must be the same regarding this?)
Answer: The lottery is valid only if both are Kosher to be offered to Hash-m.
Suggestion: Perhaps we check both!
Rejection (Mishnah): Before the goat is halfway down the mountain, it is torn into many pieces. (We cannot tell if there were internal defects when it was alive.)
Answer #7 (Rav Mori): We learn from the death penalty for one who strikes a parent.
Question: We should be concerned lest it is not his father!
Answer: Even if a married woman has extramarital relations, most of the time she has relations with her husband. Therefore, we assume that she became pregnant through her husband.
Suggestion: Perhaps we cannot rely on the majority, and the Torah says to kill the son only when we are sure, e.g. the parents were locked together in a jail cell, and no one else could have had relations with the mother!
Rejection: No one can guarantee that she did not have relations with anyone else. (Perhaps the jail warden opened the cell...)
Answer #8 (Rav Kahana): We learn from the death penalty for a murderer.
Question: We should be concerned lest the victim was a Treifah, and the murderer is exempt!
Answer: We rely on the majority of people, who are healthy (not Treifah).
Suggestion: Perhaps this is wrong, and really, we must check that the victim was not Treifah!
Rejection: That would be a disgrace to the corpse!
Question: Perhaps we do so, since this may save the life of the murderer!
Answer: Even so, we cannot check if there already was a hole where the murderer stabbed him. We must rely on the majority.
Answer #9 (Ravina): We learn from Edim Zomemim (witnesses who testified about something they were not present to see). The Torah says "you will do to him Ka'asher Zamam (like he plotted) to do to his brother." If they tried to obligate Ploni death, we kill them!
Question: We should be concerned lest Ploni is Treifah! (Killing a healthy witness for plotting to kill a Tereifah is not "Ka'asher Zamam.")
Answer: We rely on the majority of people, they are healthy.
Question: Perhaps we check that the one they testified about was not Treifah!
Answer (Beraisa - b'Rebbi): If Ploni was not killed, the plotting witnesses are killed (even though we cannot check for internal Treifos). If Ploni was killed, the plotting witnesses are not killed.
Answer #10 (Rav Ashi): We can learn from Shechitah itself!
Question: The Torah permits eating what was slaughtered. We should be concerned lest there was a hole where the knife cut!
Answer: Rather, we rely on the majority of animals, which are healthy.
A PARTIAL REJECTION OF THE ANSWERS
Objection (Rav Kahana or Rav Simi): All these proofs discuss cases in which there is no alternative. Then, we follow the majority. Perhaps when there is an alternative, we do not follow the majority!
Support: If you would not distinguish, according to R. Meir, who is concerned for the minority, it should be forbidden to eat meat (lest the animal had a hole where it was slaughtered)!
Suggestion: Perhaps R. Meir indeed forbids eating meat!
Rejection: The Torah commands us to eat Korban Pesach and Shelamim!
Conclusion: R. Meir follows the majority when there is no alternative.
Likewise, perhaps Chachamim follow the majority only when there is no alternative! (We have no source to follow the majority when there is an alternative. Rashi - a tradition from Sinai says that we follow the majority.)