Why did they check the 6 Amos of the chatzer if No one was buried in it?
Also I'm having a hard time understanding the rashbam about 8 kuchin fitting into 11.2 diagonally.
Also who cares if the kuchin passed the diagonal line?
Shmuel Berkovicz, Lakewood
See Sefer Raza d'Shabsi who cites this question in the name of the Beis Yehudah and Zera Yitzchak. See also Shi'urei Bekiyus (by Rav Rabinovitz Te'umim), who says that this check is necessary only according to Rebbi Shimon (in the Mishnah on 101a) who says that the Chatzer opens out into 4 caves. Accordingly, the Chatzer is checked because of the 2 extra caves, according to Rebbi Shimon, that are on each side. This is why the Rashbam writes that this Din is also according to Rebbi Shimon; according to the Rabanan the check is unnecessary, while according to Rebbi Shimon we might find 2 more caves on either side of the Chatzer.
Why does the rashbam say that there is an issue if the kuchin pass the diagonal line?
1. I think your question is asked by the Pnei Shlomo, who writes that he does not know why Rashbam had to write what he did at end of DH Kamah, from "u'Va'al Korchach" onwards.
Possibly we may answer the question of the Pnei Shmuel with the help of what we saw in the name of Rav Michal Yehudah Lefkowitz zt'l, when the difficulty arose of why the Rashbam above (87b, DH d'Rabanan) mentions the word "wine," since the Sugya mentions only oil and not wine. We found that Rav Michal Yehudah said that the way of the Rashbam is "Harchavah." The Rashbam "widens" the discussions. He writes about things that are not mentioned explicitly by the Gemara but may likely arise in the scenarios the Gemara is discussing.
So, in our Sugya, since there are 8 Kuchin, each one an Amah wide with a space of an Amah between each Kuch, and since each Kuch is 4 Amos long and the diagonal line is only 11.4 Amos long, it is very likely that the Kuchin will cross the diagonal line. It is not Halachically essential that they cross the line, but the Rashbam is stressing that the "Charuta" solution of Rav Huna brei d'Rav Yehoshua is not feasible and that the area that the Kuchin wouild occupy is much more than that available at the corners of the caves.
2. Further comment on the earlier question:
a) We may just add a Diyuk in the Rashbam (102a, DH u'Bodek). He writes that one checks the walls on both sides of the cave. This is because they did not actually bury in the cave itself, but rather in the walls of the cave. The Rashbam continues that, afterwards, one checks the 6 Amos of the Chatzer. We may suggest that, in the same way that one does not check the cave itself but rather the sides, so too the main reason for checking the Chatzer is not because of the Chatzer itself but because of the caves that may be found at the sides of the Chatzer, as the Rashbam himself writes that we are concerned about the caves which open onto the Chatzer on both sides.
b) I would also like to suggest a reason for why the requirement to check the Chatzer may apply even according to the Chachamim who disagree with Rebbi Shimon and maintain that there are only two caves, one on each side of the Chatzer lengthwise, and not 4 caves, one in each direction lengthwise and breadthwise, as Rebbi Shimon holds. This is based on what I saw in the Kesef Mishneh on the Rambam (Hilchos Tum'as Mes 9:3). The Rambam writes that if one finds three bodies, one must check another 20 Amos, which represents 2 caves and the Chatzer between them. The Rambam continues that if one does not find anything, then these 20 Amos are Tahor even though they are a "Shechunas Kevaros." The Ra'avad writes that he does not know what this means, because if they are a Shechunas Kevaros, how can they be Tahor? The Kesef Mishneh answers that the Rambam does not mean "Shechunas Kevaros" in the same way that this term is used at the top of 102a, that it is Tamei. Rather, the Rambam means that the 20 Amos are "Shechenim l'Kevaros" -- they are "neighbors of graves." That is, they are "close to graves" and therefore are only Tahor after they have been checked.
We see from the Kesef Mishneh that there is a concept that an area which is very near graves requires checking, because there may be human remains there. This could be a reason why, also according to the Rabanan, who disagree with Rebbi Shimon, the Chatzer between the 2 caves requires checking because it is so close to Kevarim.
Thank you very much Rav dovid!
I don't understand why there is an issue if they pass the diagonal?