Yakov Friedman from Thornhill, Ontario asks:

Question: Just a simple pshat question today. In R' Chiah's approach that the mishna is referring to a half a zayis of tumah he seems to distinuish between someone who cuts a piece from a live person (which is mkabel tumas ochlin with machshava) and meat from a corpse where Rashi explains even machshava will not help because botlah daatoh. What is the svarah to distinguish between the two cases? If anything I would think that a dead person is "more edible". ( I did notice that the RaDa"L mentions that Rashi seems to go with the Ra'vad's shita and the Rambam would hold that even a corpse's meat could be mkabel tumah kalah with machshava and the gmarah just meens that a dead animal doesn't need machshava ( in certain cases) where a human corpse needs machshava.) But what is pshat with Rashi? I must be missing something.

Thank you for your help.


Rabbi Kornfeld replies:

Excellent question. The ARUCH L'NER discusses your point, and suggests an answer based on the fact that Basar ha'Mes is Asur b'Hana'ah, as opposed to Basar min ha'Chai (take a look). The simple meaning of the Gemara, though, appears to have to do with the eating habits of cannibals...

Be well, Mordecai