More Discussions for this daf
1. "A partial day is like a whole day" 2. Part of the Day is as the Whole 3. Bloodspots in Eggs

Dr. Mark May asks:

My main question is the basis for prohibiting eating an egg found with a blood spot.

(a) Is it the prohibition of eating blood or does it have anything to do with whether the egg was fertilized.

(b) Is there any restriction in eating an embryo or fully formed unhatched chicken. If yes, I would assume that the item would be considered same category as chicken, or fleishic.

(c) Would a newly hatched chick require shechita?

Sorry for the esoteric but all for sake of learning Torah for sake of learning Torah. Please be kind enough to share any other insights you have concerning this subject.

With my best for another great year of Torah learning and strengthening our medos.

Mark May, Netanyah, Israel

The Kollel replies:

(a) In our Insights to Chulin 21, we discussed blood-spots in eggs. As you will see from the Insight copied below, the two approaches of Tosfos argue as to whether the prohibition of blood in eggs is related to whether the egg was fertilized or not.

(b) & (c) The Gemara tells us (Beitzah 6b) that it is prohibited to eat unhatched chick embryos. Since they are not yet fully developed, they are considered to be Sheretz ha'Of. The Gemara explains that even after the chicks are born, if they have not yet opened their eyes they remain in this category, and they may not be eaten even with Shechitah.

Regards, Mordecai Kornfeld



QUESTION: The Mishnah (20b) states that one is Chayav Kares for eating the Dam Shechitah (the blood that comes out at the moment the soul departs) of a Behemah (large, domesticated animal), Chayah (wild animal), and bird. However, one who eats the spleen or heart of such animals, or the blood of eggs, is not Chayav Kares. RASHI (DH Ein) explains that the punishment of Kares applies only to the Dam ha'Nefesh, the blood on which the animal's life depends, as the Torah states (Vayikra 17:14), and not to the other blood of the animal.

The Gemara cites a Beraisa that expounds the verse, "You shall not eat any blood, whether it is of bird or of beast" (Vayikra 7:26). Since the Torah states "any blood," one might have thought that the blood of people, the blood in eggs, the blood of Sheratzim, and the blood of fish are also included in the Isur. Therefore, the Torah adds the words, "of bird or of beast," to teach that the blood of people, Sheratzim, eggs, fish, and Kosher locusts are excluded from the prohibition of eating blood. The Gemara explains that the reason why the blood in eggs is excluded is that eggs are not a type of flesh and are not similar to birds and animals which are mentioned in the verse, which are types of flesh.

The Gemara implies that there is no prohibition to eat eggs that contain blood. From the fact that the Gemara compares the blood in eggs to the blood of fish and locusts, which are permitted to eat even l'Chatchilah as long as it is clear to onlookers that the blood came from fish or locusts (21b), it seems that it is also permitted l'Chatchilah to eat the blood in eggs.

However, this seems to contradict the Gemara in Chulin (64b) that says that if a spot of blood is found on an egg, one must first remove and discard the blood before he eats the egg. Rebbi Yirmeyah there adds that this applies only when the blood is located on the "Kesher" of the egg, which Rashi explains is the seed of the father which is "tied" at the head of the egg, for that is where the chick's development begins. Blood on the Kesher indicates that the blood has not dispersed throughout the rest of the egg, and thus one may eat the egg after removing the blood. In contrast, blood found in the "Chelmon" (yolk) indicates that the blood has started to spread throughout the egg, and the entire egg is forbidden.

The Gemara in Chulin clearly implies that blood in eggs is forbidden. How is the Gemara there to be reconciled with the Gemara here that says that the blood in eggs is permitted?


(a) TOSFOS in Chulin (64b, DH v'Hu) answers that mid'Oraisa all blood found in eggs is permitted. However, the Rabanan prohibited the blood in eggs as a Gezeirah to prevent people from thinking that it is also permitted to eat the blood of the mother bird. Mid'Oraisa, even blood found on the Kesher is permitted; even though that blood represents the beginning of the development of the chick, at the present moment it is not considered flesh and thus it is not Asur mid'Oraisa. When the Gemara here says that blood in eggs is permitted, it is teaching only the Halachah d'Oraisa, but mid'Rabanan all blood in eggs is forbidden.

(b) Tosfos there gives a second answer and says that the blood found on the Kesher indeed is Asur mid'Oraisa, because the chick's development begins at that point, making it considered a type of flesh. When the Gemara here permits the blood in eggs, it refers only to a case in which there is no blood on the Kesher, but on some other part of the egg. It is common for blood to be found on another part of the egg even soon after it is hatched. This blood does not originate from the development of the chick, but from some external source (for example, the rooster bit the hen and caused blood to appear on the eggs).

HALACHAH: The SHULCHAN ARUCH (YD 66:2) rules that when it is known that the blood on an egg is a result of the beginning of the development of the chick, it is forbidden mid'Oraisa. When it is not known whether the blood marks the beginning of the development of the chick, the blood is permitted mid'Oraisa but prohibited mid'Rabanan.

The TAZ (YD 66:1) writes that according to the second answer of Tosfos, blood that is not on the Kesher is permitted even l'Chatchilah, and there is no Isur d'Rabanan. However, the Shulchan Aruch adopts the stringencies of both answers of Tosfos, and therefore he rules that any blood found in an egg is prohibited mid'Rabanan.

(It is interesting to note that the REMA (YD 66:3) writes that the custom is to prohibit any egg with blood, whether the blood is on the yolk or the white of the egg. The Shulchan Aruch (YD 66:7), however, states that eggs laid by a hen that was never with a rooster are permitted to eat, as long as one throws away the blood itself. See SHACH there, #14.) (D. BLOOM)