HORAYOS 11 (26 Nisan) - dedicated by Mr. Avi Berger of Queens, N.Y./Passaic, N.J. in memory of his mother, Leah bas Michel Mordechai, in honor of her Yahrzeit.
1) SIGNS THAT A "MUMAR" IS SINNING "L'HACH'IS"
QUESTION: The Gemara asks that the Beraisa first says that one who eats Chelev is considered a Mumar, and then it states that a Mumar is defined as one who eats Neveilos, Tereifos, Shekatzim, or Remasim, or drinks Yayin Nesech. The Gemara explains that the Beraisa is describing two types of apostates. The first type of Mumar is one who eats Chelev l'Te'avon, one who rejects the Mitzvah or Mitzvos due to his lusts. The second type of Mumar is one who rejects the Mitzvos out of arrogance, in order to anger Hash-m (l'Hach'is), who is considered a Tzeduki (or a Min, according to older manuscripts). The Beraisa is teaching that when the Mumar's intention in sinning is not known, we must assume that he is doing it l'Hach'is, and he is treated more stringently than a Mumar l'Te'avon. Why, though, do we assume that the Mumar commits his sin l'Hach'is and not l'Te'avon?
(a) RASHI (DH Ochel) explains that the acts which the Beraisa lists (eating Neveilos, Tereifos, Shekatzim, etc.) are disgusting acts that are revolting to people. We may assume, therefore, that one who eats such disgusting things is doing so only out of rebellion against Hash-m, and not in order to fulfill his lusts.
The BE'ER SHEVA questions Rashi's explanation. The Gemara in Bechoros (37a) discusses a case in which a person sold food items claiming that they were permitted to eat, the buyer ate them, and then it was discovered that they were forbidden (for example, he sold fruit that was Tevel, or wine that was Yayin Nesech). The Gemara quotes Rebbi Shimon ben Elazar who says that the seller must return the buyer's money if these food items were things that made the buyer disgusted when he found out that they were forbidden. The Gemara there differentiates between things which are considered disgusting and things which are not considered disgusting. Yayin Nesech is considered one of the things which is not considered disgusting. Why, then, does Rashi write that one who drinks Yayin Nesech is assumed to be a Tzeduki because Yayin Nesech is disgusting? The Be'er Sheva suggests instead that the inclusion of Yayin Nesech in the text of the Beraisa here might be a mistake.
The TOSFOS HA'ROSH clarifies the explanation of Rashi. Perhaps when Rashi writes that Neveilos are disgusting, he is referring to Neveilos that are rotten. Why, though, is a Tereifah -- an animal with a mortal wound -- considered disgusting? The Tosfos ha'Rosh answers by pointing out that his Girsa of Rashi omits the word "Tereifos" from the list. Why, though, is Yayin Nesech considered disgusting? He explains that Yayin Nesech is considered disgusting not because the wine itself is physically disgusting, but because it is spiritually disgusting. Anyone who drinks such wine shows clearly his contempt for the Torah.
The NETZIV in MEROMEI SADEH explains that Yayin Nesech which is not poured on the ground is fit for consumption and a person is not disgusted by it. This is the wine which the Gemara in Bechoros (37a) discusses. The Beraisa here, which includes Yayin Nesech in its list of disgusting things, refers to wine that was already poured on the ground for Avodah Zarah. Such wine, when gathered from the ground and consumed, indeed is disgusting. This approach seems to be a fitting explanation for Rashi as well.
TOSFOS in Avodah Zarah (26b, DH v'Chad) explains that the Beraisa refers to one who eats a Neveilah which died of an illness, making it disgusting to eat. Similarly, the case of a Tereifah refers to a Tereifah which died of a broken neck, which makes it disgusting to eat. Tosfos there also discusses Shekatzim and Remasim, but he does not mention Yayin Nesech, lending support to the Be'er Sheva's suggestion that Rashi's Girsa, like Tosfos', does not include Yayin Nesech in the list.
The Keren Orah questions the explanation of Tosfos. The Gemara in Bechoros (37a), which differentiates between things which are disgusting and things which are not, says that Tereifos are disgusting, and it makes no mention of any particularly abhorrent type of Tereifah. This implies that the Gemara there is not bothered with the question of Tosfos and the Tosfos ha'Rosh (who ask why such animals are considered disgusting). Why does the Gemara there consider a Tereifah to be inherently disgusting?
(b) The KEREN ORAH explains that the reason why one who eats these things is considered a Mumar l'Hach'is is not that they are disgusting. Rather, these are things that are easily accessible in their permitted form (Kosher meat and wine). The fact that the person eats and drinks these items in their forbidden forms instead of their accessible Kosher counterparts shows his contempt for the Torah. (Y. MONTROSE)
2) REBBI'S IRRELEVANT QUESTION
QUESTION: The Gemara relates that Rebbi asked Rebbi Chiya whether or not he would be required to bring a Se'ir, the special Korban Chatas of a Nasi, if he accidentally transgressed an Isur Kares when the Beis ha'Mikdash is standing (Rebbi lived after the Beis ha'Mikdash was destroyed), just as a Nasi is required to do when the Beis ha'Mikdash is standing. Rebbi Chiya answered that he would not be required to bring the Se'ir of a Nasi, because he is not the highest mortal ruler; the Reish Galusa in Bavel has more authority than the Nasi in Eretz Yisrael.
The Gemara usually does not discuss issues which are not relevant at all in practice, and when it does discuss such issues, the Gemara asks why it is necessary to discuss such issues. For example, in Sanhedrin (51b), Rav Yosef asks "Hilchesa l'Meshicha?" -- "Must we know now the Halachah that is pertinent only in the times of Mashi'ach?" This does not mean that we should not learn about Korbanos, as the Gemara there points out, but rather it means that if the issue is merely a matter of historical record which is inconsequential in practice, then it is not important to debate precisely what happened. (See RASHI there, DH Hachi Ka'amina, who says that Rav Yosef means that it is inconsequential to know exactly how Rebbi Eliezer said something when it has no practical implication.) Moreover, the Gemara often asks, "Mai d'Havah Havah" (literally, "whatever was, was"), asking that the event has passed and it cannot be changed (Pesachim 108a, Yoma 5b, Kesuvos 3a, Gitin 80a, and other places). Why, then, does Rebbi here ask a seemingly irrelevant question?
(a) Perhaps the answer to this question may be found in the words of RASHI in Chulin. The Gemara in Chulin (17a) records the opinion of Rebbi Akiva that the meat that the Jewish people ate in the Midbar was not slaughtered, and they were not required to eat properly slaughtered meat until they entered Eretz Yisrael. Rebbi Yirmeyah asks: were they permitted to eat the meat that they brought with them from the Midbar into Eretz Yisrael? Rashi (DH she'Hichnisu) explains that this question falls in the category of "Derosh v'Kabel Sachar" (delve into the matter and receive reward for learning Torah). He explains that there is an intrinsic value of Limud Torah in learning about what happened in the past. Accordingly, here, too, Rebbi wanted to know if he would be considered a Nasi perhaps because he wanted to fulfill the dictum of "Derosh v'Kabel Sachar."
However, the Be'er Sheva points out that the ROSH in Chulin disagrees with Rashi. The Rosh states that the Gemara in Yoma (5b) answers that the discussion there is important in order to understand the verses which deal with the garments of Aharon and his sons. In other words, n order to understand the verses in the Torah we are supposed to delve into otherwise irrelevant matters. However, when delving into such matters will not enhance our understanding of the verses of the Torah, we do not apply the dictum of "Derosh v'Kabel Sachar." According to the Rosh, how are we to understand the Gemara's discussion here?
(b) The BE'ER SHEVA explains that the Gemara here is also endeavoring to understand the verses in the Torah. Rebbi was asking what the exact definition of the word "Nasi" is in the verse.
(c) The MITZPEH EISAN explains that the Be'er Sheva's assumption -- that we do not apply "Derosh v'Kabel Sachar" unless the "Derashah" is done in order to understand the verses -- does not apply to matters dealing with Korbanos. The Gemara in Menachos (110a) says, "Whoever delves into the Halachos of a Korban is considered as though he has offered that Korban," and thus one does not need a practical reason in order to delve into a matter regarding Korbanos, even though that matter is not relevant in practice.
(d) The Gemara in Sanhedrin (15b) discusses the question of how many judges would have been required to rule in a case of an ox that came too close to Har Sinai (and was thus punishable with death) at the time of the giving of the Torah. The Rishonim there ask why the Gemara asks such a question, as it is not relevant in practice (see Insights there). The ME'IRI answers that there is a practical Halachic implication -- in a case in which one vows to clothe as many poor people as the amount of judges who were needed to judge such an ox. Similarly, the RAN answers that this information is important in a case in which one takes an oath to become a Nazir if there were twenty-three judges for such an ox. The Gemara itself in Chagigah (6b) gives similar possibilities for such practical differences. (The Acharonim in Sanhedrin (ARUCH LA'NER, MARGOLIYOS HA'YAM), however, question this explanation. Why does the Gemara not give this answer in other places where it is applicable, such as in Yoma (5b)?)
According to this answer, we can understand why Rebbi asked his question. His question has practical implications, such as in a case in which a person makes a vow conditional upon whether or not Rebbi was the type of Nasi who would need to bring a special Korban. (Y. MONTROSE)