KERISUS 22 (11 Elul) - Dedicated by Rabbi Mordecai Kornfeld and family l'Iluy Nishmas Rabbi Kornfeld's father, Reb Aharon David ben Mordechai Kornfeld, a model of dedication to Torah and love for his fellow Jew and for all of Hashem's creations. His Yahrzeit is 11 Elul.
1) HALACHAH: EATING THE BLOOD IN EGGS
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)
2) "TUM'AS OCHLIN" OF "NEVEILAH"
QUESTION: The Gemara (21a) cites a Mishnah (Uktzin 3:3) that implies that a Neveilah can become Tamei with Tum'as Ochlin like other foods. The Gemara asks that even without Tum'as Ochlin (which is a Tum'ah Kalah, a less-severe form of Tum'ah), a Neveilah is Tamei with such a severe degree of Tum'ah (Tum'ah Chamurah) that it will make a man and his clothing Tamei. Why, then, does the Mishnah teach that a Neveilah can become Tamei like a simple food, with a Tum'ah Kalah, which implies that it will not become Tamei with a Tum'ah Chamurah (an Av ha'Tum'ah)?
The Gemara records two answers. Rebbi Chiya answers that the Mishnah refers to a piece of Neveilah less than the size of a k'Zayis. Such a small piece of Neveilah cannot become Tamei with Tum'as Neveilah, because it is less than a Shi'ur. If this piece of Neveilah is joined with some other food that is less than the size of a k'Beitzah and together they combine to be the size of a k'Beitzah, they are fit to become Tamei with Tum'as Ochlin.
Rav Chananya answers that the Mishnah refers to a full k'Zayis of Neveilah (which will be Metamei things that it touches with Tum'as Neveilah) that was covered with dough, so that it is impossible to make direct contact with it. The Neveilah and the dough together are the size of a k'Beitzah, and thus together they can become Tamei and spread Tum'as Ochlin through direct contact.
Why do Rebbi Chiya and Rav Chananya disagree with each other? Since both answers are valid, why does Rebbi Chiya not give the same answer as Rav Chananya, and why does Rav Chananya not give the same answer as Rebbi Chiya? (TOSFOS DH Kegon, and DH Rav Chananya)
ANSWER: TOSFOS answers that Rebbi Chiya does not give the answer that Rav Chananya gives -- that the Mishnah is discussing a case of a k'Zayis of Neveilah that was covered, because the wording of the Mishnah implies that there is a situation in which Neveilah makes something else Tamei only with Tum'as Ochlin, and it does not have Tum'as Neveilah at all. A k'Zayis of Neveilah that is covered will make things Tamei with both Tum'as Ochlin and Tum'as Neveilah through Masa (being carried), even though it is covered.
Rav Chananya, on the other hand, does not give the answer that Rebbi Chiya gives -- that the Mishnah is discussing less than a k'Zayis of Neveilah, because he understands that the Mishnah implies that the type of Neveilah that is Metamei with Tum'as Ochlin is the same Neveilah that is Metamei with Tum'as Neveilah (that is, it is a k'Zayis in size). Therefore, he understands that the Mishnah is discussing a case of a k'Zayis of Neveilah that was covered.
3) EATING THE BLOOD OF FISH WITH SCALES
OPINIONS: The Gemara teaches that one is permitted to eat the blood of a fish. However, if the fish-blood has been drained into a container (and one is not eating it directly from the fish), then it is permitted only "when there are scales with the blood," which indicate that the blood came from a fish.
Where exactly must the scales be found in order for the blood to be permitted?
(a) RASHI (DH d'Is Bei) explains that the scales are "in the blood." REBBI AKIVA EIGER (YD 66:9) explains that Rashi's intention is that it is not enough for one to place the scales next to the cup of blood to show that the blood came from a fish. Rather, the scales must be placed in the blood itself.
(b) The RAMBAM (Hilchos Ma'achalos Asuros 6:1) rules that "it is permissible to eat fish-blood or locust-blood. It is even permissible to drink them from a cup. Blood of non-Kosher fish or locusts may not be eaten, since it exudes from their bodies, like the milk of a non-Kosher animal." The RA'AVAD questions the words of the Rambam from the Gemara here that permits eating fish-blood from a container only when there are scales with the blood. Why does the Rambam omit this requirement?
The MAGID MISHNEH explains that the Rambam understands that the Gemara means that it is permissible to drink the blood of fish only when the fish has scales. The Gemara is not saying that fish-blood in a cup is permitted only when there are scales in the cup. Rather, it is teaching that one may eat only the blood of fish that have scales, for only such fish are Kosher.
(c) The REMA (YD 87:3) rules that when one cooks meat with almond milk, he must place almonds next to the dish in order to indicate that almond milk was used and not regular milk, so that people will not suspect him of transgressing the Isur d'Oraisa of cooking meat with milk. The source of this ruling is the BE'ER SHEVA, whose source is the Gemara here. This implies that it suffices to place the scales next to the blood, and it is not necessary to place the scales directly into the container with the blood.
Perhaps Rashi agrees that it suffices to place the scales next to, but not in, the blood. The reason why Rashi says that the scales must be in the blood is to exclude the opinion of the Rambam. (Indeed, when the Magid Mishneh quotes the opinion of Rashi, he says that the scales must be placed "in the container," and not that they must be placed "in the blood" itself.) (M. KORNFELD)