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Steinsaltz

§ Rav Yehuda says that Rav says: With regard to eating creeping animals, one is flogged for eating an olive-bulk of them. What is the reason? It is because the term “eating” is written in the Torah with regard to them. The verse states: “And every creeping thing that swarms upon the earth is a detestable thing; it shall not be eaten” (Leviticus 11:41). The term “eating” is invariably referring to consuming an olive-bulk.

The Gemara raises a difficulty. But didn’t Rabbi Yosei bar Rabbi Ḥanina teach the following baraita before Rabbi Yoḥanan: The verse states: “You shall separate between the kosher animal and the non-kosher, and between the non-kosher bird and the kosher; and you shall not make your souls detestable by animal, or by bird, or by anything that swarms on the ground, which I have set apart for you as impure” (Leviticus 20:25). The verse opens with eating creeping animals, in the phrase “You shall not make your souls detestable,” and it ends with the ritual impurity of creeping animals: “Which I have set apart for you as impure.”

The baraita explains: This teaches that just as the carcass of a creeping animal imparts ritual impurity through contact when it is the volume of a lentil-bulk, so too, one is liable for the prohibition of eating a creeping animal when it is the volume of a lentil-bulk. And Rabbi Yoḥanan praised [vekilseih] Rabbi Yosei bar Rabbi Ḥanina for citing this baraita. And this poses a difficulty to the opinion of Rav, who maintains that one is flogged only if he eats an olive-bulk of creeping animals.

The Gemara answers: This is not difficult. Here, the baraita is referring to eating creeping animals when they are dead, at which stage they impart ritual impurity and one is liable for eating a lentil-bulk. By contrast, there, Rav is speaking about eating creeping animals when they are alive, which do not yet impart ritual impurity. For this reason one is flogged only if he eats an olive-bulk.

Abaye said to Rav Yosef: But in his statement Rav was referring to the mishna, and the mishna teaches: And all the creeping animals join together to constitute the requisite olive-bulk measure to render one who consumes it liable to receive lashes. This indicates that this halakha applies even when they are dead. Is the mishna not referring to a case where there is a bit of this live creeping animal and a bit of that carcass of a creeping animal, which together combine to amount to an olive-bulk? Rav Yosef said to Abaye: This deductive inference, that Rav is referring to the mishna, is yours. But in fact Rav was merely saying a halakha unconnected to the mishna. Therefore, there is no proof that Rav was speaking about the carcasses of creeping animals.

The Gemara stated: And Rabbi Yoḥanan praised Rabbi Yosei bar Rabbi Ḥanina for citing the baraita that rules that one is liable for violating the prohibition of eating a creeping animal by the amount of a lentil-bulk. The Gemara raises an objection from a mishna (Oholot 1:7): The whole limbs of impure bodies have no minimum measure with regard to imparting ritual impurity. Even if the limbs were less than an olive-bulk of a carcass or less than a lentil-bulk of a creeping animal, they impart ritual impurity. And Rabbi Yoḥanan says: This mishna is referring to the halakhot of ritual impurity; but with regard to the minimum measure which renders one liable for consumption, one is flogged for eating them only if they amount to an olive-bulk.

Rava says in resolution of the apparent contradiction between Rabbi Yoḥanan’s statements: When Rabbi Yoḥanan said that one is flogged for eating even a lentil-bulk of a creeping animal, he was referring only to those eight creeping animals of which the verse speaks, which are separated from all other creeping animals. The Torah (Leviticus 11:29–32) lists eight types of creeping animals, and Rabbi Yoḥanan was referring specifically to those eight. He maintains that one is flogged for eating a lentil-bulk of such creatures, whereas in the case of other creeping animals one is flogged only for eating an olive-bulk of them.

Rav Adda bar Ahava said to Rava: If that is so, that there is a difference in the measure of liability for consumption between various types of creeping animals, the same should also apply with regard to an animal. Since the Torah in Leviticus 20:25 juxtaposes both kosher animals and non-kosher animals to creeping animals, one can say that an analogous difference should apply here as well: Let the halakha distinguish between flesh from the carcass of kosher animals, which is separated from other types in that it is permitted in consumption by the Torah, and flesh from the carcass of a non-kosher animal, which is not separated, i.e., which is not permitted by the Torah. Consequently, if the carcass of a kosher animal imparts ritual impurity by the amount of an olive-bulk of flesh, the measure of flesh from the carcass of a non-kosher animal that imparts ritual impurity should be larger, i.e., an egg-bulk.

Talmud - Bavli - The William Davidson digital edition of the Koren No=C3=A9 Talmud
with commentary by Rabbi Adin Steinsaltz Even-Israel (CC-BY-NC 4.0)
אדם סלומון
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