סקר
לקראת מסכת עירובין





 

Steinsaltz

while attached to the ground is prohibited, due to the prohibition of: “Every swarming thing that swarms upon the earth,” because the cucumber was considered part of the earth when the worms infested it.

The Gemara suggests: Let us say that a comparison of the following two baraitot supports Shmuel’s opinion. As it is taught in one baraita: “Every swarming thing that swarms upon the earth” serves to exclude zizin, a type of insect that is found in lentils, and mosquitoes that are in kelisim, a type of bean, and worms that are in dates and in dried figs. All of these are permitted for consumption because they do not swarm on the earth itself. And it is taught in another baraita that when the verse states: “Every swarming thing that swarms upon the earth,” the word “every” serves to include as non-kosher worms that are in the roots of olive trees and that are in the roots of vines.

What, is it not that both this and that baraita are referring to insects that are found in the fruit, and this, the latter baraita, deems forbidden fruit that is attached to the ground, and that, the former baraita, deems permitted fruit that is not attached to the ground? This would support Shmuel’s statement that worms in a cucumber attached to the ground are forbidden.

The Gemara responds: No, it is possible that both this and that baraita are referring to insects found in vegetation attached to the ground; and the apparent contradiction between the two is not difficult. This, the former baraita, deems permitted insects found in the fruit, and that, the latter baraita, deems forbidden insects found in the tree itself. This interpretation contradicts Shmuel’s statement.

The Gemara notes: The language of the latter baraita is also precise, as it teaches: Worms that are in the roots of olive trees and in the roots of vines, clearly referring to the tree itself rather than the fruit. The Gemara concludes: Learn from it that the second interpretation is correct.

§ From the above discussion, it is clear that worms that grow in produce not attached to the ground, and have never emerged from the produce, do not fall under the prohibition of: “Every swarming thing that swarms upon the earth,” because they have never swarmed on the earth. Rav Yosef raises a dilemma: If a worm emerged from the produce but died before it reached the earth, what is the halakha? Is it considered to have swarmed on the earth simply by having emerged? If only part of it emerged, what is the halakha? If it emerged into the air of the world and flew away without landing, what is the halakha? The Gemara responds to all of the above: The dilemma shall stand unresolved.

Rav Ashi raises a dilemma: If a worm was spawned in a date, and it emerges and climbs onto the roof of the date, i.e., its upper part, what is the halakha? Is this considered the normal manner of growth for the worm, in which case this does not render it forbidden, or is the roof of the date considered a separate entity such that crawling there constitutes swarming on the earth? And if it is considered a separate entity, what is the halakha if the worm climbed onto the roof of the date’s pit? Is this considered the normal manner of growth for the worm? If the worm emerged from a date and entered a date that was attached to it, without being exposed to the air, what then is the halakha? The Gemara responds to all of the above: The dilemma shall stand unresolved.

§ Rav Sheshet, son of Rav Idi, says: Kukeyanei, worms found in the internal organs of animals, e.g., in the lung and liver, are forbidden. What is the reason for this? It is that they came from the outside world, i.e., the animal must have swallowed them along with vegetation, in which case these worms were already included in the prohibition: “Every swarming thing that swarms on the earth is a detestable thing; it shall not be eaten.”

Rav Ashi objects to this: If they came from the outside world, they should be found in the digestive tract as well. Since they are found only in non-digestive organs, they must have originated in the animal and should not be considered creeping animals that swarm on the earth.

Some state the exchange differently: Rav Sheisha, son of Rav Idi, says: Kukeyanei are permitted. What is the reason for this? It is that they originate from inside the animal. Rav Ashi said: This is obvious, as if they came from the outside world, they should be found in the digestive tract.

The Gemara concludes: And the halakha is: Kukeyanei are forbidden. What is the reason for this? It is that the animal sleeps, and worms enter it through its snout. From there they travel to the internal organs without passing through the digestive tract. Worms found in meat between the skin and the flesh are forbidden; those found in fish are permitted.

The Gemara recounts: Ravina said to his mother: Conceal the fish’s worms inside it so I cannot see them, and I will eat the fish. Rav Mesharshiyya, son of Rav Aḥa, said to Ravina: What is different in this case from that which is taught in a baraita, that the verse: “Their carcasses you shall have in detestation” (Leviticus 11:11), serves to include worms that are in animals as forbidden? Why are worms in fish permitted?

Ravina said to him: How can these cases be compared? An animal is rendered permitted for consumption only by slaughter. Before it is slaughtered, it and all its contents are considered part of a living animal and prohibited by the Torah. And since the animal’s slaughter is not effective for these worms, they retain their forbidden status. But fish are rendered permitted by merely gathering them; they are not included in the prohibition against eating a limb from a living animal. And therefore, when these worms originate inside the fish, they originate in a permitted state.

§ The verse states: “Whatever goes upon the belly, and whatever goes upon all fours, or whatever has many feet, even all swarming things that swarm upon the earth, them you shall not eat” (Leviticus 11:42). The Sages taught in a baraita that the phrase “goes upon the belly” is referring to the snake. The preceding word “whatever” serves to include the earthworm and animals similar to an earthworm. The phrase “upon all fours” is referring to the scorpion. The preceding phrase “whatever goes” serves to include the beetle and animals similar to a beetle. The phrase “has many feet” is referring to the centipede. The preceding phrase “or whatever” serves to include animals similar to a centipede and animals similar to those similar to it.

It is taught in a baraita: Rabbi Yosei ben Durmaskit says: The leviathan mentioned in the Bible is a kosher fish, as it is stated: “His armor is his pride” (Job 41:7), and: “Sharpest potsherds are under him” (Job 41:22). The phrase “his armor” is referring to his scales, which protect him like armor. The phrase “sharpest potsherds are under him” is referring to fins with which he swims, which are sharp and project from his underside.

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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