THOUGHTS ON THE DAILY DAF
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1) MEAT SOLD TO A NOCHRI WHERE A MAJORITY OF "SHOCHTIM" ARE JEWS
QUESTIONS: The Gemara relates an incident in which a butcher told his
acquaintance that had he been friendly towards him, he would have given him
a fine piece of meat from a fattened ox yesterday. The acquaintance said
that he indeed ate from the best part of the ox yesterday, which the butcher
had sold to a Nochri, who had given him some of the meat. The butcher
responded that he had fattened two oxen, one Kosher and one Tereifah, and it
was the Tereifah one that he had sold to the Nochri.
2) "ROV" AND "KAVU'A"
Rebbi declared that because of this fool who acted improperly by selling
Tereifah meat to a Nochri storeowner (thereby causing another Jew to eat
Tereifah meat), we do not prohibit everyone from buying meat from all of the
Nochrim in the marketplace. RASHI (DH Anu) explains that since the majority
of Shochtim in that place were Jewish, it is not logical to prohibit
everyone from buying meat on that day from all of the Nochrim in the
The Gemara points out that Rebbi is consistent with his own opinion that
meat found in the hands of a Nochri in a place where Jewish Shochtim sell
meat in the marketplace is permitted. Rashi (DH Basar) explains that since
the Nochri certainly did not slaughter the animal, but rather is a
businessman selling the meat, we may assume that the meat is Kosher. Rashi
(DH Mutar) adds that we are not concerned that the meat is from a Tereifah
animal, because a Jew would not have sold a Tereifah animal to a Nochri in
The RASHBA infers from Rashi that it is permitted to buy meat from the
Nochri only when he sells it in the marketplace. The Rashba questions this
inference. Since the majority of Shochtim are Jews, even when the meat is
found in the hands of a Nochri who is selling it in his *home*, it should be
permitted, because we assume that all of the meat the Nochrim buy comes from
the Jews, and we do not need to be concerned for the Mi'ut of Neveilos that
the Nochrim slaughter at home. Why, then, does Rashi permit the meat only
when the Nochri sells it in the marketplace?
(a) The CHIDUSHEI CHASAM SOFER (DH Basar) answers this question based on the
words of the RAN (33a of the pages of the Rif). The Ran explains that the
incident involving the butcher who sold the Tereifah animal to a Nochri
occurred in a place where the practice was *not* to sell a Tereifah animal
to a Nochri. In such a place, one is permitted to buy meat from a Nochri,
since the majority of Shochtim are Jews. Therefore, Rebbi said that the
Shochet acted improperly, because he should not have sold the Tereifah to a
Nochri, lest the Nochri resell it to a Jew.
The Chasam Sofer writes that in such a place, where one may not sell a
Tereifah animal to a Nochri, what are the Jewish Shochtim to do with a
Tereifah animal that they find in their herd? Are they supposed to suffer a
full loss of the value of the animal? The Chasam Sofer asserts that the
Jewish Shochtim may sell the Tereifah animals to Nochrim *in private*, for
the purpose of domestic consumption, but they may not sell the Tereifah
animals to commercial, Nochri meat dealers who sell meat in the marketplace.
Accordingly, it is permitted to buy meat from Nochrim in the marketplace,
because it may be assumed that there is no Tereifah meat there. It is
prohibited to buy meat from the private homes of Nochrim outside of the
marketplace, because the animal might be a Tereifah.
The Chasam Sofer points out that TOSFOS (DH Rebbi) supports this
explanation. Tosfos explains Rebbi's ruling that meat found in the hands of
a Nochri in the marketplace where Jewish Shochtim work is permitted. Tosfos
writes that we are not concerned that a Nochri brought a Neveilah from his
home to sell in the meat market, or that a Jewish Shochet sold a Tereifah to
a Nochri for private consumption that the Nochri is now bringing to the
market to sell. There is not a sufficient reason to prohibit buying meat in
the marketplace, because we follow the majority of meat sold there, and a
majority of meat is bought from Jewish Shochtim and is Kosher.
It can be inferred from Tosfos that he, too, maintains that one is permitted
to sell a Tereifah animal to a Nochri for private consumption. This is why
Rashi maintains that it is permitted to buy meat only from a Nochri meat
dealer in the marketplace, but not from a private Nochri. (D. Bloom)
QUESTION: The Gemara teaches that when one bought a piece of meat from a
store but does not know whether he bought the meat from a Kosher meat store
or from a non-Kosher meat store, and there are nine Kosher stores and one
non-Kosher store, the meat is prohibited. However, when he found a piece of
meat outside of a store, the meat is permitted because we follow the
majority (Rov). We use the principle of Rov to resolve a doubt only when
dealing with objects that "separate themselves" from a group. When the
object is "Kavu'a" (established in its place), the Safek remains and each
possibility is considered to be equally plausible.
3) WHOLE LIMBS FOUND IN THE STREET
What is the logic behind this ruling? The statistical probability in each
case -- a case of Rov, when the objected became separated from the group,
and a case of Kavu'a, when the object is still in its place -- is exactly
the same in both cases!
ANSWER: HAGA'ON RAV YISRAEL ZEV GUSTMAN zt'l explained that the answer to
this question depends on how the Safek is expressed. In a case of an object
that separated from a group that contained objects of Isur and Heter, the
Safek is expressed as the question, "From *which* of the objects in the
group did this one separate?" If most of the objects in the group are Heter,
then the object that separated from the group is permitted as well.
In contrast, when an object is found in its place, the Safek is expressed as
follows: "Some of the objects here are Mutar and some are Asur. Is this
particular object Mutar or is it Asur?" Since the question has only two
sides (Mutar and Asur), it is considered to be a balanced Safek. (M.
QUESTION: The Gemara quotes the Mishnah in Shekalim (7:3) that says that
pieces of meat found in the street outside of Yerushalayim in a Jewish town
is permitted, but whole limbs of animals found in such a town are
4) HALACHAH: "BASAR SHE'NIS'ALEM MIN HA'AYIN"
The Gemara points out that the Mishnah cannot be discussing a case in which
the finder saw a person drop the meat (and there is a doubt whether the
person was a Jew or Nochri), because if that is the case, then even whole
limbs that are found in such a case should be permitted. We know that limbs
are prohibited only when we did not see them fall from the person who lost
RASHI (DH Nimtza b'Gevulin) explains that the Mishnah prohibits limbs
because it is the normal manner for people to cut up Tereifah animals and
discard them in the garbage heap in the street.
According to Rashi, what difference does it make if the finder saw the limbs
drop from a person walking in the street, or if he simply found the limbs in
the street? If, as Rashi says, we assume that they were discarded in a
garbage heap, then in both cases they should be assumed to be Neveilos!
ANSWER: Meat that is found in the street but *not* in the garbage heap is
permitted, whether it is a whole limb or a piece of meat, when most of the
butchers in the town are Jewish. The Mishnah is discussing meat that was
found in a garbage heap. A limb is prohibited because it is assumed that its
owner intentionally brought it to the garbage heap to discard there. Cuts
are permitted because we assume that they fell from the owner into the
garbage heap, without his knowledge. (This is because a person would never
bother to cut up meat if the animal was Tereifah. Therefore, we assume that
pieces of meat found in the garbage heap are not from a Tereifah animal and
thus are permitted.)
When the finder saw the meat fall from the person who was carrying it, there
is no question whether the meat fell inadvertently or not. Hence, either
both whole limbs and cuts should be permitted (when the meat fell
inadvertently), or both should be prohibited (when the meat was thrown into
the garbage heap). Therefore, the Mishnah must be discussing a situation in
which the finder did not see how the meat fell. (M. Kornfeld)
QUESTION: Rav rules that any meat that has left our sight becomes
prohibited. RASHI (DH Nimtza) implies that the meat is prohibited because we
are concerned that perhaps passing ravens took the Kosher piece of meat and
left a piece that is not Kosher.
According to Rashi's reasoning, does the prohibition of "Basar she'Nis'alem
Min ha'Ayin" apply to meat left unsupervised in a town in which most or all
of the meat is produced by Kosher butchers?
ANSWER: TOSFOS (DH Amar Rav) explains that the prohibition of "Basar
she'Nis'alem Min ha'Ayin" applies even in such a town. Even though most or
all of the meat in this town is produced by Kosher butchers, we are still
concerned that perhaps the birds brought meat from outside of the town.
The RASHBA quotes the RA'AVAD who rules that, for this reason, in a town in
which most or all of the meat is produced by Kosher butchers, when meat is
found in a manner that clearly shows that it could not have been placed
there by a bird, it is not prohibited as "Basar she'Nis'alem Min ha'Ayin."
This is also the Halachah as recorded by the SHULCHAN ARUCH (YD 63:2).
5) THE "NICHUSH" OF ELIEZER
QUESTION: Rav states that any form of divination (or interpretation of
omens) which is not similar to the divination that Eliezer, the servant of
Avraham, performed (when he wanted to determine who would be the proper wife
for Yitzchak) is not considered divination. This implies that a form of
Nichush that *is* similar to that of Eliezer is considered divination. Since
the Torah forbids performing Nichush, how could Eliezer perform Nichush when
choosing a wife for Yitzchak!
6) "RAV BADIK B'MAVRA"
(a) TOSFOS (95b, DH k'Eliezer) answers that Rav maintains that the
prohibition to rely on divination applies only to a Jew and does not apply
to a Nochri. Eliezer was a Nochri.
(b) According to those who maintain that the prohibition of Nichush applies
to a Nochri as well, Tosfos suggests that Eliezer did not intend to rely on
the omen that he had set. He intended that the omen merely serve as a
starting point in choosing the proper bride for Yitzchak; he did not accept
Rivkah as the bride until he reached her home, met her parents, and checked
into her lineage. This appears to be the opinion of the RAMBAM (Hilchos
Avodah Zarah 11:4) as well.
(c) The RA'AVAD, however, strongly argues with the Rambam for implying that
Eliezer practiced Nichush. He maintains that everything Eliezer did was
The Ra'avad seems to understand the Gemara as the RADAK (Shmuel I 1:14)
explains it. The Radak writes that the prohibition of Nichush applies only
when one makes his actions dependent on an occurrence that is not related in
any way to what he is doing (for example, he says that he will marry a
certain woman if a chicken crosses his path). When he makes his actions
dependent on an event that is related to what he is going to do, there is no
prohibition of Nichush involved. When the Gemara says that any form of
Nichush that is not similar to that of Eliezer is not considered Nichush, it
means that if one does not specify in advance that he intends for an
occurrence to serve as a good or bad omen, then the occurrence is not an
omen and does not portend anything.
According to this explanation, what does the Gemara mean when it suggests
that Rav did not want to eat his relative's meat due to Nichush? The Gemara
means that Rav interpreted the fact that everyone left the meat behind as a
bad omen for the meat. According to the Radak, the Amora'im regularly looked
out for such "good omens" ("Rav Badik b'Mavra").
QUESTION: The Gemara relates that Rav would decide whether or not to go on a
trip based on the sign of the ferry. RASHI (DH Badik) explains that if Rav
found a ferry ready to travel, then he would travel, and if he found a ferry
only with difficulty, then he would not travel. Rashi (DH Af Al Pi) writes
that it is forbidden to conduct one's actions based on the outcome of a
Nichush. Why, then, was it permitted for Rav to decide whether or not to
travel based on the Nichush of a ferry? (KESEF MISHNEH, Hilchos Avodah Zarah
(a) The MAHARSHA explains that a person must fulfill two conditions in order
for his act of Nichush to be prohibited. First, the person must express his
Nichush orally. Second, the person must mention both sides (for example, "If
this happens, then I will do this act, and if it does not happen, then I
will do the other act").
Rav did not verbalize his Nichush of the ferry, and thus it was permitted
for him to rely upon it. (This also might be the intention of the Kesef
Mishneh, who writes that Rav did not really plan to rely absolutely on his
(b) According to the opinion of the RADAK (see previous Insight), Rav's
action was certainly permitted. The Radak writes that the prohibition of
Nichush applies only when one makes his actions dependent on an occurrence
that is not related in any way to what he is doing (for example, he says
that he will travel on the ferry if a chicken crosses his path). When he
makes his actions dependent on an event that is related to what he is going
to do, there is no prohibition of Nichush involved.