THOUGHTS ON THE DAILY DAF
brought to you by Kollel Iyun Hadaf of Har Nof
Rosh Kollel: Rav Mordecai Kornfeld
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KIDUSHIN 77-80 - Ari Kornfeld has generously sponsored the Dafyomi
publications for these Dafim for the benefit of Klal Yisrael.
1) DIFFERENT TYPES OF "ROV"
OPINIONS: Reish Lakish says in the name of Rebbi Oshiya that we burn dough
of Terumah that was found next to a child, assuming that it has become
Tamei, based on the Chazakah that children play around (Metafchin) with the
dough. Rebbi Yochanan argues and says that this is not a Chazakah for which
we must burn Terumah. Rather, the type of Chazakah for which we burn Terumah
is when the dough of Terumah was found in a house in which there are
Sheratzim and Tzefarda'im crawling, and pieces of vermin were found in the
dough. If most of the vermin in the house are Sheratzim, then we burn the
2) COMBINING A CHAZAKAH WITH A "MI'UT"
These two cases -- dough of Terumah found next to a child, and dough of
Terumah in a house with Sheratzim and Tzefarda'im -- both involves a Rov. In
one case, Rebbi Yochanan says that the Rov is not sufficient evidence to
rule that the Terumah is certainly Tamei, while in the other case, he rules
that the Rov is sufficient evidence to rule that the Terumah is certainly
Tamei. What is the difference between the two cases?
(a) RASHI (DH Im Rov Sheratzim) explains that the case of the children is a
"Ruba d'Leisa Kaman," while the case of the Sheratzim is a "Ruba d'Isa
Kaman." "Ruba d'Leisa Kaman" refers to a majority in frequency -- something
usually occurs in this manner. There is no tangible item in front of us,
though, which gives us that Rov. For example, there is a Rov that "most
animals are not Tereifos." This Rov is not in front of us, but,
nevertheless, there exists a fact in the frequency of the occurrence of
Tereifah animals that tells us that most animals are born healthy. The same
is true with regard to the Rov that most children play in dough. Since it is
the normal, usual manner of children to jump around everywhere, we may
assume that the child became Tamei.
In contrast, "Ruba d'Isa Kaman" refers to a situation in which the Rov is
physically in front of us. For example, when one piece of Tereifah meat
became mixed up with two pieces of Kosher meat, the Rov is present in front
of us. The Rov of Sheratzim is also this type of Rov, since, in the house in
front of us, there are more Sheratzim than Tzefarda'im. This type of Rov is
considered a more powerful Rov, and, according to Rebbi Yochanan, this type
of Rov can resolve a doubt for us in a manner of Vadai.
(b) The RITVA offers a different explanation. There are two differences
between the two cases of our Gemara -- the variable of whether the Tamei
item touched the Terumah, and the variable of whether the Chazakah was
weakened. When we find the child holding a piece of dough, we only *assume*
that the piece of dough came from the dough of Terumah; we do not know for
certain that it came from the dough of Terumah. In the case of the
Sheratzim, we know for a fact that something touched the dough, and the only
question is whether it was a Sheretz Tamei or a Sheretz Tahor. The Rov works
only when there is another factor present which weakens the Chazakah. In the
case of the child, the Rov cannot override the Chazakah, since the very fact
that the dough was touched is in question. In the case of the Sheratzim, the
Rov can override the Chazakah, because the Chazakah (that the Terumah was
Tahor) has been weakened by the fact that we know that something touched the
QUESTION: Rebbi Meir says that when a child was found next to dough of
Terumah, holding a piece of dough in his hand, the dough is Tahor. The
Gemara explains that Rebbi Meir holds that since a majority (Rov) of
children play around (Metafchin) with everything near them, while a minority
(Mi'ut) do not, and the dough has a Chezkas Taharah, we combine the Mi'ut
with the Chazakah and weaken the Rov, and thus we may assume that the dough
is still Tahor.
Why does Rebbi Meir need to use the Chazakah of the dough? Why does he not
use the Chazakah of the child himself? Every person has a Chezkas Tahor, and
thus we should combine the Chazakah that the child is Tahor with the Mi'ut
that some children do not play around with everything, and assume that the
child was never Tamei in the first place! (REBBI AKIVA EIGER)
ANSWER: The AYALES HA'SHACHAR answers that we cannot use a Chazakah in all
situations. If a Chazakah will be in total conflict with the Rov, then the
Chazakah cannot be used. In the case of our Gemara, if we were to combine
the Chezkas Tahor of the child with the Mi'ut, then we would have to rule
that no child is ever Tamei. Whenever a child comes in front of us we will
rule that he is Tahor, based on the Chezkas Tahor combined with the Mi'ut.
Since this is in direct opposition with the fact established by the Rov
(i.e. that most children are Metafchin and are therefore Tamei), we cannot
apply such a Chazakah. In contrast, the Chazakah that the dough is Tahor
does not directly conflict with the Rov that most children are Metafchin.
That Chazakah does not address children at all; it deals only with the
dough, and therefore it can help us resolve whether a child who was Tamei or
Tahor touched the dough.