THOUGHTS ON THE DAILY DAF
brought to you by Kollel Iyun Hadaf of Har Nof
Rosh Kollel: Rav Mordecai Kornfeld
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1) HALACHAH: AN ANIMAL'S ATTIRE AND "SHEMIRAH YESEIRAH"
OPINIONS: There is a Machlokes in the Gemara whether an item which provides
more-than-necessary restraint or protection for an animal is considered
attire (and it is permitted for the animal to go out with it on Shabbos) or
a load (and it is not permitted for the animal to go out with it). What is
(a) The ROSH, RABEINU CHANANEL, RIF, and RAMBAM rule like Rav, who is
stringent and says that any attire which provides over-protection is
considered a load and is forbidden. Their proof that the Halachah is like
Rav is that all of the Amora'im, who answer why the reins upon a Parah
Adumah are not considered a load, apparently agree with Rav.
HALACHAH: The Shulchan Aruch (305:17) rules that Shemirah Yeseirah is
prohibited and a cow may not be taken out with a rope around its neck, like
(b) The RA'AVAD cited by the RASHBA and RAN explains that in this case, we
rule like Shmuel who is lenient, and letting the animal go out with attire
which provides over-protection is permitted. The reason the Halachah is
like Shmuel is because we find that Rabah Bar Rav Huna ruled like Shmuel
(in the incident with Levi's donkey).
(c) The BA'AL HA'MA'OR (according to the RAN's understanding) says that in
one respect, the Halachah is like Rav that an animal may not go out with an
item which provides too much protection. However, the Halachah is also like
Chananya and Rabah Bar Rav Huna, who permit a cat to go out with a rope
collar, although it is considered extra protection. The reason for this is
that a rope collar for a cat is the type of restraint that *some* people
use all the time for their cats, and therefore it is not considered a load
(even though it provides more protection than necessary). It was in such a
case that Rabah Bar Rav Huna permitted an animal to go out with extra
2) TURNING A MAN'S ORNAMENT INTO AN ANIMAL'S
QUESTION: RASHI (DH b'Va'in) explains that if one makes a man's ornament,
such as a ring, into an ornament for an animal (such as a ring to fasten
its collar), and it was Tamei before it was made into an animal's ornament,
it retains its Tum'ah even when it is placed on the animal.
3) CORAL AND "TUM'AH"
Rashi emphasizes that the ring was Tamei before it was put on the animal,
because, apparently, after it becomes an animal's ornament it no longer can
become Tamei. But if so, even if it is already Tamei, when it becomes an
animal's ornament it should lose its previous Tum'ah, since an animal's
ornament cannot become Tamei! And if, on the other hand, it can become
Tamei even after turning it into an animal's ornament, then why does Rashi
require that the ring become Tamei *before* it was put on the animal?
(a) TOSFOS (52a, DH b'Va'in) argues with Rashi and says that when the ring
is made into an animal's ornament, it still can become Tamei (that is, it
retains the status of an ornament of a man, since no physical change was
made to it). It can indeed become Tamei even when it is on the animal.
(b) The MAGINEI SHLOMO and P'NEI YEHOSHUA defend Rashi's explanation. They
write that the Gemara later concludes that the case under discussion is
where one *did* make a physical change to the ring, but the change was a
*constructive* one (i.e., it made the man's ring into a usable ring for an
animal). In such a case, the Gemara explains, changing the ring physically
does not cause it to become Tahor (according to Rebbi Yehudah).
RASHI understood that even according to Rebbi Yehudah, who says that a
constructive change to the item does not make it Tahor, this only means
that a constructive change cannot *remove Tum'ah that was there already*.
However, a constructive change *does* prevent the item from being Mekabel
Tum'ah in the future -- the ring, in our case, is now defined as an animal
ring and not a man's ring (and an animal ring cannot become Tamei).
The reason for this distinction, it would seem, is that in order to make a
Tamei item Tahor, one must *break* it, and a constructive change is not
called "breaking" it. However, in order to *prevent* it from becoming
Tamei, it is only necessary to give the item a new status. Even a
constructive change gives an item a *new status*; therefore, if a
person-ring was made into an animal-ring it cannot become Tamei *in the
future*. This is why Rashi says that the ring became Tamei *before* it was
made into an animal's ornament (That is, Rashi wanted to explain the Gemara
in a manner consistent with the Gemara's conclusion).
QUESTION: The Gemara says that a ring made of "Almog" with a metal signet
cannot become Tamei. RASHI says that the reason is because it is "Peshutei
Kli Etz," a wooden item with no receptacle, which cannot become Tamei.
Why does Rashi have to say that it does not become Tamei because it is a
"Peshutei Kli Etz?" "Almog," Rashi says, is "Atzei Almogim," which the
Gemara (Rosh Hashanah 23a, Bava Basra 80b; see Rashbam, Bava Basra 81a) and
the Bartenura (Keilim 13:6) explain to mean *coral*. The Mishnah (Keilim
17:13) tells us that everything that grows in the sea is Tahor. The Rambam
(Hilchos Keilim 1:3), citing the Toras Kohanim, writes that this refers not
only to living creatures in the sea such as fish, but also to seaweed that
grows in the sea. Coral should be no different from seaweed -- it should
not be Mekabel Tum'ah because it grows in the sea! If so, why does Rashi
say that it is Tahor because it is *Peshutei Kli Etz*?
(a) The TIFERES YISRAEL and SIDREI TAHAROS (Kelim 13:6) explain that the
coral is attached to the earth at the *bottom* of the sea. Therefore, it is
considered a tree. The seaweed that is Tahor is a plant that grows while
drifting in the water.
(b) The SIDREI TAHAROS cites an original explanation from the YESHU'OS
YISRAEL. The Mishnah (Kelim 17:13) states that if one attaches something
that is Mekabel Tum'ah to something that grew in the sea, the item that
grew in the sea can now be Mekabel Tum'ah because of that attachment.
Perhaps Rashi held that when one attaches something to it, the thing that
grew in the sea does not take on the properties of the attached object, but
rather the attachment turns the sea object into a regular land object, so
to speak. Since our case is dealing with a metal signet attached to a ring
made of coral, the metal signet turns the coral into a land object, so that
it can now be Mekabel Tum'ah. However, the coral does not become like the
metal that it is attached to. Rather, it is considered like *coral* that
grew on dry land, and is grouped with wooden utensils. Therefore, it would
have been Mekabel Tum'ah if not for the reason of "Peshutei Kli Etz." (See
Sidrei Taharos ibid., though, who finds flaws in this reasoning.)