ANSWERS TO REVIEW QUESTIONS
prepared by Rabbi Eliezer Chrysler
Kollel Iyun Hadaf, Jerusalem
Previous daf Chulin 125
CHULIN 123-125 - Ari Kornfeld has generously sponsored the Dafyomi
publications for these Dafim for the benefit of Klal Yisrael.
(a) Our Mishnah rules that if someone touches the thigh-bone of a dead
person or of Hekdesh, he is Tamei. The minimum Shi'ur of the former is - the
size of a barley.
(b) 'of Hekdesh' means - a bone of Pigul or Nosar, which are Metamei the
hands mi'de'Rabbanan, as we learned in a Mishnah in Pesachim.
(a) Whereas the two above bones are Metamei, irrespective of whether they
are closed or holed, the thigh-bones of a Neveilah or of a Sheretz, the Tana
says - are only Tamei if they are holed, since the bones themselves are not
Tamei ("be'Nivlasah", 've'Lo ba'Atzamos'), and they are only Metamei in
their capacity as Shomrim of the marrow that they contain.
(b) The reason that the bones need to be holed is - because a Shomer is only
Metamei if one is able to touch the Tum'ah that is being guarded.
(c) The minimum Shi'ur of the hole is - sufficient to allow a hair through
(to touch the marrow).
(d) The Tana learns that they are Metamei be'Masa as well - from the Hekesh
of "ha'Nosei" to "ha'Noge'a" (like Rebbi Akiva on the previous Amud).
(a) The Reisha of our Mishnah renders the Kulyas ha'Meis Tamei Maga but not
Tamei Ohel, we explain, because the Tana is speaking when it contains less
than a k'Zayis of Basar - and by the same token, less than a k'Zayis of
(b) Otherwise it would be Metamei, even though it is totally covered by the
bone - because of the principle 'Tum'ah Retzutzah Boka'as ve'Olah' ('when a
Meis is in an Ohel that does not have a Tefach space between it and the roof
(or between it and the walls), the Tum'ah simply rises up to the sky').
(c) We suggest that the bone ought perhaps to be Metamei even if it contains
neither a k'Zayis Basar on the outside, nor a k'Zayis of marrow inside - on
the assumption that a. marrow tends to return to the bone of a live animal,
and b. it causes the Basar to re-grow too, thereby transforming the bone
into a limb.
(d) Rav Yehudah b'rei de'Rav Chiya rejects this supposition however - by
establishing that the marrow does not in fact, cause the Basar to re-grow.
(e) We just learned that the minimum Shi'ur for a bone of a Meis is the size
of a barley. The limb of a Sheretz - does not have a minimum size.
(a) Even though the Tana is speaking when the bone of the Meis contains less
than a k'Zayis of marrow, 'Kulyas ha'Mukdashin, Kulyas Neveilah and Kulyas
ha'Sheretz' must be speaking - when they contain at least a k'Zayis.
(b) We cannot answer that the bone itself combines to make up the Shi'ur k'Z
ayis - because we learned at the beginning of the Perek that the Shomer of
Tum'ah Chamurah does not combine to make up the Shi'ur.
(c) As we just explained, 'Kulyas ha'Meis' comes to teach us that the marrow
inside the bone does not cause the flesh to re-grow. In the case of 'Kulyas
1. ... ha'Mukdashin', the Chidush is - that the bones of Kodshim that served
Nosar render the hands Tamei (by becoming a basis for something that is
Asur, even though they are closed), as Rav Mari bar Avuhah Amar Rebbi
(d) We do not already know the Chidush of Kulyas ha'Mukdashin from the
Mishnah in Pesachim - because the Tana there only mentions Pigul and Nosar
themselves, but not the bones.
2. ... ha'Neveilah' and 'Kulyas ha'Sheretz' it is - that even if the bone
contains a k'Zayis of marrow, it is only Metamei when it is open, but not
when it is closed (because they are not then considered a Shomer).
(a) Abaye disagrees with Rav Yehudah b'rei de'Rav Chiya's explanation of
Kulyas ha'Meis. Even though he maintains that the marrow inside the bone
does cause the Basar to re-grow, the bone is not Metamei in any event (due
to it being considered an Eiver) - since in Abaye's opinion, our Mishnah is
speaking when they had previously mutilated the skin with a saw or a knife,
in which case, the Basar would no longer have regrown.
(b) Rebbi Elazar, whom he quotes, confines this mutilation to there where
they did so around the animal's girth, leaving a strip of mutilated skin
between the two sections of healthy skin. But if they did it along the
length of the Basar, where the flesh can still heal along the length of the
body on both sides of the strip, the flesh would still be able to regrow,
and the animal will be Metamei (even if their is no marrow and no flesh).
(c) And when Rebbi Elazar concludes 've'Simnayich Dikla', he means - that
this distinction can be easily remembered because it is similar to a
date-palm, which will wither if a strip of bark is removed from around its
trunk, but not if it is removed from its length (for the same reason).
(a) Rebbi Yochanan goes even further than Abaye. According to him, the Tana
is speaking where there is a k'Zayis of marrow inside the bone, which causes
the flesh to re-grow. And when the Tana refers to 'ha'Noge'a', with regard
to Kulyas ha'Meis - he means 'Ma'ahil' (that it forms an Ohel).
(b) By explaining the Mishnah like this - he avoids breaking it up into two
different sections (in the way that we learned until now). Because according
to Rebbi Yochanan, the entire Mishnah now speaks when the bone contains a
k'Zayis of marrow.
(c) The problem with the Seifa (with regard to Kulyas ha'Neveilah and Kulyas
ha'Sheretz) will then be - why in the Seifa, the Tana requires the bone to
be open? Why is it not considered an Eiver anyway, due to the marow inside?
(d) Rebbi Binyamin bar Gidal Amar Rebbi Yochanan therefore establishes the
Mishnah - by marrow which has gone dry, which no longer has the power to
heal the Basar, but which is nevertheless considered Neveilah or Sheretz if
the bone is holed. In the Reisha on the other hand, it is still considered
Basar and therefore Metamei whether the bone is holed or not (as we
(a) The Mishnah in Ohalos rules that someone who 'touches' half a k'Zayis of
a Meis and either forms an Ohel over another half-k'Zayis or the other
half-k'Zayis forms an Ohel over him - is Tamei ...
(b) ... provided that the two take place simultaneously.
(c) We try to support Rebbi Yochanan from there - inasmuch as we assume that
'touches' means Ohel ...
(d) ... based on another Mishnah there, which rules that two half-Shi'urim
of Tum'ah combine only if they belong to the same category of Tum'ah (i.e.
Negi'ah with Negi'ah, or Ohel with Ohel).
(a) We counter this proof however, from the Seifa of that Mishnah, which
rules that if someone touches half a k'Zayis of a Meis, whilst something
else forms an Ohel over another half-k'Zayis of Meis and over him, he
remains Tahor ...
(b) ... a proof that 'Noge'a' means touches, because if it meant 'Ohel',
there would be no reason for him not to be Tamei.
(c) So Rebbi Zeira establishes the Reisha where the half-k'Zayis over which
he is Ma'ahil is lying in a space between two wooden cupboards that are less
than a Tefach apart. Consequently, this is a case of 'Tum'ah Retzutzah'
(which we discussed on the previous Amud) which rises, and which is
considered as if the space was filled with Tum'ah. Consequently - when he
places his hand there, it is as if he actually touched the piece of Meis
(even if his hand was much higher than the Tum'ah).
(d) The source of this Halachah ('Tum'ah Retzutah ... ') is - 'Halachah
(e) It now transpires that - it is not 'Ohel' which the Tana refers to as
'Noge'a' (like Rebbi Yochanan explained), but 'Noge'a', which the Tana
refers to as 'Ohel'. In fact, the person in the Reisha is Tamei because the
entire case is one of Noge'a, and not of Ohel, like Rebbi Yochanan thought.
(a) Rebbi Yossi in a Beraisa rules that a spoonful of rot (dust) of a Meis
that is found in a coffin - is Metamei be'Maga, be'Masa and be'Ohel ...
(b) ... 'Halachah le'Moshe mi'Sinai'.
(c) The problem with saying 'Metamei be'Maga' is - that the Tana has already
listed 'be'Maga', so why repeat it?
(d) We therefore interpret it to mean - be'Ohel.
(a) The problem with interpreting 'Maga' as Ohel is - why the Tana uses two
different words to describe the same concept.
(b) So Abaye differentiates between below a Tefach, which the Tana calls
Maga and above a Tefach, which he calls Ohel. Rava maintains - that both
of these fall under the heading of 'Maga'. Ohel, he says, refers to
'Hamshachah', meaning where the man's hand is not held directly above the
piece of Meis, but a distance away, and another object is Ma'ahil over both
of them (see Tosfos ha'Rosh).
(c) We prove from Rava's interpretation of Rebbi Yossi - that according to
Rebbi Yochanan, who interprets 'Noge'a' in our Mishnah as Ohel, the author
of the Mishnah is Rebbi Yossi.
(d) We cannot say this according to Abaye - according to whom only an Ohel
below a Tefach is referred to as 'Maga'.
(e) We are forced to say that - because otherwise Abaye could have
instituted our Mishnah like Rebbi Yossi, like Rebbi Yochanan did, yet on the
previous Amud, he declined to do so.
(a) Rava proves that Rebbi Yossi calls even above a Tefach 'Maga', from a
Beraisa, which rules that if the ropes of a bed and the lattice-work of a
window are ...
1. ... placed to cover a gap between two beams in a ceiling - they serve as
a Chatzitzah between a Meis and the first floor.
(b) In the ...
2. ... spread above the Meis - then whoever 'touches' the hole becomes
Tamei, the actual material (not above the hole), remains Tahor.
1. ... first ruling, even the space above the holes is Tahor - because
regarding the Dinim of Mechitzah (of which they are part) less than a Tefach
is not considered an opening.
(c) Rava proves his point from there - because if the rope and the
latticework were spread within a Tefach of the Meis, they would be
considered his clothes, which transmit Tum'ah just like the Meis itself.
2. ... second ruling, it is Tamei - because since it is not a Mechitzah, the
Tum'ah penetrates even a hole that is less than a Tefach
(d) According to Abaye, they cannot be considered the clothes of the Meis
(even if they are spread within a Tefach), since one is not Mevatel these
items, like one is Mevatel the Meis' clothes.
(a) The problem with Abaye establishing the previous case by ropes and
lattice-work that is spread within a Tefach of the Meis - is that we ought
then to apply the principle 'Tum'ah Temunah Boka'as ve'Olah' (like we say by
(b) He therefore concludes - that Rebbi Yossi does not hold of the principle
'Tum'ah Temunah ... ' (see Tosfos DH 'ka'Savar Rebbi Yossi').
(c) And he proves it from a Mishnah in Ohalos, where the Tana Kama rules
that if the draw of a wooden cupboard that is a Tefach deep, but whose
entrance point is less than a Tefach, and that ...
1. ... contains a piece of Meis - whatever is in the room is Tamei.
2. ... contains a Tahor object, and a piece of Meis is lying in the room -
the object in the drawer remains Tahor.
(a) Even though the entrance is less than a Tefach, the room is Tamei -
because the piece of Meis is destined to enter the room on its way out.
(b) Yet in the reverse case, where the Tum'ah is in the room, whatever is
lying in the draw, remains Tahor - because a. the drawer is not Pose'ach
Tefach, and b. the piece of Meis is not destined to enter the drawer.
(c) Rebbi Yossi however, rules that even in the first case, what is lying in
the room is Tahor, too - because it is possible to cut the piece of Meis in
two and take it out half at a time, or to burn it where it is.
(d) The Tana Kama rules in the Seifa, where the cupboard is standing on the
threshold of the room facing outwards, that if the Tum'ah is ...
1. ... in the drawer - then whatever is in the room is Tahor (because the
piece of Meis no longer needs to enter the room on its way out).
2. ... in the room - then whatever is in the drawer is Tahor too, for the
(a) And we learned on this Beraisa 'Rebbi Yossi Metaher' - which is
problematic, since in the Seifa, the Tana Kama too, says Tahor, whereas in
the Reisha, Rebbi Yossi has already stated his opinion.
(b) So we ascribe Rebbi Yossi's statement to a second reason for the Tana
Kama's ruling in the Reisha 'Tum'ah be'Sochah, ha'Bayis Tamei' - in a case
where the drawer is less than a Tefach deep, because of the principle
'Tum'ah Temunah Retzutzah Boka'as ve'Olah'.
(c) And this reason will affect the Seifa - where the reason of 'Sof Tum'ah
Latzeis' does not apply.
(d) To which Rebbi Yossi now says - 'Tahor', because he does not hold of the
principle of 'Tum'ah Temunah ... '.
(e) Which is precisely what Abaye is trying to prove.