THOUGHTS ON THE DAILY DAF
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Rosh Kollel: Rav Mordecai Kornfeld
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BEITZAH 11-15 - Ari Kornfeld has generously sponsored the Dafyomi
publications for these Dafim, for the benefit of Klal Yisrael
1) PEELING BARLEY ON SHABBOS
QUESTION: The Gemara says that it is permitted to *peel barley* by the
cupfuls in order to remove the seeds on Shabbos. Why is this permitted more
than *rolling ears of wheat* in order to remove the kernels, which the
Gemara (12b) prohibits doing on Shabbos?
2) HALACHAH: REMOVING FOOD FROM ITS COVERING ON SHABBOS AND YOM TOV
Second, if one may peel the barley on Shabbos, that means that until now it
had not yet been brought to the silo, since it is brought to the silo only
after it has been peeled from the husks. If so, it has not yet underwent
Miru'ach and become Chayav in Ma'aseros. When one peels the seeds of barley
on Shabbos into a hand, they should become Chayav in Ma'aseros at that
moment, since that is the "Gemar Melachah," the final processing of the
barley. Since Ma'aseros cannot be separated on Shabbos, why is one permitted
to peel the barley on Shabbos if he will not be able to eat it in any case
since he cannot separate Ma'aser from it on Shabbos? The barley should be
Third, why does the Gemara refer to "peeling" barley and "rolling" wheat?
What is the difference between peeling and rolling? Both actions remove the
outer shell of the item.
(a) TOSFOS (DH v'Im) and TOSFOS RABEINU PERETZ explain that there are two
different shells around the kernel of wheat. There is a thin shell which
lies directly on top of the kernel, and there is a thicker shell which
houses the kernel and its peel. When the Gemara (12b) says that one may not
roll ears of wheat, it is talking about wheat that is within both coverings,
the outer husk and the inner peel, and one wants to roll it in order to
remove the outer husk. That is Asur because it is Dishah (mid'Rabanan).
Since the outer covering was separated from the seed before Shabbos, it may
have been lying until now in the silo, after Miru'ach, and thus Ma'aser
might have already been separated from the barley before Shabbos. Therefore,
the barley which the person is peeling on Shabbos has already had Ma'aser
separated from it. The seed has only its inner covering, which one is
permitted to peel on Shabbos. (Removing the inner covering is not considered
Dishah since the inner peel is like the peel of a fruit, the removal of
which is does not fit the definition of Dishah. Dishah involves removing the
*container* of the produce (such as the outer husk); removing the peel is
not removing the "container.")
When the Mishnah says that one who peels ("Mekalef") barley and places it
into his hand is Chayav (in Ma'aser), it is referring to barley that was not
yet brought to the silo, although its outer covering was already peeled, and
thus it was not yet Chayav in Ma'aser.
This also explains why the Mishnah uses the term "peeling" ("Mekalef") -- it
is referring to taking off the inner peel, as opposed to the outer husk.
(b) RASHI (DH v'Ochel) explains that "Mekalef" refers to removing barley
from its outer covering, not like Tosfos. Why, then, is Mekalef not
considered Dishah, while "Molel" is? It could be that Rashi understands that
removing the covering by an act of peeling, rather than by crushing the
entire item, is not considered Dishah. That is why "Mekalef" is not Dishah,
and why the act is called "Mekalef" in contrast to "Molel."
Regarding the problem of Ma'aser, TOSFOS RABEINU PERETZ suggests that one
separated Ma'aser before Shabbos by taking barley that had already had
Miru'ach and separating Ma'aser from that barley for the barley which he
intends to peel on Shabbos. The separation of Ma'aser takes effect when he
peels the barley on Shabbos (as we find in Kidushin 62a).
OPINIONS: The Gemara concludes that "Melilah," or rolling grains in one's
fingers in order to remove the chaff, is Asur on Shabbos. (According to
RASHI and TOSFOS (DH Keitzad Molel), it is Asur on Shabbos even when done
with a Shinuy, and it is Mutar on Yom Tov only with a Shinuy. According to
the RIF and ROSH, it is Mutar on Shabbos with a Shinuy, and it is Mutar on
Yom Tov even without a Shinuy.)
Is it permitted to remove peas from a pod on Shabbos? That is, does the
Halachah of Melilos apply to all types of foods that are contained within a
The MAGEN AVRAHAM (OC 319:8) and ELYAH RABAH (OC 319) write that removing
peas from their pod is not considered Dishah, because one could eat the pea
while it is inside the shell. Since the shell is edible, it is not similar
to Dishah, whereby one removes an inedible part from an edible part.
But what about opening walnuts, peanuts, and sunflower seeds on Shabbos or
Yom Tov? The BA'AL HA'TANYA in his Sidur and the ARUCH HA'SHULCHAN (OC
319:25) indeed prohibit opening nuts on Shabbos. However, the Mishnah
(Shabbos 122b, 143a) seems to clearly permit cracking nuts on Shabbos. Why
is it permitted if the shell is inedible?
(a) The TAZ (OC 319:4) suggests that if the seeds are loose inside the shell
(for example, when one shakes the nut he hears the fruit inside bouncing
around), then it is permitted to open them, implying that it is only
considered Dishah when one removes the shell of something that was attached
to the shell.
HALACHAH: The MISHNAH BERURAH (319:24) permits cracking open nuts for
immediate consumption (without explaining why).
The IGLEI TAL (Meleches Dash 15:3), however, questions this from Rashi in
Shabbos (95b) who says that milking a goat is called "Mefarek," which is a
form of Dishah, even though the milk is not connected to the udders. Indeed,
the MAHARIL, cited by the Elyah Rabah (loc. cit.), and the PRI MEGADIM
(introduction to OC 320) write the opposite -- if the fruit is attached to
the shell, then it is *not* Dishah; only when one removes a fruit that was
not naturally attached to its containing shell is it considered Dishah!
(b) The IGLEI TAL (Meleches Dash, 3:2) writes, based on the SEFER
HA'TERUMAH, that any item which people normally open at the time that they
eat it is not considered Dishah. Only food that is separated from its shell
far in advance is considered Dishah. The TZITZ ELIEZER (10:24) writes that
in determining whether or not the shell is normally opened at the time of
the meal, we follow the main use of the fruit: if most of the time it is
opened at the time that it is eaten, then even though there are those who
open it in advance (such as food production factories), it is not Dishah.
RAV MOSHE FEINSTEIN (IGROS MOSHE OC 1:125) gives a similar Heter.
(c) The PRI MEGADIM (ROSH YOSEF in our Sugya) writes that he does not
understand the question at all. During a meal, while one is eating,
certainly it is permitted to open the shell of a nut, because that is Derech
Achilah, the normal manner of eaten the item, and the prohibitions of Borer
or Dishah do not prevent a person from eating k'Derech Achilah.