THOUGHTS ON THE DAILY DAF
brought to you by Kollel Iyun Hadaf of Har Nof
Rosh Kollel: Rav Mordecai Kornfeld
Ask A Question about the Daf
CHULIN 128-130 - dedicated by Mrs. Rita Grunberger of Queens, N.Y., in
loving memory of her husband, Reb Yitzchok Yakov ben Eliyahu Grunberger.
Irving Grunberger helped many people quietly in an unassuming manner and
is dearly missed by all who knew him. His Yahrzeit is 10 Sivan (which
coincides with the study of Chulin 128 this year).
1) HALACHAH: "MATNOS KEHUNAH" IN CHUTZ LA'ARETZ
OPINIONS: The Mishnah states that the laws of Zero'a, Lechayayim, and
Keivah apply both in Eretz Yisrael and in Chutz la'Aretz. RASHI (DH
ha'Zero'a) points out that the Mishnah is not teaching anything new with
this statement, and it mentions it only tangential to its discussion of
where these Matnos Kehunah do *not* apply (i.e. Mukdashin).
2) HALACHAH: "MATNOS KEHUNAH" IN ERETZ YISRAEL
REBBI AKIVA EIGER in Gilyon ha'Shas refers to Rashi later (138b, DH
Levad), where Rashi explains that the reason why the Mishnah states that
these Matnos Kehunah apply in Chutz la'Aretz is in order to exclude the
opinion of Rebbi Ila'i, who maintains that the Matnos Kehunah were given
only in Eretz Yisrael.
What is the Halachah regarding giving Matnos Kehunah in Chutz la'Aretz?
(a) The TUR (YD 61) and SHULCHAN ARUCH (YD 61:21) cite the opinion of the
RAMBAM (Hilchos Bikurim 9:1) and MAHARAM MI'ROTENBURG (quoted by the ROSH
11:1) who rule that the obligation to give Zero'a, Lechayayim, and Keivah
to a Kohen applies at all times and in all places, including Chutz
HALACHAH: The Shulchan Aruch (YD 61:21) rules in accordance with the
opinion of Rashi.
(b) The Tur and Shulchan Aruch also cite the opinion of RASHI (Chulin
136b, DH b'Reishis ha'Gez; Shabbos 10b, DH Haveh) who says that Zero'a,
Lechayayim, and Keivah are not given in Chutz la'Aretz. Rav Ila'i (Chulin
136b) rules that Reishis ha'Gez and Zero'a, Lechayayim, and Keivah do not
apply in Chutz la'Aretz. In the time of Rav Nachman, people started to
conduct themselves in accordance with Rav Ila'i with regard to Reishis
ha'Gez and no one protested. Similarly, Rashi says, we do not protest when
we see people conducting themselves like Rav Ila'i with regard to Zero'a,
Lechayayim, and Keivah.
QUESTION: The Mishnah states that the laws of Zero'a, Lechayayim, and
Keivah apply both in Eretz Yisrael and in Chutz la'Aretz. While there are
various opinions regarding the obligation of giving these Matnos Kehunah
in Chutz la'Aretz (see previous Insight), it is clear that in Eretz
Yisrael, even today these Matnos Kehunah must be given to a Kohen.
3) WHY IS "REISHIS HA'GEZ" CALLED "REISHIS"
However, we find that almost no slaughterhouse in Eretz Yisrael sets aside
these Matnos Kehunah for a Kohen. What is the basis for this practice?
(a) It is the common practice to sell female cattle in whole or in part to
a Nochri, thereby exempting their first born calves from the law of Bechor
(see Insights to Bechoros 3:1). Partial Nochri ownership of the female
cattle also exempts these animals from the obligation of Zero'a,
Lechayayim, and Keivah.
However, male animals are not sold to Nochrim, and it is not permitted to
sell them solely for the purpose of exempting the animals from Zero'a,
Lechayayim, and Keivah. (This practice was permitted only with regard to
the laws of Bechor, because an animal that has Kedushas Bechor would
require many difficult restrictions to be observed.)
(b) It may be suggested that no Kohen today is "Muchzak" (proven) to be a
genuine Kohen with regard to the rights to collect Matnos Kehunah. Since
no Kohen can prove that the Zero'a, Lechayayim, and Keivah belong to him,
the owner of the animal may keep them ("ha'Motzi me'Chaveiro Alav
However, we find that we do not apply this logic to exempt a father from
performing the Mitzvah of Pidyon ha'Ben by giving five silver Shekalim to
a Kohen to redeem his firstborn son. Apparently, the Kohen's Chazakah as a
Kohen is reliable enough to obligate us to give him the five Shekalim.
Why, then, should Zero'a, Lechayayim, and Keivah be treated differently?
(c) RAV MOSHE STERNBUCH shlit'a explained that there may be a basic
difference between Pidyon ha'Ben and all other Matnos Kehunah. The
obligation to redeem a firstborn son is independent of the five-Shekel
payment to the Kohen. Even when the five Shekalim are not given to a
Kohen, it is necessary to "remove the Kedushah" from a Bechor by
separating five Shekalim as a Pidyon. Since it is necessary to separate
five Shekalim regardless of whether or not it will be given to a Kohen, we
give them to a Kohen even though he is not fully Muchzak. In contrast,
Zero'a, Lechayayim, and Keivah (and Reishis ha'Gez) involve nothing more
than a monetary obligation to the Kohen. There is no obligation to declare
the Zero'a, Lechayayim, and Keivah or to separate them from the animal if
they are not going to be given to a Kohen. Since we do not need to give
them to a Kohen who is not Muchzak, we therefore do not separate them from
(NOTE: It is not at all certain that there is some form of actual Pidyon
of Kedushah involved with Pidyon ha'Ben. The Mishnayos and Sugyos in
Bechoros imply that Pidyon ha'Ben is nothing more than a monetary
obligation, like Zero'a, Lechayayim, and Keivah, and that it does not need
to be separated if the obligation is in question. However, other sources
(ROSH to Bechoros 47b, SHITAH MEKUBETZES to Bava Kama 11b) do imply that
Pidyon ha'Ben must be separated in a case of a Safek; see Insights to
Bechoros 47b for further discussion of this matter. -M. Kornfeld)
QUESTION: The Gemara says that we cannot learn that the Halachah of
Zero'a, Lechayayim, and Keivah applies to Kodshim from male animals of
Chulin, because male animals of Chulin have a stringency that animals of
Kodshim do not have -- they have the obligation of Reishis ha'Gez, the
Mitzvah to give the first shearings to a Kohen.
RASHI (DH Reishis ha'Gez) explains that "Reishis ha'Gez" is referred to as
"Reishis" ("first") in the Torah (Devarim 14:4) just as Terumah is called
"Reishis Degancha" (ibid.).
What does Rashi want to teach us? Why would we have been bothered with the
usage of the word "Reishis" for this Mitzvah? The word "Reishis" is
obviously appropriate, since the *first* shearings are given to the Kohen!
(a) Rashi's intention is to teach that the Mitzvah is called "Reishis
ha'Gez" even though it is performed multiple times on the same sheep.
Reishis ha'Gez does not applies only the first time in the sheep's life
that it is shorn. We might have thought that the reason it is called
"Reishis" is because it applies only the "first" time that the sheep is
born. Therefore, Rashi teaches that it is called "Reishis" just as Terumah
is called "Reishis," and Terumah is separated each year from produce of
the same field, and it is not limited to the first produce that a field
ever produces. (See also RASHI 135a, DH Reishis.)
(b) Rashi is also teaching us that we should not mistakenly think that the
words "Reishis ha'Gez" refer specifically to the *first* shearings from
the flock. Terumah and Reishis ha'Gez may be separated from *any* portion
of the shearings that the owner wants to give to the Kohen, whether it is
the first or the last. "Reishis" means "the first of the Matanos that are
separated from your produce or shearings." That is, the first amount of
wool that is separated from all of the wool that is shorn must be given to
a Kohen, but not that the first wool that is shorn must be given to a
Kohen. Rashi (here, and 135a, DH Reishis) makes a point of saying that "a
small amount of the shearings" must be given to the Kohen," and not "the
*first* of the shearings."
Support for this interpretation can be found in the Tosefta (Chulin 10:1)
which teaches that although it is better to give to the Kohen the first of
the actual shearings, it is permitted to give whatever part of the
shearings that one wants.
4) BRINGING "CHULIN" INTO THE "AZARAH"
OPINIONS: The Gemara (end of 130a) derives from the verse (Devarim 18:3)
that the laws of Chazeh v'Shok apply only to Kodshim and not to Chulin.
The Gemara asks that no verse should be needed to teach that the laws of
Chazeh v'Shok do not apply to Chulin. Chazeh v'Shok cannot apply to
Chulin, because Chazeh v'Shok require Tenufah (waving) "Lifnei Hashem,"
inside of the Beis ha'Mikdash. It is forbidden to bring Chulin into the
Azarah, and thus Tenufah cannot be done with the Chazeh v'Shok of Chulin.
5) THE EXEMPTION FROM COMPENSATION FOR DAMAGING "MATNOS KEHUNAH"
Does the rule that Chulin may not be brought into the Azarah apply to all
types of Chulin, or only to specific types of Chulin? (See also Insights
to Nedarim 9:2)
(a) TOSFOS here (DH Iy) and in a number of other places (Pesachim 66b, DH
Mevi'ah; Bava Basra 81b, DH v'Dilma) says that the prohibition of bringing
Chulin into the Azarah applies only to objects with which some form of
Avodah is being performed (such as Tenufah or Hagashah). Bringing an
ordinary animal of Chulin into the Azarah is not prohibited unless one
does Shechitah to the animal, which is a form of Avodah, or he does some
other form of Avodah with it.
Tosfos proves this from the Gemara in Menachos (21b) that says that the
Kohanim would bring spices and condiments into the Azarah with which to
eat their Menachos, so that they should be eaten with appetite. Moreover,
Tosfos points out, we find that the Kohanim were permitted to enter the
Azarah (but not to perform Avodah) while wearing their Bigdei Chol,
clothing of Chulin (see Yoma 30a).
(b) The RAN in Nedarim (9b) clearly disagrees with Tosfos and does not
allow bringing Chulin into the Azarah at all, even when no form of Avodah
is done with it (see also TOSFOS in Beitzah 20b, DH v'Hevi, and RASHI in
Temurah 23a, DH Yochlu). This is also the opinion of the RAMBAM (Hilchos
Shechitah 2:3) who rules that it is not permitted to bring any Chulin into
the Azarah, whether it is a live animal or whether it is merely meat,
fruit, or bread.
How, though, do the Ran and Rambam understand the Gemara in Menachos that
says that the Kohanim were permitted to bring spices of Chulin into the
The RASHBA here suggests that perhaps the Rambam, when he mentions "fruit
and bread" of Chulin, is referring specifically to bread such as Lechem
ha'Panim or fruits such as Bikurim, with which Tenufah and Hagashah are
done, and he actually agrees with Tosfos. However, the Ran in Nedarim
clearly is not of that opinion. How, then, does the Ran understand the
Gemara in Menachos?
1. The RITVA suggests that the Mitzvah d'Oraisa not to bring Chulin into
the Azarah is transgressed only when some form of Avodah is done with the
Chulin, as Tosfos explains. However, even if an Avodah is not done with
the Chulin, an Isur *d'Rabanan* still prohibits its entry into the Azarah
unless it is needed for the performance of a Mitzvah (such as spices for
Korbanos) or it is necessary for some other reason.
2. The MISHNEH L'MELECH (Hilchos Shechitah 2:3, DH v'Im Tomar) explains
that spices are added only to Kodshim Kalim, which may then be eaten
*outside* of the Azarah. Similarly, Rashi in Temurah says that the spices
are eaten outside of the Azarah, and then immediately afterwards the
Kohanim entered the Azarah to eat the Minchah.
3. Perhaps the Ran and Rambam learn that the prohibition applies only to
items which could be brought upon the Mizbe'ach as offerings, such as
animals, fruit (which are placed on the Mizbe'ach as Bikurim), and bread
(such as the Minchah). Things that cannot be offered upon the Mizbe'ach
are not subject to the prohibition of bringing them into the Azarah. (This
also explain why Bigdei Chol are permitted in the Azarah.) (M. Kornfeld)
QUESTION: Rav Chisda teaches that one who damages or eats Matnos Kehunah
is exempt from compensation. The Gemara gives two reasons for Rav Chisda's
ruling. First, the verse (Devarim 18:3) teaches that only the actual
Matnos Kehunah must be given to a Kohen, but not compensation for them.
Second, since there is no claimant (since no specific Kohen can claim the
damages), one is exempt from paying.
6) GIVING "MATNOS KEHUNAH" TO A "KOHEN AM HA'ARETZ"
Is there any practical difference between these two reasons?
ANSWER: TOSFOS (DH v'Iy Ba'is Eima) explains that according to the second
reason, there remains an obligation to pay compensation, but since there
is no one who can legally claim the money, the person in practice is
exempt from paying. However, the person must give the value of the damages
to the Kohanim in order to fulfill his obligation in Shamayim ("la'Tzeis
According to the first reason, there is absolutely no obligation to pay
the Kohanim for damaged Matnos Kehunah, even "la'Tzeis Yedei Shamayim."
QUESTION: Rebbi Yonasan rules that one may not give Matnos Kehunah to a
Kohen who is an Am ha'Aretz. This ruling seems to contradict a Mishnah in
Chalah (4:9). The Tana Kama in the Mishnah there states that one is
allowed to give different types of Matnos Kehunah to any Kohen. Rebbi
Yehudah argues and says that Bikurim may not be given to any Kohen. Rebbi
Yonasan here seems to be ruling like neither the Tana Kama nor Rebbi
Yehudah, since he rules that *no* Matnos Kehunah may be given to an Am
ha'Aretz! How can we reconcile Rebbi Yonasan's ruling with the Tana'im in
7) MAY A RICH MAN TAKE CHARITY MONEY
(a) TOSFOS (DH Minayin) and the CHIDUSHEI HA'RAN answer that Rebbi Yonasan
agrees with the Tana Kama in the Mishnah in Chalah. The Tana Kama is
discussing a case in which there is no Kohen who is a Chaver (who is
careful to Matnos Kehunah while Tahor), or a case in which there is a
Kohen who is a Chaver but he is not willing to accept the gift. In that
case, one is permitted to give the Matnos Kehunah to a Kohen Am ha'Aretz.
Rebbi Yonasan is discussing a case in which one has a choice to give the
Matanos to a Kohen Chaver or to a Kohen Am ha'Aretz. In such a case, one
should not give the Matanos to a Kohen Am ha'Aretz.
It seems that Tosfos learns that Rebbi Yehudah in Chalah maintains that it
is always forbidden to give Bikurim to a Kohen Am ha'Aretz, even when
there is no other Kohen available to receive the gift.
The SEFER YOSHEV OHALIM (beginning of Ki Savo) writes that this
explanation of the Mishnah in Chalah answers a question that the RAMBAN
asks on RASHI in Chumash. When the verse says that should take Bikurim to
the Kohen "who will be in those days" (Devarim 26:3), Rashi comments that
the verse is telling us that one may bring Bikurim only to the Kohen who
is serving in his time. The Ramban there asks that the Torah earlier
(Devarim 17:9, 19:17) uses the same terminology with regard to Dayanim
(judges). With regard to Dayanim, it makes sense that the Torah must tell
us to bring our disputes to the judges of our time, because we might have
refrained from going to the judges, thinking that there are no judges
qualified to rule in the case. However, why does the Torah need to use
this terminology with regard to Kohanim? Why would we have thought that we
should not bring a gift to a Kohen? The only qualification that a Kohen
needs is to be a descendant of Aharon!
It seems that Rashi's intention is to teach that we do not rule like Rebbi
Yehudah who says that it is always forbidden to bring Bikurim to a Kohen
Am ha'Aretz. Rather, Rashi explains, the verse is teaching that any Kohen
("who will be in those days") suffices.
(b) The RASH in Chalah (4:9) seems to understand that the Mishnah in
Chalah is discussing an entirely different case. He explains that the
Mishnah there is discussing whether one is allowed to give his Matanos to
a Kohen who is generally careful about Tum'ah and Taharah, but he is not
careful to eat his Chulin b'Taharah. The Tana Kama says that one may give
his Matanos to any Kohen he wants, while Rebbi Yehudah says that one is
not allowed to give Bikurim to such a Kohen. According to the Rash, Rebbi
Yonasan is discussing a different case. He is not discussing different
levels of stringency regarding eating foods b'Taharah. Rather, he is
saying that one may not give Matanos to a Kohen who is not learned in
The CHIDUSHIM U'VI'URIM says that this explanation seems to be more
consistent with the wording of the Gemara. Rebbi Yonasan does not say that
one should give *preference* to a Kohen Chaver over a Kohen Am ha'Aretz
(as Tosfos explains), but rather he says simply that one may not give
Matnos Kehunah to a Kohen Am ha'Aretz. Rebbi Yonasan does not contradict
the Mishnah in Chalah, because both Tana'im there may agree that one may
give only Matanos to a Kohen who is a Talmid Chacham.
(c) The LEV ARYEH points out that the RAMBAM does not mention this
Halachah of Rebbi Yonasan. He suggests that the Rambam does not record the
ruling of Rebbi Yonasan because the Rambam understands that Rebbi Yonasan
follows the view of Rebbi Yehudah in Chalah, and the Halachah does not
follow the view of Rebbi Yehudah.
(However, it is possible that the Lev Aryeh may have overlooked the ruling
of the Rambam in Terumos (6:2), where he writes that one should give only
Terumah that is Tahor, whether it is Terumah Gedolah or Terumas Ma'aser,
to a Kohen who is a Talmid Chacham, since it is forbidden to eat Terumah
that is Tamei. The KESEF MISHNEH writes that the source for the Rambam is
clearly the statement of Rebbi Yonasan! If the Lev Aryeh does not agree
that this is the source of the Rambam, then he should have at least
recorded his argument with the Kesef Mishneh. It seems, therefore, that he
overlooked the ruling of the Rambam there.) (Y. Montrose)
The Gemara quotes a Mishnah in Pe'ah (5:4) that says that if a wealthy
person was traveling and he became stranded with no money, he is
considered to be "poor" and he may accept Leket, Shikechah, Pe'ah, and
Ma'aser Ani. RAV CHAIM OF VOLOZHIN (in Chut ha'Meshulash #17) suggests
that he may take ordinary charity money as well.
Rav Chaim of Volozhin adds, however, that the VILNA GA'ON pointed out to
him that even when a rich man is on the road and penniless, he is not
always considered to be "poor." As long as he can obtain loans, he is
considered "rich" and should not take charity.
The CHIDUSHEI CHASAM SOFER (#131) rules that when a wealthy person takes
money from charity funds (such as Ma'aser Kesafim) when on the road, he is
obligated to pay it back. He explains that this cannot be compared to the
case of the Mishnah in Pe'ah. In that case, when one is permitted to eat
Matnos Aniyim, he does not have to return the Matanos upon returning home,
because the Matanos have been totally consumed. Ma'aser Kesafim, however,
is transferable legal tender and therefore other money must be returned in