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Rosh Kollel: Rabbi Mordecai Kornfeld

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Chulin 88

CHULIN 86-90 - Sponsored by a generous grant from an anonymous donor. Kollel Iyun Hadaf is indebted to him for his encouragement and support and prays that Hashem will repay him in kind.


(a) (Mishnah): All fluids of a Mes (corpse) are Tahor, except for its blood; if it appears red, it is Metamei b'Ohel.
(b) Contradiction (Mishnah): Fluids of a Tvul Yom (one who immersed today, he is partially Tamei until evening) are like liquids that he touches, they are not Metamei;
1. The fluids of all other Teme'im, light or severe, are like fluids they touch, i.e. Rishon l'Tumah;
2. The only exception is fluids that are Avos (sources of) Tum'ah.
3. Suggestion: 'Light' Teme'im refers to Sheratzim and Zavim; 'severe' Teme'im are Mesim.
(c) Answer: No, light Teme'im are Sheratzim, severe Teme'im are Zavim.
(d) Question: Why did Chachamim decree Tum'ah on fluids of a Zav, but not of a Mes?
(e) Answer: Chachamim wanted to distance people from Tum'ah, so they decreed on a Zav;
1. People stay far from a Mes even without a decree.
(a) (Mishnah): Blood that spurted, and is on the knife...
(b) (Beraisa #1): "V'Chisahu" - this teaches that blood that spurted or is on the knife must be covered;
(c) R. Yehudah says, this is only if there is no other blood; if there is other blood to cover, he is exempt.
(d) (Beraisa #2): "And you will cover it" - this teaches that all the blood must be covered, including blood that spurted and blood left on the place of slaughter;
1. R. Shimon ben Gamliel says, this is only if Dam ha'Nefesh (the blood that leaves when an animal dies) was not covered; if it was covered, he need not cover the other blood.
(e) Question: What do they argue about?
(f) Answer: The first Tana (of Beraisa #2) holds that "Damo" connotes all the blood; R. Yehudah holds that even some of it is called "Damo"; R. Shimon ben Gamliel holds that "Damo" refers to its special blood, Dam ha'Nefesh.
(a) (Mishnah): One may cover the blood with fine manure, fine sand, plaster, or ground up pottery, bricks or cork;
(b) One may not cover with coarse manure or sand, nor with bricks or cork that were not ground up;
(c) One may not cover with a vessel;
(d) R. Shimon ben Gamliel says, we may cover only with things in which vegetation grows.
(e) (Gemara) Version #1 - Question: What is considered fine sand?
(f) Answer (Rabah bar bar Chanah): This is sand that a potter does not need to crush.
(g) Version #2 - Question: What is considered coarse sand?
(h) Answer (Rabah bar bar Chanah): This is sand that a potter must crush.
(i) Question: What is the difference between the two versions?
(j) Answer: They argue about sand that can be crushed by hand. (Rashi - Version #1 considers this to be fine, Version #2 considers it to be coarse; the Rif learns oppositely.)
(k) (Beraisa) Suggestion: "V'Chisahu" - perhaps one may use rocks, or put a vessel over it!
1. Rejection: "Be'Afar" (he must use dirt.)
2. Question: What is the source to include fine manure or sand, pulverized rocks or pottery, stubble of flax, sawdust, plaster, crushed bricks or cork?

3. Answer: It says "V'Chisahu" (before "Be'Afar", implying that one may cover with anything.)
4. Suggestion: Perhaps one may cover with coarse manure or sand, ground up metal, bricks or cork that were not ground up, flour, or bran!
5. Rejection: "Be'Afar".
6. Question: Why are the former materials allowed, and not the latter?
7. Answer: Only types of dirt are allowed.
8. Suggestion: We should expound "V'Chisahu" - Klal; "Be'Afar" - Prat; from a Klal u'Prat we only include the Prat, i.e. dirt!
9. Rejection (Rav Mari): The Prat was needed to understand the Klal. (We would not have known that the blood must be absorbed in the covering (Rashi; Tosfos - that the blood must also be covered from below);
i. In all such cases, we do not expound Klal u'Prat.
(l) (Rav Nachman bar Rav Chisda): We may cover only with something in which we can plant seeds, and they will grow.
1. Rava: That is a boorish thing to say!
2. Rav Nachman bar Yitzchak: What is wrong with it? I taught this to him, I derived it from a Beraisa!
i. (Beraisa): If a man in the desert or on a ship has no dirt, he may grind up a gold coin or burn a garment to cover the blood with the fragments or ashes. (This shows that desert sand is invalid - this is because seeds will not grow in it.)
ii. Ashes (of a garment) are allowed, because (in a verse) ashes are called dirt.
iii. Question: Why may pulverized gold be used?
iv. Answer (R. Zeira): This is also called dirt - "Dirt of gold".
(a) (Beraisa - Beis Shamai): We may only cover with dirt;
(b) Beis Hillel says, ashes are also valid, since they are called dirt - "Me'Afar Sereifas (ha'Chatas)".
(c) Beis Shamai: Ashes are called Afar Sereifah, not (plain) dirt.
(d) (Beraisa): The following materials were also allowed - crushed coals, eye powder, stubble that is extracted from a grinder;
(e) Some allow even orpiment (a yellow dye.)
(f) (Rava): In the merit that Avraham said "I am dirt and ashes", his descendants merited two Mitzvos, ashes of the Parah Adumah, and dirt in the water that a Sotah drinks.
(g) Question: Why did Rava omit dirt of Kisuy ha'Dam?
(h) Answer: That Mitzvah does not give special benefit (more than standard Mitzvos, Rava's Mitzvos are Metaher and permit a woman to her husband.)
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