POINT BY POINT SUMMARY
Prepared by R. Yakov Blinder
of Kollel Iyun Hadaf, Yerushalayim
Rosh Kollel: Rabbi Mordecai Kornfeld
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Previous daf Moed Katan 7
MOED KATAN 7 - sponsored by Harav Ari Bergmann of Lawrence, N.Y., out of
love for Torah and those who study it.
1) BERAISOS CONCERNING "NORMAL MANNER" OF TRAPPING AND SHINUI
(a) "Normal manner" means digging a hole and placing a trap
in it. Shinui means smashing the ground down into the
animal's own hole thus burying it.
2) REPAIRING FENCES
(b) R. Shimon ben Elazar says: When the Tana Kama permits
trapping in a wheat field in the normal manner, it is
only when the wheat field borders on a tree field, and
the animals could easily cross into the tree field. [This
is the Girsa of all the Rishonim, but it is unlike our
printed texts. According to our texts, R. Shimon ben
Elazar says: When the Chachamim required a Shinui for
trapping animals in a wheat field, it was only when it
does not border on a tree field, but if it does border on
a tree field no Shinui is required.]
(a) Question: What does the Mishnah (above, 6b, 8:b) mean by
3) R. CHISDA'S "HETER"
(b) Rav Yosef's answer: Making a makeshift fence of bay
branches and palm leaves.
(c) Beraisa's answer: Placing rocks without mortar.
(a) R. Chisda: When the Mishnah forbade making new fences on
C.H., it was only referring to garden fences, but a fence
for a residential yard may even be made anew (to prevent
loss of property through theft).
4) MISHNAH: OBSERVING NEGAIM ON C.H.
(b) The Gemara tries to prove R. Chisda's point from a
Beraisa, but it is rejected.
(c) A question on R. Chisda is asked from that same Beraisa:
The Beraisa says that a wall that leans precariously
towards the street may be torn down and rebuilt anew.
This implies that only because of danger of collapse may
a new wall be built, but not for merely keeping out
(d) Answer: True, there is a difference between what is
permitted to prevent a dangerous collapse and what is
permitted to prevent theft, but as follows: In the former
case the wall may be torn down AND rebuilt, while in the
latter case it may only be built anew, but not torn down
and then rebuilt.
(e) R. Ashi proves R. Chisda's Heter from the Mishnah, as
follows: If the Mishnah were dealing with fences of
residential yards, there would be no reason to mention
that such a fence may be built during Shemitah. Hence,
the Mishnah must be dealing specifically with garden
fences, where we might have thought that building such a
fence should be forbidden on Shemitah (because it appears
as if one is trying to guard his produce for himself,
which is forbidden).
(a) R. Meir: The Kohen may observe a Nega on C.H. If it is
Tahor he should render it Tahor; if not he should remain
silent. (The Nega cannot become officially Tamei unless
the Kohen declares it to be so.)
5) BERAISA ELABORATING THE MISHNAH
(b) Chachamim: The Kohen should not see any Nega at all on
(a) The reason for the Chachamim (who are identified as R.
Yosi) is given: He holds that the Kohen may not withhold
his opinion on a Nega; if he sees that it is Tamei he
must say so. Therefore, he should not see any Nega on
C.H., lest he be forced to declare it Tamei and ruin the
patient's Simchas Yom Tov.
6) RAVA'S DELINEATION OF THE BERAISA'S DISCUSSION
(b) Rebbi sides with R. Meir in the case of Musgar (a
possible Metzora who was confined for seven days to
monitor the Nega's growth), and with R. Yosi in the case
of a Muchlat (a definite Metzora who now seeks to undergo
purification). The explanation for this is that Rebbi
agrees in theory to R. Yosi (Tosfos), that the Kohen may
not withhold his opinion. Thus, if a Muchlat goes to a
Kohen he should not examine him at all, lest he be forced
to tell him bad news. A Musgar may be examined, however,
because there is no possibility of bad news for him. This
will all be explained more fully below (7).
(a) Rava explains that the disagreement between R. Meir and
R. Yosi is limited, as follows:
1. It does not apply in the case of a Tahor who is about
to begin the whole Nega process from the start.
There is no possibility of "good news" here and even
R. Meir would agree that the Kohen should not
2. It does not apply in the case of a Musgar Rishon (one
who has finished one week of confinement). This is
because no bad news is possible at this point -
either the Nega has receded (good news) or it has
remained the same and a second Hesger is required
(status quo, not bad news). [Obvious question:
Perhaps the Nega grew and the patient is now a
definite Metzora! See Tosfos.] In this case, then,
even R. Yosi would allow the Kohen to examine him.
3. The disagreement between R. Yosi and R. Meir is thus
limited to the case of a Musgar Sheni (and, of
course a Muchlat - ed.), who could receive either
good news (the Nega is static or healed) or bad news
(the Nega has grown and is thus Tzara'as).
7) DISCUSSION OF REBBI'S POSITION
(a) Above (5:b) we said that Rebbi sides with R. Meir in the
case of Musgar, because there is no possibility of bad
news there, and with R. Yosi in the case of Muchlat,
because there is a possibility of bad news there.
8) BIBLICAL SOURCES FOR ABOVE FACTS
(b) Question: There is another Beraisa that says just the
opposite: Rebbi sides with R. Meir in the case of
Muchlat, because there is no possibility of bad news
there, and with R. Yosi in the case of Musgar, because
there is a possibility of bad news there. Which way is
(c) Answer: It depends how you look at it. First, the facts:
1. A Musgar may live anywhere (even in a walled city).
[This is Rashi's opinion. It is problematic, but we
will use it.] He is also permitted to live with his
wife. [The Rishonim quote Rashi as disagreeing with
this fact, but we do not have this in our Rashi, so
we will accept it as fact.]
(d) Back to the answer to question 7:b. According to the
first Beraisa Rebbi held that a person values the company
of his wife more than the company of the public. Thus, a
Musgar does not care if he becomes a Muchlat, for in
either case he may live with his wife. (Although a
Muchlat must leave town, this does not bother him so
much.) A Muchlat (who may live with his wife), however,
would be saddened if he became a Sofer (who may not live
with his wife). Therefore, Rebbi held that a Musgar may
be examined by the Kohen (he has nothing to lose), but a
Muchlat may not be examined by the Kohen (he may hear bad
news, that he has become a Sofer). According to the
second Beraisa Rebbi held that a person values the
company of the public more than the company of his wife.
Thus, a Musgar (who may live wherever he wants) would be
saddened to become a Muchlat (who must leave town),
although his status vis-a-vis his wife would be
unchanged. A Muchlat (who must live out of town) would be
thrilled to become a Sofer (who may live wherever he
wants), although he has to separate from his wife.
Therefore, Rebbi held that a Muchlat may be examined by
the Kohen (he has nothing to lose and everything to
gain), while a Musgar may not be examined by the Kohen
(he may hear bad news, that he has become a Muchlat).
2. A Muchlat is expelled from all walled cities, a form
of social ostracism. He may, however, live with his
3. During the first week after the Nega has been declared
healed, the Metzora undergoes what is called Yemei
Sefirah, during which time he may live anywhere, but
he may not have relations with his wife. (This type
of person will heretofore be referred to as a
(a) Is a Metzora permitted to live with his wife?
1. During Sefirah he is definitely prohibited to live
with his wife, as it says, "He shall sit stay
outside his tent," "tent" meaning wife.
(b) How do we know that the Kohen has the power to keep the
Nega from being declared Tamei? In other words: How do we
know a Kohen can withhold his opinion (according to R.
Meir) or can refrain from inspecting a possible Nega
(according to R. Yosi)?
2. R. Yehudah (text should really say "Rebbi"): Since the
verse says "seven days" it implies that it is
limited only to the seven days of Sefirah, and does
not apply to a Muchlat.
3. R. Yosi b'Rebbi Yehudah: If the Sofer cannot live with
his wife, Kal va'Chomer a Muchlat may not. [Note:
The entire previous section was assuming like Rebbi,
not like R. Yosi b'Rebbi Yehudah.]
1. R. Yehudah: It says, "On the day when it is seen on
[the Metzora]..." implying that there are certain
days when a Metzora is not seen. These days are C.H.
and a newlywed's week of Sheva Berachos.
2. Rebbi: It says, "The Kohen shall tell them to empty
out the house before the Kohen comes... so that
everything in the house should not become Tamei." If
one may delay seeing the Nega for purpose of
convenience (preventing the household articles from
becoming Tamei), then Kal va'Chomer he can delay for
the purpose of a mitzvah (preventing sadness on a
3. What's the difference between these two derivations?
i. Abaye: No practical difference.
ii. Rava: There is a difference, as follows: Rebbi
assumed that just as the Kohen may delay seeing
a house-Nega for purpose of convenience so may
he delay seeing a body-Nega for purpose of
convenience. (Hence he made the Kal va'Chomer
that delay must certainly be permitted for a
mitzvah.) R. Yehudah would disagree with this
step, because a house-Nega is a Chidush (an
exceptional law that does not fit in with the
general framework of Halachah), because stones
and plain wood normally cannot become Tamei.
Since it is a Chidush one cannot derive
anything about a body-Nega from it. The reason
Rebbi did make this step was because there are
two relevant verses here, and he held that
between the two of these verses this conclusion
may be drawn.