ANSWERS TO REVIEW QUESTIONS
prepared by Rabbi Eliezer Chrysler
Kollel Iyun Hadaf, Jerusalem
Previous daf Moed Katan 5
MOED KATAN 5 - Dedicated by Gerald (Gedalia) Ziering in honor of Rabbi
Elimelech Kohn, leader of the Daf Yomi shiur at Telshe Yeshiva Alumni of
(a) Our Mishnah permits clearing out water-pits that became clogged -up with
stones. Rebbi Yochanan (explaining the Mishnah) permits even digging a pit
from scratch - if it is needed by the community.
(b) We ultimately explain the Beraisa ...
1. ... 'Chotetin Boros, Sichin u'Me'aros shel Yachid, ve'Ein Tzarich Lomar
shel Rabim' - to mean that one may clear out the stones from *private*
water-pits etc. that the owner needs; and it goes without saying public
ones, which may even be dug from scratch, if the public need them.
(c) We have just learned that clearing out the stones is permitted in
certain cases even when digging the pit is forbidden. The Tana of the
Beraisa compares ...
2. ... 'Ein Chofrin Boros, Sichin u'Me'aros shel Rabim, ve'Ein Tzarich Lomar
shel Yachid' - that one may not dig from scratch public water-pits etc.
which are not needed; and it goes without saying, private ones, where even
clearing out the stones is forbidden if they are not needed.
1. ... filling the already-dug pit with water - to clearing out the stones.
2. ... filling in the cracks and strengthening them with lime - to digging
(a) 'Osin Kol Tzorchei Rabim' in our Mishnah comes to include digging
water-pits, which we see is permitted for the community's needs -
vindicating Rebbi Yochanan.
(b) We refute the suggestion that 'Osin Kol Tzorchei Rabim' comes to include
general communal needs such as the removal of thorns, road repairs and
rectifying the Mikva'os, listed in the Beraisa - on the grounds that the
Mishnah has already listed these specifically, so it is not necessary to
(c) The Tana of the Beraisa learns from the Pasuk "ve'Hayah Alecha Damim" -
that if the Beis-Din do not see to the public needs such as clearing away
the thorns from the streets, then they are responsible from any ensuing
(a) Rebbi Shimon ben Pazi says - that the Pasuk "ve'Ra'ah Etzem Adam u'Banah
Etzlo Tzi'un" is a hint for Tzi'un Kevarim (the obligation to mark unknown
(b) Before Yechezkel ha'Navi came upon the scene - they knew about Tzi'un
Kevarim, because it is Halachah le'Moshe mi'Sinai (and Yechezkel did no
more than support it with a Pasuk).
(c) Yechezkel also supported the Halachah (le'Moshe mi'Sinai) that a Kohen
Areil Basar (someone who is uncircumcised) or an Areil Leiv (who serves
idols) is disqualified from serving in the Beis Hamikdash.
(d) Others learn Tzi'un Kevarim from the Pasuk in Tazri'a "ve'Tamei Tamei
Yikra". From the second "Tamei" we learn - that the Metzora should
publicise his pain, thereby encouraging others to pray for him.
(a) Other Amora'im learn Tzi'un Kevarim from "ve'Lifnei Iver ... ", "ve'Amar
Solu Solu Panu Derech" or from "Harimu Michshol mi'Derech Ami"; from
"ve'Hoda'ta Lahem es ha'Derech Yeilchu Vah", ve'Hizartem es B'nei Yisrael
mi'Tum'asam" or from "u'Sh'martem es Mishmarti". The final Derashah is from
the Pasuk in Tehilim "ve'Sham Derech Ar'enu be'Yesha Elokim". Rebbi Yehoshua
ben Levi also learns from this Pasuk - that those people who live with a
Cheshbon ha'Nefesh (who reckon the loss caused by performing a Mitzvah
against the potential gain, and the gain caused by sinning against the
(b) Rebbi Yanai quoted this Pasuk regarding an astute Talmid of his - who
would also ask him Kashyos on his Derashos, except for the Shabbos of
Yom-Tov, when a lot of people came to hear the Derashah, and asking Rebbi
Yanai a Kashya which he might not have perhaps been able to answer, would
have caused him much embarrassment.
(a) They would not mark (with lime) a k'Zayis of flesh or a bone exactly the
size of a barley that came from a corpse (in spite of the fact that it was
Metamei be'Ohel) - because it was only a matter of a short time until it
would shrink to less than a k'Zayis (and no longer be Metamei be'Ohel).
Consequently, Chazal figured that it was better that people might perhaps
walk over it, discover what they had done and be obligated to burn Terumah
and Kodshim that became Tamei as a result, *for that short while*, than that
the bone be marked, with the result that, from then on, people who walked
over it (in spite of the warning) would *always* burn Terumah and Kodshim,
thinking that the bone was still the size of k'Zayis, even after it no
(b) Besides the *spine* - they would also mark the *skull* of a corpse, both
of which are Metamei be'Ohel, even though they do not comprise the majority
of the corpse.
(c) A minority of large bones that made up the *majority* of the corpse's
*volume* would be marked - as would the *majority (in number)* of the
corpse's bones, even if they did not make up the majority of the volume of
(a) They would mark the location of the corpse (with lime) - when it was a
Safek Tamei (which will be described later), but not when it was a Vaday.
(b) They would place the lime - close to the spot where they believed the
Tum'ah to be.
(c) They would not place it ...
1. ... on the Tum'ah itself - in order to avoid the possibility of someone
walking over it before he knew it was there
2. ... far from the Tum'ah - in order not to render more of Eretz Yisrael
inaccessible than was necessary.
(a) Two of the three cases of Safek that would be marked were 'Sechachos'
1. ... 'Sechachos' - are branches of a tree that was known to overhang a
grave, but not *which* branch (see also Tosfos DH 'Ilan').
(b) The third case of Safek is that of a Beis ha'P'ras. Rav Yehudah Amar
Shmuel, who permits blowing one's way through a Beis ha'P'ras in order to
bring the Korban Pesach, and Ula, who is quoted as saying that a Beis
ha'P'ras that was 'threshed' is Tahor (both of whom clearly hold that there
is no Din of Tum'as Ohel by a Beis ha'P'ras) - are speaking about a field in
which a grave was plowed up (in which case, there may well be no Tum'ah at
all); whereas we are speaking about a field which is known to contain a
grave, but not its exact whereabouts (so that there is definitely Tum'ah
there - that too, is called a 'Beis ha'P'ras').
2. ... 'Pera'os' - stones that protrude from a stone wall, under the same
circumstances as the branches of a tree.
(c) We know that a field in which a grave is lost is called a Beis
ha'P'ras - because of the Mishnah in Ohalos, which describes three different
kinds of Beis ha'P'ras, including that one.
(d) The third category of Beis ha'P'ras described in the Mishnah in Ohalos
is 'a Sadeh Bochin' - a field next to the town where corpse was brought to
be buried. Those who had brought him from the town where he had died would
hand him over to those who would wash and bury him. Sometimes, it appears,
due to the long trek from one town to another, limbs might fall off from the
corpse, which each group, believing that the second group would tend to it,
would leave lying there (creating the Safek Beis ha'P'ras). The field was
called a 'Sadeh Bochin' - because as the corpse was being handed from one
group to the other, it was common for all of them to burst out crying.
(a) The Tana Kama of the Beraisa explains that if one comes across a marked
field *with* trees, it is a plowed field (because they would have to plow it
on account of the trees) - whereas one *without* trees - is considered a
field where a grave has been lost (but not plowed up).
(b) Rebbi Yehudah says - that we can only know whether the field was plowed
or not if we hear it from an elder or from a young Talmid-Chacham.
(c) It appears from the Tana Kama that even a field in which a grave was dug
also needs to be marked (clashing with the Sugya that we just learned, which
assumes that it does *not*). However, this is not correct - because it
speaks when the field was first marked after the grave became lost, and
plowed only afterwards (because of the trees that grew in it).
(d) We know that a grave was dug up in the location of the trees, and that
the trees cannot have been on the inside (which *was* plowed) and the Tum'ah
that was lost on the outside (which was *not*) - because we are speaking in
a case when the trees are situated right next to the street, and one does
not generally bury people in the public street. Consequently, the grave must
have been in between the trees, which is where they plowed.
(a) We then ask that perhaps the Tum'ah was on the inside (beyond the trees
and not between them) and the trees on the outside. We first answer that it
speaks 'bi'Mesuvachin' - meaning that the trees were not all planted in one
straight row, but were scattered round the field, in which case the entire
field will have been plowed because of them.
(b) Alternatively, it cannot speak when they marked the far side of the
trees, and the grave was on the near side - because, as we have already
learned, one does not place the marker far from the Tum'ah, in order not to
render more of Eretz Yisrael inaccessible than is necessary.