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
QUESTION: The Gemara rules that a bloodstain which is the color of black
ink is Tamei. The Gemara also rules that if the stain was the color of a
raven then it is Tahor. This clearly indicates that a raven is lighter in
color than black ink.
The Bi'ur Halachah (OC 32, DH Yichtevem) asks that the Halachah requires
black ink for Tefilin; any other shade is invalid. If so, why does the
Midrash (Chazis) write that the words "Shechoros k'Orev (Shir ha'Shirim
5:11)" refer to the letters of the Sefer Torah? Raven-black is a shade
*lighter* than black ink, and therefore a Sefer Torah with letters black as
a raven should be invalid!
ANSWER: The Bi'ur Halachah suggests that according to the Gemara's
conclusion, dry ink is darker than wet ink and therefore Maros Dam would be
compared against *dry* ink. Perhaps the Midrash is telling us that when the
letters of the Sefer Torah are still *wet*, they are raven colored!
2) RULING FOR ONE'S SELF
QUESTION: It seems evident from our Gemara that Rav Nachman's wife, Yalata,
would not show her blood stains to her own husband, Rav Nachman, for a
Halachic ruling. Since her husband was a great Talmid Chacham and a Gadol
ha'Dor (see Sanhedrin 6a), why did she have find it necessary to bring her
Mar'os to another Posek? This Gemara seems to imply that a Posek cannot
rule on Mar'os for his own wife!
3) HALACHAH: ASKING FOR A SECOND OPINION!
Similarly, the Mishnah in Nega'im (2:5) states, "A Chacham may rule on all
Bechoros, except for his own. He may, however, rule even on his own
Korbanos, Ma'asros and Taharos." The Gemara in Bechoros 31a explains that a
person may rule on his own Taharos because there is no real difference to
him whether they are Tahor or Tamei -- even if he finds them to be Tamei he
may eat them while he is himself Tamei. If so, however, a person should
only be allowed to rule on the Taharah of his own Chulin. In a question
regarding Isur v'Heter (such as Mar'os of women) he should not be able to
rule for himself!
On the other hand, the Gemara in Eruvin (63a) clearly permits a Talmid
Chacham to rule for himself in such matters!
(a) The RASH (Nega'im 2:5) answers that a Chacham is allowed to rule for
himself in all cases of Isur v'Heter where it is not "Ischazek Isura"
(presumed to be forbidden until now). When the item is Ischazek Isura, he
may not rule for himself.
As for Yalata, TOSFOS (Nidah 20b, DH Kol) says that a husband may certainly
rule on the blood stains of his own wife. Yalata did not show them to Rav
Nachman for other reasons (perhaps Rav Nachman was not well versed in the
laws of stains, or he might have been too stringent when his rulings
affected himself, or she was embarrassed - Tosfos ibid.). The SHACH (YD
188:7) cites the words of Tosfos and rules that a husband may rule on his
own wife's stains.
(b) MAHARACH OHR ZARU'A (Teshuvah #97) adds that the Torah specifically
tells us that a Nidah is trusted to count her days of Tumah (before
immersing in a Mikvah) all by herself (Kesuvos 72a). We can learn from this
law that a Chacham, too, is trusted to rule for himself with regard to the
laws of Nidah.
(c) However, the ME'IRI in our Sugya maintains that a husband may not rule
on the stains of his wife, and that is why Yalata did not show them to her
husband, Rav Nachman, even though he was a qualified Posek. (This ruling
does not appear to be accepted Halachically.)
QUESTION: Yalata showed Rabba Bar Bar Chana a Mar'eh and he ruled that it
was Tamei. She then took it to Rav Yitzchok and once she explained that
Rabba Bar Bar Chana usually was lenient with such a Mar'eh but today his
eyes were sore, he agreed to re-assess the question and ruled that it was
The Gemara (Avodah Zarah 7a) rules that if a person asked a Chacham a
question and the Chacham was Machmir, then he should not ask another
Chacham in order that he should be Mekil. If so, how could Yalata ask Rav
Yitzchok to rule on this Mar'eh once Rabba Bar Bar Chanah was already
Machmir on this Mar'eh?
TOSFOS (DH a'Gemarei) explains that it is only prohibited for the
second *Chacham* to contradict the ruling of the first one. However, it is
not prohibited for the person who is *asking* the question to ask again,
since the second Chacham might bring to the attention of the first one that
he made a mistake, causing the first Chacham to change his ruling. Tosfos
notes, however, that the one asking the question *must* inform the second
Chacham that he had already asked this question to someone else.
QUESTION: We have explained why it was permitted for Yalata to ask her
question. Why was it permitted for Rav Yitzchak to *rule* on her question,
HALACHAH: The REMA (Yoreh Deah 242:31) rules that if a Chacham ruled
l'Hachmir, then a second Chacham may not overrule the first Chacham's
decision based on his own logic (unless he finds that the first Chacham was
a To'eh bi'Dvar Mishneh). However, he may overrule the first Chacham's
decision based on a Mesorah. The SHACH (YD 242:55) rules that a second
Chacham should not overrule the Chumra of the first Chacham even based on a
Mesorah. (This would concur with the words of Tosfos in our Sugya.)
(a) The ME'IRI and TOSFOS (Avodah Zarah 7a DH ha'Nish'al) explain that Rav
Yitzchok had the ability to overrule the Chumra of Rabba Bar Bar Chana
since there were grounds to assume that he had made a mistake (i.e. his
eyes hurt him and he could not see the Mar'eh properly). This would imply
that a second Chacham may not normally rule l'Kula where a Chacham
previously ruled l'Chumra, unless there are specific grounds to assume that
a mistake was made in the ruling of the first Chacham.
(b) TOSFOS (DH a'Gemarei and Chulin 44b DH Heichi) explains that the second
Chacham may overrule the ruling of the first Chacham based on a Mesorah.
However, he may not overrule the first Chacham's decision based only on his
own logical analysis of the Sugya.
The MISHKENOS YAKOV (59) rules in accordance with the REMA. He explains the
REMA to mean that if the second Chacham had a Mesorah from a Gadol ha'Dor
which would cause the first Chacham to *change his mind*, then he may
overrule the decision of the first Chacham. If the first Chacham would not
accept the ruling of the Chacham from whom the Mesorah stemmed, then the
second Chacham may not overrule the first decision based on his Mesorah.