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THOUGHTS ON THE DAILY DAF
brought to you by Kollel Iyun Hadaf of Har Nof
Rosh Kollel: Rav Mordecai Kornfeld
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- A DISINTEGRATED "MES"
Rav Yochanan rules that even if a Mes was totally disintegrated,
it is still Metamei. Reish Lakish rules that such a Mes is Tahor. The
Gemara suggests that Rav Yochanan learned his ruling from the words of
Rebbi Eliezer, who rules that ashes of a Mes are Metamei.
The Mishnah in Ohalos which quotes Rebbi Eliezer concludes by quoting the
opinion of the Chachamim who rule that ashes of a Mes are in fact Tahor. If
so, why did Rav Yochanan rule against the Chachamim in favor of Rebbi
Eliezer? Furthermore, Rav Yochanan questioned what Reish Lakish's source
was for ruling that a disintegrated Mes is Tahor. What is Rav Yochanan's
question? The source would seem to be clear - - Reish Lakish rules in
accordance with the Chachamim who argue on Rebbi Eliezer!
- TOSFOS (DH Mes) answers that Rav Yochanan understood that even the
Chachamim who argue on Rebbi Eliezer, agree in principle that a totally
disintegrated Mes is Tamei. They rule nevertheless that ashes of a Mes are
Tahor, since ashes are even less substantial than a disintegrated body and
are not considered a Mes at all. They are like dust.
- TOSFOS suggests another answer: Rav Yochanan understood that the
Chachamim generally agree that a totally disintegrated Mes is Metamei. They
only argue with Rebbi Eliezer in a case where some of the disintegrated
remains of the Mes were no longer present.
- The RAMBAM rules like Reish Lakish, that a disintegrated Mes is Tahor.
The Kesef Mishnah explains that while Rav Yochanan understod the argument
between the Chachamim and Rebbi Eliezer in one of the two above mentioned
ways, nevertheless the Gemara rejects this understanding of the Tana Kama
and explains that Rav Yochanan's ruling follows the opinion of Rebbi
Eliezer and not the Chachamim. We therefore rule like Reish Lakish, since
the Gemara understood Reish Lakish to be expressing the opinion of the
Chachamim of Rebbi Eliezer.
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