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Nidah 56

QUESTION: Rebbi Yosi rules that although the flesh of a Mes is normally Metamei, a k'Zayis of dried flesh of a Mes which cannot be re-hydrated is not Metamei. The Gemara explains that even though Rebbi Yosi rules that such flesh does not have the status of the *flesh* of a Mes, it nevertheless retains the status of *spoilage* (Rekev) of a Mes, a large spoonful of which is Metamei.

RASHI (DH Tum'as) adds that a spoonful of it (Rekev) is Metamei through either Maga (contact), Masa (carrying or moving it) or Ohel (staying together under one roof). REBBI AKIVA EIGER (Gilyon ha'Shas ad loc.; Notes to Mishnayos Ohalos 2:2 and Taharos 4:5) finds this statement to be amazing, in light of the well-known rule that Rekev only spreads Tum'ah through Masa and Ohel but not through Maga (Ohalos 2:2; Chulin 126b)! How can Rashi assert that Rekev is also Metamei b'Maga?

ANSWERS: The RASHASH offers two answers to Rebbi Akiva Eiger's question.

(a) The Gemara (Chulin 125b) states quite clearly that Rebbi *Yosi*, author of the statement in our Gemara, rules that Rekev *can* spread Tum'ah through Maga. Rashi is explaining the laws of Rekev according to Rebbi Yosi.

(Rebbi Akiva Eiger probably rejected this answer because the Gemara in Chulin (125b) elucidates that Rebbi Yosi doesn't really mean that by touching Rekev one can become Tamei. He simply uses the word "Maga" to refer to a person who leans over Rekev, making himself an *Ohel* over the Rekev, while using the word Ohel to refer to a person that is under the same ceiling as the Rekev. If so, it would not be accurate for Rashi to state, unequivocally, the Rekev can make a person Tamei through Maga. -M. Kornfeld.)

(b) The RASHASH further explains that Rashi does not mean to say that *Rekev* normally is Metamei through Maga. When he says that "it" will be Metamei b'Maga, he means that the *dried flesh* mentioned in our Sugya will be Metamei b'Maga. The reason for this is that Rekev is not Metamei b'Maga simply because it is physically impossible to touch an entire spoonful of it at once, since the Rekev would have to be spread out in a super-thin layer upon the person's skin (Gemara Chulin 125b, Rashi Chulin 126b DH v'Ein Metamei b'Maga). Rekev in the form of a dried block of skin will therefore be an exception to this rule, since it is one solid block and not separate particles. Such Rekev will certainly be Metamei b'Maga according all opinions!

(Rebbi Akiva Eiger may have been asking, however, why is it that the Beraisa in Chulin 126b states that "Rekev is Metamei through Masa and Ohel but not through Maga." Also, in Chulin 125b the Gemara wonders how Rebbi Yosi can possibly argue with the Beraisa and claim that Rekev *is* Metamei through Maga. Why is that? Rekev certianly *is* Metamei b'Maga, at times, i.e. when it is in the form of dried flesh!

The Rashash answers to this question, that when the Beraisa uses the word Rekev, it is only referring to actual particles of spoilage. Dried skin, which has the same Halachic status, will be Metamei through Maga. This is not discussed in the Beraisa in Chulin, however.)

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