How wonderful to complete the Tractate of Beitz and start Masechet Rosh Hashana and enjoy a special Shiur from Rav Weitman.
Teachers: Judith Epstein and Dena Rock
Thoughts on Beitza 40
by Susan Suna
There is a known story about a Jew who was sitting on a plane next to a non-Jew. They got to know each other and when their food arrived, the Jew opened up the packaging of his food and then went to wash for Hamotzei. Upon his return he just ate the bread and side dishes but not the meat portion of his meal. The non-Jew sitting next to him thought that this was odd and asked why he wasn’t eating his meat. After hesitating for a bit, the Jew answered and said there is a law regarding meat that is overlooked – דין בשר שנתעלם מן העין. The Jew explained that it is forbidden to eat meat that has not been under the supervision of a Jew for fear that it has been replaced with non-kosher meat by crows, mice or humans. The non-Jew said, your Torah is very wise as I had always wanted to taste Kosher meat so when you left a moment ago, I switched one of your meatballs for mine.
This situation is one that Rav was concerned about many centuries ago and revererates within the story on our daf today. Rav Ḥana bar Ḥanilai was a guest outside the Techum of his city. Before Yom Tov, the butchers of the city gave him a gift of meat. He asked Rav Huna if he could carry his meat home with him as he had made an Eruv Techumin. Rav Huna answered: If you hung the meat, you can take it, but if your hosts hung it for you, you may not take it. Rav Huna’s answer raises a number of questions regarding the ownership and therfore Techum of the meat. The issue is resolved when the Gemara points out that Rav Huna’s answer was not relating to the Techum or the meat but the prohibition against eating meat that has been left unobserved, as it may have been exchanged for prohibited meat. As Rav Ḥana bar Ḥanilai was a great man involved in his learning and would forget other matters, if he did not hang up the meat himself, he would not have paid attention to it. Rav Huna ruled according to his teacher Rav, who had taught on Hulin Daf 75a that such meat is prohibited.
We now conclude Masechet Beitza with the final Mishna discussing which animals can and cannot be given water or Shechted on Chag. Desert animals, which graze mainly outside the town are not permissible as they are considered Muktzeh. However, domestic animals may be given water and Shechted on Chag. According to Rebbi Shimon desert animals would be permissible on Chag as he does not include them in items that are Muktza on Chag. Rebbi attempts to convince Rabanan that even according to their opinion animals which graze from Passover until the first rain are domestic animals. However Rababan say that these too are considered desert animals and are Muktza.
This debate regarding Muktza on Yom Tov continues with the Rishonim. According to Rif, Rambam, Ramban, Rashba, Ra’ah and Shulchan Aruch, we are more stringent regarding Muktza on Yom Tov and follow Rebbi Yehudah’s rulings; whereas on Shabbat where we are less concerned that people will violate the Kedusha of the day, we follow Rebbi Shimon’s leniencies in this matter. However according to the Behag, Ri, Rabbeinu Tam, Rosh and Rema even on Yom Tov the Halakha follows R. Shimon. Although regarding Nolad, the Rema agrees that we are more stringent on Yom Tov than on Shabbat.
How fortunate we are to have joined the conversation of generations and to have learned Masechet Beitza and delve into the details of protecting the sanctity of Yom Tov throughout all the Tishrei Chagim.
הדרן עלך מסכת ביצה