Chullin 119bחולין קי״ט ב
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119bקי״ט ב

שני שומרין מהו שיצטרפו

As the Gemara stated, protection joins together with the food to constitute the requisite measure to impart impurity. What is the halakha with regard to two protections joining together with the food to constitute the measure of an egg-bulk required to impart impurity?

היכי דמי אילימא בזה על גב זה ומי איכא שומר על גב שומר

The Gemara asks: What are the circumstances of the dilemma? If we say that it is referring to a case where a food item has two layers of protection, and this outer protection is on top of that inner protection, is the halakha of protection applicable with regard to protection that is on top of another protection?

והתנן רבי יהודה אומר שלש קליפות בבצל פנימית בין שלמה בין קדורה מצטרפת אמצעית שלמה מצטרפת קדורה אין מצטרפת חיצונה בין כך ובין כך טהורה

But didn’t we learn in a mishna (Okatzin 2:4) that Rabbi Yehuda says: There are three peels surrounding an onion. The inner peel is considered like the food itself, and therefore, whether whole or punctured, it joins together with the onion to constitute the requisite measure to impart the impurity of food. With regard to the middle peel, when it is whole it provides protection and therefore joins together with the onion, but when it is punctured it does not provide protection and therefore does not join together with the onion. The outer peel does not join together with the onion at all, and both in this case, when it is whole, and in that case, when it is punctured, it remains ritually pure. Evidently, the halakha of protection is not applied to a protection that surrounds another protection.

רב אושעיא שומר אוכל שחלקו קמיבעיא ליה

The Gemara explains the dilemma: Rav Oshaya does not raise the dilemma with regard to a food item that has two layers of protection. Rather, he raises the dilemma with regard to protection of food that one divided such that the food is whole but the protection is divided into separate sections.

כיון דהאי לא מגין אהאי והאי לא מגין אהאי לא מצטרפת

The dilemma is as follows: Since this section of the protection is protecting this part of the food but does not provide protection for that other part of the food, and that other section of the protection is protecting another part of the food but does not provide protection for this part of the food, must one conclude that the two protections do not join together to constitute the requisite measure for the impurity of food?

או דלמא כיון דהאי מגין אדידיה והאי מגין אדידיה מצטרפין

Or perhaps, should one reason that since this section of the protection provides protection for its part of the food, and that section of the protection provides protection for its part of the food, and the two parts of the food are joined together, therefore the entire entity is considered unified and the two sections of the protection join together to constitute the requisite measure?

תא שמע רבי אלעזר בן עזריה מטהר בשל פול ומטמא בשל קטנית מפני שרוצה במשמישן

Come and hear a resolution to the dilemma from that which is taught in a mishna cited previously (Okatzin 1:5): Rabbi Elazar ben Azarya deems a pod containing beans that came in contact with a dead creeping animal ritually pure. But he deems a pod containing legumes that came in contact with a dead creeping animal impure because one desires the use of the pod when handling the legumes so that he will not damage them. Since the requisite volume for a food item to be susceptible to impurity is an egg-bulk, and the volume of one pod and its legumes is less than an egg-bulk, this statement must be discussing multiple pods joined together. Evidently, protection of food that is divided into separate sections joins together to constitute the requisite measure to impart impurity.

אמר רב אחא בריה דרבא בקולחא ומשום יד ומאי במשמישן בתשמישן

Rav Aḥa, son of Rava, said in rejection of this resolution: That mishna is discussing a case where a creeping animal touched the stalk to which the pods are attached but not the pods themselves. And the halakha in that mishna is not referring to the matter of protection; rather, it is with regard to the matter of a handle, as the stalk serves as a handle for the pod and its attached grain. And what does Rabbi Elazar ben Azarya mean when he says that in the case of legumes, the stalk is impure because one desires the use of the stalk when handling [bemashmishan] the legumes? He is referring to using [betashmishan], i.e., carrying, the legumes with the stalk.

ת"ש דתנא דבי רבי ישמעאל (ויקרא יא, לז) על כל זרע זרוע (אשר יזרע) כדרך שבני אדם מוציאין לזריעה חטה בקליפתה ושעורה בקליפתה ועדשים בקליפתן

Come and hear a resolution from that which the school of Rabbi Yishmael taught: With regard to the impurity of food the verse states: “On any sowing seed that is sown” (Leviticus 11:37), indicating that the entire seed is susceptible to ritual impurity when it is in a state where it is typical for people to take it out to the field for sowing: This applies to wheat in its shell, and barley in its shell, and lentils in their shells. It is derived from here that shells and other appendages that protect the food join together with the food to constitute the requisite measure to impart impurity. Since the measure of one grain and its shell is less than an egg-bulk, this statement must be discussing multiple grains and their shells joined together. Evidently, protection of food that is divided into separate sections joins together to impart impurity.

כדאמר רב אחא בריה דרבא בקולחא ומשום יד

The Gemara rejects this resolution: One can explain this statement in accordance with that which Rav Aḥa, son of Rava, said with regard to the statement of Rabbi Elazar ben Azarya that was cited previously: The mishna is discussing a case where a creeping animal came in contact with the stalk to which the pods are attached but not the pods themselves. And therefore, the halakha in the mishna is not referring to the matter of protection; rather, it is with regard to the matter of a handle.

הכא נמי בשדרה ומשום שומר

Here too, the statement of the school of Rabbi Yishmael is not referring to independent grains of wheat and barley, but rather to the stem to which the grains are attached, and it is with regard to the status of all the shells of the grains on one stem as protection. All of the grains surrounding the stem protect each other, since if one shell with its grain falls it causes all of the other shells and their grains to fall as well. Therefore, this case is not similar to Rav Oshaya’s dilemma, where each protection protects only part of the food.

בשלמא עיליתא צריכי לתתיתא אלא תתיתא מאי צריכי לעיליתא בחד דראומי

The Gemara asks: Granted, the grains located higher on the stem need the grains located lower on the stem to remain in place in order to not fall. But for what purpose do the grains located lower on the stem need the grains located higher on the stem? The Gemara answers: The case is one where the grains are all positioned tightly around the stem in one row in such a manner that if even one located higher up on the stem were to fall, the remaining grains would fall too.

איכא כביצה אוכלין בחד דרא בחטי דשמעון בן שטח

The Gemara asks: Is there a volume of an egg-bulk of food in one row of grain? The Gemara answers: Yes, this baraita is stated with regard to large grains of wheat, such as those grown in the time of Shimon ben Shataḥ.

השתא דאתית להכי חדא חטה נמי בחטי דשמעון בן שטח

The Gemara points out: Now that you have arrived at this conclusion, it is not necessary to interpret the baraita as referring to many grains tightly packed around the stem. It is even possible to explain that the baraita is discussing the case of one grain of wheat, such as the large grains of wheat grown in the time of Shimon ben Shataḥ.

גופא שני עצמות ועליהן שני חצאי זיתים והכניס ראשיהן שנים לבית והבית מאהיל עליהן הבית טמא

§The Gemara proceeds to discuss the Tosefta itself that was cited earlier (118b): In a case of two bones upon which there are two halves of an olive-bulk of flesh of a corpse, i.e., half an olive-bulk of flesh is attached to one end of each bone, and one placed the ends of both bones that are not directly attached to the flesh inside the house in such a manner that the house overlies those ends of the bones but not the ends of the bones attached to the flesh, it is considered as though the house is overlying the flesh itself and the house is impure.

יהודה בן נקוסא אומר משום רבי יעקב היאך שני עצמות מצטרפין לכזית

Yehuda ben Nekosa says in the name of Rabbi Ya’akov: How can two bones join together to constitute an olive-bulk if the flesh attached to each bone is less than the measure of an olive-bulk? It may be inferred from here that according to all, if the end of a bone that is attached to an olive-bulk of flesh is outside the house, and the other end that is not directly attached to any flesh is inside the house, the house becomes impure with the ritual impurity of a corpse.

אמר ריש לקיש לא שנו אלא עצם דהוי יד אבל נימא לא הויא יד ורבי יוחנן אמר אפילו נימא נמי הויא יד

With regard to this matter Reish Lakish said: The Sages taught this halakha only with regard to a bone, as it constitutes a handle vis-à-vis the flesh, but if one hair of a corpse is attached to an olive-bulk of flesh at one end, and the other end of the hair is inside a house, it does not render the house impure, because the hair does not constitute a handle vis-à-vis the flesh. And Rabbi Yoḥanan said: Even a hair constitutes a handle vis-à-vis the flesh, and therefore the house is rendered impure.

איתיביה ר' יוחנן לר"ל עור שיש עליו כזית בשר הנוגע בציב היוצא ממנו ובשערה שכנגדו טמא מאי לאו משום יד

Rabbi Yoḥanan raised an objection to the opinion of Reish Lakish from the mishna taught later (124a): In the case of the hide of an unslaughtered animal carcass upon which there is an olive-bulk of flesh, one who touches a strand of flesh emerging from the flesh, or touches a hair that is on the side of the hide opposite the flesh, is ritually impure with the impurity of an unslaughtered carcass, even though he did not touch an olive-bulk of the flesh. What is the reason that one who touches the strand of flesh or the hair becomes impure? Is it not because they constitute a handle for the flesh, contrary to the opinion of Reish Lakish with regard to a hair?

לא משום שומר ומי איכא שומר על גבי שומר חלחולי מחלחל

The Gemara answers: No, the ruling of that mishna is not because the hair serves as a handle for the flesh. Rather, it is because the hair serves as protection for the flesh. The Gemara asks: But the hide protects the flesh, and the hair is on top of the hide; is the halakha of protection applicable with regard to protection that is on top of another protection? The Gemara answers: The hair penetrates through the hide and touches the flesh, thereby providing protection directly for the flesh.

מתקיף לה רב אחא בר יעקב אלא מעתה תפילין היכי כתבינן הא בעינן כתיבה תמה וליכא

Rav Aḥa bar Ya’akov objects to this answer: If that is so, that there are perforations in the hide through which the hairs penetrate, how can we write phylacteries? Don’t we require phylacteries to be written with a perfect writing, with no perforations in the letters? And that is not possible if there are perforations in the hide.

אשתמיטתיה הא דאמרי במערבא כל נקב שהדיו עובר עליו אינו נקב

The Gemara answers: Rav Aḥa bar Ya’akov overlooked that halakha which they say in the West, Eretz Yisrael: Any perforation over which the ink passes and which it covers is not considered a perforation that invalidates the writing.

ואיבעית אימא כוליה משום יד כדאמר רבי אלעא במלאי שבין המלאים

And if you wish, say instead a different answer to Rabbi Yoḥanan’s objection to Reish Lakish: The entire mishna teaches that one who touches either a strand of flesh or a hair becomes impure because these appendages serve the flesh as a handle and not as protection. Nevertheless, that statement does not contradict the opinion of Reish Lakish that a hair does not constitute a handle for the flesh, because one can explain this mishna as Rabbi Ela stated with regard to a different mishna: It is stated with regard to the case of an awn among many awns.

הכא נמי בנימא שבין הנימין

So too, the mishna taught later is stated with regard to the case of a hair among many hairs and not the case of a single hair. Therefore, the hair constitutes a handle for the flesh because one can hold the hair and lift the flesh without the hair becoming detached.

והיכא אתמר דר' אלעא אהא מלאי שבשבלים מיטמאין ומטמאין ואינן מצטרפין מלאי למאי חזי אמר רבי אלעאי במלאי שבין המלאים

And where was the opinion of Rabbi Ela stated? It was stated with regard to that which is taught in a mishna (Okatzin 1:3): An awn [melai] that is on top of a stalk constitutes a handle for the stalk. Therefore, it can become impure and impart impurity, but it does not join together with the grains to constitute the requisite measure to impart impurity. It was asked: For what function is an awn fit such that it is considered to be a handle for the stalk? Rabbi Ilai, i.e., Rabbi Ela, said: That mishna is stated with regard to the case of an awn among many awns and not the case of a single awn. Therefore, the awns constitute a handle for the stalk because one can hold the awns and lift the stalk without the awns becoming detached from it.

לישנא אחרינא אמרי לה

Some say another version of this dispute between Rabbi Yoḥanan and Reish Lakish and the ensuing discussion with regard to the status of hairs vis-à-vis the flesh: Rabbi Yoḥanan and Reish Lakish agree that a single hair does not constitute a handle vis-à-vis the flesh connected to it, but they disagree with regard to several hairs. Rabbi Yoḥanan raises an objection to Reish Lakish’s opinion that hair is not considered a handle from the mishna taught later, which states that one who touches a hair emerging from the hide of an animal carcass opposite the flesh is impure, indicating that hair constitutes a handle.

הכי נמי מסתברא דמשום שומר דאי סלקא דעתך משום יד נימא אחת למאי חזי

Reish Lakish answers that one who touches the hair is impure not because it is considered a handle, but rather because it is considered protection for the flesh. The Gemara adds: So too it is reasonable to explain that the person is impure because hair is considered protection and not because it is considered a handle, as, if it enters your mind that it is because hair is considered a handle, for what function is one hair fit such that it is considered a handle?

כדאמר ר' אלעא במלאי שבין המלאין הכא נמי בנימא שבין הנימין

The Gemara responds: One can explain that that mishna considers hair to constitute a handle, as Rabbi Ela stated in explanation of a different mishna: It is stated with regard to the case of an awn among many awns. Here too, that mishna is stated with regard to the case of a hair among many hairs and not the case of a single hair.

והיכא איתמר דר' אלעאי אהא דתנן המלאי שבשבלים מיטמאין ומטמאין ואין מצטרפין מלאי למאי חזי אמר רבי אלעאי במלאי שבין המלאים

And where was the opinion of Rabbi Ela stated? It was stated with regard to that which we learned in a mishna: An awn that is on top of a stalk can become impure and impart impurity, but it does not join together with the grains to constitute the requisite measure to impart impurity. It was asked: For what function is an awn fit such that it is considered to be a handle for the stalk? Rabbi Ilai said: That mishna is stated with regard to the case of an awn among many awns.

ואיכא דמתני לה

And there are those who teach another version of this dispute between Rabbi Yoḥanan and Reish Lakish,