Shiur 01/26/16 – Beitza 4b

Beitzah 4b

1 We discussed the curious case of the fellow who planned a BBQ on Yom Tov. Prior to Yom Tov he prepared and placed firewood into the BBQ pit with the intention to fire them up before the meal.

On Yom Tov twigs and branches fell from a tree into the BBQ pit. The amount of the new and unprepared Muktze wood was more than the prepared firewood that was originally in the BBQ.

They only way the mixed pile of wood can be used is by adding stored logs that he had prepared before Yom Tov to the fire. By adding this permissible non-Muktze into the pit the majority of the firewood would now be non-Muktze!


The issue the Gemara discusses is the universal concept of Ein Mevatlin Issur Le’chatchila.

 אין מבטלין איסור לכתחילה

If the kosher food unintentionally falls into the non-kosher food then the rule of Bitul applies.

But, one may not intentionally  add Kosher permissible items into non-kosher food or into a kosher and non-kosher mixture (with the majority being non kosher) in order the raise the amount/volume of kosher to nullify (Mevatel) the non-kosher.

2- We discussed the wide ranging ramifications of this rule.

a- if the adding was done not with the intention of Bitul. See a previous shiur on the baby food company that after manufacturing trief food makes a ‘run’ of kosher food. A hechsher is granted  (amongst other reason) because when this run is completed the treif food imbedded in the machinery is nullified. But that is not the intention of Beech Nut.

b- One has a treifa piece of meat and wants to give it to his non-Jewish neighbor. In order to make this gift more substantial can he add two more glatt kosher steaks and wrap them all together?

Let’s think; if the pieces of meat are indistinguishable… in theory the gift of the three steaks are now all kosher!!  (2 kosher vs 1 trief). Not that all can be eaten simultaneously and/or by one person. See here. See here. He was Mevatel an Issur Lechatchilo, created a kosher gift but not with the intention to be consumed. Is this permitted?

c-  adding to the mixture to nullify prior to the non-kosher food becoming non-kosher. How?

A product that has an ingredient of chometz. On Pesach it would be prohibited (Bitul is ineffective on Pesach) but one can be Mevatel this chometz before Pesach because chometz is not considered ‘prohibited’/ assur prior to Pesach. (As Berel points out, that’s why people boil their sugar before Pesach).

d- Ein Mevatlin Issur Le’chatchila – Min Hatora or MideRabonon?

e- Adding kosher schach onto a sukka that has pasul schach (for example, it has branches hanging down).

See here – schach  הגהה בסעיף ט.

.4- We spoke about the logic of this halacha. Some suggest that if one would be permitted  to add more and more kosher volume into a non kosher food until the majority becomes kosher, then we would be in effect nullifying the entire idea of non-kosher food.

Imagine every cholent to be made with one part bacon and sixty parts kishke…….or adding two rolls of tuna sushi to every roll of (identical looking) crab fish sushi……

3- We discussed  at length the brilliant idea of the Chidushei Hari”m.

The author was the founder of the Gerer dynasty.

chidushei harim

His reasoning for  Ein Mevatlin Issur Le’chatchila goes as follows:

There is a general prohibition in dealing with non kosher food. Treifa food business is prohibited unless it is ‘Nizdamnu‘ – meaning that the treifa food ‘happened‘ to come into the Jew’s possession. Only then can one sell this non kosher food.

This is the Heter of the kosher abattoirs (shlacht houses) to sell the animals that are found to be trief. (over 75% of the animal including the hindquarter) This is a real case of ‘Nizdamnu‘ – נזדמנו.

We discussed the various aspects of this rule:

  • We see  frum people drive a Boar’s Head route.
  • Jewish fur trappers selling the flesh of the skinned beavers and foxes.
  • Related the story of my father when he imported once, as part of his pearl business, cans of oysters that contained a pearl.

So, concludes the Chidushei Hari”m, when one has non-kosher food (in a mixture or as stand alone) by permitting the practice of adding more kosher food to make it entirely kosher you are basically allowing him to make a ‘gesheft’ with non-kosher food!

One can gift the non-kosher food to a goy of course. But to allow intentional Bitul on an ongoing basis is allowing him to benefit in a business-like manner.

Hillel creator of the fixed Calendar

4- We began the sugya of two days of YomTov and the establishment of calendar we use to this date.





Shiur 01/19/2016 Beitzah 4a

Beitza 4a-b

1- Gemara quotes the opinions of Rav and Reb Yochanan concerning an egg born on Shabbos preceding a Yom Tov or a Yom Tov preceding a Shabbos.

To eat it on the day it was born is prohibited as we have learned previously.

The argument is if one may eat it on the following day. Reb Yochanan permits it whereas Rav prohibits it.

The Gemara relates a story of the host (who took Reb Yochanan’s position) who came to Rav Ada, his guest, asking if he can cook an egg born on Yom Tov in order to eat it the next day on Shabbos.

Rav Ada told him that although Reb Yochanan permits to eat the egg the next day however on the day it was born – today- it is Muktze.

We discussed how this host thought that he may cook the egg born on Yom Tov to eat it on Shabbos.

He would obviously need to rely on an Eiruv Tavshilin. The problem is that the underlying principle of Eiruv Tavshilin (as we will see at the beginning of the next Perek) is that cooking on Yom Tov for Shabbos day is permitted only because guests may arrive and consume all that was cooked on Yom Tov prior to  Shabbos.

all gone…

In our case however this egg cannot be eaten on Yom Tov because it was born today!

2- We discussed this topic as it is relevant to us: We don’t eat ‘gebroks’ on Pesach. On the last day we insist on eating ‘gebroks’ in the form of kneidlach aka matzo balls.

But what if the last day of Pesach occurs on a Shabbos? Can we cook the kneidlach on Friday, ‘Shvii shel Pesach’?

In theory we can use the ‘ Eiruv Tavshilin’ for this just as we can cook fish on Yom Tov for Shabbos.

But as mentioned, cooking  fish on Yom Tov for Shabbos is permissible only  because if a hoard of guests crash. they can consume it all today. So in a sense it was indeed cooked for Yom Tov.

But these guest cannot or will not eat the ‘kneidlach’ today! They need to wait until it is Achron shel Pesach. So we are cooking explicitly for Shabbos which is not permissible.

3- We discussed the famous father and son-in-law duo…… Reb Akiva Eiger and his son-in-law the Chasam Soffer. Their custom was not to eat dried fruit such as raisins during Pesach except on the last day.

The latter writes that his father-in-law asked him if one can prepare/cook raisins on Shvii shel Pesach for consumption the following day that occurred on Shabbos. Since no one will it it on Shvii shel Pesach the ‘Eiruv Tavshilin’ may be invalid for these raisins.

Chasam Soffer OC 79. 

4- We spoke about alcohol use on Pesach. Reb Akiva Eiger once wrote that “I forbid its use for a reason that I will not divulge!”.

אזהרות בענין שתיית יין שרף

We mentioned that the Rebbe the Tzemach Tzedek writes that had Reb Akiva Eiger written  a reason then perhaps we could argue and permit it……(that would be nice to wash down the four ke’zeisim with some kosher le’Pesach Glenlivet or Zeks un Neitziker….)

Ttzemach Tzedek end of 51 

However since he did not divulge his reasoning one cannot rule differently.


5- We continued our discussion re the identity of Reb Eliezer Hakalir.





Shiur 01/12/2016 – Beitza 4a

Beitza 4a.

A unique expression in Shas. 

1- The Gemara has an interesting answer on the question we encountered last week.

Actually, such an answer is rather rare in Shas!

hand written annotations by the Vilna Gaon

Reb Eliezer states:

‘An egg that is born (laid be’la”z) on Yom Tov can be eaten and also the chicken”. 

The Gemara had difficulty understanding the “chicken” clause which seems redundant: If there is no issue of Nolad and Muktza then either the chicken or egg can be eaten. So why state both?

The Gemara answers this by introducing another Beraisa where Reb Eliezer states the same Halacha but words it differently:

‘An egg that is born on Yom Tov can be eaten and also the chicken, and also the chick, and also its shell“! 

“its shell?” Wow! Who eats egg shells?

Obviously, the “shell” was added as a figure of speech – an exaggeration to emphasize the point that there is nothing wrong in eating this Yom Tov-born egg.

Like saying:

Go ahead, eat the egg… and its shell too.

Similarly, when Reb Eliezer said ‘An egg that is born on Yom Tov can be eaten and also the chicken” he meant to emphasize his point by saying that not only the egg permitted but also the mother-chicken.

In the words of our Gemore such sayings are a “guzma”.

Yom Tov- Shabbos-Yom Tov

2- We entered the next stage discussing eggs born on Shabbos and the first day of Yom Tov.

Whereas until now we were dealing with an egg born on the second day – meaning a Yom Tov occurring on a Sunday or Friday.

Now we begin discussing if an egg was born on Friday which is a Yom Tov or on Shabbos which is followed by a Yom Tov on Sunday.

One cannot eat the egg on the day it was born as discussed at length in our Gemara up to this point. The question is whether or not it can be eaten on the following day.

Hachana Machine

We discussed the Tosfos which explains that the ‘birthing’ of the egg is also a ‘Hachana’.

Reb Elazar Hakalir 

3- The Gemore discusses the argument if a Shabbos followed by a Yom Tov, or vice versa, is considered as one entity or two.

As an introduction to the upcoming Gemara about two days of Yom Tov as we have it (Yom Tov Sheini Shel Goliyos) and also about the two days of Rosh Hashana if they are considered as one entity or two we ventured off to an interesting topic.

We just scratched the surface of the centuries old dispute concerning the identification of Reb Elazar Ha’Kalir. He is the famous poet that wrote numerous ‘Piyutim’ and Kinos. [In Nusach Ari we encounter just a few of them]. Hebrew English

But when did he live? the times of the Tannaim? Amoraim? The Geonim era or perhaps even later. His time has been set at different dates, from the second century, to the tenth or eleventh century. Some say he was none other than the famed Reb Elazar, Rashbi’s son!!

The name HaKalir is interesting and perhaps a hint to his biography.

Reb Noson of Rome, one of the first Rishonim, wrote what is considered the first ‘Hebrew/Aramaic’ dictionary. The Sefer Ho’Oruch is a book often quoted by many Rishonim and an invaluable source of history and philology (study of languages).

Under the entry ‘Kalir’ he writes that the word means….. cake.


“And that is why Reb Eliezer (sic) is called HaKalir because he ate a cake that had a ‘Ka’meah’ written on it and thus became enlightened!

See here 3rd entry for Kalir

See here in the back of the machzor, a teshuva  about piyutim all the opinions of the identity of R Eliezer Hakalir and why he is sometimes called “Beribi”.

[This phenomenal historical tidbit is perhaps a source of writing words of Torah on cookies when bringing in a child to Cheder for the first time. Or perhaps the source of ‘eating the cake and having it too’…..]

Anyway, one of the proofs by the Rosh that he lived in the times of the Tanoyim is from the fact he did not write any Piyut for the second day of any Yom Tov. This must mean that he lived at a time that only one day Yom Tov was prevalent.

The Alter Rebbe. 68,2 accepts this proof.

But what about Rosh Hashana that was/is always two days even in Israel? More to follow in the next few weeks  בעזה”י.

Shiur 01/05/16 – Beitzah 3B-4A

Beitzah 3b-4a.

1- We discussed the following concept: An item that we can eat because of bitul vs an item that we can eat because of ‘safek mi’deRabanan‘.

A- An egg which was born on Shabbos and Yom Tov cannot be eaten today.

Now this egg got mixed up with other permissible eggs. In theory it is batul and can be eaten today.

‘Davar Sheyesh Lo Matirin’ kicks in and we are told to wait until tomorrow, – for tomorrow it can be eaten without having to resort to bitul.

As Moshe pointed out – bitul is 99.99% but not 100%

Can we use the same logic  – [why eat it today utilizing bitul when tomorrow it can be eaten without the need for bitul] – when the issue is not bitul but ‘safek?

Why eat it today utilizing the leniency of ‘safek mi’deRabanan‘ when tomorrow there is no need for such leniency? For example:

B -An egg which is in doubt whether it was born on Shabbos or Yom Tov.

In theory it can be eaten today. (Assuming the reason for the prohibition of eating such eggs is only mi’deRabanan)

True – today it is a ‘safek‘ and not a problem [again- 99.99% or 100%]

But tomorrow it may be eaten without any issue.

It seems that the Gemara has two opinions on this query.

2- We spoke about the prohibition of ‘ein mevatlin issur lechatchila’. One is not allowed to add a large quantity of kosher food into treife food in order to be mevatel the treifa food.

This is an issue in Starbucks flavor pumps that are connected to various large bottles containing flavors.  Some flavors are not Kosher. The Kosher flavors end up occasionally in the bottles that previously contained non-Kosher flavors. But the residue of the non-Kosher flavor are batel to the large amount of Kosher syrup.



On the other hand it is performed unintentionally – and many times – by a goy.

3- Also discussed the common practice of food manufacturing companies which use actual food to kasher their production lines. After a run of non-Kosher food, a batch of Kosher food is run through the machines. This particular batch does not receive a Kosher stamp but the process itself Kashers the treif machinery! Subsequent product is certified “kosher”

Charmaine Dingman inspects applesauce along the production line at the ...

4- We concluded with the piece of the Gemara that discusses the case of a chicken that is purchased ‘stam‘ – not particularly for the purpose of eating it (not muktzeh on Yom Tov) and also not for the purpose of using it for laying eggs (rendering it muktzeh on Yom Tov.)

Stam a chicken.

Now it lays an egg on Yom Tov. The Gemara suggests that the action of the the owner with the chicken will decide the fate of the egg, utilizing the unique principal of breirah: If he decides to eat the chicken then the egg will be permitted as well. If he decides to have the chicken lay eggs then she is muktzeh and so is the egg.