Shiur Points 04/12/16 Beitza 7b

Beitza 7b.

1- The Gemara turns to the Machlokes of Beis Shamai and Beis Hillel as to the minimum amount of Chometz and Seor that is prohibited to own or to eat on Pesach.

Leaven, or yeast.

A – Chometz is any product containing fermented grain from the 5 species (wheat, oat, barley, rye, spelt).

Sourdough Starter Tutorial

Starter Culture

B- Seor is not prevalent today, but is often translated as ‘sourdough’. Years ago, (prior to the days of commercial, packaged yeast) people would leave a small quantity of dough to super-ferment. They would then use a small piece of this ‘old dough’ as the starter culture for each new batch of baked goods to accelerate the rising process. This barely edible ‘old dough’ used in the past as yeast is called Seor.

Beis Shamai says that Seor – due to its sourness – is prohibited even when the size is a Kezayis. Chometz is only when the size is of a Koseves –  a date.

Beis Hillel’s opinion is that both Chometz and Seor are both of the shiur of Kezayis.

Image result for olives

2- The Gemara begins to explain the split shiur size according to Beis Shamai. It says that if the Torah would have prohibited only regular Chametz then we would derive Seor, a tougher form of Chometz, with a Kal Vochomer (fortiori argument). The fact that the Torah seemingly superfluously states both Chometz and Seor, is proof that these two types are of different shiurim.

3- We spoke about the famous question that the general rule is that one cannot use a Kal Vochomer to create a new Halacha that will result in the penalty of Malkus. We discussed the answer that Seor is also Chometz etc.

4- What about anything less than a Kezayis? It would seem to be prohibited as well min Hatorah justs like any other Chatzi Shiur (see half way down the page chidush of Shagas Aryeh in our gemara). 

a- Bal Yiraeh – owning a piece of Chometz less than a Kazayis. We mentioned the Chacham Tzvi (also in a previous Makos Shiur) brought down in the Alter Rebbe’s Kuntres Achron, siman  242 note 12 that there is no issur Min Hatorah in less than a Kazayis.

b- Achilah – eating a piece of Chametz less than a Kazayis. Prohibited Min Hatorah.  We discussed the Rambam that seems to use a special posuk for Chometz. See Kesef Mishna here.

Microscopic Yeast

5- Spoke about Reb Yosef Engel. Chassidisher Gaon of the previous generation (1858-1920) who was a prolific writer with a gift of clarity. See here Hebrew –  and here He wrote many seforim which became very popular in the Yeshiva world.


In one sefer Ayin Panim LaTorah, he gives 70 answers to a single question!


In his Sefer, Lekach Tov, first printed in 1893, he explores an interesting topic. Are any of the Taryag (613) Mitzvos a ‘Sayag’ for another Mitzvah?  He finds 17 mitzvos that can perhaps fit into this category.

The first example pertains to our Gemara. He quotes the Ran in the beginning of Pesochim (2a, d”h bodkin, end) that states that perhaps the reason the Torah prohibits possessing any Chametz (as opposed to say owning regular treif meat) is because the prohibition of eating Chometz.


ran pesachim 2a


So we do find one/two  of the Taryag mitzvos (Bal Yiroeh/Bal Yimotze) that are a Sayag for the Mitvah of not eating Chametz.

6- We concluded with the following thought: In Megillas Esther it relates that Mordechai accepted the suggestion by Esther to fast on Pesach very reluctantly. The Gemara says that what bothered him was ‘fasting on Yom Tov’.

Why was he not bothered (as many commentaries ask) by the non eating of Matzoh which is Min Hatorah as opposed to just ‘fasting on Yom Tov’?  – ויעבור מרדכי

Perhaps Mordechai’s rationale was that the Chachamin could conceivably find a way to justify the not eating the Matzah for just that one year. (Eliyohu – Mount Karmel).

But fasting on Yom Tov would basically entail omitting the entire Seder night. Being that the Seder is such a pivot in Jewish family life, the skipping of the Seder, (and not just the Matzah) was what bothered him.

5- This cover says what the book is about.






Shiur 04/05/16 Beitza 7a

Beitza 7a.

1- The Gemara discussed as to what stage (in the process of the formation of an egg to it being laid) does the egg ‘detach’ itself from being part of the chicken.

2- Opinion of the Chachamim is that even early on it is considered an entity for itself and therefore never ‘fleishigs‘. Reb Yaakov maintains that if the egg is still wrapped around with the veins and sinews it is considered part of the chicken anmysterious egg_Layout 1d therefore ‘fleishigs’.

3- The Gemara then proceeds to a case of one who checks his chicken coop at twilight Erev YomTov and finds the coop empty. He then checks again on Yom Tov  fartugs – before dawn and lo and behold, finds an egg.

It’s seems obvious that the egg was laid in the middle of the night on Yom Tov and thus prohibited from consumption.

But the Gemara takes issue with a chicken laying eggs at night.

The general rule is that animals that mate only during the day, such as the rooster and the hen, give birth or lay eggs –  only during daylight hours. So this egg found in the chicken coop could not have been laid on Yom Tov night.

So how did it get there?

One must say that some rare event had happened. The chicken laid the egg on Erev Yom Tov but before it totally exited from the chicken it went back into the chicken which is why the nest seemed empty.

So technically it was laid before Yom Tov and therefore permitted.

4- However here is the caveat – Eggs are created either by the mating with a rooster or thru ‘safna de’ara’ – the heat of the ground.

The rule that chickens only lay eggs during daylight hours is only if the egg was fertilized – it was created via a rooster. If there was no rooster involved the chicken may lay the eggs even at night.

got any plans…?

How can one know the type of egg it is? Naturally or due to mating with a rooster? The Gemara says that it is an accepted axiom that if there is a rooster within 60 homes away from the coop the chicken will never create an egg on its own! It will wait for the rooster.

More so – even if the rooster needs to cross a bridge to get to the chicken the chicken will still not produce an egg on its own.

Same time tomorrow!

5- Speaking of animals we mentioned a humorous error by a famed enlightened professor who penned an article claiming that Chazal disparaged the 7 prophetess mentioned in Gemara Megila amongst them Chulda the Nevia.

One of the ‘proofs’ this professor mentions is that Chulda the Prophetess  was not even accepted by all as a prophetess. He quotes an ‘opinion’ questioning her being a prophetess.

Where did this professor find this ‘opinion’?  On Google it seems.

The Gemara discusses in Pesachim if a weasel (Chulda in Hebrew) hides an entire loaf of bread it encounters or leaves some to pick up at a later date. One opinion is that it depends. All year when bread is baked daily the weasel relies on the availability the next day and sees no need to take it all. On the other hand on Erev Pesach knowing that bread will not be baked it will hoard it all.

Sheretz with Bread

The Gemara asks “Is then a weasel/Chulda a propetess to know that Pesach is approaching”…….