TalmuDigest

For the week ending 10 September 2011 / 10 Elul 5771

Chullin 79 - 85

by Rabbi Mendel Weinbach zt'l
The Color of HeavenArtscroll
  • The offspring of crossbreeding
  • Identifying signs of horses and donkeys
  • The product of wild and domesticated parents
  • The status of the animal called kevi
  • Whether the ban on slaughtering mother and offspring applies to sacrificial animals
  • Does it apply to the illegal slaughter of the mother
  • When partners purchase mother and offspring
  • Multiple lashes for slaughter of mother and two offspring
  • When the seller of animals must inform buyer that he sold the mother or offspring that day for slaughter
  • When does the mitzvah of covering the blood of a slaughtered creature apply
  • Some important advice in home economics
  • What sort of slaughtering is exempt from obligation to cover blood

Fish or Meat for Dinner?

Some important advice in home economics was offered by Rabbi Elazar ben Azariah: A person's menu should be determined according to his means. If he has only onemaneh he should be content with vegetables for his meal. If he has ten he can afford fish, and if he has fifty he can even splurge on meat.

This indication that meat is more expensive than fish seems to run counter to a midrash cited by Tosefot which explains why the number of bulls offered as sacrifices during the seven days of Sukkot was in descending order from 13 to 7. The midrash compares it to how one entertains a guest. The first day he offers him the delicacy of fowl, the second fish and the third day meat.

A look at how this midrash appears in our texts - as opposed to the text cited by Tosefot - eliminates the problem, for there it places meat on the second day and fish on the third.

What is interesting is that in his commentary Rabbi Zvi Hersh Chayos writes that he was unable to locate the midrash cited by Tosefot, while it actually appears in our editions and is even identified in the commentary of the Yefei Einayim in the back of the Vilna edition of the Babylonian Talmud.

  • Chullin 84a

What the Sages Say

"A man should spend less than he has on food and drink, as much as he has on clothes, and more than he has on the honor of his wife and children because they are dependent on him and he is dependent on G-d."

  • Rabbi Avira - Chullin 84b

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