Chullin 23 - 29
- The status of the palgass – in between lamb and sheep
- Not quite matzah or chametz
- The difference between slaughter of the red heifer and the calf atoning for unsolved murder
- Qualifications of kohanim and levites for sacred duty
- Different vessels and their susceptibility to spiritual impurity
- The status of wine made from grape skins
- The age of a girl regarding laws pertaining to her
- Variations of havdalah
- What constitutes a valid shechitah of animal or fowl
- Why fish do not require shechitah
- Rabbi Yehuda’s added requirement for shechitah
- When a non-Jew participates in the shechitah
Two Levels of Sanctity
Havdalah is the term used to describe the distinction between the sacred and the secular.
We give expression to this distinction at the conclusion of Shabbat or Holiday by adding a special prayer to our Ma'ariv service and to the blessing we make over wine.
But what do we do when the Shabbat precedes or follows a Holiday, when both days are sacred ones?
The mishnah informs us that when the Holiday follows Shabbat we do make havdalah – but with a difference. In the kiddush we make to usher in the Holiday we add to it the regular text of the havdalah. But we add another distinction – the one between the greater sanctity of the Shabbat and that of the lesser one of the Holiday. Since we cannot conclude this addition with the regular praise of G-d as "the One Who distinguishes between the sacred and the secular” we say instead "the One Who distinguishes between the sacred and the sacred." This is our way of expressing the difference in levels of sanctity between Shabbat and Holiday.
When Shabbat follows the Holiday, however, we do not make havdalah because we are moving into a higher level of sanctity and there is no need to mark this transition.
- Chullin 26b
What the Sages Say
"Wherever the term corruption is used in our sources it refers to sexual immorality and idol worship."
- The Yeshiva of Rabbi Yishmael