Daf Yomi

For the week ending 13 March 2004 / 20 Adar I 5764

Chullin 44 50

by Rabbi Mendel Weinbach zt'l
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The "Glatt" Prophet

"Pigul flesh never enters my mouth" (Yechezkel 4:14) complained the Prophet when he heard the Divine command to eat some undignified matter.

Pigul is the flesh of a sacrifice which became forbidden for consumption because the kohen slaughtering the animal or performing any other of the vital services had in mind that its flesh would be consumed beyond the time allotted by the Torah. Yechezkel could hardly be priding himself in avoiding violation of a sin punishable by extirpation since this is a norm expected of every Jew. Our Sages therefore concluded that the pigul to which he is referring is something which is not prohibited by law and refraining from eating it was the higher standard of the Prophet.

One explanation is that he was referring to the flesh of an ordinary animal, not necessarily a sacrifice, about whose kosher status a doubt had arisen. Once a competent halachic authority ruled that it did not have an organic flaw that rendered it treifa the flesh of that animal could be consumed. Yechezkel, however, held back from eating such flesh for fear that an error in judgment had been made.

Maharsha explains the connection between such flesh and the flesh of pigul. Just as pigul is the product of an improper thought accompanying the sacrificial service, so too this animal was of doubtful kashrut in the mind of the one consulting the authority and therefore has an element of pigul attached to it.

This higher standard mentioned by the Prophet has been adopted by many observant Jews who insist on a "Glatt" level of kashrut in the meat they eat. The Yiddish word glatt means "smooth" and identifies the flesh of an animal which passed post-shechita inspection without raising any doubts regarding its kashrut requiring an authoritative ruling.

  • Chullin 44b

Who are the Blessers?

The promise which G-d gave to the Patriarch Avraham "I shall bless those who bless you" (Bereishet 12:3) is not limited to the kohanim who bless the Jews as they are commanded. Tosefot cites a story in the Jerusalem Talmud of Rabbi Yismael who was greeted by a non-Jew with the traditional blessing of peace. The Sage responded by saying "The response has already been said". What he meant was that there was really no need for him to return the blessing he had received because it is already written in the Torah that those who bless the descendants of Avraham will themselves be blessed.

An examination of the Torah source for this blessing for the blessers serves as a support for this extension to non-Jews as well. In his commentary on the Torah, Ramban points out that Avraham received this promise at the time he was commanded to leave his land and home and head for Eretz Yisrael. There is no mention made in the Torah as to why the Patriarch merited such a blessing simply because he was leaving one land for another. The answer, says Ramban, is that G-d was aware that Avraham had encountered violent opposition in his native Ur Kasdim to his efforts to preach monotheism and that he had fled from there with the thought of going to Eretz Yisrael. Circumstances stalled him in Charan but now G-d told him to carry out his original plan and go to the Chosen Land where he would not be persecuted and cursed as he was in Ur Kasdim but would be blessed by all, who would in turn receive the blessing of G-d.

  • Chullin 49a

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