For the week ending 6 August 2011 / 5 Av 5771

Chullin 44 - 50

by Rabbi Mendel Weinbach zt'l
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  • Consistency in following halachic opinions
  • The status of an animal with a broken trachea
  • The source for glatt kosher
  • Hatred of gifts and its reward
  • Damage to the skull, the spine and the liver
  • What creates the status of treifah in the lungs
  • The delayed circumcision and Rabbi Natan of Babylon
  • The damaged lung next to the animal's side
  • A needle found in the lung of a slaughtered animal
  • The blessings of the kohanim
  • Some laws concerning the forbidden cheilev (fats of animal)
  • Treifah of the stomach

A Hatred of Gifts

"He that hates gifts shall live." (Mishlei 15:27)

This advice of the wisest of men is quoted by Rabbi Chisda as applying to one who withholds from consuming a slaughtered animal because there is some doubt about its kosher status.

Rashi's explanation is that the animal in question belongs to him and since he is prepared to suffer this loss rather than find some justification for eating its flesh, we can assume that he is reluctant to accept gifts from others.

There is, however, a different approach based on what the gemara relates a few lines later. When the nassi sent Rabbi Elazar something, he refused to accept it, and when invited to dine with him he did not go. "Don't you want to see me live!" was his explanation based on the above passage.

This leads Maharsha to suggest that Rabbi Chisda was referring to one who refuses to eat from someone else's slaughtered animal because he does not rely on the kashrut standard of others. Rabbi Elazar's refusal to accept the meat sent to him or to dine at another's table was also based on this consideration.

According to this approach following the advice to not accept gifts will save one from compromising his standard of observance and thus give him life.

  • Chullin 44b

What the Sages Say

"Who is considered a Torah scholar (to whom you can return his lost object based only on his own recognition – Tosafot)? One who rules that an animal is forbidden even when there is only a doubt about its status.”

  • Rabbi Chisda - Chullin 45a

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