For the week ending 2 July 2011 / 29 Sivan 5771

Chullin 9 - 15

by Rabbi Mendel Weinbach zt'l
Become a Supporter Library Library
  • What a Torah Sage should be capable of doing
  • The five basic laws of shechitah
  • Doubts that arise in regard to validity of shechitah
  • Doubts in regard to danger of exposed food
  • Sources for the rule of chazakah
  • Sources for relying on majority
  • Can we rely on an agent having fulfilled his mission
  • The shechitah of a minor or mentally unstable
  • The shechitah of an idol worshipper
  • Shechitah at night or on Shabbat and Yom Kippur
  • Status of food which was prepared on Shabbat
  • The instruments which can be used for shechitah

Coming and Going Backwards

  • Chullin 10b

In an effort to find a source for the rule of chazakah – relying on status quo when there is a doubt as to whether a change took place – the gemara refers to the topic of the house afflicted with tzara’at (leprosy) which can be condemned only by a kohen. At one point there is a discussion as to whether the kohen's examination can be achieved by his walking out of the house backwards in order to ensure that the contaminated area has not diminished in size.

The question is then raised as to whether walking out backwards qualifies as the departure from the house stated in the Torah. As proof that it does, the gemara cites the backward departure which the kohen gadol makes from the Holy of Holies on Yom Kippur.

Tosefot raises the question of a backwards entry into a contaminated house. The gemara in Mesechta Shavuot (17b) states that even though if one enters a contaminated house he becomes ritually impure, if he does so in backwards fashion this does not apply. Why then does this differ from the kohen gadol's departure?

The answer given by Tosefot is that a backwards entry is not considered normal, while a backwards departure like that of a disciple taking leave of his master is proper and normal.

What the Sages Say

"Is there not a difference between a doubt concerning forbidden food and a doubt concerning food which is dangerous to health?"

  • The Sage Abaye - Chullin 9b

© 1995-2024 Ohr Somayach International - All rights reserved.

Articles may be distributed to another person intact without prior permission. We also encourage you to include this material in other publications, such as synagogue or school newsletters. Hardcopy or electronic. However, we ask that you contact us beforehand for permission in advance at ohr@ohr.edu and credit for the source as Ohr Somayach Institutions www.ohr.edu

« Back to TalmuDigest

Ohr Somayach International is a 501c3 not-for-profit corporation (letter on file) EIN 13-3503155 and your donation is tax deductable.