web analytics
October 25, 2014 / 1 Heshvan, 5775
At a Glance
Judaism
Sponsored Post
Meir Panim with Soldiers 5774 Roundup: Year of Relief and Service for Israel’s Needy

Meir Panim implements programs that serve Israel’s neediest populations with respect and dignity. Meir Panim also coordinated care packages for families in the South during the Gaza War.



Daf Yomi


Daf-Yomi-logo

What Is A Sheep?
‘If It…Does Not Possess Three Vertebrae’
(Bechoros 40b)

Our mishnah lists various physical defects which make certain animals unfit to be brought as sacrifices in the Beit Hamikdash. One of them is a sheep lacking a tail and possessing less than three vertebrae.

A Merino Lacks a Fat Tail

The sheep we are familiar with all have an alyah, which the Torah commands us to offer on the altar (Vayikra 3:7-9): “If he offers a sheep…and he shall offer from the shelamim…the whole alyah.”

One of the most prevalent species of sheep today is the Merino, originating in Spain. It constitutes about 20 percent of the sheep population in the world and is very much in demand due to the fine quality of its fleecy, curly wool. However, these sheep lack an alyah. We might ask, then, whether this sheep is included in the Torah’s discussions of sheep. For example, can we weave tzitzis from its wool? Can we observe the mitzvah of the first shearing with it? Does the prohibition of sha’atnez pertain to it? Can these sheep be offered as sacrifices?

Changes Due to the Environment Do Not Alter an Animal’s Classification

Rabbi Moshe Feinstein, zt”l (Igros Moshe, O.C. 4:123) proves from a gemara (Bava Kama 55a) that changes which have occurred in animals due to changes in location and climate do not change their classification. Rabbi Shmuel HaLevi Wosner (Shevet HaLevi 8:236) reinforces this argument by pointing out that the Torah only mentions three species of pure domestic animals: sheep, goats and cattle. Since these animals are pure and most of their features resemble those of sheep, they are considered sheep in every respect though their nature has changed because of the environment or the like.

Sheep Taller than Camels

Rabbi Wosner adds that Tosafos (Menachos 87a, s.v. “She’gov’han”) note that the sheep offered for the tamid sacrifice were taller than camels! We thus see that even sheep differing from those we are familiar with nowadays were considered sheep in every respect. He writes, however, that one could argue that sheep without an alyah might still be unfit for the altar since our mishnah explains that a sheep without an alyah is defective. On the other hand, he writes, it could be that only individual sheep differing from their entire species in not having an alyah are considered defective. Sheep, on the other hand, that do not have an alyah because the nature of their entire species has changed might not be considered defective.

Rabbi Wosner concludes his responsum by citing a wonderful and exact study by the Malbim. Sometimes the Torah calls a sheep a keves and sometimes it calls it a kesev. The Malbim says it is called a keves because its wool can be laundered (kovess) and used to produce cloth. On the other hand, its name kesev derives from the strength of its body: kes av, as in “you have grown fat” (avisa kasisa), and this is owing to its alyah, which is big and fat. The Malbim says we should notice that it is called a kesev only where the Torah indicates that one should offer the alyah. Rabbi Wosner says that we thus learn that the name keves befits a sheep without an alyah whereas the name kesev only befits a sheep with an alyah. Therefore, regarding other halachos other than sacrifices, where there is a doubt, a sheep without an alyah is considered a sheep in every respect.

Meoros Hadaf Hayomi Newsletters are published by the Sochachover Kollel of Bnei Brak, led by Rabbi Chaim Dovid Kovalsky. Meoros Hadaf Hayomi Newsletters in Hebrew and/or English, are available for simcha dedications as well as for memorials such as yahrzeit, shloshim, etc., and are distributed by email dafyomi@hadaf-yomi.com.

About the Author: RABBI YAAKOV KLASS, rav of Congregation K’hal Bnei Matisyahu in Flatbush, Brooklyn, is Torah Editor of The Jewish Press. He can be contacted at yklass@jewishpress.com. RABBI GERSHON TANNENBAUM, rav of Congregation Bnai Israel of Linden Heights, Boro Park, Brooklyn, is the Director of Igud HaRabbanim – The Rabbinical Alliance of America.


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

No Responses to “Daf Yomi”

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
Rafael's Spike anti-tank missile launcher.
Israel Beats Out US for $525 Million Arms Sale to India
Latest Judaism Stories
Greenbaum-102414

Noach was the lonely man of faith living in a depraved world, full of wickedness.

Parsha-Perspectives-logo

Avraham became a great man during the 175 years of his life, while his predecessors became increasingly wicked, despite staggering knowledge, during their lifetimes of hundreds of years.

Rapps-Rabbi-Joshua-logo

Shem realized that he owed his existence to his father who brought him into the world.

Daf-Yomi-logo

Law-Abiding Citizen
‘That Which Is Crooked Cannot Be Made Straight…’
(Yevamos 22a-b)

The flood was not sent to destroy, but to restore the positive potential of the world.

Question: I recently loaned money to a friend who has been able to repay only part of it. This was an interest-free loan. We exchanged a signed IOU, not a proper shtar with witnesses, since I have always trusted her integrity and only wanted a document that confirms what was loaned and what was repaid. Now that shemittah is approaching, what should I do? Should I forgive the loan? And if my friend is not able to repay it, may I deduct the unpaid money from my ma’aser requirement?

Name Withheld

Why is there is no mention of dinosaurs, and other prehistoric animals, in the Torah?

Strict din demands perfection. There is no room for shortcomings and no place for excuses; you are responsible.

Surprisingly, my husband and one son arrived home over half-an-hour earlier than usual. I excitedly shared my perfect-timing story, but my better half one upped me easily.

Noach felt a tug, and then heard a rip. His jacket had been caught on the nail, and the beautiful suit had a tear.

Boundaries must be set in every home. Parents and children are not pals. They are not equals.

Noah and his wife could not fathom living together as husband and wife and continuing the human race

The Babel story is the 2nd in a 4-act drama that’s unmistakably a connecting thread of Bereishit

Our intentions are critical in raising children because they mimic everything we parents do & think

A humble person who achieves a position of prominence will utilize the standing to benefit others.

More Articles from Rabbi Yaakov Klass and Rabbi Gershon Tannenbaum
Daf-Yomi-logo

Law-Abiding Citizen
‘That Which Is Crooked Cannot Be Made Straight…’
(Yevamos 22a-b)

Daf-Yomi-logo

For Appearance’s Sake
‘Shammai Did Not Follow Their Own Ruling’
(Yevamos 13b 14a)

Being Overly Burdensome
My Sabbaths Shall You Observe’
(Yevamos 6a)

Chatzitzah And Its Applications
‘Greater Stringency Applies To Hallowed Things…’
(Chagiga 20b-21a)

A Role Reversal
‘Return, O Wayward Sons…’
(Chagigah 15a)

An Astonishing Miracle
‘Why Bring the Infants to Hakhel?’
(Chagigah 3a)

A Blast At A Funeral?
“R. Hamnuna Came To Daramutha…”
(Moed Kattan 27b)

Untimely News
‘A Mourner Is Forbidden To Wear Shoes…’
(Mo’ed Katan 20b)

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/judaism/halacha-hashkafa/daf-yomi-4/2011/12/21/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: