web analytics
December 21, 2014 / 29 Kislev, 5775
 
At a Glance
Judaism
Sponsored Post
8000 meals Celebrate Eight Days of Chanukah – With 8,000 Free Meals Daily to Israel’s Poor

Join Meir Panim’s campaign to “light up” Chanukah for families in need.



Home » Judaism » Parsha »

The Truth Behind Yosef’s Allegations


In the beginning of this week’s parshah the Torah says that Yosef brought bad reports about his brothers to their father, Yaakov. Rashi explains that in these reports Yosef stated that his brothers would eat eiver min hachai (a limb from a live animal), degrade the sons of Bilhah and Zilpah by referring to them as slaves, and that they were suspect of transgressing with arayos (immoral relations).

The meforshim are bothered by this obvious question: how could there have been any validity to Yosef’s allegations? After all, we are discussing the sons of Yaakov Avinu, the shevatim, who were all known to have been great tzaddikim.

The sefer, Prashas Derachim (authored by Rabbi Yehuda Rosans in the late 1600s, and also the author of the Mishnah Lemelech), discusses at length the following question regarding the status of the avos and their descendents prior to receiving the Torah on Har Sinai: were they considered bnei Yisrael or bnei Noach? He suggests that this was the root of the dispute between Yosef and his brothers. The brothers were of the opinion that they were considered bnei Yisrael; Yosef, on the other hand, believed that they were considered bnei Noach. However, when it would not interfere with the mitzvos bnei Noach, they were expected to keep the Torah as if they were bnei Yisrael.

While bnei Noach and bnei Yisrael are both commanded not to eat eiver min hachai, there is a discrepancy between them. If one removes meat from a live animal, that piece of meat is eiver min hachai and can never be eaten – even after the animal is shechted and dead. However, once an animal is shechted properly, it is no longer forbidden for a Jew to remove meat from it, even though the animal is still moving (mifarcheses). (The meat still cannot be eaten until the animal stops moving.) On the other hand, a ben Noach is forbidden to remove any meat from an animal until the animal completely stops moving. The reason for this is because the fact that an animal was shechted has no bearing on a ben Noach, since the halacha of shechitah was not given to them. Hence, regarding when one can cut meat off an animal, the halacha for a Jew is more lenient than that for a ben Noach.

The Ri’aim explains that Yosef’s brothers would shecht an animal and, while it was still moving, cut off pieces of meat – as the Gemara in Chullin 33a says that this is healthy. They did this because they believed that they were considered bnei Yisrael, and thus able to utilize the heter shechitah and cut the meat before the animal stopped moving. In Yosef’s view (that they were considered bnei Noach) this was considered eiver min hachai. Therefore he told their father that they were eating eiver min hachai.

The Prashas Derachim quotes Reb Yufeh’s disagreement with this p’shat due to Yosef and his brothers definitely being considered bnei Noach; therefore the brothers could not have mistaken themselves for bnei Yisrael. Rather, he suggests that Yosef’s brothers had a ben pekuah. A ben pekuah is when a pregnant animal is shechted, and thereafter the baby is removed from the mother and survives. The Gemara in Chullin 74a says that the baby may be eaten without shechitah, even though it is alive and well. The reason for this is that the shechitah that was performed on the mother works for the baby as well. Similarly it is not forbidden to remove meat from the baby, since it is considered as if it was already shechted. Reb Yufeh suggests that Yosef’s brothers had a ben pekuah, and thus were allowed to remove meat from it without shechting it. Yosef did not know that the animal was a ben pekuah, and therefore brought the report to their father that his brothers were eating eiver min hachai.

The Prashas Derachim expresses bewilderment as to how Reb Yufeh could say this p’shat, since Reb Yufeh held that prior to Matan Torah everyone had the status of bnei Noach. It was for this reason that he disagreed with the Ri’aim when he suggested that Yosef’s brothers believed that they could cut meat off an animal after it was shechted. How then can he suggest that Yosef’s brothers had a ben pekuah? The basis for permitting a ben pekuah is because the shechitah of the mother works on the baby, but if he believes that they didn’t have shechitah (since they were considered bnei Noach) how can they have had a ben pekuah?

I would like to suggest an answer to this question about Reb Yufeh by raising the following question: when an animal dies a ben Noach may eat it, as it is no longer eiver min hachai. Is the reason that it is not eiver min hachai because it is dead and not chai? Or is it because once an animal dies, there is a heter on the issur eiver min hachai? If we assume that the reason that there is no prohibition of eiver min hachai after an animal dies is because the death creates a heter on the issur, then the halacha of ben pekuah could apply when a pregnant animal dies and the baby is removed thereafter. As was explained earlier, the halacha of a ben pekuah is that the heter (generally shechitah) that the mother attains extends to a baby that is inside of her at that time. Therefore, if the mother attains the heter of death, it should be extended to her baby as well, thus permitting it from the issur of eiver min hachai.

Therefore, even though Reb Yufeh believes that Yosef and his brothers had the status of bnei Noach and thus did not have the heter shechitah, he could nevertheless still suggest that they had a ben pekuah – since that does not require the heter of shechitah, but rather the heter of death that applies to bnei Noach.

For questions or comments about this column, e-mail RabbiRFuchs@gmail.com.

About the Author: For questions or comments, e-mail RabbiRFuchs@gmail.com.


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 “The Truth Behind Yosef’s Allegations”

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
Tekuma MKs Uri Ariel, Orit Strook and Zevulun Kalfa at a meeting Saturday night.
Jewish Home Unity Overcomes the ’Yesha Faction’
Latest Judaism Stories
Parsha-Perspective-Logo-NEW

To many of our brethren Chanukah has lost its meaning.

Parsha-Perspective-Logo-NEW

This ability to remain calm under pressure and continue to see the situation clearly is a hallmark of Yehuda’s leadership.

Torah-Hakehillah-121914

It would have been understandable for these great warriors to become dispirited.

Torah-Hakehillah-121914

The travail of Yosef was undoubtedly the greatest trauma of Yaakov’s life, which certainly knew its share of hardships.

Yosef, in interpreting the first set of dreams, performed in a manner that was clearly miraculous to all.

Chazal teach us that we need to be “sur may’rah v’asei tov,”avoid bad and do good.

When we celebrate the completion of learning a section of Torah, we recite the Hadran.

Fetal Immersion?
‘The Fetus Is A Limb Of Its Mother’
(Yevamos 78a)

Yosef proves he is a true leader; He is continually and fully engaged in the task of running Egypt

When the inability cannot be clearly attributed to either spouse, the halacha is the subject of debate among the Rishonim.

Those who reject our beliefs know in their souls Jewish power stems from our faith and our prayers.

He stepped outside, and, to his dismay, the menorah was missing. It had been stolen.

Though we Jews have deep obligations to all people our obligation to our fellow Jew is unique.

In a way that decision was the first in a series of miracles with which Hashem blessed us.

Question: If Abraham was commanded to circumcise his descendants on the eighth day, why do Arabs – who claim to descend from Abraham through Yishmael – wait until their children are 13 to circumcise them? I am aware that this is a matter of little consequence to our people. Nevertheless, this inconsistency is one that piques my curiosity.

M. Goldman
(Via E-mail)

Exploring the connection between Pharaoh’s dreams and the story of Joseph being sold into slavery.

More Articles from Rabbi Raphael Fuchs
Taste-of-Lomdus-logo

It is clear that Tosafos maintains that only someone who lives in a house must light Chanukah candles.

Taste-of-Lomdus-logo

But how could there have been any validity to Yosef’s allegations?

If one converts for the sole purpose of marrying a Jew the conversion is invalid.

Rashi in Shabbos 9b writes that the reason why the tefillah of Ma’ariv is a reshus is because it was instituted corresponding to the burning of the eimurim from the korbanos – which was performed at night.

We find that in certain circumstances before the Torah was actually given, people were permitted to make calculations as to what would better serve Hashem, even if it were against a mitzvah or aveirah.

It is difficult to write about such a holy person, for I fear I will not accurately portray his greatness…

The implication of the Shulchan Aruch (Orach Chaim 233:2) is that one may not daven Minchah before six and one half hours into the day.

Some Rishonim are bothered by the opinion of the Rambam that bnei Noach are commanded not to eat basar min hachai.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/judaism/parsha/the-truth-behind-yosefs-allegations/2011/12/15/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: