Arvei Pesachim #18: 107a

  • Rav Yair Kahn

Gemora Pesachim

Yeshivat Har Etzion


 GEMARA ARVEI PESACHIM

 

SHIUR #18: Samukh Le-Mincha (107a)

 

by Rav Yair Kahn

 

 

The gemara questions whether the ban against eating on erev Pesach begins at mincha GEDOLA - half an hour after noon - or mincha KETANA - three hours before sunset. The gemara assumes that if the prohibition begins only from mincha KETANA, its purpose is to prevent one from eating the matza at the seder in the manner of :akhila gasa" - gross consumption. We wish to avoid the situation where one is so full from his previous meal that he must force the matza down his throat. However, if the ban begins at mincha GEDOLA, its function is to ensure that one devote his undivided attention to the offering of the korban Pesach. (The korban Pesach could be sacrificed from mincha gedola onwards.) The Rashbam notes that according to this latter explanation, eating on erev Pesach should be permitted today, when the sacrifice is not brought,.

 

Seemingly, the gemara determines that the prohibition begins at mincha KETANA (see Rashbam s.v. Mahu) and, consequently, its purpose is to avoid a situation of akhila gasa. Nevertheless, the Ran claims that the gemara's proof is NOT conclusive, and that the initial question is never fully resolved. Therefore, he argues in favor of the more stringent option, which prohibits eating from mincha GEDOLA. His opinion, however, requires elucidation. Since we have no possibility today of actually sacrificing the korban Pesach, why should eating be prohibited from mincha gedola?

 

The Ran offers two possible answers:

 

1. Even if the prohibition IS linked to the korban Pesach, it would, nevertheless, still apply today (see Tosafot s.v. Dilma). This is either because it was never officially abolished, or because there are secondary reasons for the ruling that have not become obsolete.

 

We find a similar phenomenon regarding the prohibition to work after noon on Erev Pesach: The Yerushalmi explains that this ban was instituted so that there would be no interference with the offering of the korban Pesach. The Ba'al Ha-ma'or claims, therefore, that it is inapplicable today and one is permitted to work after noon on the 14th of Nissan. However, most Rishonim disagree. Some claim that although the reason no longer applies, the prohibition was never officially nullified, and therefore remains in force (Ra'avad). According to others, even if the primary reason is absent, there are secondary reasons, which apply even today (Ramban).

 

2. The restriction is linked to akhilat matza and NOT to korban Pesach. Accordingly, we are so concerned that one have an appetite for the matza, that the prohibition banning eating begins from mincha GEDOLA. (This possibility is based on only one of the two understandings of akhila gasa. See next section.)

 

The Ran is, thus, forced to re-interpret the gemara's dilemma as follows: If the ban begins from mincha KETANA - it is definitely NOT connected to korban Pesach and MUST result from the consideration of akhilat matza. However, if it begins from mincha GEDOLA then it IS possible that it arises from the consideration of korban Pesach. Nevertheless, it could still result from intent to avoid akhila gasa of the matza. Since the question of the gemara is never resolved, one should refrain from eating from mincha GEDOLA onwards.

 

 

107b

Ati Le-Mikhla Akhila Gasa

 

Both the Rashbam and Tosafot explain that akhila gasa is halakhically NOT considered eating. The Rashbam proves this from a sugya in Yevamot (40a), which explicitly states (according to most Rishonim) that akhila gasa is not considered eating, both regarding the fulfillment of mitzvot which require eating (e.g., the mitzva incumbent on the kohen to eat certain sacrifices), and regarding violating the prohibition to eat (e.g., on Yom Kippur). Therefore, if one consumes matza in a manner which constitutes akhila gasa, he does not fulfill the mitzva of akhilat matza. Accordingly, the concern in our sugya that one not reach a state of akhila gasa, is in order to ensure the basic fulfillment of this mitzva.

 

Tosafot (s.v. Dilma) question this position: The gemara (Nazir 23a) states that one who eats his korban Pesach in the manner of akhila gasa, is not called a "rasha", but nevertheless, he has not performed his mitzva in the PREFERRED MANNER. This clearly suggests that he has, nonetheless, fulfilled his basic requirement, but simply did not perform the mitzva in the optimum fashion. In other words, akhila gasa IS considered eating.

 

In order to solve the contradiction between the two gemarot (Yoma and Nazir), Tosafot suggest that there are two types of akhila gasa:

1. A mild case where one has eaten to the point where he has absolutely no appetite. Although he derives no enjoyment from the subsequent eating, it is nevertheless categorized halakhically as an act of eating. It is this type that is referred to in Nazir, and therefore constitutes a fulfillment of the mitzva on the basic level, although not in the preferred fashion.

 

2. An extreme case, one has eaten so much that he is disgusted by any additional eating. When one has reached this point, any further eating is not included in the halakhic category of akhila. Therefore, one would not even fulfill the mitzva at the basic level, as suggested in Yevamot.

 

As we mentioned, the Rashbam and Tosafot both feel that the reason for the prohibition banning eating on Erev Pesach results from Chazal's concern that one would reach the state of akhila gasa that would totally disqualify his mitzva of matza. However, both Rashi (s.v. U-Mishum) and the Rambam (Hilkhot Chametz u-Matza 6:12) maintain that the concern of Chazal was to ensure that the matza be eaten with an appetite. According to them, the akhila gasa in our sugya refers to the type mentioned in Nazir, which is within the halakhic parameters of akhila. Nevertheless, Chazal wanted the mitzva of matza to be performed in the preferred manner.

 

 

107b

Matbil Hu be-Minei Targima

 

According to Rashi, minei targima refer to fruit. R. Yitzchak added that vegetables can be eaten as well. However, other foods such as fish, meat and cakes (made of matza meal of course) are prohibited on erev Pesach. In the case of a servant, special allowance was made to permit meat, so as to prevent his suffering (see Rashi s.v. Bivnei). Under normal circumstances, however, meat should be avoided.

 

The Rashbam includes meat in the category of minei targima. Accordingly, the case of the servant is not exceptional. Meat, fish, fruit and vegetables are all permitted as minei targima. Therefore, the prohibition of eating on Erev Pesach is limited to cakes.

 

Tosafot, based on a Tosefta in Berakhot (4:4), argue that minei targima refers to cakes. Accordingly, the set that is permitted on Erev Pesach is enlarged to include fruit, vegetables, meat, fish and cake. As we mentioned at the beginning of the perek, Tosafot (99b s.v. Lo) are forced to ponder what type of food was prohibited on erev Pesach, since all that is left is bread, and there is an independent ban on matza.(and chametz, of course, is also prohibited). Tosafot conclude that the prohibition of the mishna is limited to matza ashira. (See shiur #2.)

 

 

Rava Hava Shati Chamra

 

The gemara in Berakhot (35b) questions Rava's behavior of drinking wine on erev Pesach. This question is based on the gemara's conclusion that wine satisfies one's appetite. If so, why was Rava unconcerned with ruining his appetite on erev Pesach. The gemara answers that drinking a small amount of wine satisfies. Rava, however, drank a lot of wine, which increases the appetite. Based on this gemara, Tosafot (Berakhot 35b s.v. Tuva) conclude that only a significant amount of wine is permitted on erev Pesach. However, a small amount of wine which can potentially ruin one's appetite is prohibited.

 

According to our sugya, Rava proves that wine arouses one's appetite from the mishna (117b) which drinking of wine between the first two cups. If wine ruined one's appetite, why would drinking at this stage (before eating the matza) be permitted? Based on the gemara in Berakhot, Tosafot (108a s.v. Ela) seem to only allow a significant amount of wine between the first two cups.

 

The Tur (OC 471), however, permits one to drink even a small amount of wine on erev Pesach. This seems to contradict the gemara in Berakhot. The Bach explains that the small amount of wine consumed on Erev Pesach should be added to the two cups one drinks during the seder before eating the matza. Therefore, one's appetite is aroused and not ruined, due to the accumulation of the wine. The Bach, however, finds this argument more compelling with regard to permitting a small amount of wine between the first two cups. Drinking a small amount earlier on erev Pesach, which significantly precedes the first two cups, cannot be merged with them.

 

The Ra'avya (1, 150) offers an alternate interpretation of the gemara in Berakhot. According to this explanation, the amount of wine is not a relevant factor. Instead, the gemara concludes that wine primarily arouses one's appetite. The satisfying quality of wine, is only secondary and, therefore, it is permissible to drink even a small amount of wine on erev Pesach or between the first two cups. This interpretation is accurately reflected in the ruling of the Tur.

 

 

Sources for next week's shiur:

 

1. 108a "Ve-afilu ani ... be-oto ha-nes (108b, first line)."

2. Tosafot s.v. Kulhu, Rosh siman 20, until "...lishtot yoter."

3. Rambam, Hilkhot Chametz U-matza 7:6-8.

4. Rashbam s.v. Isha.

5. Mishna 99b, Rashi s.v. Ve-afilu, Tosafot s.v. Ve-afilu.

6. Tosafot (108b) s.v. Hayu, Tosafot Megilla 4a s.v. She-af.

 

Questions:

 

1. How did the Rambam derive the halakha that one should eat the meal while reclining?

2. What is the basis for Tosafot's question whether one should repeat drinking a cup that was drunk initially without reclining?

3. Why does the mishna single out a pauper for reclining according to Rashi? According to Tosafot


 

 

 

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