– Author: Rav Shmuel Elikan


1.    The prohibition of eating on Yom-Kippur

The obligations of the day appear in Sefer Vayikra (23:27-32):

The 10th of this seventh month shall be the Day of Atonement for you. It is a sacred holiday when you must fast (See Leviticus 16:29) and bring a fire offering to God (See Numbers 29:7-11).

Do not do any work on this day; it is a day of atonement, when you gain atonement before God your Lord.

If anyone does not fast on this day, he shall be cut off [spiritually] from his people.

[Similarly,] if one does any work on this day, I will destroy him [spiritually] from among his people (See Leviticus 16:29. Here the Torah says ‘work,’ rather than ‘service work,’ because on Yom Kippur, it is forbidden to do work to prepare food, just as it is on the Sabbath).

Do not do any work [on this day]. This is an eternal law for all generations, no matter where you may live.

It is a sabbath of sabbaths to you, [and a day] when you must fast. You must keep this holiday from the ninth of the month until [the next] night.

Our Sages explain these psukim in the Mishna (Masechet Yuma, chapter 8, 1st-2nd Mishna):

“On Yom Kippur, it is forbidden to eat, to drink, to wash, to anoint, and to wear leather shoes and to have cardinal relations… Whosoever eats food to the size of a large date, that is, the date with the kernel, or drinks a mouthful, is guilty. All kinds of food are alike computed by the size of the date, and all liquids by the mouthful; but food and beverage are not to be joined in the computation”.

According to the Mishna, one needs to eat at least the amount of “kotevet hagassa” (a large date) and regarding drinking a mouthful in order to get Karet. However in all of the Talmud, the definitive size for eating is the volume of an olive (kazayit)[2]. If one eats an olive size of a prohibited food, one is liable for lashes; and in order to fulfill an obligation of eating (such as matza), one also only needs an olive size.[3] On Yom Kippur the volume is different as the prohibition is not on eating per se; rather there is an obligation of “inui” – affliction. Therefore the shiur (quantity) is only an amount that would cease ones hunger pains. [4] This is all pertaining to the punishment of Karet – excision; but regarding the actual prohibition the gemara brings a discussion between the Amoraim (TB Yuma 73b-74b):

[Merely] FORBIDDEN? But surely punished with extirpation (karet)? — R. Ila, or as some say, R. Jeremiah, said: This refers only to less than the legal quantity. That will be right according to the view that even less than legal quantity is forbidden by the law of the Torah, but what can be said according to the view that less than the legal quantity (“hatzi shiur“) is permitted by the law of the Torah? For it was said: As for less than the legal quantity, R. Yohanan holds it forbidden by the law of the Torah, but Resh Lakish considers it permitted by the law of the Torah. Now [the above answer] would be right according to R. Yohanan, but what can be said according to Resh Lakish? Resh Lakish would agree that [less than the legal quantity] is forbidden by [decree of] the Rabbis. (Even though less than the legal minimum does not involve punishment according to Biblical law, or indeed, may not be forbidden at all, Rabbinical law, as a fence around the laws of the Torah, may declare less than a minimum forbidden, or punishable, too. The dispute between R. Yohanan and Resh Lakish would hinge on the question as to whether forbidden foods are so considered in any quantity, however small, or whether the term ‘eating’ etc. implies a definite minimum below which no transgression at all can be said to have taken place)..

[To turn to] the main text: As for the matter of less than the legal minimum, R. Yohanan said: It is forbidden by Biblical law, whilst Resh Lakish said: It is permitted by Biblical law. R. Yohanan said, It is forbidden by Biblical law; since it could be joined [to form a minimum] it is forbidden food that he is eating. Resh Lakish said: It is permitted by Biblical law, for the Divine Law speaks of eating and this is not [eating]. R. Yohanan raised the following objection against Resh Lakish: I know only that whatsoever involves punishment is subject to a prohibition; but in the case of the koy[5], and what is less than the legal minimum, since they do not involve punishment, I might say that they are not subject to a prohibition either, therefore the text reads: “No fat” – This is only Rabbinical and the text [adduced] is but a mere support. And that is also logical. For if one should assume that the prohibition is Biblical, surely [the status of] the koy is doubtful and no Scriptural text is necessary to cover a doubtful case! – Were it only for this there would be no argument, they would hold the koy is a creature by itself. For if you were not to say so, how could R. Idi b. Abin say: ‘Also all’ includes the koy, since the koy is a doubtful case and surely no Scriptural text is necessary to cover doubtful cases. Hence [what you must say is] a ‘creature by itself’ is a different case, thus also here [say] ‘a creature by itself’ is a different case.

The gemara’s question is why the mishna used the term “Issur” (forbidden), when describing the prohibition of eating; as this term denotes that there is a prohibition without a punishment. This is clearly not so, as we know from the psukim, that the punishment is extirpation – Karet.

The gemara answers that the Mishna was referring to a “half shiur” to tell us that there is a scenario where there is a prohibition even though there is no punishment. A person who eats less than “kotevet hagasa” (a large date) is not punished. The gemara questions that this interpretation of the Mishna can only work according to the opinion of Rav Yochanan who thinks that a “half shiur” is in fact prohibited from the Torah.But how could Reish Lakish be able to reconcile his opinion with the Mishna. The gemara answers that even Reish Lakish agrees that there is a rabbinic prohibition of eating less than the prohibited quantity.

Further on (74a) the gemara explains the basis for their argument. According to Reish Lakish the Torah forbade the act of eating – and a half shiur is not considered eating, hence it is permitted. Rav Yochanan, on the other hand, argues that even so; it is prohibited because of the principle of “chazei l’itztrufei– it can be added to”, and therefore he is already eating in a state of issur. Rav Yochanan brought a proof from the Beraita which learns the prohibition of “half a shiur” from the inclusive word “All” regarding the prohibition of forbidden fats. Reish Lakish answers that the beraita’s prohibition is only rabbinic and the pasuk is brought as a mere support.

Tossafot[6] ask why Rav Yochanan preffered to base his psak on the reasoning of “chazei litztrufei“, instead of the pasuk brought in the Beraita? They answer that without the logic of “chazei litztrufei” we would not have known that the pasuk comes to include this.[7] In any event, it comes out that they understand the main halacha is actually learnt from the pasuk. We needed to know the logic in order to reveal what the pasuk meant.

The Ritva, on the other hand, learnt the sugya slightly differently. He understood that Rav Yochanan only interpreted the verse (in a homiletic manner) – the real source of the ruling is from the pasuk, but the reason is what Rav Yohanan explained – chazi l’itzterufei. Maharam ben Haviv in his ‘Tosefet Yom Hakipurim’ notes here that after the verse speaks about “fat” (helev), how can we learn from it regarding other prohibitions? He says, that’s what R’ Yohanan teaches us: there is also a notion of half shiur in other prohibitions than eating prohibited fat, such as eating during Yom-Kippur.

However, the Meiri took a different approach. According to him, Rav Yochanan’s main proof is from the argument of “chazei litzterufei“. This means that the prohibition is not in and of itself; rather it is the beginning of the “eating”.

We find in the responsa Achiezer[8] a chidush. According to him there are really two separate prohibitions here. The pasuk “Kol chelev” (“All fat”) comes to include “a half shiur“. However, this prohibition is an independent prohibition and therefore one who eats a half shiur of neveila transgresses the prohibition of “half a shiur” and not of neveila! In other words he does not violate the pasuk regarding neveila; rather the pasuk of “kol chelev“.[9] And because of the logic of “chazei litztrufei” he also transgresses the prohibition of neveila! A practical ramification between these two issurim would be eating a half shiur on Yom Kippur. One could say that he transgresses the prohibition of “half a shiur” from the pasuk “Kol chelev“, but not from the logic of “chazei litztrufei“; for with half a shiur he hasn’t been able to quell his hunger pains and have peace of mind. [10]

2.    Explanation in understanding the concept of “half a shiur

The Achronim gave varied understandings of the logic of Rav Yochanan -“chazei litztrufei“- “it is fit to be added to”. We have found five different opinions.

  • The concern is that by eating half the amount, a person might come to eat the entire amount. [11]
  • The “half shiur” is inherently prohibited because it contains a prohibited “ingredient“.[12]
  • The “half shiur” is inherently prohibited as it is difficult for it to have been permitted and once the second half was eaten, for it to have become retroactively prohibited. [13]
  • Since it is “fit” to be eaten together with another half shiur – it is prohibited from the ruling of “Ra’ui” – “able to fit”.[14]
  • The half shiur is inherently prohibited since it is possible to throw up the piece eaten and then consume it again; therefore there is an inherent ability for it to be a full shiur. [15]

There is a practical ramification between the first explanation and all the others. If at the very last moment of Yom Kippur a person eats a half shiur, would one transgress the prohibition of “half a shiur“? According to first explanation, he wouldn’t transgress as there is no possibility of him completing the shiur to a forbidden quantity. However, according to all the other explanations which view that “half shiur” as inherently prohibited, here too one would violate the prohibition. [16]

It is worthwhile noting that another explanation is brought down. Since he does an action to the “half shiur” such as eating it; this in and of itself gives the object importance and therefore it is considered as if it is a whole shiur.[17] However this explanation seems very difficult to reconcile with the wording of the gemara.

  1. Two main explanations of “chazei litzrufei”[18]

In fact, the previous explanations of Rav Yochanan’s reasoning “chazei litztrufei” can be divided into two main groups.

The opinion of the Baalei Tosfot and those who supported them

There are those who explain that the meaning of the gemara is that the Torah wanted to distance us from the prohibition. Hence, since there is a possibility that eating half a shiur might lead to eating a full shiur, the Torah forbade even a half shiur. Although we have this type of logic mainly in areas of Rabbinic law based on the pasuk “Make guard to my precepts”[19] – meaning “make a guard around my precepts”[20]; nevertheless here the Torah gives a specific pasuk to institute it and the logic of Rav Yochanan clarifies the reasoning behind the pasuk. There are other instances in the Torah where we find a similar model.[21]

The Tossfot Yeshanim[22] opines the following, according to Rav Yohanan. If a person were to take an oath that he wouldn’t eat a neveila, it wouldn’t be valid since he is “already under oath from the time of Har Sinai“. However if he would take an oath not to eat a “half shiur” of a neveila, it would be valid. One can explain based on the above that since the prohibition of “half a shiur” is not written explicitly in the Torah and is dependent on our logic and the interpretation based on it regarding the word “Kol chelev” (All fat); in such a case the vow would be valid.

Rambam and those who supported him

According to another explanation, the logic of “chazei litztrufei” is not the reason for the prohibition but rather, the proof that it must be prohibited, through a negative proof. It is not reasonable that the first half shiur would be permissible from the Torah and then become prohibited (retroactively) after one ate the second half, just as if a person would eat half a shiur just before Yom Kippur when it’s allowed; and then another half once the fast had started, it is clear that he wouldn’t be liable for the first part was eaten permissively (b’heter); so too one would have to argue here as well. It must be then that the prohibition exists already when eating the first half.

According to this, one cannot explain as Tosfot did that the sevara reveals to us the intent of the pasuk, for the sevara here is not the reason for the issur but rather a proof that it is in fact prohibited. The pasukKol chelev” (“All fat”) is needed to learn out other halachot such as the doubt regarding a koi, etc. and other things that the Rambam says we learn from it. [23] According to this explanation the opinion of the Tosfot Yesheinim is better understood that an oath on a “half shiur” is not “already under the oath from Har Sinai”, for the prohibition is really not written anywhere in the Torah textually.

Half a shiur regarding chametz on Pesach

Based on this understanding, the Shaagat Aryeh (siman 81) has a chidush in Hilchot Chametz. The fisrt Mishna in Masechet Beitza brings an argument between Beit Hillel and Beit Shammai. According to Beit Shammai, one transgresses the violation of yeast[24] with an olive measurement and chametz with a kotevet. Beit Hillel on the other hand holds that both yeast and chametz have the same measurement of an olive. The gemara[25] explains that the argument between them only applies to the prohibition of “Bal Yirae – owning chametz” but regarding the prohibition of eating, even Beit Shamai would agree that the prohibition is violated already with an olive size. [26] The Sha’agat Aryeh asks what could be the ramification of such an argument, for in any event half a shiur is forbidden from the Torah, therefore owning any amount of chametz would be prohibited. In general, the ramification of size relates to whether a person can be punished by BeitDin or not (if he had the appropriate shiur Beit Din could punish him with lashes, etc.). But regarding the prohibition of Bal Yirae, in any event one doesn’t get lashes for such a violation (except for the opinion of the Rambam in the event that he went and did an action such as acquiring the chametz on Pesach; however most Rishonim disagree with the Rambam and understand, as it’s written in the gemara[27], that the reason for the lack of punishment is based on “lav hanitak leasse” and not “lav sheein bo maase“).

Based on this question, the Shaagat Aryeh writes a chidush that regarding the prohibition of Bal yiraeh and bal yimatzeh, owning half a shiur is permitted from the Torah. This is so, because the argument of “chazei litztrufei” doesn’t apply here. If a person would buy a half shiur of chametz and then buy another half shiur, he would violate the prohibition. However this is not because he started off by buying the half shiur, rather it is because at one moment he owns the entire amount of a shiur. Only regarding eating do we say the novelty of “chazei litztrufei” as the way of eating is to consume the first half before the second half. If a person were to buy half a shiur and then burn it, after that he returned and bought another half shiur – he would definitely be exempt; therefore there is no prohibition of half a shiur regarding “Bal yirae” and “bal yimatze“. It is clear that the understanding of the Shaagat Aryeh is based on the logic that “Chazei litztrufei” is a proof and not the reason for the prohibition. If it would have been a reason for the prohibition (in order to distance him from it), one could have certainly argued that this would apply just as much to the prohibition of Bal Yiraeh for chametz.

Understanding of “Chazei Litztrufei” as being a proof

There is room to clarify the argument that “chazei litztrufei” is a proof that there is a prohibition, based on the argument of- if not, how would it be possible to transgress with the full shiur?

This assumption needs elucidation, as this argument is seemingly not sound. As a way of introduction: it is known that the mitzvah of Mila overrides Shabbat. In the commandment there are two parts; the Mila and the Peria (act of turning the skin on itself). If one did the Mila without the Pria, it is as if he didn’t even do Mila, he didn’t fulfill any part of the Mitzvah. On Shabbat, one is permitted to do a Brit Mila but if he just did the Mila without the Pria he would have violated the Shabbat and be liable for Karet (or have to bring a chatat offering, according to the Rambam). Now, let us ask if the action of Mila is permitted or prohibited. If it is permitted, how could it be that if he didn’t do Pria afterwards he would be liable for punishment? If it is prohibited, how is it that it turns out to be a permitted act after the Mohel does Pria?

The answer seems to be that the action “stands in limbo”. If the Mohel completes the Pria, then it will be defined as an act of Mitzvah. If the Mohel doesn’t do Pria, it will be defined as a transgression. But, based on this case, the whole argument of “chazei litztrufei” being a proof falls away. For we could argue that when one eats the first half, it “stands in limbo” and the nature of the action will be defined by what follows. The answer is that there is an inherent difference between Mila and Pria on one hand, and “chatzi shiur” on the other hand. Mila and Pria are together considered as the mitzvah. If a person does only one part, he hasn’t fulfilled any part of the mitzvah, similar to a person who would place three tziztiot on his garment, instead of four. In these cases, whether the parts are done simultaneously or one after the other, the outcome is the same – until one completes the parts, nothing has been fulfilled. According to the same logic, if a person would take each of the four species one after the other, he would fulfill the mitzvah, but if he took only three species simultaneously, he wouldn’t fulfill anything. Furthermore, the Shulchan Aruch and the Rema argue regarding the following case. Would it be allowed for one mohel to do the Mila and another to do the Pria on Shabbat? The Shulchan Aruch forbids it whilst the Rema writes that the minhag is to permit it. The question is how to understand the Rema. Perhaps he thinks the Mila itself is not a mitzvah? The answer is that although Mila in and of itself is not a mitzvah, in the event that someone else did the Pria, the reality is that the mitzvah was fulfilled, by two people. In this context, it is appropriate to define the Mila as an action “in limbo” that will ultimately be defined by what follows. Was it a mere cut, or an act of mitzvah.

This is all applicable to Mila and Pria. However, when it comes to “half a shiur” it is difficult to view it as “in limbo” and part of a greater whole. Regarding the prohibition of eating, the violation is transgressed with the act of eating; albeit that there needs to be a substantial volume consumed. The half shiur is not an intrinsic part of the act that will receive a certain new dimension once the other half is eaten. Rather, each amount stands on itself and there is no reason that one half should intrinsically impact on the other.

A more fundamental argument

The Rambam (Hilchot chametz umatza 1:7) wrote: “One who eats chametz on Pesach, even a minimum transgresses a Torah violation, as the Torah says “You can’t eat chametz“.

The Kesef Mishne (ad loc) queried this formulation of the Rambam: “why did he need to include the pasuk? Surely the halacha follows Rav Yohanan that even half a shiur is prohibited from the Torah? Furthermore, one could argue that from this pasuk the torah is telling us here specifically, that only if one had a entire shiur of “eating” (and not less than that which would’nt be considered as eating at all) would one be liable, similar to the opinion of Reish Lakish? The Kessef Mishne stays without any answer to this difficulty. [28]

The Tzlach (Pessahim 44a s.v. ve’od) answered the question of the Kesef Mishnah as follows. Rav Yochanan based his opinion on the logic of “chazi litztrufei“. If so, regarding a prohibition that is dependent on time such as chametz on the seventh day, and the prohibition of eating on Yom Kippur; if one would eat half a shiur at the end of the day and there wouldn’t be time to complete the shiur, one could argue that there is no prohibition as there is no time to complete the shiur. According to that, the Rambam understood that even so, the Torah specified that in these circumstances there is still a prohibition. Since, if he would have eaten earlier in the day there would have been a prohibition based on “half a shiur“, so too at the end of the day there is still a prohibition of “half a shiur“.

The Mishne Lamelech (ad loc) brings in the name of the Maharlbach (responsa18) that the Rambam brought this pasuk for the prohibition of chametz since the nature of the issur is different to that of the “chelev” (fat) which was the source brought in the gemara. Chelev never had a time when it was permitted as opposed to Chametz. Because of this, there was a need to bring a pasuk to explain that also regarding chametz there is a prohibition of “half a shiur“.

Now there are those who were astonished at the Maharlbach (such as the Tzitz Hakodesh, Rav Yehoshua Tzvi Mihal Shapira) for the gemara learnt the issur of half a shiur regarding Yom Kippur from the pasukKol chelev“. According to the Maharlbach, how could the gemara have learnt for Yom Kippur from there, since it is inherently different (as there is a time when food is permitted, as it is for chametz).

It would seem that this question could be answered and the argument between Rabbi Yohanan and Reish Lakish could be understood based on a more general question as to whether the prohibitions of the Torah are an issur in the “cheftza“, a prohibition on the object or on the “gavra” – subject.

Now there are those who were astonished at the Maharlbach (such as the Tzitz Hakodesh, Rav Yehoshua Tzvi Mihal Shapira) for the gemara learnt the issur of half a shiur regarding Yom Kippur from the pasukKol chelev“. According to the Maharlbach, how could the gemara have learnt for Yom Kippur from there, since it is inherently different (as there is a time when food is permitted, as it is for chametz).

It would seem that this question could be answered and the argument between Rabbi Yohanan and Reish Lakish could be understood based on a more general question as to whether the prohibitions of the Torah are an issur in the “cheftza“, a prohibition on the object or on the “gavra” – subject.

The Ritva (Nedarim 13b and Kidushin 54a) understands that all the prohibitions are placed on the gavra, on the subject. The Ran there, however, argues that the prohibitions are on the cheftza, on the object. This is also the opinion of Rashi (Kareitot 14a).

One could postulate that according to Rav Yohanan – the prohibition is on the cheftza, on the object, and therefore there is logic to argue “chazi litztrufei“. The object itself is prohibited because it can come to be completed. According to Reish Lakish the prohibtion is on the gavra, on the subject and therefore there is no logic to argue “chazi litztrufei” – whether one is doing something wrong, such as an issur, whether he is not; there is no room for decreeing new prohibitions. Now it is clear why the Tanna had to write half a shiur by Yom Kippur specifically (which according to all is an issur on the gavra, on the subject). This would be to tell us that even when the issur is on the gavra, on the subject, the prohibition is still on the half shiur, which is learnt from the pasukkol chelev“. This drasha is independent of the “chazi litztrufei logic“.

However, it’s written in the Yerushalmi (Terumot chap. 5, hal. 1) that in the case of Yom Kippur Reish Lakish agrees with Rav Yohanan that even half a shiur isn’t allowed! The Gaon of Vilna (ad loc) writes that the reason of it is because during Yom Kippur there is no prohibition of eating but rather one of affliction, and eating less than shiur can also, sometimes, cease one’s hunger pains (which is not allowed on Yom Kippur). And that’s why Reish Lakish agrees here with Rav Yohanan. The Pnei Moshe (ad loc) writes that the Yerushalmi and the Bavli are opposed one to the other. That’s also what the Yafe Panim (ad loc) says. Nevertheless, the response Shoel uMeshiv (t. V, 86) writes that there is no discussion between the Bavli and the Yerushalmi: Reish Lakish agrees with Rav Yohanan that eating the quantity of half a date (kotevet) during Yom Kippur is prohibited but for other issurim – prohibitions, half an olive is not considered as eating and that’s why it would be allowed.

4.    Halacha

The gemara in Masechet Kreitot (13a) explains us about the ruling of eating less than shiur as a way to feed pregnant women who are in danger. The Ramban[29] writes further that it is also true for sick persons who have to eat prohibited things (by karet or malkot) for medical reasons: they have to eat less than the shiur. In the Shulh’an Aruh’[30] we found this argument only for Yom Kippur and then (se’if 9) he brings the opinions of the Rishonim that if less than a shiur isn’t enough for a sick person – one can eat how much he needs. According to all that, we have to explain to people that the permission of eating less than a shiur is only true in cases of danger (pikuah’ nefesh).

Is it necessary to begin with “half a shiur” in order not to avoid danger?

There is a big discussion between the Acharonim whether is it allowed to begin eating less than the prohibited quantity already from the morning (even in certain cases from the evening) for sick people in order to avoid danger during the day of Kippur, and then eat more than the shiur. In resp. Matamei Itzhak (siman 38) he forbids it, because “half a shiur is forbidden by the Torah”. However, the author of the Machane Chayim (at the end of his book “Kol Sofer” on the Mishna) writes to begin with half a shiur from the beginning of the day, because it’s a case of danger for life (pikuah’ nefesh). It’s also the opinion of Rav Tzvi Pessach Frank (Mikraei Kodesh, Yamim Noraim, p. 136), Rav Moshe Feinstein (Igrot Moshe OH IV, 121), Rav Shlomo Zalman Auerbach (brought in Shmirat Shabat Kehilchata, chap. 39, note 69) and the Tzitz Eliezer (X, 25). There is no need to specify that they were all speaking about an ill person which is in danger of life (choleh sheyesh bo sakana). If it’s only a doubt that perhaps he would have to eat because of the danger, during Yom Kippur, it seems to be accepted by all of them that he doesn’t have to begin to eat before he feels the need of it. Their discussion was only in a case of certitude (defined so by physicians).

5.    Epilogue

I would like to conclude by reminding that the most important part of Yom Kippur isn’t the limits of it and the quantity allowed, but rather something else. Rebbi says (TB Yuma 85b): “Yom Kippur forgives us even without repentance (Teshuva)”.

Rav Shalom Nathan Ra’anan comments (BeShemen Ra’anan, I, p. 316):

“During Yom Kippur our comprehension, our understandings aren’t limited, restricted, the Satan has no power on us, there is no confusion, nothing is “mixed up”, the soul is expands, it becomes wider, and its understandings (hassagot) climb higher and higher without any limit. The essence of the day is not in the obligation, but rather it’s accessible to every jew. Rabbenou Hakadosh (Rebbi), entered into the inner aspect of Yom Kippur and the inner aspect of the Jewish soul; he saw that the day itself brings to the feeling of holiness, of sanctity of the Jewish soul. This feeling brings automatically a sort of repentance, teshuva, by the attention we give to that day or by the feeling of spiritual elevation. That’s the basis of all repentance, coming back to the Upper Source”.

[1] מאמר זה מבוסס על חבורה שהעברנו כאן בתוכנית מנהיגות תורנית בכולל ‘ארץ חמדה’ בגדרי חצי שיעור בחמץ, ולא הספקתי לערוך את הדברים כדבעי – עמכם הסליחה.

[2] ראה נזיר לח,ב.

[3] ראה רמב”ם, מאכלות אסורות י,כד.

[4] “יתובי דעתיה” – יומא עט,ב. הגמרא (שם) מסתפקת האם שיעור זה כולל את הגרעין או לא. הרמב”ם (שביתת עשור, ב, א) והשו”ע (או”ח, תרי”ב, א) לא מזכירים את הגרעין. אמנם, הביאור הלכה (שם, ד”ה “ככותבת”) מוכיח מהגמרא ששיעור אכילה הוא ככותבת עם גרעין, ולכן אדם שאכל כותבת שלמה אינו חייב, כיוון שהגרעין לא ראוי לאכילה. לשיעור זה מצטרפים כל המאכלים והטפלים אליהם, כגון תבלין ורוטב; אך אכילה ושתייה אינם מצטרפים, כיון שאין בצירופם יישוב הדעת (יומא פ,ב; שו”ע, שם, ב).

[5] A kind of bearded deer or antelope. It is left undecided as to whether it belongs to the genus of cattle, the tallow of which is forbidden, or to beasts of chase, the tallow of which is permitted.

[6] עד,א, ד”ה כיון.

[7] וראה עוד בתוס’ ישנים, ובשיח יצחק על אתר. וע”ע בשו”ת הרשב”א (ח”א סי’ תלט).

[8] ח”ב, סי’ כא.

[9] ומעין זה עולה גם מהתוס’ בשבועות (כב,ב ד”ה אהתירא). יש להעיר שבמהות האיסור – לדעה שאסור מן התורה, חקרו האחרונים האם הוא חלק מכל עבירה, או איסור חדש. המשנת יעבץ (או”ח, סי’ יד) טוען שבחמץ זה חלק מאיסור חמץ, אך בשאר התורה זה איסור כללי. ומעין זה נידון ב’צפנת פענח’ לגבי חולה שיש בו סכנה ומוכרח לאכול חצי שיעור של איסור לאו או של איסור כרת. האם עדיף שיאכל חצי שיעור של לאו כדי למעט באיסור, או שאין חילוק ביניהם, שחומרתן שווה? והביא ראיות שחומרתן שווה, ולכן יכול לאכול גם את חצי השיעור של הכרת (שו”ת צפנת פענח, ניו יורק, סי’ רפח). ונראה שדבר זה תלוי בחקירה הנ”ל: אם האיסור ‘חצי שיעור’ הוא חלק מכל עבירה, אזי איסור לאו קל יותר ואין חומרתן שווה, אך אם הוא איסור נפרד, עצמאי, שכולל את חצאי השיעורים של כל העבירות, אזי אין חילוק ביניהם, וכפי שכתב הרוגאצ’ובר.

[10] ולפי זה מבוארים היטב דברי הריב”ש (שו”ת סי’ רפז) שאף על גב שחצי שיעור אסור מן התורה, מ”מ לגבי יוה”כ זה עדיין נחשב ‘עינוי’ כשאכל פחות מכשיעור.

[11] צל”ח פסחים סד,ב; אך ראה בשדי חמד (מערכת ח’, כלל י’) שהביא שהצל”ח עצמו בנוב”י (מהדו”ת או”ח סי’ נג) הגביל הסבר זה לשיטת הרמב”ם (ראה לעיל) בלבד ורק לענייני אכילה ביו”כ, והביא עוד חבל של אחרונים החלוקים על הצל”ח; וע”ע בפמ”ג יו”ד סי’ סה, מש”ז סק”ד שמתרץ את קושיתם; ובשו”ת רע”א (סי’ קנד) שהסתפק האם לסבור כצל”ח; אך ראה באבני מילואים (תשובות, סי’ יד) שגם הוא הסתפק ולבסוף דוחה הסבר זה.

[12] ודוגמא לכך: כוס רעל, שהשותה את כולה ימות, השותה את חציה יהיה חולה, כי אפילו ששתה פחות – עדיין החומר הוא אותו החומר. שיטה זו מובאת במפענח צפונות יא,ד. והקובץ שיעורים (בבא בתרא, אות שסז) חקר בין הסבר זה לבין הקודם לו (שמא ישלים). לשיטה זו כתב הרוגאצ’ובר (מפענח צפונות, שם) שרבי יוחנן וריש לקיש נחלקו בגדר שיעורים: לרבי יוחנן השיעור הוא כמות, דהיינו צירוף של הרבה חלקים, ולכן גם פחות מכזית, אע”פ שהוא פחות משיעור כי יש בו את החומר האסור. אך לריש לקיש השיעור הוא איכות, דהיינו מידה שפחות ממנה לא נחשב כלל, ולכן בפחות מכזית אין שום איסור מדאורייתא. אפשר להמחיש את המושגים “כמות” ו”איכות” ע”י משל: כדי שאדם יהיה בריא הוא צריך גם לב וגם אוכל, אך יש חילוק ביניהם: עם חצי לב אדם לא יכול לחיות כלל – זהו מושג של “איכות”, אך עם חצי ארוחה, הוא כן יכול לחיות, אלא שיהיה קצת רעב – זו ה”כמות”.

[13] אור לציון (ח”א או”ח סי’ לה), ועיין ר”ח ומאירי (על אתר); והשווה לדברי השאגת אריה (סי’ פא). וכ”כ בבית האוצר (ח”א, קכז, ד”ה וי”ל). ולפי”ז הוא הוסיף שרבי יוחנן וריש לקיש נחלקו בגדר איסורי אכילה, שלרבי יוחנן הם איסורי חפצא, ולכן א”א שהחצי הראשון יהפוך למפרע לאיסור. אך לר”ל איסורי אכילה הם איסורי גברא, וכיוון שהאיסור רק על האדם ולא על המאכל, אפשר לומר שבחצי המאכל הראשון אין איסור כלל, וכשיאכל את החצי השני, האדם עובר איסור למפרע.

[14] הגרמ”א עמיאל, המידות לחקר ההלכה (יח, ס). מעין סברא זו מצינו לגבי העובדה שמדאורייתא מותר לאפות מיום טוב לחול כיוון שאם היו באים אורחים היה מותר להכין בשבילם, אע”פ שלא באו בפועל – לפחות לפי רבה (פסחים מט,ב).

[15] מרחשת (ח”א, סי’ נב, ה,א). ולפי זה כתב שריש לקיש לא חולק על עצם סברת “חזי לאיצטרופי”, אלא שרבי יוחנן וריש לקיש נחלקו לשיטתם במחלוקתם (חולין קג,ב): לרבי יוחנן איסור אכילה הוא על הנאת גרונו, ולכן שייך שיקיאו ויאכלנו שוב ויצטרף לשיעור, וריש לקיש, לעומת זאת, סבור שאכילה הוא על הנאת מעיו, ולכן גם אם יקיאו ויאכלו שוב לא יצטרף לשיעור, שהרי במעיו עדיין יש רק חצי שיעור!

[16] ראה קובץ שיעורים (הנ”ל), ואבנ”מ (הנ”ל) שהדגישו את זה.

[17] שו”ת חכם צבי (סי’ פו (סוף ד”ה ומזה) בתירוצו השני). ולפי זה כתב שבבל יראה ובל ימצא, שהאדם לא עושה מעשה אלא רק לא ביער את החמץ – אין דין חצי שיעור (וזאת אפילו אם נאמר שבשאר האיסורים יש דין חצי שיעור, ולא רק באיסורי אכילה). אמנם, האתוון דאורייתא (כה ד”ה ואין להקשות) תמה עליו ושאל איך חידש טעם מעצמו, והרי הגמרא הביאה רק את הפסוק “כל חלב” ואת הטעם “חזי לאיצטרופי”! ראה עוד במג”א או”ח תמו,ב ובמ”ב תסז,מד.

[18] הדברים הבאים מבוססים על שיעורו של הגרז”נ גולדברג.

[19] ויקרא יח,ל.

[20] ספרא,שם ויבמות כא,א. ראה עוד עירובין עז,א. והשווה לדברי הש”ך (שו”ע יו”ד, סי’ רמ”ב, כללי פסיקה, כלל ט).

[21] יש מקומות נוספים בהם התורה לא אמרה בפירוש למה היא התכוונה, ואנו למדים זאת מסברא. דוגמא לכך במסכת שבת: התורה אומרת “ואם נפש אחת תחטא בשגגה מעם הארץ בעשותה אחת מכל מצוות ה’ אשר לא תיעשנה ואשם” (ויקרא ד, כז) – יש בפסוק שלש הדגשות של לשון יחיד: “אחת”, “תחטא”, “בעשותה”. ואומרת הגמרא (שבת צב,ב), שמכך יש למעט “שנים שעשאוה” – אם מלאכה בשבת נעשית על ידי שני אנשים יחד, הריהם פטורים. מיעוט אחד מלמד מקרה שבו ‘זה עוקר וזה מניח’ – אם אדם אחד עקר חפץ ממקומו וחבירו הניח את החפץ ברשות אחרת, הריהם פטורים מחיוב על מלאכת הוצאה בשבת. מיעוט שני ממעט כל מלאכה שנעשתה על ידי שני אנשים, באופן שכל אחד מהם יכול לעשותה לבדו (“זה יכול וזה יכול”), ומיעוט שלישי ממעט מקרה נוסף של מלאכה שנעשתה על ידי שני אנשים, אבל כל אחד מהם לא היה יכול לעשותה לבדו (“זה אינו יכול וזה אינו יכול”). ולדעת התנא שסובר שיש בפסוק רק שני מיעוטים, במקרה האחרון שבו כל אחד לבדו אינו יכול – אכן שניהם חייבים, למרות שעשו את המלאכה יחד. ומבאר רש”י (צג,א ד”ה וזה מניח), שהעיקרון המונח ביסוד לימודים אלו הוא, שכאשר בתורה יש מיעוט והיא לא מפרשת בדיוק מהו המקרה אותו היא ממעטת – הדבר תלוי בסברא, מהו המקרה המסתבר ביותר שיש למעט. לכן אם היה רק מיעוט אחד היו חכמים ממעטים רק את המקרה “זה עוקר וזה מניח”, שבו כל אחד היה שותף רק לחצי מלאכה, אם היו שני מיעוטים היינו מוסיפים “זה יכול וזה יכול”, והמיעוט השלישי ממעט את המקרה שהוא הכי מחודש “זה אינו יכול וזה אינו יכול”.

[22] יומא עג,ב ד”ה וריש לקיש ע”פ סברת האבנ”מ (שו”ת סי’ יד). ראה עוד רמב”ם הל’ שבועות ה,ז; מאירי על יומא עג; לחם משנה הל’ שביתת עשור ב,ג; אך ראה ברשב”א (חידושים על שבועות כג,ב ובשו”ת ח”א סי’ תרטז) שכתב להלכה שהנשבע על חצי שיעור – לרבי יוחנן – אין שבועתו חלה, וכן כתב הרמב”ן (שבועות כג,ב ד”ה ה”ג).

[23] ראה הל’ מאכלות אסורות פ”ז, הל’ א,י,טז. והשווה להל’ שביתת עשור ב,ג.

[24] שאור שהוא חמץ חמוץ מאוד שאי אפשר לאוכלו כשלעצמו, אלא הוא נועד לחמץ עיסות אחרות – כמו שמרים של ימינו.

[25] ביצה ז,ב.

[26] ע”ש בגמרא בבאור טעם המחלוקת.

[27] פסחים צה,א. להבנת שיטת הרמב”ם עיין בפירוש רבנו חננאל, שם.

[28] ועיין בשו”ת הרדב”ז בלשונות הרמב”ם, ח”ב, סי’ קמ”ג.

[29] תורת האדם, שער המיחוש, עניין הסכנה: “ונראה שאף בחולה עושין כן [להאכיל אותו פחות פחות מכשיעור] כדי להקל עליו מאיסורי כרת ומכות לאיסור בלחוד. ואם תשאל אם כן למה אמרו מאכילין אותו הקל הקל [=איסור קל לפני איסור חמור], טבל ותרומה מאכילין אותו תרומה והלא בשניהם אין בהם אלא איסור בעלמא, אפילו הכי כיון דבשיעורן חמורין זה מזה לעונשין, אף בפחות מכשיעור חומרו של זה יותר מחומרו של זה, אי נמי התם בשאמדוהו לכשעור והוא צריך לו בכדי צירוף”.

[30] או”ח תריח, ז.

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