Sunday, August 20, 2006

Daf Yomi - Yoma 75 - Could the Manna Taste like Pig?

Daf Yomi - Yoma 75 - Could the Manna Taste like Pig?

Gilyonei Hashas writes that he saw in a certain sefer that discusses the issue of what would be if a person had in mind that the manna should taste like something which is forbidden to eat, such as chazir. What would you think should be the halacha?

14 comments:

josh waxman said...

Oops. Meant to post it on this post;

My take: without a doubt. For several reasons.

First, see Chullin 109b, towards the bottom: "Yalta the wife of Rav Nachman told Rav Nachman: Now, all that the All-Merciful has forbidden us, he has permitted us the like. He forbad us blood, and permitted us the liver. The blood of a menstruant {He forbad}, the blood of purity {He permitted - in a law much undone by post-Talmudic custom and the convergence of several other halachot, for a time after birth, even when a woman menstruates, she is permitted to her husband}. The fats of a beheima {He forbad}, the fats of a chaya {kosher wild animal He permitted}. The pig {He forbad}, the brain of the Shivuta...."

thus, the taste is one which is avaliable anyway in valid form. (and further, if the fish is OK, why shouldn't the manna also be an equivalent permitted way of getting that taste?)

second, during the inital conquering of Eretz Yisrael, chazir was permitted to them.

thirdly, the midrash that states that the manna couldn't taste like leeks, etc., because they were harsh-tasting. One *might* be able to derive that only these were being restricted.

Avromi said...

your first proof i found in sheorim metzuyanim bhalacha

Avromi said...

On your third point, I always wondered why did the taste of leek and such create a difficulty for nursing women? Is it the taste that's harsh like you said or what is in those specific foods?

ben said...

dont understand proof from eating chazir upon entering eretz yisroel. this whole discussion is found in pardes yosef beshalach one answer is first proof from chullin and second answer is ain davar tamei yored min hashamyim

ben said...

the answer of aian davar tamei yoreid min hashamyim means that it could not taste like pig

Moshe said...

The chidushe HaRim says that it could not taste like assurdike food

David said...

Of course, lefi pshuto we know exactly what the mann tasted like - a honey doughnut! The possuk tells us this explicitly.

If we are going to ask questions on the aggadah, we may also ask if the ornaments that came down with the mann, or the mishkan ornaments that came down from the clouds, had the din of "tachshittim" regarding carrying on Shabbos. Perhaps they had a special din of "tachshittei nes", like the Chanukah oil.

The first paragraph was serious. The second was al minas likanter only :)

josh waxman said...

avromi:
as regards the manna not tasting like leeks because the taste was harsh, this is what is states in the midrash that the famous Rashi cites. In fact, the midrash does not mention nursing mothers at all. I would actually read the midrash as, "because it is harsh, as we see that we tell nursing mothers not to eat it because of its harshness.

whether it is just the harshness of the taste or also that it had some substance of the leeks, etc., is actually a dispute in the daf in question, between R' Ammi and R' Assi.

I did a writeup of some of this on parshablog here:
http://parsha.blogspot.com/2006/06/parshat-behaalotecha-why-manna-could_15.html

Avromi said...

Josh - thanks

David - actually - your al mnas lkantar might not be so lkantar as there is a shaila (perhaps gemora in menochos - traveling now) regarding wheat that came from heaven if its good for a korban mincha.

Avromi said...

Josh - it seems to me in the Gemora that according to both amoroim, there wasnt mamashus of those five types.

In regards to your point about the nursing mothers, it is interesting - the question is what does rashi in chumash and Yoma mean when he says 'hen' - the manna with these tastes or these foods in general?

josh waxman said...

avromi:
"Josh - it seems to me in the Gemora that according to both amoroim, there wasnt mamashus of those five types."

exactly. but the dispute is predicated on the fact that the Israelites complained that they couldn't eat these 5 types. yet one would assume that they could have had it via manna. Thus, it must be that they did not. The dispute between Rabbi Ammi and Rabbi Assi is about what exactly they could not have.

One held they could not even have the taste of it (and certainly not the substance of it), while the other held that they could have the taste but not the substance. The dispute might be exactly what would be considered harsh and thus harmful.

David -- I want to respond to you but don't have opportunity right now.

While I am posting here, I also thought I would plug my Daf Yomi related blog: Rabbi Yitzchak of Fez gives shiurim on the daf.

Available here: Alfasi.blogspot.com

josh waxman said...

david:
"Of course, lefi pshuto we know exactly what the mann tasted like - a honey doughnut! The possuk tells us this explicitly."

How one takes aggada of different genre is quite a complicated topic, and its relationship to peshat is also complicated.

This issue of peshat stating one thing and the derash stating another: I can cite to you Ramban who notes that the phrase is not "ain mikra yotzei *ela* lifshuto" but rather "ain mikra yotzei midei peshuto." That is, both derash and peshat are simultaneously true.

I have seen the suggestion that it tasted like cakes of honey (or, if you turn the page, like honey, like bread, or like oil, depending on the age of the eater) as a default, when one was not thinking of a particular food.

Of course, it depends which genre of aggada we are speaking of, and which Rishon or acharon's opinion on the matter.

Meshech Chochma to my mind often takes this tack of trying to apply halachic categories and law to aggada, which is not my cup of tea. But he does it.

In general, some aggada I think was meant literally/historically and some was meant allegorically/homiletically. The difficulty is spotting which type it is.

Indeed, there are times that gemaras try to derive halacha from narrative aggada.

To quote myself from elsewhere:
"For just one example, in Chullin 5a, a question is asked based on the assumption that the ravens {in I Kings 17:14} were bringing meat from the butchers of Achav. How is such a question even possible if they did not believe it actually happened but is only conveying a deeper meaning?"

Here are two of several posts I've made on the subject:
http://parsha.blogspot.com/2006/05/dangers-of-midrashim-fisking_22.html

http://parsha.blogspot.com/2006/06/midrashic-literalism-180-billion-in_16.html

We might obtain clues as to whether a given midrash was intended literally by closely examining it.
My sense is that this midrash was intended literally.

Still, at the end of the day, I don't really consider the question serious but rather as an excuse to flex midrashic and halachic muscles in a fun way. I would write more, but I have a sleeping baby on my shoulder and a banana in my ear.

ben said...

josh waxman said...
avromi:
as regards the manna not tasting like leeks because the taste was harsh, this is what is states in the midrash that the famous Rashi cites. In fact, the midrash does not mention nursing mothers at all. I would actually read the midrash as, "because it is harsh, as we see that we tell nursing mothers not to eat it because of its harshness.

Josh: You're right about Medrash not mentioning nursing mothers, but what do you do with Rashi here s.v. halalu who clearly quotes Sifri that stats that these 5 foods are bad (kashin) for pregnant and nursing women, and Rashi in Behaloscho quotes Sifri and only mentions nursing mothers, not pregnant ones. The Sifri later on passuk vehaya taamo states the mashal to one who tells a woman not to eat garlic and onion because of the child, which would seem to refer to nursing women. Rabbi Dovid Pardo in commentary to Sifri on passuk eis hakishuim learns also that Sifri refers to pregnant and nursing women.

Once we're on the subject, he asks a question that always bothered me: if these vegatables only harmed nursing and pregnant women, why could HaShem not just make the manna taste like anything except for pregnant and nursing women? He answers "ubedochek yeish lomar kedei shelo lechaleik."

josh waxman said...

ben:

I dealt with that in the blogpost, towards the end. Our Sifrei does not have this while Rashi's girsa apparently did, or else he is combining the two Sifreis (Rabbi Shimon and the one on taamo) into one, something that is not uncommon in Rashi's methodology.

Your question was one that ADDeRabbi also asked, which is part of what prompted the blogpost to which I refer. The way I would read it is that these items are harsh for pregnant and nursing women, because of the harm they will do for the infant. Therefore we see that they are harsh for a person's constitution, even though as big boys we can take care of ourselves and cope with the slight harshness. Hashem did not want any harshness and harmfulness to come through the manna, and therefore they could not become those five foods. Thus, the mashal to a king who restricts his son's food because of the harmfulness of it, and the prince thinks it is because he is hated. And thus, the pregnant/nursing mothers are not the main point but rather by way of illustration.

(ADDeRabbi gave an answer about how benei yisrael at this stage were domeh to an infant. check it out on his blog.)