Sunday, October 22, 2006

Daf Yomi - Sukkah 50 - Snake Venom

The Gemora rules that water which has been exposed cannot be used for the mizbeach. We are concerned that a snake drank from it and left it's venom there. Something that a Yisroel will not drink cannot be used for the mizbeach.

The Gemora states that even according to Rabbi Nechemia who generally rules that if one used a strainer on the water it would be permitted, nevertheless pertaining to water which will be poured on the mizbeach, our standards are stricter and hence the water would be unfit to be used. The Gemora cites a verse in Malachai indicating that we are more concerned when we are offering something as a korban to Hashem.

The Ritva quotes from the Gaonim that this Gemora is a proof that the oil which is used in a Bais Hakneses should be oil that would be proper to use in front of king. Shulchan Aruch rules that if a mouse or weasel is found in the oil, if it seems disgusting, the oil should not be used. The Magen Avrohom writes that this is even if it would be permitted for a commoner to eat, nevertheless for the Bais Hakneses it would be prohibited. The Rashba in Toras Habayis disagrees and maintains that if it would be permitted to eat, it can be used in the Bais Hakneses.

It is noteworthy that Shulchan Aruch (272:1) rules that even though snake venom is not common nowadays thereby permitting one to drink uncovered wine, nevertheless one should not recite kiddush on Shabbos using such wine.