Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Nullified Metzora Bird

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The Gemora (Kiddushin 57) had stated: One verse comes to include the metzora bird that is set free in the category of permitted birds. Another verse comes to include the slaughtered metzora bird in the category of forbidden birds.

The Gemora asks: Perhaps it is exactly the opposite!?

Rava answers: It is not logical to assume that the Torah said that the bird should be sent away in a matter where it will create a stumbling block (for if this would be the bird that is forbidden, someone might mistakenly find this bird and eat it, for there is no way to recognize that this was a metzora bird).

The Acharonim ask: What stumbling block would there be? The metzora bird will become nullified because of the majority of birds in the world that are permitted!?

The Shaar Hamelech answers: We are concerned that someone will find the metzora bird before it intermingles with other birds.

The Peleisi answers: The halachah is that if there is one person in the world that recognizes the forbidden item, it is not nullified, even for the people who do not recognize it. Accordingly, we are concerned that a person will be standing on the top of a mountain and will see where the metzora bird went.

Reb Shimon Shkop answers that the principle of nullification does not apply here, for all the birds in the world are not intermingled with each other in one location; rather, they are all scattered about. And even though it will be permitted, for we follow the majority and say that this one came from the permitted birds, the metzora bird does not lose its prohibited status and will therefore still be considered a stumbling block.

The Chasam Sofer answers that we are not concerned with the finder, for he will not violate any prohibition. We are concerned that the sender will violate the prohibition of outrightly nullifying a prohibition.