Monday, October 22, 2012

A squeeze on the Beit Yosef

This week, our topic in afternoon seder has been sehitah, squeezing liquid out of a solid on Shabbat. We came across an Eglei Tal that cites a Tosafot from today's Daf Yomi. It seems like Daf Yomi material comes up elsewhere in my day surprisingly often.

The Eglei Tal is “shocked” at the Beit Yosef.

Here's the story. The Gemara decides on Shabbat 143b that squeezing any fruit except grapes, olives, mulberries and pomegranates is muttar according to everyone:

אמר רבה אמר רב יהודה אמר שמואל מודה היה רבי יהודה לחכמים בזיתים וענבים ומודים חכמים לרבי יהודה בשאר פירות א''ל רבי ירמיה לרבי אבא אלא במאי פליגי א''ל לכי תשכח אמר רב נחמן בר יצחק מסתברא בתותים ורמונים פליגי

Translation, based on Soncino:

Rabbah said in Rab Judah's name in Samuel's name: R. Judah agreed with the Sages about olives and grapes [that their squeezing is prohibited], while the Sages agreed with R. Judah about other fruits [that their squeezing is permitted]. Said R. Jeremiah to R. Abba: Then wherein do they differ? When you find it [I will tell you,] he replied. R. Nahman b. Isaac said: It is reasonable that they differ about mulberries and pomegranates.

The Beit Yosef lays out a mahloket rishonim about what the squeezing of "other fruits" being muttar means. The Rif, Rosh, Rambam, and Semag all take muttar to mean muttar lekha-tehillah, as it sounds. But the Hagahot Semak and Rabbeinu Yeruham in the name of Rashi both say that squeezing "other fruits" is in fact asur, unless the purpose is sweetening the fruit.

The Beit Yosef quotes Tosafot on 144b in support of the latter view:

ה"נ כיון דאחשביה הוו להו משקה - תחילה ס"ד דסוחטין בפגעין כו' היינו סחיטה ממש אבל השתא אי אפשר לומר דהא פשיטא דאסור דכיון דאחשביה הוה להו משקה אלא סוחטין דקתני היינו בליציי"ר בלע"ז למתק הפרי כדפי' בקונטרס.

To paraphrase: The Gemara on 144b raises the opinion of Rav Hisda, that beet juice might be posel a mikveh. The Gemara takes this to mean that once you decide to juice something, its juice is significant: כיון דאחשבינהו הוה להו משקה. Tosafot, in order to fit this principle with the Gemara on 143b, limit the hetter on 143b for "other fruits" to squeezing for the purpose of sweetening the fruit.

How do the Rif et al. deal with כיון דאחשבינהו? The Beit Yosef answers that כיון דאחשבינהו was rejected in favor of Rav Pappa, who appears in the next line on 144b. Rav Pappa explains Rav Hisda's din as a consideration specific to mikva'ot.

Here's where the trouble begins. The Beit Yosef then suggests, contrary to what he wrote earlier, that Rashi and Tosafot agree that כיון דאחשבינהו is rejected le-maskana:

ונ"ל דגם לרש"י ותוספות יש לומר כן דמה דפירשו דסוחטין לאו להוציא מימיהן קאמר אלא למתק הפרי היינו למאי דסלקא דעתך דטעמא דרב חסדא משום דכיון דאחשביה ה"ל משקה אבל למאי דאסיק רב פפא כיון דמצינן לפרושי סוחטין כפשטיה הכי נקטינן

The Eglei Tal cannot believe it:

אך אני תמה על הב"י דמפורש בתוספות יט ע"א ד"ה השום דמסקנא הואיל ואחשבינהו הו"ל משקה

Tosafot say explicitly on today's daf, Shabbat 19a, that le-maskana we keep כיון דאחשבינהו!

Here's the whole Tosafot:

השום והבוסר והמלילות - למאי דקאמר בריש חבית (לקמן קמג:) מודים חכמים לר' יהודה בשאר פירות ומייתי מדתניא סוחטין בפגעין ועוזרדין אבל לא ברמונים צ"ל דשום ובוסר יותר עשוין למשקין מפגעין ועוזרדין ומיהו התם מסיק דתרדין אע"ג דלאו בני סחיטה נינהו הואיל ואחשבינהו ה"ל משקין ולפ"ז הא דקתני סוחטין בפגעים לאו סחיטה גמורה קאמר אלא מיתוק בעלמא.

This is a serious difficulty for the Beit Yosef's suggestion. It's explicit in the second half of this Tosafot that his suggestion is wrong.

The best response I can come up with is that the second half isn't necessarily Tosafot's shittah. But that seems dohak. Another response could be that there were different opinions within the ba'alei ha-Tosafot.

Tsarikh iyyun.

Of course, when the Rif, Rosh, and Rambam all fall on one side of a mahloket, the question of how the Beit Yosef interprets Tosafot's shittah is about as academic as it gets. Moreover, nowadays almost any fruit you might squeeze has the status of tutim ve-rimmonim, not she'ar perot, since you can find it sold as a juice.

Speaking of the Eglei Tal, Israelis should remember that tonight we begin saying ve-ten tal u-matar. I guess that makes my coming across this kashya today a double coincidence!

Update, 10/27/2012: One of the great things about having a blog is that when my thoughts are sitting in public on the Internet, I spend a lot more time processing them that I otherwise wouldn't. And so a couple ideas in favor of the Beit Yosef came into my head today.

The most difficult words for the Beit Yosef in the Tosafot on 19a are ומיהו התם מסיק—“however, there it concludes.” “However” implies that Tosafot are reversing what they just said, and “concludes” implies a final conclusion. That interpretation strongly favors  the Eglei Tal's kashya.

But I can suggest that neither word is so strong. The word ומיהו could indicate an aside, pointing out that the matter isn't straightforward, even though the main point stands. And מסיק can mean a specific step in the Gemara, not the final conclusion of a sugya. I came across this kind of מסיק this past week in the Ran, on 7b in the dappei ha-Rif of Shevu'ot. The Ran writes, describing the next stage in a discussion, that ומסקינן בגמרא אליבא דאביי for that stage. But when all is said and done, he writes that ובפלוגתא דאביי ורבא קי"ל כרבא, in agreement with all rishonim there.

So the Beit Yosef might read Tosafot as follows: Here's how to explain this Gemara on 19a with the way most major rishonim, including ourselves, understand sehitah—but just note that according to one stage in the Gemara on 144b, we would explain this Gemara differently.

Ve-kal lehavin...

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