Yom Tov in Eduyot

Eduyot (4:2) | Yisrael Bankier | 15 days ago

When learning masechet Eduyot we get used to the fact that mishnayot are being cited and revised from around shas. So much so, that we potentially miss noting when the Mishnah in our masechet is presented differently to how it is presented at the source. The beginning of the fourth perek is one such example.

The first two mishnayot appear to be the first two mishnahyot of masechet Beitzah. The first Mishnah records the debate between Beit Shamai and Beit Hillel regarding an egg that was laid on Yom Tov, while the second Mishnah records the debate regarding slaughtering a chaya or ohf on yom tov. It is the beginning of the second Mishnah that does not appear in masechet Beitzah: "[If] a behema (animal) was born on Yom Tov, everyone agrees that it is permitted. If a chick hatched [on Yom Tov] everyone agrees it is forbidden." Does this addition make a difference?

The Tosfot Yom Tov argues that the statements should be removed, resulting on our Mishnah matching the one in Beitzah. He explains that whether the chick is permitted is debated in the Gemara (Beitzah 6a), with Rav arguing it is forbidden and Shmuel disagreeing. Furthermore, the Gemara cites two Beraitot that support each side of the argument. The Beraitah supporting Rav is similar to the lines in question above. If the version of our Mishnah included those line, then the Gemara should have cited our Mishnah in support. The Mishnat Rav cites Rabbeinu Menachem Azarya MiPano (Responsa, 100) who also maintains that these two lines are not part of the Mishnah. One will also find that the Mishnah printed in our Gemara has these lines in parentheses suggesting their omission.

The Lashon HaZahav however prefers to leave our Mishnah as is. He cites the Tosfot who explains that the debate in the Gemara is when the chick has already opened its eyes. Only then is the debate applicable to Yom Tov only. To be clear, the debate is whether the chick is considered muktzeh. Prior to the chick opening its eyes, everyone agrees – even during the weekdays – that one is forbidden to eat the chick for it is considered a sheretz. Consequently, our Mishnah would be referring to the chick prior to opening its eyes and would therefore have no impact on the debate in the Gemara. In truth, the Mishnah does not state that the case is where chick hatched on Yom Tov. That alone would be enough to explain why it was not brought as proof in the Gemara's debate. It also makes sense then why the Bartenura explains that the issue with the chick is due to it being considered a sheretz. As explained, this issue is applicable only prior to the chick opening its eyes. Were the Mishnah referring to where the chick had opened it eyes and consistent with one side of the debate (Rav), then the issue would be muktzeh.1


1 Perhaps the Tosfot Yom Tov resisted this explanation because of the difference in the wording in our Mishnah and the Gemara. In the Gemara, the debate is regarding a "chick that was born". The ambiguity at what stage the chick was up to in hatching therefore required the Tosfot's comment. In our Mishnah, the case is where "the chick left the egg". At that point, the chick's eyes are generally already open.

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