Monday, August 01, 2011

Chulin 37b - Eating From What a Chacham Was Matir

The gemara says that one of the chumros that Yechezkel kept was that he never ate from an animal that a chacham was matir. This is paskened in the Rama 116:7 that an animal that a chacham was matir based on sevara but the din is not explicit that it is permitted, a ba'al nefesh should be machmir not to eat it. The difficulty with the Rama is that the gemara is trying to find chumros that were kept by Yechezkel but weren't necessary to be kept by others. The gemara even proves from the fact that Yechezkel didn't eat an animal that was a misukenes, that it must be permitted for everyone else. It is possible that the Rama is encouraging anyone who wants to be a ba'al nefesh to keep the chumros of Yechezkel, but it still seems strange that a ba'al nefesh should have to keep the chumros of Yechezkel.
The Pischei Teshuva (10) quotes a chumra of not relying on bitul in 60 times as much, and asks that the Rama clearly says that such a chumra can only exist if a chacham is matir something with sevara, but wouldn't apply to an explicit din. The Pischei Teshuva explains that even bitul in 60x is not required that a ba'al nefesh be machmir but if he wants to it would be considered a mitzvah. He then quotes in the name of the Toras Ha'asham that one who wants to be machmir on something that we don't find the amora'im were machmir about is considered an apikores and his loss outweighs his gain.
According to the Rama it seems clear that even Yechezkel wasn't machmir about a din that is explicit. The Rama seems to understand that the case where Yechezkel was machmir is when a chacham had to be meikel based on sevara, and therefore suggests that every ba'al nefesh do the same. However, Rashi writes that Yechezkel didn't eat from any animal that was ever brought as a question to a chacham. This implies that even if the din was explicit, since the chacham had to be asked about it, he wouldn't eat from it. It seems to me that according to Rashi the only room for such a chumra is a form of ma'aras ayin. Since people saw that a shayla was asked on this animal, Yechezkel didn't want to give even the slightest impression that he was eating from something that wasn't 100% kosher. But it doesn't seem that there should be an inherent advantage to abstain from something that a chacham who is fit to pasken, was matir. The Torah gave the authority to the chachamim to pasken even using their shikul hada'as.

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