Sunday, October 18, 2009

My Head

felt ready to explode today.
I was learning for lots of hours, and not making as much progress as my Chavrusa and I had hoped.
I was also running only on five hours of sleep.
We were trying to figure out how the Shach and Taz would each explain how the Rama and the Maharshal would each learn the din, and more importantly the reasoning behind, a huge number of cases.
The problems and complications for our task started piling up.
First, there seemed to be contradictions in what the Shach had already explained concerning the Maharshal's opinion.
Most distressing, though, was the amount of variations in the cases that could change the din.

The basic case we are learning about right now is- if a piece of salted meat fell onto a piece of meat already salted.
Sounds simple, right?
Wrong. (And if you've read my earliest posts, you'll remember I have rules for such questions...)
It depends on:
  1. If the first piece has finished excreting its blood, and moved on to its juice (Tzir)
  2. If the second piece is secreting (I looked it up. Excreting and secreting can pretty much be used interchangeably if the object we are speaking about is an organic body (then 'excrete' is good)) blood or juice
  3. If the meat is in an open-bottomed vessel or closed
  4. If the pieces of meat touched each other for less than 18 minutes, the time for soaking (or pickling, whatever the translation of Kavush is)
  5. If they were in contact for 18 minutes
  6. If they were in contact within 12 hours of their salting
  7. If they were in contact within 24 hours of their salting
  8. If the piece of meat was washed before it fell onto the other piece of meat
And these could depend on how you hold the following:
  1. Does washing the meat close up the holes of excretion?
  2. If meat is giving out juice, will it still absorb other meat's blood?
  3. If meat is giving out juice, will it still absorb other meat's juice?
  4. If it does absorb the blood or juice, will it then excrete it when it excretes its own blood or juice?
It gets confusing. And this was all just in a day's learning. Tomorrow promises even more twists and turns!

I felt extremely light-headed at the end of our learning. At least by the end of it all, we had come to some answers to all these questions, and I made a nifty chart to keep track of all the different opinions.

I have to study hard for my test, if I want to remember exactly how the Shach learns the Rama both to fit with what he says in the Toras Chatas, and what it sounds like he learns in the Shulchan Aruch itself, in a case of meat that is secreting juice that comes in contact with other juice....