ח׳ בתשרי ה׳תשע״ב (October 6, 2011)

Hullin 102a-b – Prohibiting all people from eating the flesh of a living animal

In the course of discussing the question of whether the prohibition against eating the gid ha-nasheh – the sciatic nerve – applies to unclean animals as well as to kosher ones (see the discussion on yesterday’s daf, or page), the Gemarasegues to a parallel discussion about ever min ha-hai – the limb of a living animal. The verse in Sefer Devarim (12:23) states “Only be steadfast in not eating the blood; for the blood is the life; and thou shalt not eat the life with the flesh.” Aside from the clearly stated prohibition against eating blood, understood this as prohibiting eating the limb of a living animal, as well.

 

Does this prohibition apply to unclean animals as well as to kosher ones?

 

Rabbi Yehudah understands the passage in as comparing the prohibition of “the life with the flesh” – i.e. ever min ha-hai – with the prohibition against blood, and both are forbidden in all animals, whether kosher or unclean. TheHakhamim see ever min ha-hai as being compared to the meat of the animal, and they conclude that only the blood of animals whose meat is permitted is, in fact, forbidden.

 

In the continuation of the Gemara, Rav Gidel quotes Rav as teaching that this difference of opinion only relates to Jews, but regarding benei Noah – non-Jews – all agree that the prohibition against eating ever min ha-hai applies to all animals (it should be noted that ever min ha-hai is one of the Seven Laws of Noah).

 

Rav Ya’akov Emden points out that this ruling is something of an anomaly, inasmuch as we usually assume that there are no instances where the Torah‘s commandments are more stringent on non-Jews than on Jews, yet here we find that ever min ha-hai from an unclean animal is definitely forbidden to non-Jews, and not to Jews. One response that is offered is that this is not considered a stringency, since the unclean animal is forbidden to the Jew in any case, given its non-kosher status.