ח׳ בתמוז ה׳תשע״א (July 10, 2011)

Hullin 14a-b – Feeding animals *bottle gourd* on Shabbat

According to the Mishnah on today’s daf (=page) if someone performs shehitah (ritual slaughter) on an animal on Shabbator on Yom Kippur, although the act of killing an animal on those days is forbidden and the person who performs shehitahis liable to receive a death penalty, nevertheless the animal is kosher and can be eaten.

 

Rav Huna quotes Hiyya bar Rav in the name of Rav as teaching that the animal may be kosher, but it still cannot be eaten on that day. This was understood by as an indication that Rav understood the Mishnah as following the opinion of Rabbi Yehudah.

 

Several suggestions are brought by the Gemara in an attempt to clarify which of Rabbi Yehudah’s teachings this followed. Rabbi Aba suggests that it is Rabbi Yehudah’s teaching about hakhanah – preparation. For the Mishnah in MasechetShabbat (156a) teaches that a person is allowed to cut up dilu’in so that his animals can eat them on Shabbat, similarly he can cut up neveilah – non-kosher meat – for his dogs. Rabbi Yehudah argues that if these things were not prepared for this purpose when Shabbat began, they cannot be used for this purpose on Shabbat.

 

The dilu’im mentioned in the Mishnah in Masechet Shabbat do not appear to be the pumpkin that is popular today from the cucurbita family, rather it is the “bottle gourd” or Lagenaria vulgaris that was known by the Sages as kara. The kara, or “bottle gourd” is a summer vegetable of the gourd family. It usually grows on the ground, although sometimes it is hung to grow down from poles. It is a large vegetable (40-50 cm in length; 25-30 in width), which grows in the shape of a bottle or pitcher. If it is harvested young, it can be cooked and eaten. Its seeds are used as dessert nuts.

 

Gourds have a high nutritional value. As is clear from our Gemara, when raw, they served as food for animals.