Torah Riddles Test #38

  1. Question: Why should a majority be used to decide that a sheep already counted and then remixed into the pen can be ignored or nullified regarding taking tithes of animals but we can’t use a majority to nullify a string of wool which was not twirled for the sake of the mitzvah of tzitzis and got mixed up with other strings that were woven for the sake of the mitzvah?


A. The Oneg Yom Tov (siman 2) says that if strings twirled not for the sake of the mitzvah of tzitzis are mixed in a pile of strings that were twirled for the mitzvah one cannot use a majority to nullify the invalid ones because nullifying in a majority only works when stuff that are forbidden fall into stuff that are permissible where nullifying the majority removes the issue of prohibition but here the nullifying in majority is being used to make the strands of tzitzis kosher that were twirled not for the sake of the mitzvah and we don’t find anywhere a concept of nullifying like that.

 B. The Gemara in Bava Metzia 6b says that if one of the sheep that was already counted for tithes jumped back into the pen and got mixed up then all of them are exempt from tithing.Tosfos there asks and leaves the question unanswered, why not say that that sheep should be nullified in the majority and all then should be counted in the count of tithing? Problem is that means the majority is actually adding a new din of untithed to the animal that was already counted. It didn’t just nullify that animal because it will be part of the count again which is a question on the Oneg Yom Tov.

C. Chakira in tithing animals: (a) Does the obligation of tithing animals come off by itself once it is counted or (b) really each animal is obligated to be tithed but once they are counted they are exempted from animal tithing.

Answer: If you say like the second side that really each animal is obligated in tithing but is exempted after being counted then Tosfos question makes sense because the nullification through majority takes away the exemption of being counted already and automatically all that is left is the obligation of tithing an animal which by itself it is liable for. Just to clarify, by the tithing of the sheep the obligation of tithing is always on the animal but it is exempted one counted so the majority removes that exemption and the sheep is left with an obligation again which it always has but by the tzitzis, it started off not being made kosherly and the majority would be used to transform it into something kosher which it can’t do.

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