It seems to me that the Simla Hadasha uses the saying "כסומא בארובה" to mean that it happened by accident.

I do not see what in the simple meaning (as a blind man in a sky light) of the words an accident.

please explain the saying כסומא בארובה

This statement is found in Simla Chadasha 1.19 and 1.28.

It is also used at Baba Basra 12B and Nida 20B.


1 Answer 1


The simplest explanation for this concept is

"Like a blind man (finding) in a trap door (in an attic)"

To expand on that: much like a blind man cannot find his way out of a room without help*, and if he did it by himself it was just pure luck, so too are these שחיטות that came out good -- you can't use these to prove that someone who doesn't know הלכות שחיטה (SC 1:19) or the חרש (SC 1:28) can slaughter unsupervised.

The Rashi on the gemara that you linked to (Bava Basra 12b) writes:

לאו טעמא קאמר. במילתיה וכיון דאמר טעמא אין זה כסומא שמכוון לירד בארובה במקרה בעלמא אלא סברת הלב היא הבאה לו בנבואה וזכה להסכים להלכה למשה מסיני

[...] since he gave the reason that this is like the "סומא בארובה," who intends to go down (from the attic) only by chance [...]

( my translation, of the bold part only )

*An ארובה, literally, is the opening to the attic, or skylight; see, for example, אהלות ה:ב. The parable being used here is just like a blind man in an attic, can't get out (through the ארובה) by himself without getting very lucky; so, too, these observed שחיטות may only have been done correctly through "pure blind luck," and cannot be relied on to create a חזקה that they can שחט, so that what they do when unsupervised would be kosher.

  • This is what my rebbi told me, and (at least to me) it makes a lot of sense. I found the Rashi through the gemaras linked to in the question.
    – MTL
    Dec 7, 2014 at 20:55
  • Bartenura on the Mishnah you brought
    – hazoriz
    Dec 7, 2014 at 20:58
  • רע'ב: ארובה. כמין חלון שבגג הבית שהוא קרקעית העליה:
    – hazoriz
    Dec 7, 2014 at 20:58
  • Aruba - is the trap door from the attic?
    – hazoriz
    Dec 7, 2014 at 21:00
  • @hazoriz Yes. I thought it would be pretty obvious just from the wording of the mishna, but that רע"ב certainly helps.
    – MTL
    Dec 7, 2014 at 21:01

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