The discussion on today’s daf (=page) continues the conversation regarding different conditions found on the lungs of animals and the effect that they would have on the kosher status of the animal.
Rabbah bar Bar Hana inquired of Shmuel, ‘What is the law if there was an eruption of ulcers on the lungs?’ — He replied: ‘It is permitted.’ ‘I also said so,’ said the other, ‘but the students were hesitant about it, for Rabbi Mattana stated, if the boils are full of pus it is terefah; if full of clear water it is permitted.’ ‘That statement,’ replied Shmuel, ‘was made with regard to the kidneys.’
Rabbi Yitzhak bar Yosef was walking behind Rabbi Yirmiah in the butchers’ market and they noticed certain lungs with ulcers. Rabbi Yitzhak said to Rabbi Yirmiah, ‘Master, would you care to buy of this meat?’ He replied: ‘I have no money.’ ‘I can get it on credit for you,’ he said. The other answered: ‘Why should I put you off?’ Whenever such a case as this came before Rabbi Yohanan he would always send it to Rabbi Yehudah son of Rabbi Shimon, and the latter, on the authority of Rabbi Elezar son of Rabbi Shimon always ruled that it was permitted; though Rabbi Yohanan himself did not hold that view.
Rashi explains that Rabbi Yohanan did not rule unequivocally that such an animal was to be considered to be unkosher, since he did not have such a tradition from his own teachers, yet at the same time he was reluctant to permit the animal, so he sent the question to Rabbi Yehudah who had a clear tradition permitting it. The Me’iri offers an alternative approach, suggesting that Rabbi Yohanan’s inclination was to forbid such an animal, but he directed the questioners to other authorities who permitted it. The Me’iri further suggests that a scholar who is asked to make a ruling in such a case would not need to direct the questioner to the authority who rules leniently; it would be enough to simply state that a particular rabbi permits and the questioner could rely on that ruling even if he knows that the authority he approached does not accept that view.