Monday, March 28, 2011

Menachos 20a - Salting Korbanos

Apologies for the long break.....
The gemara says that both according to R. Yehuda and R. Shimon it is essential to salt korbanos, but discusses the opinion of the tana of our mishna. Rav Yosef says that according to the mishna 18a the salting of korbanos is the proper method of sacrificing a korban, but the korban is kasher even without it. Abaye argues and says that the mishna only allows the salting to be done by a zar (non-kohen), but must be done. To that R. Yosef responds וכי תעלה על דעתך שזר קרב לגבי מזבח. The implication of Rav Yosef's statement is that a zar can never do melicha because the melicha must be done on the top of the mizbeiach and a zar cannot approach the mizbeiach to salt the korban.
The simple understanding of the gemara is that the only place that the salting can be done is at the top of the mizbeiach. If melicha could be done before the korban is brought up on the mizbeiach it would certainly be possible for a zar to do the melicha and the tana of our mishna could be saying that if done by a zar it is kasher. This would undermine Rav Yosef's entire response to Abaye! The conclusion we must draw from Rav Yosef's response is that the only place that melicha is kasher is on top of the mizbeiach.
The Minchas Chinuch (119) says that although the Rambam writes that melicha is done at the top of the mizbeiach, if it would be done elsewhere it would be sufficient. There is no particular mitzvah to salt it while it is on the mizbeiach, rather the mitzvah is to salt it right before it is burnt, but if done earlier it is also sufficient. The Minchas Chinuch's approach seems to undermine the entire response of Rav Yosef. If it were possible to do melicha prior to bringing up the korban, it would certainly be possible for a non-kohein to do it, and the tana of the mishna would be saying that it is kasher when done by a zar prior to being brought up?
The Shita Mikubetzes (1) asks a different question, but based on his approach we can explain the minchas chinuch's assumption. Although it is forbidden for a zar to go up on the mizbeiach, the tana of the mishna may still be saying that if a zar would ascend the mizbeiach and do the melicha, it is kasher. Why does Rav Yosef assume that the inability of the zar to ascend would invalidate the melicha if a zar does ascend to salt the korban? The Shita Mikubetzes explains that the real problem with the zar doing the salting is that the salting must be done after the kemitzah, and any avodah that comes after the kemitza MUST be done by a kohein. The phrase of "is it possible that a zar would ascend the mizbeiach" is inaccurately focusing on ascending the mizbeiach, but is rather an expression to say that at this stage it is impossible for a zar to be able to do the melicha. Therefore, Rav Yosef argues that the mishna could not possibly be permitting melicha to be done by a zar since it comes after the kemitzah. According to this approach, we cannot prove that melicha must be done on the top of the mizbeiach because that was just an expression to say that the zar cannot be kasher to do melicha.
In conclusion, Abaye and Rav Yosef argue whether the tanna of our mishna is saying that melicha isn't me'akev, or that it is me'akev but can be done by a zar. However, according to R. Yehuda and R. Shimon it is certainly me'akev. The Rambam (Hil. Issurei Mizbeiach 5:12) paskens that melicha isn't me'akeiv any korban except for the kometz of the mincha where it is me'akeiv. Regarding the issue of melicha being done by a zar, the Minchas Chinuch cites a contradiction between the Rambam (Pesulei Hamukdashin 11:7) where he says that melicha is kasher by a zar, and the Ramabam (Bias Mikdash 9:5) where he says that it would be pasul if done by a zar. The Shita Mikubetzes that we quoted above clearly holds that it is pasul since it is after the kemitzah, but the Ramban (vayikra 2:12) holds that it is kasher.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Menachos 8a - Tafel more Chamur than Ikar

The gemara says that if one does the kemitza of a korban mincha inside the heichal, it is kasher because we learn from the bazichin removed from the shulchan every week which is similar to kemitzah of a mincha that it can be done in the heichal. Tosafos asks, why does the gemara have to learn from bazichin rather than just using the same logic used to permit eating kodshim inside the heichal (when goyim surround the azara and make it unaccessible) which is שלא יהא הטפל חמור מן העיקר. Tosafos explains that the sevara of the tafel (courtyard) not be better than the ikar (heichal) only applies to cases where the pasuk explicitly says that it should be eaten פתח אוהל מועד or בחצר אוהל מועד, implying that the right to eat it there is connected to the ohel mo'ed. But when there is no indication that there is a connection to the ohel mo'ed, we don't use that concept.
The gemara 8b asks why we require a special passuk to permit the eating of kodshei kodshim in the heichal when the courtyard is unaccessible - why don't we just use the sevara of שלא יהא הטפל חמור מן העיקר? The gemara answers that this logic would only apply to an avoda but not to eating since eating is inappropriate to do in the presence of the shechina. Rashi explains that when the gemara asked the question it thought that the pasuk is necessary to teach that the p'sul of יוצא would only apply if the kodshei kodshim was transported further out, not closer in to the heichal. The gemara asked that this idea can certainly be derived from the logic of שלא יהא הטפל חמור מן העיקר. Therefore the gemara concludes that the fact that the kodshei kodshim doesn't become pasul when being brought into the heichal is in fact learned from the sevara of שלא יהא טפל חמור מן העיקר, but the right to eat inside the azara which would seem inappropriate to do in the presence of the shechina, requires a special pasuk.
From Rashi's approach we learn that the sevara of שלא יהא הטפל חמור מן העיקר tells us 2 different dinim. 1. avoda that can be done in the courtyard, can be done in the heichal. 2. when there is a p'sul of removing something from the courtyard i.e. יוצא, it wouldn't apply to the heichal. However, the eating of kodshim in the heichal isn't learned from this sevara and requires a pasuk. The Brisker Rav discusses whether the pasuk is mechadesh that it is mutar to eat kodshim in the heichal under extenuating circumstances (rashi) or whether it is to teach that one fulfills the mitzvah of eating kodshim even when it is done in the heichal (rambam).

Monday, March 14, 2011

Menachos 6a - Treifa passul for a korban

After a long discussion as to why we require a special pasuk to invalidate a treifa for a korban, the gemara concludes that there are actually three pesukim that come for this purpose. First, the pasuk of משקה ישראל teaches that only something which is mutar to eat can be brought as a korban, but the limitation of this drasha is to something similar to orla and kilei hakerem that never had a moment when they were permitted. The second pasuk is the pasuk of ma'aser b'eheima מכל אשר יעבר תחת השבט which excludes treifa that doesn't have enough life to pass, but the limitation of this pasuk is that it would only exclude a treifa that was a treifa prior to becoming hekdesh. Therefore we require a third pasuk of מן הבקר to exclude even a treifa that became a treifa after it was already hekdesh.
The Netziv in Meromei Sadeh uses this gemara to explain a Rambam. The Rambam (Issurei Mizbeiach 5:9) writes that produce which has not been tithed is unfit for the wine pouring because it is a מצוה הבאה בעבירה. The difficulty is that the gemara in pesachim 48a explicitly excludes this from the pasuk of משקה ישראל from which we darshen מן המותר לישראל that it has to be fit to eat. Why does the Rambam need to invalidate it using the concept of מצוה הבאה בעבירה?
The Netziv explains that from our gemara we learn that although the drasha of ממשקה ישראל - מן המותר לישראל is a real drasha m'doryasa, it only applies to things similar to orlah and kilei hakerem that never had and never will be mutar. We can't exclude from this pasuk anything that had a sha'as ha'kosher (was mutar) or anything that will have a sha'as hakosher (will be mutar after tithing). Therefore, the gemara in pesachim that uses this pasuk to exclude tevel must only be an esmachta, not a real drasha. That is why the Rambam has to use the concept of mitzvah haba'ah b'averia to exclude tevel, rather than using the pasuk of משקה ישראל.

Thursday, March 03, 2011

Zevachim 114b - Mechusar Z'man

The mishna discusses various cases of me'chusar z'man and cites a machlokes between the Rabbonon and Rav Shimon whether there is a violation of schechting outside the beis hamikdash when at the moment it is unfit to be brought as a korban inside. The implication is that if one were to be makdish an animal that is me'chusar z'man (either before the 8th day or the day that the mother was schechter) or a bird that is me'chusar z'man (Torim before they are old enough), the hekdesh status would be binding. Tosafos (d.h. heter) questions this because the gemara 12a says that only the night before the 8th day can one be makdish it, which implies that before that time the kedusha status wouldn't take effect. Tosafos concludes that although there is a prohibition to be makdish an animal that is me'chusar z'man, the kedusha status would indeed take effect. Tosafos writes that even according to Rava in Temura 4b who says that when the Torah says not to do something it is generally not binding, this would be an exception to the rule - the makdish would be in violation even though the hekdesh will take effect.
The Minchas Chinuch (293) says that the Rambam seems to concur with Tosafos on this point. The Rambam (Ma'aseh Korbanos 18:10) compares being makdish an animal before the 8th day to being makdish a ba'al mum. Therefore, just as by being makdish a ba'al mum the status is binding, so too being makdish a mechusar z'man the status is binding (others assume that according to the rambam the hekdesh isn't binding). However, Rashi in Bechoros 21b (d.h. lei'lif) understands that the hekdesh isn't binding at all. The Shita Mikubetzes (zevachim 12a) also writes that before the night of day 8, the kedusha will not be binding. He questions how kedusha can be binding an a fetus, it should be no better than me'chusar z'man? The Shita Mikubetzes answers that kedusha of the fetus is binding together with the mother, or that the p'sul of mechusar z'man only begins at a time when it is fit to be sacrificed - at birth.

Tuesday, March 01, 2011

Zevachim 112b - Stages of Mishkan

The mishna teaches about the stages of the mishkan and the associated halachos.
There were 5 stages:
1. Pre-Mishkan - All bamos were permitted everywhere and avoda was done by bechoros.
2. Mishkan in midbar - Bamos were forbidden and avoda switched to kohanim. Kodshei kodshim could be eaten inside the curtains and kodshim kalim within the camp of Yisroel.
3. Mishkan in gilgal - For the 14 years that they were dividing and conquering, the mishkan was in gilgal. During this period they were allowed to build private bamos and anyone could sacrifice on them - kohein, bechor and even a zar. Kodeshi kodshim had to remain within the curtains of the mishkan, but kodshim kalim could be eaten anywhere. Rashi explains that since the degalim (camping according to tribe) was no longer in tact, and they were scattered around E.Y. to conquer, the kedusha of the machane yisroel was lost. Rashi seems to understand that the obligation to eat kodshim in machaneh yisroel only exists when there is status of machaneh yisroel. However, the Rambam (pirush hamishna) writes that the reason that we don't restrict kodshim kalim to be eaten only in Jewish cities (as it does by nov and givon) is that they didn't have cities under their control yet. The implication of the Rambam is that since they didn't have specific cities yet, the status that enabled them to eat kodshim extended throughout E.Y. wherever they were trying to conquer. This seems very different that Rashi who writes that during the time the status was void thereby allowing them to eat everywhere, presumably even in chutz la'aretz.
4. Mishkan in Shilo - Mishkan stood in Shilo as a stone structure with a curtained roof for 369 years. Bamos were no longer allowed and all korbanos had to be associated with the mishkan in shilo. Being that kedusha that emanated from the mishkan didn't extend to the city Shilo and didn't infuse it with any inherent kedusha status (in this respect it wasn't like yerushalyim), they were able to eat kodshim so long as the mishkan was visible from where they were. Rambam (pirush hamishna) writes: ואין ספק שהנביאים שראו אותו הבית עשו זה ולמדוהו וסמכו זה למה שנאמר פן תעלה עולותיך בכל מקום אשר תראה וכו' אבל אתה אוכל בכל מקום שאתה רואה. The Rambam seems to understand that this requirement was an institution of the nevi'im, not a Torah mandate. They merely use the pasuk as hint to their institution. However, the simple reading of the gemara 118a is that this is d'oraysa.
5. Mishkan in Nov and Givon - The mishkan was in nov and givon for a combined 57 years. During this time bamos were once again permitted. Kodshim kalim was able to be eaten in all Jewish cities.
6. Mikdash in Yerushalayim - All bamos became forbidden forever and kodshim kalim had to be eaten within the wall of Jerusalem.