Thursday, November 28, 2013

Yoma 22b - Later Actions Indicating Earlier Intentions

The gemara says that when Hashem commanded Shaul to wipe out Amalek, he made a kal v'chomer that if an egla arufa is brought for one life, how can he take so many lives. Furthermore, even if the people deserve to be killed, what did the animals do! A bas kol went out and said אל תהי צדיק הרבה. The exact opposite happened when Shaul killed out the entire city of Kohanim, Nov. A bas kol went out and said אל תרשע הרבה. The gemara continues to explain that Shaul only did one aveira and that caused him to lose the throne, whereas Dovid did more aveiros and did not lose the throne. The gemara considers the aveira of Shaul to be the ma'aseh with Agag, not killing amalek. Even though he also sinned by killing out Nov, that didn't count in why he lost the malchus, because it was already lost from before.
The concept behind this gemara seems to be very similar to what we find by Yosef. In parshas vayigash, when Yosef finally reveals himself, he questions whether his father is still alive. The Beis Haleivi has a fascinating essay where he explains based on a Midrash - אוי לנו ליום הדין, that Yosef was giving them very sharp mussar. The claim that the brothers were making throughout all their discussions with Yosef is that they feared the health of their elderly father Yaakov and that was their primary concern. By Yosef revealing himself, he was essentially undermining all their arguments. Had they truly been concerned for Yaakov, they would never have sold him which caused Yaakov 22 years of extreme grief and suffering. The revelation of Yosef was done in the format of אני יוסף העוד אבי חי - "I am Yosef, Is my father still alive", meaning, could my father have tolerated the suffering that you caused him all these years. Yosef was able to show that all their arguments until now which seemed very legitimate, were all a smokescreen and not their true intent.
Shaul claimed to have spared the women and animals of amalek due to his compassionate nature. However, the ruthless murder of the kohanim in Nov indicated that he was not a man of compassion, thereby undermining any excuse he may have had for not killing amalek. That is the intent of the gemara, אל תהי צדיק הרבה and אל תרשע הרבה, because the latter event undermined his justification for the earlier one.
If Shaul was not truly motivated by compassion, why then did he kill out the city of Nov? The gemara says at the bottom of the daf  - מפני מה נענש שאול? מפני שמחל על כבודו, referring to the story of nachash ha'amoni, not willing to kill those who rebelled agains him. Rashi seems bothered by the question of the gemara, because the gemara already established that the reason Shaul lost his throne was because of the ma'aseh agag, not killing amalek. Therefore, Rashi explains what caused him to come to the action that was the reason for losing his throne. Meaning, what midah caused the problem? The midah of misplaced humility, being mochel on his kavod when as a king he must uphold his honor and instill אימה over the people. שום תשים עליך מלך - שתהא אימתו עליך, is the reason that a king can't be mochel. This was the midah that caused Shaul to lack the confidence and be scared to assert himself in killing out the entire nation of amalek. The midah of humility is generally good, but a king can't display himself as humble and unassertive. The Tosafos Yeshanim explains that this is what Rav Nachman meant when he said that Shaul was like a one day old child - שמלוכלך בטיט ובצואה, filthy in his excrement. He meant to say that Shaul was an extremely humble person. The Tosafos Yeshanims struggles with why he was punished (by being scared through mal'achim) for saying this, since it was a compliment. It seems that the answer is, that although it was a compliment in terms of Shaul's personality and character traits, it is an inappropriate midah for a king to display publicly.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Yoma 14a - Kohen Gadol as Onen Even If Divorced

The gemara cites a braisa that says a kohen gadol is makriv korbanos as an onen but doesn't eat from the korbanos. R. Yehuda argues and says that although min hatorah he can be makriv as an onen, m'drabonon we don't allow him to because we are afraid he is going to come to eat from the korbanos. Only at night where his status of aninus is only d'rabonon would we allow him to be makriv because we won't make a gezeira that he will come to eat since the issur of eating itself is only d'rabonon (Tosafos). The gemara then challenges R. Yehuda from the mishna where we see that even though the kohen gadol's wife died that day so he is an onen, he is still makriv. The gemara responds that Yom Kippur is different because no one is eating so we aren't concerned that he would eat. At the end of the sugya, the gemara challenges why we are assuming that the kohen gadol in our mishna is actually an onen since we have established that in the event of her death, he divorced her retroactively. The gemara answers that although he is not technically an onen, but אטרודי מי לא מיטריד - he is in a confused and distracted state.
The gemara is very difficult, why does the gemara assume that even though the kohen gadol isn't technically an onen, we would make a gezeira that he may come to eat from the korbanos. Since he is not an onen, who cares if he eat the korbanos? Rashi explains that for the eating of kodshim there is a requirement of simcha - כדרך שהמלכים אוכלים. Since there is a requirement to eat the kodshim with simcha, he would be violating this if he were to eat, therefore it would be appropriate to not allow him to do avoda since he may come to eat from the korbanos (if not for the fact that it was yom kippur and no one is eating).
The Cheshek Shlomo (Rav Shlomo Vilna) cites the Mishna L'melech (Avel 3:10) who is me'supak whether the eating of kodshim in the state of טרדא, but not actual אנינות, would be only an issur d'rabonon or even an issur d'oraysa. The Cheshek Shlomo says that he doesn't understand the question. If the concept of טרדא would only be d'rabonon, we shouldn't make a gezeira to prevent the kohen gadol from doing the avoda because he may come to eat, just like we don't make the gezeira at night since aninus at night is only d'rabonon. The fact that we are gozer that he can't do the avoda because he may come to eat proves that actualy eating in the state of being ta'rud of the wife that he was married to (and just divorced), would be the violation of a d'oraysa - למשחה, כדרך שהמלכים אוכלים.
Although according to Rashi's learning of the gemara the cheshek shlomo seems to be correct that the fact that we make a gezeira shows that actually eating in a state of tirda would be a violation of a d'oraysa. The Tosafos Yeshanim has an entirely different approach to explain the gemara's answer of אטרודי מי לא מיטריד. The gemara is not trying to create a new problem with eating, rather the gemara is trying to explain why we would be concerned that he would eat even if he is not an o'nen. The gemara is saying that since he is so ta'rud and distraught over the loss of his wife, there would be reason to make a gezeira that he may come to eat on yom kippur and violate the issur of eating on yom kippur if we allow him to be makriv korbanos. In other words, the sevara of ta'rud does not need to create a new issur of eating kodshim. It is clearly assur to eat because we are speaking about yom kippur. The sevara is just to explain why we thought to make a gezeira that he will come to eat on yom kippur if we allow him to be involved in korbanos, which is normally not a concern. Based on this approach there is no concept at all of ta'rud being a violation of למשחה - כדרך שהמלכים אוכלים.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Yoma 8b - Function of Prisha for Yom Kippur

It is somewhat unclear from the sugyos what exactly the function of prisha is. At first glance it would seem to be for the purpose of tahara, but this cannot be. The gemara 6a asks, that although Rav Yochanan learns from miluim and Reish Lakish from Sinai that there needs to be prisha, why do we need to separate him from his wife. The gemara responds that there is an additional concern of tu'mah (which the gemara explains on 4a that Reish Lakish requires 7 days, as opposed to the 6 day prisha of Sinai). Clearly, the gemara holds that there is a purpose of prisha that is learned from miluim or sinai, even if we would not maintain chumros of tahara. Another option of what prisha accomplishes is to keep people away from him to avoid tu'mas meis. However, the gemara 6b debunks this possibility as well because the gemara (as explained by rashi) takes for granted that he is allowed to have visitors and we are not concerned that they will drop dead while visiting him. The braisa 4a also describes that there are kohanim working with him all 7 days to teach him how to do the avoda. We are still left with the question, what is the definition of prisha?
The gemara cites a braisa contrasting the prisha of the kohein on Y.K. and the prisha for the parah aduma. The braisa says - שזה פרישתו לקדושה ואחיו הכהנים נוגעין בו, וזה פרישתו לטהרה ואין אחיו הכהנים נוגעין בו. The braisa holds that the function of prisha for parah aduma was clearly a tahara issue, but for Y.K. was not primarily a tahara issue, it was for the purpose of "kedusah". What does this mean? Rashi writes that it is a preparation for entry to the machaneh shechina by separating him to not be arrogant and not be frivolous, in other words, putting him in a serious state of mind. It seems that according to Rashi the function of the prisha is a mental preparation for the avodas hayom.
Tosafos on 2a (d.h. mai shena) writes explicitly that the definition of פרישתו לקדושה means that since he was going to be doing avoda in the kodesh hakadashim, they would separate him into a chamber that was built b'kodesh. Although Tosafos 6a (d.h. m'beiso) writes that the lishkas parhedrin was built b'kodesh (machaneh shechina - azara) but open into the chol (machaneh leviya - ezras nashim), so that it would not have kedusah of azara (to enable him to sit and sleep there). Why is this considered פרישתו לקדושה since the place didn't actually have kedusha status? Tosafos 8b offers two approaches. The first approach is that since it was built in the azara which had kedusha of machaneh shechina, it was considered פרישתו לקדושה even though the actual chamber didn't have kedusha. A second approach is the opposite, it was built in chol and open to kodesh so the inside had kedusha for the purpose of eating kodshei kodshim. Nevertheless, since it was built b'chol not b'kodesh, it didn't have full kedusha of the azara so he was able to sit and sleep there. Tosafos at the end rejects the second approach and holds that if it is open to kodesh, sitting would not be allowed.
Tosafos clearly holds that the function of prisha for the kohen gadol before Y.K. is to place him in a kadosh place as preparation for avoda לפני ולפנים. The difficulty with this approach is that Tosafos explains the question of the gemara on 6a - מביתו למה פירש to mean that although we need to separate him, why should we put him in the lishkas parhedrin where he can't be with his wife, we should put him in one of the mechilos that didn't have kedusha where he can be with his wife? The gemara answers that there is an additional concern of tu'mah. The question of the gemara implies that the function of prisha cannot be to put him in a place of kedusha, because if that were the case, it wouldn't makes sense for the gemara to suggest that instead we should put him in one of the mechilos that didn't have kedusha?

Yoma 8a - Broken Tzitz

The gemara says that if the tzitz is broken, all agree that it doesn't offer kappara. The machlokes is only when the tzitz is in tact, but not being worn. Rav Yehuda holds that it is only מרצה while it is worn, and Rav Shimon holds that it is מרצה even when hanging in the closet. Why does the gemara speak about a "broken" tzitz, it could have said a simpler nafka mina such as when there is no tzitz at all?
Furthermore, the gemara says that according to Rav Shimon the reason that the tzitz is not mechaper when it is broken is because we darshen the pasuk - על מצחו ונשא, only when it is fit to be worn would it offer kappara. Why does the gemara need a pasuk to say that a broken tzitz is ineffective, it is obviously ineffective since it is broken?
It seems clear that the gemara specifically speaks about a broken tzitz, rather than there being no tzitz at all. The case of the broken tztiz is where the tzitz is still in tact, but it is broken in a way that it is unable to be worn without repair. Therefore, it still retains the status of a tzitz, so it would be possible that it is מרצה even in its present state, but Rav Shimon darshens from the pasuk that although the tzitz doesn't actually need to be worn, it only works to be me'chaper when it CAN be worn. The Maharatz Chiyus points out that the gemara is darshening the pasuk to require ראוי לבילה, meaning  כל הראוי לבילה אין בילה מעכבת בו וכל שאינו ראוי לבילה בילה מעכבת בו. If it is fit to be worn, it works without being worn, but if it is unfit to be worn, it doesn't offer kapparah. Being that the tzitz is actually in tact, just "broken" from being able to be worn, Rav Shimon requires a pasuk to teach that it isn't מרצה.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Yoma 6b - Hutrah and Dechuya

There is a machlokes in the gemara whether tu'mah is hutrah or dechuya b'tzibbur. The gemara has two versions of the machlokes. According to the first version, if there are tahor kohanim in the beis av that is serving on that day, you must use the tahor kohanim. The entire machlokes would be whether you bring kohanim from a different beis av. According to the second version, even if there are tahor kohanim within that beis av, the opinion who holds טומאה הותרה בצבור, it is completely mutar and therefore one can even lichatchila have the tamei kohanim do the avodah. The Gevuras Ari points out that on a d'oraysa level there doesn't seem to be any grounds for a distinction between having tahor kohanim within that beis av or in a different beis av. Therefore he assumes that according to Rav Nachman that טומאה הותרה בצבור, on a d'oraysa level both version would allow kohanim te'meim to do the avodah, the first version which demands that tehorim do the avoda when they are in that same beis av, is only d'rabonon.
The Gevuras Ari also points out that regarding the korban pesach which has active involvement from the tzibbur, it make sense that we look at the entire tzibbur when determining רוב טמאים or רוב טהורים regarding pushing off tu'mah or doing pesach sheini. But, for other korbanos tzibbur which has not communal involvement, it should be completely dependent on the kohanim. Since we pasken like Rav Sheishes טומאה דחויה בצבור, so long as there are any kohanim that are tahor we should need to do it b'tahara, not b'tumah. We should completely disregard the numbers of kohanim that are tamei and the numbers of the tzibbur that are tamei, since there is a possibility of doing it b'tahara. The difficulty with this is the Rambam (Bias Mikdash perek 4) writes that if either rov tzibbur are tamei or rov kohanim are tamei, it pushes off tu'mah. Furthermore, the Rambam seems to even allow people who are tamei meis to enter the azarah. This should be forbidden even according to those who hold טומאה הותרה בצבור, because the heter is only for the kohanim, not for yisraeilim to enter the azarah with tu'mas meis (except for korban pesach). It seems that the Rambam understands that טומאה דחויה בצבור doesn't require one to take every measure to preserve tahara, rather it is preferable to use tahor people but tamei people are also acceptable. Many achronim (sefas emes, gevuras ari, radvaz) question the Rambam (4:14) who says that if MOST kohanim of Yerushalayim were tamei, it can be done b'tumah, which implies that even though there are tahor kohanim, it can be done by the tamei kohanim. The Radvaz explains that the Rambam holds we follow Rov, so we view it as if all kohanim were tamei and allow the tamei and tahor kohanim to do it together. We learn from this Rambam that טומאה דחויה בצבור doesn't demand that we take every measure possible to avoid tu'mah.
There is a big discussion in achronim when one can fulfill a mitzvah with a nicer esrog later, or not with a less mehudar esrog, which one to use. The Shevus Yaakov (quoted in my sefer nasiach b'chukecha page 22) proves from the gemara that we would delay a mitzvah to do it in a more mehudar way later. The fact that we push off the korban to get kohanim from a different beis av, clearly shows that although we can do the mtizvah now, we would push it off to do it מן המובחר later on. The language of the Shevus Yaakov (1:34) is - הרי להדיא היכא דדחויה היא בצבור מהדרינן אחר כהן אחר אף דאיכא שהוי מצוה בזה קודם שימצא להדר אחר כהן אחר, אפ"ה לעשות מצוה מן המובחר עדיף
The proof of the Shevus Yaakov is very problematic. The concept of טומאה דחויה בצבור means that one is only allowed to bring a korban b'tumah once all other options have been exhausted, but if there is even one kohein who can do it b'tahara, it cannot be done b'tumah. Therefore, we would bring kohanim that are tahor from a different beis av, rather than doing it now b'tumah, is not merely a מצוה מן המובחר. Rather it is because the din of טומאה דחויה בצבור only permits it to be done b'tumah when no other option is possible. Since there is a possibility of doing it b'tahara by bringing kohanim from elsewhere, the tu'mah is not pushed off. It isn't an issue of hiddur to get kohanim from a different beis av, rather the entire din of דחויה בצבור doesn't apply when there is an option of bringing a tahor kohein from a different beis av, or even a different mishmar. This doesn't prove anything about a mitzvah which can be performed now just that it can be more mehudar if done later. Perhaps in a situation where the mitzvah can be done now we would not push it off to do it in a more mehudar way later on.
However, if we understand that the concept of טומאה דחויה בצבור just means that it is more advantageous to do it b'tahara, but not essential that it be done b'tahara even where possible, then the proof of the Shevus Yaakov makes sense. It would seem that the Rambam understands exactly that, טומאה דחויה בצבור means that we prefer tahara, but it is not an absolute requirement to do it b'tahara. That is why the Rambam holds that when the majority of kohanim are tamei, even though there are tahor kohanim, we can still have it done b'tumah.

Thursday, November 07, 2013

Yoma 2a - Parah Aduma being a Kapara

The gemara says that we learn out from the pasuk that prisha is necessary for both para aduma and yom kippur. The gemara explains that since the Torah uses both the term לעשות and לכפר, it can't just be referring to the para aduma because - פרה לאו בת כפרה היא, parah aduma isn't for a kapara, it is for tahara.
The Sha'agas Aryeh (in his sefer Gevuros Ari) asks based on the Midrash quoted by Rashi in Parshas Chukas, the Parah Aduma offers a kapara for the sin of the golden calf. Rashi cites the famous mashal of the בן שפחה who dirties the king's palace and the mother (parah aduma) needs to come to clean it up. Also, the gemara says in Moed Kattan - למה נסמכה פרשת מרים לפרשת פרה אדומה, לומר לך מה פרה אדומה מכפרת, אף מיתת צדיקים מכפרת. We see clearly that the parah aduma is coming for kapara, why does the gemara say that it isn't for kapara?
The Gevuros Ari answers that it was only the Parah Aduma done by Elazar in the time of Moshe that was serving as a kapara for the golden calf, but the parah aduma that was done in the future was not for kapara. Although the Gevuros Ari maintains this position, he points out that it still doesn't answer the question because maybe the pasuk of לכפר demanding prisha for the kohen gadol is specifically for parah aduma in the time of Moshe. Therefore, the Gevuros Ari concludes that although there is kapara offered through the parah aduma, the main function of the para aduma is for tahara and not to serve as a kapara, unlike Yom Kippur that the very essence of the day is for kapara. It was only אגב גררא מקופיא, that it also came to serve as a kapara for the eigel.
Regarding the first point of the Gevuros Ari that only the Parah Aduma of Moshe served as a kapara for the eigel, not the future parah adumos, it seems to be against Rashi in Chumash. After Rashi explains all the acts of the parah aduma and how they relate back to the eigel, he explains the pasuk (9) - והיתה לעדת בני ישראל למשמרת, that the concept of a mishmeres is that just as the sin of the eigel lingers throughout the generations, so too the parah aduma is למשמרת to linger for future generations. Simply this means that the parah aduma was not a one time thing, rather it was repeated a few time throughout the generations serving each time as a mishmeres for the חטא העגל. Perhaps the Gevuros Ari would interpret that only the ashes of Moshe's parah aduma lingered for many generations and was used for tahara for a very long time.
Regarding the conclusion of the Gevuros Ari that the parah aduma was not primarily for a kapara, rather it was done for tahara. It seems that the idea of it being a kapara is by virtue of the fact that it is being used for tahara. Meaning, the eigel brought tu'mah into the Jewish people, and the function of the parah aduma is to bring about tahara, the opposite of tu'mah. By bringing tahara it is indirectly serving as a kapara to fix the problem caused by the eigel.
The Shulchan Aruch (685) holds that reading the parsha of para aduma is d'oraysa, to which the Magen Avrohom says that he doesn't know what the source in the Torah would be. The Malbim in his sefer Artzos HaChaim says that since we have a mitzvah of zachor to remember how we angered Hashem in the midbar, and the main angering was the חטא העגל, we have an obligation to read the parsha of the eigel. However, since it is degrading to publicly read about the sin of the eigel, we achieve this by covering it up a little and read the parsha of para aduma which is a kapara for the eigel. The Meshech Chochma (Chukas) writes that since within the context of the miluim there is a reference to parah aduma, לעשות אלו מעשה פרה, and there is an opinion that by the miluim the reading of the parsha was me'akeiv (5b), so too by parah aduma the reading of the parsha is essential. According to this it would come out that the Torah reading of Achrei Mos which is the seder of Yom Kippur would also be d'oraysa.