THOUGHTS ON THE DAILY DAF
brought to you by Kollel Iyun Hadaf of Har Nof
Rosh Kollel: Rav Mordecai Kornfeld
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1) THE LIMITS OF RE'IYAH
QUESTION: The Gemara records a dispute between Rebbi Yochanan and Reish
Lakish regarding the amount of Korbanos Re'iyah a person must bring.
According to the Gemara's initial understanding of the Machlokes, Reish
Lakish says that one must bring a Korban Re'iyah every time he enters the
Azarah during the festival, even after the first day. According to Rebbi
Yochanan, one only needs to bring a Korban the first time he enters the
Azarah, and he may enter the Azarah on the rest of the days of the festival
without bringing a Korban.
The Gemara attempts to prove the opinion of Reish Lakish that one must bring
a Korban every day he enters the Azarah. The Gemara cites the verse, "Do not
appear before Me empty-handed" (Shemos 23:15), as a proof to Reish Lakish.
Rebbi Yochanan refutes that proof and says that the verse is referring only
to the first day of the festival, while on the rest of the days one may come
to the Azarah without a Korban.
Later, the Gemara attempts to prove the opinion of Reish Lakish from a
Beraisa. The Beraisa quotes Rebbi Yosi b'Rebbi Yehudah, who states that one
must be Oleh l'Regel three times a year and one may not appear empty-handed,
for the verse says, "Do not appear before me empty-handed" (ibid.). The
Gemara assumes that this refers to any day during the festival, and not just
the first day. Rebbi Yochanan refutes the proof and says that the Beraisa is
referring only to the first day. On the first day one must bring a Korban,
but on the rest of the days of the festival, one may appear without a
REBBI AKIVA EIGER asks, what did the Gemara mean to ask from the Beraisa?
The Gemara just a few lines earlier questioned Rebbi Yochanan's opinion from
the verse that says one may not appear empty-handed in the Azarah, and Rebbi
Yochanan answered that the verse refers to the first day of the festival.
What does the Gemara now see in the Beraisa that it did not see in the
verse? The Beraisa merely quotes the verse, with a bit more elaboration,
putting it into the context of the Mitzvas Aseh of Re'iyah, appearing in the
Azarah ("one must be Oleh l'Regel three times a year..."). Why would we have
thought that the Beraisa is referring to the other days when the verse is
referring only to the first day, as Rebbi Yochanan already stated earlier?
Once Rebbi Yochanan answered that the verse is referring only to the first
day, then we should know also that when the Beraisa quotes the same verse,
it is referring only to the first day!
ANSWER: The TUREI EVEN asks another question on this Beraisa. When Rebbi
Yosi b'Rebbi Yehudah cites the verse, why does he add, "From here we learn
that one may not appear empty-handed?" That is what the verse clearly
states! What is he adding by paraphrasing the verse?
The Turei Even answers that Rebbi Yosi cites the verse as a continuation of
the beginning of the Beraisa, which says that there is a Mitzvas Aseh to be
Oleh l'Regel. After stating that there is a Mitzvas Aseh to appear in the
Azarah, the Beraisa continues and says that this Mitzvas Aseh is fulfilled
only if one brings a Korban with him when he comes to the Azarah. Without
the Beraisa, we might have thought that the Mitzvah to appear in the Azarah
and the prohibition against coming empty-handed were two independent
Mitzvos. We would have thought that when one comes to the Azarah without a
Korban, although he transgresses the Lo Ta'aseh of appearing without a
Korban, he fulfills the Mitzvas Aseh of appearing in the Azarah. The Beraisa
teaches that the Lo Ta'aseh is not an independent prohibition, but it is a
*condition* in the fulfillment of the Mitzvas Aseh of Re'iyah. If one comes
without a Korban, he does not even fulfill the Mitzvah Aseh of appearing in
the Azarah! This is indeed the ruling of the RAMBAM (Hilchos Chagigah 1:1).
The Turei Even points out that a practical consequence of saying that the Lo
Ta'aseh is a condition in the Mitzvas Aseh is in a case where a person has
no Korban to bring with him (such as a poor person). If the Mitzvas Aseh is
independent of bringing a Korban, such a person should go to the Azarah to
fulfill the Mitzvas Aseh of Re'iyah. Even though he will transgress the Lo
Ta'aseh of appearing without a Korban, the Mitzvas Aseh is Docheh the
Mitzvas Lo Ta'aseh. However, now that bringing a Korban is a requisite in
the fulfillment of the Mitzvas Aseh, there is no reason for a poor person to
go to the Azarah without a Korban, because he will not fulfill the Mitzvas
Aseh without a Korban. (The Turei Even discusses this Nafka Minah at
This explanation of the Turei Even will answer the question of Rebbi Akiva
Eiger as well. Both Rebbi Yochanan and Reish Lakish agree that one fulfills
the Mitzvah of Re'iyah every day of the Regel when he appears in the Azarah.
They argue whether one must also come with a Korban every day of the Regel.
The Beraisa teaches that there is a connection between the Mitzvah of
Re'iyah and the Lo Ta'aseh of coming without a Korban, in that the
prohibition against appearing without a Korban is a requisite in the
fulfillment of the Mitzvah of Re'iyah. Therefore, the Gemara attempts to
prove from this Beraisa that just like one does a Mitzvah each day he goes
to the Azarah, he must bring a Korban each day in order for the Mitzvah of
Re'iyah to be fulfilled. Rebbi Yochanan responds and says that the Lo
Ta'aseh is only a condition in the fulfillment of the Mitzvas Aseh on the
first day of the festival. On the rest of the days of the festival, bringing
a Korban is not a condition in the Mitzvas Aseh of appearing in the Azarah,
and one fulfills the Mitzvah without a Korban. (M. Kornfeld)
2) PERFORMING "SEMICHAH" ON YOM TOV
QUESTION: The Gemara cites the argument between Beis Shamai and Beis Hillel
with regard to performing Semichah on a Korban on Yom Tov. Beis Shamai says
that when bringing the Shalmei Chagigah on Yom Tov, one does not do Semichah
upon the animal. Beis Hillel argues and says that Semichah is done on Yom
RASHI (v'Ein Somchin) explains that Beis Shamai prohibits Semichah because
it is a Shevus (the Rabanan prohibited leaning and riding on an animal on
Shabbos and Yom Tov). Beis Hillel permits Semichah on Yom Tov, because he
maintains that the Torah obligation of Semichah overrides the rabbinical
prohibition of Shevus, since the Torah permits bringing the Korban on Yom
From the words of Rashi it seems that the argument between Beis Shamai and
Beis Hillel is based on whether the Rabanan upheld their enactment of Shevus
(not to lean on an animal on Yom Tov) even in the face of a Mitzvah d'Oraisa
(Semichah) or not.
However, this explanation of the Machlokes conflicts with the Gemara in
Beitzah (20a). The Gemara there cites a Beraisa which records two different
ways to understand the Machlokes between Beis Shamai and Beis Hillel. The
first Tana holds that Beis Shamai requires *no* Semichah *at all* for
Korbanos of Shalmei Chovah, regardless of whether or not they are brought on
Yom Tov, while Beis Hillel requires Semichah for Shalmei Chovah and permits
Semichah on Yom Tov. The second Tana holds that Beis Shamai does require
Semichah, but requires that it be done before Yom Tov and does not permit it
to be done on Yom Tov (because of Shevus), while Beis Hillel holds that
Semichah must be done at the time that the Korban is slaughtered (and thus
it may be done on Yom Tov).
We see from there that according to all of the opinions, the Rabanan did
*not* annul the Mitzvah of Semichah with their enactment of Shevus!
(According to Beis Shamai, Semichah either is not needed at all (first Tana
in the Beraisa there), or is needed but is done before Yom Tov (second
Tana), while according to Beis Hillel, Semichah is done on Yom Tov according
to both explanations!) (TUREI EVEN)
ANSWER: Upon further examination, it can be demonstrated that RASHI here is
consistent with his explanation in Beitzah. Rashi in Beitzah (20a, DH Beis
Shamai) also says that the reason one may not do Semichah on Yom Tov
according to Beis Shamai is because of the Isur d'Rabanan of using a live
animal on Yom Tov. REBBI AKIVA EIGER (in GILYON HA'SHAS) there questions
what Rashi means by this, as it clearly contradicts the explanations given
in the Gemara there, as we pointed out above.
The SHA'AR HA'MELECH proposes a brilliant answer, as follows.
Rashi understood (as did the ME'IRI in Chidushim, DH Hu d'Amar and DH d'Amar
Lach) that even if there is *no* obligation to perform Semichah for a Korban
Chovah, nevertheless if a person does do Semichah on a Korban Chovah, he
fulfills a Mitzvah. (We find a similar concept in Eruvin 96b, where Rebbi
Yosi and Rebbi Shimon say that women, although exempt from the Chiyuv of
Semichah, are nevertheless permitted to do Semichah and it is not considered
The owner of any Korban (and only the owner) is allowed to do Semichah even
though it is not obligatory to perform Semichah on that particular Korban,
and it is not considered doing Avodah b'Kodshim. Therefore, during the week
it is permitted to do Semichah on Shalmei Chovah and it is not Avodah
b'Kodshim, because one fulfills a Mitzvah when he does it. On Yom Tov,
though, there is an Isur of "Mishtamesh b'Ba'alei Chaim," using a live
animal. By doing Semichah on Yom Tov (even when it *is* obligatory to
perform Semichah on the Korban), one will be transgressing that Isur
d'Rabanan, and since there is no obligation to do Semichah in this case, the
Rabanan did not permit performing an optional Semichah on Yom Tov -- even
though by doing so one will be credited with a Mitzvah of Semichah. (See
also Insights to Beitzah 20:1)