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Chagigah, 21

CHAGIGAH 21 - Dedicated by Dovid and Zahava Rubner of Petach Tikva. May Hashem grant them and all of their offspring with joy, fulfillment, and all that they need!


QUESTION: The Mishnah (20b) lists eleven ways in which Kodesh is treated with greater stringency than Terumah. The Gemara splits the Mishnah into two categories. The first six differences between Kodesh and Terumah (until and including "Kelim ha'Nigmarim b'Taharah...") apply to actual Kodesh *and* to Chulin she'Na'asu Al Taharas ha'Kodesh. The last five differences apply only to actual Kodesh.

The Gemara records two ways of explaining the first difference listed in the Mishnah, that "for Terumah one may immerse Kelim inside of other Kelim, but not for Kodesh." Rav Ila says that such a Tevilah does not work for Kodesh because of the laws of Chatzitzah -- we are concerned that the inner Kli might sit on the inner surface of the Kli which contains it, creating a Chatzitzah so that the water cannot reach all parts of the Kelim. According to Rav Ila, this stringency of Kodesh is identical to the fifth stringency listed in the Mishnah -- that when immersing a garment for use with Kodesh, one must first untie it, dry it out, and then one may immerse it, while for Terumah the garment may be immersed while tied up and while wet ("b'Kodesh Matir u'Menagev u'Matbil..."). This Chumra is also related to the laws of Chatzitzah.

Rava argues and says that the first difference in the Mishnah is an independent stringency and has nothing to do with Chatzitzah. Rather, it is a Gezeirah invalidating Tevilah of a Kli inside of another Kli, in order to prevent people from thinking that it is permitted to immerse a Kli inside of another Kli with a very small opening, in which case the inner Kli does not become Tahor at all because there is not enough water coming into the hole to make it considered attached to the Mikvah. The Chachamim made a Gezeirah not to immerse a Kli inside of another Kli, even if it has a wide opening, lest one come to immerse a Kli inside of another Kli with a small opening.

Two questions may be asked on the wording of the Mishnah based on the Gemara's explanation.

First, halfway through the Mishnah, immediately before listing the obligation to untie and dry ("Matir u'Menagev") a garment in order to be Tovel it for use with Kodesh, the Mishnah gives a short introduction and says, "The attributes of Kodesh are not like those of Terumah...." The Mishnah seems to be indicating that it is starting a new list here, and it is making a separation between the first list and the new one that follows.

That the Mishnah is beginning a new list is reinforced by another change between the first half of the Mishnah and the second half. In the first list, in each difference between Terumah and Kodesh, the Mishnah mentions that it is permitted to do such an act for Terumah but not for Kodesh, always placing Terumah before Kodesh. Starting from the case of "Matir u'Menagev," however, the Mishnah switches the order and says first that such an act may not be done for Kodesh, but it may be done for Terumah.

Since the Gemara (21b and 22a) has stated clearly that everyone agrees that the case of "Matir u'Menagev" is part of the first half of the Mishnah (and it applies to Chulin she'Na'asu Al Taharas ha'Kodesh just like it applies to actual Kodesh), why did the Mishnah give a new introduction before that Halachah. Moreover, why did the Mishnah switch its style of mentioning Terumah first and then Kodesh starting with this Halachah? It should have changed its style *after* the Halachah *following* this one (Kelim ha'Nigmarim b'Taharah), to denote that the last five cases in the Mishnah differ from the first six! (TOSFOS 20b, DH Lo k'Midas, TUREI EVEN 20b; see also TIFERES YISRAEL.)

Second, according to Rav Ila, the first and fifth differences between Kodesh and Terumah are the same: we are concerned for the possibility of a Chatzitzah for Kodesh but not for Terumah, and thus, for Kodesh, the Chachamim invalidated Tevilah of Kelim inside of other Kelim, and Tevilah of knotted and wet garments, because of the fear of a Chatzitzah. Since those two laws in the Mishnah are just different aspects of the same law, why does the Mishnah interrupt between them with three other Halachos? It should have stated these two aspects of Chatzitzah together! (TUREI EVEN 21a; see also NETZIV in MEROMEI SADEH.)


(a) The TUREI EVEN answers the first question by saying that perhaps the Chachamim decided that the first set of Gezeiros mentioned in the Mishnah (up to and not including "Matir u'Menagev") are more logical Gezeiros, and it is therefore reasonable to apply them not only for Kodesh, but for Terumah as well. Therefore, the main point the Mishnah is teaching, regarding these Gezeiros, is that even though the Gezeiros are logical, they do *not* apply to Terumah. Since the Chidush is that the Gezeiros do not apply to Terumah, the Mishnah mentions Terumah first and only afterwards does it say that the Gezeirah does apply to Kodesh.

The second set of Gezeiros, including "Matir u'Menagev," are Gezeiros which are less logical and we would not have assumed to be so stringent, even for Kodesh. Therefore, the Mishnah has to teach that even though these Gezeiros do not seem logical to us, they *do* apply to Kodesh. Since the Chidush is that the Chachamim applied these stringencies to Kodesh, the Mishnah mentions Kodesh first and only afterwards does it say that the Gezeirah does not apply to Terumah.

(According to this approach, even though the stringency of "Matir u'Menagev" applies also to Chulin she'Na'asu Al Taharas ha'Kodesh, and in that sense it is a strong, broad Gezeirah, nevertheless logically there is *less* reason to apply that Gezeirah than the preceding Gezeiros and therefore the Mishnah says first that it does apply to Kodesh before saying that it does not apply to Terumah.)

This does not answer, though, why -- according to Rav Ila -- there is an interruption in the Mishnah between the first and fifth cases, which are both because of Chatzitzah. Also, according to Rav Ila, it does not even answer the first question, because the fifth Gezeirah is just as logical as the first Gezeirah (since they are actually two applications of the same Gezeirah)!

In order to answer these questions, the Turei Even proposes that Rav Ila agrees with Rava that besides the problem of Chatzitzah, there is an additional reason why the Chachamim prohibited immersing one Kli inside of another -- because the Chachamim did not want us to think that it is also permitted to immerse a Kli inside of a Kli which has a very small opening. Rav Ila only argues with Rava with regard to the second Gezeirah of Chatzitzah. Since Rav Ila holds that there is the additional Gezeirah of Chatzitzah, he prohibits immersing one Kli inside of another even when the outer Kli is of the type which always has a very large opening, while Rava would permit it (because he does not hold of the problem of Chatzitzah, and when the opening is large enough his own Gezeirah does not apply, as the Gemara says on 22a). The Mishnah wants to teach us, according to Rav Ila, that the Gezeirah of "Matir u'Menagev" has a *second* reason, besides the reason of Chatzitzah, and that is why the Mishnah separates that Halachah from the Halachah of "Kli Betoch Kli."

Since even Rav Ila agrees that the Chumra of "Matir u'Menagev" is teaching us a new Gezeirah (that of immersing in a Kli with a small opening), the answer to the first question that the Turei Even gives applies also to Rav Ila: this second Gezeirah is less obvious than the Gezeirah of Chatzitzah, and therefore the Mishnah first says the Chidush that it does apply to Kodesh, and only afterwards does it say that it does not apply to Terumah. (The Mishnah apparently added the introductory statement of "The attributes of Kodesh are not like those of Terumah..." to separate between the two categories of Gezeiros -- those which are more logical, and those which are less logical.)

The Turei Even, however, questions his approach. We said that Rav Ila agrees to Rava. Besides the problem of Chatzitzah, there is an additional Gezeirah prohibiting the immersion of one Kli inside of another (lest one immerse inside of a Kli that has a very small opening). What is the purpose of that second Gezeirah? It will always be prohibited to immerse a Kli inside of another Kli because of the first Gezeirah (that of Chatzitzah)! Why did the Chachamim have to add another Gezeirah? He answers that the new Gezeirah will apply when the inner Kli is very light (for example, a needle), in which case there is no Gezeirah of Chatzitzah because the small Kli will certainly be lifted up by the water. (This is problematic, though, because if this is why the second Gezeirah is needed, why does the Gemara have to search for reasons why the Mishnah mentioned two Halachos of Chatzitzah? According to the Turei Even, the Mishnah has a very good reason for mentioning both of them -- to teach that there are *two Gezeiros* preventing one from immersing a Kli inside of a Kli! See Turei Even there for his answer to this question.)

(b) Perhaps we can suggest another answer to explain the wording of the Mishnah.

Although the Gemara lists all of the 11 differences between Kodesh and Terumah together, in the Mishnayos they are split up into three separate Mishnayos (apparently, in order not to overburden the student attempting to memorize them). The first Mishnah ends after Halachah #5 (Matir u'Menagev u'Matbil), the second Mishnah ends after Halachah #9 (one hand makes the other Tamei), and the third ends after the last of the Halachos (Onen and Mechusar Kipurim). The Yerushalmi splits the Mishnah in the same fashion.

The TOSFOS YOM TOV tells us (Avos 3:13) in the name of DERECH CHAYIM, that when the Mishnah provides a list of items, it often reverses the structure of the last statement in the list, in order to denote that it is the last. (For instance, "Masores Seyag l'Torah, Ma'asros Seyag l'Osher... Seyag l'Chochmah Shetikah.") We may suggest that here, too, the reason for the change in order is to reverse the last statement in the Mishnah. Terumah is mentioned before Kodesh at the start of the Mishnah, but in the last on the list, the Halachah of Matir u'Menagev *Kodesh* is mentioned first. The second Mishnah continues in that order, mentioning Kodesh first, until the last Halachah in that Mishnah, (one hand is Metamei the other), in which the Mishnah puts Terumah before Kodesh, reversing the order once again to "end" the list of that Mishnah. In the third Mishnah, the Mishnah again begins in the order used at the end of the previous Mishnah, with Terumah first. It ends once again in reverse order, listing Kodesh before Terumah with regard to Onen and Mechusar Kipurim. Thus, the order of where Kodesh is mentioned first and where Terumah is mentioned first is exactly as one should expect.

According to Rav Ila, we asked, why does the Mishnah not connect the two Halachos that are related to Chatzitzah? According to what we have said now, the reason is because rather Matbil u'Menagev is not a new Halachah, but rather a clarification of a previously mentioned one. The Mishnah waits until the end of its first list (i.e. the end of the first Mishnah) before returning to clarify that the stringency of Kodesh with regard to Chatzitzah applies in more ways that just Kli Betoch Kli. This is also the reason why the Mishnah gives an introductory statement before mentioning Matir u'Menagev. The Mishnah means to show that the first list is over and now it is just explaining one of the cases in that list.

According to Rava, who says the Matir u'Menagev is entirely unrelated to Kli Betoch Kli, the reason for the introductory remark before Matir u'Menagev is apparently in order to help the Mishnah reverse the order of Kodesh and Terumah in its forthcoming statement. Rava prefers to explain that way, rather than to have the Mishnah leave a broad gap between two associated Halachos. (M. Kornfeld)


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