THOUGHTS ON THE DAILY DAF
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CHAGIGAH 23, 24, 25 - have been sponsored by a grant from a benevolent
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1) USING A UTENSIL THAT IS NOT "MEKABEL TUM'AH" FOR FOODS OF KODESH
QUESTION: The Gemara explains the tenth stringency of Kodesh over Terumah
mentioned in the Mishnah as follows: when eating Terumah, one may eat dry
foods of Chulin with hands that are Sheni l'Tum'ah at the same time that one
has Terumah in his mouth. We are not concerned that one might touch the
Terumah with his Tamei hands while placing the Chulin into his mouth.
However, one may not eat Chulin with Tamei hands if one has Kodesh in his
mouth, because the Chachamim were more stringent with regard to the Taharah
2) A "REVI'IS" OF OIL OF KODESH
The Gemara explains how it could be that the Kodesh which is already in his
mouth did not become Tamei from the person's hands, which were Tamei.
Immediately upon touching the Kodesh when he picked it up to put it into his
mouth, it should have become Tamei! The Gemara quotes a Tosefta (see Tosfos
DH Lo) which explains that either someone else, whose hands were Tahor,
placed the Kodesh into his mouth, or he himself placed it into his mouth by
holding it with a "Kush" or "Karkar," instruments (such as a flat, wooden
reed) that, as RASHI (DH O' sh'Tachvan) and TOSFOS (DH Lo Tzericha) explain,
are not Mekabel Tum'ah.
Why does the Tosefta have to say that one placed the Kodesh into his mouth
specifically with utensils that are not Mekabel Tum'ah? Even if he used
utensils which *are* Mekabel Tum'ah, they would not be able to be Metamei
the Kodesh! Since his hands are considered to be a Sheni l'Tum'ah, by
touching the utensil they cannot make it Tamei, because a Rishon and a Sheni
cannot be Metamei a Kli; only an Av ha'Tum'ah can be Metamei a Kli! If so,
even if the utensil is one that can be Mekabel Tum'ah, it would be permitted
to use it to place the Kodesh into his mouth because the Kli -- and the
Kodesh at the end of the Kli -- would remain Tahor. Why does the Tosefta say
that he placed the Kodesh into his mouth with a Kli that is not Mekabel
Tum'ah? (TOSFOS YOM TOV)
(a) RAV YAKOV EMDEN (in LECHEM SHAMAYIM) answers that even though a Kli
normally cannot become Tamei by being touched by a Rishon or Sheni, that
general rule does not apply to a Kli being used for Terumah and for Kodesh.
The Chachamim decreed that for a Kli being used for Terumah or Kodesh, a
Rishon and a Sheni *does* make it Tamei, and thus one's hands would be
Metamei the Kli which in turn would be Metamei the Kodesh. He bases this on
a Gemara in Berachos 52b.
However, the other Acharonim prove from a number of Mishnayos that there is
no such Gezeirah. Even for Kodesh, a Kli cannot become Tamei from one's
hands. (See Netziv)
(b) RAV YAKOV EMDEN suggests further that the Beraisa means to say that when
a person's hands, or his whole body, are Tamei, then he should store his
Terumah and Kodesh in Kelim that are not Mekabel Tum'ah. This will serve as
a reminder to him, so that when he sees the Terumah or Kodesh in those
Kelim, he will remember not to touch them with his hands. He brings an
example of this concept from the Gemara in Gitin (62a) which says that when
a Chaver separates Chalah from the dough of an Am ha'Aretz, on behalf of the
Am ha'Aretz, the Chalah should be placed into a flat wooden Kli which is not
Mekabel Tum'ah. The reason for this is so that the Am ha'Aretz will be
reminded not to touch the Chalah, so that he not make it Tamei before it is
given to a Kohen.
The RASHASH finds a more explicit source for this in a Mishnah (Tevul Yom
4:2) which says that if a person who is a Tevul Yom (which is a Sheni
l'Tum'ah) wants to separate Chalah, she should place it on a flat wooden Kli
which is not Mekabel Tum'ah before calling in Chalah (which gives it a
status of Terumah, and allow it to become a Shelishi). The BARTENURA and
Rishonim there say that the reason is to remind her not to touch it, so that
the Chalah not become Tamei from her touch.
(One could argue that our case cannot be compared to the case of the Tevul
Yom. There, the woman originally separated the Chalah from the dough
*herself*, while it was still Chulin. Since she began handling it herself,
she needs a reminder not to continue to handle it after she proclaims it to
be Chalah. In our case, we have no reason to suspect that person with hands
that are Tamei will touch the Kodesh himself.)
(c) The OR HA'CHAYIM (in Rishon l'Tziyon) explains that the Tosefta
recommends using a utensil such as a Kush and Karkar, which are not Mekabel
Tum'ah, just in case a drop of liquid wets the utensil where his hands are
touching it. Liquids that became Tamei from hands (that are Sheniyim) are
able to make a utensil Tamei (Tosfos Shabbos 14b DH Ela), so had there been
any liquid on the utensil, the utensil would become Tamei and would make the
Kodesh at its tip Tamei as well.
QUESTION: The Mishnah states that after the season of wine-pressing and
olive-pressing has passed, an Am ha'Aretz is not trusted with regard to the
Taharah of Terumah. If he brings wine to the Kohen after that time, the
Kohen may not accept it from him. However, if the Am ha'Aretz says that he
separated into the barrel a Revi'is of Kodesh, then he is trusted and the
Kohen may accept the entire barrel from him.
RASHI says that when the Mishnah says a "Revi'is of Kodesh," it means a
"Revi'is of a Lug of *oil*."
Why does Rashi specifically say that the Revi'is mentioned in the Mishnah
is a Revi'is of *oil*? The previous case in the Mishnah was discussing a
barrel of *wine* of an Am ha'Aretz, and this part of the Mishnah would seem
to be continuing to discuss that case. He should have explained that the Am
ha'Aretz separated a Revi'is of *wine* of Kodesh into the barrel, like the
BARTENURA and others explain!
ANSWER: RAV YOSEF BEN-ARZA (in YOSEF DA'AS) quotes IYUNIM B'DIVREI CHAZAL
(RAV CHANOCH EHRENTROY) who answers as follows. TOSFOS in Chulin (35b, DH
v'Im) asks how could the Kohen eat the contents of this barrel which the Am
ha'Aretz brings to him? Even though the Am ha'Aretz is believed to say that
he guarded the barrel from Tum'ah because of the Kodesh that is inside of
it, how can the Kohen eat the Terumah in the barrel if it is mixed with
In Zevachim 88a Tosfos answers that the Am ha'Aretz did not actually
separate Kodesh into the barrel. He just *planned* to eventually separate
some of the wine in the barrel and be Makdish it, and that is why he guarded
it from Tum'ah. However, this answer is not viable according to what Tosfos
writes later in our Sugya (Chagigah 25b DH bi'Metaher). Tosfos there proves
from the Mishnah that an Am ha'Aretz is trusted to guard Kodesh all year
round *only* if he actually separated the Kodesh. If he just *planned* to be
Makdish it at a later time, the Am ha'Aretz is only trusted for seventy days
before the time of wine-pressing. (See TIFERES YISRAEL in Boaz, who raises
this point and tries at length to find another answer to Tosfos' question
Rashi is answering this question when he explains that the Revi'is of Kodesh
that the Am ha'Aretz put into the barrel is a Revi'is of a Lug of *oil*.
Since wine and oil do not mix together, the Kohen is able to separate the
oil in the barrel from the wine, drink the wine, and use the oil for
purposes of Kodesh!