THOUGHTS ON THE DAILY DAF
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1) TRUSTING AN AM HA'ARETZ WITH REGARD TO KODESH AND TERUMAH
QUESTION: The Gemara proves from the Mishnah that if an Am ha'Aretz says
that he designated part of the contents of the barrel as Kodesh (and is thus
trusted with regard to the Shemirah of that Kodesh from becoming Tamei), he
is also trusted with regard to the other items (such as Terumah and Chulin)
in the barrel, even though they are not Kodesh.
2) KODESH THAT IS "MEDUMA"
RASHI explains that the reason we say that the Am ha'Aretz guards the
Terumah auxiliary to his guarding of the Kodesh is because "it would be a
disgrace to the Mizbe'ach to offer upon it Kodesh that is considered Tahor
which was next to Terumah that is considered Tamei" (DH Migu). For this
reason, even the containers in which the Kodesh are stored are Tahor,
because it would be disgraceful for the Kodesh to be sitting in Tamei
containers (Rashi DH bi'Metaher).
Why does Rashi say that the reason the Am ha'Aretz is trusted with regard to
all of the other contents of the barrel (and the barrel itself) is because
"it would be a disgrace to the Mizbe'ach?" The Gemara makes no mention of
disgrace. Rather, the Gemara implies that the reason the Am ha'Aretz is
trusted for all of the contents of the barrel is simply because he is
guarding it in either case for the Kodesh. Since ("Migu") he is guarding it
properly to protect its contents that are Kodesh, he also guards the Terumah
in the barrel, and the barrel itself, properly as well! Where did Rashi
learn that the reason the Am ha'Aretz is believed is because of the disgrace
to the Mizbe'ach, and not simply because the Am ha'Aretz guards everything
along with the Kodesh?
ANSWER: The CHIDUSHIM U'VI'URIM (DH Alma) answers that the Gemara earlier
applied our Mishnah's logic of "Migu" to a person who checked a field (Beis
ha'Pras) for bones (by blowing it, or by examining it to see if it was
already trampled) in order to walk through it without becoming Tamei so that
he may bring his Korban Pesach. After examining the field in such a manner,
the Chachamim suspended the decree of Tum'ah of a Beis ha'Pras for a person
if he wants to go to offer his Korban Pesach. The Gemara proposes that once
he checks the Beis ha'Pras and walks through it in order to bring his Korban
Pesach, then he may also eat Terumah even though he has walked through a
Beis ha'Pras. "Since" the Beis ha'Pras in considered Tahor regarding the
Pesach, it is Tahor as far as Terumah as well.
In that case, there is no logic upon which to rely that would tell us that
since the person walking through it is bringing the Korban Pesach, the field
is more Tahor than it was until now. Rather, the Chachamim suspended the
Tum'ah of the field out of necessity, even though they had no reason to
assume that it was any more Tahor today than it was the day before. If the
reason the barrels in our Mishnah are considered Tahor is because the Am
ha'Aretz guards the Kodesh that is in them and thus we trust that he guards
everything else in them as well, then that logic will apply only when we
have a basis for being Metaher the Kodesh (i.e. the entire barrel is Tahor
because someone is guarding it better due to the Kodesh inside). This logic
will not apply to the case of the Beis ha'Pras, where there is absolutely no
reason to be Metaher the field just because someone wants to walk through it
to bring a Korban Pesach.
Since the Gemara does compare the barrel of an Am ha'Aretz which contains
Kodesh to walking through a Beis ha'Pras, Rashi learned that the reason why
the Kodesh in the barrel is Tahor is *not* because we trust the Am ha'Aretz.
Rather, we consider the Kodesh to be Tahor out of necessity, so that the Am
ha'Aretz will not go and build a Bamah for himself (22a). Accordingly, the
only reason the Terumah (that is inside the barrel along with the Kodesh)
could be Tahor is because the Chachamim said that it would be disgraceful
for the Kodesh to be Tahor while the Terumah next to it be considered Tamei.
Likewise, in the case of walking through a Beis ha'Pras to bring the Korban
Pesach, it will be disgraceful for the Korban if he is permitted to bring
the Korban Pesach through the field, but he is not allowed to eat Terumah
after walking through the field.
QUESTION: The Mishnah states that an Am ha'Aretz is trusted with regard to
the Taharah of barrels of wine and oil that are "Meduma," not only during
the season of pressing but even seventy days before it. The Gemara asks what
are these barrels of "Meduma'os" for which an Am ha'Aretz is trusted? Does
the Mishnah mean "Meduma" of Terumah or of Kodesh? The Gemara says that it
cannot be talking about "Meduma" of Kodesh, because there is no such thing
as Dimu'a for Kodesh! The Gemara answers that the Mishnah refers to a case
where the Am ha'Aretz prepared his Tevel in order to take Nesachim (Kodesh)
from it, in which case he protects it from Tum'ah more carefully, just like
he can be trusted to protect actual Kodesh from becoming Tamei.
The Gemara's question seems to be that the term "*Dimu'a" is never used for
anything except Terumah mixed into Chulin. It does not refer to Kodesh mixed
with something, and therefore the term, when used by the Mishnah, must refer
to Terumah mixed with Chulin, and not to Kodesh.
If this is the Gemara's question, what does the Gemara answer when it says
that the Am ha'Aretz designated part of the contents of the barrel to be
brought as Nesachim? How can the Kodesh that is mixed into the barrel be
There are two ways in which the Rishonim explain the Gemara's question and
answer. First, though, we must point out that when the Mishnah says that the
Am ha'Aretz is trusted with regard to the Taharah of "Meduma," it cannot
mean that he is trusted for the Taharah of Kodesh or Terumah that became
mixed into Chulin. In such a case, all of the contents of the barrel would
be Tamei, because before the Kodesh or Terumah fell into the barrel, the
Chulin was already Tamei, so guarding it from the time that the Kodesh falls
in will not help. Therefore, the word "Meduma" in the Mishnah cannot refer
to normal "Meduma," (Terumah that fell into Chulin). Therefore, the Gemara
originally assumes that the "Meduma" of the Mishnah must be referring to
produce in its original state that was just harvested and from which Terumah
has not yet been separated, as Rashi explains in the Mishnah (top of 25a).
Terumah must be separated from it, and in that sense it is as if Terumah was
mixed into it.
The Gemara rejects this explanation of "Meduma," because we know that an Am
ha'Aretz does not protect Terumah from Tum'ah seventy days before the
pressing season, but only during the pressing season itself.
The Gemara answers that the Mishnah is referring to Kodesh that is mixed
together with non-Kodesh, rather than Terumah that is mixed together with
Chulin. The Gemara then asks that Kodesh cannot be "Meduma." There are two
ways to understand the Gemara's question:
(a) TOSFOS (inserted into the words of Rashi in our texts) explains that if
the Mishnah is talking about Kodesh, then, as we pointed out above, it
cannot be talking about Kodesh that became mixed with Chulin, because the
Chulin would already be Tamei. Rather, it must be referring to Tevel from
which Kodesh had not yet been separated. That cannot be, asks the Gemara,
because there is no such thing as Tevel from which Kodesh must be separated!
How can produce in its original state have Kodesh in it? (There appears to
be a typist's error in the Tosfos; the words "she'Yehei ha'*Tevel* Meduma
b'Socho" should read "she'Yehei ha'*Kodesh* Meduma b'Socho.")
The Gemara answers this question by saying that the Tevel in the barrel
contains produce, part of which the Am ha'Aretz *intended* to be Makdish to
be brought as Nesachim. Therefore, until he separates the Kodesh from the
barrel, he guards the entire barrel from Tum'ah.
According to the Gemara's conclusion, when the Mishnah mentions "Meduma," it
has nothing to do with Terumah; in fact, the contents of the barrel could
even be produce from which Terumah was already separated. Rather, the
contents of the barrel are called "Meduma" because it is produce from which
the Am ha'Aretz intends to separate Kodesh. Although it is unusual to find
the term "Meduma" referring to Kodesh mixed with Chulin (or any other
mixture other than Terumah in Chulin), we nevertheless find precedents for
this usage of the term in TOSFOS in Zevachim (88a, DH Min), who says that
mixtures containing Orlah and mixtures containing Kelayim can also be called
"Meduma." Tosfos there probably learned our Gemara the way Tosfos printed in
our Rashi suggests, that the word "Meduma" does not always refer to Terumah
(see TUREI EVEN 24b DH Ne'emanin, and RASHASH there).
(b) However, when RASHI (DH b'Metaher) explains the Gemara's answer (that the
Am ha'Aretz planned to separate Kodesh from the barrel), he mentions that
the contents of the barrel are "Chulin, *Terumah*, and Kodesh." Why does
Rashi mention that the barrel has Terumah mixed into it? According to the
preceding explanation, the Gemara's answer has nothing to do with Terumah;
the Gemara is looking for a case of Chulin and *Kodesh* mixed together, and
not for Terumah mixed in with it.
As the TOSFOS RID explains, Rashi apparently understood the question of the
Gemara differently. According to Rashi, the Gemara was asking how can the
Mishnah call Kodesh mixed with Chulin "Meduma," when the only item of Isur
that is called "Meduma" in a mixture is Terumah when mixed with something
The Gemara answers that there is *also* Terumah mixed into this mixture of
Chulin and Kodesh, and *that* is why the entire mixture is called "Meduma."
The Am ha'Aretz set aside his Tevel in order to separate Kodesh from it to
be used for Nesachim. It is called "Meduma" because it still contains
Terumah that has not yet been separated from the Tevel. The Am ha'Aretz
guards the entire mixture because it has Kodesh designated in it.
Why, though, should the Mishnah mention "Meduma" and say that there is
Terumah mixed in with the Tevel, if the Terumah has nothing to do with why
the Am ha'Aretz is guarding the barrel from Tum'ah (he guards it because it
contains Kodesh, and not because it contains Terumah)? The answer is that
the Am ha'Aretz is trusted only if he intended to separate Kodesh from the
produce from the very start of its production, from the time that it was
harvested, as we pointed out above. Therefore, the Mishnah calls it
"Meduma," or Tevel with Terumah still in it, to show that it has been
guarded from the beginning of its production.