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) HALACHAH: GIVING FIVE "SELA'IM" TO A "KOHENES" FOR "PIDYON HA'BEN"
QUESTION: The Gemara says that Rav Kahana ate Zero'a, Lechayayim, and
Keivah "because of his wife." RASHI (DH Rav Kahana) explains that Rav
Kahana was a Yisrael and his wife was a Kohenes.
2) GIVING "MATNOS KEHUNAH" FROM A "BECHOR"
However, the Gemara in Kidushin (8a) relates that Rav Kahana accepted a
scarf in place of money for Pidyon ha'Ben, implying that Rav Kahana
himself was a Kohen (as his name itself implies)! Was he a Kohen or not?
(a) TOSFOS here (DH Rav Kahana) answers that the Gemara in Kidushin is
discussing a different Rav Kahana, who indeed was a Kohen.
HALACHAH: The CHASAM SOFER (Teshuvos YD 401) rules that in practice we do
not rely on the answer of Tosfos in Kidushin. One should redeem his
firstborn son only through a male Kohen. He adds, however, that if one
cannot find a male Kohen, then he may perform Pidyon ha'Ben with a
Kohenes, but without reciting a Berachah. He should stipulate that if he
later finds a male Kohen, he will do the Pidyon through the male Kohen and
the present Pidyon will not be valid.
(b) Tosfos in Kidushin (8a, DH Rav Kahana) answers that Rav Kahana
accepted the scarf for Pidyon Ha'Ben on behalf of his wife, who was a
The first answer of Tosfos apparently maintains that one may redeem a
firstborn son only by giving money to a male Kohen, not to a female
Kohenes (see previous Insight), in contrast to the law of Zero'a,
Lechayayim, and Keivah. Therefore, Tosfos answers that Rav Kahana
mentioned in Kidushin was a different Rav Kahana who indeed was a Kohen.
QUESTION: The Mishnah states that when a Bechor becomes mixed with a herd
of cows and all of them are slaughtered by a single Shochet, Zero'a,
Lechayayim, and Keivah must be given from all of the cows except for one.
RASHI (DH v'Im Echad) explains that we do not give Matnos Kehunah from a
Bechor, because "Ein Kedushah Chal Al Kedushah" -- one form of Kedushah
(Kedushas Matnos Kehunah) cannot take effect on an object that already has
Kedushah (Kedushas Bechor).
There are a number of difficulties with Rashi's explanation.
(a) First, Rashi seems to contradict his own statement later in Chulin
(134b, DH Reishis), where he writes that Matnos Kehunah do *not* have any
Kedushah! (RASHASH, TAZ YD 61:21).
(b) Second, why does Rashi not give a much more basic source for not
giving Zero'a, Lechayayim, and Keivah from a Bechor. The Mishnah itself
(130a) says that an animal that has Kedushah is exempt from Zero'a,
Lechayayim, and Keivah because of the verse, "va'Eten Osam" (Vayikra
(c) Third, what is Rashi's source for applying the rule of "Ein Kedushah
Chal Al Kedushah" to Zero'a, Lechayayim, and Keivah?
(a) The TAZ answers that Rashi here does not mean the Zero'a, Lechayayim,
and Keivah have the same type of Kedushah that Hekdesh and Korbanos have.
Rather, Rashi is referring to the sanctity of the performance of a
Mitzvah. This type of Kedushah cannot be applied to a Bechor, because it
is already sanctified with the Kedushah of a Korban.
The Taz does not explain what the logic is for why the Kedushah of the
performance of a Mitzvah cannot take effect on an animal that has the
Kedushah of a Korban.
However, there seem to be a number of sources for this principle. We find
that the expression "Kedushas Damim" is used with regard to Reishis ha'Gez
(and presumably Zero'a, Lechayayim, and Keivah as well) in the Gemara
later (beginning of 135b; Rashi there (DH Terumah) points out that the
expression is not meant literally). The Gemara there certainly justifies
Rashi's use of the word "Kedushah" here.
(b) Rashi does not write the source given by the Mishnah to explain why
Matanos are not taken from a Bechor, because that source does not explain
why they are not removed from a blemished Bechor that will not be offered
as a Korban.
(c) The source for not giving Zero'a, Lechayayim, and Keivah to a Kohen
from a blemished Bechor (which is Pesulei ha'Mukdashin) is recorded in
Bechoros (15a). The Gemara quotes a verse (Devarim 12:15) which compares
an animal of Pesulei ha'Mukdashin to a Tzvi and Ayal. The Gemara says that
just as Zero'a, Lechayayim, and Keivah are not separated from a Tzvi and
Ayal (since they are Chayos, and not Behemos), Zero'a, Lechayayim, and
Keivah are also not separated from an animal of Pesulei ha'Mukdashin.
Rashi in Bechoros (14a, DH Kedushas Damim) adds that we can infer from the
Gemara's teaching that Zero'a, Lechayayim, and Keivah are not separated
from an animal that is Kadosh with Kedushas Damim as well. TOSFOS there
(DH Kedushas Damim) disagrees and contends that the verse is exempting
only animals of Pesulei ha'Mukdashin that were redeemed from their full
degree of Kedushah (and retain only a certain degree of Kedushah). It
cannot be applied to animals of Kedushas Damim, which are exempt from
Zero'a, Lechayayim, and Keivah only before they are redeemed; after they
are redeemed, Zero'a, Lechayayim, and Keivah must be separated.
Rashi here is addressing the question of Tosfos in Bechoros. Rashi
understands that it is logical to assume that the reason why the verse
exempts Pesulei ha'Mukdashin from Zero'a, Lechayayim, and Keivah is
because of the remnant of Kedushah that they contain. Accordingly, the
verse is teaching that we do not apply the "Kedushas Damim" of Zero'a,
Lechayayim, and Keivah (that is, its sanctity as having been chosen as the
Kohen's portion) to an animal which has any type of Kedushah at all. This
is what Rashi means here when he writes, "Ein Kedushah Chal Al Kedushah"!
3) AN ANIMAL OWNED IN PART BY A KOHEN
QUESTION: The Gemara quotes Rava who teaches that we learn from the verse,
"me'Es Zovchei ha'Zevach" (Devarim 18:3), that a Kohen who is a
professional butcher is not exempt from separating the Zero'a, Lechayayim,
and Keivah from his animals. He must separate them and give them another
4) FORCING A PERSON TO FULFILL A "MITZVAS ASEH" THAT INVOLVES A FINANCIAL
The Gemara relates that Rav Tavla advised a poor Kohen to enter into a
partnership with butchers. The butcher will welcome the Kohen as a partner
in the ownership of his animals, because an animal that is partially owned
by a Kohen is exempt from Zero'a, Lechayayim, and Keivah. He will give the
Kohen a share of each animal that is less than the value of the Zero'a,
Lechayayim, and Keivah, and thereby both the butcher and the Kohen will
Rav Nachman, however, ruled that Zero'a, Lechayayim, and Keivah must be
given from all of the jointly-owned animals. His ruling was based on the
statement of Rebbi Acha bar Chanina in the name of the "Ziknei Darom," who
said that a Kohen who is a butcher is exempt from Zero'a, Lechayayim, and
Keivah only for two or three weeks, after which time he has the status of
an established slaughterhouse. A Kohen who has an established
slaughterhouse is not exempt from separating the Zero'a, Lechayayim, and
Keivah from his animals and giving them to another Kohen.
Why did Rav Tavla assume that the Kohen's partial ownership would exempt
the butcher's animals from Zero'a, Lechayayim, and Keivah? Was he not
aware of Rava's teaching?
Moreover, why did Rav Nachman exempt a Kohen butcher for two or three
weeks if, as Rava expounds, the Torah obligates a Kohen butcher to give
Zero'a, Lechayayim, and Keivah immediately?
(a) TOSFOS (DH k'she'Hu) explains that there are two types of Kohen
butchers. The first type is a butcher who slaughters animals that are
brought to him by others. The second type is a butcher who slaughters his
own animals and sells them. The verse that Rava cites obligates the first
type of Kohen butcher to give Zero'a, Lechayayim, and Keivah. Since the
animals that he slaughters do not belong to him, Zero'a, Lechayayim, and
Keivah must be separated from them. In contrast, the second type of Kohen
butcher, is exempt from Zero'a, Lechayayim, and Keivah, because the
animals belong to him.
Rav Tavla advised the Kohen to make a partnership with a butcher who
slaughters his own animals and sells them. The partnership would exempt
the butcher from separating Zero'a, Lechayayim, and Keivah from his own
Rav Nachman ruled that the Rabanan obligated a Kohen to separate the
Zero'a, Lechayayim, and Keivah even from his own animals when he owns an
(b) RASHI (DH k'she'Hu) gives another explanation. Rava rules that even
when the Kohen butcher slaughters his own animals, he must separate
Zero'a, Lechayayim, and Keivah if he plans to sell the animals to others.
Only when he plans to keep the animals for himself is he exempt from
separating Zero'a, Lechayayim, and Keivah. Since Rav Tavla was advising
the Kohen to become a partner with a butcher in animals that would be sold
to others, why did Rava's Derashah not apply to obligate the butcher and
Kohen to separate Zero'a, Lechayayim, and Keivah?
It must be that, indeed, Rav Tavla was not aware of Rava's Derashah that
obligates a Kohen butcher to give Zero'a, Lechayayim, and Keivah.
Moreover, the reason why Rav Nachman exempted the Kohen butcher for up to
two or three weeks was because, until that time, the Kohen is not called a
"butcher." He is considered merely to be making business deals with
LOSS QUESTION: The Gemara quotes the Beraisa that states that Beis Din may
force a person to fulfill a Mitzvas Aseh, such as the Mitzvos of Sukah,
Lulav, and Tzitzis. RASHI (DH Kegon Omrim Lo) writes that the Gemara gives
these examples in order to show that this law applies only to Mitzvos that
do not cause a person to suffer a financial loss. Beis Din may not force a
person to fulfill Mitzvos that incur a financial loss. (Rashi earlier
(110b, DH Kafsuhu) offers a different explanation for why the Gemara lists
these examples. See Insights to Chulin 110:2.)
5) GIVING ALL OF THE "MATANOS" TO ONE "KOHEN"
Why is there a difference between Mitzvos that cause a financial loss and
Mitzvos that do not cause such a loss?
(a) The TIFERES YAKOV quotes a Mishnah in Yerushalmi Pe'ah that rules that
a person is not obligated to beg for money in order to obtain the money
required to fulfill a Mitzvas Aseh. Based on that Mishnah, Rashi here is
teaching that Beis Din may not force a person to fulfill a costly Mitzvah,
since he might not have the means to do so.
(b) The RAMBAN (to Shemos 20:8) explains that Beis Din may force a person
to fulfill a Mitzvas Aseh only when he refuses to perform the Mitzvah out
of a spirit of rebellion. Perhaps Rashi means that when a person does not
fulfill a Mitzvah due to the expense involved, it cannot be considered a
rebellion. (Heard from RAV HILLEL REVUL shlit'a.)
OPINIONS: Rav Chisda says that when distributing one's Matnos Kehunah, one
should give the Zero'a to one Kohen, the Keivah to one Kohen, and the
Lechayayim to two other Kohanim. The Gemara asks that this was not the
practice in Eretz Yisrael, where they would divide every limb into two
portions, giving them to separate Kohanim. The Gemara answers that the
practice in Eretz Yisrael was done only with a bull, which is very large.
RASHI (DH Hasam bid'Tura) explains that the verse, "v'Nasan la'Kohen" --
"and he will give to the Kohen" (Devarim 18:3), written with regard to the
giving of the Zero'a, Lechayayim, and Keivah, teaches that the act of
giving should be a "Nesinah Yafah," a nice, considerable giving. When one
slaughters a large bull, one fulfills the "Nesinah Yafah" even when the
portions are split up, because each Kohen's portion is still a significant
amount of meat.
The Gemara does not mention whether or not one may give all of his Matanos
from an animal to a single Kohen. Is the Gemara discussing merely the
minimum portions that one may give to a Kohen (but one may give all of the
Matanos to one Kohen if he wants), or does Rav Chisda's statement include
an additional Halachah that one should intentionally split up the Matanos
among several Kohanim?
(a) The RAMBAM (in Perush ha'Mishnayos) writes that it is forbidden to
give all of the Matanos from a single animal to one Kohen. He says that
people are very careful not to do this.
The source of the Rambam's ruling seems to be the Gemara in Eruvin (63a),
which relates that David ha'Melech gave all of his Matanos to his Rebbi
who was a Kohen. The Gemara says that this was a direct cause of the
famine that occurred in his days. It adds that anyone who gives all of his
Matanos to one Kohen causes famine to come to the world.
The KEREISI U'PLEISI (YD 61:6) seems to support this opinion with an
incident involving his scholarly son-in-law. He says that at the same time
that his son-in-law made a Pidyon ha'Ben, he also slaughtered an animal.
He wanted to give the Matanos from the animal to the same Kohen who did
the Pidyon ha'Ben. However, he was worried that he would transgress the
words of the Gemara in Eruvin, so he refrained.
(b) However, the RAMBAM (Hilchos Bikurim 9:17) retracts the opinion he
stated in Perush ha'Mishnayos and writes that one is allowed to give the
Zero'a, Lechayayim, and Keivah of one animal to one Kohen.
The YAD AVRAHAM questions the Rambam's ruling from the Gemara in Eruvin
(ibid.). However, the DARCHEI TESHUVAH (YD 61:54) quotes the PRI CHADASH
who says that the answer is simple. The Gemara in Eruvin is stating merely
that one should not give to one Kohen all of the Matanos, *all* of the
time. He should give the Matanos from different animals to more than one
Kohen. If he wants to give all of the Matanos from one animal to one
Kohen, then he certainly may do so. The YAD EFRAYIM (YD 61:21) says that
according to the Pri Chadash the Kereisi u'Pleisi's son-in-law could have
given the Matanos to the same Kohen who did the Pidyon ha'Ben.
This also seems to be the opinion of the SHULCHAN ARUCH (YD 61:9). Before
writing that one should give the Matanos in four parts, the Shulchan Aruch
prefaces the statement by saying that "one should not give the Matanos to
many Kohanim as each one must receive a nice portion, rather one should
give...." If the Shulchan Aruch maintains that Rav Chisda was not merely
stating the minimum amount that a Kohen should receive but also how a
person should, l'Chatchilah, divide the Matanos, then he should have
specified this and not prefaced his remarks to imply that the only
requirement is that the Kohen receive a nice portion. (This also seems to
be the implication of the Shulchan Aruch earlier (61:7) that "he should
give *them to a Kohen* who is a Chaver, and if there is no Chaver he
should give them to an Am ha'Aretz.") (Y. Montrose)