THOUGHTS ON THE DAILY DAF
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1) SEEING "P'NEI HA'BAYIS"
OPINIONS: We know that a non-Kohen who eats fruits of Bikurim is punished
with death. Rava bar Ada says in the name of Rebbi Yitzchak that this
punishment is administered only if the person ate the Bikurim after the
Bikurim had "seen the face of the house (P'nei ha'Bayis)." What is Rava bar
Ada referring to when he says that the punishment for a non-Kohen who eats
Bikurim applies only when the Bikurim has seen the "P'nei ha'Bayis?"
(a) The RASH (Bikurim 2:1) states that the "P'nei ha'Bayis" refers to the
Azarah of the Beis ha'Mikdash. This also seems to be the implication of
TOSFOS (18b, DH Bikurim).
The CHAZON ISH explains the reasoning of Rava bar Ada according to this
interpretation. He explains that Rebbi Yitzchak holds like Rebbi Yehudah,
who says that even the act of placing the basket of Bikurim next to the
Mizbe'ach is not imperative to the fulfillment of the Mitzvah (although it
is certainly a Mitzvah to place the Bikurim there). The bringing of the
Bikurim into the Azarah is the main fulfillment of the Mitzvah. This action
makes the Bikurim fit to be eaten by a Kohen. Once it is fit to be eaten by
a Kohen, the prohibition of wrongful eating by a non-Kohen takes effect. The
Chazon Ish points out that, accordingly, we do not follow this opinion in
practice, since we rule that the placement of the basket is absolutely
necessary for the fulfillment of the Mitzvah. However, according to the way
we rule, the logic above would dictate that a non-Kohen who eats fruits of
Bikurim would not be punished unless the basket was placed next to the
(b) The RAMBAM (Hilchos Bikurim 3:1 and 3:3) and SEMAG (Mitzvas Aseh #139)
write that seeing the "P'nei ha'Bayis" refers to entering the walls of
Yerushalayim. The KESEF MISHNEH explains that the Rambam translates "P'nei
ha'Bayis" as the "face of the *houses in Yerushalayim*." The Kesef Mishneh
says that this is the implication of the Gemara earlier (17a), where Rebbi
Shimon states that the verse cannot be teaching merely that one may not eat
Bikurim outside of Yerushalayim, since we already know this through a Kal
v'Chomer from Ma'aser: if Ma'aser -- which is less stringent than Bikurim --
may not be eaten outside of Yerushalayim, then certainly Bikurim -- which is
more stringent -- may not be eaten outside of Yerushalayim.
The Kesef Mishneh points out that the Kal v'Chomer is not accurate unless we
explain the Gemara in the way that the Rambam explains it. The MINCHAS
YEHUDAH explains the Kesef Mishneh's proof. If the prohibition against
eating Bikurim takes effect only when it enters the Azarah, then the Kal
v'Chomer from Ma'aser is not valid, since it turns out that Ma'aser is
*more* stringent than Bikurim (since once Ma'aser enters *Yerushalayim*, one
may not take it out, while Bikurim may still be taken out of Yerushalayim as
long as it has not entered the Beis ha'Mikdash). The fact that the Gemara
does not ask this question on Rebbi Shimon's Kal v'Chomer shows that Bikurim
is equal to Ma'aser in that its prohibition also takes effect as soon as it
The Chazon Ish learns the Rambam's definition of "P'nei ha'Bayis"
differently. He learns that the Rambam explains that the "P'nei ha'Bayis"
refers to the wall of the Beis ha'Mikdash. The Bikurim "sees" the wall of
the Beis ha'Mikdash once the Bikurim has passed through the wall around
Yerushalayim, at which point there is nothing blocking the Bikurim from
"seeing" the Beis ha'Mikdash.
(c) There is an argument among the Acharonim regarding the opinion of RASHI.
Rashi explains that Rava bar Ada's Halachah of "P'nei ha'Bayis" refers to
the prohibition for a non-Kohen to eat Bikurim. Why does Rashi not learn
like Tosfos (ibid.), who states that the Halachah also applies to anyone,
even a Kohen, eating Bikurim outside of the Beis ha'Mikdash?
1. The P'NEI YEHOSHUA infers from Rashi's words that Rashi learns like
Tosfos and maintains that Rava bar Ada's Halachah applies also to Kohanim.
Rashi mentions a non-Kohen only because he is explaining the language of
Rava bar Ada. "When are they punished" is an inclusive phrase, and therefore
it seems to refer to the larger group of non-Kohanim.
2. The ARUCH LA'NER argues that Rashi understands that Rava differentiates
between the time at which the Isur for a non-Kohen to eat Bikurim takes
effect, and the time at which the Isur for a Kohen to eat Bikurim (outside
of the Beis ha'Mikdash) takes effect. This is because the verse refers to
Bikurim as "Terumas Yadecha" (Devarim 12:17), or literally "the Terumah of
your hand." Rashi in Yevamos (73b) explains that it is called "the Terumah
of your hand" because of the requirement to place it into a basket and carry
it in one's hand to Yerushalayim, "to the place that Hashem will choose"
(Devarim 12:11). Accordingly, it is at the time that the Bikurim enters
Yerushalayim that it becomes like Terumah and is forbidden to be eaten by a
This applies only to a non-Kohen, though. The prohibition for a *Kohen* to
eat Bikurim outside of Yerushalayim only takes effect once the Bikurim have
become fit to eat -- that is, once they have been brought into the Beis
ha'Mikdash (as mentioned in Devarim 12:11, and as Rashi himself mentions
3. The MINCHAS YEHUDAH argues that Rashi's intention is the exact opposite
of the Aruch la'Ner's understanding of Rashi. He says that Rashi holds that
a non-Kohen is punished only when he eats Bikurim inside of the Azarah. He
explains Rashi's logic in the same way that the Chazon Ish understands the
Rash, as mentioned above. Bringing the Bikurim into the Azarah makes the
Bikurim fit to be eaten by a Kohen. Once it is fit to be eaten by a Kohen,
the prohibition of wrongful eating by a non-Kohen takes effect. In contrast,
the prohibition of a Kohen eating Bikurim outside of Yerushalayim takes
effect at an earlier moment. Since the Kohen is allowed to eat it in
Yerushalayim, the prohibition to eat it outside of Yerushalayim takes effect
once it arrives in Yerushalayim. Therefore, Rashi does not include the
prohibition of a Kohen eating Bikurim outside of Yerushalayim in his
explanation of Rava bar Ada's statement. (Y. Montrose)
2) THE PROHIBITION TO EAT "MA'ASER SHENI" OUTSIDE OF YERUSHALAYIM
QUESTION: Rebbi Yochanan states that a person transgresses the prohibition
of eating Ma'aser Sheni outside of Yerushalayim only after it was brought
into Yerushalayim and then taken out. His source is the verse that says that
Ma'aser Sheni must be eaten "before Hashem" (Devarim 12:18), and the verse
that prohibits eating Ma'aser Sheni "in your settlements" (Devarim 12:17).
Rebbi Yochanan explains that as soon as "before Hashem" applies (i.e. the
fruit has already been brought into Yerushalayim), the prohibition of, "You
may not eat in your settlements," applies. This means that one cannot
transgress this prohibition unless the Ma'aser Sheni was already brought
into to Yerushalayim (and then was taken out).
It seems from the Gemara that this Derashah is based on the sequence of
verses in the Torah: whenever the first verse applies, the second verse
takes effect. However, the verse of "before Hashem" appears *after* the
verse of "you may not eat in your settlements!" What, then, is the logic
behind this Derashah?
(a) The CHAFETZ CHAIM in EIN MISHPAT (in the LIKUTEI HALACHOS) answers that
the verse, "You may not eat in your settlements," must be referring to when
the Ma'aser Sheni was already brought into Yerushalayim. This is because of
the wording used for the commandment to eat the Ma'aser Sheni in
Yerushalayim. The verse (Devarim 12:18) does not say, "You shall bring it to
the place Hashem will choose and eat it there," but rather it says merely,
"You shall eat it before Hashem in the place that Hashem will choose." If it
is forbidden to eat Ma'aser Sheni outside of Yerushalayim even before it was
brought into Yerushalayim and taken out, then the verse should state that
the Ma'aser Sheni must be brought into Yerushalayim and then eaten. The fact
that the verse omits any mention of bringing it to Yerushalayim implies that
the prohibition applies only to a case in which the Ma'aser Sheni was
already brought into Yerushalayim.
(b) The ARUCH HA'SHULCHAN HA'ASID (119:13) explains that the verse of
"before Hashem" (Devarim 12:18) is seemingly extra. The previous verses
already state that one must bring his Ma'aser Sheni "to the place that
Hashem will choose" and eat it there. Rebbi Yochanan understands, therefore,
that this extra verse regarding Ma'aser Sheni is teaching us more
information about the prohibition of eating Ma'aser Sheni outside of
Yerushalayim (since we already know where we must eat it). It must be that
the prohibition applies only once one has had the opportunity to eat the
Ma'aser Sheni (i.e. it was brought into Yerushalayim).
According to both explanations, Rebbi Yochanan clearly understands that the
prohibition against eating Ma'aser Sheni outside of Yerushalayim applies
only when it has already reached Yerushalayim. TOSFOS questions this. We
know that the Torah allows a person to redeem his produce of Ma'aser Sheni
with money outside of Yerushalayim, transfer the Kedushah of the produce
onto the money, and bring the money to Yerushalayim instead of bringing the
produce. Why must one bother to redeem the fruits and bring the money to
Yerushalayim? If there is no prohibition against eating the fruits of
Ma'aser Sheni outside of Yerushalayim (since they have not yet been brought
into Yerushalayim), then the person should just eat the fruits at his home,
outside of Yerushalayim, without having to redeem them and bring the money
to Yerushalayim! Tosfos answers that there is still a *positive commandment*
to bring the produce or the money of Ma'aser Sheni to Yerushalayim.
However, RASHI in Bava Metzia (54a, DH d'Kulei Alma Chomesh) discusses a
case in which Ma'aser Sheni did not yet reach Yerushalayim. Rashi states
that a person who eats it would receive Malkus for transgressing the
prohibition of eating Ma'aser Sheni outside of Yerushalayim. Rashi's words
there are difficult to understand, since we do not find anyone who argues
with Rebbi Yochanan! The ARUCH LA'NER here proves that Rav Papa, both later
in our Gemara and in Bava Metzia, indeed argues with Rebbi Yochanan and says
that there is a prohibition even when the Ma'aser Sheni never entered
Yerushalayim. (Y. Montrose)